When creating a PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro, use Lulu's Adobe Job Options (attached below). After downloading the Job Options to your computer, double click the icon to install them into your Adobe Acrobat Pro products.

Lulu Book Creation Guide

This guide for book creation is a great starting point for your project.

Interior File Specifications & Layout

All content for the interior of your book should be in a single PDF. This includes the copyright page and any blank pages.

Pro tip: Lulu template bundles include an interior pdf export preset. The Lulu Interior Job Options files can also be downloaded in this article for your convenience.

When creating your PDF file, follow these guidelines:

  • Images should be 300 ppi resolution.
  • All fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines.
  • Flatten all transparent layers and vector objects.
  • Your PDF should be single-page layout.
  • Pages should be set up as portrait orientation (if you choose to make a landscape book, the pages should still be oriented as portrait and the page size should be adjusted accordingly).
  • Ensure that your page spreads are lined up properly in your source file. The first page of your print-ready PDF will be on the right hand side of your book, opposite the inside of the front cover. Accordingly, odd numbered pages in your file will be printed on the right side of the book and even numbered pages on the left.
  • Size your PDF pages to match the book you’re creating. Include the bleed dimensions of 0.125 in for your document. For example – a 6 x 9 in book requires a PDF with pages sized 6.25 x 9.25 in.
  • Allow a 0.50 in Safety Margin for all content.
  • Allow a minimum 0.20 in Gutter margin for the inner edge of all pages.
  • Do NOT include trim or bleed marks in your PDF.
  • Do NOT use any security/password file protection.

Cover File Specifications & Layout

Your cover file should be a one piece PDF that includes the back cover, spine, and front cover content in a single page spread. We recommend using the template we provide during the publishing process that is custom sized based on your interior file.

Pro tip: Lulu template bundles include a cover PDF export preset.

When creating your cover file, follow these guidelines:

  • Images must be 300 PPI resolution minimum, not exceeding 600 PPI resolution
  • Vector images should be rasterized.
  • All fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines.
  • Flatten any transparent layers and vector objects.
  • Your PDF should be single-page layout.
  • Size your PDF to match the specification provided for your book. The spine width is relative based on the number of pages in your book. (See Spine Width Calculator PDF)
  • Include the bleed dimensions of 0.125 in and allow a minimum 0.25 in Safety Margin for all content (0.75 in for Hardcover Casewrap).
  • Do NOT include trim or bleed marks in your PDF.
  • Do NOT use any security/password file protection.

Color Space guidelines

Lulu's printers use sRGB and CMYK color space for all color printing.

  • sRGB - Our printers prefer files created using sRGB color space and can convert this to rich CMYK. If you create your file using RGB color space, be sure to export with sRGB color space selected.
  • CMYK - Works well for almost all printing needs. If your file was created in CMYK, we recommend keeping this color space when exporting.
  • Changing color space settings after finalizing your file may result in undesirable color variance.
  • Solid blacks will print solid at 100% with no other colors added. If you do add colors to improve the richness of the black, TAC (total area coverage) should never exceed 270%.
  • Avoid very light color builds of less than 20%. Below 20% tint variation is very difficult to control on a consistent basis.
  • If you are printing a color book that includes black & white images, the black & white images should have the colorspace set to grayscale.
  • The gamma of grayscale images should be between 2.2 and 2.4.

Color Variance

Printing books will result in slight color differences (called ‘variance’) between your file on the screen and the printed version. 

When creating original content for print, the sRGB color space and a Gracol ICC profile are recommended. Converting from CMYK to RGB will not prevent color variations. We can’t guarantee that using sRGB and Gracol ICC will produce the file exactly as you see it on screen, but it is the best way to achieve a close match.

Each order is completed at a specific printer and press. Some variances in color may occur from order to order. When shipping to multiple regions where multiple printers are used this variance can be more pronounced. Color variance between orders is a physical limitation of digital printing technology.

The Lulu Print Support Team is capable of determining if your color variance is outside of our acceptable levels. If you receive an order that you believe exceeds normal tolerances for color variance, please notify us within 30 days of your order’s shipment date through our online Customer support form.