We're aware of an issue with converting some DOC, DOCX, ODT, and RTF files to EPUB through our Ebook Wizard.
We've created this Forum Thread with some workarounds and advice to assist you in publishing you ebook.

New File-Size Limit for Distribution

Apparently there is a new limitation of 700 MB for a book to go to distribution.

I recently uploaded a 137 MB PDF for a new book.  It met all of the published Distribution Requirements.  When I downloaded the print-ready file for review, it had ballooned to 1,004 MB.  I was told this was too large to send to distribution channels, and I would have to reduce it below 700 MB.

This 152-page book contains 300 historical photos.  In order to reduce it to the new requirement I would have to eliminate a fourth of the book!  Why does the print-ready size become so large anyway?  Is it converted to a 4-color CMYK file?  Could Lulu modify its algorithm to create a smaller file?  Unfortunately there is no way for an author to know what the print-ready size will be until after creating a new revision, uploading the file, then downloading the print-ready file for review.  Perhaps Lulu could provide some guidance on how to predict what the final size will be.

A previous book of mine (Takhli in Color) had 500 photos and a print-ready size of 1,480 MB.  It has been selling on Amazon for the past three years, so I thought there would be no problem with this latest book.  I’m wondering if the new lower requirement is the result of the CreateSpace/KDP merger, and if Amazon is trying to persuade people to use KDP instead of Lulu!

I have contacted Lulu Support about this.  This posting is to alert others that there is a new limitation for sending a book to distribution.

Comments

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Apparently there is a new limitation of 700 MB for a book to go to distribution.

    I never knew there was an old one to do with distribution. I have never heard of anyone mentioning it, just a limitation of file size that can be uploaded to a Project Wizard.

    I recently uploaded a 137 MB PDF for a new book.

    Why is it so large? I have a 79 page A4 PDF photo album and it's 12mb. It is B&W though.

      It met all of the published Distribution Requirements.  When I downloaded the print-ready file for review, it had ballooned to 1,004 MB.

    I see no reason for that. Just to check, I have just downloaded the PR PDF for the above book, and it's the same file size as the one I uploaded.

      I was told this was too large to send to distribution channels, and I would have to reduce it below 700 MB.

    It does seem large, but I have never heard of such a restriction before. It does say this about uploads >>  "IMPORTANT:  Extremely large project files have a much higher incidence of transmission, conversion, and printing errors. To prevent these errors, the total file size of a Lulu project cannot exceed 1 GB." so why can a PR PDF not be 1gb?

    This 152-page book contains 300 historical photos.  In order to reduce it to the new requirement I would have to eliminate a fourth of the book!  Why does the print-ready size become so large anyway?

    I have no idea, if you are uploading a PDF in the first place! I am not sure what the Convertor even does at them! What is it converting? Although it may be decompressing something.

      Is it converted to a 4-color CMYK file?

    Is your PDF full colour to start with?

      Could Lulu modify its algorithm to create a smaller file?  Unfortunately there is no way for an author to know what the print-ready size will be until after creating a new revision, uploading the file, then downloading the print-ready file for review.  Perhaps Lulu could provide some guidance on how to predict what the final size will be.

    It would be handy if it did actually say what size the PR PDFs are.

    A previous book of mine (Takhli in Color) had 500 photos and a print-ready size of 1,480 MB.  It has been selling on Amazon for the past three years, so I thought there would be no problem with this latest book.  I’m wondering if the new lower requirement is the result of the CreateSpace/KDP merger, and if Amazon is trying to persuade people to use KDP instead of Lulu!

    I have searched Lulu to find out what the PR PDF file size should be, now or in the past, but cannot find anything. I did find this though >>

    Paul_Lulu Admin
    The file size is ballooning because the file you upload has compressed images. Part of preparing the file for printing involves "un-compressing" the file to check the quality of each image. When that happens, your file expands to the much larger size.

    This causes an error when you send a request for printing, as the printer has to download this larger file. Doing so causes a time out on the printer side.

    The original question does not say if it's a PDF or a docx though.

    I have contacted Lulu Support about this.  This posting is to alert others that there is a new limitation for sending a book to distribution.

