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Paperback Submission Guidelines

These guidelines are intended for designers of paperbacks with black and white or color interiors, with full-color covers.

For help formatting your paperback manuscript, see our guides for Microsoft Word for Windows, Microsoft Word for Mac and Pages for Mac.



File guidelines


Manuscript

  • Bleed: If your book has images or elements that bleed to the edges of your pages, you must upload your manuscript as a PDF.
  • No Bleed: If your book does not contain bleed, you can upload your manuscript as a PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, HTML, or TXT file. KDP will automatically convert these file types to PDF prior to publishing/printing.

Cover

You can create your book cover using KDP’s Cover Creator tool or submit your book cover in a PDF. (Cover Creator accepts JPG, PNG, and GIF file formats.)

File specifications

  • Embed all fonts and images in your native file prior to submission.
  • Transparent objects and layers should be flattened in the native file before publishing.
  • Submitted files should not contain crop marks, trim marks, bookmarks, comments, invisible objects, annotations, placeholder text, or metadata.
  • All images (both cover and manuscript) should be at least 300 DPI.
  • PDFs should be optimized. Optimization is useful to reduce your file size, allowing for higher performance when transferring, uploading, viewing, and printing the files.

Common points of failure

  • Not flattening transparent objects and/or layers in the native file
  • Locked or encrypted files
  • Files with crop marks, trim marks, bookmarks, comments, invisible objects, annotations, placeholder text, or metadata
  • Missing pages
  • Excessive blank pages
  • Title missing on the front cover
  • Barcode missing
  • Incorrect pagination
  • PDF creation logos or watermarks


Cover specifications


Calculating cover size

To format your paperback cover, you’ll first need to calculate the spine measurements (black and white books, color books).

Insert the spine measurements, selected trim size width and height, and the 0.125" (3 mm) bleed requirement into the following equations to find your cover size:
  • Cover Width = Bleed + Back Cover Width + Spine Width + Front Cover Width + Bleed
  • Cover Height = Bleed + Trim Height + Bleed

Cover formatting

  • Covers should be one continuous image centered left to right on the spine.
  • Flatten all layers in the native file.
  • Bleed of 0.125" (3.2 mm) is required on all sides. Bleed at the bottom of the page cannot exceed 0.125" (3.2 mm).
  • Any content not intending to be trimmed off should be a minimum of 0.25" (6.4 mm) from the outside cover edge.
  • All fonts in the cover should be embedded in the native program before publishing.

Spine measurements for black and white books

  • White paper: page count x 0.002252" (0.0572 mm)
  • Cream paper: page count x 0.0025" (0.0635 mm)

Spine measurements for color books

  • Color paper: page count x 0.002347" (0.0596 mm)

Spine text

We only print spine text on books with more than 100 pages. Text on larger spines must be sized to fit the spine, with at least 0.0625" (1.6 mm) of space between the text and the edge of the spine. Every book varies slightly when bound. Allow for 0.0625" (1.6 mm) variance on either side of the fold lines for your cover

Barcodes

If you use Cover Creator or choose not to provide your own barcode on a fully-formatted PDF, we'll automatically place a barcode on your back cover. We're not able to change the barcode location or remove it.

If you upload your own cover and choose to provide your own barcode, it must meet these specifications:

  • 2" (50.8 mm) wide and 1.2" (30.5 mm) tall
  • At least .25” (6 mm) from the cover's edge
  • Image quality:
    • Vector images are preferred
    • At least 300 dots per inch if the barcode is rasterized
  • Solid white background
  • Barcode is 100% black (not colors or registration black)
  • Right-side up and square to the cover
  • Not flattened into main cover as one single image

You can include a QR Code or UPC barcode in addition to the ISBN barcode, but it can't appear in the space reserved for the ISBN barcode. Covers with important images or text in the barcode location will be rejected.



Interior specifications

Page spreads

We require single page files (as opposed to spreads or 2-up files).

Page size

No bleed
Set the page size to your selected trim size (width by height).

Interior full bleed
  • If you want your images to bleed to the edges of your pages, extend them 0.125" (3 mm) beyond the final trim size from the top, bottom, and outer edges of your manuscript.
  • Format your PDF manuscript at 0.25" (6 mm) higher and 0.125" (3 mm) wider than your selected trim size in order to print the full bleed area.

Font

  • Minimum font size: 7 points
  • All fonts in the interior files should be embedded in the native program before publishing.

Image resolution

300 DPI or higher

Pagination

  • All page numbers should be ordered sequentially, with even numbers on left pages and odd numbers on the right.
  • You can use Roman numerals to indicate the beginning of the manuscript, and then continue with standard page numbering.
  • You may continue page numbering from a previous book in a subsequent volume of a series as long as the series name and volume number are clearly labeled.
  • We allow scanned content with sequential original page numbering clearly visible in the footer of the manuscript file.

Page count

We’ll calculate your page count based on your manuscript file, rounding up to an even number if necessary. The minimum page count is 24 pages, and the maximum page count depends on ink and paper and trim size options (see the table below).

Trim size options Black Ink and White Paper Black ink and cream paper Color ink and white Paper
5" x 8" (12.7 x 20.32 cm)828776828
5.06" x 7.81" (12.85 x 19.84 cm)828776828
5.25" x 8" (13.34 x 20.32 cm)828776828
5.5" x 8.5" (13.97 x 21.59 cm)828776828
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)828776828
6.14" x 9.21" (15.6 x 23.39 cm)828776828
6.69" x 9.61" (16.99 x 24.41 cm)828776828
7" x 10" x (17.78 x 25.4 cm)828776828
7.44" x 9.69" (18.9 x 24.61 cm)828776828
7.5" x 9.25" (19.05 x 23.5 cm)828776828
8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm)828776828
8.25" x 6" (20.96 x 15.24 cm)800750800
8.25" x 8.25" (20.96 x 20.96 cm)800750800
8.5" x 8.5" (21.59 x 21.59 cm)590550590
8.5" x 11" (21.59 x 27.94 cm)590550590
8.27" x 11.69" (21 x 29.7 cm)780730Not available

Margins and alignment

Based on your book’s page count, the minimum margin requirements are below:

Page countInside (gutter) marginsOutside margins (no bleed)Outside margins (with bleed)
24 to 150 pages0.375" (9.6 mm)at least 0.25" (6.4 mm)at least 0.375" (9.4 mm)
151 to 300 pages0.5" (12.7 mm)at least 0.25" (6.4 mm)at least 0.375" (9.4 mm)
301 to 500 pages0.625" (15.9 mm)at least 0.25" (6.4 mm) at least 0.375" (9.4 mm)
501 to 700 pages0.75" (19.1 mm)at least 0.25" (6.4 mm)at least 0.375" (9.4 mm)
701 to 828 pages0.875" (22.3 mm)at least 0.25" (6.4 mm)at least 0.375" (9.4 mm)

Grayscale fill

If you‘ve selected black ink and white or cream paper for a book containing gray backgrounds, we recommend a minimum grayscale fill of 10%.

Line width

If your book contains lines (i.e., a chart, table or graphic element), give the lines a minimum thickness/weight of 0.75 point or 0.01" (0.3 mm).

Page turn direction

KDP only supports books formatted to read from left to right (LTR). LTR books are common in languages like English, Spanish, French, and German. We don’t support right-to-left (RTL) formatted paperbacks at this time. RTL books are common in languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

Orientation

All pages and content must be oriented the same way. Pages can contain some upside down text as long as the rest of the page contents are right-side up (e.g., a book of riddles with answers printed upside down on the page).


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