PDA

View Full Version : Lulu.com



Pages : 1 [2] 3 4

James D. Macdonald
03-02-2007, 10:17 AM
Jim, did you do all the formatting on those examples yourself? According to your instructions?

I did indeed.


If so, I would be most grateful if you would let me in on how you got the headers and footers and page numbers right without using section breaks. (I only looked at the first example, but figure the others are similar.)

In WordPerfect 12:

Create the document. Run HapiSofi's instructions for quotemarks and such. I like to use a nice typeface like Palantino.

Set the page size to 6x9. The dropdown menu is Format, then Page, then Page Settings. There isn't a 6x9 format provided, so I created one: I call it "Paperback," which is just the 6x9 paper size. Set the margins to something that please you. Your text is now on the right size pages.

Next, from the Insert dropdown menu, insert headers and footers. Header A is the author's name, Header B is the title of the book, and the footer is the page number. Make sure you have the typeface and size that matches your body text. When you create the headers, one of the choices on the header toolbar allows you to select whether the header will go on odd pages, even pages, or every page. Put Header A on even pages, Header B on odd pages.

Now go to the page that you want to have numbered 1. From the Format, menu, Page, Numbering. You'll find a tab labeled "Set Value." Type in 1, then hit the "Apply" button then the "Okay" button.

On any page where you don't want the header or footer to appear, (for example, no page number on the copyright page, no header on the top of the first page of each chapter), to go Format, Page, Suppress, and check off what you don't want to appear.

And that's it. The whole thing, not counting paging through looking for formatting weirdness (if you ended a line with a hard return in the middle of a paragraph it might not be obvious in your draft, but it'll be obvious in the re-formatted text) takes maybe twenty minutes.

Print to .pdf when you're done.


If the file was created in Word, I am mystified as to how it could have been done without section breaks. (Maybe other word processors have some other option.)

What's a section break?


Thanks.

--Ken

Any time.

James D. Macdonald
03-02-2007, 05:34 PM
p.s. if you are printing with lulu and want to sell your book on amazon you have to buy the isbn from lulu. they won't list your book on amazon unless you buy from them.

In that case you're using Lulu as a printer. You set yourself up as a merchant on Amazon, and when the orders come in, you send the book.

ResearchGuy
03-03-2007, 01:00 AM
I did indeed.

In WordPerfect 12:. . ..
Interesting! That is quite different from how Word works. If you were using Word, you would need to know how to use section breaks. Apparently WordPerfect has a very different set of methods to get the same result. Or it has very different terminology. Or a bit of both.

I have not used Word Perfect since about 1994. It took two weeks of gnashing my teeth and swearing at the screen to make the transition to Word.

In a nutshell, FWIW (important to those who do use Word), a "section" in Word is a portion of the file that has its own defined formatting (page size, headers, footers, page numbers, and more). A section break is what marks the start of a new section (continuous, on a new page, on an odd page, on an even page). After a while, it becomes intuitive. But in Word, if you do not know how to use section breaks and page formatting within sections, you cannot lay out a manuscript book style. When I start a new document (one with any complexity to it at all), I start by inserting a few section breaks, setting up the basic page formats, creating some dummy first-level headings, and inserting a placeholder table of contents. Or I start with a template file that already has all that done (along with other style matters already handled). I set the Heading 1 (chapter-level) style to automatically insert a page break before, which eliminates any need for manual page breaks, and set up sections with different odd and even pages and different first page to get the headers and footers right and blank pages where needed if chapters are to begin on a right-hand page. Dunno how WordPerfect handles that. It has to do all the same stuff. Just in different ways.

It would be interesting to see what a WordPerfect file like the one you described would look like (at the "show all" level) if saved as a Word document.

Anyway, perhaps you see why I was puzzled by your instructions. They would not work in Word.

--Ken

Talia
03-03-2007, 01:56 AM
I have a question - not directly related to Lulu - but I'm in NZ so my book uses non-American spelling e.g. behaviour vs behavior. How important is it to use American spelling if I decide to place one of my books on Lulu? (I can't for the other as I don't have the rights)

ResearchGuy
03-03-2007, 02:10 AM
I have a question - not directly related to Lulu - but I'm in NZ so my book uses non-American spelling e.g. behaviour vs behavior. How important is it to use American spelling if I decide to place one of my books on Lulu? (I can't for the other as I don't have the rights)
Lulu will not care. It just takes in the file and prints it.

You might want to consider a small note to readers, mentioning that as an author from New Zealand, you have used British spelling. Perhaps that could be tucked unobtrusively in the front matter, or could be a footnote on the first page of text. Just a thought. But then, the spelling preference might be so obvious to educated readers as not to require even a mention.

--Ken

James D. Macdonald
03-03-2007, 04:04 AM
It would be interesting to see what a WordPerfect file like the one you described would look like (at the "show all" level) if saved as a Word document.


If you want such a document saved as a Word file so you can look at it, ask and you shall receive. Give me your email address and I'll send it right along.



Anyway, perhaps you see why I was puzzled by your instructions. They would not work in Word.



I think the best description of Word is that it makes simple things complex.

ResearchGuy
03-03-2007, 05:41 AM
If you want such a document saved as a Word file so you can look at it, ask and you shall receive. Give me your email address and I'll send it right along.




I think the best description of Word is that it makes simple things complex.
I'll send email address separately. As for your description of Word -- could well be. It is a product of The Great (Software) Satan, after all. I have used it so long and for so many complicated (and sometimes very long) documents (and have tutored others in its use) that I don't much think about that any more. A few thousand pages of writing, formatting, and editing in it, including preparing camera-ready copy, does provide a certain level of experience.


FWIW, BTW, there is an old software adage (this dates back at least 20 or 25 years, for sure), that "easy to learn is hard to use, and hard to learn is easy to use." There can be rewards after one ascends a long learning curve, when it turns out that all that stuff that was so complicated allows one to do complicated things with a couple of clicks or a short line of code. Maybe WordPerfect is the exception that is easy to learn and easy to use.

--Ken

Talia
03-06-2007, 03:41 AM
Lulu will not care. It just takes in the file and prints it.

You might want to consider a small note to readers, mentioning that as an author from New Zealand, you have used British spelling. Perhaps that could be tucked unobtrusively in the front matter, or could be a footnote on the first page of text. Just a thought. But then, the spelling preference might be so obvious to educated readers as not to require even a mention.

--Ken
Thanks K

I guess I didn't ask the right question. What I meant to ask is, will American readers find it off-putting? I know sometimes my friend in Texas laughs and thinks I have bad spelling when I write things like diarrhoea ...

veinglory
03-06-2007, 04:11 AM
You could make an American editon? People here will likely say that different spelling sets are no big deal, but I doubt they are a representative sample. I have also had people such as critique partners assume that I just can't spell.

ResearchGuy
03-06-2007, 04:38 AM
Thanks K

I guess I didn't ask the right question. What I meant to ask is, will American readers find it off-putting? I know sometimes my friend in Texas laughs and thinks I have bad spelling when I write things like diarrhoea ...
Some might. Obviously Tex is one such. Maybe many. Depends on your audience. If you are aiming at folks who read widely, including books by British authors, no problem. Else, yeah, might be an issue. It is probably impossible to overestimate the insularity of American readers, on average. (Not that I would point out our raving dumbass of a president as an example. No way, no how.)

The American editions of the Harry Potter books Americanize the spelling. The publishers even dumbed down the title of the first one, from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, assuming American kids are ignorant of the meaning of "philosopher's stone." Alas, that is probably so.

--Ken

James D. Macdonald
03-06-2007, 05:57 AM
Where's the book set?

But this is a bit off-topic for Lulu: Lulu will print the book exactly the way you upload it. They're a printer, nothing more.

Talia
03-06-2007, 01:07 PM
The books are non-fiction

This particular book is on love and dating. I'm almost out of stock and was considering reprinting at Lulu to reach the Amazon market.

RichHelms
03-06-2007, 03:56 PM
I live in Canada so we experience British vs. American English in our writing. If your target audience is Americans, use American spelling and grammar. There are many grammar differences like

one, two, and three (Am)
vs.
one, two and three (Br)

Julie Worth
03-06-2007, 04:00 PM
They're a printer, nothing more.

Since they contract out their printing, they're more of an interface.

James D. Macdonald
03-06-2007, 07:22 PM
Since they contract out their printing, they're more of an interface.

Yeah, I can go with that: a web-based front end.

ResearchGuy
03-06-2007, 08:04 PM
. . . There are many grammar differences like one, two, and three (Am) vs. one, two and three (Br)
That would be punctuation, not grammar, and off topic in this thread, but I have to comment anyway. The serial comma is a raging source of argument in the U.S.. It is not a U.S. vs. U.K. thing as such. The Chicago Manual of Style (for example) and Strunk & White's Elements of Style call for the serial comma, while the much-used AP style calls for omitting it. Fisticuffs break out over the issue.

AP's style is simply wrong on that point, but let's not go there.

--Ken

Talia
03-07-2007, 01:05 AM
I like the omission:)

Sooooo James when you did your little exercise how long did it take for the books to print once you'd inputted all the info (or were they there for POD only)

My challenge is I need some books here in NZ and some in US and postage between the 2 locations is prohibitive.

john w
03-07-2007, 07:00 AM
Does publishing a work ( e.g. a novel) on Lulu preclude you from subsequently trying to sell it to conventional publishers via conventional literary agents? In other words, are you locked in to Lulu forever, or can you change a few words and then market essentially the same work to conventional publishers as a 'second edition' or something?

Thanx in advance!

ResearchGuy
03-07-2007, 07:54 AM
Does publishing a work (e.g. a novel) on Lulu preclude you from subsequently trying to sell it to conventional publishers via conventional literary agents? In other words, are you locked in to Lulu forever, or can you change a few words and then market essentially the same work to conventional publishers as a 'second edition' or something?

Thanx in advance!
If you have gotten an ISBN (a Lulu ISBN or one they get on your behalf) and distribution package, that would probably be a complicating factor. (Yes, it could be a real problem.) If you just use Lulu to print some copies, that would be no different from having some copies printed at a local copy shop. No significance.

If you have a manuscript that you believe has potential for normal commercial publication, then allow me to recommend that you focus exclusively on pursuing normal commercial publication. Study Writer's Market and all of the other resources for finding appropriate agent (or publisher that accepts unagented submissions) and proceed from there. Research how to write an effective query letter before you send off the first one.

If, in the meantime, you want to have some copies printed to share with readers for comment, proofing, and maybe quotable comments (blurbs), Lulu is a convenient and low-cost printer for that purpose. But don't get the distribution package/ISBN. Keep it available to you only, order the copies you want, and share them only with your selected readers.

Good luck with the manuscript. If you think you have the goods, aim high. If commercial publication proves to be out of reach, then there are other options that might be attractive. But don't start with any of the alternatives.

--Ken

RichHelms
03-09-2007, 05:25 AM
A friend of ours, Nicholas Boothman, self-published his first book then went after contentional publishers. Workman picked him up and he rewrote the book for them. Nick just released his forth New York Times best seller.

Worked for him.

ResearchGuy
03-09-2007, 05:48 AM
A friend of ours, Nicholas Boothman, self-published his first book then went after contentional publishers. Workman picked him up and he rewrote the book for them. Nick just released his forth New York Times best seller.

Worked for him.
I met a fellow last year who had self-published a niche book (pretty big niche, though: gambling). A major publisher noticed it and invited him to write a larger book for them, on what I gather were excellent terms. It happens.

Do you think Mr. Boothman might have been able to successfully pitch his book to Workman before he self-published? Or was it the visibility of his book (and good sales?) that attracted Workman's attention?

--Ken

RichHelms
03-09-2007, 06:58 AM
The success of the self-published book impressed Workman. They weren't put off that it had been published.

James D. Macdonald
03-09-2007, 09:02 AM
Does publishing a work ( e.g. a novel) on Lulu preclude you from subsequently trying to sell it to conventional publishers via conventional literary agents?

We're talking about a novel here. (Non-fiction is another area.)

Here's the danger: A fresh manuscript, never before published, has potential. If you publish it yourself, and it doesn't sell well (and regardless of the quality of the novel, 'doesn't sell well' is the expected outcome of self-publishing), then you risk having the book marked "proven failure." This will limit your abilty to re-sell it.

If you sell 5,000 copies, you risk having your novel marked "has already sold all the copies it's going to," and again limiting your resale potential. You really need to sell on the order of 10,000 copies in a short period of time to make the novel look like it's a decent gamble for the publisher.

If an editor loves your book, then that editor will buy it. But that editor will love the book if it comes in as a manuscript, too.

Unless you're a talented business person as well as being a talented writer (and have a lot of knowledge of the publishing world and a pile of money to invest with no guarantee of getting it back), you should only go the self-publishing route if you think that printing and selling your own book is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

Please don't think of self-publishing as a shortcut to commercial publication or an end-run around the slushpile. That kind of thinking is an invitation to disappointment.

Siddow
03-19-2007, 11:21 PM
The books are never free. But for ten dollars or so, almost.

If you're a NaNo winner, you can get one free copy of your book. I wrote a YA for NaNo, for my son, and got my free copy. He loved it. I'm going to do that again this year.

I made it private, nobody can buy it or even know it exists. I even put his photo on the back cover, like an author's photo. The book is very nice (if somewhat hastily written and lightly edited).

LizzieGirl
04-05-2007, 08:02 AM
I paid about $16 for the two copies of mine, postage included. No other charges. I'll keep one for my files and I am using the other as a sample to show when I talk to folks about POD.

To get ISBN and some other services would have cost $99.95, and there is another package for $149.95 (the user can pick one or the other or neither). Those extras are unnecessary if you are only using Lulu as a printer -- you can even have the books available for purchase via Lulu's site with no cost other than the price of the books. Full info. on prices is at www.lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com).

Lulu has a markup included in the printing cost it charges, and if you set a selling price above the printing cost it takes 20% of that. So, if your book has printing cost of $10 and you price it at $20, Lulu sends you $8 per copy purchased, but you can buy for your own use at $10.

Bear in mind: Lulu does no formatting for you, no editing -- bare bones book printing from your file. It does provide some free cover templates.

--Ken

I understand the basic difference with the ISBN packages but which one is better to get?

ResearchGuy
04-08-2007, 01:13 AM
I understand the basic difference with the ISBN packages but which one is better to get?
There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to that. It depends on what serves your purposes best. Do you want to be the publisher-of-record? Or is it ok if Lulu is the publisher-of-record?

Maybe there is a forum at Lulu.com that has comments that would be helpful in deciding. It is a good question, and I wish I could be more helpful.

--Ken

FredCharles
04-13-2007, 06:31 PM
I'm doing an interview with an author who recently published her book through Lulu. The interview is almost completed, but I still need a few more questions. Do any of you have any questions that you would like me to ask her? She has been through the entire process, and is familiar with a lot of the pitfalls.

Carmy
04-15-2007, 11:11 PM
I'm consider Lulu for an ensemble and the choice of publisher is one I'll have to make. If it isn't too personal a question, Ken, how did you decide the way you did?

I browsed a few books and saw that some list themselves as the publisher but some have what appears to be a publisher's name. See http://books.lulu.com/content/168446 I doubt it fools anyone but it looks one step above showing the author's name. I don't know the ramifications of creating a fictional publisher, though. Anyone know?

huw
04-16-2007, 12:43 AM
I browsed a few books and saw that some list themselves as the publisher but some have what appears to be a publisher's name. See http://books.lulu.com/content/168446 I doubt it fools anyone but it looks one step above showing the author's name. I don't know the ramifications of creating a fictional publisher, though. Anyone know?

It's discussed here:

http://podbookreview.blogspot.com/2007/04/what-lulu-does-impossible.html

and doubtless in the appropriate Lulu FAQs and forums.

Huw

Carmy
04-16-2007, 09:22 AM
Diolch (thank you) Huw.

You linked to an interesting site and I've added it to my favourites.

huw
04-16-2007, 05:48 PM
Croeso [you're] welcome.

