Writing might be a (mostly) solitary endeavor, but self-publishing takes a variety of resources. There’s so much to do; editing, page layout, file specifications, cover design, front matter, typesetting…this list could go on. You need self-publishing resources to help you get it right.
You are so in luck.
Because everything we do at Lulu is free. Our print-on-demand platform is 100% free to use. Hell, our entire service is available as a free API! And we don’t stop there; our content and creative teams have compiled pages full of free resources to help you self-publish like a pro.
So before you go buy a how-to guide on self-publishing, come see Lulu’s free resources. We’ve been doing this a long time and we’re dedicated to providing indie writer support for authors and creators of all kinds.
Free Self-Publishing Resources
It all starts on our resources page (https://www.lulu.com/resources). We’ve compiled so much publishing knowledge on this one page it will blow you away. More than our publishing platform, these free resources are invaluable when you’re writing your book and preparing to publish.
So read on and get to know a few of my favorite resources from Lulu.
Our Publishing Toolkit is where we keep all of our free guides. The one you’ll be most interested in is our Book Creation Guide, which goes into extensive detail about creating a PDF interior and cover file that meets all our print requirements. This guide is essential to understanding how to self-publish a print book.
We also include our Ebook Creation Guide, covering how to prepare your DOCX file for EPUB conversion. We’ve simplified creating ebooks to make this process even more user friendly, but this guide is still important.
It’s not all just creating books either; we’ve got three marketing guides that cover social media, email, and author website basics. If you’re just beginning your self-publishing journey, our Publishing Toolkit is the perfect place to start.
Okay, so you know you need a PDF to publish on Lulu. But how do you take your manuscript and turn it into that PDF? You need Lulu’s Author Toolkit.
This page is full of publishing software we’ve tried and tested to be sure you can use it to make amazing print-ready files. From heavy hitters like Adobe InDesign to free options like Libre Office, our author toolkit covers a range of software that can help you along the publishing process.
And if you’re not sure about which program is right for you, I’ve done reviews of almost all of them on the blog! Indie authors need publishing and writing tools to create amazing books; Lulu’s Author Toolkit is your go to resource for software suggestions.
Hire A Pro
For many years, Lulu offered paid services similar to hybrid publishing companies. A lot of users loved these services too. But the publishing industry has evolved a lot in the last decade.
In the spirit of focusing on what we do best, we ended our paid services division and shifted to a marketplace featuring the best companies and freelance designers to help you build your book. That’s what our Hire A Pro page is all about; connecting you with the best services in publishing today.
Our marketplace brings together multiple designers, editors, and marketers to give you a wide variety of qualified service options. Best of all, you can find exactly the services you need. Nothing more and nothing less.
If you prefer to watch tutorials rather than read them, you can learn how to self-publish a book with our growing series of videos! Lulu University features short videos with advice for a whole range of publishing activities.
We cover publishing requirements and best practices, marketing plans that sell books, and more. If you’re looking for publishing knowledge, you cannot miss our YouTube channel.
Book Pricing & Planning
Plan your book like never before. Our improved Pricing & Planning Calculator let’s you select all the specifications for your book and see the printing cost in seconds. You should never jump into self-publishing without thoroughly understanding all your options. That’s why we made our calculator easy to use and prominent on our home page.
It’s more than just a print-cost calculator too. Once you’ve picked your specifications, you can get an estimate on ordering any quantity you might need. That includes finding bulk discounts for larger orders, too. Our shipping costs adapt to the location you’re shipping to and give you real-time pricing.
And once you’ve planned your book, we give you a template bundle customized to your specs to help you prepare your PDF!
Finally, if you’re thinking you might use Lulu’s Global Distribution services, our calculator let’s you price that out too! Set a retail price based on the exact amount you want to charge for the book, or the amount you want to earn from each sale. We’ll calculate the cost on Lulu’s Bookstore and through online retailers and show you all the breakdowns for pricing.
Free Self-Publishing Resources & Tools
We’ve got so many free resources on our site now, I’ve only scratched the surface. Beyond what you’ll find on our resources page, we also offer a free Shopify App to turn your ecommerce store into a print-on-demand bookstore! And of course, there’s our simple publishing process that lets you build your book exactly the way you want.
So if you haven’t done so in a while, you need to have a look at all the free resources Lulu offers. We’re working every day to create more ways to help you publish smarter and more easily. And you know we’ll make every resource we create free to help you publish, print, and prosper using all the best tools and resources available.
Paul is the Senior Copywriter at Lulu, writing weekly blog posts and helping guide content for the company’s marketing. When he’s not deeply entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person, but considers himself cat tolerant.