How to Self Publish a Hardcover Book on Amazon

How-to-self-publish-a-hardcover-book

Have you ever wondered how self-published authors get a hardcover version of their book on their book’s sales page?

I know I did.

As you may already know, Createspace and KDP are print-on-demand distribution services that can hanldle making your paperback books.

But there's no option for print-on-demand hardcover books within Createspace or KDP, which forces us to look elsewhere.

In this article, you will learn

  • How to format your hardcover manuscript
  • How to get your hardcover PDF cover designed
  • Approving your book for mass distribution
  • How to leverage Lulu’s bookstore to earn more royalties

Let’s get started.

Publishing a Hardcover on Lulu vs IngramSpark

If you’ve ever researched hardcover self-publishing, you’ll conclude that two of the main hardcover options for self-published authors are Lulu and IngramSpark.

The nitty gritty of these platforms is that they both have basic costs associated with them–additional costs if you choose to go with IngramSpark.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of the costs involved with publishing on each platform:

Hardcover Lulu vs IngramSpark

LuluIngramSparkNotes
Interior PDF~ $30~ $30Varies by freelancer + number of pages
Cover PDF$50-$100$50-$100Varies by freelancer + number of pages
Revision Cost$0$49IngramSpark has revision fee for each change.
ISBN Cost$0$125Lulu includes. IngramSpark requires purchase.
Setup Cost$0$49IngramSpark has setup fee for each book.

 

Let's dive into the common costs between these two: formatting and cover design.

Formatting & Cover Design: Both platforms require proper PDF manuscript formatting and a proper PDF cover design according to their file requirements. Your costs for these steps will vary depending on if you DIY or who you hire to outsource these tasks.

ISBN: When it comes to the hardcover ISBN barcodes, Lulu is similar to CreateSpace as they provide one for you. IngramSpark, however, requires you to purchase your ISBN, which will cost $125 at www.myidentifiers.com.

Setup Costs: Additionally, Lulu has no setup or revision costs. You can update your files as many times as you want. IngramSpark, the diva of the two, has a $49 setup fee PLUS a $49 fee any time you need to update your book files (like if you add more books to your series or create a new lead magnet.)

While trying to figure out why IngramSpark is more strict and expensive, I’ve concluded that IngramSpark has better physical book quality. They offer more features compared to Lulu, such as more trim sizes and different laminate types for hardcovers. (Full disclosure: I’ve only published Lulu hardcovers.)

Don't leave your hardcover readers hanging...Make a Hardcover version of your book with these easy steps #SelfPubClick To Tweet

In summary, IngramSpark has a deeper learning curve and is pricier, but the hardcover quality is known to be better than Lulu.

Alternatively, Lulu gets the job done more easily and for less money. It's also similar enough to Createspace, which many authors are familiar with, that it's the perfect option for self-publishing your first hardcover book.

Therefore, the steps below are specifically for self-publishing your first hardcover book on Lulu!

A Step-By-Step Guide to Self-Publishing A Hardcover Book On Lulu

Lulu gives you the “Six easy steps to publishing your hardcover book”…

But these steps only give you a birdseye view of the process. There are many intermediate steps, which I’ll break down for you in this guide.

STEP 1) Dust Jacket vs Casewrap Hardcover

First, you get to choose between a:

  • Option 1 = Dust Jacket Hardcover
  • Option 2 = Casewrap Hardcover

After selecting option 1 or 2, scroll down to the second half of the page.

(I’ve only ever done the casewrap hardcover version – Option 2. My reasoning behind this, as a self-publisher, is that the manufacturing costs for a dust jacket will take a good portion of my hardcover royalties.)

Once you scroll down, you'll see this:

This is Lulu’s calculator that gives you an idea of the manufacturing cost of your hardcover book based on the page count of your hardcover PDF manuscript.

More importantly, once you input your page count (where I input 120), Lulu will let you click the “Download Template” button.

This template comes in the form of a zip folder once downloaded. This is the zip folder your freelance hardcover designer needs to make sure it passes Lulu’s hardcover guidelines.

However, to know your hardcover page count, we need to have your hardcover PDF manuscript ready.

We’ll circle back to this Lulu template in step 3.

Step 2) Format Your Hardcover Manuscript

Lulu's standard hardcover book size is 6×9″.

So if you already have a 6×9″ paperback PDF for your book, you might be in luck and can skip this step!

If your paperback manuscript meets this criterion and you’re satisfied with how your paperback came out, then you can use it as your hardcover PDF manuscript as well.

