When I was finished typing it all up in Ulysses, I wanted to read through my book like I read every other book: by turning pages. I desperately needed a print copy that I could dog-ear and underline and cross out, but I haven't owned a printer since 2009. Besides, (I surmised,) there were probably dozens of ways for me to print off a one-off of my book with real pages and a real cover.
It wasn't important to have a distribution channel, I just wanted to order a single print of my work, so I looked to Lulu's self-publishing print-on-demand service. All I needed was ten dollars and two PDFs, each formatted specifically for the type of print project I was looking to create.
Lucky for me, everything was already in Ulysses, and as I wrote last week, Ulysses supports advanced formatting options in the form of Ulysses Style Sheets. There are many different themes and options available on the Ulysses Style Exchange, but I couldn't find any for print publishing. This isn't a shortcoming of the Style Exchange, there are just too many page formats and print options to expect to find what I was looking for there. Lulu alone offers a few dozen book sizes, from a simple 4.25"x6.88" paperback to a full 8.25"x10.75" hardcover, and it would be unrealistic to expect Ulysses to already have pre-made templates for every edition.
Ulysses Style Sheets are customizable, but the iOS version of the app doesn't support the creation or editing of those file types yet. I do all of my work on an iPad, I don't even have a computer, so I loaded a template I liked into Drafts and started tweaking it to fit my needs.
The Soulmen have clear documentation about how to modify these Style Sheets, I could specify everything from page numbers to paragraph spacing to footnote margins. Once I felt like I had the format that I wanted, I created a Drafts Action to import the completed Style Sheet directly into Ulysses, liberating me from having to find a computer to do my formatting and uploading. Since Ulysses lets me preview the resulting PDF directly within the app, I could get a clear sense of how it would look once printed and address any issues without having to wait for the actual print to arrive.
I still needed a cover, and though Lulu offers cover design services, I thought I could make my own. Again, the only limiting factor was my iPad, but I've spent the past five years looking for ways to do on a mobile device what has previously only been available on computers. I downloaded a graphic design app called Graphic and configured my canvas to the specifications Lulu outlined for a one-piece cover design. They were very clear about where the spine began, what the trim margins were, and where to expect a bar code on the back cover so I didn't put anything there I didn't want obstructed.
After I had everything set the way I wanted with both Ulysses and Graphic, I was able to export the resulting PDFs directly to iCloud Drive. Uploading to Lulu was a breeze, and in about ten days, I had a real, physical copy of my book in my hands to start reading.