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Frequently Asked Questions

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Support Center  >  Formatting & Book Details

Formatting & Book Details

Formatting How-To Videos

Do you have templates that I can use to help me format my cover?

Yes. We have downloadable templates using MS Word in a variety of trim sizes that you can use for formatting your front and back covers. Once you have completed making your cover in the Word file, follow the instructions for saving to a print-ready PDF. Instructions on how to use the templates can be found within the downloadable template. More information on cover templates can be found in our Formatting Guide.

Are there formatting tools I can access?

Yes. We have a complete Formatting Guide and MS Word cover templates. You can also use our Quick Start Checklists for book interior, paperback, hardcover with printed case and hardcover with dust jacket.

  • Traditional sizes for fiction or narrative non-fiction books are:
      • 5"x8"; 5.5"x8.5"; 6"x9"
  • Traditional sizes for cookbooks or other designed books are:
      • 7.5"x9.25"; 7"x10"; 8"x10"; 8.5"x8.5"

How should I format my cover?

You can upload a full cover spread (including the back cover, spine and front cover combined as a single cover file spread) or you can create separate print-ready PDF files for your front cover and back cover and create the book's spine on our platform. The PDF cover file(s) need to be created following size specifications based on the book trim size. Reference our Quick Start Checklists below for a complete list of specifications, depending on the cover format for your book.

We also provide front and back cover templates for MS Word that you can use to create your covers if you do not wish to upload a single cover spread.

Once you upload these two files to the NOOK Press print platform, you will be able to create a spine that will bring the files together to create a cover.

For more information on how to format your cover files download our Formatting Guide.

Why do you add a barcode to my back cover?

We add a barcode to the bottom right-hand side of your back cover for printing purposes. You'll see a white box on your cover proof to indicate where this barcode will be placed, so be sure not to put important content in this area.

What picture files are supported?

Your book can include interior images in black & white or color. It does not matter what type of file your images are saved as originally (e.g. jpeg, .png) as you'll be converting your book interior into a single PDF file prior to uploading to the NOOK Press print platform.

We recommend using images that are of high resolution such as 300 dpi (dots per inch) or higher so they will print out crisp and sharp. If your file contains images of lower resolution, they will still pass our printing checks but we cannot guarantee the quality of the printed image.

For more complex image and design recommendations, see our Formatting Guide (e.g. information about layers and transparencies).

What resolution should picture files be in?

We recommend using images that are of high resolution such as 300 dpi (dots per inch) or higher so they will print out crisp and sharp. If your file contains images of lower resolution, they will still pass our printing checks but we cannot guarantee the quality of the printed image.

Can you convert my MS Word File for me?

Unfortunately, we cannot prepare your print-ready file for you. Our Formatting Guide provides a robust set of easy instructions for generating this file yourself. When you upload your file to the NOOK Press print platform, our system will review your Word doc or PDF to make sure it will produce a professional-looking book.

Can I create my own book spine design?

The NOOK Press print platform builds your spine for you during the cover building process if you choose to upload separate front and back cover files. The platform will calculate your spine for you based on the trim size of your book and the page length of the PDF interior that you upload. NOOK Press will stitch the front and back cover files you provided with the proper sized spine. You can choose from three spine colors and either black or white type color for your title and author name.

Can I upload a full cover PDF?

Yes. You can either upload a full cover spread file (including the back cover, the spine and the front cover altogether) or you can upload the front and back cover files separately and create your cover spine using the NOOK Press print platform. We give you the option to create your spine using the NOOK Press print platform because calculating spine size can be a bit tricky.

Why isn't the NOOK Press print platform accepting my Interior PDF or Word document?

Your print-ready PDF or print-ready Word doc must be generated following a set of requirements in order to pass our pre-press check. If your file is not accepted during this pre-press check, we will provide you with a reason why your file is not passing. You can also reference the book interior checklist to help you troubleshoot the issue.

