Today I finally finished my book and ordered two physical copies on blurb.co.uk and uploaded a digital version to issuu.com. The process of saving my InDesign file as a PDF and uploading that to Blurb for printing was a nightmare!!! I am traumatized by it. I didn’t think just ordering it can be so difficult. I stayed up until 3.30 am last night fighting with the website.
I had designed my book InDesign and changed the size of the layout to match the magazine size 22×28 cm that’s on the Blurb website. But when I uploaded my PDF document to the website, it didn’t accept the file because “the size didn’t match any formats they available”. There was an option to manually check what the problem is and so that then you can fix it and upload the PDF again. I tried many times and every time it said the was either a problem with the page size, cover size, or the amount of pages. I managed to solve the page size problem quite quickly because after the problem notice screen the website showed a more detailed size specification chart. When I saw the chart however, I couldn’t believe Blurb is only now showing it to me. Maybe they should have it somewhere more easy to find and not only after the PDF has been rejected. Maybe they do have it somewhere else too for people to see but it’s not anywhere easily noticeable.
The cover was a much bigger problem. There was a option to upload the pages and the covers in separate files. So I thought it would be more straight forward to do it like that instead of having them all in one document (which was the other option). I must have spent at least an hour trying to make to cover document so that the website would accept it. I uploaded the document and after rejection to fix it and upload again and fix again. I went thorough that cycle so many times that in the end it I just wanted to cry. No matter what I did, the Blurb website said that the cover size was wrong. And I couldn’t understand how it could be since I have multiple times checked and adjusted the size according to the specification chart.
Eventually I just couldn’t do it anymore and I decided to try the second option, uploading the cover and the pages in one document. The front cover had to be the first page of the book and the back cover the last. So I made it like that and the website finally accepted my PDF!! At that point I felt like not all hope was lost yet and I got new will to keep fighting with the website. But then after uploading that PDF the page order was messed up after Blurb had automatically taken the covers from the document. In the preview window I saw that pages that were supposed to be spreads weren’t next to each other. After studying the preview for a while I finally understood what the problem with the cover had been all along. For covers, you don’t only have to have the front and back covers but also the inside covers. So probably because I had been trying to upload a file with only 2 pages (outside covers), the website said that the page size wasn’t correct. And when I uploaded the covers and pages in one document, Blurb accepted it but took my first and last pages as the inside covers, which messed up the page order.
To prevent that from happening, I had to add extra pages to the end of my book and edit the beginning taking the inside cover into consideration. But at that point It was 3.30 am and I had literally had a minor break down already while trying to get even to this point so I went to bed and decided to do the changes in the morning that it required to save my page order.
This morning I woke up early to tackle the last bit of the process. After taking the inside covers into account, my amount of pages wasn’t divisible by 4. And because I had to add an empty spread to the end, I thought that I might as well do something with the spread. I made it into a spread about blogging. After all changes were done, I saved it as a PDF for the hundredth time, uploaded it successfully to Blurb, and ordered it. I had to choose the premium deliver to get it by May 18. I hope it will actually arrive by then because there’s not much time before the submission after that.