Lulu.com is a website dedicated to print-on-demand and self-publishing. The booklet that I created using Lulu.com arrived this week. Here is my review. I give Lulu a 4-star rating out of a possible 4. It was a very quick turnaround of one week. I placed the order on 12/10 and it arrived on our doorstep on 12/17. This was fantastic, considering that we’re in a very busy holiday season.
What I did was take a 62-page project that I created for our family last summer, reconfigured it to Lulu’s specifications, and ordered an 8″ X11.5″ coil-bound booklet with a laminated cover. I especially wanted to see how the color photos would look. I am happy to report that they are crisp and clear, a notable improvement over FedEx Office’s copying quality, which we originally used for last summer’s final product. The paper quality is excellent.
Some specifics about this project: The 62 pages are 31 double-sized pages. It cost around $25, including shipping costs. Fed Ex ran around $21 each with a lower quality. Probably the biggest challenge was reformatting to Lulu’s specifications: font style was key. They give a list of fonts from which to select. Then what threw me too was my plan to have the page numbers begin after my title page and an introduction page. Gratefully, I was assisted by a friend to create the appropriate section breaks to address the page number starting point. Also, if you have even one color photo or illustration, then the entire project is printed at the color rate. So, if you have either no images or black-white images (I believe there is a recommended gray-scale specification), then the price would be lower per booklet. For people desiring to order enough booklets for their children, grandchildren, and others, Lulu offers a discount for larger quantities. The other great feature is that through Lulu, I could share a link to this project with other family members if they would like to order the booklet directly from Lulu. Or, I simply delete the project from Lulu to make it a one-time publishing endeavor.
This newest printed format of family history for a portion of my husband’s heritage can now be easily shared with our children. My next goal using Lulu will be taking another project that I wrote and submitted for my hometown’s Sesquicentennial last summer and create a perfect-bound book. Perfect-bound essentially means paperback. To check out Lulu, go to: http://www.lulu.com/shop/index.ep