Further Details on Quotes
This page provides details and supplementary information to further explain the quote you have received.
Terminology in the Quote Specifications
Size, or Trim Size. This is the size of the pages. For a hard cover book, the size of the cover is approximately 1/8" larger top, bottom, and face, and the bind side also extends somewhat from the page dimensions. For a soft cover book, this will be the size of the front cover.
Pages. Unfortunately the term "page" is used in common conversation to mean two different things: a page or a leaf. We count pages as the page numbers normally run. Each leaf in the book has two pages, one on each side; in fact, each leaf has two pages even if one of them is blank. There are twice as many pages as there are leaves. If the pages in a book are numbered from 1 to 250, then there are 250 pages in the book and 125 leaves.
Cover In as Trouble-Free Files. Files which you submit for us to use in printing are considered trouble-free if (1) the files do not contain technical problems that make processing difficult, time-consuming, or even impossible and (2) your files are set up the way you want your text pages (or cover) to look in the final book. We can accept and work with a broad range of file formats, including PDF, InDesign, QuarkXpress (with files exported to PDF), Word, Publisher, and others. These can all be trouble-free files if they meet the two conditions above. If you have a choice, the best way to send in your text files is as PDFs; these are the most stable, and are most likely to yield correct proofs the first time.
Here are examples of issues which can prevent a file from being trouble-free.
If you do your layout in Framemaker or LaTeX, we can still print your books, though we don't work in those programs. Just export PDF files and send them to us for production.
Cover Paper. The weight and type of the cover is specified. Weight is described either as points (pt), with one point equaling 1/1000" thickness, or as pounds (#) in a bizarre system used by printers; larger # values are heavier paper. Some examples: 10 pt C1S means the cover is 10 thousandths of an inch thick and is coated on one side. 80# Gloss Cover is 80# in weight and is gloss coated on both sides.
Cover Inks. The symbol x/y means the cover or text is printed with x colors of ink on one side and y colors of ink on the other side. So 4/0 for cover ink means the cover is printed in 4 color process (full color) on one side, the outside, and has no printing on the inside of the cover. 2/0 pms means it is printed with 2 ink colors specified in the Pantone Matching System (pms) on the outside with no printing on the inside of the cover. Similarly 4/black (or 4/k or 4/1 black) means it's printed on the outside in full color and on the inside in black ink only.
Cover Finish. All 4 color process covers and most other covers have a finish applied over the printed surface, both to protect it from damage and to enhance the appearance. We recommend film laminate finish. In many cases it does not cost more than the less durable finishes which are applied in liquid form. This finish is actually a thin film of plastic that's applied with heat and pressure over the printed surface. It's available in gloss or matte finish.
Cover Proofs. We provide paper proofs of your cover and text for you to review. We will not print your book until you are satisfied with the proof and give us your approval for printing. For covers, we provide color match proofs, which represent the way the colors of your cover will look. The color match proofing paper is not the same weight as the actual finished book cover.
Cover Bleeds. All of our cover specifications allow for full bleed; that is, for the image to run all the way to the edge of the cover. Of course, you are not required to have bleed on your cover if you prefer a different design. If you do have bleed, then in order to print the bleed, we print 1/8" beyond the final edges, and then trim back to final size. This means you need to provide this 1/8" of trim area with your cover files.
Text. We use the word "text" to describe the inside of the book, whether it consists of type or images or a combination.
Text In As. Same discussion as for Cover In As.
Text Paper. The weight and type of the text paper is given. There are basically two categories of text paper, uncoated or coated. The uncoated papers are described as "offset" or "opaque", and are generally appropriate for type, line copy, decorations, clip art, and some types of photographs. The coated papers, which are available in gloss or matte finish, are described as "gloss" or "matte" or "gloss coated" or "matte coated". The coated papers are generally appropriate when the text contains photographs or other images that need the best color saturation or most dense photographic blacks. Coated papers cost more, and are generally heavier than uncoated, due to the weight of the coating itself.
The weight (#) of text paper is specified in terms of the weight of 500 sheets of a standard sheet size. Just which "standard" sheet size is used in the specification depends on what use the paper will be put to. Thus (incredibly!), the same paper used for copier paper (cut sheets) and described as 20#, when used as book paper is described as 50#. 24# cut sheets corresponds to 60# book paper, and 28# cut sheets corresponds to 70# book paper.
When we prepare a quote from your specifications, if you have not told us what you want us to use for the text paper, we try to guess the right paper from the other information you have provided. Then we tell you in the quote specifications what paper we have quoted. If you're not sure we have quoted the right kind of paper for your project, then by all means we need to discuss it and get you the right quote.
Text Inks. Same as with cover inks, except that books are usually printed with the same inking on both sides of the sheet. Thus the typical inks are k/k (for a printer, "k" means black), which is the same as 1/1 black; 2/2 black + 1 pms; 2/2 pms; 4/4.
Text Proofs. For text proofs, our normal quotes include laser proofs for black and white text, and color laser proofs for text with colors. These proofs are accurate as far as layout, shapes, positions, and type, but they are not accurate as to colors or black intensity. Black and white lasers have a more dense black than printing ink, and laser proofs of photographs are somewhat darker and more contrasty than the final printed text.
If you need color accurate proofs, we can provide color match proofs of selected pages of your book, or even of your complete book if it's worth the cost to you. This is something we should discuss early in your project so we can approach it at minimum cost for you, and with the most efficient schedule.
