Formatting Illustrated Children's Book Help

I am putting together a manuscript for a color illustrated children's book in size 8.5 x 8.5 inches that will be published. Besides the title and copyright pages and maybe an about the author page all the other pages are illustrations with text on them.


I am doing the manuscript in MS Word, which I will then save as a pdf directly in Word. My margins are set at .5 inches on all four sides. Pasting the illustrations into the manuscript creates a white space around the four sides of the illustrations because of the margins.


When the book is printed the illustrations should take up the entire page and not have any white space around it. What do I need to do to make sure the illustrations take up the entire page? Will simply making the manuscript 8.75 x 8.75 inches instead of 8.5 x 8.5 inches do the trick or is there something else I need to do? What size do the illustrations themselves need to be?


Also, if I make the manuscript 8.75 x 8.75 inches what will happen to the text in the non-illustration pages? Will it stay within the margins or not?  


And about page numbering: do I have to insert page numbers into the manuscript? And how do I do it if the illustrations are to take up the entire page?


  • Hello Lovebug,


    Make it 8.75x8.75. Make sure your doc, images and PDFare that size. Pages with text only, use the indent left and right feature. one inch left one inch right.


    No page number in picture books. Look at Robert Munsch books. He's sold millions.


    Let us know if you have any more questions.

     A citizen of the world.

  • So the margins I should still keep at .5 inches on all four sides?

  • It sounds like what you want is a full bleed. Here's a link that might help:


    I think there are a couple more articles on the subject. Do a search for "full bleed pages" if you that still doesn't answer your question. Good luck!

  • I looked at that. 

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Margins are the borders of content, if you wish to have content go right to the edges then set the margins right to the edges. Word is a bit of a pest in that you cannot get ride of them.

    What you have to take care of is Trimming and binding. You don't want anything important to be trimmed off at the edges or lost in the binding, not forgetting that anything within the bound edges still needs to be readable without having to force the book flat and breaking it.


    There's no real way around it other than to read and understand this >>


    But basically it's saying add a bit extra to the page dimensions. The only real way to tell if you did it right is by ordering a Proof. Set the Project on Private until you are happy with it.

  • Lovebug,


    Set margins at zero all around. That is why you will use indent left and right on text only pages.

     A citizen of the world.

  • My pages are prepared as jpg. I have sized them 8.50 x 11.00 for anow 8.50 x 11.00 soft cover saddle stitch book. When I preview my pages, they appear to be cut off at the right side.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    You do have to allow for binding. If you were using a docx that would be accounted for using Margins and Gutters (the latter an allowance on the bound edge for the binding) so with a jpg you also need Margins and a Gutter

  • Thanks. So, what I see in the preview is what the printed page will look like?
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    The preview of the PR PDF as seen in the Project Wizard? Yes. But the real test is buying and looking at a printed Proof.


    BTW. You do know that the coilbound books cannot have ISBNs?

  • So the illustrated children's book manuscript was done in Word into which I pasted all the illustrations (which were 300 dpi) and then saved as PDF. When I uploaded the manuscript (the PDF file) to Lulu I got the following message:


    Your print-ready file is complete. We recommend addressing the following:


    We detected low resolution images in your file (pages 5-35). For best results we recommend image resolution of 300ppi.


    I tried to insert the images into the Word doc instead of pasting them and I made sure that the box is checked for Do Not Compress Image in file. Saved the file as PDF and uploaded to Lulu but get the same message.


    I thought that perhaps I'd be able to set default target output for images to 300 dpi but I can't enter my own number. Have to choose from the list and the highest number available is 220.


    I also tried this in Word - Export > Create PDF/XPS Document. Uploaded that to Lulu but got same message.


    I do not want the printed book to look bad. When viewing the PDF file from Lulu the images seem to look clear, not blurry at all, no matter which of the three files I upload (images pasted into Word & file saved as pdf, images inserted into Word & file saved as pdf, export > create pdf instead of using save as pdf). 


    If I ignore the message and publish the book will the book look bad?







  • Some times it's just a default recommendation. If it looks OK in the Wizard's PR PDF Preview then it may be OK. If it really does not like anything it will pop up warnings before it converts.


    There are many picture options in Word though, and I think one is changing the resolution. That should pass over to Save As PDF.

  • I've edited my previous reply... can you look at that please.

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