“Bleed” in printing refers to the area of a design or image that goes beyond the edge or “trim line” of the finished printed page. If your book contains design elements extending to the edge of the page, it is essential that you include bleed! During the printing and binding process, we trim the pages of the book down to your trim size, and although we use very precise, state-of-the-art equipment to trim the pages, there is always the possibility of a slight shift in the edges of pages. Including bleed eliminates the possibility of “flash” (an uneven white border on the edge of the trimmed page) and will ensure your finished books look professional.
When you set up your document with bleed, you extend elements beyond the trim line. BookBaby requires 1/8th of an inch (.125 in.) of bleed for interiors, softcovers, and dustjackets, and 5/8th of an inch (.625 in.) for hardcovers.
If your file does not have bleed, the best results are always going to come from you correcting that in your layout file. If for some reason you are unable to fix your lack of bleed, we may be able to help.
Looking for other book printing tips? Check out our free guides!