If I go back to when I first started writing in 2012 I didn’t know squat about publishing, never mind needing lessons in grammar, and the person’s voice. Like many others out there I tried traditional publishing. You remember the first publisher of Fifty Shades? It was an Australian Publisher – Yeah I tried them and was rejected, though I’ll say even now, my work was no worse than … I also looked for an Agent who thought they were Editors. No…they weren’t or if they were, they didn’t understand the historical genre of my novel. Since that time this same agent sent work to a UK Publisher who was iffy to say the least. In fact they closed down without paying anyone out and their bookstore was still going…probably still is.
Anyway I found out that manuscripts needed setting out a certain way to be accepted by a traditional publisher. While I set out to learn I bumped into self-publishing and decided to go that way instead.
By the time I had learnt enough to make paperbacks and ebooks I had written four books. I bought some copies and was delighted with the results (now I just groan at my obvious need to learn more). I took them to the local writers group which showed little interest. Few of them were authors even less were published. This is where my company came in. “Can you publish my books for me?” said one man. “I can give it a go.” And I did. That journey though, is another story.
This all happened in May 2014. My company Plaisted Publishing House became a Limited Company on 1st August 2014. I filled out all the forms, set up a bank account registered for GST (VAT) etc. After paying or getting a refund on GST over three months I discovered I didn’t need to pay any until my business earned $60K NZD which won’t happen anytime soon due to the fact I have no investment other than what I earn and put back into the company. My aim was to start slowly and build gradually and make sure I wouldn’t fail or should I say close my company. It’s worked too.
Now you’ll note that even though I’ve published my own books, I stated I still had much to learn. My journey was only at the beginning. Over the last four years I’ve developed my business, building my professionalism, sharing what I know with the Indie Author Community. I’ve assisted over Thirty Indie Authors. If I included the Anthologies I could say I’ve assisted over one hundred.
As I’ve improved my learning (which I am still doing today) I have increased my prices, however, they’re still lower than most. You see I work in a different way. The aim of my company is to work with small businesses to contract work out to them and create packages for clients. All clients keep their copyright, all royalties and receive at least four formatted manuscripts for the different distribution websites. A client pays once. There is no profit made from continual book sales. A client could become a best seller…a millionaire…YOU STILL WON’T PAY ME ANYMORE….well unless you want too…LOL.
Welcome to the world of LULU Uploading. As promised here is the second installment about UPLOADING…This time it’s for eBOOKS.
WE start with picking what we wish to publish, of course this time it is the ebook we wish to do. So follow the images and I’ll explain what is what as you scroll through them.
You picked the ebook now it is time to think about if you wish to do this for FREE or need to ask for help. This of course depends on how proficient you are at formatting and if you can format the way LULU need you to.
One think I have noticed with ebook distribution sites, they all have their own styles of formatting. Some are easier than others. Once in the know…it becomes easy.
This blog is about how to publish your book for FREE and we would hit ‘MAKE YOUR EBOOK’ Tab to continue.
Meanwhile. If you need any assistance and a guiding hand you can ask for some professional support from LULU – who will handle the heavy lifting for you.
The choice is made and you are starting a NEW PROJECT. It’s time for the TITLE and AUTHOR NAME. It also asks what you wish to do with your project. Most people want to sell their books and this is the recommended route to take. After your choices are made click save and continue.
Next you get to choose your ISBN for your book. You can pick the FREE LULU ISBN which can only be used on books you distribute via LULU.
If you are uploading to another site, it is likely they will offer their own FREE ISBN. If you have already purchased a set of ISBN then use them. There is a link on the below image on how to purchase your own numbers.
If you don’t wish to use an ISBN then you WON’T be able to distribute through LULU retail channels.
Below is shows the FREE ISBNfor my book which they will email to me. Since you haven’t yet uploaded your manuscript, now is the time to add the ISBN to your copyright page and save it again.
DO NOT UPLOAD YOUR MANUSCRIPT UNTIL YOU HAVE SET UP YOUR CHAPTER HEADINGS IN ACCORDANCE WITH LULU RULES. YOU CAN ALSO DELETE YOUR CONTENTS PAGE HYPERLINKS…LULU WILL MAKE THIS FOR YOU.
