Berforts Group

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Book Production - Book Printing - Self Publishing

Digital or Litho, which is the right production route for me?

The combination of having both litho and digital printing presses allows us to offer a flexible and responsive service. Although we have an enviable reputation in the market-place for the high quality of books that we produce on our top of the range digital printing presses – almost comparable to litho printed books – digitally printed books will have a different look and feel to what you might expect from litho production. We are always happy to advise you on the best technology for your project and to send printed sample books before the start of your project to ensure that we will meet your expectations of the finished book.

We specialise in the short-run digital printing and production of perfect or case-bound books and can quickly and cost effectively produce small quantities of books to the highest quality.

Our service is ideal for back orders, self publishers and low volume print runs in order to test market potential in advance of full scale conventional print production.

Publishers can avoid committing to large production quantities of review / advance copies by using our short-run digital printing facility for quantities as low as 1 book and reduce unnecessary wastage in the process.

Printing sufficient stock to meet your immediate demand ensures that there are no delays to your order despatch or additional postage and packing costs. Holding a small stock ensures that you are in a position to fulfil every order without incurring high print or storage costs from your distributor. If you have specialist publications where the unit cost is high because of the quantity printed or you print high volumes to keep the unit cost down then digital printing could be your answer. Additionally it helps your cash flow by spreading the cost over the life of the book

Through scanning, we can reproduce a book from an original, where no electronic or other artwork exists. Even old and rare books can be reproduced in this way.

We have in-house guillotining, laminating, perfect-binding, saddle-stitching and drilling facilities, all of which provide our clients with the benefits of convenience, speed, quality and competitiveness.

Bookbinding and Finishing

Our services are flexible enough to complement traditional printing and digital printing alike, and as our binding is based around quality, not quantity, the fading art of true rounding and backing is always kept alive. With the flexibility we are able to offer, we can easily fulfil what are often considered difficult jobs for other binding companies, e.g. tip-ins of folded maps, throw-outs and throw-clears, sprinkled edges and slip cases.

Our binding services include:

  • Case binding
  • Perfect binding
  • Library binding
  • Fine leather binding
  • Weekly periodicals
  • Monthly periodicals
  • Theses/dissertations
  • Legal journals
  • Medical journals
  • Handwritten books and poems
  • Signature books
  • Presentation books
  • Handmade slip cases

Short-run case binding

We can undertake quantities from 1 to 2,000 books, whilst the high quality of work is maintained throughout every binding process:

  • Cancellations and complicated tipping-in are easily catered for as all forwarding is done by hand.
  • Section sewn books are produced via hand fed, semi-automatic and automatic sewing machines, which allow bolted and cut head work to be sewn.
  • Book blocks are rounded and backed using a "Crawley" backing machine. The rounding and backing produced by this machine is unsurpassed by any other automated backing machine.
  • Cases ranging from 4" x 7" to 14" x 22" (102 x 180mm to 356 x 560mm) are produced using our Kolbus GD casemaker. Case sizes falling outside these ranges are produced by hand.
  • We can foil block almost any design or layout required. Artwork and blocking chemacs can be produced if required. Personalised lettering is also an option.
  • All books are cased-in by hand and pressed overnight.
  • We are happy to produce binder dummies to aid in the production of spine artwork, dust jackets and cartons.

Book sizes

  Book (trim) size
Height (mm) Width (mm)
Crown Quarto 246 189
A4 297 210
B Format / Large Crown 198 129
Demy 216 138
Royal 234 156
American Royal 229 152
A5 210 148
Pinched Crown Quarto up to 248 171


Berforts - self publishing - Introduction

Have you ever thought about publishing your own book but had problems going through a mainstream publisher, or not wanted to give your hard earned royalties to anyone else?
Today, self publishing is easier, more practical and affordable than ever before, in fact, anyone can do it; all that's needed is a book, the desire to get it published and the determination to follow it up.
Berforts are here to help you through the entire process of self publishing, removing any obstacles (and because we've been in this business for a while, we know exactly what they might be), so that you can gain better access to success.

You have complete control over your title(s), own their copyright and reap the royalties to each, deciding on when and where it's published, and exactly what direction you would like it to go in. Through our partner companies, we are also able to print titles in America and Australia, so you are not just limited to the UK.
We can help to advise and provide all the information you need to begin in self publishing to make the entire process less daunting, more exciting, and to ensure that you get what you deserve from your hard work.
For more information or to discuss your needs, please call 01438 312777.


Berforts benefits

With a team that has over 30 years' experience, we believe that you should have full control over your book, which is why, unlike other self publishing companies, we don't dictate to you on how it should be produced, it really is up to you:

Hard or soft back.

