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


Gorham Printing Book Design

Customer Supplied PDF Files

Creating the Physical Books

Production Stage

After the Books are Finished

Getting Started

Are you a publisher? Who will the publisher be?

Since you are self-publishing your book, you are the publisher. Gorham Printing is not a publisher. We are a printer. Here is a link to a Self-Publishing Guide.

Are you an editor? Who will edit my book?

Since you are self-publishing your book, you would also be the editor. You can also hire a professional editor. Gorham Printing is not an editor but we have some recommended editors under Editing.

This is my first time self-publishing, any tips?

Yes! We have gathered a variety of resources to help authors just like you! We have our 24 Self-Publishing Tips, our free printed Guidebook to Self-Publishing, Our Blog with topics to help you, and our Choose a Path guide to make printing your book easy.

Do you "color match"

Every printer prints differently and uses different types of toner, paper, etc. This means it is almost impossible to match color to a previous printing. If you are trying to match your onscreen image to your printed image this is also difficult since your monitor uses light to make colors whereas a printer uses toner. We do not match color but you can receive a printed proof with your order and adjust your file as needed to alter your output. Check out our How to Set Up Printed Color for more tips.

What is the process of getting my book printed?

When printing your book with Gorham Printing, you have two paths you can take. Check out Choose a Path to learn the whole book printing process!

How do I copyright my book?

Why do you need a copyright? It protects your hard work from being stolen or plagiarized.

Copyrighting your book is much easier than you think. Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created. To copyright your book all you must do is include the author’s name, date of copyright, and the copyright symbol (©) or the word ‘‘copyright” on the copyright page (usually the first left-hand page after the title page) of your book. You may then elaborate on the “all rights reserved” phrase if you wish. Check your favorite books for variations for extended copyright verbiage.

You can opt to register your copyright after your book is printed which helps strengthen your legal rights. More information visit www.copyright.gov.

What is a Library of Congress Control Number?

The number is called the Preassigned Control Number (PCN). Issued prior to publication, this free number is intended for books that will be distributed to libraries. Participation sometimes results in orders for your book from sources who would not have known about it otherwise. For more information, guidelines about what books qualify, instructions and PCN forms, visit the Library of Congress website.

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Pricing Considerations

How do I get a price?

The quickest and most accurate way to get a price is using the Quote Generator. This is the same system we use to make quotes and is where you can save quotes and place orders.

If you prefer to see a rough ballpark price, check out our Price Charts.

If you want options you don’t see in the Quote Generator, Contact Us and we would be happy to work on a unique custom quote with you!

How much more is hardcover?

Hardcover books require more labor and expensive materials than softcover books which increases their price significantly. To review a specific hardcover book’s pricing instantly, check out the Quote Generator.

Can you print full color interior pages?

Yes! As a digital printer, we can print one page of your interior in color, just a few in color or all your pages in color. The color pages can be located anywhere in the interior. Just let us know in your quote how many color pages you have. Click Here to start your color interior quote.

How many pages will my book have?

If you provide Print-Ready PDF files, your page count will be exactly the number of pages in the PDF you provide. One sheet equals two pages.

If you haven’t designed your interior or will have Gorham Printing design it for you, the best way to estimate a rough page count is from a word count. Using a standard font size, you can estimate about 250-300 words per page. This would mean a book with 30,000 words would be roughly 120 pages. If you have front or back matter (dedications, forewords, bibliography, indexes, etc.) or photos, you will want to estimate a few additional pages. Check out your Design Options.

Are you a Print-on-Demand (POD) printer?

No, POD printers are set up to print one book at a time. We specialize in printing quantities of 25-5000 books at a time to offer better per book costs to you.

Why is a deposit required?

A 50% deposit is required to place an order. This is not only a good-faith payment towards the final production, but it also helps pay for design work and ordering the paper.

What is an overrun or underrun?

