Monday, April 05, 2010

And Lulu Follows ... NOT!!!!

Self-published books on Lulu to be available on iPad
Venture Beat March 29, 2010 Dean Takahashi

Electronic book publisher Lulu told its top authors over the weekend that their electronic books can be made available on Apple’s new iBookstore that is debuting with the launch of the iPad on April 3.

This is one more way that indie books by self-published authors can appear on Apple’s iPad platform, which is a tablet computer that is expected to be one of the hot gadgets of the year. The self-publishing book company said that authors whose work is in iformat can use Lulu to publish their e-books on the iPad. Lulu will convert the books from the Lulu format into the ePub format at no cost. Authors will receive proceeds after Lulu and Apple take their cut.
Lulu said it would automatically convert books for submission to the iBookstore, unless authors didn’t want their books published on the iPad. Lulu supports the ePub and PDF formats, with or without digital rights management.
And Lulu lets you unpload your own nicely formatted epubs!!!!!
Edited to Add Lulu Announcement:

"We can help you get any project into the iBookstore, even if you’ve published only a printed copy of your work on Lulu so far. The key is that you must already have a project on Lulu — or publish a project now.

The simplest way to reach the iBookstore is to have us convert [note: Fees] your file into an ePub. As mentioned earlier, we guarantee that it will pass Apple’s validation process and we include distribution to the iBookstore as part of this service for no extra charge.

The other approach is a manual one. You’ll need to make your own ePub file and make any necessary improvements until is passes ePubCheck 1.0.5. Once you have that file on Lulu, add iBookstore distribution to your cart as if you were buying any other service. (Again, it is free for a limited time.) We’ll submit the file to Apple for the iBookstore.

In the coming weeks, we will automate more of this process and will incorporate it into our eBook publishing wizard."
So as always, Lulu rushes to task before it has any support platform in force or even the remotest clue what they are doing. My advice is to just go on over to Smashwords, who can distribute your ebooks to more places than just the iBookstore. ISBNs are cheap through them, and there is no conversion cost. If you want to make your own epubs yourself, there is a poor man's way to do it with the free software that's out there: Format a word doc using Smashwords specs, use MobiCreator to make an HTML file, then use Calibre to convert the HTML file to epub. Check your epub against the epubchecker program. You can manipulate the HTML file as needed, and you will need to learn the programs, of course, but they are basic and a bit of playing around is all the time you will have to invest. Mind you, this is for straight text only manuscripts. You can also create the epub in Sigil, but I don't find it as user friendly as working in Microsoft Word. Other user's mileage will vary. I use Mobi to create the files I upload directly to Kindle, and they come out perfect for some minor tweaking in the HTML file.


DED said...

It would've been nice if Lulu told all of its authors.

Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

Yea, I got that from my news feed and I couldn't find any information about it on the Lulu site. So maybe they are just beta testing, and it slipped out. I have epub books listed there and have heard no word from Lulu on it.

Serdar said...

Lulu not tell people the whole deal about something it's doing? You don't say! After the cavalier way they shoveled a bunch of titles onto Amazon, I've grown progressively disenchanted with them as a whole. (I actually liked the Amazon move at first, but over time realized just was a bad idea it was to do that without any forewarning or consultation.) said...


Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

I am much happier since I left Lulu. I get a better product with Createspace, and there is no stupid shit to deal with. The Kindle system works great. I upload my own mobi files now and have no issues. And Smashwords, well, can't beat Smashwords for eDistribution. People might not like having to use a word file, but it is most efficient and renders the best epub for the least amount of hassle. That would be for straight text documents, of course.

As for Lulu. They are so disorganized and have lost sight of their core-business. They really are just a vanity press now.