Facing pages not properly aligned

In the proof copies I’ve purchased recently, the facing page spreads are not properly aligned.  Some are correct, while on others the verso and recto pages are off, usually by about ½ a line (5-6 points), but sometimes by an entire line.  This varies from one printing to another.  For instance, in the most recent proof, the running head and the first line of text on p. 81 are a half a line lower than the same elements on p. 80; in the previous proof p. 81 is an entire line lower.  In the previous proof p. 7 is one line higher than p. 6, while in the most recent one p. 7 is half a line lower than p. 6.  I have double-checked the InDesign file from which the PDFs are generated and everything is fine (nothing changed on the master pages for a long time, in fact).

 I know that Lulu says some slight variations in manufacturing are permissible.  Does this include the vertical differences I am encountering?  Differences of a half line or less might be tolerable, but when the facing pages are off by an entire line it’s really noticeable and I think we should expect better.


  • I would get some images of this over to our support team. They will be able to tell if it is a printer issue or something in the file.
  • Of old, Lulu went out its way to state that they could not guarantee perfect alignment of spreads. It would be interesting to hear of the report back from the techs.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    There's many reasons it can happen, but should not.
  • I have contacted support and will let you all know what they say.  If this amount of variation is considered normal or acceptable, that's a real problem for me.  I don't want to send people here to buy the book, or order multiple copies for myself, if I can't be sure of consistent quality; and in other ways the quality of the proof copies has been excellent.
  • I heard back from tech support.  They say that vertical variations of up to 1/8" are allowed, although they claim that facing pages are usually well aligned or have a difference of much less than 1/8".   In my proof copies, the variation between text on opposite pages is never more than 1/8".  The worst cases are just shy of 1/8", with the majority being 1/16" or 3/32".  So the books do meet specs.  That said, I think that having opposite pages misaligned by 1/16 - 1/8" is really noticeable to anyone who cares about quality books, and -- as I said -- I've been happy with Lulu's quality in all other ways.  Maybe someday POD machinery can be improved so this doesn't happen.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Surely 1/8th is far too much? Especially with double-page spread full bleed? Although I have to say it's a problem I have not yet seen.
  • I have, in a query from a customer some years back. At the time, the advice on spreads was very clear and obvious within the site info, and sadly, the person couldn't be helped. But, I agree, an 1/8th is high, but, if Lulu can't do it, they can't do it. When I read of these problems, I am glad I don't publish books which require spreads etc.
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