Review, Lulu Press

  • https://www.lulu.com/

    I have published 3 books through Lulu. Two non-fiction, one fiction.

    To start with, you begin your account and then set up your first project. You give it a name, your author name, and pick what you are creating. There are tons of options for sizing and print quality, as well as paper quality and color/black&white. You can have various options for binding types as well.

    Once you select all of those, you go to your document and resize the document to the size you chose. You WILL need to edit at this point. Resizing a document that is already written means there will be paragraphs that aren't set right after, breaks where breaks shouldn't be, and widows. (One single sentence that breaks onto another page. My pet peeve.) I always use 6x9 as it has a nice large feel in the hands. So my Works In Progress, I always start right off the bat by resizing the document to 6x9 from the get go. Usually this is in the Page Setup options of your chosen processor. This means that as I write, I can format and skip the headache of trying to resize everything to fit later.

    After you have your document exactly the way you want it, you must save it as a pdf. There are other options, but if you want your book to look exactly the way you want it to look, submitting in PDF means "what you see is what you get" at Lulu. So this is always your absolute best option to do. I use PrimoPDF. It installs itself a printer, so you click "Print", and instead of sending it to the printer, you select PrimoPDF as the printer and it goes right ahead and saves it as PDF. Open Office I believe has this capability built in now. Others might, but I don't use them so I can't hazard a guess if they do or not.

    When you submit, you buy your first copy. This is your proof copy. You want to see what it looks like, how things are formatted. Make any changes you need to via the doc. This is also when you'll add the ISBN to the document. Lulu is great for me as it is print on demand. So big retailers will offer your book online, since it doesn't cost them anything to do so. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, an a few other places gladly carry Lulu Press offerings. You get your free ISBN and lots and lots of help documents on the Lulu site to help you make your work look its best. There is a cover maker as well.

    The downsides to Lulu is that, while you go get an author page and listing in their marketplace, you do NOT get any advertising. Your book is sold based on the work that YOU do to market it. You get paid every quarter, and can set your own prices. Lulu is always cheaper to buy from than other retailers, so this way you can offer your readers a price break, and/or a special incentive to buy through Lulu. As you don't have to pay the Amazon or other retailer royalty fees that Lulu has to charge, it means you make more in profit by doing your sales through Lulu.

    The printed books themselves come out well made, the color is vivid, the quality is fantastic in your hands. Printed books are also easy to turn to ebook formats on Lulu as well. I printed all 3 of mine, and then released 2 as Ebooks and it was a fairly simple process.

    All in all, if you're looking for a place to simply get your books published, and are willing to do the legwork on your own, Lulu is a fantastic, affordable option.

    Please note, the attached photos are from well loved, well worn books, so there are some creases and fingerprint smudges :)


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  • Adrienne Lewis and Donna B like this
  • Donna B
    Donna B Openoffice does pdf but I now use LibreOffice instead. I use Scrivener (reviewed here) for writing books as it has book formatter that does all the work. It can change to any format so that if you want to submit to other places too and they require...  more
    November 9, 2014