**If by published you will accept that I mean I found a way to get my books printed at no real expense to me.

I’ve been thinking about self-publishing for a long time now, but I have been warned up and down about the dangers and costs of vanity- and print-on-demand-publishing. Most vanity presses cost a bundle (hundreds, if not thousands of dollars) to print your book, and then you either end up with a bunch of books to store in your garage and peddle to the neighbors, or you end up with a semi-professionally designed book that may be listed in amazon, but will never see the light of day in a bookstore.

But Lulu.com seems like a different breed. They say they’re a technology company instead of a publisher. They don’t charge anything up front, they don’t review your work, they don’t change spelling errors or layout problems or anything. They print exactly what you submit, and you control the price (though there is a floor, since they have to recoup the costs of printing). So I worked up a PDF of Cheating Life, made up a simple little cover for it with some stock photography, and ordered a galley copy to see how good of a job they did.

I’m very impressed! The quality is excellent. If I had put a bar-code on the back, thrown a few copy-left notices on it, and added a price, it looks like anything I might have seen at Barnes & Noble. I’m a little worried about the binding coming loose eventually, but that’s a common problem even with large houses, and in this case seems to have more to do with sticking a 54-page booklet in a binding intended for a couple hundred pages.

I priced the book at $6.95 – that gives me about a dollar of royalty and covers the printing costs – it’s also only about 30% more than it would cost to print the book out on an inkjet.

If you feel like ordering a copy, go here.
And of course you can always still read it online here.