Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lulu: Web-based self-publishing service

I was reading through "ILibrarian" blog and found there a post named "7 Things You Should Know About Lulu". I was curious to read through the post and then to look at the web site. This is what I found and what you should know and eventually use ( maybe in the near future?):
* What is it? Lulu is an web-based self-publishing service. It provides online access to the tools an individual needs to design, publish, and print original material, including books, brochures, reports, yearbooks, annual reports, training manuals, and posters. Writers can obtain an ISBN through the site, allowing them to sell their books through online or traditional retailers.
* Who is doing it? Some faculty use Lulu to create textbooks or course packs for the classes they teach, sending students to the site to either download a digital copy (often for free) or buy a printed copy. In some cases, faculty at other institutions use these learning materials in their own courses. Students can use dissertation templates to self-publish doctoral or master’s theses.
* How does it work? Lulu provides templates for each product category and applications to format text, images, or other material into a final product. For example, authors select the size of the book and the type of binding, choose color or black and white, and select a copyright license.
* Why is significant? Self-publishing offers an alternative to traditional publishing by allowing authors and creators of content to decide what gets published and in what form.
* What are the downsides? Allowing authors to make all publishing decisions does little to assure readers that a self-published work will justify the cost to buy it or the time to read it.
* Where this going?
Self-publishing is part of the movement toward user-generated content, and services such as Lulu have the potential to extend that movement to creators and consumers of content who are more comfortable with traditional media.
* What are the implications for teaching and learning? Self-publishing offers several advantages to Faculty and students. Having more texts to choose from, or being able to easily prepare their own textbooks, instructors gain considerable flexibility in selecting materials for a course and in updating syllabi more frequently. The Lulu model offers opportunities for students to save significant amounts of money on course texts—a large and growing concern at many institutions.
Visit LULU website: and have a look.

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