For the past few weeks The Blog Squad has been working to create a physical copy of our Build a Better Blog ebook for those who prefer a printed copy.
After some research and getting feedback from a few users, I decided to go with Lulu.com, a print on demand self-publishing company.
Lulu is designed mostly for the do-it-yourselfer, yet I wanted a professional looking product and knew I would need help with that.
Not wanting to spend my valuable time trying to format the existing manuscript to meet their specifications, I hired one of their recommended and verified vendors, Dixie Press.
The folks at Dixie Press were awesome: fast, super responsive, helpful and amazingly inexpensive. I believe it cost us about $130 to have our 178 page ebook formated for print. I was expecting much more than that. They even upload the completed, approved file to Lulu for you.
Then, it’s time to deal with the front and back cover. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a professional do the design work for you. The templates provided by Lulu just were not sophisticated enough for our purposes.
This is where some time was eaten up. I had my designer create a back cover since we already had a front cover from when the ebook was designed. I studied the back covers of a lot of the marketing books on my shelf, as well as material from Dan Poynter about what should be on the back.
Once your artwork is complete, then it’s simple to upload it to your project on Lulu.
You’ve got your manuscript, your cover art, then you decide how much you want to make on the book and Lulu automatically calculates the sale price which includes their commission. Next, complete the info for book description, copyright, author info, a thank you note that’s sent to buyers, keywords, pick a category and you’re good to go.
We did not make the book available to the public until I personally ordered a copy (at cost for the authors) and reviewed it.
You can set up a store to sell your book(s) which also enables you to featured posts from your blog! A great sales tool.
Our purpose, as I said above, is to be able to offer a physical copy for customers and to have copies we can sell when we present at conferences. Since Lulu is a print on demand publisher, you only need to order the inventory you need. You’re never stuck with 5000 copies of your book in your garage!
If you have used Lulu and have experiences to share, or you have questions about our experience, please use the comments link below.