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girlyswot
09-08-2007, 12:06 AM
I've used Lulu a couple of times in the past and I really, really like it. My problem is that since I got my new laptop a couple of months ago I haven't been able to work out how to get my pdf files to be 6"x9". I had no problems on the old computer so I'm wondering if this might be an issue with Vista. Has anyone else had trouble?

I work from a Word ms with a 6x9 page size set but when I try to convert to pdf there are two problems. First there doesn't seem to be a custom page size option, just a list of standard page sizes by name, none of which (as far as I can see are 6x9). And second, when I select a page size what I always end up with, no matter what size I ask for, is an 8.5x11 page with my text unscaled and huge margins!

Any ideas? I have tried downloading various free converters and even splashed out $15 on a paid version which claimed to be Vista compatible and has an appalling support service!

Bo Sullivan
09-08-2007, 12:24 AM
I've got a 6 x 9 word template if you would like a copy. I downloaded it from Lulu. You just have to copy your text into it and you should have no problem converting it to a pdf by that method and it will take the page sizes with it. I am sending you a private message with my email address if you want to get in touch with me and I will send it to you.

I hope that helps.

Barbara

girlyswot
09-08-2007, 12:36 AM
I've got a 6 x 9 word template if you would like a copy. I downloaded it from Lulu. You just have to copy your text into it and you should have no problem converting it to a pdf by that method and it will take the page sizes with it. I am sending you a private message with my email address if you want to get in touch with me and I will send it to you.

I hope that helps.

Barbara

That's kind. I'm not sure how this is different from me just setting up a Word document with a 6x9 layout? The issue seems to be with the pdf converter rather than the Word document which I can easily get to be 6x9. I'll email you about this, though.

Bo Sullivan
09-08-2007, 01:00 AM
That's kind. I'm not sure how this is different from me just setting up a Word document with a 6x9 layout? The issue seems to be with the pdf converter rather than the Word document which I can easily get to be 6x9. I'll email you about this, though.

Hi,

Have you got a pdf converter that runs through your printer? Just wondering as that is how mine works.

I hope you got the template.

Barbara

girlyswot
09-08-2007, 06:48 AM
Yes, that's how my pdf converter works too. I've got the template, thank you, but I haven't had time to try it yet. I'll let you know how I get on.

iwannabepublished
09-08-2007, 07:09 PM
Hi, sorry for butting in, but I have a question about how you are setting up your PDF for Lulu. I have been using Lulu for more than two years and am really happy with their operation. It seems ever time I visit their site I find lots of improvements. About my question; I use MS Word (of course) and have had no problem setting up my manuscript in the required size. I got Word to put page numbers in the proper bottom outside corners. My problem is attempting to begin each chapter on the right-hand page. Sometimes this means inserting a blank page at the end of the previous chapter. My problem is I can't get word to skip the blank page and continue the numbering on the new chapter page. Have you attempted and been successful doing this? If so, do you mind sharing the method?

ResearchGuy
09-08-2007, 07:22 PM
. . .I work from a Word ms with a 6x9 page size set but when I try to convert to pdf there are two problems. . . .
Upload the Word file. Lulu will do the conversion. Set your page size, margins, and all the rest in Word, get the file looking exactly the way you want (using only fonts that Lulu has), upload the Word file, and Lulu's conversion process should work fine. It does for me. I never convert to pdf first.

--Ken

Julie Worth
09-08-2007, 09:11 PM
Hi, sorry for butting in, but I have a question about how you are setting up your PDF for Lulu. I have been using Lulu for more than two years and am really happy with their operation. It seems ever time I visit their site I find lots of improvements. About my question; I use MS Word (of course) and have had no problem setting up my manuscript in the required size. I got Word to put page numbers in the proper bottom outside corners. My problem is attempting to begin each chapter on the right-hand page. Sometimes this means inserting a blank page at the end of the previous chapter. My problem is I can't get word to skip the blank page and continue the numbering on the new chapter page. Have you attempted and been successful doing this? If so, do you mind sharing the method?

You don't want the blank pages numbered? I don't know how to do this automatically, but it can be done manually by using section breaks between chapters, and also for the blank pages. Then you can number each section independently.

