You've come to the right place to get your book printing and self-publishing questions answered. As the name would suggest, this section is a compilation of answers to the questions our clients commonly ask. Just start by following one of the links below.

Getting Started

Pricing Considerations


Cover and Text Design Services

Customer-Supplied Print-Ready PDF Files

Manufacturing Stage

After Your Book is Finished

Getting Started

Are you a publisher? Who will the publisher be?

No, Gorham Printing is not a publisher. We are a printer. Since you are self-publishing your book, you are the publisher.

How long does it take for you to complete my order?

The production "clock" does not begin until we have received a signed proof form that the job is ready for printing, after the proofing process. From this point, it takes: 2-3 weeks for Softcovers, 6-7 weeks for hardcovers and 3-4 weeks for spiral books.

If you have several rounds of proofs, this will cause time delays. The production "clock" does not start until we have received the final "okay" from your signed proof form.

How do I copyright my book?

To copyright your book, place a notice on the copyright page. Either the word copyright and/or the copyright symbol must appear along with the year of first publication and the name of the copyright owner, such as "Copyright 2012, Bill Shakespeare, All rights reserved." You may then elaborate on the all rights reserved phrase if you wish. Check other books for accepted variations.

After your book is printed, you may register your copyright online for $35 or by mailing Form TX for $65.00. Registering your work officially recognizes you as the copyright holder. Although recommended, it is not absolutely necessary to register your work. Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created. Registration strengthens your legal position. More information on this subject is available at www.copyright.gov.

Where do I get a Library of Congress Control Number?

Issued prior to publication, this free number is intended for books that will be distributed to libraries. The number is called the Preassigned Control Number (PCN) and may be requested by submitting a one-page application. For more information, guidelines about what books qualify, instructions and PCN forms, visit the Library of Congress. These numbers are issued prior to publication, and are reserved for books intended for distribution to libraries.The number is printed on the copyright page of your book, preceded by the phrase, Library of Congress Control Number. Once the book is published, one complimentary copy is sent to the Library of Congress.

There are no fees for participating in the PCN program. If you believe your work would be appropriate for libraries, request a PCN. Participation sometimes results in orders for your book from sources who would not have known about it otherwise.

Do I need an ISBN?

If you plan to sell your books in a bookstore, you will need to obtain an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). You will need a separate number for the print version and for each ebook version. Your ISBN converted into a bar code is used by bookstores to order and track titles. R.R. Bowker Company issues these numbers, which they also publish in a reference manual Books In Print. If you would like, we can provide a bar code of your ISBN for $25.00. Visit MyIdentifiers.com for more information. See also barcode.

Pricing Considerations

How do I get a price?

We have two ways for you to determine pricing, our Instant Quote, or simply by viewing our Price Charts. You can find them all on our Pricing page.

What size book should I get?

Almost any size is possible up to 8.5x11, but standard sizes are more efficient and less expensive. Our standard sizes are 5.5x8.5, 6x9, and 8.5x11. These sizes are the most economical since they minimize paper waste.

How much more is hardcover?

Many have asked...how much more is a hardcover book compared to a softcover book? Many variables affect the pricing. View the Price Charts to get a better idea of hardcover pricing.

Can you print full color text pages?

Yes. We can print your pages digitally and in full color. See Price Charts for more information.

How many pages will my book have?

When we import your file into our page layout program, and design the text, the number of pages will probably change from the original document. To get an idea of the final page count, use the following formula: For a 5.5x8.5 size book, figure approximately 300 words per page and for a 6x9 size book figure approximately 350 words per page. For example, if your book contained 48,000 words, it would end up at approximately 160 total pages for a 5.5x8.5 size book. (48,000 words at 300 words per page = 160 5.5x8.5 finished pages). If you have photos or drawings, don't forget to include them in your page count.

Are we a Print on Demand (POD) Printer?

No, most POD printers are set up to print one book at a time. Our minimum quantity is 25 books, however the cost per book is considerably less than printing one at a time.


Proofs are created for your book prior to the actual printing process as a means for you to check for any mistakes that might be present.

