Lulu Makes It Easy To Self Publish

Wow. I’m publishing a book — a collection of 49 of my posts over the last three years. I ordered five copies. A few lucky friends and family members are getting this book for Christmas.

I had no thought about self-publishing until I heard about Lulu. What a great web-site. I put together a table of contents and the 49 articles in a 6 inch by 9 inch format. All together, the book comes to 187 pages, soft cover. Lulu describes it: “Perfect binding, cream interior paper (60# weight), black and white interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-color exterior ink.”

With the help of a more experienced iMac friend, I photoshoped a front and back cover and put all of the files into the proper PDF format required by Lulu. It was amazingly easy.

And a soft cover 6 X 9 inch 187 page book is really inexpensive — $8.24. I set the retail price at $14.95, and at that rate, when ordered from Lulu, I’ll make $5.38 per book and Lulu will make a commission of $1.34. If I sell 10 copies, I’ll make a cool $53.80! The fruit of my labor. And if I sell 1000 copies, I’ll make a cool $5380, etc. Lulu’s suggested retail price was $21, but I thought that a bit much. (Of course, $14.95 is a bit much, too.)

Lulu will provide an ISBN number and will do all sorts of marketing if I so request. This book might end up in the Library of Congress. If the book is sold on Amazon, I’ll rake in about $1.25 per copy, rather than the $5.38.

Of course this book is not about making money — it’s about sharing the joy.

I thought of giving the book a blogging title — something like, “How many blogs must a man walk down?,” or “I blog, therefore I am,” or, “Ich Bin Ein Berlogger.” I tried googling some of these titles and found that almost any corny idea I could come up with has already been used. So, I decided to give the book the same title as one of the articles in the book. I looked over the 49 articles listed in the Table of Contents, and chose: “Why You Are Not Entitled To Your Opinion,” as potentially the most interesting sounding.

My iMac has a neat feature. When put into text mode, the iMac has a program that will summarize the text into a few sentences or paragraphs, depending on the parameters of the request. Its summaries are always interesting. I put the whole book into text mode and I decided to use the iMac summary, as my book description on the Lulu web-site.

The summary emphasizes my articles on education more than my political articles, but, I decided to simply rely on the wisdom of the iMac. The summary says, “Education, I feel, must transcend simple academic or vocational purpose. After all, schools for a democracy must have different education goals than the education goals that schools for a totalitarian state might have. Ultimately our future safety and prosperity depends upon the degree that our nation acts as a vigorous democracy.”

This was the shortest summary possible via the iMac program, and I thought it did a pretty good job of condensing much of what I’ve been trying to say the last three years.

The table of contents shows the date that each article was written, and the first is March 22, 2006. I wrote, then, in response to my college friend’s encouragement to write on his web-site, Alone On A Limb. The title of that first post was “The Education Of John Adams,” sort of a reflection on the importance of character, and, of how character is developed.

I read somewhere that we really don’t know what we are thinking unless we put our thoughts into writing. My efforts at making a web-log, putting my thoughts into writing, over the last almost three years, has been very useful to me, personally, in terms of my own self growth.  I have a more comprehensive understanding of my own thinking.

I got the idea for the book last month when I organized my DaytonOS articles — Looking Back: My 15 Months Of Web Log Posts On DaytonOS — and reread and was reminded of some of my thoughts.

I wrote in that post, “December is a good time to take a breath, evaluate the fading year and contemplate the coming new year. I’m hit with a double dose of thoughtfulness this time of year, because my birthday falls on December 31. These 73 posts are a good reminder to me of my own thinking these past 15 months, a good foundation for this new year. To anyone thinking about making a New Years’ resolution centered on increasing personal growth, I’d recommend the developing and sharing of a web log.”

Lulu provides convenient buttons to include in posts and web-sites to direct interested readers to a specific self-published book. By going to Lulu at this button,
Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.
you can see my table on contents for this book and the first 50 pages as well.

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