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Printer still inserting pages on a document that's divisible by 4?

Hello,

I'm putting together a fiction book that I only plan to sell to a few friends and acquaintances (but it's mostly for my own use). The project file itself is 496 pages (in the pocketbook format, mind). Clearly, that is a number which is divisible by 4. I got my proof copies in the mail today and found that, despite that, the printer had inserted two extra pages (one extra sheet).

What really worries me about this issue is that, because the printer is putting out extra pages, that's causing the spine measurements to the be incorrect and the cover is thus off-center. 

Are there nuances that I am missing? What is going on here?

Comments

  • RQKRQK Reader
    Okay. Would that also happen for non-proof books i.e. books that other people would buy?
  • TheJesusNinjaTheJesusNinja Teacher
    edited October 20
    I would think so. Support might have a better answer though. I just checked two books that I had printed out for me personally. Each had one blank page. One a full blank both sides and the other blank on one side.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I doubt just one extra leaf would make much difference to the spine in a 496 page book. Printers have been known to offset entire covers, which is their fault not yours.

    I recently had five A5s sent, and unfortunately without counting every single page in 280ish page books, I have no idea if any pages were added. Although Word tells the page count, in the actual book only the 'story' pages are numbered, and from 1. However, they seem the same to me.

  • RQKRQK Reader
    Thanks for the replies!

    Well, I'm glad that inserting pages isn't the issue (although it still seems strange). Is there anything that I can do to account for this offset? I made a one-piece cover and can adjust accordingly (since it seems all of the proofs that I've gotten have been shifted to the right, so they're all in the same direction).

    I mean, if I'm completely at the whims of the printer here, then it is what it is. But if there's an opportunity to account for how the printer seems to behave, then I might consider doing that.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    They do like blank pages. At least two at the back (they stick a printer's barcode on the last one.) Also, with hardbacks, they expect two or more blank leaves at each end because they become part of the binding.

    I would not worry about it, because mono printed pages cost very little. The full-colour cover (counted as full colour even if it's all B&W) accounts for a lot of the cost. But, if an entire book is in colour, each page is quite expensive. And the entire book has to be selected as Colour even if only one page has any on.

    There's none of these problems with e-books of course.  :)

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Well, I'm glad that inserting pages isn't the issue (although it still seems strange). Is there anything that I can do to account for this offset? I made a one-piece cover and can adjust accordingly (since it seems all of the proofs that I've gotten have been shifted to the right, so they're all in the same direction).

    OK. For what reason have you used the one-piece cover wizard? To have your logo on the spine? Or to have a dustjacket? Both? Because if neither of those things then there's no need to use the one-piece cover wizard, in which your measurements have to be quite precise.

    I use the 'New' Cover Wizard (the one that opens by default and is years old!)

    I use two jpgs the same size as my pages, one for the front and one for the back.

    I have learned that it's best if the images have a border around them because it helps with overcoming most alignment printing problems

    Before I drag them across to the templates, I make sure that (in the template) the front, the spine, and the back, are the same colour as the border, then I drag the images on to them (not into the frames, but delete the default text that is auto in them first or it will print. (Name, Title.) That way if the spine is slightly 'out'  it's impossible to notice.

    I have noticed that the front image is printed slightly to the right, and the rear slightly to the left, so while I am creating them on my PC I allow for that.

  • RQK: if it helps, the old rule of "divisible by 4" does not apply to print-on-demand printers like Lulu. In caveman days, books were printed on offset presses using larger sheets that were then folded down and bound into the book. There'd be 4 pages on a sheet in many cases, sometimes 16. Thankfully today you don't have to mess with that, and your finished book can be as many pages as you like.
       In books I've published on Lulu, the proof copy had an extra page with a barcode and "Proof" in giant letters. Not helpful, and it does affect your spine by about 0.002252 inch.   :smiley:
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    It is not an old rule, it's still valid, and nothing to do with the types of printing used (which Lulu do not do, anyway,) it's to do with the size of paper the machines use. They do not stick A5 in for an A5 book, or A4 for an A4 book, they use up to A0, possibly even larger, and slice it to size at the end of a print run. Divisible by 4 is still very valid.

    Lulu say this >> 

    Why are there blank pages at the back of my book?

    Lulu's global network of printers produce books based on the best fit for the job in a given region of the world. Some of the factors that determine where your book will print are; book size, binding type, order quantity, page count, delivery destination, etc. Based on those factors, your book could end up with additional blank pages at the back of your book depending on where the order is fulfilled. It is not a mistake or a defect in workmanship or process, it is simply an aspect of a highly automated global book production network. Minimize the potential for blanks by keeping your page count divisible by 4, and do not add additional blank pages yourself.

  • We also stand by the divisible by 4 rule because we have a network of printers around the world, so we want to provide as simple and universal a rule as possible to minimize variations.
    Regarding a barcode/Proof stamp - that is a bit odd. I know we had a printer who applied the barcode, though I thought we'd gotten them to stop doing that. I'm not aware of our printers print anything else on the blank pages. Might be worth checking with our support team on that one.
  • Holy cow! I was wrong, thank you for the correction. I'd love to see why pages might be added in POD machines. I still have PTSD from creating 16-up book layouts manually, where half the pages were upside down and the page order was a maze of weirdness that magically worked out in the end. Thankfully, machines do that now.
       Paul, I checked my shelves and can't find any books in the last eight years that have the giant "Proof" page added to the back. I do see it in CreateSpace books, so I think in trying to help here I mixed my memories and came up with a crap explanation. I'll be more careful.
  • No worries! We have had some printers create those 'id pages' at the back of the book, so I just like to keep track of those kinds of things and bring them to the attention of our print team.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Regarding a barcode/Proof stamp - that is a bit odd. I know we had a printer who applied the barcode, though I thought we'd gotten them to stop doing that. I'm not aware of our printers print anything else on the blank pages. Might be worth checking with our support team on that one.

    The paperbacks I have recently had delivered were all printed in the UK, and all had that strange barcode on the last page. Some older ones I have also have it, but not all, but seemingly at random!

    I forget the address they came from, but they are simply called Print on Demand.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    I think the 3rd book I created here was a 9.25" x 6.25" 200 page hardback and (once I got over the shock of its Cost) I noticed a lot of extra pages had been added. I had no idea the first and last pages are used in the binding of the hardbacks, and it had added those, plus more to apparently make it back up to divisible by four, or something!
  • Jamal_HusseinJamal_Hussein Morocco Writer
    It happened to me as well! I made a paperback book project, and ordered a copy to find two blank extra pages despite that my book page number was divisible by four.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Well, so far I have had no extra pages added to a Paperback.
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