FAQ

Table of Contents:

I. File Setup

Do you have artists on staff to help me design my book?
We do not. Our prepress ninjas can help you with technical aspects of your book, but for finding an artist / designer we’d recommend sites like HireAnIllustrator.com.
How do I get my files to you?
If you use our pricing calculator, you’ll be taken to an upload page directly after placing your order.
If you’re ordering via a saved quote / custom quote, you’ll find an art upload link specific to your project in your quote form.
What format should my files be in when I submit them?
Art files should be submitted in multi-page PDF format. Please make sure to review our artwork setup guides to make sure your artwork is set up correctly.
II. General Printing Questions

Why are there color variations in my print run?

Because CMYK blends four colors of ink on an offset press, colors will always exhibit very slight variances between runs and even smaller variances within different copies of the same run. These variances are much smaller with offset printing than with digital printing, but there will always be minute differences due to the nature of the four-color process. That’s why colors created by CMYK are sometimes called ‘process colors’.

For more information, please see our Printing Color Guide.

How should I store my books?

Ideally, your books can be stored in the boxes they were shipped in, which are sealed and therefore more protected from environmental fluctuations.

Books should be treated as members of your family, especially once the boxes they are delivered in have been opened and exposed to the air.

Once your boxes are opened, your books should ideally be stored at around 68 degrees fahrenheit, in a space with 30%-50% humidity, to avoid degradation and/or warping.

They should also be kept in a stable environment, which doesn’t experience temperature changes of more than +/- 5 degrees Fahrenheit or humidity changes of more than +/- 3% relative humidity in a single 24 hour period.

Will all of my books be defect free?
PrintNinja guarantees that your order will be free from defects within a 2% variance. Our quality control staff catches most defects before they leave the factory, and most orders actually ship with more copies than ordered.
III. PrintNinja Process

Do you print custom sizes?
We do! Our pricing calculator can handle any custom sizes from the miniscule to the massive.
Can you print a run of less than 250 copies?
Because PrintNinja is exclusively an offset printer, 250 is our minimum order size. Digital / Print on Demand is a much better print method for orders of under 250 units, and is offered by Chicago Pressmen, our sister website. Please note, Chicago Pressmen does not make hardcover or board books.
Why has the price on your website changed since I last used it?
Printing prices and freight prices can be very volatile, and our prices change regularly based on the changing costs of our suppliers. This is why we recommend saving quotes on our printing calculator, which locks in your price for 30 days.
Can you print adult content?
We cannot print pornographic or copulatory content due to restrictions on content placed on the Chinese printing industry by the government. Some non-copulatory content may still be printable, if you’re unsure you can contact us and we’ll give you a definitive answer.
Do I have to put “Printed in China” in my book? Why?

Projects printed in China are required by international and national laws to clearly state the country they were manufactured in, so your project must have “Printed in PRC” or “Printed in China” on it somewhere. (PRC is short for “People’s Republic of China”)

Laws also require the text be “conspicuous” so we recommend a type size of at least 8 points and a text color that has adequate contrast between it and the background.

What’s your return policy?

PrintNinja’s printing is backed by our Satisfaction Pledge. This says that your book will be 100% free of any technical or production errors, and made to our exacting quality standards. If for some reason your project has a printing error, we will make it right through reprinting or refunding your order.

Please note, this does not include artwork or content decisions, as those are 100% up to you (e.g. typos, low-resolution images, etc.) We guarantee that we will reproduce the files you give us accurately and faithfully, and that your finished product will be the highest-grade printing available.