However, if your current paperback manuscript isn’t the 6×9” dimension, then you’ll need to make one.

You can hire a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr to format your book’s manuscript to Lulu’s 6×9” dimension.

I recommend that you choose a formatting gig where the freelancer has experience formatting hardcover manuscripts. You can find plenty on Fiverr by searching “Lulu hardcover format.”

Resource

Lulu PDF Manuscript Resource: PDF Creation Settings (How can I be sure my PDF will print correctly?)

Step 3) Cover Design for Your Hardcover Book

Let’s pretend our PDF manuscript is 120 pages.

Next, we use Lulu’s calculator to download our template.

You’ll also need the spine measurements of your book as you can see in the box below:

I've had the best success getting my hardcover book covers designed by Upwork.com freelancers.

They’re experienced with Lulu's standards and other hardcover platform standards like IngramSpark.

You can post a job on your Upwork client account to find an experienced designer.

If you're not planning to hire a freelancer for this step, scroll down to step 4.


How to Find a Hardcover Designer on Upwork

Here’s what I put on my hardcover design job heading:

Casewrap Hardcover (Lulu), PDF File Needed

The rest of the job post details should be details about your book.

When you get down to the “How would you like to pay section,” I usually go with a fixed price.

Note: I’ve always put $50 and received applicants. The $50 price point is to get your foot in the door. Some freelancers will ask for a little more.

Creating a casewrap hardcover PDF file takes more skill than a traditional paperback PDF file because it’s not just a front and back cover–there's a spine too. And not to mention, the hardcover casewrap interior folds (these guys have mad skills).

Since some freelancers on Upwork specialize in this, they can command a higher price tag.

The range is usually between $50-100 per hardcover PDF file. Thus, this will be your most expensive cost in the hardcover creation process.

Choose the best applicant for the job by screening them. Do your due diligence and check their Upwork profile to see if they’ve done hardcover design projects in their review section.

Once you have a deal worked out with your freelancer, you'll need to give him or her 4 things:

1) Lulu template zip file folder

2) Spine measurements and which elements you want your spine to have (title, subtitle, author name, etc.).

3) Your front and back book cover image files (make sure your back book cover blurb sells!). These images should be 300 DPI (dots per inch).

4) Your Lulu provided ISBN barcode (more on this in the next step).

As with any other outsourcing gig, you want to give the freelancer as many details as possible to get the most successful hardcover PDF file in return.

Details such as:

  • What do you want on the spine (title, subtitles, author name, etc.)
  • What color fonts do you want for the spine text (be specific)
  • What background color should your back cover design be (or what background image)

Once you have this step completed things get a lot easier!

Resource

Here's a YouTube video on How to Send An Offer and Start Your Project on Upwork.


Step 4) Uploading Your Book to Lulu

In this step, we finally click the yellow “Make this book” button on the Lulu manufacturing cost calculator.

Each of the next 7 steps is rather straightforward, so I will briefly cover each step in order.

Title: There’s only a title box, so to get both your book title and subtitle to show up, I recommend using this format: Title: Subtitle. Next to Author, type your name or pen name and select “Sell on Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more.”

ISBN: Just like Createspace, Lulu provides you with the option to get a free ISBN.

On this step, you’ll see an ISBN page – one with your specific ISBN. Here you can download your ISBN barcode file.

IMPORTANT: You’ll need to provide this ISBN file to your freelancer cover designer so he or she can insert it on the back of your hardcover file.

Files: Next, you’ll upload your hardcover PDF manuscript from Step 1. If for whatever reason Lulu says your manuscript isn’t approved because it’s not following Lulu guidelines, ask your freelancer to revise your manuscript to the specifications Lulu wants (Lulu will display the specific error).

Cover: Now you'll upload your hardcover PDF file from Step 3. On this page, click Lulu’s “advanced one-piece cover designer” option:

 

I pixelated the hardcover file here, but you’d see your hardcover PDF within the green border.

The thick green border is what's going to be folded for a casewrap hardcover file. Make sure that nothing important is folded up by the green borders.

If you used a seasoned freelancer, you shouldn’t have a problem here.

But if something like your author name is being folded at the bottom of your front cover area, then have your designer revise the file. Show them where the error is and have them fix it.

I recommend testing your hardcover PDF file while your designer is online so you can quickly communicate back and forth in case there need to be adjustments.

Once you’re satisfied with the look, click “Save & Continue” for the next step.

Description: This next step is very similar to what you’d fill out in Createspace or KDP for your paperback.