Perhaps an easier way would be to cover up the numbers you don't want with text boxes, if you just want to suppress the numbering on blank pages.

iwannabepublished
09-08-2007, 10:07 PM
You don't want the blank pages numbered? I don't know how to do this automatically, but it can be done manually by using section breaks between chapters, and also for the blank pages. Then you can number each section independently.

Perhaps an easier way would be to cover up the numbers you don't want with text boxes, if you just want to suppress the numbering on blank pages.

I've noticed that in many books new chapters always begin on the right-hand page. It somehow looks a bit more professional and thought I'd try to do it in my book. I guess I'm not very good with some of MS Word's functions. Each time I try to section my book by chapter and insert a blank page at the appropriate place, all my page numbers get screwed up. I guess I can always just separate the chapters into different documents so I can number them the way I want and then, after outputting them as PDF files, just put them back together. I use CutePDF 3.2 to do this kind of stuff and it works great.

ResearchGuy
09-09-2007, 07:40 AM
. . . I guess I'm not very good with some of MS Word's functions. Each time I try to section my book by chapter and insert a blank page at the appropriate place, all my page numbers get screwed up.. . . .
Proper use of section breaks is essential. Once you have learned how section breaks work, and their options, getting the look right--right-side start, page numbering, correct headers and footers, all of that--is not difficult at all.

Do NOT insert blank pages. Use section breaks right. A good manual on Word will help. Also, use Word's help function. Experiment.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
09-09-2007, 07:47 AM
. . . Perhaps an easier way would be to cover up the numbers you don't want with text boxes, if you just want to suppress the numbering on blank pages.
No, no, no, no.

Learn how to use section breaks. Pay attention to the options. Different first page, different odd and even, next page start, even page start, odd page start--whichever you need. Be sure NOT to have headers and footers "same as previous" if you need changes from one section to the next.

--Ken

Julie Worth
09-09-2007, 03:58 PM
No, no, no, no.


Huh? I actually use section breaks, but I didn't realize that Word (2003, anyway) already suppresses the page number for blank pages. I just tried it, starting a new section on an odd page (which I don't normally do, as it costs more for the book), and the blank page was unnumbered when I printed it out. How about that!

girlyswot
09-10-2007, 06:40 AM
Upload the Word file. Lulu will do the conversion. Set your page size, margins, and all the rest in Word, get the file looking exactly the way you want (using only fonts that Lulu has), upload the Word file, and Lulu's conversion process should work fine. It does for me. I never convert to pdf first.

--Ken

I repeat: this only works if your fonts are on their system. Since I regularly use specialist Greek and Hebrew fonts, this does not work for me.

ResearchGuy
09-10-2007, 06:45 AM
I repeat: this only works if your fonts are on their system. Since I regularly use specialist Greek and Hebrew fonts, this does not work for me.
Ah. I had not seen that mentioned before, but was replying only to specific posts.

Indeed, someone with specialized needs like that (not the sort of writers I ever encounter) has a different set of needs.

--Ken

A.C. Douglas
10-12-2007, 05:43 AM
I work from a Word ms with a 6x9 page size set but when I try to convert to pdf there are two problems. First there doesn't seem to be a custom page size option, just a list of standard page sizes by name, none of which (as far as I can see are 6x9). And second, when I select a page size what I always end up with, no matter what size I ask for, is an 8.5x11 page with my text unscaled and huge margins!

What *specifically* are you using to convert your Word documents to PDF, and what version of Word are you using?

ACD

sval1div
10-26-2007, 12:43 AM
Is there a good service anyone recommends that can set up ms in lulu?

ResearchGuy
10-26-2007, 04:34 AM
Is there a good service anyone recommends that can set up ms in lulu?
I generally recommend myself for that.

--Ken

sval1div
10-26-2007, 06:25 PM
how so?

ResearchGuy
10-26-2007, 07:41 PM
how so?
Modestly, but with confidence.

--Ken

Ritergal
10-29-2007, 06:01 PM
I recently completed a book with Lulu, and had the devil of a time with pdf conversion. I had the font concern Girlswot mentioned. I finally discovered that you have to define a new page size in Adobe Distiller! That did the trick! The other workaround is to crop the finished manuscript in Acrobat, but that only works if you have Acrobat.

