1. ISBN and EAN Barcode – Make sure that your ISBN (International Standard Book Number) has the correct price registered at Bowker ISBN agency. An ISBN consists of 13 digits and must be issued by Bowker ISBN Agency in the United States and its territories. Once you have ensured that the ISBN corresponds with the correct information in your Bowker account, including title of the book, author and the price, generate an EAN (European Article Number) code. This can be done through software available online, or at Bowker ISBN Agency. The EAN code must be delivered with the text and picture files you give to the printer.
2. Software and Delivery Methods – Printers do not accept all kinds of software and you must ensure that your computer programs are compatible with the printer’s equipment. Book manuscripts for print are mostly delivered by either InDesign or Quark XPress; all other software must be agreed upon beforehand. This is also the right occasion to discuss your delivery method with the printer. Accepted delivery methods are usually FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or by DVD.
3. Proofreading – A final proof should be read before the text goes to the printer. Proofreading should be done by someone other than the writer in order to get a fresh view on the material. The final check should remove last spelling mistakes, ensure correct pagination and make certain that relevant information regarding Library of Congress Control Number, ISBN, copyright and credits are given on the back of the title page.
4. Fonts and Pictures – When assembling the material for the printer on your desktop or DVD, make sure that you enclose all fonts and picture files you have used in the manuscript and on the cover. Missing fonts and pictures will distort the file at the printers and delay the printing start.
5. Cover – When preparing the files for the printer, separate the cover and the book design by placing each with corresponding text, fonts and pictures in different folders, clearly marked “cover” and “manuscript.” Make sure that you also deliver a file for the spine of the book, which should include fonts and possibly a logo or picture.
6. Deadline – Ensure that you will be able to stick to the deadline given by the printers. A breach of the agreed deadline can lead to heavy fines imposed by the printing company, and might result in delays in your distribution and sales chain.
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