Manuscript Options

Camera-ready artwork:

Camera-ready copy must be complete, requiring no additional page design, typesetting or editing before printing. The printed page will look exactly like the copy submitted.

Image Area: The image area of each page of the manuscript must be within consistent and clearly defined margins. All text, page numbers, running headers, and artwork must be contained within this image area.

Margins: Margin specifications for an 8-1/2"x 11" book; Top, Bottom and Front margins 1/2" minimum, Gutter (Binding Edge) margin 3/4". Margin specifications for a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" book; Top, Bottom, and Front margins 1/2" minimum, Gutter (Binding Edge) margin 5/8".

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Gutter: For text pages printed on both sides of the sheet, the Gutter (Binding edge) margin for ODD number pages is on the left hand side. The Gutter (Binding edge) margin for EVEN number pages is on the right hand side.

Cover: A design of more than one color will require color separations. Call us for the exact specifications needed for your size book. Our expert designers can design a book cover that will project the professional image your are looking for.

Photos: A halftone needs to be made of most photos before they can be reproduced. Unless skilled at creating a halftone, this process should be left to the book printer. (See Photos, Artwork, & Illustrations").

Artwork: Camera-ready artwork, illustrations, and drawings should be in position on the camera-ready copy.

ISBN, Bar code, Library of Congress number, copyright: If required, the camera-ready copy should already include these numbers. (See Publishing Service.)

Producing camera ready artwork:

Camera ready artwork can be supplied to Tri-State Litho in two forms, hard copy (on paper) or digital copy (on a computer disk or via email).

Hard Copy: Camera ready artwork supplied as a hard copy should be output on a laser printer with a minimum resolution of 300 DPI (dots per inch). The higher the resolution the better the quality. Desktop dot-matrix printers, desktop ink-jet printers, and electric typewriters produce acceptable copy but generally are not recommended for a high-quality printed page. Camera-ready copy should be printed on high-quality, 24# white bond paper with the darkest print possible. Only originals should be sent to Tri-State Litho, do not send photo-copies.

Digital Copy: Camera ready artwork supplied as a digital file needs to be in a format that is acceptable to Tri-State Litho. Currently we can support Adobe Pagemaker®, QuarkXpress®, MacroMedia Freehand® and Adobe Illustrator®. Programs written using a word processor such as Microsoft Word® or a desktop publisher such as Microsoft Publisher® may require additional work to make them print as you desire. For more information on how to prepare your file before sending it to us go to our Resources page.

Manuscripts that require output:

High-resolution printers using photographic paper are capable of outputting at greater than three thousand DPI. Superior text quality and special effects can be achieved at this resolution. We can import your computer diskette or scan your hardcopy into our computer system in order to output from our high-resolution printer. Manuscripts that have already been typeset but are in need of high-resolution output, should be saved in a "Postscript®" format. This can be accomplished within such "Postscript®" applications such as Adobe/Aldus Pagemaker® or QuarkXpress®. If using non-"Postscript®" word processing applications such as Microsoft Word® or WordPerfect®, call us prior to formatting so we can send you our printer drivers to install in your word processor. This will preserve the format for output from our high-resolution printer.

Manuscripts that require typesetting and output:

Manuscripts that require us to typeset, format, and/or output from our high-resolution printer should be saved as an ASCII text file. When inputting text for us to typeset, use carriage returns only BETWEEN paragraphs. When inputting tables or charts for us to format, use TABS instead of spaces.

Diskette: We will accept the manuscript on 3 1/2", Iomega Zip and Jazz disks. The file name, application and version should be clearly stated on the diskette. You can also upload your manuscripts to us.

Hard copy: A hardcopy of the completed manuscript should be submitted along with the diskette, so we may have a comparison. The hardcopy should be complete, showing the title page, copyright, ISBN, page numbers, running headers, and the correct placement of any photos, artwork and/or illustrations.

Backup copy: A good backup copy of the diskette and hardcopy should be kept by the author.

OCR scanning:

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scanning: OCR scanning is generally used when the original computer text file no longer exists and there are edits to be made to the information or formatting. OCR scanning allows the computer to see each character scanned as a key stroked character. OCR scanning is both time and cost effective as it eliminates the need to rekey information. A hardcopy can be scanned into our computer system for editing, typesetting, and output from our high-resolution printer. OCR scanning works for text only and will need to be proofread because it is not always accurate. Formatted tables and charts will not scan.

Originals: Only originals should be used for OCR scanning, as photocopies and faxes do not scan properly. The originals should be on 8.5 X 11, high-quality white, bond paper with black ink. Originals should be free of smudges, tape, staples, glue and any ink or pencil notations. Originals from a desktop dot-matrix printer, desktop ink-jet printer or electric typewriter will scan well if the print is dark without any broken or abutting characters. Originals from a laser printer will scan well if a minimum resolution of 300 DPI is used.

Backup copy: A good clean backup of the hardcopy should be kept by the author.

Page design & typesetting:

Once the manuscript is in our computer system via computer diskette or OCR scanning, our graphic designers will create up to three mock custom-page designs from which to choose.

Fonts: Many of our fonts are available in bold, italic or bold-italic or can be expanded, condensed, or stretched. Fonts like "Times," "Sabon" and "New Century Schoolbook" tend to be very effective and easy to read when used for text. "Script" fonts can be difficult to read and while not preferred for the text, they can be effectively used as headings. The text of this guide book is set in "Sabon". 

Point sizes: A good point size for the text of most books is 11 point or 12 point. (See "Fonts"). A larger point size is sometimes used if the book is written primarily for children or the elderly. A larger point size can be used to increase the amount of pages in a book.