Saturday, August 15, 2009

Novel Setup in and Choosing Book Size

I am making good headway on the Novelette/Novella, and as I started thinking about overall page length it led me to thinking about the book size. So I logged into and started setting up my book.

Here is a quick run down of getting started in Lulu.

1) Setup an account if you don't already have one. This part is a pretty straight forward sign up process.

2) Start a new project. You can choose paperback, hardback, or a host of other formats. In my case, I choose paperback.

3) Add the title, author name, and you can set the work as private or public. When you are just getting started and playing around, just make sure it is private. Then click to Save and Continue.

4) Choose the paper type and size. You can choose Publisher grade (only ships from the US) or Standard for the paper type. The size options are too many to list here, but all the standards are available. You also pick the binding: Perfect-bound (traditional for novels), coil-bound, or saddle-stitched. You also get a neat floating calculator in the top right of the screen that shows you the cost of your book based on your selections. You also choose black and white or color, but the black and white option does include a color cover.

Play with the combination of these features to determine the best combination of size preferences and cost. I only started checking, but also consider the ISBN option you will want. If you choose the free option of publishing with a Lulu ISBN, your print sizes are more limited. If I decide to purchase my ISBN (for $99.99), I like the Digest size (5.5" x 8.5"). Due to the print size, this allows for the least amount of paper waste and therefore the best price. For a 300 page Digest book the cost is $7.00 per book. For a 300 page Pocket book (4.25" x 6.875") the cost is $10.50 per book. Obviously that means a smaller book with less words costs more money. That is why I like Digest for a first book without an established audience.

5) Upload your file. I uploaded a Word document but you can use a PDF and I think there are more options than that.

6) Design your cover. There is a great wizard for designing a simple cover. I will probably end up designing a custom cover but it is nice to have something setup in the meantime.

You can then generate a print-ready PDF to see what your book will look like in layout. I am very impressed with the ease of setting up a book in Lulu. I'll give more details as I evaluate the different parts of Lulu.

Until next time, let's keep on writing.


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Anonymous said...

Where on Lulu did you see the option to purchase an ISBN for the digest size?

J Hugh Thomas said...

I did not see this specific combination, but rather the option for ISBN and the print size option for digest size. I can not verify that this combination is currently available from Lulu, but it is worth posting the question to their staff. If you receive an answer, please post a comment for the benefit of other blog readers. Thanks.