Short Run Book Printer, Paperback Book Printing, Offset and Digital Book Printing
Van Volumes Specializes in Short Run Paperback Book Printing for Small and Self Publishing
Frequently Asked Questions for Self-Publishing

Q. What are the advantages of self publishing?
  • Cover design & layout: Itís your book. The words, illustrations, page and cover design, dimensions and binding options are yours to decide.
  • Editorial Control: The book will read the way you want it to.
  • Time: Your books are published much quicker. Your sales and promotion efforts continue at your pace.
Q. Where is the best location for the author's biography?
The most common place to put the author's bio is on the back cover of the book.
Q. Where does the copyright page appear and what does it include?
The copyright page is usually found on the back of the title page. Normally this page includes the word "copyright", and/or the copyright symbol, the publishing year, the name of the publisher, the Library of Congress Catalog Number (LCCN), and the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
Q. How do I get my work copyrighted?
The law grants you copyright protection immediately upon creation of your work. Thus, one need only place the name of the copyright owner, the year of first publication, and the word "copyright" and/or symbol somewhere within the document to secure copyright protection. The use of a copyright notice is an author's responsibility and does not require advanced permission from the US Copyright Office. For more information click here US Copyright Office.
Q. What is the International Standard Book Number (ISBN)?
The ISBN is a ten digit number that uniquely identifies a publication worldwide. You can purchase an ISBN number from R.R. Bowker, the US agency licensed to sell these numbers. The cost is $205 for ten ISBN numbers. ISBN numbers are printed on the copyright page as well as above the bar code on softback books. If one is printing both a hard and a soft cover version of a document, an ISBN will be needed for both versions. Click here for the ISBN website.
Q. Should I include a bar code?
The ISBN number is normally translated into a compatible bar code format called Bookland EAN (European Article Number). Every bookstore chain uses bar codes for scanning at registers so it is advantageous for a publisher to place a bar code on the back cover of a book. Multiple software programs are available that will produce bar code and then it can be placed on the correct location on your back cover. The bar code must be printed in black ink.
Q. Should I include a Library of Congress Catalog Number (LCCN)?
If you plan to sell your book to libraries, it is a good idea to have an LCCN. All one needs to do is apply for a free Library of Congress (LC) Pre-Assigned Card Catalog Number. Requests for this number can be processed by clinking here Library of Congress.
Q. How do I prepare my text for the printer?
We support the following programs:
  • PDF
  • InDesign
  • Quark expres
  • llustrator
  • Photoshop
  • Pagemaker
  • Corel Draw
  • Microsoft Word
*If your program choice is not listed, please contact us to ensure that we can work with the program you are using.
Q. What will the spine width be?
We would be happy to set the spine and covers for you. If the front cover image extends to the back cover you can send in one large image. Just include an 1/8 in bleed. Send in your front and back cover files and we will take care of the rest.

We use 50# and 60# off-set (an equivalent of copy paper) for the pages of our books. If your book is one hundred pages (including ALL pages, not just numbered pages), your sheet count would be 50 (100 divided by 2 pages per sheet). You would then measure the 50 sheet thickness (3/16ths of an inch) and add 1/16th of an inch to any measurement for a total spine width of a quarter inch.
Q. How do I prepare the cover for the printer?
One can arrange the cover basically in any way one wishes, however, these are some helpful hints to consider when designing your cover:
  • Front Cover: Need title, author's name, and graphics (if applicable). If your graphic goes to the edge of the cover, make sure that there is at least an eighth to quarter inch "bleed room" extension of the graphic to ensure that when the book is trimmed, no white is visible.
  • Spine (for perfect bound books): Author's last name on top, the book title in the center, and the publisher's name on the bottom.
  • Back Cover: Description of book, endorsements (if applicable), bio of author if desired, and ISBN/bar code in black ink.
Q. What final book size should I use?
We offer 3 standard book sizes including: trade paperback (5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches and 6 x 9 inches) and workbooks (8 1/2 x 11 inches). Should you need a customer book size, please contact us.
Q. What are my binding choices?
You have three binding choices:
  • Perfect Binding: The standard paperback binding. Perfect binding creates a flat spine where title, author and publisher are printed.
  • Spiral Binding: A wire is inserted through a series of holes in a spiral fashion to bind the book. There is no flat spine for printing title information.
  • Comb Binding: A plastic comb is inserted through pre-cut holes to bind the book. There is no flat spine for printing title information.
  • Wire Binding: A crimped wire comb to bind the pages through a series of small holes drilled in the edge
  • Tape binding: similar to Perfect binding, but instead of a wrap around cover, a piece of tape is used with separate front and back covers.
Q. What about shipping costs?
Shipping costs are not included in your instant quote. We can ship your products by a variety of methods, including UPS, FedEx ground or overnight service.
Q. How do I distribute my book to www.Amazon.Com and Barnes and Noble (
To be considered as an independent publisher or author, one must follow the instructions on the website ( For, you must request an application to submit your title ( Please be warned, these distributors usually require 60% of the retail price as payment for be listed on their site and you have to pay to ship your books to them.

Toll Free: 1-866-321-7518