Sadly, I only have rusty, school-level Welsh :)

Huw

Carmy
04-19-2007, 06:44 AM
LOL Same here, Huw. Worse, I don't live in Wales now.

kborsden
04-22-2007, 04:04 AM
Okay, I've done everything as I should...Got it right first time, I thought, but was mistaken, so I revised the project, but, now I've lost the option to customize my cover and am stuck with a bland pre-designed one. WTF? It worked before and I made a really good one too, what's happened?

kborsden
04-22-2007, 04:06 AM
'n glws at canfod rhyw Cymraeg boblogi am dros pawb 'r Saesneg areithwyr

Nice to see some welsh guys about instead of all the english speakers

huw
04-22-2007, 04:34 AM
Okay, I've done everything as I should...Got it right first time, I thought, but was mistaken, so I revised the project, but, now I've lost the option to customize my cover and am stuck with a bland pre-designed one. WTF? It worked before and I made a really good one too, what's happened?

If I were doing a Lulu project that got irretrievably messed up, I'd simply start again with a new publication (using the same interior and cover files). I think Lulu has some kind of "My Files" storage area where you can store content, so you shouldn't even have to re-upload anything.

You won't want to abandon a project if you've bought a distribution package for it, of course. In that case I would say Lulu support/forums should be your next port of call.

Huw

kborsden
04-22-2007, 05:52 AM
tried that, didn't work!

kborsden
04-22-2007, 11:28 AM
I've sorted it!! :D

The problem was a corrupt cookie.

MadDogEnforcer
04-22-2007, 07:29 PM
Has anyone purchased Lulu's "published by you"? Is Lulu on the copywrite page? Anywhere on the book? Are additional extras needed with this? Is the book available anywhere besides Amazon (online) such as Ingrams, etc. ? Appreciate any feedback.

Julie Worth
04-22-2007, 07:49 PM
For any book through lulu, you have control of the cover and everything inside. There's no lulu logo if you don't want it. For the "Published by You" option, you are listed as the publisher. You can make up a publisher name, a logo, whatever, and put that on the book. When people look at your book on Amazon or anywhere else, they will see it listed under your publisher name.

From lulu: Lulu offers the Published by You distribution service for $149.95. This new Lulu service allows you, the author, to register to become your own publisher and purchase your own unique ISBN from the official US ISBN Agency. This ISBN is directly mapped to you as the official, registered publisher. The Books In Print database and others will show your registered details as publisher.

MadDogEnforcer
04-22-2007, 08:01 PM
Does that get that into Ingrams so a bookstore could order it (if a friend wanted to get it from a store)?

Julie Worth
04-22-2007, 08:06 PM
Does that get that into Ingrams so a bookstore could order it (if a friend wanted to get it from a store)?

According to the lulu faqs (http://www.lulu.com/help/index.php?fSymbol=isbn_faq#FAQLink9), it does (make it available through bookstores, that is). Though I suggest you go the free route initially, and work out the bugs before you buy this.

veinglory
04-23-2007, 03:31 AM
There is a degree of negative attitude to this if people do it with the intent to obscure the self-published nature of the book. It doesn't have any tangible effects on your ability to distibute versus lulu/isbn+ package as far as I can see?

snook
04-23-2007, 04:18 AM
I used the "published by you" option with LULU, but not to hide the fact that it's self-published. I opted to leave the LULU logos on the book. I went the "published by you" route so that I owned the ISBN outright; to me it was worth the extra $50. That way, I could take my ball and go home if I don't like the way things are going. I also listed the publisher as "Charles Emery" (me), so there would not be any doubt in anyones mind that I was responsible for the whole thing, and that any PETA death threats would be directed solely at me ;) .

Silver King
04-23-2007, 04:56 AM
Is Lulu on the copywrite page?
Mad, I hardly ever correct anyone's spelling, but in this case I think it's important: The word is copyright.

I wouldn't bring it up unless I thought it might help with your research.

Good luck to you.

James D. Macdonald
04-23-2007, 03:07 PM
What's on the copyright page is whatever you put there.

If you don't have a copyright page in the .pdf you upload there won't be a copyright page at all.

ResearchGuy
04-26-2007, 07:47 PM
I'm consider Lulu for an ensemble and the choice of publisher is one I'll have to make. If it isn't too personal a question, Ken, how did you decide the way you did?

I browsed a few books and saw that some list themselves as the publisher but some have what appears to be a publisher's name. See http://books.lulu.com/content/168446 I doubt it fools anyone but it looks one step above showing the author's name. I don't know the ramifications of creating a fictional publisher, though. Anyone know?

Sorry to be so slow to see this and reply . . .

Anyway . . .

The first question is not susceptible to an easy answer. "What I did?" I experimented with Lulu by using one of my unpublished monographs (it should have been published, but that is a long and annoying story). That was just to learn how the system works. Two versions are for sale at printing cost, or free for download. I also used Lulu as a printer for a booklet I wrote (mostly as a person-to-person marketing handout, although you can buy it from Lulu if you want) called "The Pursuit of Publishing." I need few copies of that and Lulu does a nice job printing and binding. I have also used Lulu (not visibly to the public) for working copies/galleys of works in progress (by other people, manuscripts I have worked with). It is a very handy, cost-effective way to get galleys/ARCs. In fact, the publisher of Dandelion Through the Crack (see thread elsewhere on AW) used Lulu (at my recommendation and after I demonstrated its utility) to print ARCs for reviewers (and to double as galley proofs). The results looked better than and were a fraction of the cost of galleys printed by a local copy shop. (The only nuisance was delivery time of a couple of weeks.)

As for publisher name: anyone can establish a publishing company. It is like establishing any other small business: business permit, fictitious name permit, and other mechanics. There are many, many examples, some of which have national and even international distribution. Sole proprietorships are common for self-publishers, but there are other methods, including various flavor of corporation. See chapter 3 of Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, for example. Or for general small-business guidance, see, for example, www.score.org (http://www.score.org) (the Senior Corps of Retired Executives), or a Nolo Press book on how to start and run a small business, etc.

I am not sure that the notion of "fooling anyone" is helpful. But I can guarantee you that if you saw some of the self-published books I am familiar with, you would have no clue at all that the author is also the publisher. Some of those author/publishers expand to publish books by others, too, at which point they simply are running small publishing companies, no longer "self-publishing" companies. I have named names in other posts. No need to repeat here. Those folks are buyng print runs of thousands (in U.S. or abroad), not using POD. I will point to one example: www.deervalleypress.com (http://www.deervalleypress.com).

--Ken

Carmy
04-28-2007, 09:57 AM
Many thanks for such a details answer, Research Guy.

rubarbb
04-29-2007, 12:37 AM
Hi, great information! rubarbb

Michael
04-29-2007, 06:12 AM
Yeah, that's actually kind of messed up, but oh well. Otherwise, Lulu provides a pretty decent service for free.

veinglory
04-29-2007, 06:20 AM
Well, for no money up front. It isn't a charity ;)

facsmth
04-29-2007, 06:18 PM
Publish America doesn't offer ISBNS, does it?

LloydBrown
04-29-2007, 06:31 PM
PA puts an ISBN on its books. Is that what you're asking?

facsmth
04-29-2007, 06:39 PM
Ah... Publish America puts an ISBN on the book... And they offer the books POD to book stores. Does Lulu also do POD for book stores, yet they charge for ISBNs?

If only PA had such an awesome digitial interface as Lulus' ... *drools*

huw
04-29-2007, 06:52 PM
If only PA had such an awesome digitial interface as Lulus' ... *drools*

If PA had more of what lulu had and less of what PA has, maybe there wouldn't be a never-ending PA thread hereabouts :)

veinglory
04-29-2007, 07:36 PM
They both provide ISBNs, and they both charge for them--just in different ways. If you like Lulu, use Lulu. The Lulu storefront is pretty user friendly but unless you have a book that really fills a need it still won't produce bulk sales.

Talia
04-30-2007, 03:59 AM
lulu is useful if you have an existing base of customers ready to buy or you just want a few copies for friends and relatives e.g. if it was a story about your family

facsmth
05-01-2007, 12:50 AM
Requirements for book interiors

The book description should be between 40 and 4,000 characters; longer descriptions may not be displayed by booksellers. Does this mean the book description has to be INSIDE of the book? Like which page? Can it be on the back of the book? (Back cover?)




Final page of each book must be completely blank.
Book must have a Title page.
Book must have a Copyright page with your correct 13-digit ISBN/EAN. The Copyright page must come after the Title page.

If I publish with Lulu, do they write up the copyright page? Do I have them print up copies before I make the book available to the public, send that the copyright office, then make up a copyright page later on when I get the c.?
rgins must be at least .5" on all sides. Your left margin must be equal to your right margin, and your top margin must be equal to your bottom margin.

Page numbering must be correct. No page numbers may be skipped. You can have a page without a page number on it, but it must be counted and consistent.
All files should be submitted at high-resolution (300 dpi).[/quote] It also mentions how the last page should be blank. Can I have a page number on the last page, too?

veinglory
05-01-2007, 01:01 AM
You don't need to register copright to assert it. I think Lulu provide some templates as examples and I suggest looking at these.

facsmth
05-01-2007, 01:19 AM
You don't need to register copright to assert it. I think Lulu provide some templates as examples and I suggest looking at these.

? But what about the ISBN/EAN number?

veinglory
05-01-2007, 01:30 AM
You need to provide your own ISBN number or purchase it with the isbnplus package for $99.

Lulu print exactly what you give them so it pays to work off a template (or an equivalent published book) and make sure you have all the elements required in the right place.

ResearchGuy
05-01-2007, 01:39 AM
Does this mean the book description has to be INSIDE of the book? Like which page? Can it be on the back of the book? (Back cover?)

If I publish with Lulu, do they write up the copyright page? Do I have them print up copies before I make the book available to the public, send that the copyright office, then make up a copyright page later on when I get the c.?
. . .

It also mentions how the last page should be blank. Can I have a page number on the last page, too?
Blank means blank. Period. Absolutely blank.

No, they do not write ANY page. You must provide the file exactly as it is to print--every page of it and every word of it, fully laid out. Lulu can convert a properly designed Word file to pdf, or can accept a properly designed pdf.

Description is for marketing purposes, NOT back cover text and not something inside the book (although I don't think there is any reason why back-cover text could not double as the marketing description).

Always order a copy before you make the book publicly available. Study it for layout problems, typos, etc. You might have to repeat the process several times. Don't buy distribution package (if you really want one) until you are 100% certain the book is ready for prime time.

Study commercially published books to see how they are laid out. Study some Lulu books.

Better yet, hire a book designer. Your questions (no offense intended) suggest you are not prepared to design a book. Be sure to hire an editor -- at least copy editor and proof reader.

If you want to register the copyright, AFTER the book is done and published, send two copies with the copyright application form and check to the Copyright Office. Copyright is not the same thiing as registration of copyright. Spend some time with www.copyright.gov (http://www.copyright.gov/). Copyright is not something you "get."

Read the FAQs. Contact Lulu's live help for answers. Better than relying on the kindness of strangers here.

--Ken

facsmth
05-01-2007, 02:05 AM
Lulu provides editing and proof-reading, don't they?

Julie Worth
05-01-2007, 02:06 AM
Lulu can convert a properly designed Word file to pdf, or can accept a properly designed pdf.


Convert it to pdf yourself. Don't depend on lulu for this.

Julie Worth
05-01-2007, 02:09 AM
Lulu provides editing and proof-reading, don't they?

Look at their Pre-Publishing Services (http://www.lulu.com/category/106).

ResearchGuy
05-01-2007, 02:28 AM
Lulu provides editing and proof-reading, don't they?

No.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
05-01-2007, 02:31 AM
Convert it to pdf yourself. Don't depend on lulu for this.

??

Only once, out of dozens of times, has a Lulu conversion of one of my Word files to pdf been incorrect. That time, a page break got bunged up and some text misplaced. Files ranging from a few score pages to a few hundred pages, and a couple with many graphics and tables, no problems, except that one time.

--Ken

facsmth
05-01-2007, 02:38 AM
Book Design Wizard Jr. for Microsoftģ Word
Provider: Jera Web Creations, LLC | E-mail this provider
A slimmed down version of our Book Design Wizard 2.0. Less features at a reduced price. Creates a customized book layout in Microsoft Word.
Price: $20.00 Provider Ranking: 8 Customer Rating:
*


Oh, that looks nice... :D


Oh, and the reason the first two attempts were 8.5 by 11 is because my .PDF conversion software made the wrong size PDF file even though I set the page size in MS Word to be 6 by 9.

For reference, here's what the book looks like so far...
(http://www.lulu.com/content/829178)

Here's the cover. :D (http://www.lulu.com/items/volume_56/829000/829178/1/print/829178_cover.pdf)

James D. Macdonald
05-01-2007, 03:24 AM
Lulu provides editing and proof-reading, don't they?

No, they don't. What you send is what they print.

facsmth
05-01-2007, 03:37 AM
No, they don't. What you send is what they print.

What about this page? (http://www.lulu.com/browse/index.php?fCatId=106&fOffset=0&fSearch=&fSort=relevance&fTagsSelected=312&fLanguage=&fCountry=0&fSortCausedByForm=1)

veinglory
05-01-2007, 03:43 AM
What about that page? It is a place where third party people (i.e. not Lulu staff) offer book design services--for money.

Lulu is the printing service, they just print what you send them.

facsmth
05-01-2007, 04:28 AM
AH... well, has anyone used them?

... I just somehow think somone else's eyes might be more apt at spotting my mistakes. Or perhaps advise me what parts need substantial revision. (Is that part boring? No? How about this one?)

veinglory
05-01-2007, 04:59 AM
The people you link do book design, so just formatting not anything to do with the text itself. You might be looking at either recipriocal beta-reading with another author or a reputable book doctor. But if you are going to self-publish the odds are this will cost more than you will reap back from sales unless you have niche non-fcition of one of those very rare break through novels.

James D. Macdonald
05-01-2007, 05:02 AM
Or perhaps advise me what parts need substantial revision. (Is that part boring? No? How about this one?)


Sounds like you're looking for beta readers (or a good workshop).

Check with your local library for local face-to-face workshops. They might know of some. You can frequently find workshops at community colleges.

facsmth
05-01-2007, 05:04 AM
I guess I could twist by editor friend's arm a bit. He distributes fanzines and is a florist by trade. He always asks to see my latest stuff...

ResearchGuy
05-01-2007, 06:20 AM
... I just somehow think somone else's eyes might be more apt at spotting my mistakes. Or perhaps advise me what parts need substantial revision. (Is that part boring? No? How about this one?)
No one is his or her own best copyeditor or proof reader. It is simply too easy to overlook one's own mistakes. Typos are like cockroaches. They will survive nuclear attack.

I recently proofed a long manuscript (~400 pages), and flagged errors (mostly very minor, stuff like commas and hyphens) on more than 100 pages (multiple errors on some of them). That was AFTER it had been edited by the publisher's staff (although one doozy of a one-word error was introduced in the editing process by a spell-checker run amok, apparently). And now we see there are still more errors (some that are obvious once pointed out . . . how the heck did they get past everyone before??). Now to go over the revised file once more, word by word, sentence by sentence. Back to the red pen and Post-It flags.

As for the bigger revisions . . . yep. That is why there are developmental editors. Sometimes professional colleagues can serve as effective editors. That can work for nonfiction in the right settings, but is not always an option.

There is value in the standard recommendation to set a manuscript aside for days or weeks and then reread and edit and proof. That gives the author at least a semblance of a fresh look.

Writing is rewriting. And rewriting. And rewriting. And rewriting. And rewriting. See what William Zinsser has to say about that in On Writing Well.

--Ken

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-01-2007, 06:29 AM
You really really REALLY need to take some time & learn more about this stuff.

You're thrashing around, comparing POD printing to desktop publishing, asking questions that make it clear you don't know what questions to be asking. I'd guess that, soon enough, you'll be here to ask why the local B&N isn't shelving your books.

