Frequently Asked Questions

freedom of self publishing

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How long has James and Brookfield Publishers been in business?

We have been in business since 1997.

What kind of publisher is James and Brookfield Publishers?

We are a vanity book publisher. Authors who work with us fund the publishing process and own all the rights to their books. James and Brookfield Publishers does not buy the rights to manuscripts or pay advances.

Do I own the rights to my book?

All authors who work with James and Brookfield Publishers own and keep all the rights to their work.

How do I get a quote?

You can request a free quote by:

Getting Started

What do I need to know before I pursue self publishing with James and Brookfield Publishers?

Self publishing is much faster than working with a traditional publisher, which often takes a year or longer. If you follow our guidelines and submit in one of our preferred formats, you can essentially print your own book and have it be available for worldwide distribution within a few months of the date we receive the manuscript.

Your book can be published in any of our formats you choose—paperback, hardcover, and electronic. In addition, you can choose to self-publish a full-color book.

How do I get started?

You can get started by:

What programs or files does James and Brookfield Publishers accept?

For publishing: 

We can work with any file type that you have.

If you plan to use our publishing services, such as editorial and layout/formatting, most authors submit a Microsoft Word file of their manuscript.

Some authors only have a physical copy of their material that was handwritten or typed on a typewriter. We offer services to turn those documents into electronic files.

If you are providing images or artwork to us for your book we accept high-resolution jpeg or png files, PDF files, or physical materials to be scanned.

For printing: 

We most commonly work with print-ready PDF files. Our pre-press and design staff are fluent with all of the common design, layout, and word processing programs on both Windows PCs and Apple Computers. That list of programs includes; Adobe Creative Suite (consists of: Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop) and Microsoft Office (consists of: Excel, Word, and Publisher). If you use a program that is not listed please contact us for assistance.

Please include all source material (images, photographs, scans, etc.) you used to create your files. If you are using non-system standard fonts please include them with your source files also. Having these items can reduce delay if we encounter an issue with your files.

  • Why PDF files?: PDF files are compatible across multiple platforms. A PDF format represents a document independently of the hardware, operating system and software used to create the original PDF file. It was designed to create transferable documents that can be shared across multiple computer platforms.
  • What PDF settings should I use?
    • Created with the "press optimized or high quality" preset distiller settings.
    • Include all blank pages.
    • Have all fonts embedded.
    • Supply at final trim size and without crop marks for non-bleed documents, bleed pages should have image extended 1/4" past the final trim size and may include crop marks space 3/8" from the final trim.
    • CMYK Color profile for books with color or for cover files.

Publishing Process

How long does the publishing process take?

Each book's process is unique, but the average length of time to publish a book is two to four months. The amount of time will depend on the services you select, the length of your book and how quickly drafts are returned.

Book Printing

Does James and Brookfield Publishers print books in-house?

We work with our long time printer who is located at another site. Together we offer a variety of softcover and hardcover options. To see more on the printing options click here.

Does James and Brookfield Publishers print hardcover books?

Yes! Through our direct printer we are able to print and bind hardcover books with a variety of options for clients to choose from.

Do I get a sample/proof of my book?

Yes. We will print a sample of your book, often called a "proof" before we print your book order. Your proof will be shipped to you or you can pick it up in person. You will review your proof and we will not go to print on your order until you approve the proof.

How long does it take to print my book?

After we receive your proof approval we schedule your book for production. James and Brookfield Publishers always aims for the fastest turnaround time possible while maintaining quality and consistency.

Custom books and hardcover books require more attention during production.

Rush options are available for an additional fee.

What is the minimum quantity of books I can order?

James and Brookfield Publishers doesn't have a minimum run but we suggest using our bulk pricing to get the best bang for your money.

What size should I make my book?

Your book size is very important because it can impact your print and production cost, shipping or warehousing costs, and how bookstores view your book for display or shelving purposes. Below is a list of sizes and their common applications in the industry.

