Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Costs: We Don’t Use Lulu

Doing it right costs money.  A lot of people fail to be aware of this.


One of the ways in which small press publishers save money is to use the lulu pdf generator to create the adobe pdf that they then upload to LSI.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Without going into a lot of boring detail, you still need to understand how to layout the books.  Word will auto generate your ToC if you set up styles right.  It will embed the fonts.  And so forth.  You just have to know where to go in the settings.

If  you fail to look at the book in the size that you intend to publish it in, you are going to get errors.

If  you fail to embed the fonts, you might get completely screwed up pages due to slippage.

Doing it right is a lot of work.  I tried initially to do it this way and out of three books uploaded to LSI, only one of them passed muster for me.

That was when I hired Tim Willard to do layout.   Since then, with the obvious exception of DiC, all of the books have been fine.

It is hours and hours of work.

I have a package deal with Tim and he does not bill me for the hours involved, but just a flat fee.


Cover art

Cover lettering




LSI’s set up costs

Before it’s over I have spent over $500 per book

Now, when something has to be redone, that’s more money.  LSI charges me when I have to upload a revision.

Changing a cover costs twice what it does for changing an interior.

Doubtless, on Dic, I am going to get hit for both the cover and the interior.

We are not a two bit, one-man, do it yourself operation.

Sorry, Charlie.

We are doing PoD, but it sure ain’t lulu.

With lulu, you get triple the base cost per book and little or no distribution.  It isn’t possible to offer the deep discounts that the distributors demand to carry your product.

Daverana has international distribution.


5 comments on “Costs: We Don’t Use Lulu

  1. Neve
    October 4, 2009

    Well that explains why some submissions for FSM (Tim’s included) open up at startling magnificatons. I always assumed it was a personal preference for ease of reading rather than for something practical =)

    I would also assume that the double charge for LSI in regards to DiC is down to a slight increase in the book’s physical dimensions to better accommodate the ‘proper’ format?

  2. cussedness
    October 4, 2009

    yes. That’s it exactly. The book is definitely going to get larger as a result of this and that’s going to require a new cover.

    The cost estimate for the LSI end alone at this point, cover and interior is around $120.

    That’s not counting in paying wages for Tim’s time in doing his end of it. The situation was not created by Tim. So I can’t ask him to redo it at his own expense.

  3. Karen
    October 5, 2009

    I’ve done years of layout work in the lsi style. I have it down pretty much to a science at this point. I do it all in Word (interior), Pagemaker (cover) and then Adobe. If you want my specs, drop me an email. the_vampire_akisha(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. susie hawes
    October 6, 2009

    reposting this on my LJ. 🙂

  5. cussedness
    October 6, 2009

    That’s cool, Susie. And, Karen, I’ll be getting in touch with you about your specs shortly.

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This entry was posted on October 4, 2009 by in Janrae Frank.

Janrae Frank

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