You need to slow down, give your checkbook & credit cards to Mom to lock up for a few months, & educate yourself a bit. Make that more than a bit.

veinglory
05-01-2007, 06:38 AM
There are a lot of sources of info out there. I would also advise setting aside some time, like maybe a month, to have a good look around. Quite a few members hear are either self-published or otherwise published and can give you the benefit of their experiences. When you consider how much time and energy it takes to write a book a few weeks in planning how to publish it is only reasonable.

facsmth
05-01-2007, 07:28 PM
Ah well, forget about my paying Lulu to publish my book. :D I've decided to try and find an actual publisher. Thanks for the advice.

sadron
06-26-2007, 04:43 PM
I'm considering Lulu too. I don't think about money so much, but I want even one book to be published. I wonder if Lulu is good for me?

Questions,
I have a friend who might make a cover for my book, does Lulu allow it?
How many of your books is sold? Just curious. :)

SilverVistani
06-27-2007, 06:51 AM
First off, I would like to apologize if this is a topic that's already come up and/or if this is the wrong place to put this. Please don't hurt me! *hides*

Now that that's over....

Does anyone know much about Lulu.com? My friend is using it to sell his/our (I helped a smidgen on a couple songs) music CD (http://www.lulu.com/content/779696) (sorry, couldn't help the plugging! ><*). But... I don't really know much about the site/business.

Is Lulu a decent enough place to start for someone like me who has no connections, lots of self-doubt, absolutely no money to hire an agent or go to conventions, and no real experience in trying to become published? I don't know... I guess I was just curious if there's anyone out there who may have looked into it or maybe even used it?

JoNightshade
06-27-2007, 06:56 AM
Lulu is fine if you want to self publish, but self publishing is a sticky topic that probably won't help you in the long run. Unless all you want is to see your name in print and give some copies to your friends.

By the way, you don't have to "hire" an agent. They only get paid a percentage of what YOU get paid when they sell your book.

All you need to start querying agents is a place to print out queries and enough money for envelopes and stamps. Actually many of them will accept email queries, so sometimes you don't even need that.

I recommend spending 25 bucks on the 2007 Guide to Literary Agents. It will give you names and addresses, not to mention a complete overview of the process of querying and submitting.

BoyBlog
06-27-2007, 06:58 AM
That depends on how much time you have, how good you are with marketing and selling things, and if you have a big support team.

If not, try and go the traditional route. :)

ChaosTitan
06-27-2007, 07:19 AM
Here are a few discussion links. Also, check out the POD, Self-Publishing (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=47)forum for more info.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67966&highlight=Lulu
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67066&highlight=Lulu
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62975&highlight=Lulu
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64351&highlight=Lulu

Stijn Hommes
06-27-2007, 02:27 PM
Lulu is a decent enough place, but I would say that anyway as I occasionally do customer support on their forums. I'd basically go with what JoNightShade said.

1. You don't need to pay agents until you get paid. So don't go hiring any.
2. While you could spend cash on a book, some web research will help too. http://www.agentquery.com http://www.querytracker.net http://www.sfwa.org/beware and http://www.accrispin.blogspot.com are all good places to start your search for agents and learn about standard agent business practices.
3. You don't need "connections" or experience to get published. Just make the effort to learn about how you are supposed to do it and I've done that without spending a dime and so can you.

Stuffedtoy
06-27-2007, 05:51 PM
I have several books I've published thru Lulu, and I can only say good things about the experience. I don't know about the paying option, as I don't pay. When I first joined, I did buy the ISBN- which at that time was $20 something, but mostly what I've sold were Ebooks.
There are a few differences between PA and Lulu. First off, since you're the editor, you're responsible for what you write. PA has a bad reputation for their editing- you have one chance to make changes. (Which may or may not be done) With Lulu your options are endless. You can edit it as many times as necessary. Secondly is the price. Lulu has a pre-set price for printing- depending on the number of pages, various sizes and cover choices. (hard/soft) You set your royalty amount, which exceeds normal publishers.
The downfalls are that you are publishing it yourself, so you have to work harder, you do your own cover (which for me was better) no advances, and they are POD.

Looking for reviewers: http://heavenlytrinkets.com/reviews/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2

sadron
06-27-2007, 06:28 PM
Thank you for answer. I still want to try Lulu later on. :) It is interesting.

Berry
06-27-2007, 07:28 PM
You don't need to pay agents until you get paid. So don't go hiring any.


Right, but I'd put it a bit stronger. Any "agent" that wants you to give them money BEFORE they sell your book is probably scamming you.

LloydBrown
06-27-2007, 07:35 PM
You shouldn't send an agent money, anyway. They should take their cut from your royalty checks. Or have the publisher cut two checks, whichever you agree to.

However, there's no reason to NOT HAVE an agent before you have an offer from a publisher. I don't see the benefit there.

SilverVistani
06-27-2007, 07:43 PM
Thank you all very much for your information. ^_^' I'm still pretty new the the whole concept of publishing and I really do appreciate all of the helpful suggestions.

Sincerely... thank you all! *hugs for everyone*

strngchs
06-29-2007, 06:04 AM
I have published a first draft using lulu just to have a finished product in my hand so I can see where my boo boos are. (it is so much easier to edit when it is in BOOK form!!)

The first thing I learned was the proper format for a book done this way, including a better font than Courier new. This was a wonderful experience, and though I think this dang book may be beyond repair for public consumption, I will use lulu again.

sadron
06-29-2007, 02:12 PM
Thanks for your opinion. I might use lulu too when I'm at that point.

aruna
07-08-2007, 01:48 PM
I have gone ahead and published one of my bottom-drawer projects, a thing I've been working on for years and which is probably not commercial enough to go mainstream, with Lulu.
I have the cover I want - a suitable picture, to which I added a Lulu font for title and author. The title is fine, but the author name is printed in the bottom right hand corner. It's very busy at the bottom of my picture, so the author name is hardly visible. Is there any way to get Lulu to put the author name anywhere else, (apart form the spine)? (Directly under the title would be fine, as the colour there is more or less plain).
I suppose the alternative would be to add the author name myself where I want it, but I am no good and at that kind of thing.

Also: I want this book distributed mainly in the UK. When I buy the Lulu distribution pack, will they take care of that? Are those books printed in the Uk, or shipped there from the US? My copy of Crack of death, as far as I remember, was shipped from the US, which made the postage quite high. Don;t they use a UK printer?

Also, there are a few online bookstores based in the US whom I am sure I could get to sell my book. I'm willing to work on them to do so, but what happens next? do they (the online stores) order the book as soon as they get a sale, and Lulu ships them? I am quite ignorant of these matters so sorry if the question is too silly for words.

Thanks to anyone who can help!

MMcC
07-08-2007, 09:39 PM
I'm psyched to hear about the graphics, because I want to do a family recipe book with photos through them, and that was a concern.

Tres coolios!

ResearchGuy
07-09-2007, 05:53 AM
I have gone ahead and published one of my bottom-drawer projects, a thing I've been working on for years and which is probably not commercial enough to go mainstream, with Lulu.
I have the cover I want - a suitable picture, to which I added a Lulu font for title and author. The title is fine, but the author name is printed in the bottom right hand corner. It's very busy at the bottom of my picture, so the author name is hardly visible. Is there any way to get Lulu to put the author name anywhere else, (apart form the spine)? (Directly under the title would be fine, as the colour there is more or less plain).
I suppose the alternative would be to add the author name myself where I want it, but I am no good and at that kind of thing.

Also: I want this book distributed mainly in the UK. When I buy the Lulu distribution pack, will they take care of that? Are those books printed in the Uk, or shipped there from the US? My copy of Crack of death, as far as I remember, was shipped from the US, which made the postage quite high. Don;t they use a UK printer?

Also, there are a few online bookstores based in the US whom I am sure I could get to sell my book. I'm willing to work on them to do so, but what happens next? do they (the online stores) order the book as soon as they get a sale, and Lulu ships them? I am quite ignorant of these matters so sorry if the question is too silly for words.

Thanks to anyone who can help!
Hi . . .

1. The cover could be easily fixed IF you were comfortable with any graphics package that will produce a suitable jpeg file (Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, for example). If you are not able to do that, then you are probably out of luck.

2. As for the rest -- let me recommend that you use the Lulu "live help" option for answers.

Regards,

--Ken

Anita M Shaw
07-11-2007, 10:33 PM
Boy . . . I've gotten a better view of Lulu here than I have in some of the self pub groups I'm in. Most have advised us to stay far away. I may give this a shot after all!

I just have concerns on my ability to size the cover--well, particularly the spine. I'll just have to play with it and get some experience. I certainly have enough graphics programs to try! As for the book's insides, I am able to get headers and footers to show in pdf. I have templates to size the book properly.

I mentor a young author who has had her work done at Booklocker and she plans to stay with them. I do like the idea of them formatting things for me. They also offer options for publishers to use their own ISBNs and order bulk. Last I knew, author copies from Booklocker were from $7.77. I think that might be for a 100 page book. But I'll check on that. I imagine the price goes up with your page count.

Hmm, there's another concern . . . some of my books will be over 400 pages. Which is why I haven't tried doing this. I don't really want to charge $20 for a novel. I've done the thing with 10pt Goudy Old Style. Times New Roman makes it a good deal smaller, but would that be a good choice? I don't think I've found another font that would reduce the book's size as much as Times New Roman did. I have noticed some of the online publishers asking for mss be formated with Times New Roman, so maybe I'd be okay after all?

Anyway, when I started to look into self publishing, the info then was an ISBN is really useful only if you expect or hope to have any sort of offline store carry your book. If you planned to solely sell from your website or sell eBooks or sell from the trunk of your car, you didn't necessarily need one. I know of a couple of people who have done that. And, happily for them, they seemed to be doing just fine. Another author just gives her work away, so doesn't bother with the frills as she calls them.

But, the more research I did, the more I saw that ISBNs were being demanded by almost every online store as well. Even to promote your self pubbed e/book on group lists I needed one.

So, while at the time I hadn't an intention of worrying about brick and mortar book store sales, since I couldn't afford a print run of my books anyhow, I bought a block of ten ISBNs when I formed my publishing company, so I could do my eBooks all in the professional way.

Which still doesn't guarantee I'll be taken seriously. It's still only an eBook. I bought the block, of course, from Bowkers for $280. I really wanted a block of 100 but that's hundreds more. Despite the fact the small block supposedly brands you as a self publisher, it's better than buying one at a time from someone else since I want my company to be known as the publisher. Moreover, I will have ten books to slap those puppies on. For the while, I'll just keep getting a block of ten at a time.

Are book illustrations only a b/w option or does Lulu do color inside the book? I also have a picture book done with real photos, but I'll wait on that one if b/w is the only way I can go. Probably, I'll be paying them a long overdue visit sometime today.

Great info!

Anita
:e2BIC:

ResearchGuy
07-11-2007, 11:18 PM
. . . I just have concerns on my ability to size the cover--well, particularly the spine. . . .Are book illustrations only a b/w option or does Lulu do color inside the book? . . .

Hi . . .

Such questions as fitting the spine text, b/w vs. color, and pricing should be answered by exploring www.lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com). FAQs provide detailed information. And then experiment with a book. It costs you nothing until you buy a copy (buy one copy to examine before printing more or making book available to others) or buy a distribution package (which should be deferred until you are completely ready for it).

You will learn more from actually carrying through a project than by any other means. And since you can see the print-ready pdf of the cover and of the interior at no cost before buying a printed copy, you have nothing to lose but the time you pretty much have to invest anyway.

--Ken

eJar
07-16-2007, 04:52 AM
Lulu is great! Look at this: link removed by moderator - spam

eJar
07-16-2007, 05:24 AM
The "Publish by Lulu" package currently costs $99.95. While the "Publish by You" package on sale for $50.95. Lulu does not say much how it distributes your book if you buy the "Publish by You" package. I followed the recommends from the following book:

(link removed as spam)

and chose the "Publish by Lulu" package. It worked very well for me. My books were listed on Amazon, Banes & Nobles online in less than two weeks.

eJar
07-16-2007, 05:42 AM
removed as spam

eJar
07-16-2007, 05:49 AM
Check out my favorite book which is published by Lulu.
links removed by moderator - spamming

Anita M Shaw
07-16-2007, 10:05 AM
Ken, thanks for your response.

I didn't have a question about how to do the spine. I've read how you're supposed to calculate them. Just stated my lack of confidence in my ability to do it. Sorry for the confusion there.

I've been to Lulu to get all the details since I first posted. Downloaded all the templates and such. I'm still unsure of myself. Not that wonderful with math! But, I'll muddle through it. I've a stack of similarly sized paperbacks next to me here, and have been trying to get a feel for it by studying them. One book even gives the font used.
Found my answer about color interiors on one of the self publishing lists I'm in. They do do color. So, I may try to add more content to the picture books and see how it goes.

I've also been checking out what Lightning Source has to offer. They used to not want to work with authors at all, only publishers. Which caused many authors to form their own companies in order to get their books printed by them. Now, though, it appears that as long as you own an ISBN or a block of them, as I do, they'll now give an author the opportunity to use them as their printer. They'll handle fulfillment and distribution too, if you want to pay for that.

When I'm ready to actually do a print run of more than a few books at a time, I will likely try them. However, Lightning Source doesn't do color interiors. Not really a big deal to me. Mostly I do novels, anyway.

Once I do one book, I imagine the next will be a bit easier. Or so I hope!

Anita
:e2BIC:

ResearchGuy
07-16-2007, 06:39 PM
Ken, thanks for your response.

. . .

You are welcome, Anita.

A couple more comments.

First, if you own the ISBN you are the publisher, irrespective of whether you are also the author. That is a key criterion used by an independent- and self-publishers' organization I am in. Publisher = owner of the ISBN. I know one author/publisher who has worked directly with Lightning Source with good results (Bill Pieper, a fine literary novelist whose Gomez I recommend and whose other books I have not yet read).

As for spine . . . that can be difficult to get right, but if you do not use a one-piece cover and do not attempt to create a jpg for the spine, it is not difficult. Simply tell Lulu what text you want on the spine and the color of text and of background, and it centers the text. Try it. That means doing front and back separately, of course, but those measurements are easier. Lulu, by the way, has a spine-width calculator (a pop-up box into which you enter page count). But it is still very hard to get text centered, esp. across a narrow spine, in a jpg.

There is no substitute for working through the process. I started with one of my unpublished monographs and played with it in a few versions (variations on cover and on binding) until the result worked. You can experiment with the efforts visible only to yourself. I ended up using a Lulu gallery cover for the monograph, but have designed my own covers for other Lulu books I have done.

BTW, color interior is expensive. Since all interior pages are either color or b/w, it is a substantial difference. (Fifteen or sixteen cents--I do not recall which off the top of my head--per page for color, vs. two cents for b/w.)

--Ken

WannaPublish
07-17-2007, 12:32 AM
Hi! I hope this isn't repetitious, but I've been trying to find out about the process of obtaining ISBN numbers. I would be interested in knowing how this author obtained hers and if she was required to get one from the US or if she could get ISBNs from another country.

Thanks! PW

JohnDavidPaxton
07-22-2007, 11:07 AM
I have published a first draft using lulu just to have a finished product in my hand so I can see where my boo boos are. (it is so much easier to edit when it is in BOOK form!!)

The first thing I learned was the proper format for a book done this way, including a better font than Courier new. This was a wonderful experience, and though I think this dang book may be beyond repair for public consumption, I will use lulu again.

Frankly: This is the most brilliant thing I've heard in a while.

For the cost of printing up 300 pages at kinkos, I can get it in book form so I can edit it more readily.

Thank you for this suggestion.

stamperdad
08-01-2007, 09:15 PM
I am puzzled by the disparaging of Publish on Demand on this board. To first time authors it is a godsend. Sure you do have to do a little more work especially to save costs, but this can be an excellent way to get your book on the market. In many cases it is promoted by Amazon (who by the way have their own POD service) and Barnes & Noble.

