For those about to rawk, We publish you! - Part 3


I have added a sample PDF that shows a couple of pages from a book I designed using these instructions.  You can download the file here it is around 1.5 megs.

So far we have covered the why of Publishing with Lulu, and demystified some of the options that are available to you when publishing with them.  Now it is time to get to everyones favorite part, the how.

In this article we will look at making a coffee table art book.  We will use Word to format both books, since 9 out of 10 of you will have it on your machine.:"(Be aware that all these instructions can be used with StarOffice, NeoOffice or OpenOffice as well. And of course the last two are freely available on the net.)":

In part 4 we will look at creating a Web Design/Development Tips Book.  Let's get started.

Narratives in images

This is the holy grail for us artsy types, right?  To be able to have a high quality, bound copy of our artistic endeavours; whether they be photography, drawing, painting or vector illustration.

Doing this in Word, or its equivalent is not difficult, just cumbersome.  The first step is to decide what dimensions your book will have, for this example we will be using 9 x 7.

Next we need to think about the type of imagery we will be reproducing, will it be scans of our drawings, digital photography or some vectors we created in Freehand/Illustrator?  Whatever the type of media, you should shoot for 300dpi on each 'image'.  LuLu currently accepts up to 600dpi but as they say themselves:

600dpi is our limit at this time, but any improvement in print quality over 300dpi is not noticeable, and the file size is huge.

So if you want to be paranoid, by all means upload 600dpi.

For the sake of argument, lets say we are going to make a photo book from our digital photography, and each image was snapped at approximately 6 megapixels.  At 6 megapixels you are able to produce enlargements up to 16 x 20 with reasonable quality.:"(I have done just that, and I have it hanging on my wall here in the office, I was blown away by the quality. But be warned, your experiences might be different than mine, I might just be lucky.)":

Step 1: Preparing your imagery

So now that we know what we are going to be printing, and we know what size, it is time to prepare our photos for inclusion.  I am a mac guy myself which means I use the excellent iPhoto to manage my library of photography.  So if you are using iPhoto, here are some easy steps you can take to make preparing your photos a little easier:

  1. Open iPhoto, and create a new 'album' and name it something descriptive like 'My Great LuLu book'
  2. Next drag and drop the photos you want to include in your book onto your newly created album
  3. Once you have all the photos in the album, select it and then go to Share > Export (shift - command - e)
  4. Choose File Export if it isn't already selected, choose JPG as your format, scale the images are you see fit, and lastly choose 'Use Album Name' from the Name column.

When this is done, you should have a folder containing all the photos you wish to use, labeled 'My Great LuLu book - (n).jpg' where (n) is the number of the image.

Step 2: Moving over to Word

So now that we have our imagery ready, lets open Word and create some custom settings for our photo book.

  1. Go to File > Page Setup, then select Manage Custom Sizes from the Paper Size dropdown. Next you need to create a new Custom Paper Size, and set the width and height to 9 x 7.
  2. Since this is going to be a full bleed picture book (or as close as we can get with Word), lets go to Format > Document, and change all the leading edge (the outside edge) margin to .25" and the top and bottom margins to .125".
  3. For the purposes of this tutorial, we are going to produce a 35 page book, that includes an intro by the author, a table of contents that lists the name of each piece, 21 images and a bio of the author, as well as all the basic pieces of a book.

Okay, now that we have formatted our document in Word, lets start laying out our book, shall we?

Step 3: Putting it all together

Now is where the fun begins.  We are going to follow stylistic guidelines that are normally used in publishing, but in your own works, feel free to do what feels right.

So I think that the interior of our book will feature color photography and text on black backgrounds. So since I was not able to find a way to easily set a background color that prints for our document pages, we have to do some trickery.

Draw a text box that is the size of your page, and set the background color property to black, and your text to white.  I am using a vibrant pink for my section headers.  Once you have this done, if you know ahead of time how many pages you are shooting for, go ahead and create them all, copy and pasting the text box onto each one.

So lets get the boring parts out the of way, we need two blank pages, then a title page; after that we need a copyright page and a dedication page.

Most of the 'front matter' is pretty straightforward, but the copyright page does need a little coverage.  The basic verbage for a copyright page is something like this:

Published in the United States of America In 2005 By

ISBN 0-your-isbn-number-here

Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: if you gots one, use it.

© 2005 Sillyness Press Limited

All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any forms or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Printed in the United States of America by

When publishing through LuLu, you are the publisher, they are only the printer. So you can copyright/copyleft your work anyway you want to.  Go crazy.

At this point we are ready to begin placing content.  If you are pretentious like me, you need to open up with an artist statement... or as I like to think of it The Lecture.  Generally some flowery words about how great you are, and how your artistic expression is so much greater than everyone else's.

Okay, after the artist statement, we can move onto the table of contents.  Again, this should be constructed in whatever way you want it.  Go nuts.

After that we just need to drop the images onto each page.  I am doing full bleed, one image per page for my book.  Okay, now that we have all of our images in the document its time to talk about how to save this behemoth.

Step 4: Saving your book as PDF

There are basically two choices you have at this point, allowing LuLu to format your manuscript for you and convert it to PDF, or do the conversion yourself.  I am not a big fan of having LuLu do this for us, plus you are looking at a file size of probably around 250 megs here.

So lets do the converting ourselves.  If you are lucky enough to be rolling with a mac, then this is as easy as poking your eye out with a stick.  Simply choose Print from the File menu, and you will see a button that says "Save as PDF", guess what that does?

Don't have a mac you say?  You have my sympathies, and also my tries at a windows solution.  There are a number of options, from buying Acrobat from Adobe, to using CutePDF.  LuLu has a handy page with links to all the windows solutions here.

Linux users, well if you are using Linux, you should be gnarly enough to figure this out for yourself.

And that is it really.  By this time, you should be able to format your work and upload it to LuLu.  For large files, those over 200 megs LuLu has an FTP system set up, I would encourage you to take advantage of it.

Well that's it for now, in Part 4 we will cover creating a book of tips and tricks for web design and development.  See you then.