Choose you manuscript and upload. You will see the BAR below turn and orange-yellow.
Once it has uploaded it will show the document as below. If you have to make amendments later make sure you delete this file first on theX
Remember back to when you organised the HEADINGS in your manuscript. Well this is what LULU do. They show you the list for your contents table which you can adjust by changing the headings. When you do the HEADINGS you can use HEADING 1 – 3 ONLY You will also need to change the style to what you wish to see, making sure you embed the fonts as well.
Most Authors will also have their own BOOK COVERS by this stage in the process. If you do then you will need to upload the cover during this next stage. Having your own BOOK COVER means you can use any Theme, they are technically irrelevant though you still need to choose one. As you can see I stayed with the gold one with my name in the bottom right corner.
Click onto Backgrounds & Pictures. You can see where you can change the colour and edit the image. If you have a BOOK COVER already made you will need to EDIT the IMAGE. If you need to build your own you can ask for professional help from a LULUCover Designer.
Once again LULU have a criteria for the BOOK COVER. This is where you will USE A DIFFERENT FILE – as shown below. Or you can accept this image and proceed to building your own cover.
Since you have clicked‘Use a different file’this new box will appear asking you to either upload your cover from your computer or browse the LULU GALLERY. When you upload your own file make sure the sizing is correct or….
Before the ‘OR’ The file will upload the same way as the manuscript did…One the bar has finished loading you will be asked to ACCEPT or TRY AGAIN due to sizing requirements.
As show here…The first time I uploaded my BOOK COVER the requirements weren’t met, meaning they rejected my file asking me to alter it and upload it again.
Once the BOOK COVER file meets their criteria you will see the image – like shown below. Now you can ACCEPT the file and move on to the next stage.
Now you can see your cover you will need to click on TEXT. If you have a ready-made cover you will need to take out the TITLE and AUTHOR information as shown below.
If you have built your cover here then you can now edit your TITLE & AUTHOR name, give them the font, size and colour you wish them to have.
Once you have done, click SAVE and CONTINUE to go to the next stage.
You’ve nearly finished now.Unlike Kindle, Createspace & Draft to Digitalwhere you describe your project at the beginning. With LULU you do this towards the end
Fill in the blanks. On my children’s book this is what I choose to go with. You can change this at any stage.
My children’s story is all about adventures in the Insect world in a Country Garden. It is suitable for ages 3 upwards though parents, grandparents, siblings etc would need to read to the younger children.
Fill in the description which you would usually find on the back of a PRINT Book. This will show on your AUTHOR PAGE and in the LULU Shop. I choose the Standard Copyright License though there are quite a few you can look through and choose from.
YES YOU MADE IT…IT’S TIME TO REVIEW, DOWNLOAD THE INTERIOR, CHECK THE FORMATTING, SEE IF IT ALL WORKS CORRECTLY. IF NOT THEN YOU HAVE SOME WORK TO DO, OTHERWISE IT IS TIME TO PRICE YOUR BOOK
DISTRIBUTION TIME – PLEASE REMEMBER IF YOU HAVE UPLOADED YOUR EBOOK ELSEWHERE THEN UN-TICK IT HERE. ALSO REMEMBER YOU CAN GET YOUR BOOKS DISTRIBUTED VIA INGRAM SPARK WITH LULU
Make sure your LULU website is in the country where you live. Then pick the price and how much royalty you wish to make. Tick the boxes you need and hit REVIEW PROJECT.
Next is the eBook Distribution Terms and Condition. Read them and ACCEPT if you wish to publish.
The next slide shows your REVENUE excl taxes. Once you are satisfied you have what you wish go to the last TAB – SAVE and FINISH.
CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE PUBLISHED
This is all from me for now. I hope it helps. I will be making a post on how the HEADINGS work next week. Meanwhile enjoy the read and please SHARE.