Here are some common reasons why your PDF or Word doc may not be print-ready:

  • Trim Size/Page size:
    • Your document must match one of our offered trim sizes.
    • In your Word document, make sure your page size matches the specifications for the trim size you chose for your print book before you save or save as a PDF.
    • e.g., A 6" x 9" trim size should have a page size set at 6" x 9".
  • Embedded Fonts: If you're using MS Word on a PC, make sure you've checked the "embed font" option in the Word > Options > Save menu. See our Formatting Guide on how to make sure your fonts are embedded.
  • Save as a PDF: If you're using MS Word on a PC, make sure that when you save as PDF that you Click on Options… and in the choices below PDF Options, check the box that reads "ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)."
  • Page Count:
      Minimum Page Count for white and cream-colored paper: 40 pages
      Maximum Page Count for white and cream-colored paper: 800 pages

Why isn't NOOK Press accepting my cover PDF?

Like your interior file, your cover PDFs must be generated following a set of requirements in order to pass our pre-press check. If your file is not set up correctly, the uploading process will provide you with the reason that your file is failing. You can reference the relevant Quick Guide checklist to also help you troubleshoot the issue — paperback, hardcover with printed case and hardcover with dust jacket.

Here are some common reasons why your PDF may not be print-ready:

  • Trim Size/Page size: Covers/Dust Jacket page sizes must be larger than the trim size of the book because during the binding process, the cover will be trimmed off or folded over. You need to be mindful of the Trim Zone (bleed) to make sure you don't have anything trimmed off or folded over that you want to appear on the cover.
    • See our Quick Start Checklists for a full list of page sizes, trim zone (bleed), and fold zones for the trim sizes we offer. Depending on your need, checklists are available for the book interior, paperback, hardcover with printed case and hardcover with dust jacket.
    • We recommend using our MS Word cover templates which are incorporated as part of the cover upload experience.
    • Consult the Creating a Cover section of our Formatting Guide for more detailed information.
  • Embedded Fonts: If you're using a MS Word on a PC, make sure you've checked the "embed font" option in the Word > Options > Save menu. See our Formatting Guide on how to make sure your fonts are embedded.
  • Save as a PDF: If you're using MS Word on a PC, make sure that when you save as PDF that you Click on Options… and in the choices below PDF Options, check the box that reads "ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)."

How do I set trim size/page size?

There are different ways to set the trim size/page size in MS Word, depending on if you are on a PC or Mac computer. Please review the instructions below for your corresponding computer type.

For a PC: Click the Page Layout tab and then click on the lower right button of the Page Setup section to open the complete dialog box:

Click the Paper tab, select the custom size option and enter your desired measurements. In the drop-down menu next to "Apply to", make sure to click on "Whole Document" to apply this size to the whole document.

For a Mac: Choose Page Setup under File from the top navigation bar. Under Paper Size choose Manage Custom Sizes, and then type in your specific trim size dimensions.

How do I set my margins?

There are different ways to set the margins in MS Word, depending on if you are on a PC or Mac computer. Please review the instructions below for your corresponding computer type.

For a PC: Click the Page Layout tab and then click on the lower right button of the Page Setup section to open the complete dialog box. Click the Margins tab and enter your desired margin measurements. Choose your orientation and then select Mirror Margins in the "Pages" section. Click OK to apply these settings to the document.

For a Mac: Click on Layout from the navigation bar, then click on Margins. Choose Custom Margins to set your margins and mirror margins.

How do I embed fonts?

MS Word for Mac computers does not have the embed font setting - it's set automatically for you. Please review the instructions below for embedding fonts in Word on a PC.

For a PC From within a Word document, click the Office button in the top left corner of the screen. At the bottom of the dialog box that opens, click the Word Options button. Or, click File and then click Options.

Inside the Options section you will see the dialog box below. In the last section on the screen select 'Embed fonts in the file' by checking the box. Leave the other two boxes unchecked. Click OK. The file will now save with fonts embedded.