I also did a custom wrap-around cover with a gradient background all around. That was another major challenge. Lulu gives measurements for my chosen size, Crown Quarto, in pixels, inches and centimeters. None of those measurements correspond when you do conversions. Baffling! Someone in a forum said to go with pixels, which I did. When I tried to upload, the file was rejected, because it didn't meet the point size requirements. Point size? HUH? The difference was two pixels. I fixed that, and all was well.

After jumping through all those hoops, I'm entirely happy with the finished product. It's just not fun having all these challenges. But hey! Even five years ago, the ability to produce a single copy of a slick, professional-looking book? More than this gal could dream of! What a deal!

AndyPolyak
10-30-2007, 03:00 AM
I use the Lulu online convertor and upload RTF files, as my Adobe Acrobat cannot produce a PDF suitable for Lulu, for some reason or other. I'm not a PDF specialist, and I don't know why the Lulu convertor makes PDFs having awful margins? I hope their specialists will solve this problem.

Becky Writes
10-30-2007, 06:00 AM
I like to convert my files to pdf before uploading becasue I like to see exactly how it's going to turn out.

I use cutepdf.

ResearchGuy
10-30-2007, 06:56 PM
. . . I don't know why the Lulu convertor makes PDFs having awful margins? I hope their specialists will solve this problem.
I prepare manuscripts in Word, with margins, paper size, headers, footers, and all the rest, just as I want them, and Lulu's converter turns out a pdf that is precisely correct -- books in 6" x 9" and in 8-1/2" x 11" and pages from under 30 to over 600. Sometimes I have had to revise my Word file to correct my own mistakes after previewing the Lulu-generated pdf, but that is just part of the process of perfecting the manuscript. So far, the books have been just right, margins in particular precisely as I specified them.

--Ken

Manny
01-26-2008, 04:31 AM
Hello all - first post here! :tongue

I have some questions about my format I am undecided about. I have been perusing the Lulu forums but there is often a download location given as a reply, which does not seem to work for me. Size is 6x9".

Font in MS Word - Size 12 Garamond, line spaced at 1.5 looks OK to me. Opinions please?

Chapter headings - Capital letters and bold, is this OK? Should they be in the centre or on the left?

Should one indent the first line of the first paragraph in a new chapter? I am thinking I should but it seems to look better without.

I was advised recently that one should have two spaces after a full stop before the capital letter of the next word. Is this necessary, as when one justifies the text will this not elongate that double space too much?

Can someone direct me to a link specifying how the copyright page should be laid out please?

In non fiction, 15 chapters - Would you have the chapter name in the header or not?

Sorry if its too many questions in one post. All help much appreciated. :flag:

ResearchGuy
01-26-2008, 06:20 AM
. . .

Font in MS Word - Size 12 Garamond, line spaced at 1.5 looks OK to me. Opinions please?

Chapter headings - Capital letters and bold, is this OK? Should they be in the centre or on the left?

Should one indent the first line of the first paragraph in a new chapter? I am thinking I should but it seems to look better without.

I was advised recently that one should have two spaces after a full stop before the capital letter of the next word. Is this necessary, as when one justifies the text will this not elongate that double space too much?

Can someone direct me to a link specifying how the copyright page should be laid out please?

In non fiction, 15 chapters - Would you have the chapter name in the header or not?

Sorry if its too many questions in one post. All help much appreciated. :flag:
Welcome.

Quick comments, in order.

Font in MS Word - Size 12 Garamond, line spaced at 1.5 looks OK to me. Opinions please? Experiment with other line spacing options. Exactly 18 works pretty well with 12 point. Times New Roman, for all the abuse it takes, actually looks very good. 11.5 or even 11 point can be good choice depending on audience and space issues. You cannot be sure until you see a sample copy of the printed book. Always order ONE sample copy to start (or two if you want one for archive and one to mark up).

Chapter headings - Capital letters and bold, is this OK? Should they be in the centre or on the left? Study published books for examples. In general, I'd probably advise against ALL CAPS, though.

Should one indent the first line of the first paragraph in a new chapter? I am thinking I should but it seems to look better without. The norm is no indent for first paragraph of chapter or following scene break or section of subsection heading. But this is a matter of choice. Just be consistent.

