Barnes and Noble, a store that sells books and has recently released the Nook e-reader, recently announced ‘PubIt’, a form of online self publishing. I’ve mentioned Lulu.com before and their service that I’ve tried with their publishing on demand, but what Barnes and Noble is doing is getting rid of the printing completely. Authors can create their masterpieces and upload them to be sold as an electronic book. This means that self published authors will not have to shell out large sums of money to print copies of their books. Having no inventory means no upfront expenses.
After last year’s great success of our own “yearbook” with Lulu.com, we decided we would do it again this year. To mix things up we went with US Trade as the format (6×9″). While last year I really wanted a square format, this year I found the 6×9 to be more my liking, similar to what you get in Make or Craft magazine. We chose perfect bound again and were quite please with the finish of the book.
I managed to fix some flaws from last year’s book where it was meant to be full bleed (right to the edge of the paper), yet it was not always printed that way. It turns out that although you design it in InDesign to do full bleed, unless you check this off in the PDF creation, all your efforts will be lost. The curious thing is the Lulu preset for pdf files does not have this checked off??? Otherwise I found it a big improvement from last year that Lulu has their own PDF presets you can download in order to be sure it is the correct way.
While the printing was good, I did find the pictures to be too dark, and any pages where I put a solid coloured background you could see white patches within the solid colour. One page that was supposed to be black was definitely more of a charcoal. I’d like to see Lulu try some different paper types. A semi-gloss might be nice for a photo book IMO.
The book was a bit longer this year, 85 pages bringing the price up to $23. I was a little dissapointed that Lulu sent me an online coupon for 15% off, but when I tried to use it I was told it was only for UK residents. If they know I am Canadian, then why would they send me this coupon? After much searching around the net, I did find an online coupon but only for $10. A week later I received another coupon from them, this time for 20% off. Considering I bought 13 books, this would have saved me quite a bit of money!
Next year we will order one copy for ourselves in a hard-cover, while the give-aways will remain soft-cover (too expensive!). We may also try yet another format next year, who knows.