We all know that KDP Print is likely to be taking over from Createspace when they finally close their doors (after all we’ve seen go on in the last 12 mth) I thought it would be good to do a presentation for those who wish to use KDP Print.
In the early days, I heard a lot of complaints. Their book cover wrap kept rejecting book covers which Createspace always accepted. There were no Author priced copies, the author was paying the same as any other customer… etc.
Needless to say they have slowly improved as the last 12 mths progressed. People are happier with their service. I have just put up my first book to see what all the fuss is about and so I can give this presentation to you all.
How it Works
As you can see from the above image you need to select what you wish to do. For this presentation is it the Paperback. Click on this and you will go to the next image shown.
Following the details, you need to pick the language, put in your book title and any subtitles it may have along with any series information. As you scroll down you’ll see more area’s to fill in. What is the edition? Who is the Author? Are there any contributors?
Now for the description or synopsis. These are difficult to write and need to be in about 500 words. It needs to give a brief glance into your story. Who are the main characters? What is the story about?
Next you choice your copyright and Keywords. I will talk about the keywords below the image. They can be really tricky.
KEYWORDS You need to use short phrases, make a list on a piece of paper about your story, narrow down the words, think of different words you can use or what readers may search for to find your book. The smaller the category the bigger your chances of being in the top 100.
Categories – I really dislike these. They aren’t brilliant. In my opinion they’re too vague. You still need to pick two which you think are closest to your story. If it has adult content then make sure you put in YES.
On the second page of KDP Print you get to choose a FREE ISBN or use one you already own. There’s also a publication date…However I’ve never used this either here or on Createspace.
The next part is the same as LULU – though as you can see it is at a later stage in the process. Below are the details where you can pick what you wish the interior of your book to look like. The ones you see highlighted are the ones generally used by most paperback distributors. The costs will vary to what you pick in size and page count.
After you have chosen the interior details, you can upload your formatted manuscript. Make sure your manuscript matches the above details – margins, paper size etc. You will want it to look professional and like any other book you may find in your local bookstore or library.
The second part of the above image is all about your cover. Many Authors have covers made for them, 95% of the time they will be wrap book covers which fit the page count. This means they are front, back and spine. They will be delivered to you from your graphic artist as a PDF and you or your publisher will upload it.
If you don’t have a print ready PDF Cover then you will need to launch the Cover Creator. Of course I forgot to get images of this process. However it is rather simple. You get to choose a book cover template and upload the e-book cover to it. Next you will need to type in or copy and paste the synopsis on the back cover and add any logos, profile image, bio…etc. Next you will review the cover.
The above image shows the book cover and interior so you can check it is what you wanted. As you can see I have missed a few things on mine. Page numbers at the bottom. copyright page and author name/book title in the header. I did this to show everyone that mistakes can be made. I will be updating this book Later. If they pick out any errors you will need to fix them.
PRICING YOUR BOOK
Since the site is American you will need to pick a price for the book which is higher than the Min. The List Price shows the book needs to be above $3.58 So depending on how much royalty you wish to make on your book is how you price is. As you can see i priced at $3.99 – It is a novella in length. After the American pricing you can then sell it on the other 6 market places. Once again you can price it what you want or base it on the American price. You can use which marketplaces you wish.
In the next image you can see the Japanese Price List. I’ve never sold on there, though I know a few who have. Make sure you read the terms and conditions, especially if you are a first time author. Once done you can purchase your proof copy. Some authors like to get the paperback in hand prior to pressing PUBLISH…which you can see on the bottom right of the image.
Of course once you hit PUBLISH you get the Congratulations notice along with being asked if you have yoru story as an ebook.
Once you go back to your BOOKSHELF you will find your book will be under REVIEW, just like in Createspace. Now is the time to wait for your email to see what you’ve missed or if you’re in the clear and it can go LIVE
LULU has been publishing books since 2002 with over 2 million titles published. Lulu has developed into an outstanding company with many advantages over both Createspace and Kindle which in recent years caused to many hassles for me personally to want to use them any longer.
