The Ultimate Guide to InDesign for Authors (Part 1)

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you might remember the Writer’s Toolbox series from last summer, in particular the MS Word review. Earlier this year I followed that piece up with a post about laying out your book, again focusing on using MS Word.

I tend to talk about creating books in terms of MS Word because we know the majority of book makers on Lulu use Word to create their files. While it is the preferred choice for many of our users, Word is hardly the only option for laying and designing your book.

Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide to InDesign for Authors (Part 1)”

What does it mean to be a self-published author in 2018?

Many authors look forward to a new year. More than most crafts, writing, although a solitary occupation, also divides itself into seasons. At the start of the year there’s everything to play for: a new crop of prizes to aim for, a new festival circuit to plan, new events, finish that book, start that book, new readers, more challenges, more opportunities.

As a self-published author embracing 2018, it’s worth spending a little time on pondering what those opportunities look like. They may be more varied – and potentially more lucrative – than you think.

Continue reading “What does it mean to be a self-published author in 2018?”

Announcing our new UK based Marketing and PR services to support indie-authors and small publishers

We are delighted to announce that we have launched a new UK based book and marketing service to support UK an Ireland based authors in helping to bring your works to a larger audience. We are delighted to have joined forces with Authoright who are a UK based marketing and publicity agency with strong industry links to help you build the buzz about your book.

We choose Authoright because we know that marketing and publicity ‘combined packages’ don’t work for every book and every author; sometimes only a flexible and bespoke campaign will work. Authoright offers a ‘pick and mix’ selection of services to help to get the pitch just right without breaking the bank. So if you are great at your own social media, for example, why pay for it again as part of a marketing package when you don’t have to.

By partnering with a UK based company you can be assured that they have their finger on the pulse of the UK publishing and promotion scene. And, since Authoright is UK based this means you can contact their publicists within UK working hours.

The new UK services can be viewed by visiting and selecting the United Kingdom or Ireland shopping carts as your preferred cart.

We will be regularly featuring success stories from authors using this service on this blog – be it a radio interview, book signing tour or an author that has just launched a great new website with cutting edge design we will be sharing these success stories. 

How does it work?

When you submit the marketing enquiry form it will be reviewed by Authoright staff who will contact you directly with more information on the services you are interested in together with their Terms and Conditions. You will naturally have a lot of questions. We try and capture as much information as we can so that the Authoright team can give you the best advice.

The Authoright team is very experienced with a good feel for which types of publications fail or succeed in the book market; they will assess your publication and give you their honest view of your possibilities for media success and if they feel that they can take your publication on and market it for you. They want the books they represent to be a success too.


World Book Day #thinkbigimagination by opening a book! by CL Bennett


The glorious world of the paperback, hardback or eBook enables kids from a very early age to #thinkbigimagination and learn how the written word comes alive in stories. As parents, carers, teachers and adults showing a child their first book is the stepping stone to ‘what if’ in a child’s mind. By book example we are giving them the gift of independence, knowledge and drive to explore their own imagination. A book is a secret world of adventures and children feel encouraged and inspired when they learn new words, turn new pages and grow their vocabulary.

Books are an emotional roller coaster of different genres and themes that glitter a child’s brain and can shape who they may become. No matter how many pennies we have in our pockets we should be offering all children in the world books and celebrating how important they are everyday but especially on #worldbookday

WBD_Children_63.jpgSo, when your reading books with them and they shout, “Just one more story, one more!” know that you are helping them start their own adventure, their path into the world, what they might do and where they may go.

Books open a world of word magic delights and a happy glow of sensory excitement. Buy a book, share a book, read a book , borrow a book, or give a book to children and #thinkbigimagination for all.


Teresa Dancer shares her experience of why she chose indie-publishing with Lulu

pockethandbookTeresa is the author of Pocket Handbook for Assistant Buyers A-Z of Textile Terms and has been involved in the world of fashion and clothing all her working life. After gaining a degree in sociology at Goldsmith’s College, she decided to pursue her career and enrolled on a course at Westminster College, London which introduced her to the world of pattern cutting, design and garment production. From there her first role involved working as a wholesale merchandiser for a large Hong Kong based company who were manufacturing and supplying men’s clothing into the high street. Using the product knowledge she gained in this role, she went on to work for Pepe jeans as a product manager alongside the head of men’s wear design. She then entered the world of buying where she worked for two iconic British brands, namely Laura Ashley and BHS.

After leaving buying, she helped to set up the UK office for a well-known French trend forecasting agency, Groupe Carlin. Subsequently, she was involved in working with some leading clothing manufacturers including Floreal Knitwear (part of the Ciel Group), a significant supplier of core product to Marks and Spencer. More recently she has been helping to promote Danish clothing brands into the UK.

