Today, I posted the link to the book's own Lulu page. It will remain in the left column, just under the link to The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing. I have chosen to list The Albuquerque Years with no price mark-up, so anyone who wishes to order a copy as an example of Lulu's product quality can do so at nothing more than the cost of printing and postage. Anyone curious to see an example of a project brought to completion by the process I outline in The Heart and Craft, can do likewise. I include a short afterward with an overview of the Lulu Experience.
Finishing this project has been a thrill on at least two levels. It's always rewarding to see something through to completion, but when it's the story of your own life, it's especially rewarding. I have a much stronger sense of the depth of my life's roots, and where the story began.
Beyond that, having found my way through the Lulu labyrinth, which you know from earlier posts wasn't all smooth, I'm in a much better position to give reliable advice to any who ask. And I hope you will. Here's a summary of what I learned:
- Use styles to keep your headers and other content consistent. (See Appendix 3 in The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing for detailed instructions on using styles in whatever word processing program you use.)
- Once you decide on a page size for your finished book, set the page size in your word processing program to those measurements, and adjust margins. (See Appendix 3 as above.)
- Use a photo editing program to resize any photos or other graphics you use to the exact size you need in your manuscript. Save them in jpg format (not tiff) at 300 dpi in RGB color mode, not grayscale. Use the grayscale mode even for black and white pictures. It's also advisable to convert your color pictures to grayscale and adjust accordingly before you switch them back to color mode. They will look like grayscale and be printed in grayscale on the Lulu presses, but experience showed me that the pictures set in color mode printed better than the grayscale one. Ditto with jpg/tiff.
- Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to resize a graphic inside your word processing program. I guarantee you will not be happy with the results.
- Unless you are a real whiz with PDF programs, upload your finished manuscript to Lulu for conversion to PDF. This will assure that the process goes smoothly. Download the finished PDF and preview it carefully to make sure there were no formatting glitches in the process.
- Unless you are a real whiz with a graphics program and PDF conversion, use Lulu's cover templates.
Finally, for a short time I'm making the ebook version available at no cost to those who request it. Just click that link above and send me an e-mail.
I hope legions of lifestory writers will soon join the ranks of proudly published authors. (No, this is not a paid testimonial for Lulu! Right now they are the only reliable operation I know of with no setup fee.)
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal