This post is technically a month overdue (no pun intended, considering I am on maternity leave), but between being busy with two author interviews for Too Full to Write and Lagan Online, as well as publishing Issue 6 of Bindweed Magazine and promoting my recently published novelette in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Summer 2017, updates on my novel pursuits have taken rather a backseat. So here goes:

Why Lulu is great for printing proof copies:

I finished my final draft on 30 June. Since I was so immersed in the story and knew it would be hard to read objectively for typos and inconsistencies, etc, I decided to print a proof copy on My thinking behind this was that if it looks like a finished novel, it would be easier to read as a book rather than a manuscript draft, and less tempting to write all over with pen. I’ll admit, I did end up doing the latter when I decided to tweak the ending after all that, but the reading part still stands. Lulu is great for printing for several reasons:

1) It’s simple to use. Keep reading below for more info on this.

2) The books are of professional quality with a solid binding for a low price.

3) You can choose to print without publishing the book.

4) You have a lovely keepsake of your book whether it goes on to be published or not.

Here I am enjoying my proof copy in the park:


How to print a book on Lulu for private access without publishing it worldwide:

Without knowing how to do this task, it can be rather nerve-wracking, especially as Lulu will notify you that your book is ‘published’ even when it’s on private settings. Fear not, budding writer! Here is a step-by-step on what to do.

1) Log into your account. In the top left corner, select ‘Create’ then click on ‘print book’.

2) Select your template and size. I usually choose ‘premium paperback’ and ‘A5’ size with a ‘perfect bound’ binding (glue). If it’s a shorter book, you could use ‘saddle-stitch’ (stapled) if you prefer.

4) Add the number of pages of your manuscript to work out a printing cost, then click ‘Make this book’.

5) On the next page, put in your name and book title. Below, you will see 3 categories: Sell on Lulu/Amazon and Barnes and Noble; sell only on Lulu; make available only to me. Click this last option to make your proof copy private. You don’t want to share an unfinished novel with the world! Hit ‘save and continue’.

6) On the next page you can choose your file and upload it. I find Microsoft Word works better than pdf. Remember to format your work in A5 size if you want to print an A5 sized book, otherwise you’ll get an error notification about needing to resize your manuscript. Once uploaded, a green bar will appear at the top stating: ‘your file has been added to your book successfully’. At the bottom, hit ‘Make print ready file’ to continue.

7) On the next page, a notification will read ‘please be patient while we make your print ready file’. At the top of the page above this it will say ‘publish: (name of your book)’. Don’t be alarmed! If you have chosen private settings this won’t be public, even when it uses the word ‘publish’. When your ‘print ready file’ is complete, you might get a notification about how Lulu had to modify the size and asking you to download and review the modifications. You can view these as a pdf if you wish. Once satisfied, click ‘save and continue’.

8) Next is your cover. If you want to do it from your smartphone, You might see the message ‘This content requires Adobe Flash Player version 9.0.45 or greater’. If this is the case, and you want to proceed, above it you can click ‘use the old cover designer’. You can then choose from 5 themes: blue/red/green/black or mustard, upload your own cover photo and add text. Once finished, click ‘Make print ready cover’.

9) The last step is to review your project. Here, you can make sure your book is ‘private access’ only.

10) Finally, you will get a ‘congratulations’ notification telling you that ‘you have successfully published your book’. Don’t panic! As long as you followed my steps for private access, your book is only available to you, not the Lulu or Amazon bookstore at large. You will also get a congratulatory email with the same information. Rest assured your book will NOT appear publicly. Now, you can go ahead and buy your proof copy – and enjoy!

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is a novelist and poet. Her debut novel, Gods of Avalon Road was published by Blossom Spring Publishing in October 2019 and her second novel, The Buddha's Bone is forthcoming in October 2021. Leilanie has also published three poetry collections: The Redundancy of Tautology (Cyberwit, 2021); Chemotherapy for the Soul (Fowlpox Press, 2017); A Model Archaeologist (Eyewear Publishing, 2015) and two self-published pamphlets: Toebirds and Woodlice (Meandi Books, 2012); Metamorphosis of Woman (Meandi Books, 2012), satirical novella Zombie Reflux (Meandi Books, 2014) and surreal novelette, Til Death do us Boneapart (Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, 2017). Leilanie is also Editor in Chief of Bindweed Magazine, a poetry and fiction online magazine that also publishes a quarterly print anthology. She currently lives in Belfast with her writer and poet husband, Joseph Robert and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of educational books. Literary blog: Meandi Books: Bindweed Magazine:

One response »

  1. […] In July 2017, I began a final edit of my fantasy/urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel, which you can read about here. In November, this project was ready for the publishing rounds: it is currently under consideration […]

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