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Save Your Manuscript File

Before you upload your manuscript file, make sure you save it in the right format with the correct settings. This page details our file guidelines, specifications, and common errors to check before uploading your book for publication.

If you’ve already uploaded your manuscript file and received an error, check out Fix Paperback Formatting Errors.


Contents



File guidelines


  • 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.



File specifications


Element Check for...
Marks and comments Submitted files should not contain crop marks, trim marks, bookmarks, comments, invisible objects, annotations, placeholder text, or metadata.
File security Do not lock or encrypt the files.
Fonts Embed all fonts in your native file prior to submission.
Images and Objects Embed all images in your native file prior to submission.
All images (both cover and manuscript) should be at least 300 DPI.
Flatten transparent objects and layers in the native file before publishing.
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, paper, and trim size options.
Page spreads We require single page files (as opposed to spreads or 2-up files).
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 For most languages, KDP only supports books formatted to read from left to right (LTR). Currently, we only support right-to-left (RTL) paperback printing in Hebrew and Yiddish. To learn more, see our supported languages.
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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Create a Paperback PDF file

For the best results, we recommend that you convert your paperback manuscript file to a PDF before uploading it to KDP. Choose of one the methods below to create a PDF file intended for high-quality printing. Be sure to save your documents before creating your PDF so you can edit them later if you want.

For instructions on converting a Microsoft Word document to PDF, visit Convert a Paperback Word File to PDF.

Settings

You can choose to print, export, or save as PDF depending on your editing software. Whichever method you choose, make sure you enable the following PDF-specific settings in addition to the file specifications above:

  • PDF/X format is used. PDF/X is preferred, but if you are submitting non-PDF/X files (for example, PDF/A), any comments, forms, or other non-printing objects could be removed during our review.
  • Downsampling, or decreasing resolution, of images is disabled.
  • Remove PDF creation logos or watermarks.
  • Optimize PDFs. Optimization is useful to reduce your file size, allowing for higher performance when transferring, uploading, viewing, and printing the files.

Any other settings should be left to default in most cases. If you’re not certain how to change these settings, we suggest you consult the Help content for your chosen software. Once created, make sure to open the PDF file to see that it appears as you intended. Otherwise, make the necessary adjustments in the native document and re-create the PDF file.

Once you’ve saved your file, you’re ready to upload and preview your file in KDP.

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Manual Review Checklist

After you submit your book for publication, we manually check your manuscript and cover files. To help you pass the manual review, we've created the checklist below. It includes the most common reasons files don't pass the review.

If you find issues, please update your original files and upload the revised versions to KDP. Updating your original file, instead of a new saved version of your original file, helps to prevent file corruption.

Manual check Make sure...
All book details exactly match the information in your files The information in your manuscript and cover files exactly matches the book details (e.g., title, author name, edition, language, ISBN, etc.) you enter during title setup. Check all parts of your book, including:

  • Title page
  • Copyright page
  • Headers and footers
  • Front and back cover
  • Spine
Bleed
  • Content in your manuscript file that you want to reach all the way to the edge of the page must extend 0.125" (3.2 mm) past your trim line on the top, bottom, and outside edges. This will prevent a white border from appearing at the edge of the page when the book is trimmed.
  • The cover is sized for bleed and any background (e.g. color or images) extends 0.125" (3.2 mm) past the trim line. This will prevent a white border when the book is trimmed.
Pagination/blank pages
  • The page numbers in your manuscript file are in sequential order with even numbers on left pages and odd numbers on the right.
  • There are no more than 2 consecutive blank pages at the beginning or middle of your manuscript file and/or 10 consecutive blank pages at the end.
  • If you continue page numbering from a previous book in a subsequent volume of a series, the series name and volume number are clearly labeled.
  • Any scanned content with sequential original page numbering is clearly visible in the footer of the manuscript file.
Illegible text Your text is 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 the manuscript, images that contain text, and cover.
Spine text
  • The spine text has at least 0.0625" on each side. If the text is too large, it can wrap onto the front or back cover.
  • Your book has enough pages to provide a spine wide enough for text. Books need at least 100 pages to have spine text.
Template text All template text is customized or removed. Check all parts of your book, including:

  • Title page
  • Copyright page
  • Headers and footers
  • Front and back cover
  • Spine
Margins
  • Your manuscript content doesn't extend past the margins. This can cause the content from being cut off during manufacturing.
  • The text on your cover doesn't extend past the cover edge. This can cause the text to be cut off during manufacturing.
Bundling There's no language in your files that implies your book is part of a bundled set.

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