February 2009, V8#2: Production Monday, Feb 16 2009 

If sending a hard copy manuscript, we suggest setting all margins (including any headers and footers) on a 8.5×11″ book at 1″. Generally a book printed from this would contain a 1.25″ binding/interior margin, and a .75″ trim/outside margin. “Fixing” the margins in this way is a free service we offer to make it easier on the manuscript preparation person.

Can you “cheat” the 1″ margin on a smaller format book and still have a pleasing balance of print and white space? Margins that leave less white space don’t have quite as pleasing a balance between printed and white space. Additionally, if the book is very thick, you can make a book with so small a margin that people are breaking it’s spine to read it. Outside margins differ between hard and soft binding selections, as they all have different minimum trim requirements.

This section is drawn from


August 2005, V4#8: Design Thursday, Jan 29 2009 


When planning a book, one may need to consider whether to incorporate bleeds into the project.  If economy is a factor, the answer to the question is to achieve your ascetic goal some other way.  Work with your publisher on this factor is bleeds are really a high priority.  Sometimes impression area can be stretched to the point that by the time the binding trim has been taken the book looks like it was planned with bleeds – but economically, the underwriter avoided a costly option.

This section is drawn from information online at http://www.gregathcompany.com/udo.html