One piece cover upload issues (and free grumble)

Hi,

 

(Reference for Glenn: 16306102)

 

I'm back at the proof stage of a second book, and have some issues I don't recall from eighteen months ago and my first...

 

I've been bouncing off an issue with a single-piece cover upload: I can get the content pdf uploaded fine, and downloaded again to check, and have had the cover size calculated by Lulu and the cover created to that size by my designer.

 

However, when I try to upload the cover (either the as-sized one or one with a 2mm bleed) I get an unrecoverable error message.

 

Going back a stage, I am advised that I can select an already uploaded file. At this point the only place to upload a file is alongside the existing text. The images upload without issue, but are then added by the content creator to the text (along with a complaint about the size not being correct). Downloading the content shows these two cover images appended, severely squished. I didn't go further with the cover design; obviously I don't want them in the book itself so back to the first upload page to remove them.

 

I have resolved the issue by extracting the image from the original pdf at 300dpi; that uploaded without issue as a .png file and appears to be correct on the previews - I await the proof copy to confirm this.

 

I can't help feeling the upload and creation process has been too automated. To me, a project is something to which files can be added and removed, and more significantly, *selected* for inclusion, rather than just including everything present. Equally, you should be able to move back and forth in the production process. Obviously one cannot get the size of the cover spine until the page count is known, but the linear nature of the process makes it both unclear what options are available and oddly where one is in the process. Some stage like a 'checkout' might make things more obvious; that's where you need to know that your cover is the wrong size. For example, there's no hint at the cover stage whether bleed is required or not.

 

Maybe it's just me - I create the entire content as a single pdf. Perhaps others do it differently.

 

Neil

Comments

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    No no, it's simpler than all that. Many people upload interior and cover as PDF.

     

    When you reach the cover stage, click on Old Cover Designer before it loads. Then click on One-piece Advanced. There you upload your cover PDF. That's all. At the final stage you will see if your parts look right. Look at the tiny strip int he middle to check if text is cut off. If not, you're good to go.

     

     

     A citizen of the world.

  • Cheers, Maggie - curious, though, as to the 'unrecoverable error' message. Perhaps a Lulu glitch?

     

    Obviously I don't want to change anything at this point!

     

    Neil

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    It happens sometimes. Perhaps too many things running at the same time. Who knows.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I can't help feeling the upload and creation process has been too automated.

     

    As it has to be really because it's Self-publishing, but there are only two main sections, Pages and Cover.

     

    To me, a project is something to which files can be added and removed, and more significantly, *selected* for inclusion, rather than just including everything present.

     

    But they are. At the pages stage you upload your file of pages for the Wizard to process. At the cover stage you can either use the content within the Cover Wizard or upload your own pre-created images to it, or even just one image if using the Advanced option. Confusion may arise from the fact that you can pre-upload files to My Files and while in the Wizard extract them from there.

     

    Equally, you should be able to move back and forth in the production process.

     

    The Wizard section tabs will work backwards but not forwards, you cannot jump stages, but Lulu see no reason why you should need to jump about in the Wizard I assume, and there possibly is not. The pages section and the cover section has to work in conjunction because the PR PDF files have to be linked with a Project number so the printer knows what cover belongs with which pages.

     

    Obviously one cannot get the size of the cover spine until the page count is known,

     

    There is a spine calculator, but the Project Wizards know best.

     

    but the linear nature of the process makes it both unclear what options are available and oddly where one is in the process.

     

    But it tells you and it has to be linear. It's often best to so a test run or two through a Project Wizard, set at Private.

     

    Some stage like a 'checkout' might make things more obvious; that's where you need to know that your cover is the wrong size. For example, there's no hint at the cover stage whether bleed is required or not.

     

    But there is in the Knowledge Base, best read before attempting the Wizards. There are shaded sections on the Cover Wizard's template denoting trim and fold areas, best kept out of with anything important such as text.

     

    Maybe it's just me - I create the entire content as a single pdf. Perhaps others do it differently.

     

    Well you can do that if you are wishing to sell as a PDF, but you will still need the cover's front as the Marketing Image in the Cover Wizard, but for printed books it has to be a file of pages and a separate cover because the Wizard or the printing machines do not read what is in the books and would have no idea what should be pages and what should be cover. I feel sure it's the same no matter how a book is printed.

  • But Kevin, that's the issue - it's been too simplified. As I said, this is my second book; I've done this (successfully) before. In case you're wondering, I'm a computing professional with some experience in user interface design (and incidentally a lot of work in OCR error correction and ebook creation).

     

    I would however respectfully suggest that the wizard should show a little more information as to what is happening - as it happens. Not in a knowledge base, of which the neophyte may be unaware, or even in a not-particularly-obvious 'what is happening here' popup.

