Lulu’s Book Templates Make Page Design Easy

Using Lulu Templates Blog Header

We got two major objectives to cover today. First, we’ll take a look at Lulu’s new book templates. And second, we’ll get into how to actually use these templates while formatting your book.

Ready? Get yourself a cup of coffee (or tea or whatever your preferred beverage might be) and buckle up. Here we go.

Why Book Templates?

Anyone who has published a book knows there is a world of difference between a finished manuscript and a book file ready for printing. For one, the manuscript is usually all text in a Word file or something similar. But we all know books are more than just the text between the pages. 

Even the amount of white space on the page is part of how the file is styled. But that’s more of a design element. As a printer and resource for your file creation, Lulu can’t decide exactly how much space to leave (we can offer some best practices though). 

What we can offer you is a file with the exact size we require and our minimums for recommended margins and trimming. A Lulu template will look (more or less) like this:

Looks pretty simple right? We include the measurements you’ll need, so you can just use our templates as a specification guide if you prefer. Or you can import the file into your layout software of choice, remove the measurements, and drop your content directly into the template!

The point that matters here is that you are not using a template to guide how you design the contents of your book. Some resources out there will try to tell you their templates will make creating a book easy. That’s mostly not true. A book’s contents are a lot of work to get right. What your printer can provide is a template that ensures your file meets printer specifications.

How To Use A Book Design Template

Okay, so if you’re a bit disappointed right now, I understand. I want to say we can help make laying out your book’s file easier. And we can. But only so much. When it comes to the font size, line spacing, how you position images, or what you put in the header; you’re on your own there.

So what, exactly, do you do with a book template? Basically, you’re ensuring that the overall size, margins, and trim (or bleed) will match the printer’s specifications. That’s it. 

As I mentioned, you can use the template directly by opening the file with your favorite page layout software (Lulu offers templates in PDF, DOCX, and INDD format). 

More Than Just a Book Template

I’ve attached all the template bundles Lulu offers at the bottom of this post. But don’t scroll yet! First I want to talk a little more about what we include in the bundle. It’s more than just a file with some measurements on it.

Here’s a look at the bundle for a US Letter (8.5 x 11 in). 

Formatting Guides

These two files include detailed specifications for creating a PDF. That includes font embedding, image file sizing, and bleed requirements. If you decide not to use a template and opt to build your file from scratch, please please please refer to our PDF Creation Guide. We also include our spine width calculations so you can be sure your cover file is sized correctly too. 

More on cover templates below (spoiler, we provide those too!).

Adobe PDF Export Presets

Lulu’s Job Options file. You can apply this to your page layout software (not including Microsoft Word), then when you export your finished PDF, use the Job Options to apply Lulu’s preferred settings. For authors who make a lot of files or just like to streamline processes, the Job Options file is a nice bonus. And for an author with a complex file that might be causing errors, the Job Options is the best way to help your file move through our printer’s network.

Cover Templates

We add a folder with a cover template in multiple file types (INDD, PDF, PSD, and PNG) for each cover binding we can support in your book size. If you don’t see a cover option in the bundle, it means the book size you’ve selected doesn’t support that kind of cover.

These files are great for advanced creators, but we’ve got an even better option for novice creators. I’ll get to that next.

Interior Templates

And here are those templates that really matter. Sized for bleed and including detailed dimensions along with our recommended margins, the interior template will help you ensure your files will print perfectly.

That’s all they are. No magic trick to lay out your book. Purely utilitarian.

Book Cover Templates Made To Order

Alright, I promised to come back to cover templates. If you’re a seasoned designer, the templates in our bundle along with the spine width guide are probably all you need. You’ll be able to create a front and back cover, then place a spine to specification between them. 

But if you aren’t well-versed in page layout, Lulu can make a precise book cover template just for your book! Cool, right?

So what you do is, create your interior file, get that done, and review it thoroughly. Then upload that file to Lulu. We’ll do our file check and give you the options for paper, ink, and cover style.

After that, we’ll know enough about your project (the page count, paper type, and cover style) to make a customized template with the exact right spine. Basically, we pair your interior to a unique spine prepared to meet your page count. No more figuring out your own spine!