I was advised recently that one should have two spaces after a full stop before the capital letter of the next word. Is this necessary, as when one justifies the text will this not elongate that double space too much? Use search and replace to get rid of all extra spaces. The days of typewriters are over. Get used to using only one space.

Can someone direct me to a link specifying how the copyright page should be laid out please? Study published books for examples. There are some common features and many variations on the theme. If you want to see how I have done some, see my publications at http://stores.lulu.com/kenumbach .

In non fiction, 15 chapters - Would you have the chapter name in the header or not? Maybe. Depends on what works for the book. Header layout is tricky until you have mastered the use of section breaks and page setup. Remember: blank pages should be entirely blank (no header or footer), and ordinarily first page of chapter should have no header.

One other comment: learn to use paragraph and heading styles. Do NOT depend on spaces, tabs, or other such gimmicks. (I always have to clean that crap out when I format someone else's file into a book.) Use Word's built-in formatting features. You will be glad you did.

--Ken

Manny
01-27-2008, 01:21 AM
Thanks for the reply Ken, may I seek clarification of a few points?


Exactly 18 works pretty well with 12 point. Times New Roman, for all the abuse it takes, actually looks very good. 11.5 or even 11 point can be good choice depending on audience and space issues. You cannot be sure until you see a sample copy of the printed book. Always order ONE sample copy to start (or two if you want one for archive and one to mark up).

When size 12 Garamond is reduced down to a 6x9 format in Word, it looks quite small, especially when test printed. I was expecting you would suggest bigger. I recall some big debate as to how Times shouldn't be used as its harder on the eye due to the different character widths? When you say 18 do you mean 1.8?


Chapter headings - Capital letters and bold, is this OK? Should they be in the centre or on the left?
Study published books for examples. In general, I'd probably advise against ALL CAPS, though.

Good point - Thank you.


Should one indent the first line of the first paragraph in a new chapter? I am thinking I should but it seems to look better without.
The norm is no indent for first paragraph of chapter or following scene break or section of subsection heading.

I thought it looked better like that. Thank you again.


I was advised recently that one should have two spaces after a full stop before the capital letter of the next word. Is this necessary, as when one justifies the text will this not elongate that double space too much?
Use search and replace to get rid of all extra spaces. The days of typewriters are over. Get used to using only one space.

I am confused by this as some article copy must be submitted like this, I have books that are done like this and some that are not. I prefer to be as correct (read professional looking) as possible. When I sought advice previously on this issue on another forum before I found this one, the consensus over there seemed to be double space only, but others said different. I remain confused by this issue.


Can someone direct me to a link specifying how the copyright page should be laid out please?
Study published books for examples. There are some common features and many variations on the theme. If you want to see how I have done some, see my publications at http://stores.lulu.com/kenumbach .

On one I looked at there I saw the table of contents together with the copyright notice on the same page, I have never seen that before?


In non fiction, 15 chapters - Would you have the chapter name in the header or not?
Maybe. Depends on what works for the book. Header layout is tricky until you have mastered the use of section breaks and page setup. Remember: blank pages should be entirely blank (no header or footer), and ordinarily first page of chapter should have no header.

I am having enough trouble with deleting page numbers on the first five or six pages, I shall refrain from complicating the matter further.


One other comment: learn to use paragraph and heading styles. Do NOT depend on spaces, tabs, or other such gimmicks. (I always have to clean that crap out when I format someone else's file into a book.) Use Word's built-in formatting features. You will be glad you did.

Could you elaborate on that please? Or perhaps direct me to a tutorial? To indent a paragraph I just use tab? Is this incorrect? If so why?

In addition to Ken's helpful responses I welcome input from others also, I am here to learn. :)

ResearchGuy
01-27-2008, 05:03 AM
Thanks for the reply Ken, may I seek clarification of a few points?

Oh, my. You need some basic instruction in Word and its workings. I would have to write way too much to correct your misconceptions here. But I'll give it a try.

When size 12 Garamond is reduced down to a 6x9 format in Word,

NO! Set page size and all other setup parameters for 6" x 9" pages! Do not "reduce" anything, nor let Lulu reduce from (say) 8-1/2" x 11" to 6" x 9".

I recall some big debate as to how Times shouldn't be used as its harder on the eye due to the different character widths? When you say 18 do you mean 1.8?

