Stuck on formatting images or don't know where to start? This article covers some image formatting basics that will help produce the best print outcome for your final publication.


How Can I Make Sure My Images Will Print Exactly As I Want?

When you include illustrations, photographs, or other images in your book, they will usually print correctly when set to the correct resolution (300 PPI). The following list includes a few things you can do to ensure the pictures in your book print as you expect.

  • If you are adding images to your PDF, see PDF Creation Settings.
  • If you are uploading a PDF to the Lulu Publishing Tool, print the PDF and review how the images appear in your PDF.
  • After uploading your file, you must view and approve the conversion. Click View, then use your browser's print function to print a review copy.

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 To 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 about Copyrights and Lulu, see:

What Resolution (PPI) Should My Images Have To Achieve Optimum Print Quality?

We have tested print quality at various resolutions and found that 300 PPI is the optimum resolution. We suggest keeping images under 600 PPI; any improvement in print quality is negligible and only results in a huge file size.

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

Should I Use CMYK, sRGB, or Grayscale Images?

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.

Do I Have To Upload My Book in Double-Page Spreads?

No, Lulu does not accept two-page spreads. Landscape or horizontal images that you intend to spread across two pages must be split accordingly to print correctly.