Posts: 0
Accepted Solution

InDesign PDF / book template

I'm creating a book in InDesign. I wanted to create a single PDF for all the interior pages and a separate one for the cover(s).

A few questions:

1) Everywhere I look on the site, it seems there's an assumption that the authors will be uploading Word files. Can I just upload a completed InDesign PDF instead of going through Word? Will there be any formatting problems? (I have extensive experience in magazine and newspaper layouts, so I know about creating a print-ready PDF for most press formats, but I need to know if Lulu's press is signifcantly different.)

2) I've downloaded the template for a perfect-bound 6x9", but the template is a Word document. This wouldn't be such a problem - I could just turn it into a PDF or graphic file and bring it into InDesign, then use that as the template - but for the fact that the Word template does not include any guides for live area; it's basically looking at a blank page, with no indications of margins, so it's useless to me. Are there any alternate templates that I can use (.jpg, .eps), or can I find the measurements for page/live area/trim somewhere else on the site?

3) I've looked around the site but I cannot find any mention of a PROOF. This makes me nervous...I can't, and won't, send anything to the press without proofing it. Is there no 'electronic proof' option for Lulu?

Sorry for all the questions, but it seems my graphic design & layout career has hurt me rather than helped me in this Lulu venture...

Any and all help/advice is much appreciated.
Posts: 0

Re: InDesign PDF / book template

One more question:

I've downloaded and installed the 'Lulu' printing options for Adobe Acrobat/Distiller; will this automatically generate a PDF acceptable for the Lulu printers, or are there any other considerations I must make regarding color, etc? (All I know so far is to leave images RGB.)
Editor
Belinda D'Alessandro
Posts: 1,276
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: InDesign PDF / book template

1) Yes, you can just upload an InDesign PDF without issue. I’ve done it.

2) No, there are no templates offered, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. There’s no printing on the inside of the cover and the first page of your interior bookblock will be a recto page. You can use the facing pages setting, but your bookblock PDF needs to be exported as single pages rather than spreads.

The preset preferred by the distribution printer is the PDF/X-1a:2001 preset, although for black and white documents you can use the High Quality Print or Press presets (all 3 of which will take care of the “using facing pages but export as singles” issue). If it’s a colour document, use the PDF/X-1a:2001 preset. For a 6x9 book without the full bleed effect, you need to size your InDesign document (and exported PDF) to 6x9 as you need to upload a PDF at the same size as the document you want printed.

The whole page is basically live, but if you’re doing a text heavy document, you’ll want to set your margins (including your running headers and footers on your master pages) at a minimum of 0.5” and all text 0.5” away from the edges of the page (especially if you want a distribution package, to make your book available on Amazon and other online retailers) to keep any live text 0.5” away from the edge of the page. For image heavy documents, if you want the full bleed effect (and so long as any text in an image within 0.5” of the edge of the page is rasterised and flattened into the image and isn’t selectable as it would be if it’s text inserted into InDesign that shouldn’t be an issue), you’ll need to set up your document with equal bleeds of 0.125” and export with the bleeds enabled as the PDF needs to be 0.25” larger than the final printed document. The instructions for full bleed are here: http://www.lulu.com/en/help/fullbleed

Although, for the cover, I use Photoshop CS3 for cover creation and there’s an excellent script mentioned in this thread http://www.lulu.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=79575
It will set you up a Photoshop document at the correct size for your cover with trim guides http://www.lonesomemoose.com/lulu/

3) Your PDF is your electronic proof. If you’re uploading a PDF, Lulu’s converter won’t make any changes to it. For those uploading documents other than a PDF (such as a Word document), there is the opportunity to download the PDF that Lulu’s converter creates from the Word (or other) document uploaded at the last (or second to last) step in the wizard before the book is “published” and available for printing. You will be able to download your PDF at the same stage (but since you’re creating it and Lulu’s converter won’t make any changes to it, you’ll already have your electronic proof :wink: ).

If you only want to sell on the Lulu MarketPlace, there’s no formal requirement to buy a printed proof but it’s a good idea to get one anyway. The way to do that before you make your book generally available (on your storefront and searchable, eventually, in the Lulu search function) is to keep your book set at Direct Access and order a printed copy before setting the book to General Access. There’s no formal approval process for the Lulu MarketPlace.