I have been researching all the various services and getting recommendations from published authors who have used the services. I am quite confident that for me it is the way to go. It looks like the key is the promotion of your book, but there are all kinds of ways to do this on your own and the POD will assist you for a minimal additional fee.

Sorry but I have come to believe in this as the way to go in the digital age. If you want to do well a couple of important things need to be done before using POD to print and market your book:

- get a good copy editor to review your manuscript for grammar, spelling and readability
- submit the best quality writing.
- for nonfiction make sure all acknowledgments and credits are accurate and included
- follow the PODs guidelines for manuscript format. They all have excellent instructions for doing this yourself. If you aren't comfortable doing this, farm it out.

Sure POD is not for everyone, but please give it some credit. Many successful authors have and are using it.

swvaughn
08-01-2007, 09:35 PM
I am puzzled by the disparaging of Publish on Demand on this board. To first time authors it is a godsend. Sure you do have to do a little more work especially to save costs, but this can be an excellent way to get your book on the market. In many cases it is promoted by Amazon (who by the way have their own POD service) and Barnes & Noble.

I have been researching all the various services and getting recommendations from published authors who have used the services. I am quite confident that for me it is the way to go. It looks like the key is the promotion of your book, but there are all kinds of ways to do this on your own and the POD will assist you for a minimal additional fee.

Sorry but I have come to believe in this as the way to go in the digital age. If you want to do well a couple of important things need to be done before using POD to print and market your book:

- get a good copy editor to review your manuscript for grammar, spelling and readability
- submit the best quality writing.
- for nonfiction make sure all acknowledgments and credits are accurate and included
- follow the PODs guidelines for manuscript format. They all have excellent instructions for doing this yourself. If you aren't comfortable doing this, farm it out.

Sure POD is not for everyone, but please give it some credit. Many successful authors have and are using it.

Don't forget to:

* Hire a good graphic artist to design your cover
* Have some reserved funds for promotion (free methods don't generate enough exposure)
* Consider hiring a publicist if it's non-fiction (if it's fiction, a publicist probably won't help)
* Be patient -- don't jump the gun, don't rush to get your book available.
* Print out galley copies and attempt to get pre-publication reviews at least three months before your release date. Don't bother sending a copy to the New York Times; they won't touch it.
* Expect not to sell more than a few hundred copies
* Visit The POD Critic (http://podbookreview.blogspot.com/) and the other members of The DeFacto POD Review Ring (http://iuniversebookreviews.blogspot.com/2007/05/de-facto-pod-review-ring-chart.html) and read through the information they have available

Perhaps the biggest problem with POD publishing is that the majority of those go this route do not bother with most of the steps (editing, design, promotion), because the technology is instant and many people who use it want instant results. Therefore, people don't take any of them seriously, even the ones who are doing everything right.

Good luck to you.

blacbird
08-01-2007, 11:00 PM
Lulu is an upfront straightforward printing service, they don't pretend to be anything else, really, and they are honest. It's a good place to produce small niche projects which may have a built-in audience (course manuals, family histories, club projects, etc.). It is not a very good place to produce a novel you expect to sell commercially and to advance your writing career. No POD company is. And for God's sake, do NOT succumb to the temptation of PublishAmerica. You might check into the POD forum for further info. Chances are this thread will get moved there, anyway.

caw

Julie Worth
08-01-2007, 11:00 PM
It looks like the key is the promotion of your book, but there are all kinds of ways to do this on your own and the POD will assist you for a minimal additional fee.


The other key is getting your book into bookstores, which is not going to happen with a vanity/POD press.

LloydBrown
08-02-2007, 12:47 AM
I am puzzled by the disparaging of Publish on Demand on this board.

You think people should promote a publication option that sees an average of 75 copies per title sold? As other people have commented--sometimes POD is a fine choice. The problem is that, for many people, the work they want to publish doesn't fall into one of the categories for which POD is the best choice.


I am quite confident that for me it is the way to go.

What are you writing (or have you written, as the case may be)?


In many cases it is promoted by Amazon (who by the way have their own POD service) and Barnes & Noble.

Can you provide examples of this promotion? Amazon lists everything with an ISBN on a formulaic web page. What do they do above and beyond that for POD titles?


Many successful authors have and are using it.
Who?

Even if you can mention an author who has been successful, there aren't many cases where POD publication made them successful. Stephen King released an ebook. Drawing the conclusion that releasing an ebook will make you successful is missing the point. He did that after he was already successful. To become a success, he wrote a great book, sold it to a publisher, and kept writing great books.

blacbird
08-02-2007, 12:54 AM
Even if you can mention an author who has been successful, there aren't many cases where POD publication made them successful. Stephen King released an ebook. Drawing the conclusion that releasing an ebook will make you successful is missing the point.

Not to mention that King's e-book experiment was a miserable flop. If Stephen King can't make an e-book work as a marketing tool . . .

caw

ResearchGuy
08-02-2007, 01:03 AM
. . . Sure POD is not for everyone, but please give it some credit. Many successful authors have and are using it.
Examples?

How do you define "successful" in this context?

I know some very good authors who use POD. (Bill Pieper and R. D. Barnes among them. Barnes is a Lulu user, while Pieper has worked directly with Lightning Source.) But sales are modest. The choice has served a purpose for them, but that purpose is not large sales.

BTW, the topic indeed does not belong here at all, but rather in the self-publishing and POD publishing area of AW, which has much information about Lulu, including my own "Fun with Lulu" thread.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
08-02-2007, 01:19 AM
. . . Does anyone know much about Lulu.com? . . . I guess I was just curious if there's anyone out there who may have looked into it or maybe even used it?
Suggestions:

Look at http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=47 for several threads on Lulu.

Look at http://stores.lulu.com/kenumbach for my booklet on "The Pursuit of Publishing." You are precisely the sort of person for whom I wrote it. I regularly meet with writers in need of a basic explanation of publishing options, their pros and cons, and related resources. So I spelled it out in a brief and readable form--from normal commercial publishing to subsidy and vanity publishing--to save the hour or two required to lay it out in conversation.

--Ken

David Wisehart
08-02-2007, 05:06 AM
I had a good experience with Lulu.com, self-publishing my verse play, Valentino.

If you're going to self-publish, do your research and keep your expectations low. I published my book to promote my play. Including shipping, it costs about the same as photocopying the manuscript at Kinko's, but I've got a printed book to show for it. The production quality is excellent, and it's a great way to impress people, but don't expect to sell very many copies.

Personally, I wouldn't self-publish anything that had real commercial potential. I've completed a fantasy novel, and though I'm very satisfied with my Lulu.com experience, I'm shopping my novel the old-fashioned way.

- David

Anthony Ravenscroft
08-02-2007, 05:46 AM
I've been in some "spirited debate" about this. My feeling is that it's difficult to make it a slam-dunk Good Thing.

If it's had good sales, the publisher's going to want to know that you haven't already saturated the demand.

If it's had dismal sales, the publisher's going to wonder why they want to take it on.

The latter's an uphill battle.

You could largely preclude the former by making up (before pitching to them!!) a clearly revised, expanded, &/or improved edition.

Bufty
08-02-2007, 05:36 PM
I believe the original poster writes non-fiction, which means self-publishing may well be an acceptable option depending upon his ability to tap into whatever niche his book falls into.

Youngblood
08-02-2007, 08:46 PM
What are the pros and cons of Lulu owning the ISBN, as opposed to the original author owning the ISBN?

blacbird
08-02-2007, 09:44 PM
I believe the original poster writes non-fiction

Then why is the question posted in the "Writing Novels" forum?

caw

Bufty
08-02-2007, 09:49 PM
Why didn't I think of that? :Shrug:


Then why is the question posted in the "Writing Novels" forum?

caw

ResearchGuy
08-03-2007, 03:19 AM
What are the pros and cons of Lulu owning the ISBN, as opposed to the original author owning the ISBN?

Omitting all side questions (of which there are many):

If you own the ISBN, then you are the publisher. If Lulu owns the ISBN, then Lulu is the publisher. Which would you prefer?

--Ken

Youngblood
08-03-2007, 05:52 PM
Well, what exactly can I do if I am the publisher compared to what Lulu will do?
Thanks.

ResearchGuy
08-03-2007, 07:00 PM
Well, what exactly can I do if I am the publisher compared to what Lulu will do?
Thanks.
It is less a question of what you can do than it is what you are vis a vis the book. I'm sorry, but all I can do is to recommend that you do some basic reading in business and in publishing. For your purposes, though, I suspect that who owns the ISBN and therefore who is the publisher of record is probably irrelevant.

In either event, sales are unlikely to exceed single digits. Maybe low double digits with effort.

--Ken

wayndom
08-04-2007, 09:25 AM
I recommend spending 25 bucks on the 2007 Guide to Literary Agents. It will give you names and addresses, not to mention a complete overview of the process of querying and submitting.

If money is really tight, I recommend spending $3.99 (or is it $2.99?) for a one-month subscription to Writer'sMarket.com. It doesn't take a month to compile a hefty list of agents who sell your genre (whatever it is).

I save the whole web page of any agent I'm interested in, so I can read it in detail later. I used to buy the annual book until I found out about the (cheap) monthly fee.

Don't ever give any agent money for any reason. Legit agents often charge for copying and mailing MS's, but they do so as deductions from your cut of the take, after they've sold the work (it doesn't amount to much).

DeadlyAccurate
08-04-2007, 09:30 AM
Why not just use www.agentquery.com, then cross-reference everyone you come across with Preditors & Editors and the Bewares & Background Checks forum here. It's free.

Anita M Shaw
08-07-2007, 09:51 PM
Been working on the book and two others at the same time, plus trying to update my web sites. Meant to keep an eye on this thread! Keep forgetting to check notify me when there's a reply . . .

Yes, I know the cost of color interior is much more. I've done one picture book in eBook form, that is, I think, 42 pages. Since it's an eBook, I didn't think it would matter how long or short it was. If I were to do this book for print, I'd have to change how I set it up, anyway, I would think. I did it with the actual photos of my kids, grandkids, and nieces and nephews. The text is on the photos themselves. Seemed like a plan at the time, now I'm having second thoughts, but haven't the time to redo it. Just now, it's available in .exe format. Having trouble keeping the pictures all on their own pages in Word, so a pdf version is on hold. Got too frustrating to work with! I do have InDesign, but haven't made the time to really get into it as I'd like to. So, I don't know if I'd have the same trouble there or not.

I permit people to print out the pages if they want to.

Right, I do know I'm the publisher no matter what if I own the ISBNs, but I formed the company, anyway, for all my work.

I'll be doing the cover in three pieces . . . all the posts about the one piece deal effectively scared me off on that! The book I'm doing, as I say, is a kids' book, no pictures at all, and about 200 pages. Puts the cost of the book at around nine dollars for me. Haven't gone for a quote at LSI, yet.

I would like at least one line drawing for inside the book once I locate an illustrator whose work I'd be happy with. We'll see.

Thanks again, Ken!

Anita
:e2BIC:

lisanevin
08-16-2007, 05:56 AM
I believe Lulu's website explains how it works if you buy their ISBN.
If you want your book selling at Amazon, it MUST have an ISBN. Whether you buy one from Lulu or else where, you'll need one.
Getting an ISBN from Lulu doesn't give them some huge rights to your book, they aren't the same as getting a contract with a publishing firm.
Check out Lulu's help docs and they have live help. Sucky think about Lulu is that I noticed that they don't have any phone support.
My publisher uses Lulu as their temporary printer, so I've seen a few things on Lulu, although I've never dealt with them myself.
good luck

Stijn Hommes
08-16-2007, 01:26 PM
With Lulu you don't just buy an ISBN, you buy a distribution package. The book gets automatically listed in certain online bookstores and depending on the package (not entirely sure) it also gets listed in "Books In Print". The site clearly explains the differences.

P.S. Why are you asking it here. You'd get a much more detailed and quicker response on their forums.

Stijn Hommes
08-16-2007, 01:39 PM
I know of at least one person who had his novel picked up by a traditional publisher after publishing it with Lulu, but they had top sales and several hundreds of thousands of listeners for their audio version. It worked for him, but it's unlikely to help most writers.

You retain your rights with Lulu, so you are free to publish them elsewhere, but unless you have magnificent sales, it's really not a stepping stone. Try traditional publishing first. If you queried all the agents you can, you can still publish it at Lulu knowing you took every possible option you had.

Stijn Hommes
08-16-2007, 01:40 PM
I have another variation on this question. If I were to put it on Lulu without an ISBN (knowing full well that it wouldn't sell more than a few copies), and for some reason, years down the line, a traditional publisher wants to publish it (along the lines of "We're buying your fourth book, what else have you got?"), would the listing on Lulu be a harmful factor? Yes, if the sales were bad, it's probably a harmful factor, but I'd remove the listing before querying them about it. On the other hand. If you already sold them 4 succesful books, they might be willing to take it on anyway.

JuneM
08-18-2007, 08:15 PM
Would you self-publish a children's book if it's gotten nods from editors but ultimately rejections?

Stijn Hommes
08-21-2007, 03:13 PM
Depends, how many rejections are we talking about?

harmandersingh
08-30-2007, 11:21 AM
Respected Sir/Madam,
Most reverently, I wish to know that as in the PageMaker we can put or remove the titles, page numbers, but in the Microsoft word 2000, it does not seem possible. Can you guide me, I need it on the preface and other chapters. Thanks in advance.
With good wishes and regards.
Yours sincerely,
Dr. Harmander Singh


I'm doing an interview with an author who recently published her book through Lulu. The interview is almost completed, but I still need a few more questions. Do any of you have any questions that you would like me to ask her? She has been through the entire process, and is familiar with a lot of the pitfalls.

ResearchGuy
08-30-2007, 06:26 PM
. . . in the PageMaker we can put or remove the titles, page numbers, but in the Microsoft word 2000, it does not seem possible. . . .
Study the use of section breaks, including the options for sections (different odd and even pages, different first page, even page start, odd page start, next page start, continuous, and the related use of headers and footers and their options, including the need to turn off "same as previous" in order to change header or footer content from one section to the next). This is not the place for a tutorial. Have someone familiar with Word show you the methods, as they are much easier to show than to explain in writing.

--Ken

harmandersingh
09-01-2007, 11:30 AM
Well, it is informative in good manner. I understand that ISBN is not the actual process of getting the copyright. I recieved it for my two books by submitting 4 books to different liberaries in our country, India. I would seek to know if I can get the copyright of my book by the same process, but books published by Lulu. Thanks to the great ReserachGuy.

harmandersingh
09-01-2007, 11:34 AM
Dedicated to all on the site: Help is not how we do it, the helper always takes the credit of making a good effort.

ResearchGuy
09-01-2007, 06:27 PM
Well, it is informative in good manner. I understand that ISBN is not the actual process of getting the copyright. I recieved it for my two books by submitting 4 books to different liberaries in our country, India. I would seek to know if I can get the copyright of my book by the same process, but books published by Lulu. Thanks to the great ReserachGuy.
For U.S. copyright information, see www.copyright.gov (http://www.copyright.gov).
Be sure to note that copyright and registration of copyrignt are not the same thing. The FAQ and "Copyright Basics" at the linked site explain all that.

--Ken

Stijn Hommes
09-01-2007, 07:41 PM
I only have experience with one third party Lulu service and I know just a handful of the people who run the others. Quite a few of the veteran users charge a lot less for their services than I see elsewhere.

That said, even the cheapest copyediting service is still costly and it's unlikely you will get much of a profit if you need to recoup those costs. I would definitely spend some time to see if you can do any of it for free yourself (if you get the right kind of betareader in a critique group, you won't need an editor).

ResearchGuy
09-01-2007, 09:16 PM
. . .(if you get the right kind of betareader in a critique group, you won't need an editor).
If by "the right kind" you mean a professional editor who is willing to give away his or her services and whose editing skills range from developmental editing to proofreading. Good luck.

--Ken

Stijn Hommes
09-02-2007, 02:24 PM
I'm a member of CritiqueCircle and while everyone has different strengths, if you're willing to give a critique in return, there are a lot of people with excellent editing skills willing to do indepth critiques of your work. At least indepth enough for you to get an idea what you need to work on without spending hundreds of dollars or whatever currency you happen to use.