Colour / black and white / mixture (illustrations).
Any size.
Choice of paper.
Can use any font and any font size.
High quality printing.
Entire process can be undertaken online.
Files are stored securely.
Easy to reprint.
Dedicated customer service.
Fast turnaround times.
Even though the entire process can be undertaken easily online, we welcome and encourage authors to visit us, both for a tour of our premises and for face to face advice, and you can contact us to arrange.



Did you know that Word files tend to look different on each computer, depending on your version and screen resolution? It's for this reason that we discourage submission of Word files, and encourage manuscripts to be sent in PDF format, as the way it appears on your screen is exactly how it will appear on everyone else's, so you can ensure it's printed exactly as you wish. If you have any problems with this then please either type in "convert Word file to PDF" to a search engine, or contact us. If you do submit a Word file, please ensure it's in the correct finished page size, with the margin sizes exactly as you wish.


Additional Berforts services

To simplify the process from screen to print, Berforts can provide extra services to you, at additional cost:

Formatting of manuscript.
Cover design.
If you have no files, then we can scan a hard copy and create the files from there.
To find out more, please call 01438 312777.


Grammar tips

It's quite easy for authors to lose their audience if they are not that attentive to their grammar, so we've put together a few tips based on the most common mistakes:

  • Always check what language setting your computer is in.  It might be English, but is it American English or UK?
  • Capitals should only be used for the beginning of sentences and proper nouns, e.g.: The Councillor wrote to the Government to raise a problem at his local School, where there wasn't sufficient parking for the Cars. The only letter that requires a capital here is the T found at the beginning of the sentence.
  • In fiction, paragraphs should be indented by a tab, rather than distinguished by spaces between the lines.
  • To break up sentences, use one space, not two.
  • Use italics for the titles of books, songs, films etc.
  • It's best to use italics if you're stressing a point too, rather than capitalising, underlining it or putting it in bold, as these can be distracting to the reader.
  • Spell checkers aren't foolproof so it's always worth actively reading the document yourself, or asking for a proofread / edit from someone you trust, and we can undertake this for you and you can contact us for a quote.
    Please do not submit your images separately; place them within the manuscript in the order that you would like them to appear when printed.


Book printing

We have been providing book printing services to authors who wish to self publish for many years to ensure the ideal solution whether it's one book or 5,000. This service is also available to publishers who wish to produce a smaller run of books so that they can test the market before committing their budgets to a higher level of print.
You can be sure of the best print quality when you print with us, and are able to choose from printing in black and white, full colour, or a mixture. We can also produce titles in soft or hard back, along with dust jackets and material covers. We can print any type of book, including the following:

Journals, magazines, periodicals
In-house training manuals
Thesis or dissertation
For a no obligation quote, please call 01438 312777.


Berforts turnaround

We provide a fast turnaround of materials, so that you don't have to wait any longer to see your title in print:

From receiving the files, we aim to provide a first proof within 3 days
Once this has been approved, your title is aimed to be delivered to you within 7 days
If you have a specific publishing date in mind, or a book signing arranged, then please tell us when you order and we'll endeavour to meet this deadline.


Manuscript submission

There are several different ways to submit your work:

If under 6mb in size, we can accept it via email at
If over 6mb, files are accepted through the post on memory stick, CD or DVD, or you can send free of charge using or
The cover art should be submitted as a separate file to that of the manuscript.
The manuscript should be submitted as one complete file, without breaks.

Book sizes
We can create your title in almost any size, but just as a general guide, here are some sizes available to you:

134 x 197mm (Standard)
216 x 138mm (Demy)
210 x 148mm (A5)
234 x 156mm (Royal)
249 x 177mm (Pinched Crown Quarto)
246 x 189mm (Crown Quarto)
276 x 219mm (Demy Quarto)
297 x 210mm (A4)
Feel free to contact us should you have any questions or wish for advice on what size would be best for your title.



Unless specified otherwise, we will print your title exactly as the manuscript has been submitted, so there are a few things to bear in mind before you send it through to us to ensure that you're getting exactly what you want:

Manuscripts must be sent as one single document, not broken down into chapters or sections.
Page numbers - odd numbers should appear on the right-hand side.
New chapters should start on a new page. It's better for us if this is achieved through a page break, which can be created through pressing Ctrl and the return button together.
Although you are free to use any font, we would usually use Times New Roman, size 11.
For best results, we advise that a 15mm margin be used around the page, but once again, the choice is yours.
Because we print exactly as submitted, please ensure that you have proofread your book before it goes to print - or better still, had a fresh pair of eyes look over it as you'll be surprised at what you might miss!
If you did wish for a proofreading and editing service, we could also fulfil this. Please contact us for a quote.



