Building a book

Writing a book is about more than writing a book. We treasure books. We understand how to read books. A book is more than words. It can, and should be, an interactive experience.


Lulu Author Ray C. Freeman published the FIRST EVER Augmented reality pop-up book! His book features virtual three-dimensional artwork by eighteen artists. Learn more about Ray’s book Pop Up (AR)t A Technology Enhanced Publication here:




Lulu Author Suzanne Conboy-Hill’s new book Let Me Tell You a Story is geared towards individuals with literacy difficulties. Her book is a collection of short literary fiction and poetry, exploring themes of relationships, disability, loss and vengeance. All sound tracks are accessed by scanning an QR code. Lulu is proud to be part of this wonderful project! . Learn more here:

hackFieldtrip! Making a QR code is easy and younger people love them. I used QRcode Generator. There are several out there but this is one that lets you create something more decorative than the traditional black-and-white QR code.


You just type in your web address and your QR code is generated. You can alter the shape 14 different ways and choose colors for foreground and background. You can embed your logo in the center. Mine is a big long so it isn’t as pretty as it could be. Save it. Use it like any graphic. People scan it with their smartphone, using any QR code scanner. Your website pops up. You can direct QR users to a specific page, or to your website. In my case, I used my WordPress blog instead of my website. Have fun. Share yours! I’d like to see your QR code!

You can do really interesting things with books. Self-publishing has moved way beyond what your local copy shop can handle.

Yes, I am biased. I prefer Lulu. I admit it. I don’t work for them. I publish through them for myself and others. They offer hardcover and other options you just can’t get from other publishing companies.





4 thoughts on “Building a book

  1. Judy, I’ve used QR Code generators before, what’s your experience with barcode ones, particularly for ISBN numbers?


    • Self-publishers provide the ISBN artwork, when your ISBN number is assigned, so I have never needed to generate one. Sorry. Can’t help you on that one.


  2. Also, any thoughts on registering copyrights and trademarks: services like Bowker v. direct to relevant government offices?


    • I have researched this over and over again and find very little reason to buy ISBNs thru Bowker. The better self-publishers provide them free of charge.

      You do absolutely need an ISBN if you anticipate any brick-and-mortar store to carry your book. I’m skeptical that buying your own carries any merit.

      The argument is that you control the LOC bibliographic data if you buy your own but you can print that in your book anyway. Lulu’s template is the only one I have seen that includes the bibliographic setup for you. Createspace ignores it entirely. You know, this stuff:

      Copyright © 2016 by Elliot Harris
      All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission re-quests, contact the publisher.
      First Printing: 2016
      ISBN 978-1-365-09338-8
      South Florida – New York – Offshore
      Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication data Harris, Elliot
      Feeding Sharks to Lions: Everything no one wants to tell you/ Elliot Harris.
      ISBN 978-1-365-09338-8
      1. The main category of the book —Entrepreneurship —Other category. 2. Another subject category —Business. 3. More categories —Marketing. I. Harris, Elliot. II. Feeding Sharks to Lions: Everything no one wants to tell you/ Elliot Harris.

      There is nothing preventing you from adding that to your book. It is Google-able, provided the book is setup as Google Search Enabled. Yes, that’s a thing.

      There is also the argument that, if you plan to publish more than one book, you need to buy an ISBN in order to be “discovered” as the author of more than one book. In this age of search engines and tags and categories and BISAC codes, I am absolutely unconvinced that is true.

      I don’t own a bookstore. So, I’m not an expert on the buying end of things.

      But, the distribution system you can participate in via Createspace or Lulu and others automatically puts you in the distribution pipeline in a way that a mere ISBN number ferreted out to one brick-and-mortar store at a time never could.

      Another argument is that the self-publisher is the publisher, if you use their ISBN. That’s not true. People were convinced of that for a long time. But, self-publishing enterprises now are quite clear about telling you, during setup, that YOU are the publisher and YOU need to come up with a publisher name.

      If you search older self-published volumes on Amazon or elsewhere for “createspace” or “lulu” or whatever, you will see them listed as the publisher because everyone believed that was the way it had to be done.


      I research this issue from time to time but I have yet to find convincing arguments. There was a time when authors did list Createspace as their publisher, for instance. But, the trend is to create your own brand and list that as the publisher.

      You can actually watch this trend unfold, if you search for Createspace, or other self-publishing companies. Then look at who those same authors list as their publishing company today. They have created a brand and they use that instead of Createspace.

      It would be interesting to hear from smaller bookstores. How do they shop for inventory?


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