NOTE: Originally published on 11/3/2009, we have updated this article (12/26/2018) to reflect modern EPUB requirements and standards.
Last summer, while sitting in a team meeting reviewing numbers (bear with me, it gets better), an intriguing stat caught my eye: 70% of our authors make their print books available as downloads, and those authors sell 30% more books than those who offer print editions only! Even without a “real” ebook publishing option, Lulu authors were flocking to make digital files available, and increasing their sales. Since then, we’ve been on a mission to provide a better eBook option. Today, I’m pleased to announce, new Lulu ebooks have arrived!
Why publish an ebook? The simple answer is it makes sense for both authors (universal distribution, more sales, and higher royalties) and readers (cheaper than print, instant delivery, and mobile access).
To facilitate offering an ebook version of your latest novel, textbook, or whatever you’re publishing, Lulu is happy to provide EPUB conversion for your DOCX files.
Beginning today, Lulu supports the popular EPUB format, which is quickly becoming the industry standard. EPUB formatted ebooks can be read on any device, with the only exception being Amazon’s Kindle (which uses their own MOBI format). But even that is no real problem, since converting from EPUB to MOBI is incredibly simple.
You can create your ebook on Lulu in two different ways.
Lulu Ebook: EPUB
The EPUB format is what you’ll end up with once your ebook is published. So you can upload your EPUB file directly to create an ebook. We strongly recommend Calibre as your EPUB creation tool. Free to use software, Calibre provides the tools to edit and design your EPUB with relative ease.
There’s one very important thing to note if you opt to create your own EPUB: it’s difficult.
In fact, creating an EPUB on your own requires a fair knowledge of coding and will probably demand trial and error. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but be prepared to work the file a fair amount.
Lulu Ebook: DOCX
The more common way to create an ebook will be to upload a DOCX (or RTF/ODT) file. These simple text files are the most commonly used to create text books on Lulu, which makes it even easier for you to take a completed Print file and make it into an ebook.
If you’re familiar with MS Word, creating a file ready for ebook conversion is simple. In fact, we’ve created this entire guide to help make the process even smoother:
This guide has everything you need to format your DOCX file for quick and easy conversion to an EPUB.
All of us at Lulu are excited about our new ebooks, and welcome your feedback. Stay tuned–we’re actively exploring many more features, including providing easy access to retail distribution channels with the goal of enabling Lulu authors to sell ebooks in every online marketplace.
Meanwhile, we encourage you to get started and publish an ebook today.