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Self Publish a Book Step by Step using Lulu
Best Way to Publish a Book for Free
I’m sure you’ve heard of self-publishing all over the net and Lulu is just one of them. Recently, I’ve published a poetry book, Toss and Turn, under Lulu.com using their so easy publishing tool wizard. Lulu is one of the best online self publishing companies today. In this hub, I’m gonna discuss how to self publish a book for free in easy steps. Read on and have your writings published, aim for the best seller and impressive print on demand publishing.
Why choose Lulu?
- In Lulu, you can publish a lot of things including books, ebooks, photo books, cookbooks, calendars, CDs and DVDs, poetry books, yearbooks, wedding books and portfolios.
- Lulu has the improved easy and awesome publishing tools and you’ve got the best options to sell your book
- You can get your free ISBN and your book will be listed on
Amazon, Barnes & Noble your choice.
- Your creator revenue will be 80% in every sale of your book; the 20% will be Lulu’s commission.
- You’re in control of everything with your book.
Publishing a Book in Lulu Step by Step
What you’ll need:
Of course you don’t just hit publish button. You must first prepare what you’ll need.
Title – think, list, sort, and decide what your book must be called.
Your manuscript - I prefer in Word format so it’s easy to edit in case of changes. You’ll understand later why. This will be your book draft. Make sure you finalize your manuscript prior to submitting it to Lulu format.
ISBN – if you already have your own ISBN, then good for you. If you don’t, no prob you can get your own free ISBN at Lulu.
Author’s photo and bio – I would have typed “optional” but I think this is a must. Let your readers glance that pretty face behind that great book. Attach this along with a little bio about you.
Teaser – Prepare something about what is your book about. If movies have trailers, prepare a teaser for your book. This is usually placed at the back cover. And it can also be used as a description about your book in Lulu market place and Amazon.
An artwork or image for the cover (optional) – if you want to upload your own picture for the cover of your book, prepare your desired photo. The Lulu cover wizard though has pretty templates and layouts available for you.
Your own website (optional) – it’s a brilliant move to have your own website to look more professional. This can help in promoting your book as well as your other works. I've made my website under HostMonster because it caters unlimited hosting space and site bandwidth, using Wordpress platform.You can also create your website using Blogger and Weebly. They are free. It would cost few bucks to buy your own domain though.
Blurbs / Book Reviews (optional) – This is really a pretty thing especially if the reviewer is famous lol You can add this at the back cover or somewhere inside. I love reading blurbs. But I got so excited I forgot about this.
Editor – Since I’ve made a poetry book, I was in control of my words LOL If you're publishing a novel or stories, it’s recommended to have your work edited and checked.
Time to begin and hit the real thing...
1. Make your manuscript.
Save it in Word format. Edit your page layout. Make sure your paper size is the same as your book size. If your book is gonna be 6’’X9’’ make sure your paper size in Word is 6’’X9’’. Set up your margins. (Margins must be at least .5" on all sides. The left margin must be equal to the right margin, and the top margin must be equal to the bottom margin.—Lulu Requirement)
Getting a free ISBN from Lulu
- Sign in at Lulu.com. Click on the 'Publish' Tab. Click the 'Self-Publish a...' button and select Paperback books or Hardcover books.
- On the 'Start a New Project' page, enter a title and author name for your book. The author and title must use a Latin character set. Select the 'Make it public and assign an ISBN to your title to sell your book in online bookstores like Amazon as well as the Lulu Marketplace' option. Click the 'Save & Continue' button.
- Select the size and binding options that you decided on in the first step. Greyed out options are not available based on previous choices and unavailability for Distribution. Click the 'Save & Continue' button to move on to the next step.
- If you want a Lulu ISBN, click on the 'Get a free ISBN from Lulu.com' option. If you have an ISBN you purchased, click on the 'Add an ISBN you already own' option and fill in your ISBN information. Click 'Save & Continue'.
- A page with information about what to do with your ISBN and a download-able barcode for one-piece covers will display. Click 'Save & Continue'.
Just save your ISBN and paste it in your Copyright Page.
2. Title page, Copyright page and ISBN
Make sure your manuscript has Title Page then Copyright Page including your correct 13-digit ISBN/EAN and a copyright notice. Get a book from your shelf to have a guide on how will you make your own Title Page and Copyright Page. If you wanna get a free ISBN from Lulu, follow my instructions at the right. -->
3. Prepare for your Dedication page, Table of Contents, Acknowledgments and your bio.
I do love Acknowledgments so I made a page at the end of the book. My final page was about my bio and photo. Save a blank page at the last page of the book. (Final page of each book must be completely blank.—Lulu Requirement)
4. Fix your fonts.
Bold all words you wanna bold and set up all your desired fonts. I used Garamond coz I like it and it’s pretty in the eye. Size 12 was nice. I used different fonts with my Title Page and Acknowledgments. Just experiment and print a test page so you’ll know which suits you and your content.
The Lulu tool can’t seem to embed all fonts. Some are being rejected. And I tell you, this was my freaking problem. But I laughed all about it when I found out the solution…Charannn…OpenOffice! So keep on using all your fave fonts and let’s go to the next step.
5. Proofread your manuscript.
Check every word and every page. Correct all errors.
6. Insert page numbers.
After all looks like a real book, insert page numbers. Of course if you’re writing a novel, you start your page 1 in Chapter One…if you’re making a poetry book, you may start it in your first poem. It means you must have Page Break , Section Break to be exact. Ok, I admit, I never knew how to properly page break until I self-published a book LOL So I’ve put up the video which has helped me to do this. :)
7. Embed all fonts.
I’m using Word 2007. But I think it’ll work to other versions of Word, too. To do this, click 'Save as' then click the 'Save options'. Under the heading "Preserve fidelity when sharing this document", check the "Embed fonts in this file" and UNcheck "Do not embed common system fonts". Then click 'Save'.
If you’re using Word 2007, you can then save it as PDF and it will open in Adobe Reader. Wanna check if all your fonts were embedded? Click File>Properties>Fonts and if the words "embedded" or "embedded subset" appear next to the font, then the fonts are embedded.
If all your fonts were NOT embedded, go to step 8.
8. Export your Word file using OpenOffice.
I just saved mine in Word. I used OpenOffice to convert it to PDF. All fonts work just the way I like them :) All will be embedded without headache by using OpenOffice.
To do this, download OpenOffice. When done, open your document as shown below...
Go to File menu and click on Export as PDF. Under General Tab, click on the following checkboxes:
(1) lossless compression
Then click on Export button (as shown on the screenshot at the right) . Save your PDF file and proceed to the next step.
9. Start the publishing process.
You’re now ready to publish your book. Sign in to Lulu and upload your final manuscript (PDF).Follow the publishing wizard below. Then decide about your book selling price, ebook and other options. It’s just easy actually, publishing the manuscript and setting up the book cover are the toughest works about it.
So there, congrats and don’t forget my copy ;)
- Lulu Mandatory Requirements for Distribution
The industry requires that your book adhere to certain standards, and it is up to you to ensure your book meets these requirements. If your book is submitted before it meets these requirements, it will be rejected and your book distribution will be delayed while you work to bring your book into compliance. --Lulu.com