Remember that this information is for your Lulu sales page and will eventually carry over to your Amazon sales page when they click on the hardcover version of your book.

Price: Let’s talk numbers. This step is about pricing your hardcover book on Lulu and Amazon (“Everywhere Else”).

You'll earn more royalties for sales on Lulu than “Everywhere Else” (aka Amazon).

The above image explains everything in a nutshell: The higher your price, the more you earn on Amazon. The royalties may seem low, but this can add up to a nice little income stream over time.

Review: Here, you’re just making sure you crossed your t's and dotted your i's to ensure everything looks ready to publish.

Step 5) Approving Your Book For Distribution Beyond Lulu

After reviewing your project, the final step is to order a proof copy of your book.

You’ll need to do this for your book to show up on Amazon.

Order a proof copy and once you’re satisfied with how your hardcover proof copy looks, you can approve your book in your Lulu account (under “My Projects”).

When you approve your book, Lulu will state “your book will be available to order from leading online and retail book outlets within the next 6-8 weeks…” In my experience, the time frame is actually much shorter.

Unfortunately, neither Lulu nor KDP will notify you when your hardcover has been added to your Kindle book’s sales page. So make sure to check your Kindle book's sales page in 5-7 days or until you know your hardcover is live.

If your book doesn’t appear on your Kindle book page, but it does appear in Amazon as a standalone product, contact KDP and ask them to link these by adding your hardcover book to your Kindle book’s sales. You should also make sure this version of your book is linked to your Author Page in Author Central.

Note: The “Contact Us” is in the footer of every KDP account and here’s the direct link: https://kdp.amazon.com/contact-us. You'll need to be logged into your KDP account to use it.

Sell and Promote Your Hardcover Book

If you’re already building your author email list, you can promote your hardcover book in a strategic way that will bump up your hardcover royalties.

Ideally, when you send out a book promotion email (whether it be in a sequence or single broadcast message), you’ll want the email call-to-action link to send your subscribers to a landing page where they can choose their preferred book format.

The hardcover option will direct your readers to your Lulu book’s sales page where you’ll get more royalties when they buy.

Authors deserve more royalties. Using Lulu can help you earn more with your books and be a win for your readers too! #BookMarket #SelfPubClick To Tweet

Just make sure to use your Lulu book sales page URL.

You can get your Lulu sales page URL in your Lulu account (under “My Projects”).

The “View/Buy” link will take you to your Lulu book’s sales page.

Alternatively, you could include a call-to-action link in the email that's specifically for hardcover readers.

Conclusion

There is your blueprint for self-publishing hardcover books on Amazon.

Basically, in order to self-publish a hardcover book on Amazon, you'll need to first write an awesome book, then:

  1. Decide dust jacket or casewrap cover
  2. Format your hardcover manuscript
  3. Design a cover for your hardcover book
  4. Upload your book to Lulu and set things like your description and price
  5. Approve your book for expanded distribution (Amazon)

Then start implementing your book marketing tactics to sell your hardcover version and earn more royalties.

I hope this guide cleared up any confusion about how to self-publish hardcovers in the self-published author community.

Let me know if you have any questions and happy hardcover publishing!

About The Author: John Pinedo

John is an online marketer and self-publisher who helps online entrepreneurs grow their business. You can find him on his Freedom Bound Business blog or Twitter where he talks about the nerdy deets of online marketing, self-publishing, and his latest online ventures.

55 Comments

  1. Michelle McGrath on August 27, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Great article, thanks for sharing all this information! Question: Does publishing a hardcover on Lulu interact with your paperback or ebook listing on Amazon/KDP? I notice that many titles on Amazon have a hardcover option, though we know they don’t print. Is your method above one of the ways to get the hardcover listed alongside your title on Amazon? Does Lulu offer the service to integrate with Amazon? Thanks!

  2. Alice maddocks on August 22, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    My interest in self publishing is really only to print my Mum’s memoir for the family. I’m not trying to print and sell to general public. I was going to just make a photo book using text from Word and pics. My sister asked about this self pub option…likely because she incisions several family members wanting it and photobooks for the numbers of pages I anticipate could be 100.00 per person. Is this opt a better bet

    • Dave Chesson on August 23, 2020 at 1:58 am

      In that case, yes.

  3. Sherry McCormick on July 10, 2020 at 4:14 am

    Thank you so much for the very informative site you put together and the step by step Instructions! Question: You said you always start at a $50 price point on Upwork and expect it to be between $50-$100. Is this total price or price per hour? Also, is it just for the covers and spine format or does that include the complete manuscript? I would need someone to do all of it for me as I’m not very computer savvy.
    Thank you!

