Wednesday, March 22, 2017

LuLu with Jesseca Wheaton

LuLu, the other big paperback publishing company. Not quite as popular as CreateSpace, but I've had friends use it. I know that their cover creator is a bit more flexible than CreateSpace's. However, their shipping is slower, they use more excess packaging (or, at least, they did in the video one of my friends shared), and they don't post as easily to Amazon.

I've not read any of Jesseca's books yet, but my mother bought one of them while they were on sale last week, and I'll probably read it eventually. Looking forward to it.

Find her on the Interwebs:

Hello all! Today’s topic is publishing, and while I wanted to do a post about it . . . well, I’ll admit, I’m terrible at trying to explain how to use a website! So, my writing friend, Sarah M.(from The Introverted Extrovert) agreed to help me out a bit. She’s written a post about how to publish with The post is mostly her wonderful work, and any comments I added are written in red. :)

Have you ever wanted a copy of your own book just for your own? To hold in your hands? (and maybe throw against the wall sometimes. shhhh) well, here you go. You can have your dream for only $10 - no joke.

well guys - here I am to bring you an in depth tutorial on how to publish your book with lulu. (including how to make cover with Canva, and actually being able to use it). I discovered that it wouldn't allow Canva images - but, well, I figured a way out of that. Want to see?

I spent 12 hours figuring this out for Julia's book so yeah, this may be long. but I'm here to save you time and headaches k? don't be daunted by my 12 hours on this - I made this test one WHILE doing this post and it literally took no time. I wish I had had this post for myself! well, here we go!

// STEP 1. first thing off is to choose the size of your book - then go ahead and download the word document sizing they give you and go format your book. It may sound daunting - but if you use the lulu formatting they give you it really isn't that hard. Or, if you dare like I did, go free and format it yourself. (I won't be going too in depth with this because it really wasn't hard to figure out .)  Oh, and in my case I chose the Premium Paperback 6x9 (Sarah asked me to note that since this post was written, she’s also ordered a copy in the 8.8x5.5 size, and she prefers it. ;))

// STEP 2. now that you've formatted your book go ahead and write how many pages you have in the area selected on the lulu website. (I have 260 in this example). Choose if you want cream, or white paper. Select 'Make this book'

// STEP 3. go ahead and title your book and add your name. (feel free to use a pen name, or middle name).

// STEP 4. make sure to select this handy dandy little thing. This means ONLY YOU will have access to your book.
(Note: If you’re wanting to publish on Amazon, you will need to go ahead and chose that option at this time. However, if you’re only looking to publish on, you can make it available to only you now, but then switch it later to make it available to anyone.
However, I’ll say it again . . . if you want this on Amazon, YOU NEED TO SELECT THE AMAZON OPTION NOW! To sell on Amazon you’ll need an ISBN, and this is the only time you can opt to do so, and Lulu will assign you a free ISBN.)

// STEP 5. go ahead and uploaded your formatted document. I uploaded mine as a Word Document.

// STEP 6. Okay it's uploaded? Good. Now click 'Make Print-Ready File' go ahead and wait for that to load.

// STEP 7. pretty self explanatory. download, save and continue. From there, go to the 'advanced one piece cover wizard'
(Note: The way Sarah is going to tell you to do steps 8-17 makes a full, wrap-around cover. However, if you have a front and back cover picture and you want to use that and leave the spine a solid color, you can use the Lulu cover wizard, and they walk you through the steps)

// STEP 8. pay careful attention here. the dimensions here will not be the same as yours okay. DO NOT USE MINE. Use what is on your screen. Super important. Your dimensions will be where I highlighted it. Okay? Use those.

// STEP 9. we've done everything we can on the Lulu website for now. SO, we are onto the cover. head on over to Canva  I promise. You won't be disappointed. Just, don't lose your head, okay? Stay focused. Get over there and select 'use custom dimensions' in the right hand corner. Enter your info. (Mine is 3851x2775)

// STEP 10. upload your image and design your cover (remember, if you are using a pinterest image as I am IT CANNOT BE USED FOR SELLING - only personal use, okay? Keep in mind that a pinterest image could come out blurry - it's a chance to take.) If you are going to have a spine with font on it, you are going to have to get the measurements by subtracting where the spine begins from your total width with those same dimensions. When you are designing your cover be sure to leave space around the whole perimeter bc they cut stuff off. (By the way, I barely played with this cover - just did the basics for you all).

// STEP 11. Okay so save this as ' PDF - print, 'kay? then download your image. Saving this as a PDF blows it up SUPER LARGE meaning, you can't just open it up and load it onto lulu like this. So I had to find another way.

// STEP 12. To do this you are going to have to download a photo editing website called Gimp (you can do this temporarily and take it off your computer after). Don't worry, it's safe and free. You can go here to download it. It should take no time to download it. ^^ download it directly.

// STEP 13. open up Gimp and upload your cover. See what I circled up there? Okay, put in your covers size. (mine is 3851x2775) THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT OKAY. so change that and select 'Import.' Don't worry if it changes your dimensions slightly like mine is now (3851x2774).

// STEP 14. okay very important here. See that up there? it says 'Flatten Image' Select that.

// STEP 15. okay now you have to export it. Select that and a window will pop up.

// STEP 16.  Scroll until you find what I have highlighted above. It needs to be saved as a JPEG image, k? now, wait. don't select Export yet.

// STEP 17. This is major right here. It WILL NOT WORK if you don't do this. see how it says 'examplebook title.pdf' up there? Okay, well what it needs to say is, 'examplebook title.jpeg' to get that, you just type it in yourself.  (aka take out the pdf and add jpeg to the end) Do this. Now you can click the export button down there and save it.

// STEP 18. Go onto the lulu website where you left it and upload your cover. It should work perfectly. (I've been doing this as I go along and it works for me.) Select save and continue.

// STEP 19. go ahead and download then save it.

// STEP 20. EEEPPP. LOOK YOU'VE GOTTEN THIS FAR. okay now. *clear throat* Select 'save and finish' okay so it says your book is now published 'order a proof copy' it may look like anyone could buy it. DON'T FREAK. it's just for you only. Don't worry.
(Well, Unless you selected to make it available on Amazon. Then it will be actually published for the world to see. ;))

I spent hours trying to figure this out and I googled tutorials but found barely any. I love Canva so I'm glad I was able to figure out how to use it for my cover. I hope this helps someone out there!

And . . . there you have it! How to publish using Hopefully that’s been helpful to anyone who’s looked into using to publish. :) If you would like t take a look at a book that has been published using this website, head over here and you can see her post!


  1. Very interesting post. I've seen a lot about publishing on Amazon, but not much on Lulu. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ooh, yes - I remember what Sarah first posted this, and I found it incredibly helpful. I'll definitely be referring to it whenever I print a copy of my book for myself - I'm planning to print just one copy as a reward for myself when I finish the draft I'm working on ;).

    ~ Savannah


Hi! Now that you've read my post, hast thou any opinions that thou wouldst like to share? I'd love to hear them!

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