Top 10 Questions Publishers Ask During the Book Printing Process

by Laura


question marksBe it your first book or your twentieth, with so many steps to the book printing process you’ll undoubtedly have questions along the way. When you work with Sheridan, you can count on excellent support at every step. Your sales and customer service representatives walk you through the process, answer your questions, and help guide your decisions to ensure a great looking product that exceeds your expectations.

Here are the top 10 questions that Sheridan’s book sales and customer service representatives are asked most often by publishers and authors.

Getting Started

  1. How do I know when to contact my customer service rep rather than my sales rep and vice versa?
    • Your sales representative is your pre-publication contact. Specifically your sales rep will help with items such as preparing a cost estimate, providing guidelines for preparing you book files, opening your account with Sheridan, directing you were to go to obtain your ISBN or barcode, and more.
    • Your customer service representative (CSR) is your primary contact once your book is in production. Specifically, your CSR will assign a job tracking number to your book and follow it through every step of production at Sheridan. If you have any questions while your book is in production, or after it ships, just contact your Sheridan CSR.
  2. Can I receive a ballpark estimate? There are many different variables that affect the cost to produce a book (quantity, page count, trim size, materials, ink colors, proofs, bind style, packaging, shipping, etc.) making each project unique. The way to capture the impact that each variable will have on the final invoice is to submit a quote request to your sales rep with detailed specifications for estimating to calculate.
  3. Can my books be completed by a certain date? If possible, let your sales representative know at the time of quoting if you have an event that you need your books for and in turn, when you will have print-ready files to send for production. This information can be used to block out time on press before the project even arrives.

File Setup

  1. Can I send you my files in a Word doc? To ensure a quality product, files need to be submitted to Sheridan as print-ready PDFs. In addition, Sheridan strongly recommends that files be created using commercial products, such as InDesign or QuarkXPress as our experience utilizing PDF’s created from Microsoft products has resulted in undeterminable defects due to the unpredictable nature of the PDF conversion process. For more information about file preparation and converting to a PDF, view our handy prepress guides.
  2. Can I send a sample chapter for you to review my file setup? Absolutely! Sending in a sample chapter in advance of the live order will help ensure that files are setup correctly (bleeds and margins are correct, fonts are embedded, images are of sufficient resolution, etc) so the actual job can flow through smoothly.
  3. Can you send me a template to ensure my cover file is setup to fit my book? Sheridan’s Component Template Creator is an online tool that you can use to generate paper cover, printed case, stamped case, and dust jacket templates.  Or, simply let your sales representative know your book’s final trim size, page count, and text stock and they can generate a template for you.

Production & Materials

  1. What do you need for production to begin? A purchase order (or signed quote with the quantity and options indicated) along with all files must be received before production can begin.
  2. Do you offer “soft touch” matte lamination? More often than not, when we hear this question publishers are simply inquiring if we offer a matte lamination that feels velvety soft. The answer – yes, Sheridan does offer a scuff resistant matte lamination that with a velvet soft touch. There is a laminate brand called Soft Touch, however the lamination that Sheridan offers is not from this brand line.


  1. Which proof type is right for me? Sheridan offers several types of proofs to fit your needs and budget. Check out our blog post A Proof for Every Need for a complete look at the different proof types available and tips on how to choose the one that is right for you.
  2. Why did my hardcopy proofs arrive separately? Components (text, cover/printed case/dust jackets) are planned to run independently through the plant until they are matched up in bindery. In turn, you will receive proofs separately unless you request for them to be shipped together.

Have a question that you need answered? Contact your Sheridan sales or customer service representative today.