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1crowderb Første besked:
aug 11, 2006, 7:28 pm

Has anyone tried Lulu? I ran a short test book a couple of weeks ago and was pleased with the results -- nice paper (60# cream, I believe) and a decent job on the binding. This morning I finished up a 712-page behemoth of a book and ordered my copy, so we'll see in a week or so whether it holds up.

aug 12, 2006, 10:52 am

Wow. I had no idea this was out there - Thank you! I can't believe the prices! I've been wanting to publish various genealogy projects of mine for the family for years but never been able to afford to do it - This place looks completely affordable. I'll have to read though everything and see how this is done...

I look forward to your report. Just out of curiosity, what program did you do your layout in? I think it's awesome that the customer lays out their own book - Big trouble for someone like me who can spend forever on the aesthetics. ;-)

aug 12, 2006, 11:47 am

:) I use InDesign and love it. (In the past I used TeX, and in fact last night I started reading Donald Knuth's Digital Typography, which is a smashing read, but Computer Modern just doesn't do it for me. I want a Garamondesque font for TeX. But this ought to go on its own thread. :))

Anyway, Lulu's especially nice when you consider that Project Gutenberg ( has 18,000+ free ebooks that one can typeset. Out of print is now within the realm of possibility. :)

aug 12, 2006, 12:26 pm

Printing on demand is such a revolution. It hasn't fully impacted yet, but it is fun to watch as it develops. It is inspiring to think that anyone can write a book now, and have it produced for a small audience at first without a publisher. I also am excited that some works that are out of print can become available and affordable.

If printing on demand is such that they can be produced attractively as well, that's a bonus.

aug 12, 2006, 12:29 pm

I agree -- having printed a few books through local presses, I was giddy when I came across Lulu. No longer do I have to print off large runs (500+) to get decent prices. And as an amateur book designer who'd like to see his books get into the hands of people, it's really, really, really nice for me to give people a URL and let them order the books themselves. No need for going through Amazon or other bookstores. (Not that I have anything against bookstores, of course, but as someone flying solo, it's hard to get in.)

aug 12, 2006, 12:39 pm

That's a very cool idea about Project Gutenberg - I wouldn't have thought of it myself!

Besides the apparent quality and affordable prices at Lulu, I'm really excited about the multiple options - For genealogy, it's awesome to be able to simultaneously offer a hardback, a cheaper paperback, *and* a free download for those who just can't afford a copy of the others. Very, very cool. Just what the genealogy crowd has been waiting for!

aug 12, 2006, 4:24 pm

I've been wondering about the quality of Lulu's hardcover binding. I know their softcover perfect binding is quite good. Does anyone have any experience with their hardcover binding?

aug 12, 2006, 11:44 pm

Not yet. :) There's the casewrap (like a textbook) and dust jacket (linen cloth), both of which look fairly nice from the screenshots. The only thing about the dust jacket ones that I think I won't like very much is the gold foil lettering -- the font they use (and it seems to be the only one available) reminds me of theses and dissertations. But linen is attractive... Once I get my proof copy of the softcover back, I intend to resubmit the same 712-page file as a hardcover. But that won't arrive for at least two or three weeks, so in the meantime, I too would love to hear if anyone's had experience with the hardcovers.

Anybody know why they only offer cream colored paper at 6x9" and 7.5x7.5"? Conversely, has anyone printed books at sizes other than those, using the white paper? How does it look? Is the glare bad?

aug 16, 2006, 7:22 pm

What a great idea! I have been practicing my Indesign skills on Project Gutenberg texts, but it never occurred to me to get them printed through a service like that.

As printing on demand becomes more mainstream, I wonder how it will effect personal libraries -- the potential to create your own anthologies and collections makes me think in terms of medieval scholars and their personally-produced miscellanies, each completely different. Perhaps we're heading back into a period in which the average book is unique, or at least rare.

aug 17, 2006, 12:06 pm

I have no problems with a world like that. :)

So, I got the 712-page behemoth in the mail yesterday. Overall, I'm quite pleased. The only qualm I have is that 20 or so of the pages had a spot on the verso page where the ink seems to have dried up. It was half an inch or so in diameter, so only four or five words were affected. Perhaps it was a fluke. Notwithstanding, it's worth the money. Now if only they'd add an option for nice "velvety" covers (I don't know what it's called, but a lot of paperbacks nowadays have them -- they're not glossy, but it looks like they're printed on the same weight paper).

aug 17, 2006, 12:31 pm

nice "velvety" covers (I don't know what it's called, but a lot of paperbacks nowadays have them -- they're not glossy,

Matte finish?

aug 17, 2006, 4:43 pm

Possibly. It seems like the stuff I've gotten printed on matte wasn't velvety, though. I also wish I knew specifically what it's called -- I'll look into it and see what I can find. :)

jan 7, 2007, 12:16 am

I'm an illustrator/designer who worked on a book with an author for Lulu last year, The Wealthy Waiter, and we had great success with the process. For the prices they offer, you get out of it what you pay for, so printing options are somewhat limited, but it's wonderful to self-publish and distribute your work so easily.

jan 29, 2007, 12:18 pm

Just read this and am encouraged. I tried a couple of little picture books on MyPublisher over Xmas - one a memorial for my wife of the life of her mother and the other pictures of flowers from our house here in Brittany. Both were very good and paying for the 'overnight' delivery got the book here three days the week before Xmas.

However, the formats are a bit restricted to pictures plus captions so I went on to look at Blurb which has a similar system but with more page flexibility. Haven't used that but it's a definite possibility.

Right now I'm working on a couple of books aimed for Lulu's 6x9 format. One is an ancestor's autobiography (he was out in India around 1850), about 700 pages; the other a coaching book, much smaller. I'm using Corel Ventura Publisher to produce them, mostly because I've had it around here for twenty years now.

jan 29, 2007, 3:50 pm

I reissued a previously-published book through Lulu and was very pleased with how it eventually turned out. Be sure, however, to review your prototype carefully before you approve it for global distribution. I found a couple of minor glitches in the layout of my first prototype that I was able to correct easily.