The self-publishing service Lulu is trying to expand its eBook publishing arm at the moment, and yesterday David Woodward posted an updated copy of the Lulu eBook Creator Guide.
Lulu accepts PDF, Epub, and DOC files, but as you may know DOC files need to be converted to a real eBook format before they’re sold. Conversion tends to do funny things to the contents of a file, and the best way to avoid introducing errors is to control the source file. And that’s why Lulu has this guide; authors will be able to fix most problems in their eBooks before they are submitted.
This is a relatively small piece of news; after all, Lulu already accepted Epub. But it does say interesting things about the tools used by authors.
Lulu is following in the footsteps of Smashwords, who had focused on accepting DOC files ever since it launched several years ago. And they’re not the only 2 sites to accept non-eBook formats as source files. Amazon has accepted them since it launched the Kindle in 2007, and B&N has accepted DOC and RTF in the PubIt! service since it launched.
Given that so many authors are clearly using MSWord, wouldn’t it be better for everyone to use a Word plug-in to generate the eBook file before uploading them? That would give them a chance to fix any errors much faster than if they have to upload the source before converting.