I have mentioned before that I see printed materials as a key part of teaching and preaching. Most classes I teach include printed handouts. My Store section of this website features a few of my audio teaching series which have printed guides accompanying them.
Now I am blessed to work at Sunset International Bible Institute where I have access to several commercial full-color copier printers. This allows me to do short runs of my study guides when I need them along with handouts for various Bible classes I might teach. But copying, folding, stapling and trimming study guides is a labor intensive process even for 5 to 15 copies. And the quality, while good, is still not quite “print” quality to my eyes.
This is why I was happy to discover www.Lulu.com, which is described on Wikipedia as “an online print-on-demand, self-publishing, and distribution platform.” Previously I had one of study guides, Pictures from Christian History, printed by Lightning Source, the same company we use at Sunset for printing our Sunset Institute Press titles. Their quality is excellent but setup charges and total cost for my 50 copies was rather more than I wanted to pay.
Then I discovered Lulu. Their online tools for setting up my book (or study guide) was very helpful and easy to use. There was NO SETUP CHARGE. I was able to submit my cover and interior pages as regular PDF files created from my Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Word original files. Total time from submission to delivery of 25 copies was less than 10 days!
The print quality to my eyes was equal to that of my earlier book from Lightning Source. And my cost per book was about $2 per book lower. My total cost per book at Lulu including shipping and tax was slightly less than $4 per book for a 44-page 8.5×11 study guide with full cover glossy cover with perfect (glue) binding.
If any of my readers, their congregations, or ministries have dreamed of printing a book, study guide, etc., take a look at Lulu. They have a pricing guide you can use without any obligation or need to give them any information about yourself (so you want be deluged by emails or sales calls later). And they seem to constantly be offering a 10-15% discount coupon at the top of their website homepage.
Since I now have a very nice study guide entitled, I, Paul: An Apostle’s Story, you are welcome to email me if you wish to purchase a copy. It is available for $11 with free shipping and I will include a CD with the 10 MP3 lessons of me teaching it. Pictures from Christian History is available through my Store for $13 with free shipping; if you mention this article, I will also include the MP3 CD for it free.