eBook Retail Distribution Guidelines
For information on the Manage Distribution page for eBooks click here.
If an eBook does not adhere to the guidelines below, it will be rejected from retail distribution channels.
We recommend testing your EPUB on an EPUB reader device or software before publishing your project.
The maximum recommended EPUB size is 500 MB.
- A validated ePub file:
- You can bring us an ePub
- You can bring us your well formatted .doc, .docx or .rtf file and we can convert that file into an ePub for you in our eBook wizard!
- Do it yourself: Convert your manuscript to ePub (Can I convert my manuscript to EPUB on my own?)
- Formatting issues similar to the following will cause rejection:
- DTBook EPUBs are not supported; submit EPUBs built with XHTML specifications
- Text is cut off
- Overlapping text or images
- Poor quality images
Ex: blurry, pixelated or cut off images
- Unreadable charts, tables, and maps
- Missing, incomplete, unreadable, or inaccurate Table of Contents (NCX Information)
- Working links in the NCX must accurately reflect each chapter heading, section, and subsection. (i.e. Copyright Page, Title Page, Acknowledgments/Preface, Notes/Footnotes, Sections, Headings, Subheadings, Author/Biography Pages, Further Information/Resources Pages)
- EPUB file is incomplete (Example: missing chapters)
- Bad transcoding in the EPUB file. This is commonly caused from improperly encoding the text in UTF-8 or UTF-16 format. (Example: Äù ‚Äô ‚Äú ‚Ä¢ displaying instead of quotes, apostrophes, or bullets)
- Page numbers still in eBook
- Headers and footers still in eBook
- Entire pages as scanned images that include burnt-in text
- Images with embedded text
- Areas for writing
Ex: fill-in-the-blanks, workbooks or areas for notes
- Multiple blank pages (a blank page at the end of a chapter is ok)
- Properly formatted text: Ex Not garbled or improperly spaced
- Images must be saved in RGB format.
- Cover art and title must match metadata title.
- Metadata is the equivalent to project data – Author, Title, Subtitle, Description, etc. Metadata is used to catalog and market digital content.
- Cover art must be of good quality
Ex: Blurry, pixelated, etc. images will be rejected
- Cover art cannot contain advertisements or links to competitor sites or products
- Cover art cannot mention included materials that don’t exist in the digital product
Ex: CD, poster, etc.
- Cover art may not reference pricing, the physical edition or include any other wording that may not apply to the digital edition
- Cover art cannot up-sell to a version of the product that is more complete.
- Cover art cannot contain a price
- Cover art should look complete. Borders on the sides make the image appear small, improperly converted or incomplete
- A photo of an existing print book cannot be used for your marketing image.
Title and Description:
- Title must match everywhere: metadata, cover, and book's title page.
- Regardless of how they appear elsewhere, title and subtitle must be correctly capitalized in the metadata. The first letter of all words in the title and subtitle should be capitalized, except for the following words: a, an, and, for, from, of, or, the, to. The first and last word of the title and subtitle should always be capitalized.
- Subtitles are particularly important for differentiating multiple books in a series that share the same title.
- Titles beginning with articles should display properly
EX: A Tale of Two Cities, not Tale of Two Cities, A
- Titles and subtitles cannot include references to price such as Free, Complimentary, Reduced Price, or Low Price.
- Must have a valid description; specifically, do not use the title as the description.
- Must consist of at least 50 characters, excluding blank spaces.
- Must be unique, not a generic description used repeatedly for multiple eBook projects.
- Cannot contain any advertisements or links.
- Cannot include references to price such as Free, Complimentary, Reduced Price, or Low Price.
- Cannot include HTML tags.
Ex: fonts, lists
- No mention of included materials that don’t exist in the digital product.
Ex: CD, poster, etc.
- Cannot up-sell to a version of the product that is more complete.
- Cannot mislead buyers or misrepresent the eBook
Ex: An illustrated guide containing no illustrations or pictures
- Improperly formatted HTML tags in the description can cause a garbled description in retail channels.
- Do not use character entity references in the description
Ex: <, >, etc.
- Do not use font sizes in the description
Ex: <font face=”Helvetica” size=”3”>
- Use of HTML lists in description
- Regardless of how they appear on the cover, author names must be correctly spelled and capitalized in metadata. Do not enter author names in all capital letters.
- Author names must match everywhere: metadata, cover, and book's title page
- First name should appear before the last name
Ex: Bob Young, not Young, Bob
- Author names must also be correctly capitalized in the metadata.
- Do not enter author names in all capitals.
- All main authors who are equally credited on the cover art and eBook must be entered individually. If a book has more than one author, do not omit an author or combine both authors in one field. This is called a “compound artist.” Compound artists prevent retail channels from identifying individual authors. Customers then can’t find the book when searching for an individual author.
Content and Genres:
- Retail Channels reserve the right to select the genre for an eBook; the most appropriate genre will be chosen to aid the customer in finding the eBook. Ensure the best genre is chosen, by selecting the correct category in the eBook Wizard.
- Erotica or adult content must be categorized appropriately
- All content must comply with Lulu’s membership agreement
- Illegal content is not allowed in retail distribution channels
- Content's language must be in English
- Must not contain public domain content
- Repurposed Project Gutenberg content is not allowed
- Do not include any advertisements or prices
- No invalid links or links to online booksellers
- For multimedia EPUBs, "Enhanced Edition" should be added to the title