General Questions

Bleed is any ink that goes all the way to the edge of the page.

We print your product on oversized sheets that eventually get trimmed down, usually by 1/8th of an inch.  This 1/8th of an inch would be the bleed. 

If you didn't design your job with full bleed you would see a thin white border around each page.  This "no-bleed" could be used for artistic effect but many people find it undesirable.

We welcome your special projects!

Please contact us for a custom quote.

A copyright is not requried to publish a book however everyone should copyright their intellectual property.  Despite popular belief you can copyright your book for free by simply including the appropriate language.  For example, writing "copyright 2017 John Smith all rights reserved" means your book is copyrighted.  It's that easy! Technically copyright starts when the work is created but it doesn't hurt to make it explicit.

Registering your copyright with the government does cost money. You can find more information about registering your copyright here.

FCI Digital manufactures short-run books that are truly custom.  Unlike other sites that offer limited choices in paper, trim size, or binding options FCI Digital believes in offering the full breadth of options you would find from an offset printer at competitive prices and quick production times. 

We send your files through a prepress department staffed with actual people, not just algorithms, who ensure your book isn't printed with glaring flaws. We know you worked hard on this book and we want it to look great.  

We've focused on building lasting relationships with self-publishers, small publishers, and the graphic design community for the past two decades.

No. We are a short-run digital printer. 

An on-demand printer usually prints no more than 10 copies and tends to offer fewer options than a short-run printer. A print-on-demand printer's prices don't go down much as quantities increase, With short-run printing, the cost of each unit goes down as the number of units goes up.  A short-run printer prints between 10 and 500 copies of a product.  

On-demand printers also offer some sort of warehousing and/or fulfillment options. We do not.

Some online printers will print a single book for you at a low cost.  They achieve these low costs by limiting your customization options and using inferior quality materials.  Your files are often poorly processed through a wholly automated process and sometimes hard copy proofs aren't even available. 

There is no law requiring you to get an ISBN or its related barcode for your book.  However, most retailers, distributors, and libraries will require your book to have one for their inventory and tracking purposes.

We can procure an ISBN for you and generate a barcode for your book.  The barcode will be printed directly on your book at a proper .  If your book is already printed please contact us and we can print barcode labels and apply them to your book.

ISBNs are created by a single company in America, R. R. Bowker.  Whatever entity creates the ISBN is listed as the publisher of record.  If you purchase an ISBN from us, FCI Digital will be listed as the publisher of record.  This does not affect your intellctual property or transfer any rights to us.  If you would prefer to list yourself as the publisher of choice you will need to purchase an ISBN directly from Bowker and add it to your files.

FCI Digital can generate a barcode from your ISBN and place it in your files for $35 or you can purchase the barcode from Bowker yourself.

Please note the ISBN itself and the barcode linked to the ISBN are two separate products.

We print your items digitally on one of two Canon 850 presses.  This allows us to keep our prices competitve for short runs. 

For print runs above 300 copies we reccommend using the offset printing capabilities of our parent company, Four Colour Print Group.


File Preparation and Uploading

Our press can only read files formatted as PDF-X1a configured to use the GraCol 2006 color management profile.  This is not the same thing as a PDF.  You can find our file formatting instructions here.

If you are unable to convert your files to the GRaCol-optimized PDF-X1a format we can handle that for you for a fee. 

You are free to files saved as PDF, eps, Word, gif, jpg, and png but your job will be delayed as well work to convert your files.


After you place your order you will receive an email containg a receipt of your purchase as well as instructions for uploading your files to our secure FTP server.

You will need to upload 3:

  1. Your main file containing the text section of the book, with the GRACoL 2006 color management profile installed (see our File Submission Guidelines)
  2. Your cover file, created according to the specifications of our template calculator at
  3. Your stamping/embossing file, also created at (only applicable to hardcover products with the foil stamping option)


For our coated paper we use Nekoosa Coated Products who strive to be at the leading edge of environmentally responsible practices. Nekoosa is committed to conserving resources, preventing waste, developing eco-conscious products, investing to preserve the environment and complying with environmental laws and regulations in order to continuously improve their our operations and products. Their facilities maintain triple certification (SFI®, FSC®, and PEFC) which helps protect our precious forests, and all of their carbonless base paper is manufactured in an ISO 14001:2004 certified paper mill.

The largest trim size we offer is 14" x 11".

Coated papers are available in two finishes – glossy (shiny and smooth) and dull (flat and lusterless). Paper that does not have any coating applied is known as uncoated paper.

Coated glossy papers reflect light evenly so they are suitable for almost all types of printing jobs. Glossy paper helps reproduce bright images and is the go-to choice for color photographers.

Dull paper is excellent for four color printing as it absorbs ink well and creates a more subdued color palette, enhancing contrast and sharpness. Dull is a popular choice for black and white images as well as those who are looking for an earthier, flatter feel.

Uncoated paper is ideal for single color products like tradeback novels, newspapers, and other forms of print where accurate color reproduction isn't a concern. While colors can be printed on uncoated, only an experienced press operator can make color on uncoated paper look good.

We request your files to be formatted for CMYK.  Photoshop and other programs default to RGB format but printing occurs in CMYK.  You can find out more about the distinction between the two here.


Proofing is the process of providing a customer an accurate reproduction of what their final product will look like.  Proofs are the equivalent of a rough draft of your product, they enable you to make sure colors match and ink density is sufficient before we send your product on to the printing press.

Proofs also serve as a binding contract between you and your printer.

If you are interested in printing a book, especially a color book, we highly recommend you add proofing to your order.  We want to correct any issues before we print hundreds or thousands of copies of it.

 For more information on proofing please see our Proofing Guide

It depends on the situation; we are printers, not editors. You are responsible for proofreading files you submit. We will review your files and correct missing fonts, low resolution images, layout problems, and other issues pertaining to print quality. Commas, misspellings, and other grammatical issues are your responsibility.

We strongly encourage anyone who is writing a book to use a professional editor experienced in the appropriate genre.


We can expedite your order for an additional fee.  However as every book is a custom job it is difficult to provide a fixed cost up front.  Please contact us for more information.  If you select this option while generating your quote we will contact you after you place your order with your production options and prices for expediting.

Your softcover products will be bulk shipped in standard single-walled corrugated boxes with a bursting test rating of 200 lbs and an edge crush rating of 32 ECT.  Each packaged carton will not exceed 40 lbs. 

Hardcover products will be bulk shipped in double-walled corrugated boxes with a bursting test rating of 275 lbs and an edge crush rating of 44 ECT.  These cartons will also not exceed 40 lbs.

Additional packaging options are available, including shrinkwrapping, individual mailing cartons, etc.  Please contact us for more information.