This morning I received a big, big box filled with 10 copies of a book I created two weeks ago using, the publish-on-demand company founded by fellow Hamiltonian Bob Young.

The Lulu experience was a pleasure from start to end: I used Apple’s Pages word processor to create a 346 page book, complete with table of contents, and Wordle to make a colour image for the cover. I created two PDF files, one for the inside and one for the cover and uploaded them to Lulu, used their tools to set up the page size, cover format and binding, paid for 10 copies (I could have ordered as few as one), and that was it: the next thing that happend was the box at my door.

The quality of the finished product is excellent: I ordered perfect-bound 6”x9” books on ivory paper with a full-colour coated cover. You wouldn’t know that these were “self-published” books from the look, feel and heft of them: they are every inch bona fide books.

I was inspired to do all this by my friend Steven Garrity, who achieved “The Best Christmas Presents Ever” by creating a book of Garrity family aphorisms. In my case a good friend and fellow blogger is having a significant birthday, and to mark the occasion I turned her blog into a book.

While not quite owning the means of production, Lulu certainly puts those means closer to the ground than ever before and makes creating lasting cultural objects within reach of anyone with something to say, some basic design sense, and an application that can emit PDF files.


andrea's picture
andrea on September 19, 2008 - 19:50 Permalink

this is so cool. If you don’t mind me asking, about how much do they cost? Was getting only 10 printed a lot more expensive than, say, 100? what was the turnaround on it?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 19, 2008 - 20:17 Permalink

The cost of Lulu books varies on the options you choose — paper size, number of pages, hardcover or softcover, etc. The 350 page perfect-bound books I produced came out to about $11.50 each. Quantity discounts kick in at 25 copies; they would have been $9.93 if I’d ordered 100 copies, for example, or $8.69 if I ordered 1,000. The cost calculator (bottom right of page) lets you explore pricing.

Simon Lloyd's picture
Simon Lloyd on September 22, 2008 - 17:13 Permalink

Hi Peter:

Congratulations to you (and Lady Catherine) on the book; we would be interested in purchasing a copy (or two) for the PEI Collection here at the UPEI Library, so perhaps you could touch base with me on this when you’re back from your trip.

Safe travels.