To get your book to a print ready stage you’ll require a range of hardware, tools and equipment.


  • Computer access
  • Internet Connection
  • Email Account
  • Secure Online Payment Gateway
  • Printer (*Optional)
  • Scanner (*Optional)

Computer Access

You need computer access to complete the setting up of your book pages, cover artwork and anything else relevant to your publication. For efficiency, your computer should be able to handle multiple programs and applications being open at once. If you own a dinosaur and it can’t multitask, don’t panic. You can still do everything, but be prepared for it to take a little bit longer.

Internet Connection

There are online services you have to access through your internet connection at various times throughout the process. However, most of the actual book set up can be done offline.

Email Account

An email account is required for a range of things:

  • To send payments for book expenses
  • To access subscription services
  • To send or receive correspondence
  • To email your book proof to the printer
  • To receive payments for book sales

Your final book proof may be quite a big file, therefore it is important that your email account can send large files. There are many email hosts that offer a free service able to send plenty of jiggabits.

Google Mail offers a 25MB capacity file size. Your printer may recommend to compress or zip your files if they are too large and your proof is too big to send in one trip. Alternatively they may allow multiple files to be sent.

For those not in the know, compressing your files is like taking a football field, no better still…a football stadium (including seats) and effectively fitting it into a suitcase. You then transport it to a destination, then unpack the football stadium and resurrect it magically and within seconds, exactly how it was. Even the seats reappear in their exact order.


How ingenious!

Publications involving lots of images or graphics are usually what takes up a lot more file space. Novels or books with barely any images won’t be a problem as text files take up minimal storage and will easily fit on an email without the need for compressing.

Secure Online Payment Gateway

A secure method of online payment is required for both optional or compulsary services and also purchases related directly to your publication.  This account will work in conjunction with your email address.

There could be some things you may opt to pay someone to do if you can’t or don’t want to do yourself.  Plus there will be other expenses, like printing. And of course, you’ll need some way of receiving funds safely and securely, when you start selling all those books!

With PayPal you can sign up for a free account. It is a secure and very popular online payment gateway. Once the account is set up it can be used to send and receive funds by simply nominating your email address. It’s been around quite awhile and is a standard form of payment for many individuals and businesses across the globe.

Thousands of online businesses now have the PayPal option as well as or instead of the credit card option. Your banking details are already registered with PayPal so you are not sending them with each payment, risking your personal information.

PayPal takes a fee, based on a small percentage of the payment received. This is currrently 2.9% of the total amount or funds received. They also charge a small transaction fee of $0.30 USD. All fees are automatically deducted when the transaction takes place. This way, you don’t have to worry about paying additional fees after the transaction has occurred.

PayPal will also convert currencies between countries based on the current exchange rate. It converts the buyer’s currency to the sellers currency at the beginning of the transaction. If you are the buyer, you will clearly see how much money it converts to in your currency before you choose to complete the transaction.

There are other advantages to a PayPal account. It allows you the versatility to integrate the PayPal payment platform with your website if you have one, by incorporating an easy payment button, even a shopping cart. But that all depends on the style of website hosting you have.

The button below is one of the more commonly used button options you’ll see when purchasing goods online.


This button is one of a range of available image options if you have your own website. For further information go to Step 10 WEBSITE in the DIY Guide.

Click here for information on PayPal

For full details go to the PayPal website:

Printer / Scanner

When doing your own illustrations, the use of a Printer / Scanner is a basic necessity. However if for whatever reason you don’t have your own home equipment such as this, you may have a mate that can help. Get them to scan your illustrations or images and save to a memory stick. You can copy them onto your computer, or access directly from the stick when needed. Alternatively get them to email the files to you. They can be downloaded into your file folders ready for editing from the email.

Having your own printer / scanner is definitely handy, not only for scanning your own images or illustrations, but if you want to print of a copy of your book proof before approval. This way, you have a physical copy to check over when that important time arrives. Sometimes there are issues on screen which don’t actually appear when the book is printed.

So a paper proof becomes quite important. It also saves you the cost of a Hard Copy Proof (a copy of your book) which can be quite expensive. The free electronic PDF proof they send back is all you need if you have a printer.

When printed on paper, it is also a closer representation of the colours for the finished product, than your computer monitor. I found that aspect invaluable. The PDF proof supplied to you by the printing company can still be viewed and checked on the computer screen or monitor. But really be aware your colours will not necessarily be exact representations when done this way. Other issues to do with text or graphic effects will also add to the confusion if they appear.

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