Will my books pass safety tests?
PrintNinja’s books have been tested by laboratories and are found to pass all safety tests we’ve tested them for, including meeting CPSIA and CE standards.
If you need us to test your order specifically, we can do so for an additional fee.
Do you have templates available?
We do have layout guides available, however in most cases we recommend that you set up your files yourself after reading through our artwork setup guides.
Do you offer hardcopy proofs?
We do! In fact, we recommend that anyone who has questions about how their colors will translate from the screen to the page order our basic hardcopy proofing option, described on our proofing options page. We recommend option #2, a digitally-printed hardcopy proof with one offset-printed press sheet.
Do you provide proofreading services?
We do not provide a proofreading service. You have an obligation to insure that the files you submit are correct. We do analyze your file for two purposes. First, we check to make sure that the content of the publication does not violate any Chinese publication laws. Second, we “preflight” your document to make sure all fonts and graphics are linked, embedded, and ready for the printing process.
How long does a game quote take to complete?
Most games are able to be quoted in one week, however very complex quotes may take additional time.
The best way to ensure you receive your quote in a timely manner is through our card request form.
How long does a custom book quote take to complete?
Most custom book quotes are able to be quoted within 48 hours, however very complex quotes may take additional time.
How long does a custom freight quote take to complete?
Most custom freight quotes are able to be quoted within one week.
Can I print my monthly magazine or comic book with you?
Unfortunately, due to our longer lead times we aren’t the best choice for monthly releases. We are best set up to work with magazines and comics that publish bimonthly or quarterly or who have their issues designed and ready to print well in advance. If you can create and submit your completed design at least eight to ten weeks before you need it ready for distribution, then we can almost certainly deliver your magazines on your timetable. However, please note that, for standard shipping, we can’t guarantee a specific delivery date within that eight to ten week time period, so date definite publications won’t be a good fit with us.

We do offer expedited shipping, though this is generally only a good option if you’re only expediting a small percentage of your magazine. Otherwise the costs may be too prohibitive.

If you need a printer for these types of projects, we recommend our partner website Chicago Pressmen.

IV. Shipping & Turnaround

What is my turnaround time?
You’ll want to check out our full turnaround times on our turnaround time page, but in general terms you’re going to need time for prepress, production, and shipping, all of which commonly add up to anywhere from 6 to 10 weeks depending on your project’s specifications.
How long does shipping take?
Our expedited air shipping takes approximately 1 week, while our standard ocean shipping takes approximately 5 weeks. Please note that standard ocean shipping times cannot be guaranteed. Expedited shipping delivery dates can be guaranteed for an additional fee. For full details please see our turnaround time page.
How much does shipping cost?
This depends heavily on your project’s size and weight, as well as your chosen shipping speed and your address. To calculate your shipping, use our pricing calculator.
Can you ship to foreign countries?

PrintNinja can ship to many countries around the world. We can quote door-to-door orders to the US and Canada through our pricing calculator, and we can quote door-to-door shipping to the UK, Australia, and New Zealand via custom quote.

For other countries, we can usually provide an FOB quote via custom quote, but you may have to contract a local shipper and customs broker as well.

We cannot ship orders to certain countries due to political instability and other factors.

Can you guarantee a delivery date?

Sadly, standard ocean shipments cannot be guaranteed, due to elements out of our control. Random customs inspections, weather events, and labor events can all conspire to throw these shipments off of their timelines, and there’s no way for us to prevent them.

Our standard expedited air shipments are also not guaranteed, however, we can use a guaranteed form of air shipping for an additional fee. Guaranteed timelines need to be confirmed with your account manager before you place your order to ensure that we can meet them.

Why are all of your shipping turnaround times approximations?

International logistics are an incredibly complex process. Our standard ocean shipments have to travel halfway around the world and clear customs in both China and their destination country, as well as be loaded and unloaded from oceangoing container ships at increasingly congested deepwater ports. Events out of our control such as random customs inspections, weather events, and labor disruptions can throw off even the most carefully planned shipping schedules.

When shipping via air, we have somewhat more control over the process, and we are able to purchase upgraded shipping to provide guaranteed delivery dates for an additional fee, as long as the timeline is verified with PrintNinja before the order is placed.

Where do you ship from? Can I pick up my order from your store?
Our factories are in Shenzhen, China, which is where your order will ship from. Factory pickup is available on request.
Why are your turnaround times so long?

PrintNinja does all of our printing in China. It doesn’t take any longer for China to produce your project — it’s getting it here that eats up most of that time.

Once your project is finished, ocean shipping typically takes 5-6 weeks to get from the factory in China to most American addresses, however certain factors including random customs inspections, weather events, and labor disputes are out of our control and can add weeks of shipping time with little to no notice.

If you’re in a hurry, we can used expedited shipping to ship part or all of your order via air instead of ocean. Air shipping takes approximately one week from the time your project is produced. This is a great option if, say, you need 200 books for a show in three weeks but can wait on the remaining 8,000 since you won’t need those for a few months. We’ll send out the first 200 via air and then your remaining quantity via ocean.

Please note that expediting only affects the shipping timeline — not the production of your project.

Is my order delivery date guaranteed?

PrintNinja is able to offer guaranteed delivery dates for our expedited shipments for an additional charge, as long as your schedule has been confirmed with your account manager before you place your order.