Due to the nature of short-run book printing, we must start production with more text blocks and covers than are ordered for quality control purposes. We recycle any misprinted or damaged books during production and only deliver the finest quality books to you. Your final total of printed books, then, may be slightly above (overrun) or below (underrun) your ordered amount. Gorham Printing tries our best to be extremely efficient, and we cover the cost of the overruns for all softcover (perfect bound) and spiral book orders. For hardcover book orders, you are responsible for only the quantity of books that pass all of our quality checks. This amount will never be more than 10% over or under the quantity of ordered books.

Will I be charged tax on my order?

Customers who take delivery of their books outside of Washington state will not be charged sales tax. We are required to collect retail sales tax on print orders that are picked up or shipped to a location within Washington state. Washington residents with a valid reseller ID may qualify for tax exemption.

Starting July 1, 2019, a change in state law is requiring businesses to collect retail sales tax on purchases by nonresidents who have previously been exempt from paying the tax. If you are a nonresident, you may be able to request a refund from the Department of Revenue of the state retail sales tax you paid, starting Jan. 1, 2020.

Make sure to keep your receipts for verification when you request your refund. For more information, visit: dor.wa.gov/nonresidents.

Will there be any additional costs to my order?

Any changes made to your order after the initial estimate may impact the final price. Additional proofs, file reviews, or increases to the quantity or page count are examples of changes that may affect your final price. Hardcover, spiral, lay-flat, and other binding styles that are not softcover (perfect bound) may also have overruns which will impact your final cost. If you have questions about overruns, refer to the above question or feel free to call or email us to discuss your questions.

What are your print order terms and condtions?

A complete explanation of the print order terms and condtions found here.

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What is a “proof?”

A proof is a sample of your final book before it goes to production. It can be a digital proof (a PDF file) or a printed proof, which is unbound, hand-trimmed, and has no lamination on the cover. The purpose of the proof is to give you an opportunity to review the product before it is committed to production. You should check your proof closely to make sure it is formatted exactly as you want it. If you receive a printed proof, also ensure that the colors are to your liking.

What will my proof look like?

All PDF orders include an online proof and have the option to upgrade to a printed proof (in replacement of the online proof).

If you receive an online proof, you will receive an email with a link to download the PDFs of your cover and interior.

If you upgrade to a printed proof, your interior and cover will be printed on your chosen paper stock using the same printer that your final books will be printed on. Your proof will be unbound, hand-trimmed and have no lamination on the cover. If you are getting a printed proof of a cloth cover book, it will be a printed mockup of what your cloth and stamping will look like.

If you decide to make changes to your proof and send new files, check out the Service Rates page for pricing.

Will my printed proof match my computer screen?

The short answer is no, most likely not. This is because your on screen image is made using light and has light brightening it up. The output by the printer is the accurate representation of what your file looks like. If you have changes you can submit new files and review additional proofs (See Service Rates for Pricing) before going to production.

Can I get a printed proof before I start an order?

Since we are set up as a short-run book printer and not a POD (print-on-demand) it requires an expensive setup to print one book even if the printed book is not bound or laminated. There is also the concern of having all the necessary details to be able to print the proof, page count, size, paper, which printer it will print on, etc. which is all needed to print a proof.

Do you offer an ICC profile?

We do not provide ICC profiles because there are too many uncontrolled variables with your workstation, software and files to result in a color “match”. For best results, we recommend using Adobe Creative Cloud to create your files, using the settings outlined above.

Can I send a custom color profile attached to my file?

Our printers are setup for G7 Color and are calibrated everyday and throughout the day to keep accurate color. Applying a color profile means this would need to overwrite the machine's color calibration and could cause severe color drifts and inaccuracy in color.

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Gorham Printing Book Design

How do you design my cover?

For Assisted Cover Design: Send us your cover ideas and your cover images that you would like on your cover and let us do the rest!

For Custom Cover Design: We work closely with you to determine your targeted readers and will use our expertise to create a cover concept that will help market your book!

Check out our Cover Design page to learn more.

How do you design my interior pages?

