Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tutorial: How to publish a book at Lulu.com!

How to make a print of your comic for Lulu.com
By JillyFoo

Outline:
You need time, money and more time!
1. 300 dpi pages
2. Dialog
3. Page size
4. PDF conversion
5.(evil) Adobe Acrobat Professional
6. Book extras
7. Final steps

1. Make sure all your pages are at 300dpi

What is it?: It’s your page resolution!
Better quality for printing.
Every page must be this for Lulu.com.

Setting 300 dpi:
Traditional art: Set Scanner to scan at 300 dpi.
For photoshop/other art program users: before you draw the image, set the dpi to at least 300.
It is possible to convert less then 300dpi images to 300dpi, but not recommended. Using photoshop go to Image size - resolution -then set to 300 dpi pixels/inch(Also it enlarges the image. make sure the image size isn't too large.)

2. Dialog
For best dialogue print quality it is recommended you save original sized pages as a PSD all font layers intact.
Lulu.com needs the fonts to be embedded into the PDF in order for it to print properly.
There is a long and annoying way instructed by lulu.com, but if you have photoshop... when you save as a pdf make sure "include vector data" has "embed fonts" checked. (the newest photoshops embed fonts automatically I think.)

3. Page Size
Before you make a whole bunch of pdfs…
Decide your page size.
http://www.lulu.com/help/index.php?fSymbol=book_formatting_faq#FAQLink5
What ever the size try to have as much picture fill up the page as possible (without cutting out dialog.)
It is recommended that you format your book to be a “full bleed” for Lulu
What is full bleed?: It makes your content stretch all the way to the edge of the page! For story comics (that have splash pages or is not in panels) it can look nicer. Comics in panels not so much.

Gutters and bleed areas
Gutters and bleed areas are what’s going to be cut off.
Example:
Crown Quarto size: 2307x2979 pixels
Gutter area: 90 pixels
Top and bottom of page 38 all together 75 pix
Opposite side of gutter 75 pixels

4.Conversion to PDF (directions via Adobe Photoshop)
To make a standard 2307x2979 pdf page.
Crop the image to just the picture.
Observe the size. Wider? Higher compared to other pages?
Go to Image Size> height or width. Height> 2904 OR Width> 2127. (notice the 2127 leaves 90pix on both sides of page just in case if you don't know which side has the gutter.)
Then go to Canvas size> Height> 2979 Width> 2307.
Save as> PDF (make sure all fonts are embedded.)

5. (evil) Adobe Acrobat Professional

In order to upload the pages to Lulu you have to have all the pdfs as one big pdf.
You need Adobe Acrobat Professional for that. You can obtain it via trial download for free at the official adobe website (for 30 days).
Make sure you have all the pages in order. (AAP is going to scramble them for ya.)(Make sure all pdf pages are the same size in height and width before you put em in one big pdf!!)

6. Book Extras
Extra pages you might want in your book:
Copyright page
Table of contents
About the author
Filler art
Page numbers
Link to your website/webcomic

7. Final Steps
-Look through your final pdf! Check for mistakes! Prevent yourself from buying multiple proof copies.
-Make a lulu account
-Upload the pages to Lulu. If it’s a large file you’re going to need to use Filezilla program to upload. (directions at lulu.com)
-Upload your PDF front and back cover. Same size as your pdf pages except in jpeg form.
BUY A PROOF COPY! Don’t sell to public until it’s perfect!

If there's anything else just go through the Lulu FAQ
Or pm me but Lulu would probably be easier.

ComixPress uses the same format of a large pdf to make their books, if you don't like Lulu you can probably go through them instead.

24 comments:

Artist Andrea said...

Thank you!!! You gave better instructions that LULU, itself! A++ very helpful!

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