The Womp Rat Press Guide To Lulu Printing

Okay, I’m horrible at taking screenshots. If anyone wants to take some, please send them to me, and I’ll edit this post.

And now, it’s time for the Womp Rat Press Guide to Lulu Printing!

[cue fanfare]

You’ve seen the great work that fans of the system produce. You’ve seen the awesome work of the REUP team and the various Womp Rat Press materials. You’re also like me and you prefer the feeling of a physical book in your hand.

Let’s get that taken care of today.

A lot of people have been coming to the G+ Community asking on how to produce physical books. I’m here to try to walk you through the process.


Step One: Get a Lulu account.

Simply head over to Lulu and sign up.


Step Two: Start the process.

Hover over “Create” at the top menu, then select “Print Book.

See what I mean about screenshots?


The next section is where paper will be chosen. I recommend for your first book to keep everything to the default – US Trade paper, perfect binding, and black/white print on cream. You can play with these settings if you’d like(I would recommend it – most books we display are 8″ x 11″), but the defaults are usually what I use. Glossy paper and color are just a wee bit too expensive for me. Click “Make This Book” to move on.

Step Three:  Name the project and upload files.


Folks, I cannot stress this one strongly enough. If you don’t follow this step correctly, it puts the book on sale to the public, and we can’t have it. If those who hold the rights to Star Wars roleplaying find out that people are selling these books publicly, we lose all our hard work. Please, please, please click the “Make Available Only To Me” radio button.

Aside from that, all you do here is fill in the title of the book, and the author’s name. Now if you don’t use a cover image, Lulu inserts these into a generic cover for you. For example, I printed out a book but didn’t have a good cover for it. The spine of the book states that I wrote this book that I certainly did not.

Again, I want to stress this: click the “Make Available Only To Me” radio button.

I'm telling you, make sure you do THIS.
I’m telling you, make sure you do THIS.

After you complete this, you’ll move on to uploading your file. Now we publish our work in PDF,  which is the accepted format. Lulu will take other formats as well. Take your file and upload it like you would anything else. Those of you unfamiliar with file uploading can see me after class.

Step Four: Make that cover.

This one’s probably the most intensive step. First, you don’t have to have a cover image. Most images are fan-created to begin with, and not all the books have them. In that case, your cover wizard provided by Lulu will look like this:

It's not pretty, but it gets the job done.
It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.

For my example, I’ve uploaded the CEC Sourcebook by Keith Kilburn, a good friend of the show and an excellent writer. We didn’t create a cover image for Keith’s book. We don’t really have a cover image guy/gal/Bothan.  You click the orange “Add Images” button on the right and upload the cover image.

May I also state that the cover image is also the most tedious part of the process? Lulu has real issues with image sizes. Most of the images I’ve run are usually too large in filesize, or the dimensions of the cover image don’t mesh with Lulu’s requirements. Note that these things halt the process entirely and until you get it just right, you won’t have a cover.

Should you try the one-piece image wizard, note Lulu’s requirements:

One-piece cover requirements:
  • Your file must be a PDF, JPG, GIF, or PNG
  • Spine width: 29.368 Postscript points wide (0.408″) (122 px)
  • Spine begins 657 Postscript points (9.125″) (2738 px) from the left.
  • Total cover width: 1343.368 X 900 Postscript points (18.658″ X 12.500″) (5597px X 3750px)
  • If using an image, its resolution should be set to 300dpi

Unfortunately, I never did get a cover to work with Keith’s book.

Step Five: Finish the job.

You’ve jumped through the cover wizard flame and have finalized it. Lulu will then prompt you to put it all together in “Ready-To-Print” form. Once it processes the cover and the book together, you’ll have a chance to preview it all.  Then you’ll reach a pricing screen that will tell you how much your book will cost to reach you. In the case of The CEC Sourcebook, it would cost me $13.14 USD.


I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorial, and please ask questions. I’ll find people with answers, I swear.

A Little Ashamed

May The Fourth Weekend didn’t go like I planned.


I had a pick-up game scheduled for Friday night. I’d planned this months in advance, but then the new house came through.

I thought I had everything moved in and ready. I didn’t. I rescheduled for Sunday…

..forget these excuses. I let you down, and for that, I apologize. I wanted to play just as much as you did.  I wanted to have a live recording of Shooting Womp Rats too, and that fell through.

As an apology, there are prizes going out for a few participants. Everyone that was slated to play is getting a copy of Breachworld in PDF format. A few lucky players are going to get a copy of REUP Mark II, The Art of The Empire Strikes Back, and some other prizes. You’ll be emailed if you won, and congrats to those lucky folk!