05 Jan 2016
Want to print offset? Here’s how!
Recently Milena wrote a blog post about the differences between offset printing and print-on-demand. Today I’m going to dive a little deeper into the offset printing process—not the actual mechanics (we’ll leave that for another time)—but the process from the author or the creative side.
While every project is different, here’s a good representation of the process from soup to nuts. Having worked on a few of these myself, I can say it’s a very fascinating and interactive process.
1) Contact Blurb’s Client Services.
Since offset printing is a truly custom process, your first step will be contacting us about your project. We’ll run through print options, get your timing, and work on a quote. Need paper samples? We’ll get those out to you.
2) Get your quote and timeline.
We’ll give you a production timeline with all the necessary dates in order to make your desired delivery date, as well as costs for proofing, printing, and shipping.
3) Get your template.
Depending on your book’s trim size, you might need a special template, beyond what you find in our plug-in for Adobe InDesign. We’ll get you the necessary specs for the cover and pages, and the correct color profile.
4) Design your book.
This is where your hard work really comes in. Use whatever program you want—just remember you’ll be outputting in PDF.
5) Submit your files.
6) Get your first proof.
You’ll get both a “plotter” or “blueline” proof and a full color proof. The plotter proof is for checking pagination and layout, while the color proof is for checking, well, color. You’ll also receive a proof of the cover.
7) Submit your changes.
Any changed pages will be submitted again.
8) Receive second proof.
To keep your costs down, we will send you proofs only of the pages that have changed. For changes that only affect layout, we can send a soft PDF proof.
9) Proof approval.
Once you’re satisfied, you give us the “OK” to print. After this point you cannot make any additional changes.
10) Printing and shipping happens.
Shipping time depends on where your book is printed. For offshore printing, count on five to six weeks. For domestic, it can be as quick as a week.
Some books will require more proofing, and some less, but two rounds is average. To keep costs down, we’ll just ask for a sampling of pages for the color proof. Our Client Services team is here to take you through all the options.