Introducing… MOUSETRAPPED as a POD Hardcover! And You Can WIN Stuff! More Exclamation Marks!


It’s March 29th 2013, which means that I self-published Mousetrapped exactly three years ago today.

Three years. Three of them! Can you believe it? I know I certainly can’t.

To mark the occasion, I decided to quit slacking and do something I’ve been thinking about doing for ages: I made a POD hardcover edition of Mousetrapped with Lulu. 


It’s bringing sexy(hard)back. 

Before we go any further, it should be noted that this making-a-POD-hardcover thing should be filed under Things We Do Just For Fun. It’s not a very good business decision. The hardcover edition is expensive to purchase ($33), and I’d say I could count on my hands the number of readers who’d consider buying it. But that’s okay, because I’ve done this primarily for me.

I wanted to see it in hardcover. And I knew as soon as I opened the Lulu box and saw it that it was totally worth doing.


But this isn’t just the paperback edition with a hardcover. Oh, no. The paperback is 5.5 x 8.5, for starters, so I had to redo the interior to make it fit its new 6 x 9 size. I also had to get Andrew Brown, my cover designer, to make the original cover fit into the dimensions of a 6×9 dust-jacket, with the new addition of inside and back flaps. (A difficult job considering Lulu does NOT provide the same in-depth info CreateSpace does when it comes to making your own cover.) Hardcovers generally have the blurb inside, on the flaps, so the back cover had to be changed too. As you can see above, I stripped everything off it except for the background image.


So since I was changing things anyway and this was supposed to be marking a special occasion and all… Well, I did some other things too.


Another Cover Inside

This one’s pretty much self-explanatory: I put the cover inside as well, on page 3. Just for kicks. When you open the book now, there’s an extra sturdy page 1 that’s woven like fancy writing paper, the back of it is blank and then you have the second cover—printed in black and white of course because if I made the interior full color, the book would cost around $100.

Does it serve a purpose, I hear you ask?


(Yes. Yes, it is.)


A “Hand-Written” Inscription

When you’re using CreateSpace or Lulu or any similar Print-On-Demand service where your interior pages are uploaded in PDF, remember this: if you can get it to appear on screen in MS Word, you can get it to print in your book. Your MS Word document and the PDF you turn that MS Word doc into = the inside pages of your book. So why not use your imagination a little bit, eh?

This hardcover edition is supposed to be something special. After spending about a nanosecond contemplating the feasibility of offering signed copies of this—ONLY a nanosecond because as I have learned twice over now, selling physical things from your website is a nightmare that should be avoided at all costs—I had what I thought was a much better idea: I’d sign all the books.


I printed out the title page of Mousetrapped, signed it, scanned it and inserted it into my MS Word doc as a picture the same size as the page, i.e. the image took up a whole page.


So no, I haven’t actually signed each book, but this is what it would look like if I did. That’s my handwriting, and that’s the kind of message I write whenever the excruciatingly embarrassing request to sign a book comes up.

Cute, no?

(There’s also a normal, unsigned title page in there, if you’re wondering.)


If I’d have known that picture would end up in a book, I would’ve made a better face.

Photo Part Pages

Yes, “photo part pages” makes no sense but I don’t know what I should be calling them. Mousetrapped is made up of two parts, and in the paperback these are just marked with normal title pages. But I wanted to do something different with this edition and feeling giddy with smugness over my faux signed page idea, I came up with this: inserting another full page picture, and then using a text box to put the part name vertically down the right hand side to make an illustrated page.

I don’t know about you, but I like ’em.


Isn’t it lovely? Should you want a copy, you can buy it directly from Lulu and, eventually, Click here for the Lulu purchase page. It’s $33 plus shipping, which with Lulu is actually quite reasonable.

As for Lulu Vs CreateSpace, I still prefer CreateSpace for all things paperback. But I have to say, from the option of a hardcover in the first place (CreateSpace doesn’t do them like it does its POD paperbacks), to the far more economical expedited shipping costs, to the deep, black print that’s inside it… I’m pretty much loving Lulu right now.


But wait, don’t order it just yet—you might WIN a copy first. A personally inscribed copy, that I’ll, like, write your name on and everything. Or since I know a lot of you have zero interest in the non-self-publishing stuff I write, you can choose to have a paperback edition of Self-Printed as your prize instead, should you win, if you prefer.

All you need to do is leave a comment below for your chance to win.

The same-sized small print: this giveaway is going to run until midnight GMT Tuesday and any comment on any ‘Mousetrapped Madness’ post is a chance to win, BUT only one comment per post/day counts. I’ll post the prize anywhere mail will feasibly go.