ResearchGuy
09-02-2007, 07:58 PM
I'm a member of CritiqueCircle and while everyone has different strengths, if you're willing to give a critique in return, there are a lot of people with excellent editing skills willing to do indepth critiques of your work. At least indepth enough for you to get an idea what you need to work on without spending hundreds of dollars or whatever currency you happen to use.
A critique is a very different thing from editing.

--Ken

JohnB1988
09-26-2007, 12:49 AM
Has anyone ever used Lulu for a ďPictures with explanationĒ type of book? Itís written in MSWord with inserted pictures. Iím wondering how it would be converted to a PDF if I didnít do it myself. Itís a science thing with some priority information, so Iím not comfortable sending it to a regular print shop or Vanity press. But Iím thinking that uploading a giant word file filled with pictures to Lulu is going to turn out badly.

Stormhawk
09-26-2007, 01:52 AM
Your pictures have to be 300dpi, and if you don't want to use the Lulu converter, you can use free software like CutePDF.

The only problem I can see you running into is if you have too many pictures, your word file can just crash and refuse to open (this is a fairly rare though).

bunnygirl
09-26-2007, 09:07 AM
My book is full of pictures and it turned out nicely. It's possible that this is because the pics are all b&w and most are not photo-quality but rather photos run through PhotoShop's chalk and charcoal filter. But Lulu prints on good quality paper, so I think what you did will work.

You can look at the preview of my book and see what you think: http://www.lulu.com/content/1137708

ResearchGuy
09-26-2007, 07:09 PM
Has anyone ever used Lulu for a ďPictures with explanationĒ type of book? Itís written in MSWord with inserted pictures. Iím wondering how it would be converted to a PDF if I didnít do it myself. Itís a science thing with some priority information, so Iím not comfortable sending it to a regular print shop or Vanity press. But Iím thinking that uploading a giant word file filled with pictures to Lulu is going to turn out badly.

I have done something comparable, although the pictures were graphs, not photos. The results were excellent. Lulu even produced sharp results in gray-scale from color graphs. (I made two versions, one printed in color and one in b/w, both from the same Word file converted to pdf by Lulu.)

Covers should be at 300 dpi. Not necessarily so for interior illustrations.

Come to think of it, I also prepared a short, color children's book with clip-art interior illustrations that had NEVER been at 300 dpi at any stage. The results were very, very nice. BTW, I believe that the files Word produces are at 150 dpi no matter what the included pictures started at. In any event, if it looks good in Word and prints well from Word, chances are it will look fine when printed via Lulu, judging from my tests.

All it will cost you is some time and the price of one copy to see how it turns out. (And of course whatever risk is inherent in having your file forever on a Lulu server, as once a book has been printed it appears to be impossible to delete the files even if the project is "retired.")

--Ken

JohnB1988
09-26-2007, 10:34 PM
Thanks for the good information. Since Word isn’t behaving well with the file size as it is now, I’m thinking I’ll look into PDF or something else. Bummer about Lulu keeping your file on their server, as now I’m not sure if I want to trust them.

ResearchGuy
09-27-2007, 01:59 AM
Thanks for the good information. Since Word isnít behaving well with the file size as it is now, Iím thinking Iíll look into PDF or something else. Bummer about Lulu keeping your file on their server, as now Iím not sure if I want to trust them.
You are welcome.

I am not sure that the retention of files on the server is really an issue. And there might be ways to delete files that I have not discovered. I found the process too cumbersome and gave up, but I never inquired directly.

As for file size . . . how big? I have had no problem with files as large as 7 MB (which is big in my world, not big at all in other worlds). For large, complex book layouts, the professionals use FrameMaker or comparable tools.

--Ken

JohnB1988
09-27-2007, 03:36 AM
I’m not up to 7mb yet! But me n’ Word never have gotten along. I think it heard me muttering about CP/M and how much better it worked before Bill changed the A drive to C and ... well you know the story. Right now I’m just considering my options. I’m not going to be neurotic about the priority stuff, so maybe lulu will be fine. I'm too old to learn FrameMaker.

Medievalist
09-28-2007, 06:06 AM
You might want to look at things like mypublisher.com or picaboo.com or blurb.com in addition to lulu--they tend to focus on image-intense books.

ResearchGuy
12-31-2007, 08:27 AM
For all of its limitations, Lulu is proving to be useful. Judging from the raging increase in the number of projects hosted by Lulu.com, a lot of people agree.

I am using Lulu to publish an anthology of short stories, by arrangement with a local group of writers. I did the book formatting, cover design (one of my own photos being the basis for the front cover), and mechanics, including purchasing a "published by you" package. I am currently awaiting notification of the ISBN and the rest of the steps. I am still uncertain how a few details work, and am keeping my fingers crossed, as time is getting short to meet the group's schedule (they were very late in getting me some of the needed text).

While waiting that out, over the last couple of days I took a public domain text that has long been of interest (Harold Frederic's The Damnation of Theron Ware), formatted it into a book (119k words, with four parts and a couple dozen chapters, so non-trivial), added a brief introduction, designed a cover, and published it with Lulu. No ISBN/distribution package yet. I might go that extra step if I revise the project with notes and reader aids (character list, commentary).

It would have been a good thing months ago to use a personal project to test the process of ISBN/distribution package before dealing with that for a project for others. I would recommend that to folks who wish to go into POD publishing for clients through Lulu (or for that matter, probably via any other means).

Anyway, anyone who is interested can look at my Lulu storefront (http://stores.lulu.com/kenumbach).

--Ken

Strongbear
01-01-2008, 01:34 AM
My experience with Lulu has been fine so far. They've been very helpful, although the whole process is very time consuming and quite labour intensive since you have to do it all on your own. Through their distribution plan, you do get your novel also up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders, although so far I've only had it up on Amazon.

The downside of Lulu is the manufacturing cost of producing the book itself, coupled with the distribution costs to have it available more widely. Once those are added together, then for something like a 6x9 paperback book which might be over 300 pages, you're already talking about over $12 to produce it, then a further $10 or so to distribute it. So by the time it arrives on Amazon, it's already over $20 for a paperback which, to many readers, would find that rather expensive.

The other thing is that Lulu, although perfectly legitimate and excellent for its service, aren't as recognised by many readers as online bookstores like Amazon, B&N or Borders. They don't really promote themselves as an online bookstore as such, but more a print-on-demand service. So ultimately you have a catch-22 scenario in which readers are hesitant to sign up for Lulu because they might not have heard of it (or are already Amazon customers) and would therefore rather wait for it to come out on Amazon, but then when it is finally available on Amazon it's probably too expensive for them there (since if you buy it directly from Lulu it's obviously cheaper since you cut out the distribution costs).

Other than those few hitches, Lulu has provided pretty reliable service for me so far.

If there was some way of decreasing the manufacturing cost, then that would cut out a huge part of the expense. I'm all open to suggestions.

Stormhawk
01-01-2008, 02:13 AM
My experience with Lulu has been fine so far. They've been very helpful, although the whole process is very time consuming and quite labour intensive since you have to do it all on your own. Through their distribution plan, you do get your novel also up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders, although so far I've only had it up on Amazon.

The downside of Lulu is the manufacturing cost of producing the book itself, coupled with the distribution costs to have it available more widely. Once those are added together, then for something like a 6x9 paperback book which might be over 300 pages, you're already talking about over $12 to produce it, then a further $10 or so to distribute it. So by the time it arrives on Amazon, it's already over $20 for a paperback which, to many readers, would find that rather expensive.

The other thing is that Lulu, although perfectly legitimate and excellent for its service, aren't as recognised by many readers as online bookstores like Amazon, B&N or Borders. They don't really promote themselves as an online bookstore as such, but more a print-on-demand service. So ultimately you have a catch-22 scenario in which readers are hesitant to sign up for Lulu because they might not have heard of it (or are already Amazon customers) and would therefore rather wait for it to come out on Amazon, but then when it is finally available on Amazon it's probably too expensive for them there (since if you buy it directly from Lulu it's obviously cheaper since you cut out the distribution costs).

Other than those few hitches, Lulu has provided pretty reliable service for me so far.

If there was some way of decreasing the manufacturing cost, then that would cut out a huge part of the expense. I'm all open to suggestions.

You could always make the project Direct Access on Lulu, sign up for an Amazon Advantage account and supply Amazon yourself.

Strongbear
01-01-2008, 02:19 AM
You could always make the project Direct Access on Lulu, sign up for an Amazon Advantage account and supply Amazon yourself.

Is this Amazon Advantage account free and is it pretty straightforward to actually start supplying to Amazon myself? I do have a Direct Access version of my book on Lulu as well in addition to the version that appears on Amazon through their distribution plan.

Would I have to get another ISBN for my book if I were to do it through Amazon Advantage? And btw, how do I sign up for this service? Is there a link to AA somewhere?

Thanks.

ResearchGuy
01-01-2008, 04:34 AM
. . .

If there was some way of decreasing the manufacturing cost, then that would cut out a huge part of the expense. I'm all open to suggestions.
That is a big drawback with Lulu. The way it can be made to work for my projects is by setting the "creator revenue" very low for the distribution channel and planning on most sales being direct from author to reader. (I'll seek to order 100 or 200 copies at a time to take advantage of quantity discounts.) That should work for the anthology I mentioned, and will not be too bad for a couple of novels coming along later this year. But POD simply cannot meet all needs. The only way to get the production cost way down is to buy a standard (non POD) print run of thousands of copies (or if you are lucky, maybe several hundred from a very hungry short-run printer), paying in advance. Then you have all of the headaches of standard self-publishing that a POD lets you avoid.

There is no perfect solution. (Not even commercial publication, which can take years, maybe many years, and still pay little except for the handful of very successful repeat authors. For most, the books generally disappear from bookstore shelves in 90 days and, except for the relative handful of successful authors, then go out of print.)

Maybe you can do better dealing directly with Lightning Source as a POD option, although it comes with its own sets of problems and requirements.

My opinions, FWIW.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
01-03-2008, 06:53 PM
While little of this will come as a surprise to folks here, it might still be of interest to see what the reporters are noticing: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080102/ap_on_hi_te/business_of_life;_ylt=Atvy7RaXiMy02mWTF8N3V22s0NUE

In part:

By CANDICE CHOI, Associated Press Writer Wed Jan 2, 8:29 AM ET

NEW YORK - Getting a book published isn't the rarefied literary feat it once was.

New printing technologies are making published authors of legions of aspiring writers, a population that once toiled for years on tomes that might not see the light of day.

The vast majority of today's instant authors may sell only a few dozen copies of their books, but on-demand publishing is letting thousands realize the ambitions of generations of would-be writers.

On-demand publisher Lulu.com (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_hi_te/storytext/business_of_life/25746480/SIG=10hi06lvs/*http://Lulu.com) has churned out 236,000 paperbacks since it opened in 2002, and its volume of new paperbacks has risen each month this year, hitting 14,745 in November. Retail giant Amazon.com (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_hi_te/storytext/business_of_life/25746480/SIG=10junn564/*http://Amazon.com) got into the game this summer, offering on-demand publishing through its CreateSpace, which was already letting filmmakers and musicians burn DVDs and CDs.--Ken

Stormhawk
01-03-2008, 11:42 PM
Is this Amazon Advantage account free and is it pretty straightforward to actually start supplying to Amazon myself?
Not sure if it's free, sorry, I haven't actually done it myself, I just know a lot of people manage to do it without issue.


Would I have to get another ISBN for my book if I were to do it through Amazon Advantage?
There wouldn't be an actual need to (I'm assuming it's a PbY or PbL ISBN you're talking about). You'd just be another reseller - however, you could offer something others couldn't - a signed copy.

Sargentodiaz
01-04-2008, 05:06 AM
It takes a bit of work to get a book on lulu to come out right but the results are satisfactory.
As pointed out, if one wants just a few copies, it's a good outlet but the problem is distribution. You have to find some place other than online to sell it (or do what I do, add it to my signature line on forum messages) in order to let people know it's out there.
The big advantage of most established publishers is that they already have a distribution system set up.
In my case, I give three options for buying my book -
Paperpack
e-book for download in black and white
e-book in full color with more photos.

PinkUnicorn
01-05-2008, 01:11 PM
According to the lulu faqs (http://www.lulu.com/help/index.php?fSymbol=isbn_faq#FAQLink9), it does (make it available through bookstores, that is). Though I suggest you go the free route initially, and work out the bugs before you buy this.


I'm doing my first book through LuLu right now, so I have not yet seen the finished results yet, but I'm starting out with the "free" option, and keeping it set to "private" for the time being. Reason: I'm useing the free version as a galley proof so that I can get my editing done in hardcopy. Once I've got it ready to go public though, I'm going to use the "by you" ISBN option and list it with my publishing house. (We used to use a local print shop, we sell to a limited niche market, so publishing via LuLu's POD well be cheaper for us in the long run.)

Anyways, because of the way I'm setting it up, unless folks buy the books off LuLu's website, they well not know that LuLu is the printer.

PinkUnicorn
01-05-2008, 07:05 PM
The book I'm doing on LuLu right now, has lots of pictures in it.

For pictures within text, I inserted the pictures right into the text file, like you are talking about. These are b&w line illustrations, and on the test review they showed me after I uploaded them, they look pretty good.

I'm also inserting full color "plates" between chapters. I am going to load each of my paintings to my computer via a scanner and than to LuLu each as a seperate file. Since I am loading each chapter seperately, I can load each picture seperatly too, and than on LuLu I can drag and drop each file into the correct order. So far it looks pretty good, but I'm not done yet, so I haven't ordered a galley to check it by yet. I hope the finished book loooks as good as iot does onscreen.

PinkUnicorn
01-05-2008, 08:00 PM
I am doing this same test right now... I should have my results (book) by the middle of February. I can't wait to see the results. If it's good, I'm going to sell the book via LuLu.

VeggieChick
01-09-2008, 04:40 PM
I found a POD printer that, at first view, seems better than Lulu. Why? Because they offer FREE ISBN to everybody plus all the same benefits (and price) than Lulu. Am I missing something? Doesn't Lulu charge over $100 for the ISBN?

Createspace.com (http://www.createspace.com/)

Siddow
01-09-2008, 05:04 PM
Lulu sells you an ISBN; you own it. CreateSpace assigns you an ISBN; they own it.

I like Lulu for the ability to have a book printed (rather cheaply) without making it publicly available for sale.

VeggieChick
01-09-2008, 05:24 PM
What exactly does that imply? If you want to keep your book private, then I understand the no-ISBN thing. But for people who want to make the book available for sale, doesn't this company make more sense? What exactly are the legal implications of having an "assigned" ISBN as opposed to buying one from Lulu?

Siddow
01-09-2008, 05:37 PM
Okay, let's say you have your book done up by CS using their ISBN. Then you start having trouble; shipments aren't going out, you're not happy with the product (falls apart, whatever). Whatever the reason, you decide that you're going to take your book elsewhere for printing. To make it available for sale, you'd still have to buy an ISBN, because you can't take it with you.

It's such a new company, if you're thinking about using them I'd get with some authors who have experience with them before making a final decision.

Gigi Sahi
01-09-2008, 06:57 PM
Hello, I've self-pubbed a book using CreateSpace. I would strongly advise buying your own ISBN beforehand, rather than using the number CS assigns, which isn't really an ISBN; it's more of a control number. Why they call it an ISBN, I really can't say. But you can buy a single ISBN for $125, IIRC. Although a 10-block at $270 makes more sense economically, if you don't plan on self-pubbing 10 works, you can save a hundred forty-five bucks by purchasing just one ISBN. Definitely, definitely get your own ISBN. That way, you can use the assigned number elsewhere; say if you later decide to go through Lightning Source for broader on-line bookseller placement. Bear in mind that CS is an Amazon company, so if you self-pub through them your book will be available only on Amazon.

flashgordon
01-11-2008, 12:04 AM
Just to let you all know, the free ISBN numbers that Lulu gives away via its publishing program are known by those in the biz as Lulus. Basically, Lulu buys giant blocks of ISBNs and then has a deal with Browker to assign them to individual authors. However, anyone in the publishing world can tell by looking at your ISBN that it is a sub-ISBN of Lulus.