Each level of interior design starts with you sending us your book in a word document and any other content (images, captions, etc.). We will then transform your raw materials into a beautifully designed book! Check out our Text Design page to learn more.

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

Each photo, map and/or chart will be optimized to make them look their best and placed into your book to make sure it is both cohesive and appealing. If you need items scanned, we can do that as well!

Learn about Photo Quality or check out pricing for including images in your design on our Service Rates page.

I have my design proof; can I make changes?

When you receive your proof, you should mark any changes on it in bright pen, so we can find them. We will make the marked changes in the designed file and send a new proof. We recommend making sure your final editing is done before submitting your files to Gorham Printing to reduce changes after the proof and costs.

Check out the Service Rates page under Design Services Pricing for complete pricing on changes.

Can I use my files designed by Gorham Printing at a different printer?

Yes, because you own your files as the publisher. Gorham Printing doesn’t reserve any rights to your content, which means it is all yours.

Check out the Service Rates page for options on receiving your files.

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Customer Supplied PDF Files

What happens when I submit my Print-Ready PDFs?

After submitting your order and uploading your book using the Send Files Tool, your files will go through the PDF review system. The PDF review system checks page count, page size, color page count, bleeds, low-resolution images on the cover, improper layout of the cover and other technical issues that might prevent your files from printing. Content such as grammar, spelling, formatting preferences, page numbers, etc. are not checked and should be reviewed by you before submitting the files and checked again thoroughly during the proofing stage.

The PDF review is completed within 2-3 business days. You will either receive a proof email OR an email with a description of the errors with the files.

Each new file must go through the PDF review and prepared for printing again. Submitting new files will incur additional charges. Check out the Service Rates for pricing.

Can Gorham Printing make changes to my PDFs?

PDF files have everything “locked” into place. Making changes to a PDF can be quite difficult and can potentially damage the file. If you have changes to your PDF, the best option is to make the changes in your native file and create a new PDF.

Some small technical corrections are possible with PDF Assistance ($25 per file).

Can I give you a Microsoft Word file instead of a PDF?

We cannot take Word documents or any other format other than a PDF when receiving print-ready files. Word files can have many potential problems, including missing fonts, text reflow, images issues, and many more. A PDF will “lock” everything into place, so no movement or changes will occur. This is why it is unsafe to accept Microsoft Word documents or any other native files in lieu of PDFs for ready-to-print books. Learn How to Make a PDF.

How should I prepare my pictures, maps and charts?

If you are scanning or saving digital images it is best to make sure they are high-resolution at 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be scanned and saved at 600 dpi. If possible, your maps and charts should be vector graphics. Learn more about Image Quality.

Do I have to look at a proof of my Print-Ready PDF files?

It may seem like a proof wouldn't be needed, but it really is. Output devices process digital information using a variety of processing languages. One last review of your files in either an online proof or printed proof helps ensure that your final books will appear exactly how you want them.

Can I have images and/or backgrounds going off the pages?

Yes, you can! 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. If you would like to include bleeds in the interior of your book, it is important to check the box “Interior Bleeds” on the quote. Interior bleeds require special file setup. To make sure your bleeds turn out properly, follow the Text Bleeds Instructions.

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Creating the Physical Books

What kind of paper should I use for my interior pages?

Our house sheet is a 60# white opaque paper stock, which we order in large quantities, resulting in savings for you. We also offer a variety of uncoated papers (available for all books) and coated papers (hardcover and spiral books only). Check out our Material Options to review all the interior paper choices. If you want options you don’t see on the Material Options page, Contact Us and we would be happy to try to find a more unique paper for your book!

What size book should I get?

We offer custom sizes from 4x5 to 8.5x11 portrait and landscape. The standard sizes are 5.5x8.5, 6x9, and 8.5x11. These are the most common and cost-effective book sizes. Learn about Your Genre’s Suited Size.

We can also do larger format sizes for custom orders, just Contact Us to discuss options!

What kind of paper should I use for my Cover?