Picture 3

In other news, Backpacked, that other book I wrote, is free for Kindle from today, and here’s a Mousetrapped Pinterest board I made earlier.

But back to the sexy(hard)back.

What do you think? Colour me impressed, considering we’re still talking POD…

Let me know below!

49 thoughts on “Introducing… MOUSETRAPPED as a POD Hardcover! And You Can WIN Stuff! More Exclamation Marks!

  1. Sally says:

    Congratulations Catherine! What a fabulous milestone to reach (and the hardback is just gorgeous! Love the photo part dividers!)

  2. Becky says:

    Happy anniversary! I read your book a couple of years ago, then my bf downloaded it, then my dad…! I worked for the mouse too, so we all found it of great interest. xx

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      As far as I’m concerned, there’s only two POD companies: CreateSpace and Lulu. For me, a POD service is where you don’t have to talk to anyone, but can go instead to a website, pick out everything for yourself, upload files, use a cover template if you have to and then, ta-da!, the book is on Amazon and you never have to order one if you don’t want to.

      Lightning Source, for example, isn’t like that, so even though they may print POD, they’re not a POD company in the sense that I mean it.

      So it came down to CreateSpace and Lulu, and CS don’t do hardbacks like this yet. (They do hardbacks, they told me months ago, but you have to order them specially, with a number of stock requirements.)

  3. Jams N. Roses says:

    I think it looks great, well done.
    I’ve got my novels available as paperback with Createspace, really just as an option for those who aren’t yet up for using the new technology, and of course, a copy of each for myself.
    It is great to know that people are buying your ebooks, but to have those tangible products to the side of my writing desk is awesome!

  4. Karen says:

    I think it looks fabulous, like something I’d be happy to pluck from a bookshelf and sniff the pages of (does anyone else do that?) And then I’d read it.

  5. Russell Phillips says:

    I like the “photo part pages”. I’ve only used Lulu once, to make a one-off hardback of Origin of Species for my wife. I’m happy with the quality of the book, but I find CreateSpace easier to work with.

  6. Jennifer says:

    So pretty! I like all the additions you made to make the hardback feel more special.

    Backpacked is free? *does crazy commercial run* *buys*

  7. Zig says:

    Congrats! I absolutely loved Backpacked and Self-Printed – I have recommended both to all of my friends! – and I am very much looking forward to reading Mousetrapped!

  8. gkm2011 says:

    Congrats! I did a book last year where I turned blog posts into a Mother’s Day gift for my mom. Your book is so much better, something to aspire to!

  9. Bob Cradock says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been reading _Self-Printed_. Your advice is hilarious and terrifically useful, and the bits and pieces of _Mousetrapped_ lore are fascinating. Thanks for writing both of them.

  10. markjuergenmayes says:

    Congratulations! An inspiring post! Your book looks lovely. all my best wishes for its success.

  11. KWhipkey says:

    The hardback looks lovely! Thanks so much for posting in-depth photos of it. It’s nice to see a real life example of a Lulu hardback. I’d been wondering what their quality was like. Now I know. 🙂

    I could totally see that in bookstores. If I didn’t know it was self-published, I wouldn’t be able to tell from those pictures. Which is impressive. You definitely know what you’re doing and I love reading your blog every week. (I also wouldn’t mind winning one of those oh-so-lovely hardbacks either. 😉 )

    Thanks for doing what you do and being awesome!

  12. Jolandi Steven says:

    Congratulations on the 3rd year anniversary of “Mousetrapped”. What a lovely way to mark the occasion. Your hardcover edition looks beautiful. May you sell more copies than you can imagine.

  13. Widdershins says:

    A writer ought to have … one copy of every book they write in hardcover, just to put on the bookshelf, kick back, and admire … and for bragging rights when evil relatives come to visit.

  14. rosedandrea says:

    The title for this post made me laugh so hard I had to pee before reading any further. “More Exclamation Marks!” Love it!
    Congratulations on the book, it looks amazing. 🙂

  15. Shannon Young says:

    This looks awesome! I think it’s an excellent idea to wait until after a book has become successful to put all the effort into the hardback. What a great way to reward yourself!

