Page & Cover Layout: Pre-Press Basics

Text Files

Format the document to the same size as the final trim size of the book. Do not, for instance, set up a 6 x 9 (15.2 x 22.9 cm) book on an 8½ x 11 (21.6 x 27.9 cm) page size or place two 5½ x 8½ (14 x 21.6 cm) pages on one side of an 8½ x 11 (21.6 x 27.9 cm) sheet. BTPS recommends setting a ½-inch (12.7 mm) minimum margin for the top, bottom, left, and right sides of the book.

Be sure to include all blank pages (pages where printed folios do not occur in the document). Any transparencies and/or layers should be flattened in the final PDF file. Black text files should have a minimum of 56 pages and a maximum of 500 pages. Color text files should have a minimum of 48 pages and a maximum of 500 pages.

See the chart below for acceptable trim sizes for print-on-demand. Highlighted below are the BTPS standard U.S. trim sizes.

4.75 x 7.5 in
120.65 x 190.5 mm
5 x 8 in
127 x 203.2 mm
5.125 x 7.5 in
130.175 x 190.5 mm
5.375 x 8.25 in
136.525 x 209.6 mm
5.5 x 8.5 in
139.7 x 215.9 mm
5.5 x 7.875 in
139.7 x 200 mm
5.83 x 8.27 in
148.082 x 210.1 mm
6 x 9 in
152.4 x 228.6 mm
6.25 x 9.25 in
158.75 x 235 mm
6.75 x 8.875 in
171.45 x 225.4 mm
7 x 10 in
177.8 x 254 mm
7.5 x 9.25 in
190.5 x 235 mm
8 x 10 in
203.2 x 254 mm
8.25 x 11 in
209.55 x 279.4 mm
8.268 x 11.693 in
210.007 x 297 mm
8.5 x 8.5 in
216 x 216 mm
8.5 x 11 in
216 x 279.4 mm
9 x 12 in
228.6 x 304.8 mm

Download Layout Samples

Cover Files

Covers must be constructed as one page that includes front, spine, back, and flap copy (if applicable). Submitting these elements as separate pages or files will result in additional charges. The spine bulk, wrap, etc. is determined by the project’s page count, trim size, and binding style. To receive a cover/dust jacket application file layout, click here for the BTPS cover template questionnaire, which provides access to a supported application file setup to the exact dimensions for each specific cover/dust jacket. BTPS will provide any trapping essential on multicolor.

BTPS offers cover layout PDF forms for the most common bind styles. These editable PDFs will automatically calculate the dimensions of a book cover. By entering the specific page trim size, page count, and stock PPI information, the form will automatically complete with the exact layout dimensions. Once completed, the PDF form can be printed or saved offline.

BTPS recommends that a copy of the completed form be supplied with the files submitted.

Die Stamp (download layout sample)

Flat Case (download layout sample)

Jacket (download layout sample)

Perfect (download layout sample)

Round Case (download layout sample)

Saddle-Stitch (download layout sample)

Click the respective links for the BTPS Cover Design Questionnaire and Cover Template Questionnaire.

Crop Marks

Text Files

Text files should be trimmed to the final trim size and not include any crop marks.

Cover Files

Cover and dust jacket files require crop marks. These marks should be drawn at a weight of 0.25″ (6.4 mm) and pushed .125″ (3.2 mm) away from trim.


Text Files

A photograph, line illustration, tab, or rule is said to bleed when it extends off the edge of a trimmed page. To make sure it trims properly, BTPS requires an extra ⅛ inch of art to create an effective bleed. Do not accommodate for bleed pages by changing the page size.

Cover Files

As with text, any art or background color that prints off the edge of a trimmed cover is a bleed. Again, an extra ⅛ inch of the element is required to ensure a proper bleed.

Naming Files

It is important to keep files organized and named in a way that is easily understandable. Please name text files by ISBN number followed by “_txt.pdf” and cover files by ISBN number followed by “_cvr.pdf” — for example, “9781486538295_txt.pdf” and “9781486538295_cvr.pdf.”


BTPS strongly recommends that all barcodes print in solid black ink with a white background. Other color schemes may result in scanning failures. Click here for additional BTPS Barcode Best Practices.

Metadata & File Submission


The BTPS Metadata Excel Form must be completed and uploaded with all other files. It contains the title specifications and will be the information BTPS uses to process and print the files.

File Submission

BTPS will set up a dedicated, password-protected FTP site for file uploads. It is best to upload all book files and metadata together after receiving individual login information. If missing the login information and credentials, either a BTPS printing and production sales rep or BTPS client service representative can re-send. When sending files, copy only the PDF version of the final files. Do not include previous versions or any files that do not pertain to the title BTPS is producing.

Learn More

Pre-Media/Pre-Press Instructions & Forms

Cover Design Questionnaire

Cover Template Questionnaire

Contact the BTPS Print and Production Sales Reps with any questions or concerns.