One of my favourite parts of Lulu is the LIVE CHAT which helps you through the process of uploading your manuscript if or when you get stuck. It is a bit of a learning curve and I have gathered the images of the process for everyone to use for any paperback publishing with Lulu. I will eventually do eBooks as well.
First of all you need to create an account using your email address and finding a unique password. After you sign in you’ll need to click on CREATE to find the image below.
In Image1 (above) you will find two tabs PRINT BOOK and EBOOK. For this presentation you need to click on PRINT BOOK and it will open to image 2 shown below.
In image 2 you get to choose how you would like to publish your print book. If you look at the selection you will find they also do hardback covers. Most authors use the Standard Paperback and the US Trade size (6 x 9)
In image 3 it gives you the details of what your paperback will be. It also gives you the manufacturing costs. In the box it says 100 pages will cost $3.25 USD. Obviously the more pages the more the cost. This cost is also what the author will be able to buy their own paperback copies at. You can download the Template, look at Volume discounts and Spine measurements. To proceed to the next stage you click on MAKE THIS BOOK
Image 4 tells you what Binding you have chosen, what Size your book is and what the Interior will be like.
Image 5 is the start of making your book. As you can see you need to put in your BOOK TITLE and AUTHOR NAME and then tell them what you wish to do with your project. The choose depends of what or who the book is for. Some people may do memoirs or family history books which they like to keep private. Most fiction authors tend to pick the RECOMMENDED so the book is distributed worldwide.
In Image 6 you get to choose what kind of ISBN you want or even if you want one. Some authors buy their own ISBN and those on a budget generally pick the ISBN from Lulu.com, which can only be used on Lulu.com.
Most distribution/publishing websites you upload your paperback manuscript to will offer their own FREE ISBN to you. You may have your paperback on several sites and they will all have their own ISBN…that is unless you bought your own which cost quite a lot. Also note if you chose not to use and ISBN then you will be restricted with what you do with your book.
In Image 7 we have decided to get the FREE ISBN which gives you the barcode for the back of your book and you can also put this number inside your book. You need to download and save your BARCODE to a safe place on your computer.
Now we are getting to the interior of your book. In Image 8 (above) you need find your manuscript. Click on CHOOSE FILE, hunt down your story (we find PDF is best) and then click UPLOAD and wait for the file to load. Fight at the bottom you will find the Filename once it is loaded. Make sure there is only one file there and delete any extra or old ones in the instance you have to upload again.
Image 9 shows you your manuscript uploading.
Image 10 Shows the file finally uploaded. It is at this stage you can download the new file to review it at your leisure and check for issues.
Next comes the BOOK COVER. Your graphic artist will have sent you a full wrap PDF book cover or the individual front and back images for you to upload.
In the Image 11 is shows the old cover system. This is where you can upload a front cover and back cover jpegs. Lulu will make the Spine for you. You will need to pick a book style, remove the writing on the cover because it should already be on your images. This is unless you are going to use their template and build your own book cover. As you can see above your barcode is already set. You will only need to add it if you are NOT using their template. You will also need to choose a colour for your spine to match the images you uploaded and put in the book title and author name etc. Remember all images need to be 300 dpi.
I WILL DO A PRESENTATION FOR THE OLD BOOK COVER STYLE IN ANOTHER POST.
Image 12 is the one piece PDF book cover. Like with your manuscript you CHOOSE FILE and UPLOAD. This cover must have the exact measurements of the book it is covering.
All cover images need to be 300 dpi images
Image 13 is showing your book cover being uploaded to Lulu. As you can see it works the same way as it did for your manuscript.
Image 14 shows your Print Cover is ready to be downloaded and be reviewed prior to proceeding to the next stage.
Now it is time to describe your project. In Image 15 (above) you need to fill in the category, if it has explicit content and also the keywords for future readers to find you book to buy.
In Image 16 – it is a continuation of the page. Every book needs a synopsis or a book blurb. This is a description of what your book is about. Make sure it entices your readers in. Like with the first line in a book, the first line of your book blurb is important to your SALES.
Underneath the description you pick your language, copyright notice, license, the edition of your book and who your publisher is. The copyright notice will generally use your name. Many Indie Authors also use their name, and small publishing house name (depending on how much work the said company does for them) or make their own company to use as Publisher.
