Review of Lulu’s Printing Service

With this ever-changing publishing world, it’s good to explore other options before the need arises. I feel this way about paperback printing services now that CreateSpace seems to be going the way of the megafauna. Before Amazon Print scuttles the boat (read Amazon’s New KDP Print Feature is Bad News for CreateSpace Users), I want my books settled on solid ground at another printer, so I can still get copies with short notice.

At a friend’s recommendation, I tried the printing services of Lulu. She had printed several of her books using their service. She showed me samples, and the quality was good. I uploaded a book and ordered a copy to see how easy it was and to compare it with the quality from CreateSpace.

Lulu accepted interior files created with CreateSpace’s template, so I didn’t have to redo the book to order the sample. I later learned they accept InDesign files, too, as I assumed they would.

Since this was a new program for me, there were a few stumbles, but overall the process wasn’t too difficult. Ordering copies was easy. The benefit of Lulu is they accept PayPal. This is excellent for everyone who doesn’t have a credit card.

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Writing Romantic Scenes

Writing TipI grew up with older, conservative parents. They were born in the 1920s and lived through the Depression. My father served overseas in the Second World War. They never spoke about sex. In fact, my mother—born in rural Newfoundland—arrived in Canada in 1945 believing babies came from under rocks. She was seventeen. That’s what her parents had told her; it was what all the children in the community were taught.

In my very conservative raising, I wasn’t exposed to a lot of smut—as they would put it. When I was about fourteen, however, I found magazines my mother was reading. They were called True Stories. Anyone who remembers these magazines filled with short stories knows what I mean when I say, there was a little smut amongst those pages. And I read many of them, hiding out in my bedroom or in the work shed.

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You’re Not Illiterate; You’re Blind

A few days ago, I received the manuscript for Twistmas – The Season for Love back from my editor. Once again, I was reminded why editors are vital to making you not look illiterate. Or more accurately: why someone other than the author of the story must edit the manuscript.

I do a lot of editing for writers. I’m not familiar with the stories they’ve written; I’ve not read them dozens of times for years on end, tweaking the characters’ personalities, rearranging scenes and ensuring the plot runs in a logical manner. So when I first read a sentence in their story, if something is missing, I can immediately see it isn’t there. That’s right, what isn’t there.

Sometimes what isn’t there is a word, a complete, obvious, full-blown word, such as ‘you’. My editor noticed it wasn’t there in this sentence and added it for me.

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Refining the Details of Twistmas

I’m in the middle of the read out loud edit, and since the kids are home from school and my office is located in the kitchen, my reading is done for the day. This doesn’t stop work on the romance novel, it means only I have to work on other aspects of the whole publishing business of it.

I have only a few things left to decide. They include dedication, a short clip of an exciting scene, author biography and summary.

Dedication

It’s a tough one this time. I’m usually quite direct with my dedications, but I’m on a different path with this story. It’s dearer to the heart, hits a little closer to home and contains many elements that many won’t understand but mean a lot to me.

It also takes me back in time to when I lived a simpler, carefree life, back to when music played a bigger part in who I was. It was a time when I thought more things were possible, when I wasn’t so jaded and I still believed in things I now see are impossible.

How can I wrap all this up in a few mystical words that will make me smile years from now when I read them? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far for the dedication (without the video clip):

To all the knights who capture our hearts…

Bryan said it best when he sang Straight from the Heart

Short Clip of Exciting Scene

Something new I’ve added to the last few books is a snippet in the front before the story gets underway. It’s like a hook, something to convince the reader that they need to read this story. I’m tossing around a few snippets for Twistmas. Which do you like best?

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