Problems Processing Files: Correcting Mistakes
When you upload and get that dreaded email that your files have mistakes, here's what to do.
I uploaded files this week for four books! It was too much!
I use three POD printers, each of which has slightly different file requirements. Add to that Amazon’s persistent use of the mobi file for fixed format (picture books) files, and I have to create two ebook formats. That means each book has three covers, two interiors, and two ebook formats. If you did that for hardcover, repeat it for paperback. Crazy.
Obviously, labeling the files is super important. I use the ISBN and then add in the printer’s initials. Still. It can get confusing.
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Email Notification of Problems
And then, I got the dreaded email from Ingram notifying me of problems with the files.
First, don’t panic. Usually, the email will include details on what part of the file needs attention. It might say the front vertical edge or the spine text.
Here are common problems and how to fix them:
Insufficient bleed. Files need to have an extra 0.125 inches all around them. This allows for very small errors in positioning the file and makes sure there are no white lines around your art. There are two ways to create files with the required bleed. First, just create a template size that includes the bleed. These rarely have problems, but make it harder when you create multiple files. Second, use the software’s built-in functions to add the bleed.
The problem comes with exporting the the software-added bleed. You must tell Indesign to include the bleed in the export! It’s easy to fix, just re-export with the correct bleed ticked.
Because Ingram provides templates, it’s usually easy with them.
Spine Text is too large. (I just got this one!) To fix it, I simply reduced the font size. Another thing that can help, though, is to center the text vertically. By default, it’s lined up with the top of the text box, but you can choose to center it or align with the bottom. Usually on the spine, I choose the center alignment.
In InDesign, right click a text box. Click on Text Box Options. At the bottom, change to Center alignment
3. Spot color. In Indesign, the weirdest mistake has been a warning that I used Spot Color somewhere. I searched and searched, without being able to find the mistake. Finally, I found out that one image, a series logo, had been created in Adobe Illustrator. When I used the .eps file, the color was a spot color. The solution was easy, just export the image as a jpeg and use that.
What weird problems have you had? How did you fix it?