  • Paperback / Trade Paperbacks are often in the 5.5” x 8.5” to 6” x 9” range.
  • Novels often appear in 5.5” x 8.5”, 5” x 8” for shorter pieces while longer novels tend to be 6” x 9” to avoid becoming thick and daunting to potential readers. Short story compilations also are produced in these sizes.
  • Manuals / Workbooks range from 7” x 10”, 8” x 10”, 8.5” x 11” in size. This size is also good for directories and instructional/educational books with lots of graphics or detailed charts.
  • Theses and Essay collections are typically 8.5” x 11” following the standard college ruled paper size.
  • General nonfiction titles are 6” x 9” making this size the most popular of all. Most hardcover books also are in this size as it fits well in the hands for comfortable reading.
  • Photography / Art books don’t follow any particular size structure. They can be very small, or big and heavy “coffee-table” books. In our experience the most common sizes are 11” x 8.5”, 10” x 10”, 11” x 11”, 12” x 12”, or a specific custom size.
  • Children’s Books are commonly 9” x 6”, 8” x 8”, or 8.5” x 8.5”.

At the end of the day… it is YOUR book and you can make it any size you like.

What type of binding should I use?

Selecting the right binding method for your book is just as important as selecting the right size. Binding methods each have their own applications and limitations. Please click on the links below as we have explain each type for you under two main categories.

Softcover Printing Options

Hardcover Printing Options


What lamination should I choose for my book?

Think of lamination as the nice clear coat of paint on your car. It is the protective layer that protects the cover from scrapes, scratches, and fading.

  • Gloss lamination can make colors “pop” well and images more crisp, with a smooth glass-like feel. It is easier to "wipe clean" and often preferred for children's books.
  • Matte Lamination “softens” colors and provides a velvety finish for a more comfortable feeling to the book. Bookstores often prefer the look and feel of matte lamination.

How do I make sure that my book prints the way I see it on my computer screen?

As part of our pre-press process our pre-press department will review your files.

But there are things you can do to ensure we receive the files correctly…

Things to consider when setting up your print files

  • There should be no critical elements printing close to final trim. Use 1/4" as a "safe zone" around all sides of the page and or cover.
  • Any image/picture that extends to final trim must bleed 1/4" beyond final trim. Text on bleed pages should not be closer than 1/8" to final trim. See “What is Bleed?” for more information.
  • To maintain a consistent professional look use "Master Pages" for common book elements such as headers, footers, and tabs.
  • Use organized and meaningful file names. Example: Title_revision number.pdf (Note: File names should not exceed 21 alphanumeric characters, please do not use special characters in file names.)
  • For images—both greyscale and color—Please use a minimum of 300dpi and a maximum of 600dpi.
  • Save yourself time, money, and hassle! If you are not sure how to set up your book consult your project manager with any questions, we are more than happy to help.

What is Bleed?

Bleed is a term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colors can extend into the bleed area. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed book.

It is very difficult to print exactly to the edge of a sheet of paper so, to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim the paper down to the required finished size. Images, background images, and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page must be extended beyond the trim line to give a bleed. Bleeds in the US industry are generally are 1/8 of an inch from where the cut is to be made, and this is how our equipment is configured.


What if my book has already been edited?

Great, you're a step ahead in the publishing process! Authors are not required to use our editors in order for us to publish their book. We always recommends an author have their manuscript edited before they publish and sell their book. If you don't have an editor, James and Brookfield Publishers has in-house editors and can edit your book for you.

Design and Layout

Can I use my own designer and/or illustrator?

Yes. Authors who work with James and Brookfield Publishers can have their own cover designer and/or illustrator. James and Brookfield Publishers advises that authors have a work for hire agreement in place with any freelancers they hire to work on their book.

Registrations (ISBN, Copyright, etc.)

Can I use my own ISBN?

Yes, you can provide your ISBN to us if you have one already to use for your book. Many authors who work with James and Brookfield Publishers are self-publishing and have already purchased their own ISBN.

For more info, please contact us:

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