Other than these select expedited situations, PrintNinja’s shipping times are all approximate. Ocean shipments can never have guaranteed delivery dates under any circumstances.

There are two main reasons for this. First, the ocean shipping portion of the shipping process is not can vary depending on weather, labor disputes, and other factors. Second, once your order arrives in the United States, it must pass through U.S. customs. Although this is typically a smooth process, it is also outside of our control and sometimes containers may be flagged for random inspection, adding days or weeks to the shipping time.

All that said, you won’t have to worry about dealing with U.S. customs or freight carriers during the customs process — we handle all that for you.

Can you use my UPS/FedEx account number to pay for shipping?
Unfortunately PrintNinja is unable to use any outside account numbers when shipping your order. International shipping is a complex process and it is very easy to run into problems when billing to an account we have no access to. Our shipping volumes are large enough that our rates with UPS are very competitive, so it is likely that shipping will be cheaper when using our account.

We offer a couple of options if you really want to bill to your account. If you ship your order FOB (Free On Board, requires custom quote) then we will help get your order from our factory to the port in Shenzhen, China. From there you can arrange shipping the rest of the way using your account. We can also ship EXW (Ex Works, no extra charge), which means you would arrange pickup directly from our factory and schedule the full shipping on your end.

V. Payments and Orders

What are your terms of credit?
PrintNinja accepts all major credit cards, as well as PayPal, and requires payment in full to begin work on your project.
Is there a discount if I reorder my book with you?
Sadly there is no discount available for reordering, since the reorder requires a completely new print run and will incur all of the same setup costs as the first one.
Where do I pay?
You can pay through our pricing calculator, or through the payment link in your saved / custom quote.
What forms of payment do you offer?
PrintNinja accepts all major credit cards, as well as PayPal. We can also accept payment via check, sent to our Evanston office.
What credit and debit cards do you accept?
PrintNinja accepts any credit or debit card with the Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover Card logo.
Why isn’t my card being accepted?
If you’re having trouble submitting your payment via credit card or debit card, please consider these points:

  • Double check that the number you are entering is correct, as well as the billing ZIP code and security code. Keep in mind that sometimes the billing ZIP code may be different from your home or office address.
  • Because most PrintNinja transactions are rather large, the charge may be larger than your daily limit.
  • You may also be exceeding your total credit line.
My card keeps getting declined. What should I do?
Typically, when a credit card is declined by our website, we have very little information as to why it was declined — for privacy and security reasons financial institutions typically don’t provide us with much detail as to why the card was declined. Possible reasons may include:

  • The card number, ZIP code or security code was entered incorrectly.
  • The card has a daily spending limit that is lower than the total transaction or you have made other purchases within the past day that are causing your limit to be reached (please note some financial institutions calculate this based on a rolling 24-hour period, while others reset the limit at a specific time every day; contact your financial institution for details).
  • You have exceeded your overall credit limit.
  • Your financial institution has detected that your payment does not match your typical spending habits and is not allowing it to be processed.

To resolve most of these issues, please contact your financial institution directly:

  • Request that your daily spending limit be raised temporarily or permanently. If you can’t, see this FAQ.
  • Request that your credit limit be raised temporarily or permanently. If you can’t, see this FAQ.
  • Inform your financial institution that the transaction is valid so they can allow it to be processed successfully. It’s often helpful to be on the phone with your financial institution while you are attempting to submit payment — they can often see the transaction in real time and allow it through even if their system flags it.
  • Please note that if the transaction has been flagged and you then contact your bank to authorize the transaction, you typically will need to submit payment again. Most banks do not process previously declined transactions after you approve them — your authorization simply will prevent future similar transactions from being flagged.
What if I can’t get my credit card limit or daily transaction limit raised?

If your total purchase price exceeds your daily purchase limit or your total credit limit and your financial institution cannot increase it temporarily or permanently, you can split your total purchase price among multiple cards or over multiple days.

These transactions must be done manually, so please contact your account manager to use this option. Let them know what your limitations are and they will email you several links for payment. You will need to pay each one separately, either using different cards or on different days.

Please note that we cannot begin processing your order, including any prepress, until the total order amount is received successfully.