If you want to sell outside Lulu, then the printers that do the distribution printing require that you order a printed copy (even if you’ve already ordered one prior to attaching a distribution package to your project, and you’ll be required to order a second printed copy) and formally approve it before it can enter the distribution system.

4) As to your next question see my comment regarding using the Adobe presets. I haven’t used the Lulu joboptions file, but one of the 3 Adobe presets I mentioned and never had any issues. Although Lulu does recommend not changing the colourspace of an image, Lulu’s print partners print using CMYK and, although your images may look fine in RGB on your monitor, you may need to make some colour corrections after they’re printed in CMYK (and you’ll only know that after you’ve received a printed copy to get the colours looking the way you want them to).
Kind Regards
Belinda D'Alessandro
Author, Managing Editor BDA Books
Website: http://www.bdabooks.com.au
My Lulu Store: http://stores.lulu.com/bdabooks
Posts: 0

Re: InDesign PDF / book template

Wow, thanks, Belinda - super thorough and quick, too. Much appreciated.

I know that theoretically the PDF I upload will look the exact same as the final print, but I've been surprised before in both newspapers and magazines.

That leads to another question: Since it's so easy nowadays to convert text to outlines in InDesign, would that be a preferable option? Just eliminate any fonts altogether, to avoid any incompatibilities?

But your point on purchasing a proofing copy is a good one. That's the best way to eliminate any doubts.

(Regarding the RGB/CMYK color mode: There was another thread on these forums that recommended leaving pictures as RGB, but it goes against everything I'd learned in printing, so I'm taking your advice and making them all CMYK.)

Thanks again!
Editor
Belinda D'Alessandro
Posts: 1,276
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: InDesign PDF / book template

"Mark Brill" wrote:

That leads to another question: Since it's so easy nowadays to convert text to outlines in InDesign, would that be a preferable option? Just eliminate any fonts altogether, to avoid any incompatibilities?


--

So long as your fonts are embedded in the PDF (which, if you've got colour images as well as text, the PDF/X-1a:2001 preset will take care of embedding the fonts), it shouldn't be a problem. I've got a couple of private projects not available on my storefronts where I had both photos and text and used the PDF/X-1a:2001 preset (and I didn't convert the text to outline, but made sure they were embedded) and had absolutely no issues with printing.

"Mark Brill" wrote:

(Regarding the RGB/CMYK color mode: There was another thread on these forums that recommended leaving pictures as RGB, but it goes against everything I'd learned in printing, so I'm taking your advice and making them all CMYK.)


--

I personally found that my images printed better after I'd Photshopped them and tweaked the colour using the CMYK colourspace rather than leaving them in RGB. (It took me ages to do it but, as they were family photos, the family "preferred being touched up" a bit :roll: )
Kind Regards
Belinda D'Alessandro
Author, Managing Editor BDA Books
Website: http://www.bdabooks.com.au
My Lulu Store: http://stores.lulu.com/bdabooks
Author
darduncan
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎04-30-2010

Re: InDesign PDF / book template

I'm a Graphic Designer. I will be using InDesign and creating a pdf. Thanks! This discussion answered a lot of my questions.

Author
Geke
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

Re: InDesign PDF / book template

When I choose the Lulu presets for PDF exporting (in Mac InDesign CS4), I get some warning about colours. I don't get this error when I choose the PDF/X-1a:2001 presets, probably because they have "convert colours to CMYK" activated, where the Lulu presets have that disabled.
Otherwise, I didn't see much difference, except that Lulu presets downsample images more quickly (e.g. colour images: above 300dpi, instead of above 450).
Sorry not to describe the warning more precisely--I did that in my first post here, which somehow didn't take, it seems.

Maybe Belinda can explain what's the importance of that "convert colours" setting? I mean, could that warning be an indicator that my document isn't set up properly?

Reader
robertlcrabb
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-15-2014

Re: InDesign PDF / book template

Thank you very, very much. I'm using InDesign on Mac - and nowhere on LULU could I find any information for Mac users. Your information was very concise.

Professor
kevinlomas
Posts: 17,765
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: InDesign PDF / book template

You are aware this thread is 4 years old and the postings may no longer be relevant?

Lulu is an advocate for global consumer privacy rights, protection and security. Copyright © 2002-2014 Lulu Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.