7. Using a site like Lulu.com was a Saviour
By A. W. Clarke
After creating an account on lulu.com, I walked through the step by step procedure to get the book uploaded for sale as a print book. The site can also prepare your book as an ebook. After uploading the PDF, the online converter must change it into a specific file type so the company’s printer will print it properly. Once you download its converted file, which takes a few moments, you preview all the pages and make sure it looks correct.
After the manuscript is deemed ok by you, you can go on to design the cover using their software. You can upload your own pictures or use stock photos from other websites for a fee. The site then creates a downloadable version of your book’s cover. Check it out to ensure that it looks perfect.
Then you set things like the selling price, genre, and book description for when it goes on sale on lulu.com. Lulu also sells your books through amazon.com and the apple ibookstore, which is good for circulation and distribution. I found lulu.com very helpful to make the entire process relatively easy, especially for a first time writer. I mean, hey, it’s enough work to create your story. Getting it published shouldn’t be daunting enough to kill your goal of being a published author.
Within minutes of completing the upload of my material and setting the descriptors and pricing, I was given the option of purchasing an original master copy. Seeing my book available on the lulu.com market was very thrilling, and so I eagerly ordered my master copy.
8. Touchdown: Proofing your Master Copy
By A. W. Clarke
Less than a week after placing my order, I received my master copy in the mail- paperback number one, hot off the press!
It was the happiest moment of the whole experience to hold in my hands for the first time, the first every print copy of my book!
I hurriedly read through the book, noting any final corrections that had to be made. Admittedly I found a few spelling mistakes that eluded my prior edits, and so I made the corrections and uploaded the revision to my book on lulu, replacing the original version. To be sure that everything was perfect, I ordered the new print copy, and after it came in the mail, I rechecked it and found it ready to go!
There you have it!
Now I did decide to take it one step further, and adjust the original manuscript to be formatted for an ebook. Lulu requires that you create a new entity for your ebook which is different than your print book. The only thing I found difficult about this was formatting my Word file so that it would wind up as an epub file. I used online tutorials to figure this out as well as a lot of trial and error. You can download an epub file reader for free for your computer from various websites, and after formatting and uploading your file to lulu.com for epub conversion, you can download and preview the converted file on your computer or e-reader. This is very important so that the book flows properly when read on an e-reader. Once the file is converted properly and the cover image sent and accepted, you can set the price and descriptor the same as your print book. I decided to price the ebook version much lower than the print book, in an attempt to entice more people to download and read the book immediately.
You don’t have to purchase the ebook once it is ready. Just download your free copy and preview it on your e-reader or epub reader. If all looks good, you are ready to go!
Tune in tomorrow for the final part of my article on The Writing Journey!