The main thing to remember when using images is that the copyright has to belong to you, or you have to have obtained permission to use the images from the person who owns the copyright, e.g. from newspapers, the Internet, or other books.
There are a few other things to bear in mind:
Images for print have to be the best quality. If you have obtained permission from the copyright holder for an image that is from the Internet, then it may look great on screen, but won't print well. Images have to be 300dpi.
If images are in colour, please ensure they are CMYK, not RGB.
Colour images cost more to print than black and white, and because of the printing process, we would advise that it would be cost-effective to have images back on to each other, so only one sheet of paper needs to be used for the illustrations. To check if your image is suitable for print, please call 01438 312777.


Cover art

People really do judge books by their covers, as do booksellers and distributors, so the better the finished product looks, the more likely it is to end up on the shelf and increase your chances of a sale.

Cover art should be submitted in PDF format and in CMYK, not RGB.
If you are using other people's images, you must have the permission of the copyright holder.
Please provide cover art with the front, spine and back image as one single file, with a minimum of 3mm bleed.
If you would like a design to be created for you, then we would be happy to do this at extra cost. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.



What is an ISBN?

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13 digit unique identifier for a book or title, and is used as the reference for cataloguing, ordering, stock control, billing and accounting. Basically, it's the way that your title will be known to book buyers and sellers, and has to be used to distinguish it from others.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


How do you get an ISBN?

Nielsen BookData UK is the ISBN Agency for the UK and Republic of Ireland and it is from here that all the ISBN numbers must be purchased. If you would like to go directly to Nielsen, then a minimum of ten ISBNs would be issued and you are then able to assign one to your book.
If you do not wish to purchase this many, then you could take advantage of our relationship with Nielsen BookData UK and purchase one from us. As a publisher, we are able to obtain ISBN Prefixes from Nielsen and therefore have a direct relationship with over 40,000 publishers, booksellers and libraries in 110 countries throughout the world and access to the most up to date and comprehensive databases.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.



Allocates ISBN Publisher Prefixes.
Advises publishers on how to use ISBNs correctly.
Collates and maintains a database of publishers and the inclusion of prefixes within the Publishers International ISBN Directory.
Encourages ISBN listing with bibliographic agencies.
Nielsen BookScan is the world's only continuous retail monitoring service for English language books in the UK, Ireland, US, Italy, Spain, Denmark, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Provides marketing information, audience measurement, and business media products and services.


Contact Nielsen:

Tel:                         +44 (0)870 777 8712              
Fax:                        +44 (0)870 777 8714

Registered Office: 3rd Floor Midas House, 62 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 6LQ


Legal deposit libraries

Your title is not properly published if the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 and the Copyright and Related Rights Act are not adhered to. Under these Acts, a copy of your book must be sent to the British Library within one month of publication where it will be recorded in the online catalogue, available in the reading rooms, and preserved for future generations as part of the national heritage.
Five other libraries are entitled to request a free copy within a year of publication. These are the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, and the National Library of Wales.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call 01438 312777.



"As a publisher I know there is far more to chosing a printer than finding a company with the right equipment and offering a competitive price. For us, it is the customer service that is the key. Having had the pleasure of working with Berforts for some time and trusting them with our P.O.D. book titles, they have consistenly both met and exceeded my expectations and I have no hesitation in recommending them wholeheartedly."

Chris Day. Director Filament Publishing Ltd.

"I have worked with Berforts for more than 2 years on a wide range of short-run projects. In terms of support they have always offered far more than a print service alone. "
Sam Suresh, SS Media Ltd (Print consultancy)


"I am very pleased to be able to recommend Berforts Book Printing. Dale Burgess has been most accommodating in our requirements at all levels. Their prices are excellent and delivery good too."
Gladys Hobson (author and co-partner Magpies Nest Publishing)


"I cannot speak to highly with regards to the standard of support/assistance I have been offered by Dale. Self-publishing is a positive step; and not so daunting as some people might think! I have just completed, and in the process of Nationally promoting my own book entitled Only one father. I would say that there are many sharks/unscrupulous companies out there. Dale is someone who I would have no hesitation in recommending any time. "
Audrey Ellis (Author)


"Just received my new books and was very pleased with the quote, promptness of dealing with my order and finish of my books. Thank you Dale and team for your help and excellent service - very much appreciated."
Elaine Coltham (Poet and Author)


"I have produced a number of booklets on the wild flowers and on some of the families of my native village, Baldoyle in Ireland.  As these booklets are of a limited appeal I was faced with the problem of large print runs to avail of best prices.  Then I discovered Berforts Book Printing and found that I could tailor my order to meet the demand without the cost prohibitive problem of surplus copies.  It is also easy and reasonable to re-order small quantities should I be lucky enough for the demand to increase.  I have no doubt but that I would have been unable to bring my projects to fruition were it not for the professional assistance and service provided by Berforts.  The only single thing to come between us was the Irish Sea, and Berforts easily overcame that hurdle!"

Michael Hurley (Author)