How to Print a Perfect Dummy Book

Last week I promised the attendees of WIFYR that I would post a tutorial on how to print a nice dummy book. Tomorrow I will also post a tutorial on how to make a digital pdf dummy book for digital submission. ENJOY!

However, you do need the program Adobe InDesign to do this. You can download a free trial of it HERE. Good luck and happy printing.
  • First create digital files of each of your sketches, all at the same dimensions, each page saved separately (separate the double page spreads). Then proceed.
  • Open Adobe InDesign and select, CREATE NEW, DOCUMENT
  •  Set the page size to Custom and Orient it appropriately and choose the length and width inches that correspond to your files. Set the number of pages to 32 and check the box by FACING PAGES. Click OK.

  •  Choose FILE, PLACE...

  •  Select all your digital files...remember to have made 32 of them beginning with title page, dedication, copyright, and each story page. Click OPEN

  •  Let the files import...

  •  Place your cursor in the upper left corner of the first page and CLICK. Then click on each page in the upper left corner until you've placed all 32 images.

  •  Click FILE, SAVE

  •  After you've saved it you are ready to begin printing. Click FILE, PRINT BOOKLET (not just Print)

  •  Click on PRINT SETTINGS (the rest is the tricky part and the screen shots and options may vary depending on your printer. I use a printer that came with my computer, nothing fancy)

  •  Then click PAGE SETUP. Make sure your paper size is set to 8.5x11 but change the direction to horizontal layout NOT vertical (the picture below shows vertical but please click horizontal) Click OK

  •  Then click PAPER HANDLING under the copies and pages drop down menu

  •  Choose the settings as shown below...AUTOMATIC, ODD NUMBERED PAGES, SCALE TO FIT

  •  Then click PRINT. The first set of pages will print. Then you have to take that stack of printouts and put it back into the printer tray in the proper direction for your printer to print the even pages on the opposite side of these pages. Every printer is different. This can be annoying to figure out so make a note of what you have to do when you figure your printer out so next time it'll be easier.
  • Once you've placed the pages back on the feeding tray click PRINT again and go through the steps to print but click on EVEN NUMBERED PAGES instead this time.
  • Now trim your little book to size and staple or sew on the center spine/gutter (I use a book binders stapler so I can get the staples in the right spot and so the book folds nicely).

  • Submit your dummy and hopefully you too can see it as a real book someday! Best wishes!


  1. Great post Julie, thanks very much for sharing!

  2. Thanks Julie! InDesign is still somewhat of a mystery to me, so this helps a lot!

    1. I'm glad it helps, Erika. How's your dog book coming along?

  3. I’m actually a big fan of Blurb but after reading this I may just give MyPublisher a second try!

  4. It sounds super easy. I must figure out how to separate my 2-pg scanned jpegs into 2 pages first. Also, have tried to installed inDesign on Windows XP and it says that they no longer support this OS


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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at

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