    It will be interesting to hear what they say.
  • The file size restriction comes from our retail partners (primarily Amazon and Ingram) and is for the exact reason Kevin quoted me regarding above. If the file is too large, the printer's system will time out and cause a disruption in the printing process. As such, retailers have begun to set file size limits.

    See what our support team can do. I imagine there are some options, such as resizing your images, to get them to a state where they'll print well without creating a massive file.
  • Kevin, thanks for finding the “compressed images” reference, and Paul, thanks for indicating this may be the problem.  The file I uploaded was a full-color 152-page PDF.  It was produced in InDesign with 300 color JPEG photos placed within the text, then the whole thing was exported as a 137 MB PDF and uploaded to Lulu.  (If anyone wants to look it up, it’s available on the Lulu marketplace as “Locomotive Displays of Arizona - in color.”)

    So now I’m confused.  I thought once the file was converted to a PDF, the JPEG compression was no longer a factor.  Any suggestions on how to overcome this will be appreciated.  Should the images be converted to TIFFs, or PNGs, then re-inserted?  The only suggestion Support came up with was to submit a CMYK file instead of an RGB file.

    And I see a new line has been added to the Mandatory Print Book Distribution Requirements:  “Your print-ready file should be less than 600 MB.”  I wish, however, that one didn’t have to go through the whole revision process just to find out what the PR size ends up being.  Thanks!

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I have no idea about InDesign, but I know that with Word the file size of an image pasted to it usually remains the same even if resized on the page. I presume the original file size is the compressed one also, and as Paul says, the Convertor is uncompressing them.

    I have just looked at one of my images (poster art) and compressed it is 10mb, uncompressed it is 56mb. Over five times the size.

    If you do not already do so, you should always size an image to fit the page or frame, before you paste it in. And if InDesign does not adjust the DPI as Word's defaults do, I would look at what DPI they are.

  • A note on DPI - a few people here at Lulu have been experimenting this site to control image resolution: https://convert.town/image-dpi

    I would definitely look for some advice from our support team (as you mentioned, you have contacted them). I don't know enough about image compression to be sure, but we have folks on staff who know their stuff.
  • Well, I’m a bit embarrassed.  I began wondering why you guys thought this was an image compression problem, then discovered that the entire PDF was being compressed when it was created.  The default InDesign function for exporting files to PDF actually uses JPEG compression!  So I changed that option to NONE, and now it creates files of nearly the same size as the print-ready files downloaded from Lulu.  So it was NOT Lulu’s print-ready function that was creating hugely ballooned files, Lulu was merely decompressing what I had uploaded in the first place.
    I’m now convinced it is impossible to meet the new distribution limit of 600 MB for a 152-page full-color 8.5x11 book with 300 photos at 300-dpi resolution, unless I make the photos so small no one will buy the book.  I’m disappointed, because my past Amazon sales have been ten times higher than my Lulu sales, and I was looking forward to getting this present book into distribution.  At least it is available on the Lulu marketplace.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    I doubt POD machines print the pages of 'normal' books at 300dpi. I don't think even covers are even though it suggests using 300dpi in Help.

    Anyway, this is what Help says about it all >>  http://connect.lulu.com/en/discussion/33681, and it does suggest JPG compression.

    And there it still says 1gig.

    I think it's already been suggested, but create a Part 1 and a Part 2. POD can be restricting.


  • Kevin, whether it can be doubted or not, and regardless of what the suggestions are, the Mandatory Print Book Distribution Requirements (updated Oct 16) state the following:

    Under “Requirements for all book covers, additional requirements for one-piece covers”
    • All text and images should be high resolution (600 dpi).

    And under “Requirements for book interiors”
    • All files should be submitted at high-resolution (between 300 dpi and 600 dpi).
    • Your print-ready file should be less than 600 MB.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Lulu need to update their Help pages then :(
  • For distribution, we recommend 600mb or less because that's what our retail partners ask for.
    Our wizard and our printers can handle larger files, upwards of 1gb. So there's a bit of a discrepancy between the requirements two.
Sign In or Register to comment.