     

    If a user is invited to upload files, there should be a big flag explaining what they are. In this case, it's not obvious that all files uploaded at this stage will be processed by Lulu to end up in the final print. Nor is it obvious in what order they might appear. One has the choice of individual chapters (perhaps uploaded months apart) or a single file but there is nothing to indicate this.

     

    Yes, the cover image size cannot be calculated until the page count is known. However, the page states that previously uploaded files may be selected. Since they are automatically included in the Lulu-processed text (and will be resized to fit, which is really weird if you have a full-cover image) this is a very strange result.

     

    So, first, there is a bug in the upload process (or in the text of the cover wizard), and secondly, there might be a better way of doing it - for example, allowing the user to make a collection of files and then select and order those required for both content and cover.

     

    I'm not complaining (much) here: I've resolved the issue for me. But I don't like to see broken things if they can be mended.

     

    Neil

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    But Kevin, that's the issue - it's been too simplified.

     

    It's a simple process. What is not simple is creating a document of correctly formatted pages to upload to the Wizard (same with a cover if one wishes to use one's own images) and that is done before one even starts to use a Wizard.

     

    As I said, this is my second book; I've done this (successfully) before.

     

    I am not sure how many I have done. My Project list runs to two pages. I recall the Wizards being far simpler, but for those who don't bother to read the Knowledge Base first, all those helpful links have been added to it.

     

    In case you're wondering, I'm a computing professional with some experience in user interface design

     

    I would also think Lulu's software engineers have, too, and they often update the site going off what people have suggested and from market research, and this is what they have so far come up with.

     

    (and incidentally a lot of work in OCR error correction and ebook creation).

     

    Handy, but Lulu do not use OCR and ePub/PDF e-book creation Wizards here are very simple using the the e-book Wizard and a docx. I even manage to DIY it at Amazon.  Smiley Happy

     

    I would however respectfully suggest that the wizard should show a little more information as to what is happening - as it happens.

     

    What's to know? It's creating Print Ready PDFs (for printed books) from whatever correct file types people upload to it, and creating an ePub in the e-book Wizard if using that Wizard. No one needs to know what it's doing or how as long as it does it. I have no idea how Word does what it does but I can still use it.

     

    Not in a knowledge base, of which the neophyte may be unaware, or even in a not-particularly-obvious 'what is happening here' popup.

     

    Ermm, but the Wizards are full of advice, links and even a pop-up or two for those who have not read the Knowledge base first. And the section tabs say what section one is currently in.

     

    If a user is invited to upload files, there should be a big flag explaining what they are. In this case, it's not obvious that all files uploaded at this stage will be processed by Lulu to end up in the final print.

     

    There is a pop-up to say what type of files are allowed and it also says it under the upload tool. It's a Project Wizard for the creation of a book. What do people expect it to be for?

     

    Nor is it obvious in what order they might appear.

     

    Huh? If one uploads multiple files then is it not logical it will knit them together in the order they are uploaded? But sensible people upload just one file of pages.

     

    One has the choice of individual chapters (perhaps uploaded months apart) or a single file but there is nothing to indicate this.

     

    There's nothing to indicate that one can upload multiple files either, and if Projects are dormant in Draft for a long time, Lulu will possibly delete them. There's no real reason to use a Project Wizard until you are ready to. Or to test it out.

     

    Yes, the cover image size cannot be calculated until the page count is known.

     

    Not true. It's the same size as the book's pages. If you mean for a one-piece cover then there is a Spine Calculator tool. But why would you need to know spine size until you have finished formatting the book and to the correct size of book you wish to create from Lulu's options? Then you will know page count. If you use the 'normal' Cover Wizard as I do, there's no need to know spine size, the Cover Wizard knows it.

     

    However, the page states that previously uploaded files may be selected.

     

    Indeed. You can pre-upload them to My Files and use them in a Project Wizard from there. It's the only way to upload files above 300mb (I think it is) via FTP, or whatever, for use in the Wizards

     

    Since they are automatically included in the Lulu-processed text

     

    Huh? Only if you place them in a Wizard while using a Wizard, otherwise they are just 'stock' in your My Files section.

     

    (and will be resized to fit, which is really weird if you have a full-cover image) this is a very strange result.

     

    But the file/s you use should already be of the correct size. I have no idea what you mean.

     

    So, first, there is a bug in the upload process (or in the text of the cover wizard),

     

    What bug? Resize is not a bug and it will not do that if things are already of the right size and there's no reason they should not be if you have prepared them for what you are trying to create.

     

    and secondly, there might be a better way of doing it - for example, allowing the user to make a collection of files and then select and order those required for both content and cover.

     

    It does. My Files, within your My Projects.

     

    I'm not complaining (much) here: I've resolved the issue for me. But I don't like to see broken things if they can be mended.

     

    They are not broken. 1000s a day use them, but perhaps they spend more time finding out how? Self is part of Self-Publishing.

     

    There's large text Learn at the top of most pages.

     

    http://www.lulu.com/learn

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