HELP! Can't get past the "Print-ready File" screen.



Working on what is basically a graphic novel. I've tested out the size/layout/print already to make sure everything works.. even ordered a test book.. worked fine. But the final product is 530 pages, and the PDF is 920mb. I uploaded to the FTP just fine, but it errors out when I try to make a print-ready file.


I've tried multiple times. No luck. I've flattened the PDF and made sure my font (for page numbers only) was embedded... and changed to PDF version 1.3... re-uploaded... still no luck. Then I split up into chunks and avoided the FTP and just uploaded files that were ~200mb each and put them in order... hit the "make print-ready file" button... still errors out.


Lastly, I ONLY uploaded one of the ~200mb files by itself and it worked. Then I tried two at once and that worked! So that tells me there is nothing wrong with the formatting... just something to do with the file size. Is there anyway around this? I've been toiling for 2 days trying different formats and different ways to upload the same thing and I'm getting nowhere. Tech support tickets remain open, even called customer service to no avail.


Please help. I'm losing my mind. 


  • wildwindwildwind Publisher

    Lulu's doesn't accept files larger than 1 GB and as yours is less than this and the page numbers are less than the maximums accepted it must just be the large size of the file causing the problem. The converter does hang sometimes.


    Are you actually getting an error message or is the progress bar simply not reaching the end. If the latter you could try logging off and checking in later.


    What programme are you using to create your PDF? You might want to try using doPDF as that seems to work very well with the converter.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Each image should be no more and no less than 300 dpi. This will result in a much smaller file.

     A citizen of the world.

  • I uploaded the 3rd PDF (3 at once) and when I clicked "Make Print-ready file" it runs and fills about 90% of the orange progress bar, then just hangs there and never completes. I thought maybe something was wrong with the 3rd file, so I deleted the other 2 and tried the 3rd by itself... worked fine. 


    I moved on to splitting the full book into just 2 files and trying that. I used the FTP for this. Same thing, it just hangs.


    The error messages came on for the full/single file and were just unhelpful... "We had trouble locating your file"... so I'm just stabbing blindly into the goop.


    I used Photoshop to create the initial PDF, then Acrobat to add the page numbers. 

  • All the images are 300dpi. And as I said.. it's mostly working. It's just not getting over the main hump.


    Becauase I've split it up into separate files, I can say with some confidence that it's failing around the 550-800mb mark... still a ways away from 1gb. 


    *Gonna upload another one, close the tab and walk away and try to sleep for now. 


  • HI Luke,

    I'll check with the customer service rep who has your case, but I have a suspicion the problem is the file we're creating. Even though your file is under 1GB, post conversion the file might expand slightly, and could be causing the error.

    Regardless of the cause, we'll get someone to take a look at this and help find a solution.
  • Thanks Paul_Lulu. I'm looking forward to being done and clicking "buy"!
  • Got an email from customer service, but no solution yet. They said to try splitting up the file, which I've already done. Then said to delete the old projects and start fresh... still no luck.


    Any other options I can try? 


    Since I've already ordered a proof book and know my formatting works... can someone just force the PDFs through without me looking at a print-ready proof?

  • Change the name of the file uploaded. I always have problems uploading then after correction I upload and it won't I try again and again, then I remember I forgot to change files name. For instance uploading APPLE JONES, then if I have to upload after corrections, I must change name to APPLE or something like that. I don't know if your issue is that simple, but try that ~ keep writing!
  • Good point, but I've been doing that as I go with each new file. Still no luck.


    Tonight I even tried 3 different browsers, all the same results. Pretty sure it's on Lulu's side, something to do with the conversion.


    Still just waiting. 

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    Is there nothing you can do to reduce the size of your book as it would appear that it is this that is causing the problem?


    Presumably you ordered a proof copy of just a portion of your book? When you get this final draft uploaded and converted you will have to order another copy; that is just the way it works.

  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Teacher

    It takes time to diagnos tech issues, in years past I was there on the problem solving side.

    lukeiswho wrote:

    Good point, but I've been doing that as I go with each new file. Still no luck.


    Tonight I even tried 3 different browsers, all the same results. Pretty sure it's on Lulu's side, something to do with the conversion.


    Still just waiting. 


  • 4 day long story short - I got something to work that I can live with. Tech support said their server has a time limit for uploads, but as the actual uploads all went through without issue over FTP, there is obviously something else causing the issue with the creation of the print-ready file on the back end. I didn't have the will power to continue to wait for tech support emails, so I just took the "lower the image quality" bullet and moved on.


    I experimented for a number of hours with ppi vs "jpeg quality" of the images in Photoshop, and different forms of compression inside the PDF, etc and uploaded them all until one magically went through...


    For anyone having this issue... I ended up sticking with 300ppi but lowered the jpeg quality to 9. (the slider that shows up when you go to save the image in Photoshop) This brought my total size from around 900mb to just under 700mb... which is actually the magic number for Lulu. (I don't know how 1gb comes into play) Anyway, to my eye, 9 vs 12 was no different, but lowering the ppi was very noticeable. Especially the amount I had to lower it to make it go through. (~220ppi)


    So in short - my process: jpegs set to 300ppi, jpeg quality 9 > pdf created in photoshop > page numbers added in acrobat... keep the file size under 700mb > play very loud music to help distract the brain from getting frustrated > lots of sugar. 

  • I've just started and received the same error roughly about 12 times (LOL).

    At the upload screen there is an option to have system email you once the upload has completed. Just to see, I selected to be emailed and haven't had a problem since.

    Hope this works for you!
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