All retail distributors manage their own retail sites and requirements. Lulu’s distribution requirements reflect the minimums and standards we’ve received from these retailers. This article will walk you through some of the common distribution rejection reasons and how to fix them.

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Cover File Rejections

Author Name Missing on Cover

The author's name is not listed on the cover or spine. 

Cover Bleed

Amazon and other partners require a cover file with all cover text and graphics at least 0.375” (6.35mm) from the outside edges. Please extend the background of the cover file to the edge of the file. Improper bleed may result in a white strip or important content cut off at the edge of the page.

Ebook - Back Cover

The cover/marketing image of ebooks should not include a back cover.

Ebook - The Cover Image is Not 2D

The art cannot be a setup shot, a three-quarter image, or a 3D representation of the book. It also cannot be a photograph of the book's physical cover. The art should be original and creative, and it should reflect the tone and theme of the book.

Generic Internal Cover Image Displaying Instead of Actual Cover

The first page of the ebook should not be an image. Please remove the marketing image or include the image from the project.

Illegible Barcodes

Barcodes should be in vector format or be a minimum of 300 DPI for rasterized images on the back cover. The barcode must be 2" (50.8 mm) wide, 1.2" (30.5 mm) tall, and at least 0.25" (6 mm) from the cover’s edge. The barcode must be pure black on a white background with enough white space around it to allow for successful scans.

Low-Resolution Cover Image

The cover image is pixelated and/or blurry.

Price Mismatch

The price listed on the cover does not match what's listed on the Pricing page.

Spine Text

Amazon and other partners require 0.0625" (0.159 cm) of space between the spine text and the edge of the spine on either side. Do not include spine text on your cover if the book has fewer than 100 pages.

Missing ISBN in Interior and/or Cover File

The ISBN must be present on the cover and on the copyright page on the interior as text (no barcode/image). See, ISBN: The Basics.

Interior File Rejections

Consecutive Blank Pages

No more than 3 consecutive blank pages in the body of the interior file or 9 consecutive blank pages at the end of the file.  

Ebook - Contains Interactive Content

Coloring books, journals, planners, puzzle books, etc. are not accepted because eBooks are not interactive in this manner.

Ebook - Contains Workbook Style Content

Ebooks should not include areas for writing e.g. fill-in-the-blanks, workbooks, or areas for notes.

Ebook - English Only 

Only English-language eBooks are currently eligible for retail distribution.  

Bilingual eBooks are also not eligible at the moment.

Ebook - Line Breaks

Your ebook should not have incorrect line breaks throughout the book. Readers may think content is missing.

Ebook - NCX

All EPUB ebooks use navigation built into the EPUB file to allow readers to move around in your book. This navigation is specified in the Navigation Control file for XML (NCX). 

Even if your book does not have chapters and therefore would not normally require a table of contents, it still must have an NCX. For example, a poetry book may not have “chapters”, but the individual poem titles could be added to the table of contents. See, How is the Table of Contents Created?

Things to look out for:

  • The title should be the document's first line, with no blank lines or images above it.
  • The title should be styled as heading 1 in one section so that it links to the title page.
  • NCX can’t have a missing, incomplete, unreadable, duplicative, or inaccurate Table of Contents.
  • Your NCX should contain links to your content, not the entire text or large passages of text.

Ebook - Page References 

Fonts and pages resize on e-readers, so page numbers are variable, and EPUB files create a table of contents automatically.

Ebook - PDF

PDF-style ebooks are not eligible for retail distribution.

Explicit Content

Explicit or overly suggestive content within the metadata (title, author, description) or marketing image of publications is not accepted. 

Depictions of extreme sexual acts, including forced sexual acts, sexual violence, incest, and bestiality, are not accepted nor do they accept explicit images with no educational or artistic value, nor explicit content involving children or participants below the age of consent—nor do they permit pseudo depictions of these acts, or content linking to websites with explicit content.

Improper Capitalization

The first letter of all words in the title, subtitle, and author name should be capitalized, except for the following words: a, an, and, for, from, of, or, the, and to. The first and last words of the title and subtitle should always be capitalized on the cover PDF, within the interior PDF, and in its metadata.

Interior Formatting Issue

Please review your interior file to ensure all pages are formatted correctly and are in the correct order.

Interior Pagination

Submit an interior file that begins with page 1. If this book is part of a series, provide the series or volume number in the metadata and resubmit.

ISBN Mismatch

The ISBN in the interior or cover does not match the metadata. See, ISBN: The Basics.

Language Mismatch

The interior file, cover file, and description language must match the language selected in the metadata.

Your interior content must include a title page and a copyright page. See, Copyright page example.

Overlapping or Cutoff Text in Interior and/or Cover File

It is important to check for these common errors to ensure that your text is readable and legible. Here are some things to look for:

  • Text is in at least 7-point font
  • Text color does not blend into the background
  • Text is not blurry, pixelated, jagged, or faded
  • Check that other elements do not cut off or overlap text. This can be a problem with images, graphics, and other design elements.

Publishing Content That is Freely Available (Wikipedia, etc.) & Public Domain

Content that is freely available elsewhere, including but not limited to public domain material, content aggregated from online sources, and content that is identical to existing publications by other authors or publishers.

Publishing books with content (text and/or images) that are widely available on the web is against our partners’ guidelines.

Scanned Text

Scanned images or screenshots of texts are ineligible.

Summary Books

A book that is a summary, study guide, workbook, or analysis of another book. These are no longer accepted by distributors.


Make sure there are no misspellings or grammatical errors in your file.

Details and Metadata Rejections

Compound Author

When listing authors for a work, each author should have their own author field on the Copyright step.

The copyright year entered in the metadata has to match the year on the copyright page in the interior file.


The description of your title should not be too short/vague.

Keywords are Paragraphs

At least one keyword is required for books sold through our Global Distribution partners. Keywords should not contain full descriptions of the book.


The book (cover, description, or content) cannot contain links to third-party companies or conversion software links.

Low Content

Amazon & Ingram do not accept coloring books, journals, diaries, puzzle books, or books with many blank or lined pages.

Metadata Mismatch

Your book’s metadata is the information attached to your book. Your book’s title, subtitle, contributors (e.g. author name), edition type, edition statement, imprint, publication date, ISBN, and copyright are all a part of your book’s metadata.  The metadata in the file must match what's entered in the Copyright step

Title metadata includes any and all titles and subtitles on your cover image.

All contributors (authors, illustrators, editors, translators) listed on marketing images should also listed in the metadata. No contributor roles should be in the metadata; only list their names.

Misleading Product Book Covers

Product images such as prescription drugs, shampoo, or anything that could be confusing to the customer where it is unknown that they are not purchasing said product will be cause for rejection.

Special Characters in Title

The book title and author name should be entered without special characters or symbols. 

Title in Non-Latin Characters

The title and subtitle on the files and the metadata must be in Latin characters.