When you go to save your Word document as a PDF, you will also have to follow the Save as a PDF instructions to be sure that your fonts have all embedded properly. From the top navigation bar choose File > Save As and you will see a dialog box. Choose PDF as the Save As type. Click on Options and in the choices below PDF Options, check the box that reads "ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)." After saving, open the PDF and check each page to make sure it looks like you expected it to.

For a Mac: MS Word for Mac does not have a font embedding option, since it automatically embeds your fonts. You should be able to save to PDF without formatting issues.

How do I save my MS Word file as a PDF?

There are different ways to save a PDF, depending on if you are on a PC or Mac computer. Please review the instructions below for your corresponding computer type.

NOTE: Before saving as a PDF, you must double check that your MS Word document is going to save as a PDF with your desired paper size.

For a PC: From the Office button in the top left hover over Print, and then choose Print Preview. Click on the Size section and choose More Paper Sizes, then enter your desired trim size in the width and height sections.

Save As a PDF: On the top navigation bar choose File > Save As and you will see a dialog box. Choose PDF as the Save As type. Click on Options and in the choices below PDF Options, check the box that reads "ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)." After saving, open the PDF and check each page to make sure it looks like you expected it to.

For a Mac: On the top navigation bar click File > Print to open the Print dialog box. Click on Page Setup at the bottom left.

Click on Paper Size and then Manage Custom Sizes.

Enter the Paper Size for the PDF you are creating.

Save as a PDF: From the top navigation bar choose File, then Save As. Under Format choose PDF. You can rename your file in the Save As box. Open the PDF and check each page to make sure it looks like you expected it to.

What are the Book Details?

Your project’s Book Details page is where you will provide all the pertinent information regarding your print book. This information – or metadata – will appear on your customer-facing product page on Barnes & Noble.com and will make it easier for readers to discover your book.

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are required in order to put your print book on sale. Once you have provided all of the required information for each section, a green checkmark will appear next to that item on your final Summary page.

Items that appear within the Book Details section are:

  • ISBN
  • Title & Description
  • Categories
  • Pricing
  • Other Information
  • Editorial Reviews

What is an ISBN, and do I need one to sell my print book?

An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit product number that must be applied to your print book in order to sell it through any Barnes & Noble or other retail channel.

Yes, you do need an ISBN to sell your book. You may elect to receive a free ISBN through NOOK Press during your set-up process – resulting in your publisher name being designated as NOOK Press – or you may want to purchase one on your own, which will enable you to set your own publisher name.

In order to purchase an ISBN on your own, you will need to visit the Bowker website (http://www.bowker.com/products/ISBN-US.html). As the United States ISBN Agency, Bowker is the only official source of ISBNs in the United States.

My book already has an ISBN, do I need a new one?

Yes, each NOOK Press print book needs a new ISBN that has never been used on any other print platform. If your print book is currently for sale on Barnes & Noble.com or any other retail platform, you cannot use that same ISBN again on the NOOK Press platform. You may choose to either receive a free ISBN from NOOK Press or provide your own.

Why should I enter my print book’s series?

If your book is part of a series, please enter the name of the series and the number of the book within the series as the Series Name and Series Number on the Title & Description page. This will create links on your customer-facing product page that connect the different books in your series.

How should I best format my books title if there is a subtitle and/or a series name?

On customer-facing product pages on Barnes & Noble.com, books that have title, subtitle and series name/number are automatically formatted as: 'Title: Subtitle (Series Name, #Series Number)'. We recommend that the book’s title be the name of the individual book and not the series name/number. Similarly, if you have a series name, we recommend that you enter it as a series name and not as a subtitle. If you have a subtitle, you do not need to enter a colon after your title, as a colon will automatically be entered for you on your Barnes & Noble.com product page.

Can I change my publication date?

No, once your title is processing to go on sale, you cannot change your publication date.

Why do you ask about the target audience for my print book?

Barnes & Noble customers can browse by target audience to find books that interest them. To help us place your book in the right place, make sure that you’ve chosen the appropriate target audience from the drop-down menu. If you select Juvenile, you’ll have the chance to narrow down into more specific age ranges.

Why do I have to enter subject categories for my book?

