10 Tips to Turn Your Ebook Into a Print Book

Learn how to turn your eBooks into printed books with this step-by-step guide. Perfect for self-publishers and authors.

Creating an ebook requires careful attention to design details. While you focus on making the cover and text perfect in the digital realm, have you thought about how it would appear in print? Online books are popular, but physical books are still widely read. Efforts made for the digital look might not always look the same when printed.

Turn ebook into prints

Ensuring that your ebook looks good in print has several advantages. No matter how readers access your content, whether on their digital devices, a home printout, or a professionally printed version, it will look appealing.

Having a design suitable for both digital and print mediums allows you to share your work in multiple ways. This increases the chances of reaching a larger audience and potentially earning more.

With some tweaks to your ebook design, it can look wonderful when transformed from a digital file to a printed copy. Remember the following tips when designing your ebook.

1. Be Concise

The number of words you use in an ebook might not seem crucial, but extra words can increase the number of pages in print. Review your content and keep it as short and clear as possible. This might even enhance your writing quality. Remember, automated spell checkers are not always accurate.


Review your content multiple times to ensure correct spelling and grammar.

2. Design and Layout

During the editing process when you’re moving, adding and subtracting ebook design elements to see what looks good, it can be easy to leave out something important. Mistakes are often made with consistency of fonts, colors, heading sizes, shadows and other small details that might have changed in some area, but not others.

This might be easier to miss in the digital space but when several pages of an ebook are printed out and the fonts change in size or consistency, it can be quite obvious. Double-check these points to ensure you’ve been consistent throughout.

3. Color Matching

It’s challenging to make the colors on paper match what you see on the screen. Different color settings in design software, digital files, and different printers can change the final appearance.

Even though many designers and photographers prefer working in RGB, most digital and home printers use CMYK. You can change your design to CMYK, but it might need some adjustments to get the colors right.

color matching printing

Calibrating your monitor can also affect how your design colors appear. Printing a test image and comparing it to your screen can help you understand how your monitor affects your design and how it might look when someone prints your ebook at home.

4. Picture Quality

It’s best to save your ebook PDF at 300 DPI. While lower resolutions might be okay for online viewing, high resolution is essential for clear printed images. This is especially true for ebooks with photos, detailed drawings, or other visuals.

If you’re unsure, save your file in the highest resolution available. It’s easier to reduce the size later if needed, but you can’t add more detail once it’s saved.

5. Home & Office Printer Limits

Home and office printers have limitations. They’re different from professional printers that can handle various paper sizes. Most home and office printers are limited to common paper types, like inkjet or laser paper, and usually in white, letter, or legal sizes.

home printer

Also, these printers don’t print ink right up to the paper’s edges. There’s often a required 1/2″ margin. Remember these limitations when designing your ebook for printing.

6. Understanding Bleeds, Crop Marks & Cutting Tolerances

Professional printing adds more layers to digital designs. Printers expect you to understand bleeds, crop marks, and cutting tolerances when setting up your design.

  • Crop marks show the printer where to trim the pages.
  • A bleed is when printing goes beyond the trim lines, which gets removed during finishing.
  • Cutting tolerance means the small differences that happen when sheets are trimmed.
printed book ebook

It’s important to know your printer’s cutting tolerance and to set the right bleeds and crop marks. Requirements can differ by printer, but many ask for 1/8” bleeds, and good printers have a cutting tolerance of no more than 1/16”.

7. Get a Second Opinion

Review your work, correct it, and double-check. Then, ask someone else to check. Sometimes, when we’re too involved in a project, we might overlook errors. A fresh pair of eyes can spot these. Make sure they review both the online and printed versions for the best feedback.

8. Choosing Paper & Binding

The paper and binding you choose will influence how your printed ebook appears. Coated paper is smooth and resistant to dirt and moisture. Its finish, like satin, changes how ink settles on it, making it good for clear images. Uncoated paper is rougher and absorbs ink more, which can spread the ink.

book paper binding

For binding, many printers provide saddle stitch, wire coil, and spiral options. Each has its own page limit. Discuss with your printer to pick the best paper and binding.

9. Test Print Your Ebook

Printing your ebook can show you its actual appearance. This is also helpful before professional printing. Before sending your design, print your ebook on regular paper, trim it, and fold if needed, like with a saddle stitched book. This gives a real feel of your work and lets you adjust your design if necessary.

After sending your ebook design to the printer, they’ll usually give you a digital proof for approval. Print this proof and trim it to its actual size. While it won’t represent final colors or paper quality, it gives a clear idea of how it will look when printed.

Pay close attention at this stage, because after approving the proof, making changes to the final design becomes difficult.

10. Request a Physical Proof

For professional printing of your ebook, digital proofs are convenient and affordable. But to truly guarantee print quality, ask for a physical proof. This is crucial if you’re using special paper materials or if it’s your first time printing your ebook.

printing proof

If you have specific brand colors that need exact matching, a physical proof is beneficial. There’s usually a charge for each proof, considering the setup involved, but it’s a small price for accuracy.

Once you or your client is satisfied with the ebook’s look, it’s ready for final printing. You’ve ensured it looks good for home printing and made every effort for professional printing success. With the tips above, you should receive the printed ebook you envisioned.