Teresa also works part time as a lecturer/tutor at the London College of Fashion teaching both an introductory and further advanced course in Fashion Buying and Merchandising. She has been involved with the University for over 10 years.

What made you decide to indie-publish your work the Pocket Handbook for Assistant Buyers A-Z of Textile Terms

I have never published before and to be honest I didn’t think that an established publisher would be interested in taking my book and I was advised for a first publication it would be easier to self publish.I wrote my book in response to what I perceived to be a gap in the market. After having taught for over ten years I felt there was a need to provide an easy-to-use handbook which could be used by my target audience once they started on their journey in Fashion Buying. My book was based on the knowledge I myself gained during the many years I worked in the industry, both as a product developer and as a fashion buyer.

How is your publication used by your fashion students?

My students can use my publication to enhance their knowledge and if necessary prepare and assist them in entering into the world of buying.

Would you recommend independent publishing to your academic colleagues/friends and why?

If you are passionate about a subject matter and have experienced rejection or lack of interest from traditional publishers, then self publishing is certainly an option although you will have to work very much on your own initiative in order to tackle the processes needed in getting to the final goal.

How did you promote and market your book?

As my book is primarily an academic book with a very specific subject matter, I concentrated my efforts on promoting my book to established  universities and colleges in the UK and USA as well as through multi media routes such as Linkedin and Twitter.

What are you plans for a next book?

It is year since I published my first book so at the moment I would like to build on the sales for this book before embarking on another.

Teresa’s book Pocket Handbook for Assistant Buyers A-Z of Textile Terms is available in both print and ebook versions from the Lulu bookshop at


LIVE TWITTER DEBATE: Is there a place for independent publishing in the academic world?

Date: 26 Jan

Time: 14:00 – 15:00 GMT

Location: Twitter – use #indyacademics and #acbookweek to join the debate

In the trade book publishing sector, the emergence of independent publishing is perhaps the single most disruptive trend of recent years. Technology has empowered writers to publish their work professionally, affordably, expediently, across multiple formats and into different geographical territories, and to profit from it. But while this significant revolution has been taking place, the model for academic monographs and books has largely remained unscathed, with the largest scholarly publishers still monopolising the market and the academic community still tied to traditional processes, which have been in place for years.

In this Twitter chat, hosted by author, journalist and digital publishing expert Alastair Horne (@pressfuturist), we will discuss independent publishing in the context of the academic publishing market. The virtual panel, which will consist of leading academics and prominent voices from scholarly publishing, will tackle the following questions: Is independent publishing the solution many frustrated academics have been waiting for in order to share their work? Can academics retain more control through independent publishing? What are the main challenges which will need to be addressed in order for independent publishing to become accepted within academia?

More info:

Some Good News to end 2016

blogxmasWith the end of the year fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to take a quick look back on some of the events of 2016 across the industry. In January we start with our Author guest blogger so don’t forget if you are interested in blogging please contact us at  social­ as we would love to hear from you.

Library Funding

In a year that saw a lot of high profile author protests and disruption for our UK libraries, in the face of austerity funding cuts by Government and closures by local authorities, it’s good to end 2016 with some positive news for authors, libraries and readers. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published a five-year strategy for libraries, which it said would help them improve and thrive in the 21st century. This national strategy includes a £4m innovation fund to help libraries provide more of a public services role to the community. But is that really good news? Initial feedback is that this doesn’t go far enough in saving libraries. So as a New Year’s resolution visit your local library as no footfall = no library.

 Ebook VAT

If you have been following us on Twitter you will know the hot news to end 2016 is the EU ruling that ebooks can be sold with reduced VAT which means ebook sales are forecasted to rise next year. This was part of the commissions pledge to address the discrepancies in VAT between ebooks and print books.  It will be interesting to see the impact of Brexit on this announcement in the forthcoming months so the ebook VAT story is far from over.

I leave you with a puzzle reader – you are on a train crossing from one country to another and you start to download your ebook in one country but it doesn’t complete the download until it crosses the border into the second country. What rate of VAT do you pay on the ebook purchase? Any staff of HMRC are excluded from answering this puzzle!

 The Rise of Digital Book clubs

Over 2016 online book clubs experienced a real boost. A digital book club allows you to discuss your current book when you want from the comfort of your own home – no more trying to organise your diary with like-minded friends. Celebrities are even getting in on the act with Harry Potter star Emma Watson starting her own feminist book club. So if you haven’t joined an online book club yet make it your New Year resolution! Should we form a Lulu author book club in 2017? Let me know your views.

I close this blog wishing all our Lulu authors a very happy festive season. If you are still working on your book make it a New Year resolution to complete it and share your story with the world.

Seasons Best Wishes

The LULU UK Team




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