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Unlimited Publishing LLC
Print-on-demand book publishing for professionals
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UNLIMITED PUBLISHING uses the latest printing technologies to produce the interior of your book. You may provide black and white photographs or other hard copy or computer art for use in your book. Any hard copy material should be able to lie flat on a glass surface without leaving any paint/ink/etc. behind. Computer images should be in the following formats:

Placement File Types Resolution
Exterior color graphics TIF, BMP, JPG (minimal compression) 300dpi
Interior line art (b&w with no gray) TIF, GIF, BMP 600dpi
Interior halftones (b&w with grays) TIF, GIF, BMP, JPG (minimal compression) 300dpi

When in doubt, use TIF.

It is helpful to understand how the black and white production process treats your images before you decide what illustrations you would like in your book. For discussion, we refer, below, to Let the Tail Go with the Hide by Teresa Williams Irvin, which you can purchase here if you would like to refer to a hard copy book. There are 40+ illustrations in this book demonstrating a wide range of image types, original image qualities, and styles.

*Haltones and Line Art:

There are two basic types of art that can be printed in the interior of your book, halftones and line art. A halftone is an image like a black and white photograph that incorporates many shades of gray...

sample halftone from page 12

Line art is a wood cut or ink drawing that incorporates only two colors, black and white...

sample line art from page 102

Line art is produced the same way text is produced, and has nice, sharp edges:

detail of line art

Halftones are produced by lining up various sizes of black dots that produce the illusion of gray when seen from a comfortable reading distance:

detail of halftone

a range of print variance

Print-on-demand print shops ask for variance from day to day in their production of halftones. As a result, many publishers avoid using halftones because they have inconsistent results from print run to print run. If you choose to have halftones in your book, you need to be aware that they may become significantly darker and/or lighter than you see them in your proofs.

Using artwork that is line art (usually produces well), and moving an image to the cover of the book when possible, are good solutions if output variation is not acceptable to you.

If your project involves numerous halftones or halftones that must be very sharp, consider producing it with a different technology (usually with a minimum print run of 500 books); print-on-demand is great for some things but is not the best solution for every book. Unlimited Publishing is happy to discuss options with you.

This process of lining up dots ("halftone screening") is one that works on some photographs with better results than with others.

Generally, halftone images that work better in the printing process:

  • Are in focus.
  • Involve a good amount of detail.
  • Have both light areas and dark areas in the image.

Halftones that have a more difficult time translating over into the world of printing:

  • Are blurry or scratched.
  • Involve a lot of subtle gray shading.
  • Do not have very much contrast or detail.

Here are some images that work better in the printing environment:

This is a detail from page 131 that looks nice even when produced small on the page. The picture involves a nice range and variety of detail, and there are light and dark areas of the picture that set one another off nicely.

This detail from page 217 also has a lot of nice detail, and nice areas of light and dark. Generally, if someone's face should be recognized, it should be clear and sharp and at least as big as a quarter (U.S. 25 cent coin). Here, the grand marshall of the parade (fore) is not going to be recognizeable. That is okay in a picture that is meant to convey the spirit and setting of an old time parade, but should be avoided where recognizing the face is important.

While this photograph from page 96 is nice and sharp, the background is made up of some subtle shades of gray, shading from the 40% gray to the 60% gray range. This does not look bad, per se, but it tends to reveal the screen dots more... it looks more like a picture in a newspaper.

This photo on page 139 was important for the book, and the reader understands from context that it is an older picture with historical importance. However, the cloudless sky and washed-out quality of the older photograph makes the picture difficult to produce well in a printing environment; it shows the dots and looks more "low-res".


While a wide variety of images can be incorporated into your book's interior, consider using those that will produce better in this printing environment, and steer away from those that will produce more marginally, unless they are essential to your book. Expect variation in print density (light to dark) from any simulated shade of gray (halftones).

Questions about the process? Please email publish@unlimitedpublishing.com

The UPside:
start-up costs are minimal;
little economic risk is required;
UP provides top quality technical work;
appearance of books is surprisingly attractive;
most titles can be in circulation within four months;
broad distribution and initial promotion are included!

Please click HERE to request more information.

All text and images 2000-2001
Unlimited Publishing, LLC
P.O. Box 3007
Bloomington, IN 47402

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