Text Bleeds. For covers, bleeds are allowed at no extra cost. For text, it may cost more to have text bleeds, depending on the details of press and sheet size for your particular book. If you don't tell us in your specifications, we'll guess whether you want bleeds, and then say in the quote specifications whether the price includes text bleeds.
Bind. We offer several kinds of soft cover and hard cover binding. Perfect binding is the square-backed binding you'll find on most soft cover books in the bookstore; the pages and cover are assembled with a hot-melt adhesive. Smythe-sewn case binding is a high quality hard cover binding, in which the pages are first sewn in signatures - through the spine, and then attached with adhesives and reinforcing material to the hard cover. Smythe-sewn soft cover uses the same sewing in signatures, with the cover attached to the sewn book block using hot-melt adhesive. This is a very secure binding, and we recommend it with coated text paper.
Endsheets. All quality hard cover books have endsheets, one in the front and one in the back of the book. An endsheet is a double-wide sheet of heavy stock folded in half. It's attached to the book block (sewn/glued set of all pages) at the fold, and it's glued to the inside of the cover. The loose half of the endsheet lies parallel to the pages. The endsheet is what attaches the cover to the book block.
The endsheets are not included in the page count.
Unless specified otherwise, our endsheets are unprinted, heavy weight uncoated white paper. If you like, we can use matte or gloss coated stock for the endsheets. Also, as an option, we can print your endsheets. Generally customers ask for either a solid color or a single color design or a full color image. Also, as another choice, we can use a heavy pre-colored paper with a choice of surface graining.
FOB. Here we say where the books will be shipping from. We arrange the shipping for you, at your expense.
When your books are delivered, please inspect
the shipment on the skid for visible damage before releasing the
driver. If there is any visible damage, make a notation on the
delivery receipt. If you sign the receipt without indicating damage,
then there will be no chance of recovering from the trucking
company. This applies to damage which is visible from the outside
without unpacking the skid. If there is damage, it is very
advantageous to take pictures before unpacking
Additional Discussions in Your Quote.
Prices are Complete. Our prices include everything required for production of your books according to the specifications in the quote: administrative costs, file preparation, proofs, shipping proofs, printing, and binding. The prices do not include shipping or sales tax. Also they do not include "author alterations", which is changes you make after we send out your proofs. Finally, the price may change, of course, if the actual specifications for your book differ from what we quoted: if the number of pages changes, or if your files are not trouble-free and require us to do the formatting.
One excellent way to save on costs for your book is to complete your proofreading, spelling corrections, fine-tuning choice of wording, and fact checking before you pack up your files and send them to us. If you do this, then when you review the proofs we send you, you'll only be catching printer corrections, which don't cost you anything. If you wait until the printer proof stage to fix spelling, etc., then you will be spending money on author alterations, money that would be saved if the same checking had been done before sending in your files. We will enclose a sheet with your proofs that shows the costs for author alterations.
The cost for your first proof and shipping of the proof are included in your quote, and there are no extra charges for the first proof from trouble-free files. Charges for Author Alterations (changes made after the first proof) are $60/hr plus $.20 per page for black and white proofs, $1.25 per page for color laser proofs, $24 per sheet of color match proofs, and $48 per cover proof, plus shipping charges. Our prepress rate for work on your files is $60/hr. Our rate for a cover layout is $120 if you provide art required for your cover.
Printing on Presses with Ink. Here's a discussion: digital
Valid for 30 Days. Our quotes are valid for 30 days. After that time, there may have to be adjustments due to changes in paper or other costs. These adjustments are generally small, and in many cases no adjustment is necessary.
Credit Cards. Our quoted prices are cash prices. The cash prices include a 3% discount from the general price. We welcome business or personal checks, or even actual cash, all at the discounted cash price.
We do accept American Express, VISA, Discover, and MasterCard, but payments by credit cards do not qualify for our 3% cash discount.
Payment Terms. Our normal payment terms are 50% deposit, with the balance paid before we ship your finished books.
Overs and Exact Quantity. When the quote specifies exact quantity, you will have the option to purchase any overs at a discounted price, but you are not required to accept any overs if you don't want them.
The Best Way to Send In Files
PDFs. When you send us PDF files, be sure that all fonts are embedded and that any images have an appropriate resolution (300 dpi) and are not jpeg compressed to such an extent that they are distorted. There will be settings in your PDF-making software (distiller or direct export from your working program) that control font embedding, downsampling of images (lowering the resolution), and compression.
Cover Files. We prefer to have application files in their most flexible form for covers if you are using Photoshop or InDesign, retaining layers if that applies to your program and file. For other applications we find that PDFs work best.
If you send application files, be sure to include all fonts and images used in the files. The good layout programs have a "package for printer" function which will gather all necessary fonts and images together to make this easy for you.
Childrens Books and the US
As of August 14, 2009 the CPSIA requires that all childrens books be marked with information that will support a recall activity if lead is detected in the product. This information should include manufacturer, batch (as in first printing, second printing, etc), and date of manufacture. Unless you prefer an alternative labeling that meets the requirements, we will add labeling in the following style on the copyright page of your book:
Signature Book Printing, Inc.
Of course the printing batch, date, and printing location will be correct for your book.
For file submission standards, visit
Dyn 1 - ver 220.127.116.11 © 1997 - 2015
Signature Book Printing, Inc. Updated