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Publishing for Distribution: Print Books

Vero_LuluVero_Lulu Reader
edited June 2019 in ISBN/Distribution

In order to offer your book for sale on sites other than Lulu, you need an ISBN and globalREACH distribution package. Lulu offers free ISBNs in the Lulu Publishing Wizard for all print and digital books set to the Sell on Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more availability option.

As part of the publishing process, you will set a price and choose the retailers to which you want Lulu to distribute your work. Following publication, you can manage your distribution choices from the My Projects page by clicking the Manage button displayed next to your project title.

Follow the steps below to complete the print book publication process, apply an ISBN, and initiate retail distribution. 

Put your manuscript together:

Create or edit your manuscript following the Mandatory Distribution Requirements. Make sure to create and format your manuscript in the same size as the book you intend to create. To help you create a professional looking book, refer to our book style guides and templates.

Start the Publishing Process:

  1. Click Create > Create Print Book.
  2. From the Book Builder choose a distribution eligible book format (identified by the green distribution icon) from our Premium Paperback or Professional Hardcover line of books. You can choose a preconfigured format or build your own by selecting from the size, binding, and print options at the bottom of the page.
  3. On the New Project page, enter the title and author name for your book. The author and title must use a Latin character set.
  4. Select the Sell on Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more option. Click Save & Continue.
  5. Apply an ISBN to your project.
  • If you want a free Lulu ISBN, click Get a free ISBN from
  • If you have an ISBN you purchased, click Add an ISBN you already own and fill in your ISBN information. 
  • If you prefer, Lulu can purchase an ISBN specifically for your use (USA residents only). For more information about this service, visit the Your ISBN Services Page.
  • A page with information about what to do with your ISBN and a download-able barcode for one-piece covers displays.
  • Click Save & Continue.

Upload your manuscript:

  1. In this step you will choose and upload you manuscript file.
  2. Click Make Print-ready File to create the interior pages of your book. If you upload a Word document, it will be converted to PDF file format. If you upload a PDF we will do a basic check to make sure it is the correct size and number of pages.
  3. Click Download & Review to confirm your document was converted properly and that it looks the way it should.
  4. Click the Save & Continue button to move on to the cover creator step.

Create your cover:

  1. Review the Requirements for All Book Covers section of Mandatory Requirements for Distribution and Cover Formatting. If you are making a "one-piece cover" you will need to add the barcode to your cover. For more information, see Will Lulu add a barcode to my cover? .
  2. If you created images for your front and back cover separately, upload your images and click Make Print-Ready Cover, then click Save & Continue.
  3. If you created a one-piece cover, click One-Piece Cover (advanced), upload your cover, and click Save & Continue.

Complete the Publishing Process:

  1. Enter a description for your book. Other than an interesting book cover, the description is often the only other opportunity you will have to pique the interest of a potential reader. Make sure your description is well thought out and as grammatically correct as your book. The description must use a Latin character set and must contain at least 50 characters. When complete, click Save & Continue.
  2. Distribution requires pricing for retail markets. For more information about calculating retail prices, see How Retail Prices are Determined.
  3. Click Review Project. Make sure you review everything on this page to verify it looks the way you want it to. If anything requires revising, click the Change or Edit button in that section.
  4. Click Save & Finish to publish your book.
  5. Congratulations! You are a published author! On this page you are given options for what to do now that your book is published.
  6. Click View My Projects to return to your project list.

Manage Retail Distribution:

  1. Go to My Projects and click the Manage button next to your newly published book. The Manage button displays only if your print book qualifies for retail distribution.
  2. Review the distribution information and click Get globalREACH Free.
  3. We will review your book's format and determine whether it qualifies for full or limited distribution.
  4. Read and accept the distribution terms and conditions.
  5. Click I Agree to apply the distribution package to your book.

Purchase and approve a proof copy:

  1. Purchase a proof copy of your book.
  2. When it arrives, review your proof copy carefully for errors.
  3. Log into your account and approve or deny your book for Distribution. If you deny your proof copy you can make revisions to your manuscript and/or cover image. You can then revise your project to upload your corrections.
  4. Once you approve your book, it will be available for purchase in retail distribution channels within 6-8 weeks.


For More Information, see:

What is an ISBN and do I need one?

What Distribution Services does Lulu offer?

Which books are eligible for Distribution?

How does the distribution process work?

GlobalREACH Distribution Agreement

Mandatory Print Book Distribution Requirements

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