Uploading an existing PDF to Blurb

  • Updated

If you’ve made your PDF elsewhere, such as through Canva or Pixellu SmartAlbums, the information below will be helpful to get it ready to upload to your Blurb account.

There are two parts to getting a PDF printed: making sure your PDF is print-ready and then actually uploading the PDF. Follow the checklist below to successfully print your PDF with Blurb.

1. Make sure your PDF is print-ready

  • Ensure your fonts are properly embedded in the PDF.
  • Use our specification calculator to design files to the correct dimensions.
  • Make sure your book has an even number of pages, and at least 20 pages for our Photo Book and Magazine formats.
    • If you're creating a Trade book the total page count should be a multiple of 12, with a minimum of 24 pages.
  • Make black text only 100% black inkFor areas of large coverage, such as page backgrounds, use a rich black.
  • Don't use spot or registration color.
  • Verify that all the images in your book are between 150 and 300 DPI.
  • Rasterize overly complex vectors (e.g. Illustrator or CAD graphics).
  • Use perceptual rendering intent on all objects when possible.
  • Place images and artwork to the bleed line so that white lines won't appear at the edges of trimmed pages. See our bleed line FAQ and our trim line FAQ.
  • Create your cover last after you know your final page count.
  • Review your PDF file prior to upload. In Acrobat/Adobe Reader make sure the following are set in preferences:
    • View -> Page Display menu of the PDF, select Two-Up and Show Cover Page During Two-Up
    • Preferences > Page Display > de-select Use Local Fonts
    • Preferences > Page Display > set Use Overprint Preview to Always

2. Upload a PDF

If you're using Adobe InDesign to create your book use our Blurb InDesign Plug-in to design and upload your project. Otherwise, you can upload your PDF via our PDF uploader. If using the PDF uploader:

  • Your PDF should match the Final exported PDF dimensions shown on our  specifications page. Incorrectly-sized files may be rejected or, if within roughly 10%, will be automatically resized. However, this resizing may slightly distort your content.
  • Be sure to review your PDF preview after the file uploads, paying extra attention to the layout and trim/bleed areas.
  • If you run into any issues with your PDF upload please review these common preflight errors.

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