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More frustrating, soul destroying Lulu delay

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:47 am
by Rob Lang
This is utterly frustrating. Lulu have failed to print Icar again. Each time I lose a week waiting for them to try and print, fail, wait 3 days for feedback, then do an update to the PDF and so on. Months are rolling by and there is nothing I can do.

I had to first make sure the background went up to the bleed edge. No probs. Then I had to flatten the transparencies. Then I had to use their print profile. Then I had to remove all the vector art and replace it with rasterised versions. Now it still won't print.

They keep telling me that I have too many high res images but that would suggest that any roleplaying game with high res images won't print. I'm at the end of my tether with Lulu, who politely tell me that my PDF is wrong - not that they could be doing anything wrong. Not that they offer a service incorrectly. It appears you can't print Hi Res documents with Lulu.

Re: More frustrating, soul destroying Lulu delay

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:42 pm
by kumakami
time to find another company....anyone have tales of drivethrough?

Re: More frustrating, soul destroying Lulu delay

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:02 pm
by Onix
Drivethru is said to be more demanding. Although that generally refers to the PDF encoding matching their specs exactly. I don't know what their specs are though.

What DPI are you running at Rob? I've run as high as 300 for pictures, I've also used vector art for my maps. Although the vector program I use natively exports to PDF and then I put the PDF in my document (like you would an image).

Are you allowing acrobat to compress the images? I always have so I don't know what not compressing would do. I will be trying it in a little bit for a map, hopefully I don't run into the same problem.

Can you share some details? Sometimes Lulu does a bad job of correctly identifying the problem.

I wish they still accepted post script files, that used to be the most surefire way of getting a file to work.

Re: More frustrating, soul destroying Lulu delay

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:45 pm
by Rob Lang
I'll share some more when I'm not about to hit the hay but I've just started uploading a new version. I think the problem might have been that some of the pages weren't setup for full bleed because they didn't have backgrounds. I've now ensured that every page goes over the bleed line so there should be a full bleed on the doc. I'll order a couple tomorrow and cross my fingers.

Re: More frustrating, soul destroying Lulu delay

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:03 am
by Onix
I had caught your twitter about that. Yeah, Lulu is bad at identifying the reason why a book wouldn't print. They'll get stuck on one theory as to why a specific method of generating a file fails and will stick with it even after it's proven wrong over and over. They had one guy that was their Mac publishing "expert". He had a tutorial for how to publish using Mac software but everyone that used his tutorial had problems and couldn't get their projects through. They still refer people to his bogus tutorial. They further shot themselves in the foot by banning whole swaths of publishing software when it wasn't the pub software that was causing the problem, it was the PDF encoding software people were using.

Sorry, little rant. The good news is, once you figure out a workable file it's much easier to replicate your method.

Re: More frustrating, soul destroying Lulu delay

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:22 am
by Rob Lang
You're right, Emmett. The problem really is that they can't tell you at first. What I've learnt:

1. If you want "full bleed" (background print to go to edge of page) then you need that on every page - even those that don't need full bleed (such as while background pages).
2. Don't put vector art in, rasterise it to 300DPI and then copy it in.
3. Remove the cover from the PDF
4. Flatten the transparencies. It'll make the file 4 times the size but if it's only going to Lulu, that's OK.
5. Upload to Lulu using FTP.
6. Embed fonts.