Is PDF to Book for me?

Our PDF to Book workflow was created for people who have experience using advanced book layout tools.

If you are using Adobe® InDesign®, Blurb offers a plug-in that streamlines the book creation process.

If you are new to book layout we suggest downloading Blurb BookSmart®, our free and easy-to-use book-making software.

A Few Things to Know about PDF to Book

Print print

Digital Printing Considerations:

  • Keep in mind that Blurb prints using digital offset presses, not traditional offset lithography which means your book’s pages are printed on single sheets on both sides, rather than in traditional signatures. So, when you design your book, the pages in the layouts will be sequential and two-page spreads may not match up precisely.

Black and White Pocket or Trade Books:

  • While all of our book sizes can be printed in full color, Blurb also has a black and white option for the Pocket or Trade book sizes. Note that if you choose Black and White, any color images you place in your template will actually be translated to black and white halftone for printing. Black and White books can have a full-color cover, just like the other book options.

Number of Pages:

  • The books you make with Blurb must have an even number of pages – from 20 pages to 440 pages, so remember to include the single page on the right as you open your book and the single page on the left at the end of your book in your final page count. Also, pages print double-sided. If you want printing on one side of a spread only, you need to include blank pages.
  • A single page with a small Blurb logo is inserted at the end (last page) of all books printed with Blurb. You can specify this page to be white or black, or you can remove it entirely for an additional fee per book. This is known as a Custom Logo Upgrade; see our pricing page for details. You do not need to account for this extra page when designing your spine and it is not included in your final page count for pricing, but if you choose to remove it, you will be charged the Custom Logo fee. Also, all Blurb hardcover books come with end sheets at the front and back of the book. Again, these end sheets are not included in your book's page count.

PDF Export and Upload:

  • To print your book, you’ll upload one PDF for your book’s cover and a second PDF of the book’s pages.
  • When you export your PDF files, you need to use the PDF/X-3:2002 standard. A subset of the usual PDF, it is designed specifically for reliable prepress file creation. In other words, the PDF/X-3:2002 standard makes sure that our book print engine will play well with your PDFs. Using the Blurb PDF Export Preset will ensure that your PDFs will be happy files.
  • The largest press-ready PDF/X-3 file you can upload is 2GB. If you continually have issues trying to upload your book you might want to try an alternative or faster internet connection or contact Customer Support.

Image Size:

  • Images should be between 150 and 300 DPI for the best possible print production.

Publishing with Blurb:

  • When you publish a book from your PDF, you get access to all of Blurb’s great creative publishing services. After uploading your finishing files, you, or a friend or client have 15 days to place your order. Also, you can make your book available to the book-buying public in the Blurb Bookstore, sell it via Set Your Price, take advantage of Blurb BookShow™, and more.

Continue to Next Section: A Brief Note on Color