  16. Danielle says:

    This self indulgence is a) exactly the kind of thing I would do, b) very cool, and c) SO very well done, with such clever ideas and embellishments, that you should be being headhunted to work IN publishing RIGHT NOW. We all know you want to be a writer, and will be, but a career in publishing itself is SO you. If the right publishing recruiter happened upon your page and didn’t headhunt you, they wouldn’t be doing their job properly 🙂

  17. Sarah says:

    Congrats!! We just spent 14 days at Walt Disney World, and I chatted with a bunch of Cast Members who were in the exchange program. I always asked them if they had read your book and a few told me that they had. The ones that told me no, I told them a little about the book and that they should read it. I think I did a pretty good job “selling” your book to them. 🙂

  18. lornareid says:

    It looks stunning, but then I’m a tad biased as I’m a sucker for a sexy hardback. Before I clciked through, I did wonder why you went with Lulu after Self Printed pretty much ruled them out, but after reading on it’s clear. When my current project is eventually done, I’ll certainly be ordering a few hardbacks for my own bookcase (I lied, I’ll be lovingly curling up next to them at night, gazing into their eyes).

    Quick question though: can you get a proof copy of the hardbacks in the same way as the paperbacks, as I’d hate to take a gamble and find out I’d made a formatting mistake?

  19. Carolyn Brooke-Millward says:

    Wow, this looks fabulous! I love Mousetrapped, and am really quite excited at the idea of being able to pick up a copy in hardback, it does look lovely! I have bought POD books from Lulu before, and they are a great company to purchase from – easy to use, quick delivery, no problems at all.

    Good luck with this new project!

  20. MarkM says:

    Congrats! Looks absolutely like something I’d expect to find at the local bookseller — one of the few still open 😦

  21. Mick Rooney says:

    I did the same, Catherine, in 2008 (and for similar reasons) for a couple of novels with Lulu. You just can’t beat the sheer quality Lulu can produce using POD. I only wish we could hammer the best of Lulu together with what CS do for paperbacks. The pricing with Lulu (paperbacks and hardbacks) really is the biggest drawback.

    About a year later I looked for another alternative for a smaller hardback and tried Blurb, but again, as a commercial project the pricing is just too prohibitive. I ended up using the Amazon Advantage program to sell the Blurb hardback edition. Blurb has actually come on leaps and bounds since then with the addition of InDesign compatibility, but their distribution options remain pretty dire – Blurb shop or the iBookstore – ideal if you have a colour/illustrated book or a kids book.

    I’m planning to release a short novella in a couple of months through Kindle, but once again I find myself investigating the hardback option – possibly as a small hardback pocket book for anyone who wants the physical edition as a gift. I’m reluctant to go back to Lulu because of the pricing, and the physical paper quality physical from Blurb is not a patch on Lulu. The conundrum once again is the same – want a hardback (pocket sized, no bigger than 5×8), can’t afford the expense of ordering and carrying a short digital run of several hundred copies to keep the unit price down, but the POD options are pretty limited outside of the above mentioned, and of course LSI.

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Mick, I’m with you: if CreateSpace did hardcovers, I’d be a very happy camper! They sent me a survey ages ago and I added a comment that that’s the one thing I’d like to see them do (after reducing shipping costs, which they’ve already done) and they said that if you go to them with a volume order, they can arrange hardcovers. But what I want of course is the exact same POD process they offer now, just with hardcovers. A matte finish on the paperback cover card wouldn’t go astray either!

      There really isn’t any cost effective option that I know of in the POD world right now for hardcovers—which is such a shame. Let’s hope that’s the next step for CreateSpace.

      • Mick Rooney says:

        That’s the trade off on a cheaper print price. I can get a UK short run printer to do the same hardback for £5.48 in the UK or one of their European-based print partners, but they want a volume run of at least 300-400 units. Lulu will do the same for £6.38, but I’ve the advantage of getting the distro and POD. Once you take into account additional set-up costs, shipping the unit stock to me, and then my additional cost incurred to sell it myself online via my website, or use Amazon to hold the stock, Lulu doesn’t look as bad a deal at all. I could use my LSI account and get the print job done for $8.59 (£5.63) with POD distro, and dictate the discount to retailers via Ingram (setting a max 40% discount and £11.99 retail), but like I said – I don’t really see this as a revenue project.

        One thing of note, discovered this morning, Lulu is beefing up the retail cost when you compare sterling to dollars. The same book example above, with a very small profit margin built in, can retail at £13.99, but Lulu convert to a USA retail of $24.43 ($24.99 if you like), $3 above the correct exchange rate of about to hit $21.99!

        The real challenge for this project will be using Adobe InDesign to produce the final print proof rather than MS Word, which is what I normally use.

  22. Eliza says:

    I’d love to order a few copies of my own book in hardcover for donating to my local library. They stock hardcovers separately and in better shelving than paperbacks. No one would find my book if I gave them a paperback. Good to know I can do that through Lulu 🙂

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