Sorry, I have seen and have laid out too many books in TNR to agree with that. It works well, even if it lacks the polish one expects in a book from a major publisher. And the 18 I referred to is the line spacing setting. 1.8 makes NO sense there, as the measure is points. Spend some time learning how line spacing works (also called leading, pronounced ledding). Format, Paragraph, Line spacing. There are choices other than single, double, and 1.5. I've used other fonts, too. This can get tricky and I am no expert. All I know is what has worked for me via Lulu's conversion to pdf, with none of the problems that have crept into other fonts under some circumstances.

I am confused by this as some article copy must be submitted like this,

Well, I don't know about that, but standard now is one space only. It took me a while to concede to that, after many years of typing on a typewriter and then years of monospaced fonts before Windows and proportional fonts on the PC.

On one I looked at there I saw the table of contents together with the copyright notice on the same page, I have never seen that before?

Sounds positively weird. Bizarre. Look at professionally published books, darn near any of them.

I am having enough trouble with deleting page numbers on the first five or six pages, I shall refrain from complicating the matter further.

Again, learn how to use Word. You obviously have no idea of how to use section breaks, page setup, and headers and footers in Word. Unless you are willing to get a good manual and learn the techniques, you will have a frustrating waste of time trying to lay out a book. Better that you pay someone like me, who can make fast work of it.

Could you elaborate on that please? Or perhaps direct me to a tutorial? To indent a paragraph I just use tab? Is this incorrect? If so why?

Any good manual on Word. Study up on the use of paragraph styles and heading styles. Do NOT use tabs to indent paragraphs. Set the indent in the paragraph style. And be sure to USE paragraph (and heading) styles.

Sorry I cannot be more helpful, but you have a long learning curve ahead of you. Get a good manual on Word. I cannot write a tutorial here. (It took me years to learn this stuff, and a lot of experience, which is why I can charge $75/hour to do it -- and may be undercharging at that.)

--Ken

ResearchGuy
01-27-2008, 10:27 PM
One more comment, if I may . . .

The whole notion of layout being specific to Lulu is a misconception.

Layout is layout is layout. Period. Now, there is a legitimate question about book layout in Microsoft Word. Word is not held in high regard for designing books. Pete Masterson, for example (Book Design and Production, Aeonix Press, and professional book designer), flatly says not to use it. However, quite helpfully, he then goes on to provide a chapter in which he says what to do if you are going to use Word anyway to lay out a book.

The professionals (those working at a higher level than I do, producing books for commercial publication) use programs like InDesign or QuarkXPress or the like, professional tools. (I use none of those myself and can make Word do what I need it to do for my purposes and audiences and clients. But it took years to get to that point and I work with people who need good, not ideal.)

The point is, one has to lay out the interior in every respect to be what the book is to look like -- fonts, margins, headers, footers, spacing, section breaks, page breaks, headings, table of contents, EVERYTHING. Then you might need to convert it to .pdf or maybe to something else for use by the printer. Lulu will accept a .pdf or will take a word file and run it through its converter to make it into a .pdf file. But it will do nothing to the file to fix up any problems whatsoever. And sometimes the conversion bobbles something or other. (I have learned that a certain font + italics must be avoided, for example, as the conversion goes weird; and once in a while page breaks in the .pdf are wrong and I have to fix a hidden problem in my Word file to correct them.)

The conversion is a mechanical process that follows the design itself. The conversion is not where the real challenge lies. The real challenge is in mastering all those techniques with Word to get the layout right (not to mention understanding norms of book layout) and to do it without relying on gimmicks like tabs to indent paragraphs or workarounds necessitated by lack of understanding of Word's powerful features.

Lulu is irrelevant to all of that. It is just an intermediary between the content creator and the printer.

--Ken

Manny
01-28-2008, 09:11 PM
Thanks for your input ken.

Lisa F
02-02-2008, 04:57 AM
One of the things I do is look carefully at published books in the size I want. I look at how they lay it out. It's a good way to start. Don't forget to mirror your pages.
As far as Microsoft Word, I think it's okay if you are doing an 8 x 11 book, but if you are doing a different size, you might consider paying a professional to lay it out for you. I've read and reread all of the different directions for layout. I'm saving up my $600. I want it to look right. But that's just me...