Now it is time to work out the cost of your book. In Image 17 it shows you three columns. In the first one is SET YOUR PRICE. They show you a minimum price (£8.00) and a price they choose of £15.50. In the next column it shows what your revenue would be if you abide by their pricing. From Lulu you would earn £7.73 and from extended distribution you would get £3.00.
£15.50 is a bit high for a book. This particular client chose £10.00 which meant their revenue ended up lower. The good thing to remember is you can change your prices at any time.
Also in column one is the DISCOUNT Tab. It is here you can run a SALE with whatever Discount you wish. Many authors do this type of thing with a new release or during special holidays they celebrate.
In image 18 it is generally for first time customers. You will need to sort out your payment and tax records. For authors not in the USA you will need to fill in a W-8-BEN. Once the tax info is filled in, email it to the company. Lulu pay via PayPal which means you end up getting paid once your sales hit a certain target.
Time to REVIEW your PROJECT in Images 19 & 20
This is your final opportunity to check out and review your book cover and book interior online. Download the PRINT READY FILES. It reminds you what your BOOKPROPERTIES are. Also check the DESCRIPTION – usually on the right, for spelling errors and grammar.
Image 20 with the final details. Note you can change the PRICING and LICENSE here as well as who can see the book. Once you hit the next SAVE & CONTINUE it will PUBLISH to LULU and YOUR AUTHOR PAGE.
YOU HAVE PUBLISHED YOUR BOOK TO LULU
What else do you have to do? You need to decided if you want to extend the distribution to Amazon, Ingram and Barnes & Noble. To do this you have to purchase a PROOF COPY from LULU.
GLOBAL REACH FOR YOUR BOOK
You want to go for GLOBAL REACH? You’ve ordered your PROOF COPY? Then you can move forward. You click on the Global Reach tab in the below image and it will take you to another page.
Your submission will be pending until you have received and proofed your paperback. Once you have approved the book you will be able to GO GLOBAL. Please remember if you have to make any changes to your book you will have to upload a new copy and order another PROOF COPY. This is why it is imperative to make sure the PDF copy you download in REVIEW YOUR PROJECT is correct.
As an Author I have had to order three PROOF COPIES due to something I missed. Triple check if you must.
FINAL APPROVAL OR CREATE A REVISION. TO GIVE FINAL APPROVAL GO TO YOUR PROJECTS PAGE AND YOU CAN APPROVE IT THERE. oVER THE FOLLOWING WEEKS YOUR BOOK WILL BE DISTRIBUTED WORLDWIDE TO ALL ONLINE STORES.
ALSO REMEMBER YOU CAN BUY IN YOUR OWN COPIES TO ON SELL AT BOOK EVENTS, SIGNINGS ETC.
THAT IS ALL FOR NOW. I DO HOPE THIS HELPS. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS
WE all know I don’t like Createspace anymore due to their Customer Service debacle and how they treat their customers. They are so not with it. I’m glad to get out now rather than when they close their business down for good…To me this is what it looks like and I’ll tell you why.
I have worked in several businesses which have closed down and slowly but surely they get rid of things they no longer need. If your observant enough…you notice and it makes you wonder. Are they closing? Is this why customer service is so bad? Do they really want to work with Indie Authors or are they just money hungry and we’re not bring in enough profit for them anymore?
If I follow my instinct the first thing Amazon rolled out was print on KDP! Why did they do this? Createspace was excellent at the time and I loved using their website. From authors around the world I heard scathing comments about KDP Print and how bad they were, rejecting book covers continually. One author had her cover rejected 37 times where as on Createspace it was accepted straight away. I decided to stay away. I hated the thought of even trying to use them at that stage.
Then suddenly I was having issues with Createspace. Their customer service was all over the place, moving from one to another person, not reading emails, getting things wrong…totally incompetent. In my company they would be reprimanded and given training to upgrade their skill set. Then it was the turn of the ordering area of Createspace. Books disappearing, Tracking number telling authors their books were going somewhere else. They couldn’t even tell the difference between the Northern and Southern hemisphere. Astounding mess. Though this one incident had a happy conclusion in the end nearly five months later. I know for a fact this author won’t order though Createspace again.