    • Dave Chesson on July 13, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      To take your cover and turn it into a cover that would work with a Hardcover (so front, back and spine) is the $50 to $100. But that assumes you already have a front cover and so they are to design the back and spine.

  4. Maryse on June 1, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Is it still valid that KDP doesn’t print hard cover? Just checking since things change so often! Thanks for any input.

    • Dave Chesson on June 1, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      Yup, that is correct. KDP doesn’t print hardcover. Which is why we need to use IngramSpark or Lulu for such things.

  5. david Leitner on May 24, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Very informative. What kind of authors commissions are left on sales with Lulu and Amazon. Is there an difference if the book is soft or hard back, or the internal pages are black and white or colour ? You want manuscripts in PDF format

    • Dave Chesson on May 25, 2020 at 11:48 am

      When you price your book, that will dictate how much is left for you. Generally for physical books, there is a point of the cost of hte book and the markets commission. Anything above that is yours.

  6. Jacqueline on May 17, 2020 at 12:03 am

    How is it possible to include the ISBN number on your internal copyright page, if you don’t get it until after you have completed the manuscript containing the copyright page, and it must be uploaded during the publishing process? This is the part i”m confused about. I know that you can download the ISBN after creating the publishing entry for the cover page, but what to do about ISBN for the internal page of the manuscript?

    • L. Hollins on June 3, 2020 at 11:24 pm

      If you are using Bowker to get your identifiers then you should have it prior to creating. If you are getting the number from Lulu or another publishing/print website then you will be assigned one once you start the process and can edit your manuscript once assigned. It can be the last thing you do. You can create the copyright page and then add the ISBN prior to uploading. Hope that makes sense.

  7. D. J. Irvine on January 20, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    This is a great writeup, can you buy in bulk at a reduced price?

    • L. Hollins on June 3, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      You get the book at print cost. Not the price you set for customers. Example: If it costs $5.00 to print my book and I set my price at $10.99…when others purchase they will pay $10.99 but I pay $5.00.

  8. Brenda Phillips on January 17, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    What if I already have my own ISBN and Barcodes for my books?

    • L. Hollins on June 3, 2020 at 11:30 pm

      You will have the option to use your own or use one offered by Lulu.

  9. Reign of Perry the platypus on December 7, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Hi there.I had a question. I’m looking to self pub my first hardcover. I was wondering if Lulu or IS allows you to design the inside flaps of the dust jacket? If not, are there any self-pub services that do?

  10. A.M. Rycroft on July 15, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    I wanted to offer two corrections to the information about Ingram.1) Revisions are only $25 per updated file. It would only be $50 if you update both the cover file and the interior file, and That is only after you accept the initial proof. Revisions are free up to that point.2) Ingram gives you a discount on ISBNs purchased during a title setup. The single ISBN cost is only $87, not $125. The ISBN is still registered to you and owned by you, they’re just offering a discount on the purchase made through Bowker. And, you need to have an account on Bowker to register the ISBN.One additional point: there are no setup or revision fees at all for using Ingram if you’re an IBPA member ($129 per year). The membership has pretty much paid for itself just with the saving on title setup and revisions through Ingram, so just throwing that out there.

  11. Jas on June 13, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Super helpful article! Unfortunate PB self pub authors. Seems like picture books have to be paperbacks. No parent wants to (or will) pay over $20 for a short (<32 pages) children`s picture book. The average picture books is less than $9.99. Looks like only non self pub books with big publishers’ deep pockets get board and hardcover books.There has to be a cheaper way. Paperbacks do not live long with babies and toddlers. I know I do not but paperbacks for my toddlers. My search continues. Maybe working directly with China or Mexico printing presses? do not even know if That is a thing. I wish the women who mentioned the 5.59 quote figured the cost of FDA and see what the price came out to be.Thanks again for the information!

    • Jim Wright on December 25, 2019 at 12:37 am

      Exactly! I have a wonderful Christian bedtime storybook that I finished on KDP but a paperback won’t survive, even its a read aloud by the parent story of about 30 pages. Anyone have any ideas? I think a special hardback could go $12, however, to get it done in hardback at a price-point That is realistic is my challenge. Hope God blesses all your endeavors!

