Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I get pricing?

You can enter in the specifications for your project on our book publishing page on our main site

The Book Quote Request Form is at the bottom of this page.

Pages vs Sheets

The book printing industry refers to a “page” as one side of a sheet of paper. 1 “sheet” = 2 pages

File Preparation

 What is “bleed” ?
“Bleed” refers to the area beyond the final trim size of a printed document or image.

This is perhaps one of the most fundamental basics of printing. For any background or image that prints all the way to the edge of the page, your file should allow an extra 1/8″ on all 4 sides. At Marathon it is also due to our imposition system which sets up pages for the press we are printing on, and needs the 1/8″ bleed on all 4 sides to properly place the pages on the larger parent sheet we are printing on.

In short, even if there are no photos that “bleed” – we still need the entire document to be setup with the bleed settings, or we will have to under trim the book.

Most customers we work with are using Adobe InDesign to layout files for print.
When setting up the document for a book, here’s a screen shot of what the settings should look like

But if you have already started the book and need to add the bleed after the fact, you need to go to
File > Document Setup
And then it looks like this

 What kind of files do you accept? 

In most cases, the answer to this question is PDF format.  Take for example a soft cover book. You should supply 1 multi-page pdf text file + 1 pdf cover file.   Multi page documents should be single page format, and SHOULD NOT be sent to us as readers spreads.  A Printed Hard cover book with an optional dust jacket would require 3 files:1 multi-page pdf text file + 1 pdf cover file + 1 dustjacket file.

Make sure the PDF file you send is “flattened”- ie not an interactive file that we can intervene with. This insures that your layout and design will print exactly as as you have created it.

In a few circumstances, (such as layflat albums), we may instruct you to send us jpeg files to be used for uploading through ROES Web or Marathon ROES.

If you have any questions with your project in regards to file formats, feel free to ask your Marathon representative.

 Paper Options
Our custom book printing service model is such that we can offer unique paper options based on designers requests. We work with many designers who are very particular in what they are striving for, and we support that. But please keep in mind that anything other than standard paper options can take time to source and test run. We are an all HP Indigo shop in our pressroom. So all paper selections should be HP Indigo certified. To save time and plan properly, please enter non standard paper options into the search database at this link to see if the paper has already been tested.

Print Quantities
Marathon Custom Book Printing quantity ranges are typically from 25 copies to 1000. We handle some quantities larger than this both through all in-house printing and binding and can also manage offset print production done through our network of print partners.

We provide many options for proofing
-Email PDF Proof
-Printed (on stock) hard copy proof (unbound)
-Printed cover proofs ( on stock, with lamination)
-Complete Printed and bound Proof

If you have printed jobs with us before and are comfortable with the results, you may opt for the Email PDF Proof, which is no additional charge. If you are a new customer, we highly recommend sending out a set of hard copy, printed on stock proofs. Within 3-4 days from receipt of your files, we will print and ship next day air for your approval. The only delay can occur at times if a particular requested paper is out of stock and needs to be ordered or if our press is down for maintenance. We do not generally provide a complete bound proof in advance except in situations that require it for pre-publication/marketing purposes. There can be a significant cost for this due to time consuming and costly setups of several steps of production all for one copy and we will quote that cost only on a case by case basis.

Print Ready Files
In order to maintain schedules, please provide “print-ready files”. Print-ready files means a file that has all the specifications necessary to produce high-resolution printed output, without requiring any additional alteration or intervention. We expect that the purpose of your requesting proof is not for editing purposes! Please do your heavy editing of your project before sending in for production. In general, proofs are for running back through to make sure the files you sent us have transmitted properly with no text flow or font changes, and (with printed proofs) to check color. Any editorial changes to your files after the first proof will require extra time to the schedule and possible extra costs. If your files require adjustment on our end, there will be charges of $80.00 per hour to make any corrections.

 Low Resolution Images
Compared to a high-resolution image, low-resolution images have fewer pixels, higher compression, or both. Images used for digital purposes (websites, online marketing) can be 72 dpi. If we use that low of a resolution to print on paper, the result will be a fuzzy, blurry image. To insure your image will print crisp and sharp, please make sure all embedded images are 300 dpi or greater.

Subject Matter

Marathon Press may decline to produce any order at any time and for any reason and without providing notice as to that reason. In the event an order is declined by Marathon Press, a full refund will be issued.

Marathon Press does not print pornography, obscenity or intensely violent, graphic or sexual images. Further, Marathon Press will not print projects with excessive profanity or projects that contain content that attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, sex, gender or any other group protected by law or projects that contain purposefully misleading information.

Marathon Press will not produce orders where the subject matter content may be forbidden, regulated or restricted by local, state, federal laws. Marathon Press  cannot offer official advice or counsel on such matters and acceptance of any order by Marathon Press does not signify any endorsement or certification that the content is or is not in violation of any laws or regulations.

In the event any order is seized by governmental or quasi-governmental bodies due to violation of international, national, state, provincial or local laws, the customer, and not Marathon Press, is fully responsible for the materials, including the full cost of the materials and any fines or legal actions imposed. Orders returned to Marathon Press  due to violation of laws or regulations are not eligible for refunds.

Certain industries or professions may be required, by international, national, state, provincial or local law, to list certain licensing, certification or registration information on printed materials. Marathon Press is not responsible for determining if such listings are required or recommended and cannot offer advice or counsel on the subject. Further, Marathon Press is not responsible for the omission of any such listings.