The subject categories you specify for your book tell us where to place your book on the Barnes & Noble.com Bookstore so that customers browsing specific categories can find books that will best match the type of book in which they’re interested. You can enter up to three categories per title.

Why do you ask about keywords for search engines?

Keywords are popular search engine terms under which your book might be found by customers who type in search terms instead of browsing by title or category. The more keywords you enter, the likelier that your book will appear in search results for those terms. Some examples of keywords are "romance", "children’s books", or "vampires."

How should I price my print book for sale?

We recommend that you consider the perceived value of your book to customers when setting your Retail (List) Price.

Take a look at how other publishers are pricing their print books of a similar format and genre. You can also use the Quick Quote Royalty Calculator before or during the set-up process to determine your printing cost and royalty rate.

How is my book’s printing cost calculated?

The cost to print your book is determined by the format and page count you’ve specified during the set-up process. Format selections include interior print color, cover format, paper color, and trim size. These selections impact the price of printing your book.

How is my per-book royalty rate calculated?

You earn a royalty based on the Retail List Price that you set minus the Printing Cost. You earn 55% of the Retail Price that you set, minus the per book printing cost.

What is the price that automatically appears in the Royalty Calculator, and why can’t I make it lower?

Your print book has a minimum Retail List Price based on the cost to print your book.

Note that we may update or alter the Pricing and Payment Terms at any time, and changes will be effective and binding within 30 thirty days from posting, as described in the NOOK Press Terms & Conditions.

During the print book set up process, you will be asked on the “Other Information” page whether you have the eBook currently for sale on Barnes & Noble.com. NOOK Press will automatically look up your eBook based on the exact title and author information you provide for your print book. You may also provide the eBook B&N Identifier Number that begins with 294 to link the two formats together.

I already have a print version of my book for sale on Barnes & Noble.com. How do I avoid duplicate versions?

On the “Other Information” page you can indicate there is already another version of your print book for sale on Barnes & Noble.com and provide the other version’s ISBN. We can then favor the NOOK Press print version for customer purchase.

How do I migrate reviews and sales rank of my existing print book to the new NOOK Press print book version?

Reviews and sales rank will migrate automatically wherein the information for your new NOOK Press print book is identical to your existing print book.

Can I make changes to my book if it’s already on sale?

Yes. You may make any changes to your book except for the ISBN and the publication date.

In order to make any edits to an on-sale book, your book must first be taken off sale. This process may take up to 24-hours. While your book is processing to come off sale, you can make edits, click 'Save & Continue,' and put your book back on sale, all within the same timeframe.

From your Projects page, click "Edit Book." The warning that appears ensures that you understand that your book may come off sale during the editing process. After you hit Continue, you will be taken to your book’s Summary page to view all of the information that you may choose to edit. Once you make your edits, click the 'Save & Continue' button to save your changes. Be sure to click “Place on Sale” after you are finished editing to put your book back on sale.

You can also view all your changes on your Summary page and select the 'Place on Sale' button to submit for processing, placing your book back on sale. Note that it may take 24-72 hours for changes to go into effect.

For price changes, follow the same steps. Price changes will update on your book’s barcode and on your Barnes & Noble.com product page. Note that price changes made before the 19th of the month will go into effect at the end of the month. Changes made after the 19th of the month will go into effect at the end of the following month.

Can I get advance proofs of my print book before I publish it?

Yes. After you have entered all of your information correctly, click on the “Review Proofs” button on your Summary page. From there, you can view digital copies on screen, and you will be given the opportunity to order physical print proofs as well. Please take extra care to note if any of your book’s text or images may be cut off during the printing process.

You may order a maximum of ten (10) proofs.

Why should I order advance print proofs of my book before I publish it?

We recommend that you see a printed version of your book before you make it available for customer purchase so that you can correct any formatting issues on your book’s cover or interior.

Also, some authors find it helpful to order advance copies for marketing purposes. Sending advance proofs to book reviewers or bloggers gives you an opportunity to build interest in your book prior to making it available for sale.