  12. Pat B. on April 7, 2019 at 2:29 am

    Thank you for the great information. I am confused that Lulu is supposed to be cost effective to use to print and distribute. I have an 8.5 x 8.5 hardcover 24 page children`s book which is priced at $13.95. After I clicked a few boxes on the Lulu website it was giving me a cost of over $14.00 to print. The cover is a hardcover glossy which is common for children`s books. Yikes!!! I want to believe that I must be doing something horribly wrong. The book is complete from the illustrator and ready to go to print.

    • Dave Chesson on April 7, 2019 at 12:58 pm

      That sounds about right. Have you checked other services and seen what their price would be?

      • Pat B. on April 7, 2019 at 3:31 pm

        I have a print quote from a printing company starting at 500 for $5.59 per book. Including shipping to me. With your knowledge if I was to go with that printer and want to have a distributor handle my inventory and distribution do you have a suggestion who might be the best company to go with? I do like Amazon but again, the cost. Thanks so much.

        • Dave Chesson on April 7, 2019 at 4:25 pm

          With regards to distributors, no…I do not have enough experience to recommend one.

          • Pat B. on April 7, 2019 at 10:44 pm

            I want to make sure I understand that Lulu is not positioned to receive a completed book from an author and warehouse, mail and collect the money? Thank You



          • Nicolas Nelson on May 29, 2019 at 10:13 pm

            That is correct. Lulu does the book printing for you (That is the $5.59/book price you were given from the other company) and then it also handles distribution and order fulfillment… that accounts for the rest of the price difference. You’ll want to use something like the Amazon FBA, or Deliverr, or Fulfillmentworks.com …get a bid for fulfillment of 500 discrete (separate) orders, divide that by 500, and add that amount to the $5.59 price per book from the other printing & binding company.
            If the price per book is still below $14, then by all means go piecemeal, and please post your findings here!
            But I’ll bet it will be close enough to $14 that the all-in-one simplicity of Lulu will look a lot more appealing than it does now.



  13. J.D. Felt on March 25, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Do you have to pay for the hardcover books up front or they just take everything out of the total price that the author pays?

  14. Melinda Cates on February 28, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you so much for this awesome information, as lots of questions and you have addressed so many within this one article. Brilliant

  15. Audrey Miller on November 21, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Hi, my name is Audrey and just have a quick question.
    So as a Christmas present, I wanted to write a fictional book for 5 of my best friends about our lives (how we save the day in this new world I created. Here is my question:Is there any place I can go to that will be willing to create only 5 HARD COVER books just for us? Or does it have to be published for everyone to real?

    • Qur'an 18:86 on January 14, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      Lulu allows you to only supply to yourself. I think same with Ingram Spark. Just Amazon who force you to publicly publish.

  16. steph01423 on September 10, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Thank you so much for posting this article. This is immensely helpful!

    • Dave Chesson on September 10, 2018 at 4:11 am

      Absolutely and glad to have helped!

  17. Gayle Macdonald on August 29, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Can I use both Lulu for hardcover and Createspace for soft cover to have both options for purchase of the same book? Thanks fornyou article. Very informative and helpful.

    • Dave Chesson on August 29, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      I cannot speak out of experience (I have not personally done it) but of all the interactions I’ve had with both, I see no reason why one could not do that.

      • Nicolas Nelson on May 29, 2019 at 10:14 pm

        You’d need a different ISBN for each edition of the book, of course.

  18. Jem on June 25, 2018 at 10:43 am

    Great article John, thank you. Do you know if Ingram Spark has the capacity to offer similar direct discounts on their hardback books? It would be easier for me to work with them

    • John (Team Freedom) on June 25, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Jem, thanks, glad you liked it! I’m not sure about similar direct discounts for IS as I’m mainly familiar with the Lulu hardcover process.

      • Jem on June 26, 2018 at 6:21 am

        No worries. Thanks anyway 🙂

  19. William Cory on June 24, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Hey all — Lulu also does at least one other thing that Createspace/KDP Paperbacks do not do: Spiral-bound books. Perfect for manuals of various kinds because they open and lay flat. My books on building kit acoustic guitars are done as spiral-bound editions that I sell in Amazon`s marketplace, so they show up when a buyer clicks “available from third-party sellers” on the sales page for the Createspace-printed library bound book. In my book description for the library bound version, Amazon had no problem with me noting that a spiral bound version is available from third-party sellers (me), and I sell them there under my own name. A little bonus is, since I send the book myself after having ordered a few from Lulu as inventory, I can sign the book for the buyer and wish them “Happy Building.” Another way to add to sales.