That purple area is the spine and it’s sized based on the page count from the file I uploaded (84 pages) and the paperweight I selected (60#). No need to use any calculations, the spine is ready to go! 

We also include the barcode area to help you add your ISBN (if necessary).

Book Templates Versus Building Your Own

Okay, so if templates are really just the overall size and trim areas (broadly), then why use them?

Well, I’ve never seen a reputable publisher, printer, or service that charges you for a template. So the fact that you can easily get free book templates is probably reason enough. Why do that extra work?

There isn’t a great reason not to use templates from your printer or publisher. I can only speak for Lulu, but we offer these templates not because our creators absolutely have to have them. Rather, access to templates just makes it easier for everyone. Authors can streamline designing their books. And Lulu’s print team can dodge numerous problems that might arise from doing your own sizing. 


Get Your Lulu Book Template Design Guide Bundles

Using Lulu’s templates makes formatting your book easier than ever. Get started creating your book today with a Lulu template bundle.

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 loved the old cover designer. I understand the issue with flash but I don’t understand why there isn’t an option to upload an image of everything I want on the front and back of the cover. I’d rather design the images and upload them. I am having trouble getting the dimensions right using the PDF cover templates, and consequently the quality of the image also was not the same as previous versions of my book.

I have already created four Lulu book projects using a similar front and back cover. When I tried do do a final larger version of my earlier projects, the cover “fill in the blanks” form placed my 3-lines of title text in a default font and size off to one side of the cover, wouldn’t let me add an image to the back cover as before, and did not offer any options for the spine. Totally unacceptable, compared to the fantastic earlier cover design options from Lulu.

Does anyone have templates they can send my way? I can’t get any of the zip files to download since they’re not built correctly. Would really love to start checking over my files but can’t even get started without the templates. Already sent in a note to Support but haven’t received anything back.

Hi Adam,
I checked in our support database and I don’t see a case tied to your email address. It’s possible the case form wasn’t fully filled out or didn’t send when you attempted to create the case.
Regarding the template bundles, I’m not sure I understand what you mean by ‘not built correctly.’ There isn’t really any way to build a zip file, they’re simply a compressed set of files to make the download quick and easy.
I can’t find any other reports of issues downloading the templates.
It’s possible there’s an issue with a blocker in your browser when you download, in which case you can turn that function off or use a different browser. If the problem is unzipping the files, that’s likely an issue with your archive utility. That should be easy to reinstall based on your machine’s operating system.

Any idea when it might be fixed? Still having issues.

The new book templates are a tad simplistic and seem easy to use save for one thing that I have no idea why I am having such difficulty with.

Everything is fine, except I cannot for the life of me get my rear cover text to separate into paragraphs…looks perfect in the field for adding text…but in the viewer it remains one long paragraph instead.

If I hit enter, it then adds a ? In a little box to the viewer and refuses to drop to the next line….

I have to missing something….help!

But why did you remove the acceptance of word.docs? I am not able, like Silvia to upload a pdf and printe4d it from 1 to the 22nd page where it is not longer accepted. There is only text on that page…

Well there is no way that i can upload a correct pdf file, from page 22 onward

I’m just getting started uploading a pdf and have a question. I am using the 6×9 lulu us trade interior template, but when I upload the pdf the book size shows US Letter 8.5 x 11″. This doesn’t seem right.

Having created my cover success fully but now reviewing and downloading files successfully, it won’t now go the last step to publish. Any ideas!

I’ve used Lulu for more than 10 years and have uploaded over 30 books over the years. Unfortunately since the update to the website I have not been able to upload a PDF successfully. I have watched your webinar and read the PDF requirements. I am using Word on Windows 10 on a PC, I have found the bundle template for A5 in word, it opens as a blank document (not sure if the dimensions image should load) but I see the margins etc are all set so I paste a story in and upload it and still no luck. I have changed all the font to Ariel, even number of pages, Title, copyright, dedications page then story page numbered. No images, gutter at 0.51cm, all margins at 2 cm so easily inside. Tried exporting it with mirrored margins and without. Tried A5 size and also tried A5 plus the 0.125 bleed.

