<< Blog Home

Archive for the ‘Printing Guides & Information’ Category

February 1st, 2016

Why are there Blank Pages in Books?


A blank page in a book

Ever been curious why there are blank pages in books? Is it a waste of paper?

Fortunately, there are some perfectly logical explanations, and the extra pages often actually make the printing process more efficient. Whether you need to know because you’re working on a book layout or you’re just curious, read on to find out what those blank pages are all about.

Blank pages at the end of a book


November 29th, 2015

How to Add Page Numbers to Your Microsoft Word Document

In a recent article we discussed the importance page number layout plays in creating a professional look for your self-published book. Here we’ve created a step-by-step guide to edit and add page numbers to your Microsoft Word document.

Actually adding the page numbers – also known as folios – is a fairly straightforward process. The more complex part comes when editing the numbers to ensure they follow best practices for page layout and contribute to the overall aesthetic you are attempting to create for your book.

Adding page numbers to your Microsoft Word Document



July 6th, 2015

Common Paper Sizes Chart and Conversion Table

by David Rogers

Letter. A4. ANSI A. Legal.

Is this some secret message or an alien transmission from a galaxy beyond? No, it’s just a random assortment of paper sizes. Since the different types of paper size can easily become nearly as confusing as paper weight, we wanted to gather all the sizes in one place.

In our book printing world we express paper dimensions in inches because we work with both non-standard and standard size books. 5.5 x 8, 7 x 10, 8.5 x 11 are all common book printing sizes, but since we can produce books of any size, it’s easier to stick with inches rather than only working with standard paper sizes. However, since many customers are already familiar with those standard sizes, we hope this chart will serve as a reference point for those deciding the best size for their book.


June 15th, 2015

How to Set the Margins in Word for Your Book Printing Project

by David Rogers

While Word’s standard one-inch margins are great for many writing applications, they are not usually the best choice for book printing projects since you will need to use mirror margins. Which brings us immediately to our first question:

What are Mirror Margins?

If you open most any novel to a random page, you’ll notice that the outer margins are a different measurement than the inner margins. You’ll also notice that the margins of both the left and right pages mirror each other, having the same inner and outer margin measurements. Hence the term mirror margins.

In a Word document, however, the margin sizes must be adjusted accordingly for even and odd pages to achieve the mirrored look in the final book layout. Fortunately, all versions of Word allow you to easily set mirrored margins.

The margins are different  because the margin closest to the binding of the book (the inner margins) must to be larger than the outer so that the text doesn’t get cut off from being too close to the binding. These inner margins are called gutter margins, based on the gutter-like shape they create in the middle of the book.

Below the following instructions on how to change the margins in your Word Document to mirrored margins, we’ll provide some examples of suitable margin sizes for different size books. We’ve also written a separate article on how to change the paper size in your Word document to match the size of your final book.


May 14th, 2015

Bleed in Printing – A Guide to the Basics

What is Bleed in Printing?

Bleed occurs any time the area of an image extends beyond the trim edge of a sheet. That is to say, the image will extend all the way to the edge of your final printed page instead of including an outer margin that is left with no printed material. This can be true of all or just part of the page.

Does your document require bleed?

Whenever an image or object touches an edge of the page it is necessary to extend that object slightly beyond the edge. If nothing comes close to touching any edge then your document doesn’t require bleed.

Why is understanding bleed important?

Small amounts of paper movement during production or minor inconsistencies in design can result in unintended white space appearing at the edge of the page on your finished product. By extending images beyond the trim edge, you are assured that the image will end at the edge after the final trim.

How do you add bleed to your printed document?


March 16th, 2015

Paper Weight Conversion Chart

by David Rogers

There’s no beating around the bush: The different measurements of paper weight can get confusing very quickly.

This stems from the way different types of paper are measured, as well as different measurement types being used for different applications. We’ve put together a paper weight conversion chart to represent popular paper weights used in book printing, as well as a few common reference points.

Paper Weight Conversion Chart


March 5th, 2015

Printing a Children’s Book – A Guide


Children’s books are one of the most common types of self-published books. Authors vary from parents that want to print a personalized book for their children to those looking to become the next Doctor Seuss without going the traditional publishing route.

We’ve printed a large number of children’s books here at Colorwise, and printing a children’s book is pretty simple as long as you go in knowing a few basics. We put together this guide for printing books for kids that will have you on your way to printing your own children’s books in no time.

Knowing Your Options for Printing a Children’s Book


December 19th, 2014

Book Design Guide: Front Matter


When designing your book, it is easy to get so focused on the design of the main body of the book that you neglect the front matter – the information and pages that precede that main portion. However, since this section will be a second impression of sorts for your book (after the cover), you want to make sure it looks professional to avoid putting off any readers before they even get to the primary material of your book.

There is quite a bit of front matter material that may be included depending on your specific book. Here we’ll explore the most common elements of front matter, though please note that not every element here is included in every book.

One more note: all of these elements will be on right-hand page of the book (also known as a recto page) unless otherwise noted.

Elements of Front Matter for Books


December 18th, 2014

Book Design Tips: Page Number Layout

Thinking of the page number layout for your book may seem like something of an afterthought for many self-publishers. However, there are actually a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure you have a professional looking final project.

Here we’ll explore a few things about page numbers (also known as folios) and how they should be incorporated into your design.

Total Page Count


December 10th, 2014

How Much Does It Cost to Print a Book? [A Guide]


It’s perhaps the most common question we get from new book printing customers:

How much does it cost to print a book?

The answer — at first — is always the same: it depends.