Next it ws Copyright Permission. Their policies stated you’re only allowed to upload documents you own or have copyright permission of. Yes there have been a hell of a lot of stolen manuscripts out there, however there are many ways this is done and most have nothing to do with Createspace. So here they are demanding proof…Something new they’d never asked before. If you know your business law (mine was New Zealand) then you can’t share private and confidential information with another party without permission from the person it involves. I never have and never will share contracts, emails or anything else without permission. Saying no to Createspace turned them into …well i’m not sure what. On top of this the book was published as an ebook and is for sale on Amazon, but they wouldn’t publish the paperback. Guess who went to LULU. They’ve been excellent by the way.
What else can happen? Oh yes PERMA FREE. Due to all the fuss I stopped uploading to KDP and started to use Pronoun – who we all know closed this month. With Pronoun you could make a book FREE and no problems. I wish they hadn’t closed. Then Draft to Digital had distribution rights to send to Amazon, however, in their deal you couldn’t mark a book as FREE. So I did the usual request and the second time they said no because it wasn’t uploaded to KDP only distributed. (They accepted the first…meaning they can’t even get this right) They told me to contact D2D and get them to send a request. I’m sure this is more work which D2D don’t really want! Much to my joy they did so but, I can still see a price on it on Amazon. Though this could be me having a New Zealand Account.
Now the reason for this blog. Createspace are no longer going to be offering professional services to authors. They don’t wish to work one on one with you. No Book Cover Design, No Marketing and No Editing (I didn’t know they offered Editing.) This info comes from a friend I sometimes work with. The original blog was from Book Baby who like me offer all the service to Indie Authors. They found the information in a newspaper in the USA/
ARE THEY CLOSING DOWN? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
If you do need services for Editing, Cover Design, Formatting and some Marketing (I’m looking at taking a course in Marketing this year) Then please consider using Plaisted Publishing House. We love working one on one.
Well it took long enough to sort it all out. I can’t say I’ve ever seen such a mess from them – not even when they lost my first lot of books, and god knows where they ended up because I surely don’t.
Anyway during the process to help my client with the delivery of their books (which still haven’t arrived in New Zealand) I had to get my name added to her account to get emails stating what they were doing and had done.
The first email after being approved said they had sent another set and gave the tracking number etc and the delivery date. I cringed. Why you may ask. Well because they don’t track parcels to New Zealand, they never have and probably never will. Knowing this, means I knew something else was going to go wrong.
Since when has New Zealand in the South Pacific been in CANADA. The tracking number given in the email from DHL was for an address in CANADA. We have no idea if it was my clients books that were delivered there or not. The parcel was signed for. This actually makes me wonder if this is how resellers get hold of brand new books to on sell without us making any royalties. Suspicious yes…Hopefully I’m totally wrong and the tracking number given was just a mistake. It is doubtful we will ever find out.
My poor client was furious. There again so was I. So I emailed them again this time telling them exactly what I thought of their customer service – which in my honest opinion has dropped significantly in recent months (Yes there are some great people still there I’m just wondering where!) I also mentioned I would be contacting the CEO if this issue wasn’t resolved correctly. (It’s nice to know someone who knows someone at times)
Anyway my client received a new email stating that they had sent yet another parcel of books and given her a full refund due to all the issues. Of course said books are ment to arrive on an inconvenient date so lets hope if they do deliver them that the courier will keep them until she is available to collect.
Meanwhile back at Plaisted Publishing House I am wondering if we should start using LULU or KDP Print as an alternate distributor. This would be sad! I’ve always loved Createspace overall they do great work. Nicely printed books and are generally helpful with issues. I just wish some of the problems they are having would disappear and that some of their customer service & others get updated training and also research instead of sending out emails that make no sense.
My last issue with them was over copyright…Hopefully they will get sorted and spring back to be amazing again. I certainly hope so anyway.