So, the best way to do this is buy a block of 10 ISBNs, form your own self-publishing company, and go through Lightning Source for printing and a direct line into Ingram (and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books in Print, etc.). If you just want to see it in print but don't care too much about actual sales, then Lulu or CreateSpace are fine. But if you want to have it in bookstores, Lulu is not the way to go.

ResearchGuy
01-11-2008, 04:06 AM
Capital Crimes: 15 Tales by Sacramento Area Authors is now available and on its way into the trade (ISBN and all).

See http://www.lulu.com/content/1259114 --
Description:

Anthology of mystery stories by Sacramento area writers who are members of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Edited by Kathleen L. Asay and Patricia E. Canterbury. Foreword by Robin Burcell. Introduction by Gabrielle Guedet. Published in 2008.Boy howdy has this been a learning experience.

--Ken

Memoirista
01-12-2008, 05:01 AM
I've been reading through this thread with interest and appreciation, but no one has quite covered the following two big problems with Lulu.

I just went through the POD process with Lulu, mainly on the recommendation of Absolute Write. I set up the files for Lulu to print my dissertation, in 8 1/2 by 11 format, so no reformatting. I designed a full cover (front, back, spine) using Lulu's designs, and am very pleased with it.

BUT I am very disappointed with the finished product. Somewhere in what I've been reading since, I saw that the usual POD process would be to print the Title Page alone, nothing on the back, and then continue from there. Had Lulu done this, my work would have come out correctly, with a page in the Syriac language facing a page in English.

Instead, unlike any printed book I've ever seen, the even numbered pages are on the right hand side of the book!

I have requested a refund from Lulu; their line is "Feel free to resubmit a corrected copy and pay us again, and you'll have your book." Since it wasn't my error, and since I might submit copy that would be "corrected" by them so that the Title Page *did* stand alone, thus throwing everything off again, I am reluctant to resubmit.

I am also very very disappointed because I went throught the process on December 14th, including ordering the one sample (proof) copy, and getting feedback that the order had gone through. I found out a week ago that because I had gone through the order process using the Mozilla SeaMonkey (Netscape 7.2) browser, Lulu did not register the order. So almost a month later I'm wondering where my order is, go through the same process on the same browser, and keep asking questions of their online Chat/Help line. THEN I find out that I should have used Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

Do I throw good money after bad, persist in asking for a refund or rePOD, or go to another POD with similar (or better) low prices?

Memoirista

ResearchGuy
01-12-2008, 09:36 AM
. . .
BUT I am very disappointed with the finished product. Somewhere in what I've been reading since, I saw that the usual POD process would be to print the Title Page alone, nothing on the back, and then continue from there. Had Lulu done this, my work would have come out correctly, with a page in the Syriac language facing a page in English.

Instead, unlike any printed book I've ever seen, the even numbered pages are on the right hand side of the book!
. . .
Dunno about the order-placement problem. That is a new one on me. Bizarre, even, as Lulu immediately confirms a placed order on screen AND then immediately sends a confirming email. I am mystified as to how using a different browser could interfere. (Not saying it didn't -- only that it is something I cannot comprehend.)

However, as for layout: the file has to be set up precisely the way it is to appear, section breaks, page breaks, blank pages, headers, footers, page numbering, and all. Lulu does NO reformatting whatsoever -- it will not insert blank pages or anything else for you. AND it is essential to download the pdf that Lulu makes from a Word file (if you upload a Word file) and examine it to be sure it looks right before even ordering one sample copy. I have caught problems of the pdf conversion not properly displaying some text, or even bobbling lines. The former required picking a different font and the latter required rechecking my own page breaks and uploading the file again.

You could also, of course, convert the Word file to pdf yourself (or have someone else do that) and upload the pdf after having examined it to be sure it was correct. So far, I have found Lulu's conversions to be fine for my purposes, although it might take a couple of times through the process to catch and fix overlooked errors.

FWIW.

--Ken

Memoirista
01-14-2008, 10:32 PM
Thanks for your reply, Research Guy (Ken)
I had a perfect pdf, that showed up fine on the Lulu preview. The pdf had been turned into double-sided pages--and drilled--by the local campus copy people, and came out fine. It had passed the scrutiny of the thesis editor.

Lulu paid no attention to the product, just shipped it. There's no quality control.

I'm still very angry. From checking around the internet, I don't find any other POD service that does dissertations, or dissertation formats. So I guess I'm stuck. I either pay $60 for each copy I want from ProQuest, who does the Library of Congress recording and supplies copies upon request, or get the $20 copies from Lulu. I hate the choices, but will have to live with them.

But if I send them a pdf with the inserted blank page, and they screw that up, I'll scream!

Memoirista

ResearchGuy
01-15-2008, 12:20 AM
Thanks for your reply, Research Guy (Ken)
I had a perfect pdf, that showed up fine on the Lulu preview.. . .

Lulu paid no attention to the product, just shipped it. There's no quality control.

. . .

But if I send them a pdf with the inserted blank page, and they screw that up, I'll scream!

Memoirista
Hi, again . . .

Hmmm. I am puzzled that the printed product differed from what you saw in the pdf. That is simply strange.

As for quality control: Lulu is an automated system. No one is leafing through the books to see how they look or to match up the pages with the pdf. Nowhere do they suggest that they do that, either.

I would be willing (because I am curious, frankly, and I might learn something new about formatting) to look at your Word file to see if I can figure out the problem. I'd be interested in seeing the pdf that did not print as you expected, too, for that matter.

Feel free to email me (address is in my profile) if you want to take me up on that offer. (No charge to look and comment.) The catch is, each file cannot be overly large. 1MB is ok, but much more, maybe not.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
01-16-2008, 08:03 PM
I have now published a book (an anthology by local mystery writers) via the Lulu "Published by You" option, with ISBN issued to me (using my business-license name as the publisher of record).

I found many questions on the way through the process, and some ambiguities in Lulu's FAQs. The LiveHelp at Lulu was a good resource, although at the end of the day, the only way to fully explore the process was to go through with it, being as careful as I could along the way. The next time should be much easier.

Unexpectedly, the first printing will be 500 copies (thanks to presales), at which number Lulu offers a very nice bulk discount. (At 1,000 and up, Lulu gets bids on offset printing, and presumably the price gets significantly better -- in that case, Lulu saves the publisher the expense and nuisance of getting a large number of bids on the printing.)

Although I had a lot to learn, and some perplexities because of the nature of this particular project (two editors, 15 authors, a nonprofit group as copyright owner, and the large first printing for a book of this type), it has gone well. Now I await delivery of a dozen or so cases of books and parceling out to the group and to bookstores (on consignment).

When it came time to place the bulk order (which MUST be done via a real person, NOT via the usual online Lulu order form), the process was a pleasure -- very cordial and professional and efficient.

--Ken

Monkey
01-17-2008, 03:13 AM
I have published a first draft using lulu just to have a finished product in my hand so I can see where my boo boos are. (it is so much easier to edit when it is in BOOK form!!)



Brilliant!

Now I must learn more about this Lulu!

Keyan
01-18-2008, 03:51 PM
Set up a Lulu account (including credit card information). It is about as simple as setting up an Amazon account. Maybe simpler, as you would list only one credit card for Lulu, as opposed to the possibility of several at Amazon. Then book purchases (your own or any others you buy from Lulu) and any other charges (distribution packages) are billed to the credit card associated with your Lulu account.

--Ken

They also take Paypal. Which is really nifty for single books and spur-of-the moment kind of things.

Keyan
01-18-2008, 04:00 PM
I have the cover I want - a suitable picture, to which I added a Lulu font for title and author. The title is fine, but the author name is printed in the bottom right hand corner. It's very busy at the bottom of my picture, so the author name is hardly visible. Is there any way to get Lulu to put the author name anywhere else, (apart form the spine)? (Directly under the title would be fine, as the colour there is more or less plain).
Thanks to anyone who can help!

Try using the subtitle line for the author's name. That puts it right under the title. You can space it down by using "enter" above the text of the subtitle.

Keyan
01-18-2008, 04:12 PM
Thanks for your reply, Research Guy (Ken)
I had a perfect pdf, that showed up fine on the Lulu preview. The pdf had been turned into double-sided pages--and drilled--by the local campus copy people, and came out fine. It had passed the scrutiny of the thesis editor.

Lulu paid no attention to the product, just shipped it. There's no quality control.

I'm still very angry. From checking around the internet, I don't find any other POD service that does dissertations, or dissertation formats. So I guess I'm stuck. I either pay $60 for each copy I want from ProQuest, who does the Library of Congress recording and supplies copies upon request, or get the $20 copies from Lulu. I hate the choices, but will have to live with them.

But if I send them a pdf with the inserted blank page, and they screw that up, I'll scream!

Memoirista

I had to try about three times to get my pdf right; the conversion from Word inserted a blank page that threw the numbering off.

I think what you have is really a minor (though annoying) problem, and with luck, your next copy should look exactly as you want.

Do check your pdf and make sure the numbers are opposite what they were before!

ResearchGuy
01-29-2008, 01:40 AM
All 500 copies (the first printing) of the anthology I have published arrived today, just under two weeks from date of order (delivered via UPS ground). The books look exactly like the sample copy I ordered as part of the process of getting the distribution package.

Not bad. Not bad at all. I could not have found a better combination of price and efficiency, and would have had to really work at it just to beat the price, I think.

Now I am ready to publish two or three more books this year, two of them novels by a local author and one my own edited new edition of a long-out-of-print, century-old book on word usage (nice niche audience for that, I think, but a lot of work to retype from a copy of the original book and to format for publication).

--Ken

P.S. The anthology is now available on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615185088/ . It took a little over three weeks between approval of the book with Lulu and its appearance on Amazon.

Lisa F
02-02-2008, 04:51 AM
I published two ebooks on Lulu. I've also published two class books (for 2nd graders). Lulu is easy to use. I'm working on a project (education) to sell at workshops and conferences. I will use Lulu. You can make a cover in PowerPoint. Someone has the instructions posted in a sticky on their forum. I ordered someone else's book in the size I want to see what it would look like. Looks just as good as any other published book. The trick is to set the margins correctly, use the correct fonts, edit, proofread, and design a nice cover. You can pay professionals to do all of that. I have a college professor friend who is editing my book. I will proofread it 7 times before I purchase a "proof" copy. I will not make it available to the public until it is perfect. If you do your homework you can produce a nice book with Lulu. It will be on Amazon, B&N, and other online stores, as well as Lulu (if you purchase the distribution package and ISBN). I can't afford a big print run, so this is the way I have to go. You can now be your own publisher, and put your own publishing company on the book. If you purchase the distribution package, your publishing company will be listed, not Lulu. I know a lot of self-publishers who are successful, and I've seen a lot junk, but if you do it right, then you can self-publish successfully. That's MHO.

Lisa F
02-02-2008, 10:52 PM
I like the "Published by You" option. I am going to self-publish some teacher books under my dba Effective Teaching Solutions. Lulu makes it affordable. I don't have the funds to spend thousands up front, but I do have ways of marketing my books. I like the fact that you can upload it, mark it private, and order a copy to proof before you pay for an ISBN or put it "out there." It's one way to start a small education publishing press without spending lots of dollars up front. I can put my money into setting up tables at conferences (which I go to anyway). The forums at Lulu are great. Lots of folks who will answer your questions. You can hire professionals to layout, design, edit and such. There are independents who offer their services at Lulu. I think the difference between Lulu and others is that Lulu doesn't claim to be a publisher. They are a printer. You can self-publish books, start your own small press, sell ebooks for free, or just have a family story printed in a nice book for Christmas.

Manny
02-03-2008, 02:49 AM
Lisa,

Are you able to download Kens free ebook fixes from Lulu forums? They dont work for me.

Lisa F
02-03-2008, 05:07 AM
I've never tried. Some people make ebooks too hard to get into to read. I like plain old pdf files myself.

ResearchGuy
02-03-2008, 05:27 AM
Lisa,

Are you able to download Kens free ebook fixes from Lulu forums? They dont work for me.
Ken who? Can't be me.

--Ken

Manny
02-06-2008, 02:48 PM
I did wonder if you were the same Ken but this guy goes by Ken Dixon I think, which would seem not to be you.

Oh and he is not quite as abrasive as your good self. :tongue

ResearchGuy
02-06-2008, 06:11 PM
. . .
Oh and he is not quite as abrasive as your good self. :tongue
Few are. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

--Ken

Bo Sullivan
02-08-2008, 04:01 AM
I have spent the evening uploading my manuscript on to Lulu; I made the cover which is fabulous and now I want a free author review copy. I don't know how to get the free copy. Can anyone let me know please.

Thanks,

B.

ResearchGuy
02-08-2008, 04:47 AM
I have spent the evening uploading my manuscript on to Lulu; I made the cover which is fabulous and now I want a free author review copy. I don't know how to get the free copy. Can anyone let me know please.

Thanks,

B.
They do not give free copies. You have to buy one.

FWIW, I have bought many examination copies before getting a book right -- or at least right enough. It is always surprising how many things show up on paper that did not jump out on the screen.

--Ken

Bo Sullivan
02-08-2008, 05:27 AM
They do not give free copies. You have to buy one.

FWIW, I have bought many examination copies before getting a book right -- or at least right enough. It is always surprising how many things show up on paper that did not jump out on the screen.

--Ken

Thanks for clarifying Ken - I thought they did. The preview shows up as offline on the interior file. Do Lulu give specs on interior files anywhere? It would be nice to have to just buy one copy before printing off several serious ones.

Just thought you might know and thanks for your reply.

B.

Bo Sullivan
02-08-2008, 05:29 AM
I'm confused by the 'Get published for free' logo of Lulu if it is not free.

B.

benbradley
02-08-2008, 06:21 AM
I'm confused by the 'Get published for free' logo of Lulu if it is not free.

B.
You "publish" by uploading and making it available. They don't charge for letting you do that. If someone wants a printed copy of your book, they still have to BUY it, but then YOU get whatever profit you get by whatever price you set for your book minus what Lulu charges. I'm not familiar with all the details, I imagine they wait for profits to add up to a certain amount before they send you a check, but where else can you "get published for free" and make a profit from selling your very first printed copy?

I recall that Lulu has (had?) a deal with NaNoWriMo, if you finish your 50,000 word novel in November you can get one free printed copy of it from Lulu.

ResearchGuy
02-08-2008, 07:46 AM
I'm confused by the 'Get published for free' logo of Lulu if it is not free.

B.
Publishing is free. The books are physical goods, not a process, and are not free. Lulu has to pay the printer for those (adding its markup). The contrast is to, for example, iUniverse or Trafford, to which you pay a fee first (hundreds of dollars at least, and maybe a thousand or more), and then still have to pay for the books (other perhaps than a few that are included with the fee you paid up front).

If you want an ISBN and related distribution services from Lulu, you pay for those too (not a lot -- still far cheaper than the subsidy presses), although with the subsidy presses those are part of the package for which you pay.

For some examples, look at http://stores.lulu.com/kenumbach -- there you will see some books that are "published" (that is, available for purchase), only one of which (the Capital Crimes anthology) has an ISBN and availability in trade channels. I paid Lulu for every book along the way, including many examination copies as I was revising the books, and for the ISBN/distribution package for Capital Crimes, but paid zero for the other services that a subsidy publisher would have charged for. (But then, I did 100% of the interior layout, editing, proofreading, and cover design, although conversion of my Word (.doc) files to pdf was done by Lulu's computers.)

Publishing is a process. Books are things. The process you get for free there, but not the things. (You could publish your book without ever buying a copy.) Bear in mind that publishing does not require an ISBN, although we are used to thinking of published books as having ISBNs and published periodicals as having ISSNs. Those are not requirements to be deemed published.

