Tuesday 9 July 2013

My First Foray into Print on Demand with Lulu

Ever since I published A Petition to Magic last December, I've dreamed about seeing it available in print. I'd always assumed that it was far too short, though, and that no Print on Demand service would agree to publish it.

When I was first reading up about self-publishing, I found a lot of people talking about Lulu, but I'd pretty much put the idea out of my mind because, as I said, I felt A Petition to Magic was too short, and I didn't think Lulu'd be interested in short stories.

Over the past few weeks, some friends of mine (also self-published authors) started posting links to their books on Lulu, and so I started thinking about it again. I had some free time this past Saturday morning, so I decided to give it a try.

What a pleasure!

I fired up my browser, typed in http://www.lulu.com/, and registered for an account. Then I clicked Start Project, and I was away!

Their extremely easy to use wizard guided me every step of the way. What I found most interesting was the Binding Options. If you'd like an ISBN number, and for Lulu to distribute your book to other platforms, you need to use what they call "Perfect Binding". The problem with Perfect Binding is that it requires that your book be a minimum number of pages, and my story (being a short story) wasn't long enough. I was initially disappointed, however (and this is the cool part) you don't have to let Lulu distribute your book in order to sell it!

I picked Saddle Stitch binding, and because of it I was not given the option of specifying an ISBN number of distributing my book. But my book is still live on Kobo:

I then went and had a look at CreateSpace, which as far as I can tell is Amazon's print version of KDP. I found a similar limitation on book length there, but the difference is that they don't have any option for publishing your book in print if it doesn't meet their minimum length. So until I write a book that's long enough, expect to find print versions of all my stories on Lulu, and none on CreateSpace!

The bottom line? If you've written a book, no matter how short, you can publish it in print! It's a brave new world out there, ladies and gentlemen! A brave new world, indeed....


  1. Yeah, Lulu is one cool chick; I have just done the same thing with The Hargreaves Code. Not sure if it will sell many but its great to see something in print after so long of ebook publishing.

    Have you seen the Espresso book machine though?

    1. I hadn't. Will definitely take a look! Thanks man! :-)