I have tried to simplify everything write down to basics and still cannot upload a PDF. If anyone can help I would really appreciate it as I am totally upset. A wonderful woman has written poems all her life and at the age of 90 has befriended my mum who has told her I will upload it to Lulu and see her life’s work printed. I can not give up on this project especially under lockdown it would mean so much to us all if we could get this collection of poems in print.
Thankyou so much in advance for any help, sorry for the really long message 🙂

Do you print non-English novels? like, Filipino, perhaps?
Should I resize my manuscript first before uploading it?
Do you have some discount for bulk-printing?

Sorry, If I asked questions all at once.

Hello D. D. Stieben
It sounds as if you are creating a Standard Paperback, which indeed has a higher minimum page count than the Premium paperback format.
Thank you for bringing this discrepancy to my attention, I will update the templates to include min and max page counts for both paperback formats. Until then, you can view the min and max page counts on the book builder page.
Again, I apologize for any confusion created by this oversight.

there is a MAJOR discrepancy in the page counts, from one size to the next, from your book format guides, to your “actual” list. please,please correct this. It says the size I want can be 32 pages, which is just a bit outside my length but is doable. But when I choose that size (A5,6×9, for example) they say 48 page minimum. Do not want to add content, this is a stand alone work,not looking to add anything to it. So which is right 32, or 48.

Dear Sir,
I’d like to sell my ebooks in pdf format and I need a publisher to sign a contract for sale.
If you qualify to do it please tell me the process .
Ever blessings

Hi,
I am starting to use your 8.25×10.75 in hardcover template.
I inserted a word copy of my book.
The question is,I have a few blank pages in the template. Will it be possible to delete these later for a contiguous flow?
Thanks,
Pete

After reading all these comments, I would prefer to have Lulu to adapt my manuscript to ebook so I do not have to work on these details. Gina

Hi..i am an AUTHOR published through LuLu.com. For the Christmas time coming I WOULD LOVE to do a smaller version of my Gothic Gates books series and do a HARD COVER VERSION in the small new template POCKET PURSE size you offer…
any chance i can do these in HARDCOVER soon?
HOLIDAY SALES would be perfect for stocking stuffers on this for my readers…thank you Roshandra warmly writing on

I have been searching for a place to print small hardcover pocket/purse sized books. And I see a template for a paperback cover pocket sized book, but not hard cover. I feel that paperback will bend and fold too easily in a pocket or purse. When do you believe this will be an option at Lulu? Many thank yous for your services to the self-publishing world!

Hello,
Could you help me? Every time I finish uploading my book a blank page is inserted.
I revised several times and ended up always with a blank page inside my book.
Thanks

Hi there,
The provided links seem broken? Also it looks like these templates are for ms word. I’m using scrivener 2. Would you have those templates available?
Many thanks!

Dear Sir.Madam,
I am interested in publishing my reworked thesis with Lulu but unsure of the costs involved nor the process involved. Can someone please guide me.
Many thanks,
Solomon

What does ‘casewrap’ and ‘dust jacket’ mean?
I usually use ‘perfect’.
Whilst I would probably use this preformatting for my work, I can’t see any explanations of terminology here. That prevents me from using it.

Thank you for updating the templates. I have self published on another platform and I am getting ready to publish here. Templates always save time. Thank you again for the updates.

I am trying to assess the reasons for the changes in the header, footer, margin and gutter dimensions compared to the old template, which is still included in the zip files, and what the general opinion of them is compared to the old dimensions? If anybody has an opinion or knows of a review, Id like to hear of it at dollarability at gmaail dot com.

These things are a pain in the ass to modify. Please try to make ones more suited towards fiction novels, and easier to edit. For example, add a simple PDF explaining HOW to set it up, what goes on what pages (recommended) and etc. The templates are just a pain now.

Hey Carmi,
You can still submit your manuscript even if it was completed with the old template.

Hey Charra,
They should work but, contact our customer team if you have any issues with them.

talk truth to power

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