Lulu is a self publisher. Now, I grew up in the era when 'self publishing' was vanity publishing, when someone told you your book was marvellous and with a little injection of cash (thousands) from you, would sell by the bucket. Or you paid a small printer to print off 500 copies of your book which were almost impossible to promote or sell. How things have changed!
I wanted to get a feel for the actual book, as a book. Early last week Rachel Carter, who had put together a peer reviewed anthology of flash fiction (including two of mine) had uploaded the whole thing to Lulu and copies were available for sale. I sent off for mine. The publishing project of the MA had also used Lulu so I wasn't completely ignorant. The anthology was cute, well organised, and cheap. It occurred to me I could run off a copy of my novel in paperback for less than it would cost me to print 386 pages of A4, just for my own use. So I did. It came in at £5.75 and £2.99 p&p.
It's only a mock up but I wanted to see a real book, partly because I am acutely aware of mistakes in proof copies that look perfectly OK in Word. I also need to celebrate the fact that I have never got this far with a book, that I actually fuss over indents and formatting, that I'm largely down to tidying up typos and repetitions, and occasional bits of clunky language.
This book isn't for sale - Lulu allows you to have the book 'just for you', in a private print rather than for sale. But if it doesn't get a publisher, I wouldn't mind bunging it out there. But I'm hopeful. Meanwhile, I have a copy for my kids to pass around and a copy to mangle with edits and tidying. I'm certainly thinking I could have some fun with the poetry if I don't get anywhere with the pamphlet...