For softcover and spiral cover books, our house stock is 12pt Tango C1S. This is a heavy-weight stock coated on one side (C1S) and is the most cost-effective option. We also offer several other paper options for softcover and spiral covers which are listed on the Material Options page.

For hardcover books, we offer a variety of fabrics along with printed hardcovers. If you want options you don’t see on the Material Options page, Contact Us and we would be happy to find a more unique paper for your cover!

How is the cover protected?

Covers are protected using UV coating or film lamination. All book orders (excluding fabric covered books) include gloss lamination on each book. Alternatively, we offer a soft-touch matte lamination. The matte lamination can show scuffs, finger-prints and is not quite as resilient as the gloss but has a much more tactile impact.

How many pages can my book be?

For most softcover books, your page count can be anywhere from 32 to 900 pages.

For most hardcover and spiral bound books, you page count be anywhere from 24 to 900 pages.

If you have over 900 pages, please Contact Us to discuss options!

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Production Stage

How long does it take to print my books?

Once you have approved your final proof for production, it usually takes 5-10 business days for softcovers, 3-4 weeks for spiral books, and 5-6 weeks for hardcovers. Production times may vary depending on the specifications of the order. Shipping is not included in the production time and is usually 2-6 business days.

The production "clock" begins once we have received a signed proof form from you, approving the job for production.

Where will my books be printed?

Right here in Centralia, Washington USA! Our 7,500 square foot facility in Centralia, Washington holds the customer service, design, prepress, digital printing, and softcover bindery divisions. Two of our binding options (hardcover and spiral) are bound only a few hours away in Portland, Oregon

What kind of printers does Gorham Printing use?

We are a 100% digital printer using CMYK toner machines. We print our books on state-of-the-art Canon Digital Presses that have the highest rated levels of color and quality. If you are interested in seeing our printers or the rest of the shop, stop by for a tour of the facility!

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

Gorham Printing is a printer, not a publisher, which means all of your files are owned by you. We can send you any of your archived files upon request. PDFs, native files, and package InDesign files can be sent via email at no charge. Please allow 3-4 business days for us to compile your files for sending. If you request a CD or USB ($35), it will be mailed out USPS Priority (2-3 business days).

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After the Books are Finished

Where can you ship my books?

We ship to all fifty states in the USA. If you have special shipping questions, you can Contact Us.

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. For very large orders, we may recommend the palletization of your order and the use of a freight truck for transportation.

How much does shipping cost?

Check out the Shipping Information page for more information.

Why do some of my books look “wavy?”

Waviness is not uncommon to digital printing. Most of the time, the books will flatten out over a few days or weeks. The waviness is a result of fluctuating moisture content in the paper. The waviness most often occurs when transporting the books between drastically different climates. Often, the books can be pressed down with a weight and given a few days to flatten out.

Can I reprint my book without sending new files?

Yes! Whether you want an exact reprint or your book or need to make changes, reprinting books at Gorham Printing is a snap for repeat customers. Follow the steps below to place a reprint order.

How do I reprint my book?

When you are ready to order more books, it is as easy as 1,2,3!

1. Login and click on Past Orders. Select the book you would like to reprint by clicking Reprint.

2. Choose whether you want an exact reprint or to submit new files.

3. Submit your deposit online or using one of the other payment options.

If you have changes to a reprint that Gorham Printing designed, mail in a marked-up copy of the book with the changes OR use a word document to write your changes with the page number, line number and the change you want made. Example markup: Pg. 1, line 14: The dog was happy. – The dog is happy.

You can always Contact Us and we can help setup your reprint!

How long does Gorham Printing archive customer files?

Gorham Printing archives all digital files for as long as possible. If you printed within the last six years, you can reprint online. If it has been longer than six years, please contact us, and we can see if your book is archived. We upgrade our printers every 4 years to keep up with the newest and best printing technology. Because of this, you may see some color variations when reprinting your book. If you are concerned about color, we recommend receiving a printed proof for reprints that are older than 4 years.

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