I hope that is reasonably clear.

--Ken

P.S. I went out to dinner after loading the page with your msg. but before Ben Bradley responded, so I had not seen that response when I posted mine, after dinner -- hence the redundant comments.

ResearchGuy
02-08-2008, 08:09 AM
Thanks for clarifying Ken - I thought they did. The preview shows up as offline on the interior file. Do Lulu give specs on interior files anywhere? It would be nice to have to just buy one copy before printing off several serious ones.

Just thought you might know and thanks for your reply.

B.
I am not sure I follow your question (specs?), or the reference to "offline."

If you have Lulu convert the file from .doc to .pdf, you can (and should) download the .pdf and examine it. It is what it is -- and sometimes it is not what you expected. Or if you have a converter you can convert the Word file to a pdf yourself and upload that, assuming you know the right steps.

--Ken

Bo Sullivan
02-08-2008, 08:58 AM
Thanks Ken and Ben Bradley for your explanations - it's much clearer now.

My manuscript was converted to a pdf, which I uploaded but Lulu did not accept it because the fonts were not embedded, so I went the other route and Lulu converted it, but it came out wrong. I originally used a Lulu template 6 x 9 so I can't work out why there should be a problem.

B.

ResearchGuy
02-08-2008, 06:54 PM
. . . Lulu converted it, but it came out wrong. I originally used a Lulu template 6 x 9 so I can't work out why there should be a problem. . . .
It can be tricker than it seems. I have found occasional issues at page breaks, where Word shows one thing and the pdf conversion results in something else. I have had problems with a certain combination of font + Italic, for which I have no explanation. (In both cases, those problems occurred with Lulu's conversion -- might not have if I'd done it myself.)

By the way, sometimes Lulu will tell you it had problems in converting a .doc to a .pdf simply because its servers were busy. A later retry might work fine.

--Ken

Bo Sullivan
02-08-2008, 07:02 PM
It can be tricker than it seems. I have found occasional issues at page breaks, where Word shows one thing and the pdf conversion results in something else. I have had problems with a certain combination of font + Italic, for which I have no explanation. (In both cases, those problems occurred with Lulu's conversion -- might not have if I'd done it myself.)

By the way, sometimes Lulu will tell you it had problems in converting a .doc to a .pdf simply because its servers were busy. A later retry might work fine.


--Ken

Thanks Ken,

I think it has got something to do with the free 6 x 9 template I downloaded. Then I went into the faqs and downloaded a different one. It seems ok apart from chapter headings, so I will do some further work on it and try reloading this evening. Hopefully that will work.

I am really pleased with the bookcover though. It's much better than the one I made myself, and has a picture embedded in the front and back covers with overlaid typing on each.

I also downloaded a better pdf maker which Lulu suggested and that might help as well, so that the fonts are embedded.

Your help is appreciated.

B.

Bo Sullivan
02-09-2008, 06:39 PM
James,

I enjoyed reading this thread. How is your book doing on Lulu? One question: I have uploaded one of my books on Lulu but there is no isbn yet. How did you start selling your book without an isbn?

Thanks,

Barbara

Julie Worth
02-09-2008, 06:52 PM
James,

I enjoyed reading this thread. How is your book doing on Lulu? One question: I have uploaded one of my books on Lulu but there is no isbn yet. How did you start selling your book without an isbn?

Thanks,

Barbara

You don't need an ISBN to sell your book on lulu.

Keyan
02-09-2008, 08:16 PM
I published a book on Lulu for gifts to family. Printed and edited a draft copy, printed a proof copy, and the third version (12 copies) came out right...except for one copy, which had pages 129-133 in the wrong order. Which I discovered, unfortunately, just as I was handing it over. I mean to write to Lulu, but it's not much help because I had carried these overseas to present.

Bo Sullivan
02-09-2008, 08:16 PM
You don't need an ISBN to sell your book on lulu.

Thanks Julie. That's great news! Are there limitations as to who can buy it?

Just thought I would ask.

B.

Bo Sullivan
02-09-2008, 08:18 PM
You can also make a cover on Lulu (free), using their pictures, which come out really nice.

B.

Julie Worth
02-09-2008, 08:21 PM
Thanks Julie. That's great news! Are there limitations as to who can buy it?

Just thought I would ask.

B.

The options: You can limit it to yourself, to those who have the direct link, or you make it generally available.

Bo Sullivan
02-09-2008, 08:23 PM
The options: You can limit it to yourself, to those who have the direct link, or you make it generally available.

Thanks Julie,

I thought it was illegal to sell a book to the public without an ISBN. May be I am wrong.

B.

veinglory
02-09-2008, 10:29 PM
It isn't illegal at all. But most distributors need one.

Bear in mind that no matter how it is phrased you pay for that ISBN, it still costs money and they are still charging you for it and adding a profit margin. So they can call the ISBN free and charge twice as much for something else, that doesn't really help you.

The thing is to decide what you need, including cover price and royalty amount, and the number you expect to sell and the distbution you need to do it--then go for the cheapest place that delivers this package.

MMWyrm
02-09-2008, 10:55 PM
Glad to find this end of the thread. I plan to use Lulu to 'publish' a couple of non-fiction type books I will market through my websites - with both ebook and print options. I wasn't planning on getting an ISBN because I never intend to get the books in stores or anything. Glad to know I can do it that way.

Bo Sullivan
02-10-2008, 12:39 AM
Hi!

I am hoping someone can help me. I am stuck with my 6x9 manuscript size. That is the size I have made my interior book file and tried to upload it to Lulu, but because I chose a 6x9 bookcover it rejected my interior file as the wrong size to fit the book cover. I need to make a bigger bookcover but I do not know what size to choose. Can anyone help me please?

I would be grateful for any advice.

Thanks,

Barbara

veinglory
02-10-2008, 12:43 AM
I would suggest using the Lulu forums. They tend to have people who really know that system well.

Bo Sullivan
02-10-2008, 12:45 AM
I would suggest using the Lulu forums. They tend to have people who really know that system well.


Hi Veinglory, and thanks for responding.

I tried the Lulu forums this afternoon, and they reformatted my 6x9 manuscript of 363 pages so that it became a 600 page manuscript by shrinking the margins etc. That is clearly way over the top and would cost £12.00 a copy. If I chose a bigger book cover that would probably do the trick, if only I knew what size to choose.

B.

veinglory
02-10-2008, 12:51 AM
Hmm. Seems like they missed what you were asking for? I admit to being basically a bit confused by the whole thing. I know it is generally easier if you use their templates and modify from there.

Bo Sullivan
02-10-2008, 01:27 AM
Hmm. Seems like they missed what you were asking for? I admit to being basically a bit confused by the whole thing. I know it is generally easier if you use their templates and modify from there.


Hi Veinglory,

Yes, I used the 6x9 Lulu template and that is why I cannot understand the problem in converting to a print ready file. I have just been speaking to a live person on Lulu and he suggests going back to the source file and checking the dimensions, but I haven't a clue what they should be and relied entirely on the downloaded 6x9 template. He also told me that the source file and the bookcover have to be the same size, which they are, so at least I am doing something right.

Thanks,

B.

ResearchGuy
02-10-2008, 02:36 AM
. . .except for one copy, which had pages 129-133 in the wrong order. . . .
Wow! THAT is weird! Makes me want to flip through the hundreds of copies of a book I recently had printed by Lulu. (Not going to . . . but now I have to wonder.)

--Ken

Fahim
02-10-2008, 05:59 AM
Duped, you're not doing a wraparound cover are you? If so, then you need to calculate the cover size based on the number of pages in your book. Otherwise, you should be able to simply do the front and back cover as 6 x 9 and you should be fine. I did my own cover (wraparound) and printed via Lulu and had no problems. If you want me to take a look at your stuff and try to figure out the the problem, I'd be happy to. Just PM me :)

Bo Sullivan
02-10-2008, 08:16 AM
Duped, you're not doing a wraparound cover are you? If so, then you need to calculate the cover size based on the number of pages in your book. Otherwise, you should be able to simply do the front and back cover as 6 x 9 and you should be fine. I did my own cover (wraparound) and printed via Lulu and had no problems. If you want me to take a look at your stuff and try to figure out the the problem, I'd be happy to. Just PM me :)

Hi Fahim,

Thanks so much for replying - I've sorted out the mess I was in. I downloaded an incredible Microsoft Word Tutorial by Ken Anderson which gives the dimensions of a 6 x 9 Lulu book. It sorted out my problem.

If anyone would like a copy of the Ken Anderson Tutorial, it can be downloaded free from Lulu.

My book is now for sale on Lulu and I'm really happy! :hooray:

Thanks again.

Barbara

JamesAllen
02-11-2008, 11:35 AM
Is there any way to sell your Lulu-pubbed book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc, without raising the price ridiculously high via the Lulu distribution? Just curious.

Fahim
02-11-2008, 06:43 PM
Is there any way to sell your Lulu-pubbed book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc, without raising the price ridiculously high via the Lulu distribution? Just curious.

I haven't done this myself but if you get an ISBN on your own, publish via Lulu and then go through the process with Amazon etc. I believe you can have your books listed on Amazon. If I recall correctly, you need to send two (I think ...) copies of your book to Amazon first and they take a look at it and decide whether they want to list your book or not. The others probably have similar mechanisms in place ...

ETA: This (http://www.fonerbooks.com/2007/12/secret-to-self-publishing-success.html) page and this (http://kk.org/cooltools/archives/000668.php) one appear to be talking about getting your book listed on Amazon. Haven't read all the way through and so they might be helpful or they might not :)

ResearchGuy
02-11-2008, 07:47 PM
Is there any way to sell your Lulu-pubbed book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc, without raising the price ridiculously high via the Lulu distribution? Just curious.
There is no way to get the prices as low as typical commercially published trade paperbacks. BUT by judicious formatting to keep page count reasonable (this can be done without sacrificing too much readability if you know what you are doing) and limiting your retail markup, the retail list price can be kept within some reasonable bounds.

Because the minimum list price is two times the sum of printing cost (two cents per page plus $1.50 for cover if trade paperback) and markup (including Lulu's fee), every added page adds four cents to min. retail, and each dollar of added author's profit adds $2.50 to minimum retail price. See http://www.lulu.com/en/includes/calc_retail_inc.php for a calculator.

I'm planning on selling a 208-page trade paperback for $15.00 list, but the retail markup will be slender for copies sold through retail channels. That is not all that important, though, as so few copies are likely to be sold in that way. I'll buy a large enough quantity for local sales to get bulk price break, allowing consignment sales at a small profit, and direct sales to readers at a pretty decent profit. It is a juggling act.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
02-11-2008, 07:55 PM
I haven't done this myself but if you get an ISBN on your own, publish via Lulu and then go through the process with Amazon etc. I believe you can have your books listed on Amazon. . . .
If you work through all of the numbers, you will quickly see that you are much worse off in doing so. The reason is that the production cost of books via Lulu's trade distribution is substantially less than via sales to the "creator" (author/publisher). If you are buying from Lulu and then trying to resell via Amazon, at 55% discount from list, you will get clobbered. If you are going to go that route, you probably have to deal directly with Lightning Source or a short-run offset printer to get the price per copy down.

IMHO.

BTW, it took about one month from date of purchase of ISBN to see the book I recently published listed on Amazon. That allowed a couple of weeks turnaround to examine and approve the required sample copy. That one is titled Capital Crimes: 15 Tales by Sacramento Area Authors. It is priced at $15.95 -- a bit high, but as the book is a fundraiser for the sponsoring organization, about the best that was practical.

--Ken

JamesAllen
02-12-2008, 05:49 AM
Thank you very much for your help.
I have noticed that some other printer publishers charge some sort of yearly storage fee. If they are POD publishers, what are they storing? Just the original copy of your work? Does Lulu charge a yearly fee too? I haven't seen where they do, but I haven't read the entire site.

I did notice that they promote a service called Integrative Ink, for those of us with no skills in formatting or converting. Do you guys happen to know anything about them? Does $150.00 sound like a reasonable price to have your novel-length work checked for formatting errors, fixed, and prepared for uploading to Lulu? I've only been checking out this alternative in the past week, so please forgive the extreme ignorance.

ResearchGuy
02-12-2008, 07:27 AM
. . . Does Lulu charge a yearly fee too? . . .

I did notice that they promote a service called Integrative Ink, for those of us with no skills in formatting or converting. Do you guys happen to know anything about them? Does $150.00 sound like a reasonable price to have your novel-length work checked for formatting errors, fixed, and prepared for uploading to Lulu? . . .
No, Lulu does not charge storage fees or anything of that sort. However, FWIW, it appears to be impossible to actually delete your files from their system. "Retired" projects are still on the servers.

As for the fee you cited . . . shop around. If all the file needs is literally to be "checked for formatting errors, fixed, and prepared for uploading to Lulu," and it it does not need major overhauling, you might be able to do better. On the other hand, you might want to pay someone for copy editing and proofreading, too, although that will add cost. BTW, once a Word (.doc) file has been set up right, it needs no other "preparing for uploading to Lulu" unless one wants it converted to pdf prior to uploading rather than relying on Lulu's sometimes balky process.

If I may, let me offer a couple of words of advice, from experience:

1. Experiment on a low-value project first. Since you pay zero except some time to go through the process (one that does NOT include ISBN/distribution package), it is worth doing. You'll learn a lot. Be sure to download the pdf (if Lulu makes the conversion) and examine it.

2. Order ONE examination copy of any book you intend for Lulu publication (with or without ISBN/distribution). And examine it. You'd be surprised what you'll notice in a copy of the book that you have overlooked on screen.

Maybe I should write a book about publishing via Lulu.

--Ken

Julie Worth
02-12-2008, 07:30 AM
Hi Veinglory, and thanks for responding.

I tried the Lulu forums this afternoon, and they reformatted my 6x9 manuscript of 363 pages so that it became a 600 page manuscript by shrinking the margins etc. That is clearly way over the top and would cost £12.00 a copy. If I chose a bigger book cover that would probably do the trick, if only I knew what size to choose.

B.

Choose 8.5x11 and insert columns. Cheap but unattractive.

ResearchGuy
02-12-2008, 09:25 PM
Choose 8.5x11 and insert columns. Cheap but unattractive.
The key question is how many words, not how many pages it started or finished as. I can make a book longer or shorter by a great many pages by careful selection of font, point size, margins, and spacing, even within the same page size. I reduced one book by about 50 pages (about 20%) with no loss in readability or appearance of crowded text. On another occasion I had to expand a book to make it appear more substantial without any obvious appearance of padding or resort to oversize print.

--Ken

Bo Sullivan
02-12-2008, 09:56 PM
Choose 8.5x11 and insert columns. Cheap but unattractive.


Hi,

I got the problem sorted with a different template and margins etc. Everything is fine now.

B.

ATP
02-12-2008, 10:34 PM
[It is around 2.30AM as I write, and anxious to go to bed, so I have been remiss and not checked through the entire thread]

The Lulu book printing and accompanying services sound fine. However, is anyone able to tell me if they confine themselves to books?

What I wonder is can Lulu handle the printing, ordering of a 4 colour A4 size booklet? Could the company also handle distribution/postage throughout the US, while I handle the credit card transactions?

Thanks.

benbradley
02-12-2008, 10:38 PM
The key question is how many words, not how many pages it started or finished as. I can make a book longer or shorter by a great many pages by careful selection of font, point size, margins, and spacing, even within the same page size. I reduced one book by about 50 pages (about 20%) with no loss in readability or appearance of crowded text. On another occasion I had to expand a book to make it appear more substantial without any obvious appearance of padding or resort to oversize print.

--Ken
I think you're right, you really should write a book on your knowledge of this.

ResearchGuy
02-13-2008, 01:46 AM
. . .
The Lulu book printing and accompanying services sound fine. However, is anyone able to tell me if they confine themselves to books?

What I wonder is can Lulu handle the printing, ordering of a 4 colour A4 size booklet? Could the company also handle distribution/postage throughout the US, while I handle the credit card transactions?

