Three Best Self Publishing Services: Comparing Lulu, FastPencil, and Blurb

Three Best Self Publishing Services: Comparing Lulu, FastPencil, and Blurb
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Getting your book published is a daunting task. That’s why many authors have turned to self-publishing as an alternative option. These DIY self-publishing services offer more than book publishing. Self Publishing Service

Lulu lets you publish a variety of books, including photo books, eBooks, cookbooks, poetry books, yearbooks, wedding books and portfolios. The slogan “self-publish your book for free” is misleading because you have to pay for a proof once you publish your book.

While using the publishing interface is relatively easy, thanks to the wizards, you will need to know some basic elements of book design in order to publish a professional looking book. For instance, you will need to know exactly how to position the chapter pages so that they appear on the left or the right-hand side of the book.

Lulu has created cover and interior templates for its plethora of book sizes so that you can design your book off the site. When your design is finished and converted to a PDF file, you may upload your files through Lulu’s wizard and begin the actual publishing process. You can also convert your files for distribution to the Kindle.


Photo Credit: FastPencil

FastPencil is unique among self publishing services because it allows users to collaborate on projects via the social networking interface. You can invite your colleagues or readers to your project via Twitter or Facebook to gather feedback for your works in progress.

You have the option of publishing books in ePub or PDF format. You can do this with or without DRM. Once you buy a distribution package, you have the option of formatting your books for the Kindle.

Another great feature that FastPencil has to offer is the ability to convert blogs into books. This is done by entering the user information or the RSS feed of the blog.


Photo Credit: Blurb

Blurb used to be a DIY cookbook and photobook self publishing service. Now, they have expanded to include trade books and pocket books in hardcover or softcover. The softcovers cost as little as $2.95.

You have three self publishing options with Blurb. The first is the Bookify Online, which lets you publish photo books up to 160 pages. The second option is the BookSmart application, which you download to your computer. This option is great for small or large projects. Plus, you can customize your own layouts and use your own fonts.

The third option is for creative professionals who wish to download InDesign templates. These templates are available in RGB or CMYK color.


I have given you a list of what I feel are the best self publishing services online today. Each of them offer different services, but the end result is the same: a published book.

Looking for more tips and advice? Check out the other articles in Bright Hub’s guide, What You Need to Know About Self Publishing.