butler_rnd_sm_2015_01_06
by Christopher Butler on in culture


A few weeks ago, I posted about my first time using Lulu.com to create a book, which was actually just a compilation of articles that I had been planning to read online. After seeing a post by a Google employee about how he’d used Lulu to create a book of web articles so that he could read those articles more comfortably in print, I decided I had to try it out. It was a quick, easy and cheap success. Lulu’s application is really simple and well designed, which makes the user experience really great.

Even though my design was pretty spartan, with a far-too-small type size, I ended up reading through the 120 pages of articles pretty quickly. Since I had plenty more saved online, I decided to create a second book and employ some design improvements. This second one also ended up being twice the size (about 320 pages). I increased the type size slightly and gave more attention to the page layout. I also designed my own cover after Katie told me that using a print-quality image for the cover would increase the quality dramatically over simply choosing colors and text in Lulu’s “cover wizard.” You can check out a few more images below.

In general, I was pretty impressed with this service after making my first book. But after extending just a little more effort for the second one, I can see enormous potential with print-on-demand. I posted an article a few days ago about how print on demand might affect web content, and now I am even more convinced that print-on-demand is the future of printed publications. To be able to compile and create my own 320-page book with a custom-designed cover in just a couple of hours (including the time it took to create my book’s PDF and cover, upload it to Lulu, and configure my order) for under $10 and have it delivered to my office in 3 business days is just incredible.

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  • http://ableparris.com Able Parris

    I really need to do this. Is your gutter swallowing your copy or is it just the photo making it look like that?

    Looks great, man!

  • http://jasonrobb.com Jason Robb

    Wow! What a splendid idea! What did you use to compile the articles, Lulu service or InDesign?

    Very awesome. Thanks for sharing! =)

  • https://www.newfangled.com/chris_butler_blog Chris Butler

    @Able Parris, I took the pictures outside this morning by that herb patch next to Newfangled, so that’s the green stuff you’re seeing. Is that what you meant by “gutter?”

    @Jason Robb, Thanks! I actually just copied and pasted the text of the articles I wanted into OpenOffice, set up standard styles for titles, subtitles, authors, urls, comments, quotes, etc., then exported to a PDF. For the cover, I created it in Photoshop and exported to PDF (Lulu requires a PDF for custom covers. There is a tool to calculate the spine width based upon the number of pages in your book).

  • http://ableparris.com Able Parris

    Nah, I mean the gutter of the book. Where the pages meet.

    Side note: I wish I could subscribe to comments here. Is that possible? I’ll email Nolan and have him get on that later today. ;)

  • https://www.newfangled.com/chris_butler_blog Chris Butler

    @Able Parris, Ahh, yeah, I was using one hand to hold the book and the other to hold the camera, so that’s why it’s only partially opened. I don’t think we have a comments RSS feed. Good idea, though.

  • http://ableparris.com Able Parris

    Email notification would be great. :)

  • Ted

    Great. Just what we need- more paper being used. What about your whole conservation stuff?

  • https://www.newfangled.com/chris_butler_blog Chris Butler

    Ted,

    Wow, there’s just no winning with you, is there?!? Of course I’m not saying that every article should turn in to paper.

    Chris

  • Camille

    What font did you use for your text?

butler_rnd_sm_2015_01_06

By Christopher Butler

Chris Butler is the COO of Newfangled. He writes and speaks often on design and the web. You can follow him @chrbutler. More by Christopher Butler