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Interior Formatting FAQ

Paul_LuluPaul_Lulu Admin
edited April 2019 in Interior Formatting

How can I make sure my images will print exactly as I want them to?

When you include illustrations, photographs and other images in your book, most times they will print correctly. There are a few things you can do to ensure the picture quality is what you expect.

  • If you are uploading images inside your own PDF, see PDF Creation Settings (How can I be sure my PDF will print correctly?).
  • Before uploading, print your source document and review how the images print.
  • If you are uploading a PDF, print the PDF and review how the images translated into the PDF.
  • After Lulu converts your file, you must view and approve the conversion. Click View, then use your browser's print function to print a review copy.

If you plan to upload your document for conversion to PDF, embed any separate images in your document before uploading. That is, save them with the document file. Do not include or link to them by reference. Not embedding images can produce undesirable printing results.

Can I use images if I am not their copyright owner?

In addition to the written word, images are also protected by copyright. Even if a certain work of art is in the public domain, the photographer may hold the copyright for the image. If this is the case, you must have the copyright holder's permission to use the image.

Can I use an image if I do not intend sell my work?

Lulu is a strong supporter of copyright laws and does not allow the publication of intellectual property without permission from the original creator regardless of whether the work is for your sole use or is intended for sale to others. For more information, see Lulu Membership Agreement: Content.

For more information about Copyrights and Lulu, see:
Copyright Infringement FAQ
Lulu Copyright and Intellectual Property Notice

What resolution (DPI) should my images have to achieve optimum print quality?

We've tested print quality at various resolutions and found that 300dpi is the optimum resolution. 600dpi is our limit at this time, but any improvement in print quality over 300dpi is not noticeable, and the file size is huge.

All images must be fully formatted before inserting them into your document. This includes adjusting size and resolution using a photo editor like Photoshop or you can use an online resolution converter like Convert Town.

Should I use CMYK, RGB or grayscale images?

Print Books

Lulu offers options for Full Color and Black & White interior printing. Based on the color options you'll use for your book, you should prepare your file as follows:

  • For Black & White books - Use grayscale for the interior file color space.
  • For Full Color books - Currently, our printers use sRGB. For the best results, we recommend exporting your PDF using sRGB color space settings. Using other color space options (such as RGB or CMYK) will result in a color space conversion to sRGB and may cause unexpected changes to the print color.

Images for ebooks should be created and added to your document in RGB. Most images created on computers are created in RGB. Paint on a PC and Preview on a Mac should be able to show you.

Is the first page printed on the right or left side of the book?

Printing is not available on the inside of front and back covers. This means the first printed page of your book will be on the right-hand side, opposite the inside front cover.

The odd numbered pages in your print-ready PDF file will display on the right and even numbered pages on the left.

I need help with page numbering.

When creating your book, make sure that your title page falls on an odd-numbered page (on the right-hand side of your book) and the copyright page falls on an even-numbered page (on the left-hand side of your book). Here is a helpful resource for perfecting your page numbers in Microsoft Word:

Why are there blank pages at the back of my book?

Lulu's global network of printers produce books based on the best fit for the job in a given region of the world. Some of the factors that determine where your book will print are; book size, binding type, order quantity, page count, delivery destination, etc. Based on those factors, your book could end up with additional blank pages at the back of your book depending on where the order is fulfilled. It is not a mistake or a defect in workmanship or process, it is simply an aspect of a highly automated global book production network. Minimize the potential for blanks by keeping your page count divisible by 4, and do not add additional blank pages yourself.

How big should my margins be?

Leave at least .5" margins on all your pages. Most books will require a gutter of .2" to .3". A gutter provides a little bit of extra margin on the spine edge of your pages, making your book easier to read without putting too much stress on the spine. For coil-bound books, the coils bite about 5/16" (8mm) on the spine edge, but we would suggest a gutter of 3/8" (9mm). Follow these directions to set your margins:

  • Microsoft Word: Choose Page Setup from the File menu, then use the Margins tab. When adding a gutter, make sure to select Mirror Margins. Apply your settings to the whole document.
  • Microsoft Works: Choose Page Setup from the File menu, then use the Margins tab. Works has no provision for a gutter.
  • Open Office: Choose Page from the Format menu. To create a gutter, add the desired gutter to the inside margin dimension. Then select Mirrored under the Layout Settings, Page Layout choices.

Should I include my cover in the same file as the rest of my book?

No. Your cover should be completely separate from your main document. You will upload your cover file(s) in a separate step of the publishing process. For more information on creating a cover, see the Cover Formatting articles.

Will Lulu insert a copyright / title / index page in my book for me?

No. You must design each page exactly as you would like it to appear in your book. Lulu will print what you upload.

Do I have to upload my book in double-page spreads?

No, our system does not allow you to upload two-page spreads - it prints them just fine, but you still have to upload a document that has the individual pages separated out. Landscape, or horizontal, pages or images that you intend to spread across two pages must be split accordingly to print correctly.

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