If you have provided PDF files

We offer either an online proof or a printed proof. Your initial pricing includes an online proof of your interior pages and cover. The online proof is the least expensive proofing method but is not accurate for color or halftone quality. If color matching or halftone quality is critical we would recommend a printed proof. If this is not critical, an online proof should suffice. Online proofing also saves time from mailing printed proofs. If new files are submitted or new proofs are required, additional charges will be incurred.

If we are providing the design work of the interior or cover

If we are providing the design work for your interior pages and cover your initial pricing includes a printed proof of the interior pages and the cover for Level 2 or 3 design work and an online proof for Level 1 design work.

As your interior pages are coming to us in a relatively “raw form” the proofing process gives you the opportunity to see margins, fonts, page breaks, image placement, etc. When submitting your files, provide us with a fully edited version to avoid extra editorial charges. Editorial changes at the design stage are charged at $92.00 per hour. If you desire certain design attributes (For Level 2 or 3 Design), make sure you tell us before we start, as additional charges could be incurred. For Level 2 and 3 interior page design work we will e-mail you a few sample pages of the layout to be sure that our design is what you are looking for. Level 1 text design does not include sample pages.

Level 2 and 3 cover design includes an e-mail concept of your cover prior to final design for your comments to the designer. Level 1 cover design does not include a preview of the cover prior to the online proof.

Book Design

I don’t know how to use InDesign, Photoshop etc.

If you choose to provide us with a PDF, we will not teach you how to design your text or cover, and will not provide instruction on how to use professional software like InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator. We provide layout specifications on our Design It Yourself page. If you do not have the skills necessary to layout your book on your own, please review our levels of design work and we'd be happy to do the layout for you.

How do you design my cover?

To design the cover for your book, we usually take a combination of your cover ideas, pictures and the content of the book to determine the best look for your cover. Send us your cover design concepts and any original art to be used on the cover. For Level 2&3 Cover Design, we will email your cover concept to you for feedback. Once approved, we will mail you a complementary first printed proof. See How Design Works.

How do you design my text?

To design your text pages, we will need a digital text file of the book to import into Adobe InDesign. You can type your book in just about any word processing program, PC or Mac. It is best to have the whole book saved as a single file, with no graphics or photos included, we will add those later. We can scan any photos or artwork, or you can send already-scanned images. A complementary first printed proof will be mailed to you.(For complex layouts, we email a few sample pages first.) See How Design Works.

What do you do with my photos, maps and charts?

In order to print photos, maps or charts in your book a halftone must be made of the original image. We charge $7.00 per photo to scan and place photos within the text of your book. We will scan them as 300 dpi grayscale images. If your photos are already scanned, we can optimize and place them within the text for $4.00 per photo. If you provide us with low resolution (72 dpi) poor quality photos, we will not be able to improve their quality. To help us to know where each photo and caption belongs in the book, number the photo and caption with a corresponding number.

What if I have changes after viewing my proof?

For books we are designing, we recommend that you submit your files in a final edited form in order to avoid additional charges, but you may see things you missed once the text is designed. When you receive your proof, we ask that you mark any changes on it in bright ink so we can find them. When we receive the proof back, we will make editorial changes at $92 per hour.

Customer-Supplied Print-Ready PDF Files

The first text and/or cover PDF evaluations by our Prepress are included in your quote. The Text PDF evaluation includes checking for issues that would create problems in the printing process such as low-resolution images, color pages, margins, page size and count, bleeds, screens and fonts. The Cover PDF evaluation includes checking image quality, fonts, proper layout, spine width, size, and barcode. We do not check for editorial issues including punctuation, grammar or spelling. If there are issues with your files that prevent us from printing, our Prepress will contact you. Any required changes must be made by the customer and a new PDF file must be resubmitted on our website. New files will accumulate additional charges.

Can Gorham Printing Make Changes to my PDF?

Customer-supplied PDFs that require alteration during prepress review are subject to design rates of $92 per hour in fifteen-minute $23 increments. We are limited on changes that can be made to customer provided files. Modifications on customer provided files must be approved by Prepress. Modifications that require extensive time will be recommend to our Design Services.

