Mandatory Print Book Distribution Requirements
The industry requires that your book adhere to certain standards, and it is up to you to ensure your books meet these requirements. If your book is submitted before it meets these requirements, it will be rejected and your book distribution will be delayed while you make the corrections to bring your book into compliance.
Your book must comply with the following requirements to be eligible for distribution.
Requirements for all book covers
- The title and author name must be present on the front cover of your book and must match the metadata you provided for your book. What is metadata?
- If including the retail price on the cover, it must exactly match the retail price for the book. Lulu does not add the price to the book cover.
- Lulu recommends that you do not display prices in multiple currencies on your cover. If you include a retail price on the cover, choose the currency in which the book was originally priced, otherwise daily currency fluctuations will create a mismatch between the price printed on the cover and the actual retail price, resulting in your book being rejected for distribution.
- Keep all important text and images at least 0.375"/0.9525 cm (.25"/0.635 cm bleed area + .125"/0.3175 cm safety area) from all sides (including the spine) of the cover. This area may be trimmed off or obscured by the cover bend.
- IMPORTANT: B&W 8.5 x 11"/21.59 x 27.94 cm books will be printed at 8.25" x 11"/20.955 x 27.94 cm through the retail channels. You may need to increase the distance of any text or images from the edges to take these dimensions into account.
- Spine text can be printed on books containing 80 or more pages.
NOTE: While Lulu and many of our print partners can print spine text on books with as few as 80 pages, some retail printers require books to contain at least 130 pages to print on the spine. Therefore when ordering from different retailers, you should expect inconsistencies in spine printing for books with 80-130 pages.
- Spine text must be at least .0625" / 0.159 cm away from all edges of the spine.
- Additional requirements for one-piece covers:
- Use these dimensions.
- Cover must have correct 13-digit ISBN/EAN.
- Bar codes must be provided in black and white.
- Bar codes should be 1.75" wide x 1" high (4.445 x 2.54 cm).
Requirements for book interiors
- If you are uploading your manuscript in PDF format, it must be created using a suitable PDF creation software. For more information, see: Recommended PDF Creation Programs.
- If you are uploading a manuscript in Microsoft office or another word processing format, Lulu will convert it to PDF format.
- Embed all fonts (and all font family members used) when distilling the PDF.
- Printing is not available on the inside of front and back covers. This means your first page starts on the right hand side.
- Book must have a Title page, which must match the metadata Title you provided.
- Book must have a Copyright page with your correct 13-digit ISBN/EAN and a copyright notice. The Copyright page must come after the Title page. Example:
© 2014 Lulu Author. All rights reserved.
- Final page of each book must be completely blank. No page numbers, headers, footers, lines, etc.
- Margins must be at least .5"/1.27 cm on all sides. The left margin must be equal to the right margin, and the top margin must be equal to the bottom margin.
- Depending on the binding style selected, a gutter, or additional left margin, may be added to the document. Click here for a pictorial depiction of margins and gutter
- Page numbering must be correct. No page numbers may be skipped or repeated. A page can go without a number, but it must be counted and consistent. Each page must have only one page number. If you include a table of contents, the pagination in your manuscript must match the pagination in the table of contents.
- There should be no more than two (2) consecutive blank pages at the start or middle of an interior file, and/or 10 consecutive blank pages at the end of an interior file. For readers, excessive blank pages can be mistaken for missing or unprinted text. If you wish to use blank pages, you must indicate that the page is intended to be blank. For example, you may use lines running across the page to signify a place for writing or note taking or use a header stating the page is for “Notes” or was “Intentionally Left Blank."
- All files should be submitted at high-resolution (between 300 dpi and 600dpi).
- If you include old or historical images, please add a caption describing the image. Images with old or degraded contents may be rejected by retailers if they do not include a caption.
- If any page in the book will have color or images that extend to the edge of a page (full bleed), format the entire document according to the full bleed specifications.
- There can be no mention or insinuation of a CD-ROM or any additional inserts being included with your book.
- Text must be clear and readable, no overlapping text layers, cut off text, or poorly scanned text images.
Requirements for the Publishing Wizard
- Limit the character count for the title to 200 characters or less.
- Book Description, Author and Title must use a Latin Character set. We cannot accept Russian, Chinese, Japanese and other non-Latin characters or symbols. If non-Latin characters are used the ISBN will not be sent to the ISBN agency.
- The book's description must consist of at least 50 characters, excluding blank spaces, and cannot simply repeat the title. The book's description should not include any links.
The requirements listed above are the most common guidelines for distributing your work through Lulu. Please keep in mind that our distribution partners may update or add requirements at their discretion, which may result in your project being rejected for distribution.