Do you accept non-U.S. cards?
Yes. As long as the card has a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover Card logo we should be able to accept it. However, please note that all currency will be denominated in U.S. dollars and, depending on your cardholder agreement, may be subject to foreign transaction or other fees, which are your responsibility.
Does PrintNinja accept wire transfers?
For large orders (generally over $10,000) we may accept a wire transfer. Contact us for details.
Can I change my order once it is placed?

Maybe. Changes to your order may be able to be accommodated within a very short window (approximately 24 hours) after your proof is approved.

After this timeframe our print team has generally begun work on your project. Your job can be changed after work has started, but there likely will be additional change fees involved depending on how far into the production process we are. This will also likely change your delivery date.

If you discover a problem with your file and or need to change your order, please notify as soon as you discover the issue. In general, the sooner we are notified, the easier and less expensive it is to make changes.

How do I change my shipping address after placing an order?

Please call us as soon as possible if you require a shipping address change to avoid any delays or additional fees.

For standard ocean-shipping orders, we can usually change shipping addresses until after your order has cleared customs in the US (usually about a week before delivery).

For expedited air-shipping orders, once they’ve been shipped, all changes must be done through the shipping company.

Can I cancel my order?
We will be happy to stop your print job at any point in the process. Call us at (877-396-4652) and we can determine how far along our order is into production and can alert you what the charges will be (if any) for the amount of work that has already been incurred in the printing process at that point and will credit your credit card account accordingly.
Can you modify my document?
We can make modifications to your files for a nominal fee. The exact cost will vary depending on the extent of the changes needed. Contact your customer service representative for details.
Will my file materials be returned?
This used to be a common a question in the removable media days, but we don’t hear it much today! We do not return any form of artwork or materials unless you specifically request this by calling our customer service department at 877-396-4652. Customers are responsible for all fees for artwork that needs to be returned.
How do I check on the status of my order?

Need to know the status of your job? You can email us at customerservice@printninja.com or call us toll free at 877-EZ-NINJA (877-396-4652). Just give us your job order number and our customer service staff will be able to track your order and let you know the status.

We will also email you whenever significant milestones occur in your order, including your order being approved for production, production being finished, and tracking information becoming available.

Please note that tracking information is not available for ocean shipments until your project clears customs in its destination country (typically 1 week before its arrival to you).

How does PrintNinja track orders?
PrintNinja uses order numbers to identify and track every print job as it moves through the PrintNinja system, from file submission to production to shipping. An order number is automatically assigned to your print jobs, and we use this order to track, locate, and verify the shipment of your print jobs, and keep track of other pertinent shipment details.
What kind of communication will I receive after I place my order?
You will be receiving several updates from us with information about your order including a confirmation on receipt of your order with a job order number assigned, confirmation your order is being processed once we review your files, notification when the proof is ready (if requested) and shipment notifications.
VI. About PrintNinja

What is PrintNinja?

PrintNinja is an American-owned and American-managed printing company that offers our clients economy and quality for all their custom printing needs. We have an office in the US that handles customer service and pre-press, and an office in China and other countries that handles our vendor sourcing, quality assurance, and logistics.

For more details about our process, we recommend checking out our “Why Print With PrintNinja?” ‘About’ page, and for more details about our company, we recommend checking our “About Us” page. For introductions to our team members, check out our “Team” page.

How long have you been in business?
PrintNinja is part of a group of companies. Those companies and the managers that run them started buying printed goods in the United States in the early 1980s and from China in 2003. The online print shop, PrintNinja, started in 2009, as a way of helping customers take advantage of our great Chinese and global print sourcing network.
Where are you located?
PrintNinja is a company based just outside of Chicago in Evanston, IL. This office is home base for our customer service, prepress, marketing and Web development teams. Our Chinese office is located in ShenZhen, China, and handles print buying, quality assurance, and logistics.
VII. Other Questions

Can I get a discount for my non-profit?
PrintNinja is focused on providing the lowest possible prices for all of our customers, and as such we are sadly not able to offer additional discounts to non-profits.
Can I get a discount since I’m a reseller?
PrintNinja is focused on providing the lowest possible prices for all of our customers, and as such we are sadly not able to offer additional discounts to resellers.
Do you sell ISBNs?
We do not, and you shouldn’t ever buy ISBNs from any resellers, since they will technically be listed as the publisher on your book. Only buy your ISBNs at www.ISBN.org, the agency authorized to sell ISBNs.
Do you sell barcodes?
We do not, however you can use a free site like this one to generate your own once you have an ISBN. Make sure it’s at least 300dpi at your final size!