ResearchGuy
02-02-2008, 06:58 AM
. . .
As far as Microsoft Word, I think it's okay if you are doing an 8 x 11 book, but if you are doing a different size, you might consider paying a professional to lay it out for you. . . .
As somebody who does that sort of thing for money, I should agree with you . . . but actually, if you can lay out a good-looking 8 x 10" (8-1/2 x 11"?) book, you can just as well lay out a 6" x 9". Just set the page size in page setup and apply it to the whole document and adjust the margins down appropriately, and perhaps reduce font size for chapter headings. Everything else will pretty much be the same.

The hard part is laying out the pages in the first place at any measurements.

--Ken

Manny
02-03-2008, 02:47 AM
I am currently tweaking the word format using RG's advice, Lulu's advice, common sense and referencing random books in my cabinet.

There are a few small things I have not got my head around which someone can tidy up for me for a nominal sum I am sure.

Manny
03-22-2008, 03:34 AM
Ken (or anyone else) - May ask you if I should justify the text or have a raggedy right edge?

Some books do, some dont. What is the thinking on this?

ResearchGuy
03-22-2008, 05:59 AM
Ken (or anyone else) - May ask you if I should justify the text or have a raggedy right edge?

Some books do, some don't. What is the thinking on this?
The answer is a firm "it depends."

It depends on the look you want. Either might be appropriate.

I use autohyphenation and full justification except where left justification is essential (in bullet points, often, and in maybe in bibliographies).

Full justification looks more polished, assuming spacing within lines is right. Gnarly spacing problems are something else.

--Ken

iwannabepublished
03-26-2008, 12:58 AM
I've recently reformatted my manuscript, using MS Word 2003, for printing on Lulu. I have to say that justified looks much more professional. I've also conquered section breaks so that all my chapter begin on the right page. If I need to insert a blank, I do and make sure it is a new section so that I can remove the page number, that I put on the bottom outside. I've also decided to begin each chapter with a 2 line 'drop cap'. I had Lulu generate the PDF even though I could have done it myself with Cutepdf 3.2. I even did my one piece cover. When I opened the box from Lulu, I had to look twice at the finished product - it came out exactly as I expected and looks like a product from a 'real' printer. I couldn't be happier, even though it was a bit of work.

Ape Gone Insane
03-29-2008, 08:56 PM
I pressed next and Lulu resized it for me.

Manny
04-16-2008, 01:23 AM
Well I got some stuff right and some stuff not. I want the formatting right so I have opted to use Research Guy to fix it for me.

You cant always do everything yourself, sometimes its better to pay a man who can.

ResearchGuy
04-16-2008, 02:19 AM
. . . I have to say that justified looks much more professional. . . .
Last week I read a new book from one of the major publishers, House Lust. (Don't recall publisher off the top of my head, nor the author, but he is a Newsweek correspondent.) It was ragged-right rather than fully justified. I found that the ragged-right look worked well for the book -- somehow made it a little more informal, a little friendlier, so to speak, in line with the journalistic rather than academic tone of the book. Good book, by the way, both informative and entertaining.

--Ken

MickRooney
04-18-2008, 03:28 AM
As somebody who does that sort of thing for money, I should agree with you . . . but actually, if you can lay out a good-looking 8 x 10" (8-1/2 x 11"?) book, you can just as well lay out a 6" x 9". Just set the page size in page setup and apply it to the whole document and adjust the margins down appropriately, and perhaps reduce font size for chapter headings. Everything else will pretty much be the same.

The hard part is laying out the pages in the first place at any measurements.

--Ken

Ken,

Though I haven't posted here in this thread, I have followed the posts over the past couple of months. I have to say your posts to one and all about Microsoft Word's versatility as a suitable and perfectly adaquet format for load-up to Lulu's converter are spot on.

Your advice has been a great help over the past two weeks in preparing and loading my book to the Lulu site. It really is all about the preparation of the word file and having a firm grasp of all the essentials of using Word to its capacity, ie., understanding footers/headers, using section breaks etc.

I would suggest to anyone to google 'Book templates word' and you will get numerous sites where you can download blank files already set up with page size, margins and formatting for nothing. You can then play around with them and practice. I think the best advice is pick up a copy of a book you really like the look of and try and get your layout file as close as possible to it.