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Gutter width

I've just uploaded a preliminary version of a 551-page book I'm working on to Lulu xPress, and have a question about the inside margin and gutter width.

This is for an Executive size book (7 x 10"). The uploaded PDF file is 7.25 x 10.25, to account for the "bleed area" as specified in the instructions at Lulu. Word 2007 was used to create the file, with margins set at

     Top       1.0
     Bottom    0.875
     Inside    0.75
     Outside   0.75
     Gutter    0.3

and header and footer positions both set at 0.625.

These margins exceed those shown in the PDF and Word templates at Lulu, which are 0.625 on all four sides. Various articles at the web site suggest a gutter width of 0.2-0.3, and the Word template uses 0.3.

But when looking at the result in the "Review your book" step at Lulu xPress, text appears in the blue area at the inside of the pages, indicating that the gutter margin (i.e., Word's inside margin plus gutter) is too narrow, by almost 0.2". Do I need to increase the gutter width?

I don't know how Lulu determines the size of the margins displayed in the "Review your book" step. Does the margin width shown at the inside of the pages depend on the number of pages? If so, is there a table or formula for suggested gutter width for a specific number of pages, like there is for the spine width?

I don't know how serious this is, and I'd rather not reformat this book if it's not necessary. I'm tempted to leave it as is, and see what it looks like in print (2-3 months from now when it should be finished) before changing anything.

Comments

  • Hmm, your margins seem right. There shouldn't be overlap on the gutter with those specs. 

    I'm thinking this might be something to contact support regarding. Without actually looking at the file/preview, I doubt I can troubleshoot the issue.

  • Thanks, I'll do that.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    cetowne said:
    I've just uploaded a preliminary version of a 551-page book I'm working on to Lulu xPress, and have a question about the inside margin and gutter width.

    This is for an Executive size book (7 x 10").


    The actual size of the book should not have a bearing on the margin sizes.

     The uploaded PDF file is 7.25 x 10.25, to account for the "bleed area" as specified in the instructions at Lulu.


    I make no allowances for Bleed at all. I create my pages to the exact size of the book. If a book is pure text, and/or everything is within the 'standard' margins, I see no need for Bleed. This is what it says on Lulu >>   "Bleed is necessary if you want images, lines, or colors to go all the way to the edge of the book's page. Click here for more information about bleed settings."


     Word 2007 was used to create the file, with margins set at

         Top       1.0
         Bottom    0.875
         Inside    0.75
         Outside   0.75

    They do seem rather large, to me that is. I have found that the minimum is 0.5" all around, which even allows for trimming without the text getting much closer than that to the edges. (The trimming now seems far more accurate than it used to be!)
    Above 0.5" is a personal choice, but with POD being expensive I tend to go for more content per page.

         Gutter    0.3

    I would say that depends on page count, the more pages the bigger the Gutter. Also on the binding type, some being stiffer than others.

    and header and footer positions both set at 0.625.


    I have been using the same self-made template for years, but I am sure that the Headers push the margin down, and the Footer pushes it up. So your margin settings will be below/above them with quite a lot of white space. 

    These margins exceed those shown in the PDF and Word templates at Lulu, which are 0.625 on all four sides.

    That is indeed adequate.

     Various articles at the web site suggest a gutter width of 0.2-0.3, and the Word template uses 0.3.

    But it does depend on page count, it surprise me it does not say so.

    But when looking at the result in the "Review your book" step at Lulu xPress, text appears in the blue area at the inside of the pages, indicating that the gutter margin (i.e., Word's inside margin plus gutter) is too narrow, by almost 0.2". Do I need to increase the gutter width?

    I cannot answer that because I don't use LuluXpress, but does it show you the actual dimensions as a figure? If not then it's surely hard to judge.

    I don't know how Lulu determines the size of the margins displayed in the "Review your book" step. Does the margin width shown at the inside of the pages depend on the number of pages?

    I would not think so. If anything like the Project Wizards here it does not change any page content. The Print Ready PDF it creates here is normally WYSIWYG, but downloading it does allow you to print out a sample page.

     If so, is there a table or formula for suggested gutter width for a specific number of pages, like there is for the spine width?

    I don't know how serious this is, and I'd rather not reformat this book if it's not necessary. I'm tempted to leave it as is, and see what it looks like in print (2-3 months from now when it should be finished) before changing anything.

    Well, as I often say, the proof is in the Proof. It's one of the reasons to buy a Proof to see if it's how you expected it to be, and if it is not, then you make adjustments to the original file and upload that. (If like the Project Wizards here (which I am now begining to approve of even more!) you need to delete the original file within the tool before you upload the new one, or it will merge them in to one book.)

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