Preparing to Print Your Self-Published Book

Printed books are the best! Who doesn't love having a book in their hand? Printing is usually what we think of when we consider traditional publishing. But though self-published authors can use any format (e-book or print), it's well worth considering getting a printed version. And this is where Alexander's can help! We'll create a quality book to your specifications!

A helpful note from Alexander's: Be careful not to print too many books beyond your needs (i.e. much more than you have pre-orders for). Don't do this even to save money on a bulk order. You could end up with an expensive inventory you struggle to sell! 

If you're ready to get printed versions of your self-published book, here's our checklist for making your book the most successful product it can be!

Technical Details

All books require an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). This is vital for getting it onto any retail platform, like stores or even Amazon. Remember to get one of these before taking your book to print!


Of course, every book should get a good edit done before sending it to print! Even if you don't pay for content or line edits*, make sure you do a copyedit and at least one proofread. These help you catch embarrassing errors that, while not technically a big deal, can lower your credibility.

*The kind of edits that help your story or thesis itself.



This is one element where self-publishing authors can struggle! Books like you find in the store aren't done with Word documents alone.

Traditional publishing houses staff designers and typesetters to make your manuscript look good. They use applications like InDesign to lay out the book according to careful rules. These might include too many hyphens on the page, stacks of the same word, or single words on a line.

Make sure you use a similar typesetting program, or that you hire someone to help you do it. Your book will look professional--essential for any self-published author!

The Cover

Of course, we all judge books by their covers! And readers, no matter what your book is about or how well it's written, will judge yours. This is another edge traditional publishers often have over self-published authors. But in your case, you get to control how it looks, not the publisher!

Make sure your book has a great, eye-catching cover to help it succeed. You can hire a designer or do it yourself, if you have the skills!

Related: Designing Attention-Grabbing Book Covers

The 10 Best Book Cover Designs

File Formats

Make sure your files are saved as PDFs. This is fairly standard at Alexander's and will give you the best quality print. Plus, it's easier to use than specific applications you--or we--might not have.

One Last Check

Check everything before you send! Nothing is worse than realizing that you left a glaring typo on the first page of your manuscript after you send it to us! Or thinking that all is well, only to have to make changes in order to actually print. These can delay your print job--and in turn, delay your release date!


Twenty years ago, self-publishing was a difficult and costly process, but today anyone who would like to can publish their work without breaking the bank. If you’re interested in book printing, please let us know. We’d love to help.

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