My first book, could someone help?

First off, I am not really computer literate when it comes to different programs, ect..however after trying different

software, I think I found what I can use for my book. My book is a photo/poetry book, photos are full color

and each opposite page with each photo is a poem. I found that Open Office seems to be what I need,

but don't know how to do my cover. I have it all done and I used print shop which is good for me because it's

so easy, but I don't know if I can convert my cover to pdf and upload that.

Does anyone know if these are my best options for my book? It's a total of eighty pages, and half is full color photos

Lulu seems to be the best way for me to publish, although it will be expensive, I still want to try it.

Thanks

Mj 

 

Comments

  • Hi,

    Lulu can be completely free for you. It is not expensive at all. Your only cost is a proof copy for a print book.


    I recommend you use Microsoft Word for your interior (as there are many tutorials here which can help you along the way), and Photoshop for your cover.

    If you do not have Photoshop you can download Irfanview, which is free software.

    Also, do a Google search for free PDF converters to have a couple of backups. You may feel comfortable using one over another.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Thank you Maggie, it seems like there is so much to learn. what I meant by expensive is, I made a homemade version

    and have sold quite a few, however once I estimate cost to self publish, the color photos might push the price up.

    I'm going ahead with it anyway, however I learned somewhere that I should not use Microsoft word for color photos

    Something about the compression when sending or something, not quite sure. I used indesing for a trial and loved

    it, but it's too expensive,

    That is part of my trouble, since half the book is text, half color photos.

    I didn't know I could use photoshop for my cover, and type text on photos. I will try that outl

    thank you

    I have so much to learn

  • Use Microsoft Word and adjust the settings so that there is no compression.

    Always take the most common and accessible approach as there are many who are doing the same. This means that you will have access to many tutorials and help.

    Good luck.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Thanks for helping the new autrhor Maggie, I've learned something too, thanks again.

    James.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Hello,

    Perhaps you could do with some pieces of advice.

    First of all, a page with text will be treated exactly like a page with a colour picture by the printer. If your poems are in black ink, they will be printed in black for the same price as if they were in colour. So you could opt for a colour for your texts since the expense is the same. You could even opt for a coloured background for your poems. You also have the choice to vary the background colour and the character colour from text page to text page. The completed file will be best if converted in the PDF format.

    Second, for your cover, the simplest is to upload a picture in the JEPG format to be inserted in page 1 of the cover. You'll upload it when you reach the cover-making stage in the Lulu book-making process. For the title, and the background you'll find plenty of options. Do not ask for an ISBN until you are satisfied with the result. So, keep your first version private, and order a copy to see what it looks like. If you are not satisfied, you can make a revised edition. Don't forget to delete the old file before you upload the new one.

    Once you are satisfied, ask for an ISBN, paste it on your copyright page, then create a new file on your computer, delete the previous one, and upload the new one. Lulu will automatically print the ISBN on page 4 of the cover, so you don't have to bother about it.

    Prepare a short presentation to be pasted on page 4 of the cover, and, if you want, your portrait as the author (in the JEPG format), and a short introduction of yourself.

    Hope this helps

  • Thank you both for responding, however I don't think you addressed my questions. Maggie I hear you aboutr using

    microsoft word, however when I google information about using it for color pics, I am reading how badly they print, look good on the screen but not for books. I am learning, so perhaps that is wrong. That is why I I am using the trial

    for Open Office, it seems to support color photos more than word, again, I could be wrong. My question was concerning which software would be best for the color pics, and what anyone thought of using open office.

    My book is done, and the cover is a lovely photo I took with my own design and printing., I am needing to

    create it excatly as it is now, as simply as possible. I don't want to change the print or anything.

    I'm not sure why you say use what everyone else does, except perhaps you are saying everyone else is using

    microsoft word for color photos also, not sure,

    I enjoy figuring this out, and was hoping this forum could help, does anyone use open office, and which

    would you use for color, open office or word?

    Thanks

    mj 

  • It also depends on how you are manipulating your files in Word. If you have a small image and stretch it, it will loose resolution. Shrinking the image can affect the look too. You best bet is to manipulate the file in somelike photoshop or paint shop and get it exactly how you want it. Then, in Word, instead of just pasting the image, you are better off to insert the image. (2007/2010 version) click on the insert tab, then picture, and select your file.

    Hope that helps, if not, just some good tips otherwise. Good luck.

  • Hello Mjarabrab,

    I used Open Office for about 15 print books and Microsoft Word for three. The difference is imperceptible.

    Best of luck to you.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Thank you byako, you have come the closet to answering my questions- I still need to find out if the color quality

    in word prints well, not on the screen, but for the book. Maggie, you apparently have used both, but your response

    doesen't tell me how the color printed in word. byako, thanks, because I understand how to do what you say,

    and perhaps the key is to use photoshop to size the pics the way I need (7.5x7.5 square) and thats easy to do.

    I suppose also I'm not loosing anything by trying both, and printing two books, to c ompare. I was just hoping

    that someone on here could answer, because I have not purchased either software yet, and hence my questions.

    I do have phototshop, and printshop, which is super easy. I guess no one has used print shop, since no one has commented on it. I like it because it so easy, but again, don't know if lulu can use the pdf for my cover.

    I don't want to use lulu's covers, I have my own, and it is a full bleed photo of the yellow goldenrods of New Hampshire

    against the mountains with the text in the blue sky, I love it.

    Maggie, if you wish to answer again, it's nice that you have so many books, but that tells me nothing.

    How many of the books you wrote with microsoft word had color photos in the interiror? That is my question

    and I"m wondering why you also used open office, unless there is a distinct difference.

    Than ks

    MJ 

  • Hi MJ,

    The color quality was great both in books made with Open Office and Microsoft Word.

    Now this is not only from my own books, but also the hundreds that I've made for clients.

    Why not try both and see the difference? It will be a great learning experience for you.

     



     A citizen of the world.

  • As for the images, you do not need to use PDF. You can use JPG's. Just insert those into your document. The same goes for the cover image.

  • Thank you Maggie, it seems as though you are the only one to support word for color photos, so it is clear

    that I just need to try both and see the difference, I was asking here on this forum for clairty on the two

    since I need to purchase one or the other.

    Since I need to upload the file as a pdf, what I heard was that microsoft word alters the image in print somehow.

    It's up to me now to decide, I just want the end result to compliment my book to its best adfvantage, the

    photos are beautiful.

    thanks

    mj,

  • Hello Mjarabrab,

    I produced a children's book here on lulu. The color image printing are top quality. I used photoshop to create the images and was sure to create them at 300 resolution and cmyk. Once the images were done to proper size, I exported the jpg files. I used a program named Adobe InDesign to layout the pages and to place the graphics. When the file was ready, I exported the file to 'high quality for printing pdf' I then as many people do, uploaded the print ready pdf to lulu. I like doing my own 1 piece covers, and once done they are output as pdf and uploaded to the one piece cover wizard.

    I am currently working on a more traditional book with mostly text. For this I am using MS Word to type and edit. I output the MS Word file as a pdf and used that to print the interior. The cover I did in photoshop, then placed in InDesign to drop in text, barcode, etc. I have rec'd printed books as a proof from lulu and the book looks superb. If you read through this forum, I see too many complaint about uploading a MS Word file, and things changing or not looking the same. So I go the pdf route for printing.

    So, In my opinion, there is no right or wrong program to use as long as you can output to a high quality pdf. Make sure you proof that pdf, as what you see is what will print. I cannot comment on how MS Word treat images. But I can say from my years of using the program that if you create images in photshop (I have even used corel suite), and make sure they are high resolution for printing, I do not see why they would not print well from a pdf output or from your ms word file. One note, In MS Word, when you 'Save As" PDF.... Make sure you select "Iso19005-1 compliant /PDF A" from options when asked by MS Word to save/name your file.

    I hope this info helps some.
    George
  • I get the idea that the OP has not looked at Lulu's tools or how they work and what they can use to work with.

    http://connect.lulu.com/t5/Print-and-eBooks/tkbc-p/forums_kb

    It's perhaps best to start with the How-to videos.

    Have you not thought of using the Photobook Studio?

