EPUB Made Even Easier

EPUBs made easy Blog graphic

Despite Lulu’s focus on providing the best in print book fulfillment and retail, it’s always been important to make it easy to offer EPUB ebooks too. And with the prevalence of Microsoft Word users, we designed our original EPUB converter to work with Word Docs. That was over ten years ago.

Today, there are a lot of ways to make an EPUB. Calibre and Apple’ iBooks Author are both popular and free ways to have more control over your EPUB. As the requirements for devices have evolved and reading apps have improved, it’s become simple to generate an EPUB file. Something Lulu’s converter has not done a great job keeping up with.

EPUBs Simplified

For the last couple years, I’ve been the “expert” in EPUBs. I say expert with quotes because, prior to working at Lulu, I didn’t even own a Kindle or Nook. The few ebooks I had read were on my laptop, borrowed from the library, and required reading for school. The idea of doing anything more complex than maybe a text link with HTML terrified me.

What changed was when I looked at EPUB code and realized it’s actually very simple. Which always bugged me because Lulu’s converter makes the process cumbersome. Particularly with our DOCX to EPUB conversion. So many paltry things that can cause errors; like content in the Header, which our converter should delete but doesn’t always. Or the way our converter started ignoring copyright information, breaking the metadata through no fault of the person uploading the file.

If we have frustrated you uploading a DOC or DOCX file for conversion in the last couple of year, I promise you are not alone. I’ve worked on dozens of files that our system should have accepted and didn’t for annoying and obscure reasons.

Well, we fixed that.

EPUBs Improved

Okay, improved might be a stretch. But it will get a lot easier to create your ebook file the way you want and upload it to Lulu with no hassles. We’ve thrown out the old converter and we’re using one that actually works. 

Our DOCX to EPUB conversion hasn’t changed. You’ll still need to create a DOCX file using Styles and avoid a lot of formatting like columns and tables. Our Ebook Creator Guide is the best resource for building your DOCX file for conversion:

Ebook Creation Guide

Prepare your DOCX file for conversion to EPUB with our free ebook guide.

What we have done is clean up a lot of the annoying conversion errors that used to plague our EPUB converter. I still recommend making a simple DOCX to convert; that means primarily text using Styles and a minimum of images. Any complex elements like tables should be made into images and inserted, as EPUBs still struggle with complicated formatting.

Creating Your Own EPUB

Where the updates will really shine is for anyone creating their own EPUB. Have you used Calibre or iBooks Author to make a beautiful ebook and uploaded it to Lulu only to see something like this:

This should not be a problem now! Most errors came from elements and attributes that our old converter tried to identify. EPUBs can include a lot of variety in the coding and still work just fine. So we’ve improved our converter’s ability to handle EPUBs from most sources.

That includes the most common ways to create EPUBs like Calibre, iBooks Author, and Sigil.

DOCX To EPUB Conversion Requirements

Our Ebook Creator Guide goes into detail about requirements and best practices. But I can summarize the requirements you must meet to achieve DOCX to EPUB conversion on Lulu.

  1. You must use Heading styles to create a Table of Contents, including the ebook title as Heading 1, on the first line of the first page.

That’s it. Yes, there are some specific distribution requirements you’ll also need to meet to use our Global Distribution to list your ebook on Amazon, iBookstore, B&N, and more. But to run a DOCX through our system, we’ve cleared out almost all the annoying roadblocks. 

And since this converter is updated regularly, it should do a much better job keeping up with changes to Word’s DOCX formatting and producing EPUBs.


The standard for EPUBs sold commercially is EPUB 2. But EPUB 3 is the newest version of this versatile file format, bringing even more customized and accessible ways to view EPUBs. 

Because our distribution requires meeting the standards for a lot of retailers, we can only accept EPUB 2 for projects using distribution. And if we convert your DOCX to EPUB, we’ll make an EPUB 2 for the same reason. 

But if you really want to offer an EPUB 3 and sell it on the Lulu Bookstore, you can! We won’t be able to do the conversion for you, but you can use Calibre to create an EPUB 3 with little effort at all.

Ebooks For All

While offering ebooks is not Lulu’s primary goal, we know it’s an important part of your author plan. Making it easy to create and offer ebooks was front of mind for us as we improved our EPUB converter. 

Create Something

Create your book and share it with the world.

Create Something

Create your book and share it with the world.

Paul H, Content Marketing Manager

Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.

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I am creating an e-book after writng a paper book.

I am not an IT guy, so what I suugest might appear revolutionary and shocking.

Why shouldn’t an e-book look and behave like a normal book, without all this nonsense of Headers and attachments to Tables? No headers. No attachments. NO JUMPING AROUND.

If somebody reading n e-book needs to find a chapter, they do what they do in a normal paper book, turn to the Chapter directory, look for the page number, and then turn to that page number. Why have all this business of jump here, jump there, headings, sub-headings etc.? It might keep the IT guys happy, but it sends all the authors and readers scatty.

Cut out heading, sub-headings, attachments, jumping around.


I am inquiring for a Native American friend who has written a book of poetry. He needs to know how to get this eBook started. Also, all these services can not be free of charge so do you have list of the fees? Thank you.

Can I just upload my own .epubs here? if not, why not? Apple’s simple and reliable ,pages app effortlessly converts .pages word-files into epubs, retaining all your coding, fotos, and formatting. The ebook of course lets the reader mess with whatever font and size they want, but not mess up the basic style and order of things. No ugly surprises. How about it? Does Lulu Xpress accept .epubs? or PDFs?

I have published Cookery eBooks (PDF). I want to convert my books into EPUB Formet.

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