Printing my Self-published Book: Formatting and Copyright

This week, Blitzprint‘s Book Manager, Trish Romanchuk answers a few questions that arose from last week’s discussion of ISBN’s and CIP data registration.

When you were talking about ISBN’s you used the phrase, “if you are formatting your own book . . .”

Question: What is “formatting?” Do I have to do it myself? If so, how do I learn to do it? If not, who can I get to do it for me?

Formatting is taking your manuscript and changing it so that it is in a print ready format.

What are print ready files?

Print ready files are files that are the correct size (ie. 6 x 9), have the correct margins for printing (at least ½” on all sides) and look how you would want them to print. All pages start on the side that you want them to (the actual odd pages are right hand pages) and all blank pages that you want have been inserted.

Essentially, it is exactly as you want it to print so that your printer could take it straight to the machines and it would be fine.

This is something that you can do yourself, using programs like Adobe inDesign (our recommended program) or MS Word (functional, but not what we recommend).

To do the formatting, you can find tutorials online.

Programs like inDesign are pricey, however. If you decide that you would like someone else to do it for you, speak with your printer. They will likely have someone on staff who does formatting or they can recommend someone. If you are going to pay for it, you definitely want someone who is a professional designer and who is going to create it in inDesign.

Also, you said that “CIP data registration . . . is valuable evidence of your copyright claim.”

Question: What do I need to know about copyright? Is there anything else (besides CIP) I should do?

Copyright is a sticky situation. I always recommend contacting a lawyer, specifically an intellectual property lawyer, or entertainment lawyer, and speaking to them. It is the most air tight way to get your copyright done. You also will want to check out CIPO (Canadian Intellectual Property Office)

Trish Romanchuk is the manager of the Book Division for Blitzprint Inc. For more information on their book printing products and services, please visit their website, or contact Trish directly at

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