The place for answers is Lulu's own extensive FAQs, supplemented if necessary by a chat with a Lulu Live Help person.

But to answer one thing: no, Lulu is not set up to let you handle your own credit card transactions in connection with ordering through Lulu. But you can buy copies in quantity and set up your own website or other facility for taking and filling orders if you want. In that case, their involvement ends with printing and shipping the books to you (prepaid via your credit card).

--Ken

ATP
02-13-2008, 08:15 AM
Thanks again, Ken.

harmandersingh
02-13-2008, 05:59 PM
Well, firstly, I thank the Absolute Writers Water Cooler, you see after three traditional publications, I tried Lulu for my children's book named "Happy Peace Day" (www.lulu.com/content/1732115 ). For learning the self-designing, it was a wonderful experience as I took one of the cover and did the design on the front and the back cover. I went pretty well. However, I feel that uploading for the retail stores like Amazon and others is bit difficult. It seems that if I do not get help from all of you. I will have the white picture for the front cover. I thank all of you for guiding and helping throughout the process. Thanks and Have Happy Peace Day Everyday!

ResearchGuy
03-02-2008, 01:48 AM
For the last few days (at least that long), Lulu has a bug that prevents completion of book revision process (and presumably completion of a new project, similarly). The process hangs before the cover PDF can be generated, resulting in an error message. Live Help told me that I am not the only one affected (presumably everyone is affected by a bug in the system).

Anyone else here have that problem? Unable to complete the process because Lulu cannot generate the cover PDF?

--Ken

ACEnders
03-31-2008, 05:59 AM
Because I wasn't getting any bites, and because I was yearning to see my hard work in print, I published my first novel on Lulu! (The link's below if you wanna check it out!)

I received my copy and am very pleased with the outcome. I have not yet bought an ISBN number, and I've only sold my book to family and friends.

I'm feeing a mix of emotions. Part of me is thrilled to have it out there! People can actually buy what I wrote! The other part of me is terrified because...people are reading my book! Everytime someone new buy it, my hands start to sweat, and I get worried. Will they like it? Will they hate it? Will they catch an error that neither myself nor any of my betas noticed?

On a more technical note - I want to purchase an ISBN number, but could someone explain to me the difference between me owning it and Lulu owning the number?

Mumut
03-31-2008, 07:06 AM
That's ace, ACEnders. I had exactly the same feelings when I was first accepted by a publisher and it's never really gone away. I'm always really happy (in a relieved way) when I get compliments on the book.

All the best with your marketing of the book.

bluntforcetrauma
03-31-2008, 07:14 AM
Very nice cover art. Who did that? It looks like a good read. Congrats!

Karen Duvall
03-31-2008, 07:16 AM
Best of luck to you, Ace! :hi:

ACEnders
03-31-2008, 04:25 PM
Thanks guys!!! it's good to know it's not just me feeling all...crazy inside!

iwannabepublished
03-31-2008, 11:07 PM
On a more technical note - I want to purchase an ISBN number, but could someone explain to me the difference between me owning it and Lulu owning the number?

Look at http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/index.asp

Based on my limited experience, it really depends on your plans. Owning your own ISBN means you are the publisher of record and your book will be listed as yours. Using one of Lulu's ISBN's means they will be the publisher of record. You can buy ISBN's but, to the best of my knowledge, you can't buy just one. Also, if you decide to have the book printed someplace else, you'll have to get a new ISBN. In the past, when you purchase an ISBN from Lulu, they included a listing for your book in a few places at no charge, at least for the first year. This means that your book will have 'some' legitimate exposure beyond Lulu. One last word, having an ISBN on your book, no matter how few you print, does give it a little more of a 'professional' look. Just my limited exposure, I'm sure others will have more to say about this question. Oh yea, one last thing ISBN = International Standard Book Number. Saying ISBN number is a little redundant.

I agree, the cover art is Great!

Good luck with it.

ACEnders
04-01-2008, 05:12 AM
[quote=Kenteicher;2215546] Oh yea, one last thing ISBN = International Standard Book Number. Saying ISBN number is a little redundant.

quote]

You know, I figured that the "N" in ISBN probably stood for number. But honestly I had no idea what the rest stood for! Thanks! I'll check out that link!

ResearchGuy
04-19-2008, 07:44 AM
The Capital Crimes anthology I published via Lulu was the ice-breaker.

Next up (as soon as some permissions can be obtained to use copyrighted material) is a memoir. It is time sensitive, as it is the author's memoir of his medical odyssey with cancer, and his remaining time is uncertain. I've ordered the ISBN/distribution package.

Also nearly ready to go public, a novel by a local author (ISBN in hand -- only awaiting checking over of final review copy and approval to launch). After that, another, quite different, novel by the same author. It is ready to go except for final touches on the back cover and the ISBN/distribution package.

These are all good books. The memoir would have commercial publication potential, I think, but time does not allow pursuing that route. I can have it in the trade before summer, when, with any luck, the author will still be able to enjoy it and promote it. It is a significant book, and more so with his voice to support it.

The novels are probably not sufficiently commercial (one might be -- hard to be sure) for a press of any real size, but in any event the long time required to pursue that route, and the uncertainty, favors the micro-press option. The anthology has primarily local appeal and is doing well. It would not have suited a commercial publisher.

This is a continuing learning experience, not only about the mechanics of publishing books via Lulu, but also about the kinds of issues a (very) small publisher faces, and some of the kinds of issues that probably any publisher faces (such as balancing the author's desires with practical necessities and judgment calls). I've just had the good luck to meet up with writers who had written books worth publishing and whose goals I can largely meet.

FWIW.

BTW, the problem I previously alluded to with Lulu was systemwide, and has been fixed. But Lulu has a problem now (has for weeks or longer) with its preview-generation module. They were working on that as of a day or two ago, when I finally inquired. That is a nuisance, but does not interfere with other processes.

--Ken

hastingspress
04-21-2008, 03:46 PM
Lulu sounds like an amazing resource for those times when, for whatever reason, you just want a small handful of bound books.

Thanks for this thread, it has given me ideas.......

Helena

ResearchGuy
04-21-2008, 05:32 PM
Lulu sounds like an amazing resource for those times when, for whatever reason, you just want a small handful of bound books.

Thanks for this thread, it has given me ideas.......

Helena
You are welcome. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

--Ken

Bo Sullivan
04-23-2008, 04:11 PM
Hi,

I just wanted to say that my book, The Innocent Master Harrison has been selling from the Lulu storefront, even though I don't have a distribution package.

Thanks for reading,

Barb

hastingspress
04-23-2008, 05:42 PM
Here's an interesting comparison for everyone:

To print 500 copies of my book digitally, using a bricks-and-mortar printing company, comes out at £2.98 per copy.

500 copies via Lulu, £5.07 each.

one copy was £5.83 at lulu

Helena

ResearchGuy
04-23-2008, 07:11 PM
Here's an interesting comparison for everyone:

To print 500 copies of my book digitally, using a bricks-and-mortar printing company, comes out at £2.98 per copy.

500 copies via Lulu, £5.07 each.

one copy was £5.83 at lulu

Helena
At 500 copies, if ordered directly through the bulk order desk at Lulu, prices drop nicely. Bulk discounts start at 300 copies, ordinarily, I believe (again: via the bulk order desk -- this has to be done by email or phone with a real person, as you cannot get the same prices via the website). But yes, one can get lower prices elsewhere with some shopping around. In my case, though, I find offsetting advantages in dealing with Lulu (storefront, distribution package, convenience), so price is not my only consideration. Not yet, anyway.

I just placed a second 500-copy order for Capital Crimes: 15 Tales by Sacramento Area Authors. That was via the bulk order desk.

At 1,000 and up, Lulu gets quotes for offset printing, presumably at even better prices.

By the way, I was advised that sales of one book at Lulu (You can Beat Prostate Cancer) have exceeded 19,000 copies.

--Ken

rocketman
04-24-2008, 07:23 AM
If you get the "published by you" for $99, is your work automatically (about 8 weeks) available at Amazon and other internet stores? Can a brick & mortar store order the book with the ISBN? Does this order indirectly get sent to Lulu since they are your printer vs. being sent to the author (or his publishing name)?

ResearchGuy
04-24-2008, 07:55 AM
If you get the "published by you" for $99, is your work automatically (about 8 weeks) available at Amazon and other internet stores? Can a brick & mortar store order the book with the ISBN? Does this order indirectly get sent to Lulu since they are your printer vs. being sent to the author (or his publishing name)?
Yes (much faster for Amazon, though, than 8 weeks).
Yes, to the best of my knowledge, via Ingram (and probably other wholesalers).
No, Lulu has arrangements with other printers in their network. That is why the requirements for formatting for their distribution options are so specific -- they have to meet requirements of those printer-partners. The order does, however, get recorded in your Lulu account, with royalties sent periodically.

--Ken

hastingspress
04-24-2008, 11:08 AM
So Lulu has a special place somewhere on its website for bulk orders, Ken?

I just input 500 copies to the calculator they supply. They ought to have a little message underneath saying "contact our bulk orders department"!

I got another printing estimate yesterday and it came out at £1.98 per book. Always shop around....


Helena

rocketman
04-24-2008, 03:20 PM
So Ken the orders from book store are directed to the appropriate printer vs an author who use "published by you". With "Publish by you" you are just taking Lulu off the book cover and copyright page, for the most part distribution remanins the same?

ResearchGuy
04-24-2008, 06:24 PM
So Lulu has a special place somewhere on its website for bulk orders, Ken?

I just input 500 copies to the calculator they supply. They ought to have a little message underneath saying "contact our bulk orders department"!. . .
The U.S. version DOES have such a message, with the email address for bulk orders.


Your order is large enough that additional discounts may be available. Please contact bulkorders@lulu.com for details and allow 2-3 business days for us to determine if your order qualifies for a discount and provide a quote. Orders placed before a quote is provided are not eligible for refunds.Maybe it is different in the U.K.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
04-24-2008, 06:26 PM
So Ken the orders from book store are directed to the appropriate printer vs an author who use "published by you". With "Publish by you" you are just taking Lulu off the book cover and copyright page, for the most part distribution remains the same?
That pretty much sums it up. I believe that "Published by Lulu" gets international distribution, not just U.S. distribution, though.

--Ken

hastingspress
04-25-2008, 01:46 PM
Ah yes, Ken, that must be the reason! Thanks.

hastingspress
05-04-2008, 02:17 PM
I'd like to say thanks to Ken for starting this thread and to those who contributed.

On the basis of it, I am going ahead with Lulu, something I never thought I would do!

I published a book in Dec 2003 that has sold 1,600 copies but sales have slowed down to about 30 a year over the past year. I've only got ten copies left, but I don't want to do another 1,600 or even 1,000 because at the rate of 30 sales a year it would take me .... years to sell them and I don't have a lot of storage space.

I've done all the costings for having 100 printed digitally, by Lightning Source and by a POD printer I know. Then I found this thread and investigated Lulu.

As a result I have going to have 34 copies printed by Lulu. Why 34? Because the postage for 34 is £6.30 and the postage for 35 is £18! So I will just keep printing them in 34's ad infinitum. The best thing is that each book is a new edition, so I can keep the book constantly updated.

Helena

hastingspress
05-12-2008, 07:30 PM
I just found that by reducing the number of pages in my book to 240 from 256, I can have 36 copies posted to me from Lulu for a falt rate £6.30 postage.

Reducing by 16 pages only took 9p off the price of each book, though.

Each book, including postage, will cost me £5.74.

An established and famous book-printer called Biddles has offered to print 250 copies including delivery, for £3.06 each, 53% the cost of Lulu.

http://www.biddles.co.uk/

Which might be a better option!

After all, if I buy 133 books from Lulu that will cost me £765.

From Biddles, I'd get 250 for the same money!

Hmmmm.....

Helena

ResearchGuy
05-12-2008, 07:38 PM
. . .
After all, if I buy 133 books from Lulu that will cost me £765.

From Biddles, I'd get 250 for the same money!

Hmmmm.....

Helena
It is pretty well recognized that Lulu is NOT a low-cost option for print runs of any real size. (It can be great for one or a few.) Its selling point is convenience. Where time is money, that can be a satisfactory trade-off (I find it to be for my particular purposes and circumstances, so far), but it looks like the costs might bU even farther out of whack in the U.K. than they are in the U.S.

I was recently lectured over what I am paying Lulu to print books, and directed to a short-run printer. I looked at that printer's site and was immediately turned off by the sheer clunkiness of dealing with that company--a long, complicated quote form and no option for self-service. It all has to be done the hard way. For some folks, that is fine. Not for me. Not yet.

--Ken

Bygosh
05-14-2008, 06:47 PM
I tried Lulu with my first book and I have to admit, it was clean and easy, and I had my professional looking book in my hands a couple weeks later. I wasn't sure how the formatting would look, so I simply uploaded my .doc file as it was and had it printed out, which, should I decide to print another, will give me a good idea of how to format the next one.

I was, however, a little disappointed in how thin my book was. I opted for the 6"x9" since I couldn't find a standard paperback style to have it printed in, so the pages were longer and wider (and my font size was smaller in print even though in MS Word it was 12 point New Times Roman) so I do understand that it wasn't like a book I might buy off the shelf. I tinkered a bit and discovered that my small 193 page Lulu book could translate into a 350 page standard format paperback (if my calculations were correct), so I feel a little better about it.

But all that aside, for someone who hasn't had anything published before, holding this first actual book in my hand and reading the words in the pages that I wrote is a wonderful feeling.

ResearchGuy
05-14-2008, 07:30 PM
. . .

I was, however, a little disappointed in how thin my book was. I opted for the 6"x9" since I couldn't find a standard paperback style to have it printed in, so the pages were longer and wider (and my font size was smaller in print even though in MS Word it was 12 point New Times Roman) . . .
Use File, Page setup in Word to set paper size to 6" x 9" and that won't happen. Adjust margins accordingly. It is CRITICAL to use Word's formatting and page setup options correctly. I am guessing that you had (by default) paper size set to 8-1/2" x11", and let Lulu's converter squish the pages and their contents.

Email me (address is in profile) and ask for it, and I'll email you a dummy file with layout options that work (section breaks and all). You can adjust those to suit yourself, but they take care of all of the major needs (in a file filled with word salad as place-holder).

--Ken

hastingspress
05-19-2008, 01:24 PM
Ken: "It is pretty well recognized that Lulu is NOT a low-cost option for print runs of any real size. "

Novices might not think that; especially as there is a bulk-buy option (which I think you yourself mentioned) on Lulu which might lead people sleepwalking into getting 500 or so printed.

My example stands as a clear warning to others: by the time you pay for 133 copies via Lulu, you hit the point where a traditional printer is more economical. I should think a lot of people wil eventually print 133 copies.

Since my last visit here I've found another "proper" book-printer in the UK that can print 250 copies for me at £3.20 a book including delivery (instead of Lulu's price of £5.93 per copy). They are...

http://www.athenaeumpress.co.uk

...and the advantage of them over Biddles is that they will print my book lithographically.

Ken: "I looked at that printer's site and was immediately turned off by the sheer clunkiness of dealing with that company--a long, complicated quote form and no option for self-service. It all has to be done the hard way. For some folks, that is fine. Not for me. Not yet."

It's not always that hard, Ken. For me, the difference between using athenaeum press and using Lulu will be as follows:

1. Instead of uploading my PDF of book and PDF of cover to Lulu's website, I will burn them onto a CD and post them to athenaeum press.

2. At Athenaeum, a named employee, who I can telephone and speak to, or email, will take charge of my book printing job. Mine is Brendan b.redden@athenaeumpress.co.uk

3. Athenaeum will send me a proof cover and proofs of the text sheets at no cost. (Lulu will charge me to buy a single printed copy to check it).

So I think the moral is, if you want up, say, up to about 150 copies in your book's lifetime, go with Lulu. If you think that over a year or two you might want more than 150, and you are in the UK, check out Athenaeum or Biddles, TJI Digital or Antony Rowe. They all have websites.

Helena