Can you turn my ebook into a printed book?

Can you turn my ebook into a printed book?

Can you print and ebook Turning an ebook into a printed book can be a challenging process because the layout and set-up of ebooks differ from printed books. Ebook files are designed like mini-websites and contain HTML, XML, and JPEGs. They are also made to be read on screens and make use of RGB colours. There is no simple way to print out an ebook, and even if there was, the resulting print-out would not look like a book.

If you have published your ebook as a reflowing ebook, it will lack the typesetting and layout required for a print-ready file. If you have designed an ebook front cover, this will only be possible to upgrade to a printed book cover layout if it was done in high enough resolution and at the right size for your printed book.

When following a book publishing workflow from ebook to print, you may come up against issues regarding version control of your text and pictures. A book designer works with the latest version of the Word document, so if content changes were made during the ebook project, then these need to be updated in the Word document provided to the book designer.

Making your ebook into a printed book is not as simple as providing any old PDF file to the printer; they require a file which meets their specifications, including the correct page size. The printer needs to work with a fixed page design (with left and right pages), so the printing machine can be set to print exactly what should be on each page.

The only way a PDF can be turned into a printed book is if the PDF is set-up as a print-ready file. This is done using layout software like Adobe InDesign, or if you’re desperate Microsoft Word. The resulting PDFs are not actually ebooks, but comprise a set of print-ready PDFs with all the features of a book including a book cover—encompassing the back, spine, and front, and the bleed.


In case you’re not sure what bleed is, printers trim (cut) sheets of paper after printing in order to have every leaf of the book, or the cover itself, the perfect size. If the trim edge was the edge of the design, then even the slightest movement of the blade would result in ugly white strips in random places. Bleed is extra design artwork that’s intended to be chopped away after printing. It’s usually 5mm on each of the four sides of the design.

Book design page design chart labels terms glossary of book layout and typesetting terms

The team at PMBO offer professional design services. PMBO can provide you with a printed book design quote, based on your custom requirements. Things we need to consider in quoting include:

— size of the book pages
— how many copies
— full colour or grayscale
— shipping requirements
— hard or soft cover
— print procurement or print-on-demand

Contact us today to learn more!

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