  20. Tam Francis: Jitterbug typer on June 23, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    If I have a professionally designed cover for my paperback at the 6 x 9 size would I need to reformat my cover? I’ve always wanted to do a hard-cover and have had a few requests. Thanks for this great article.

    • William Cory on June 24, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      The cover would need to be reformatted for Lulu, but only very slightly, with addition of front and back flaps and copy. The size needed is slightly larger for the same size book with same # of pages.

    • John (Team Freedom) on June 25, 2018 at 7:12 am

      Hi Tam, like William said, the cover would have to be reformatted for Lulu hardcover dimensions. The reason for this is because the hardcover design will be wrapping in the interior of the physical back and front covers. You can find experienced Lulu cover creators on Upwork.

  21. Sean Marshall on June 21, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Excellent article! When I get around to finally publishing my novel, I’m going to follow this to the T. Thank you!

    • John (Team Freedom) on June 21, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Awesome Sean! Your welcome and glad you liked the guide/article!

  22. marieseltenrych on June 21, 2018 at 1:39 am

    I have had a hard cover (case- https://uploads.disquscdn.c… wrap) edition created at Lulu. The end result was just beautiful. I noticed that the postage indicated it was sent from USA to France…to Belgium and back to Australia. The price was pro https://uploads.disquscdn.c… hibitive ($60 to create) so I deleted it from Lulu. But, my grand daughter still has a revised copy of this: 13″ x 11″ (33cm x 28cm). Lulu was very helpful with this product.

    • John (Team Freedom) on June 21, 2018 at 1:46 am

      Hi Marieseltenrych, Yikes! That manufacturing price is steep for Lulu hardcovers!

  23. Carolyn Howard-Johnson on June 20, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Great article. Really well done!John, i ‘d like to see a picture of your book. I saw one by Lulu a long, long time ago and it looked pretty plasticy! Read that yukky! 😊

    • John (Team Freedom) on June 20, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Carolyn, thanks for the kind words. I have a couple of hardcover books under pen names I keep discreet (different niches). I’m working on creating a health/fitness author blog with my bro where we’ll be adding self-published books. If the books are long enough, we’ll consider adding a hardcover. As for cover material, yes I do agree with you. It does look a little plastic. Yet, It is not a deal breaker for me as it is another royalty stream. For better cover quality material I suggest going with Ingramspark, but it does cost a little more.

      • Carolyn Howard-Johnson on June 20, 2018 at 7:48 pm

        Mmmm. Maybe authors / self- publishers should ask for a sample copy before taking the plunge and compare the sample to hard copies produced by some of the big five before making a decision. There are books without dust covers usually have a lineny look or the appearance of a tightly woven fabric. I love hardcovers, too, but I think that generally the hardcover purchaser wants and is looking for high-quality in terms of things like endpapers, three-dimensional (embossed) dustcovers, etc Depending on the genre or clientele, I would be very careful how about choosing anything very much short of what readers are used to in the general market.

  24. Michal on June 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Hmm, has Lulu any advantage over CreateSpace other than hardcovers?

    • John (Team Freedom) on June 20, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Michael, from my experience, the only advantage Lulu has over CS is that it allows you to publish hardcovers. They do offer a paperback service, but you’ll get more royalties on Createspace. Hope that helps.

  25. Eric Z on June 20, 2018 at 7:56 am

    EXCELLENT article!
    Could you expound on the royalties? Did I understand that correctly that -Zon takes more ie. you get LESS royalties on -Zon than on Lulu?

    • John (Team Freedom) on June 20, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Eric, glad you liked the article! I’m not familiar with “Zon.” Can you fill me in? As for the royalties, you get more royalties if readers buy through Lulu`s book store versus buying you hardcover on Amazon. Your hardcover royalties on Amazon are low, but with enough volume, it adds up quick. I recommend doing hardcovers for your best books in your portfolio – those with a proven track record. To leverage Lulu`s bookstore it takes an author platform (explained in the “SELL AND PROMOTE YOUR HARDCOVER BOOK” section of the article). Hope that helps!

      • Eric Z on June 21, 2018 at 6:38 pm

        -zon is short for Amazon 🙂
        Thanks! Will try it out for sure. Already have a few books on Lulu and did not even know that they publish to Ama-zon.

        • John (Team Freedom) on June 21, 2018 at 7:35 pm

          Haha “The Zon!” Makes sense now. Might as well get those existing Lulu books on the Zon.

        • Alice Maddocks on August 22, 2020 at 2:57 pm

          Why do we need help designing a cover? I was planning on just a plain one color . .black back cover

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