Archive for March, 2015

A Dalliance with Lulu

Posted: March 31, 2015 in Uncategorized


I’ve been taking a look at Lulu, which isn’t quite as pervy as it sounds.  Lulu are like CreateSpace and Lightning Source – they are print on demand publishers, and I figured I should have a look at all of the options available to a self-publisher to see if I was taking advantage of everything out there.  What drew me in was that, unlike all the other publishers, Lulu allow you to create hardcover books, which I tend to like the look of.  My Harry Potter books are all of the adult hardcover variety, and they look pretty damn good up on my bookshelf.

However, it appears that, once you fathom out what the hell you’re doing, and you’ve uploaded a Lulu-friendly interior for the book, you move onto the cover image design and things fall apart.  It’s not quite as intuitive an interface as CreateSpace, or indeed Feed a Read, which is a much smaller company and a very decent platform from which to launch a book if you fancied.  So I muck about resizing front and back covers, and then I go to upload a spine.

Computer sez no.

You can have a wonderfully elaborate and sexy front cover, an equally attractive back cover, but you CANNOT change the spine.  It is plain black, and you can dictate what’s written on it, but that’s it.  No run-on image, or even any graphics or anything remotely interesting.  This is a deal-breaker for me.  Why the fuck do you allow people to have whatever they want on the cover, and on the back, but don’t offer that courtesy for the spine?  So when the bugger is sat on your shelf it just looks like dogshit.

And so the hardcover option goes out the window in wholly underwhelming form.  It’s no big loss – ebooks make up the majority of book sales these days – but I might have had one for myself, and at least it would have been an option for anyone seeking a purchase.  At least, if someone wanted one, it was there for them.  But alas, it is not to be.

On another note I’m currently fiddling around with Feed a Read, to see if their paperback covers are any better than Amazon’s efforts.  I was somewhat annoyed at how washed out the cover looked to me, despite people telling me it was perfectly fine, and that they liked it.  I am, and will likely always be, my biggest critic, and it was never quite as clear, quite as sharp as it always looked in the JPEG image.  So we’ll wait and see just what Feed a Read can come up with.

And that’s about enough rambling from me today.  Kids are off to the dentist later, so that should be fun.  Bye for now!