What do you do with my text PDF?

Within 3 business days your file will be preflighted to check file quality, missing fonts, image placement and page size and other checks. If the file passes all preflight checks, it moves to the proofing stage.

What do you do with my cover PDF?

Within 3 business days your file will be preflighted to check file quality, missing fonts, image placement, crops and spine marks, and other checks. If the file passes all preflight checks, it moves to the proofing stage.

Can Gorham Printing Make Changes to my PDF?

Customer-supplied PDFs that require alteration during prepress review are subject to design rates of $92 per hour in fifteen-minute $23 increments. We are limited on changes that can be made to customer provided files. Modifications on customer provided files must be approved by Prepress. Modifications that require extensive time will be recommend to our Design Services.

Why can't I give you a MS Word file instead of a PDF?

We do not accept MS Word documents or any other native files in lieu of PDFs for ready-to-print books. Word files can have many potential problems, including: missing fonts, text reflow, embedded images, and many more. A PDF will lock everything in place so no movement or changes will occur.

How should I do my pictures, maps and charts?

Screened images should be scanned and saved at 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be scanned and saved at 600 dpi. If you have used postscript software to create your maps or charts, they should be saved in a vector file format like .eps for optimum quality.

Do I still need to approve a proof if I bring my work in on disk?

It may seem like a proof wouldn't be needed in this case but it really is. Output devices process digital information using a variety of processing languages. Your approval of the proof which we will provide assures that the output device used has correctly interpreted and processed the information you have provided.

What if my text has bleeds?

Any image, color or type on a page that touches the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge, leaving no margin, is called a bleed. The bleed may extend off one or more sides. After the book is bound, 1/8 inch is trimmed off the top, bottom and outside edge. If your book has bleeds, it would be best to contact us to make sure they are possible. Some restrictions due to size and other factors may make the project cost high. Also, there are many technical aspects to setting up a bleed. This PDF will give you more information: Text Bleeds.

Manufacturing Stage

What kind of paper is used for the text?

Our house sheet is 60# white Lynx offset for text, which we order in large quantities, resulting in savings for you. Coated paper is not available for softcover (perfect bound) books, in order to preserve binding integrity. Paper is now all acid-free, but we cannot guarantee NISO standards for permanency of paper.

What kind of paper is used for the cover?

For softcover books we use white 12 point C1S, which is a heavy-weight stock coated on one side (C1S). Other papers are also available; check with us for details. If the book is hardcover, the cover can be foil stamped or printed.

How is the cover protected?

Covers are protected using gloss film layflat nylon lamination. Matte lamination is available as well, but we cannot guarantee that it will protect the cover from scratches and scuffs. Fingerprints will show when matte lamination is used over dark-colored covers.

What is the maximum and mimum number of pages you can perfect bind (softcover)?

The maximum page count that we can perfect bind (softcover) is 900 (60# paper). The minimum page count that we can perfect bind (softcover) is 32 (60# paper).

What is the maximum number of pages you can case bind (hardcover)?

The approximate maximum page count is 900 pages. The number depends on the paper weight and overall book thickness.

After Your Book is Finished

How will you ship my book?

After your book has been completed, it is packed for shipping. We use 8.5x11x12 inch or 9x12x12 inch boxes, depending on the book size. For most shipments we use UPS Ground because it is the most economical. Typically, the boxes for 6x9 books weigh 43 lbs. each and the 5.5x8.5 and 8.5x11 boxes weigh 34 lbs. each.

What if I want to take my design files to another printer?

We require a non-refundable $240 charge with a 3-5 week turnaround time to prep files for any other printer. Alternatively, we can provide all cover and text files on CD for $25 to edit for another printer yourself using Adobe Indesign and Photoshop.

How much does shipping cost?

Go to Shipping for more information.

Will you keep my book files in case I reprint it in the future?

Yes. We archive all books for at least 5 years.

What happens when I need reprints?

You can call customer service to obtain a price quote for reprints. Alternatively, you can log into your account and order from your ?past orders? link. We will print from the file that has been archived on CD if we have them on file. This will save you the cost of setup.