    As many replies have said, you do not need to upload a PDF either for the pages or for the cover. Both tools within the Book Project Wizards (page section and cover section) will convert to a PDF, because that's what the printers use. You can upload a docx or doc to the pages section, but some do upload a PDF. Most upload a jpg or jpgs to the cover wizard section.

    Whatever you upload, the shape and size has to match the shape and size of the book shape & size you select though.

    As to the difference in printing between a docx and a PDF, well, seeing as I think you are converting a docx to a PDF, I don't see what difference it will make. A PDF does not change how it appears.

  • Kevin, instead of making assumptions, I suggest you clearly ask me what I have already tried, and refrain

    from being so defensive . I suppose members on this site that have been here for a long time achieve a sense

    of ownership, however I don't find that attitude appealing

    What I am trying to fugure out is, how to upload my book excatly the way it is already. I did look at project wizard and it

    seems to limit what I need to do, I will go back and look at it again. I don't want a cookie cutter looking book with lulu

    templates, I have my own creative design, and if I can do that with wizard that golly gosh, forgive me for not knowing that!

    I'm only asking questions!

    have a nice day

    MJ

     

  • Finally, someone who understands what I"m talking about !! I did use adobe indesign, and I loved it. However, I could only download the trial version, and I cannot use the pdf that I created because I"m limited in the trial what I can complete. I also do have photoshop, and I did excatly as you did, I created my photos and put them into adobe. so, my problem is, I wish I could afford indesign, but it's too expensive. I also tried the membership, to download indesign monthly, but I ran into a problem with that also. I live in the mountains in a remote area, and have satelite., my download service is too slow, and after running it for three days, believe it or not, the download kept timing outl so I have tried everything I can think of. The frustrating thing is, I have sold almost seventy copies fo my little book in the handmade version, and I can't print it yet!!

    Yes, there is some type of issue with ms word altering the photos when converting, so I think what I'll do is just go ahead and buy open office. It seems to suppor the color photos better from what I can learn.

    Thank you so muich, your post was refreshing and responded to my needs in a very nice way.

    I guess no one uses print shop since no one is commenting, so perhaps I'll keep everything on open office

    I'll spend time now experiementing to see how this process works,

    thanks so much

    have a nice day

    mj

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Mjarabrab, just curious, in what language are your poems?

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Why would you have to "buy Open Office"? It's free.

  • Thank you both for responding, however I don't think you addressed my questions.

    Your questions have been answered half a dozen times in many ways, you just do not understand the answers.

    Maggie I hear you aboutr using microsoft word, however when I google information about using it for color pics, I am reading how badly they print, look good on the screen but not for books. I am learning, so perhaps that is wrong. That is why I I am using the trial

    As has been said. The printers do not use Docx or any other file type to print from, they use PDFs from the Project Wizards. But 'normal' book paper is not all that good for photos regardless of the files used to create them. A lot is due to the resolution though.

    for Open Office, it seems to support color photos more than word, again, I could be wrong.

    Yes you are.

    My question was concerning which software would be best for the color pics, and what anyone thought of using open office.

    You have been told, a few times, by a few people.

    My book is done, and the cover is a lovely photo I took with my own design and printing., I am needing to

    create it excatly as it is now, as simply as possible. I don't want to change the print or anything.

    But is it the same size as what is available at Lulu? Is it laid out as a professional book should be?

    I'm not sure why you say use what everyone else does, except perhaps you are saying everyone else is using

    microsoft word for color photos also, not sure,

    People are saying that because those things are what people use, so there must be a reason for that.

    I enjoy figuring this out, and was hoping this forum could help, does anyone use open office, and which

    would you use for color, open office or word?

    How many ways do you want the same answers in? You say you cannot afford 'industry standard' professional software, so what choice do you have?

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    I agree with you Kevin Lomas.

  • I would recomend that you cut your book into two different volumes to conserve cost in the event that you want to sell them.  Poetry generally speaks for itself and a shorter book in that genre is not a bad thing.  I have a poetry book published and it's not all that long.  If your looking for ease of use and a friendly community this is the place for you.  Hope I was of any help to you.

  • Just sending out a big hellloo to everyone asking/giving responses. Loved the last answer given.  I am also new to this site and am chock full of questions about how to self-publish. Will return soon with many questions. 

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