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Troubleshoot Paperback Formatting Issues

To make sure your paperback meets our quality standards, we review it in two ways:

  1. Automated check. When you set up your book, our Print Previewer tool checks for errors you need to fix before submitting for publication.
  2. Manual check. After you submit your book, we manually check your interior and cover files. If we find any issues, we'll email instructions on what to fix.

Browse the topics on this page to learn how to fix issues identified during our reviews.

Trim size and bleed

Chose the wrong trim size? Do your images not bleed far enough outside the trim zone?

  1. Open the original Word file. Reposition objects and images that don't bleed far enough or go to the next step to reset your page size.
  2. In the "Page Setup" section of the Layout tab, click Size.
  3. Select More Paper Sizes. This will open a dialog box.
  4. Calculate your book's trim size. If your book has bleed, add 0.125" (3 mm) to the width and 0.25" (6 mm) to the height. For example, if your trim size is 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm), set the page size to 6.125" x 9.25" (15.54 x 23.46 cm). For help calculating your book dimensions, try our calculator.
  5. Enter your book's trim size, including bleed if necessary, into the "Width" and "Height" fields.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Upload your revised file to KDP.

Note: After you change the page size, the text will shift and the page count will change. Make sure the margins you entered are correct based on the new page count.

Margins and gutter

Is your content outside the margins? Does it extend into the gutter?

  1. Open your original file. Reposition content that is outside the margins or continue to Step 2 to reset your margins.
  2. In the "Page Setup" section of the Layout tab, click Margins.
  3. Select Custom Margins. This will open a dialog box.
  4. In the "Pages" section, select Mirror margins from the "Multiple pages" drop-down menu.
  5. In the "Preview" section, select Whole document from the "Apply to" drop-down menu.
  6. Enter your top, bottom, inside, and outside margins based on your books page count* and whether it contains bleed (see margin requirements) and click OK.
  7. Upload your revised file to KDP.

*Note: We'll calculate your page count based on your manuscript file, rounding up to an even number if necessary. (In paperbacks, every page has a front and back side, equaling two pages.) The minimum page count is 24 pages; the maximum page count depends on ink, paper, and trim size options.

Image resolution

For the best results, include images with the highest resolution possible. We recommend that images have at least 300 dots per inch (dpi). Here are our top tips for adding high-resolution images to your book:

  • Insert images at their original size. Insert images into your file; don't cut and paste. After you insert your images, don't enlarge them because this will decrease the resolution. To insert an image:
    1. Go to the Insert tab.
    2. In the Illustrations section, click Pictures.
    3. Choose the file from your computer and click Insert.

  • Check your device settings. Most cameras and scanners offer high-resolution settings. Make sure they're set to high resolution before using them.

  • Turn off image compression. To reduce file size, Word is set to compress images. To change the setting:
    1. Go to the File tab and click Options.
    2. Under "Advanced," find the "Image Size and Quality" section.
    3. Check the Do not compress images in file box.

  • Check the image resolution. If you don't know if your images are high resolution, check the image details and calculate the DPI:
    1. Right-click on the image file and select Properties.
    2. In the window that opens, click the Details tab.
    3. Look for the number of pixels under the "Image" header.
    4. Divide the number of pixels by the image size. For example, the pixel count of your image is 1200 x 1800, and the image is 4" x 6". That means your image has 300 DPI.

For details on adding images to paperbacks with bleed and without bleed, see step 8 of the Build Your Book guide.

Book details

Make sure the information in your interior and cover files exactly matches the book details (e.g., title, author name, ISBN, language) you entered during title setup.

  1. Compare the book details you entered with the information in your manuscript an on your cover. Be sure to check all locations where book details appear (e.g., copyright page, headers, etc.).
  2. Correct any differences, including minor ones (e.g., author name John T. Smith entered in book details and J.T. Smith on the title page).
  3. Be sure to check all locations where book details appear (e.g., copyright page, headers, etc.).
  4. Update your book details or upload your revised file to KDP.


For the best results, save your completed manuscript file as a PDF with the fonts embedded before submitting it for publication.

  1. Go to the File tab and select Options.
  2. Under the "Save" tab, check the Embed fonts in the file box.
  3. Make sure the Embed only the characters used in the document and Do not embed common system fonts boxes are unchecked.
  4. Click OK. Embedding fonts gives our printing presses information about how to properly render the fonts used in your file so that your book prints as intended.
  5. Go to back to the File tab and select Save as.
  6. Choose a location on your computer.
  7. In the "Save as type" dropdown menu, select PDF, and click Save.
  8. Resubmit your file.

Learn more about fonts.

Blank pages

We allow no more than two consecutive blank pages at the beginning or middle of a manuscript file and/or 10 consecutive blank pages at the end. To fix this:

  1. Open your original file.
  2. Remove the extra blank pages.
  3. Resubmit the revised file.


Make sure the page numbers are ordered sequentially, with even numbers on left pages and odd numbers on right pages. A skip or change in page numbers could indicate pages are missing or ordered incorrectly, causing production issues and delays or customer returns. To fix pagination issues:

  1. Open your original file.
  2. Insert a section break at the end of your front matter so that page numbers start with your first chapter page. To insert a section break, go to the Layout tab. In the "Page Setup" section, click Breaks, and select Section Breaks – Next Page.
  3. Go to the first chapter page.
  4. Depending on whether you want your page numbers in the header or footer, double-click on the header or footer. This will open the Design tab.
  5. In the "Navigation section," click Link to Previous. This will prevent page numbers from showing up on your title, copyright, and table of contents pages.
  6. In the "Header & Footer" section, click Page Number and choose where you want the page numbers to be.
  7. Resubmit the revised file.

For details on adding section breaks and pagination, see steps 3 and 5 of the Build Your Book guide.

Template content

If you used a template, make sure you customized or removed all placeholder text.

  1. Open your original file.
  2. Check your front matter (e.g., table of contents, copyright page, etc.), headers, and footers for placeholder text.
  3. Customize or remove all placeholder text.
  4. Resubmit the revised file.

Illegible text

Your text should be large and clear enough so that readers can enjoy your book. To help ensure your text is legible, check the following:

  • Text is at least 7-point font
  • Other elements don't cut off or overlap text
  • Text doesn't blend into the background
Be sure to check the text in all parts of your book, including:

  • Manuscript
  • Images in your manuscript that contain text
  • Cover
To fix your text:

  1. Open your original file.
  2. Update your text size, position, or color to ensure it's legible.
  3. Upload the the revised file to KDP.

Cover and spine text

Cover file has more than one page

  1. Open your original file.
  2. Make sure your cover, including the front cover, spine, and back cover, fit on one page.
  3. Resubmit the revised file.

Wrong cover size

  1. Open your original file.
  2. Set your cover size to the correct size. Add an extra 0.125" (3.2 mm) of background along the top, bottom, and sides of your cover. We also recommend that all text be at least 0.375" (9.5 mm) from the edges of your cover. This helps to ensure the text won't be cut during manufacturing.
  3. Resubmit the revised file.

Spine content is too large for the book's page count

  1. Open your original file.
  2. Add at least 0.0625” (1.6 mm) of space on either side to prevent the content wrapping onto the front or back cover.
  3. Resubmit the revised file.

Book has fewer than 100 pages and can't have text on the spine

  1. Open your original file.
  2. Remove the spine text.
  3. Resubmit the revised file.

Learn more about cover formatting requirements.

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