Recently I decided to take the plunge and create a book on Lulu.com
There are many many choices on Lulu.com, from Photo books to Text. There are also many choices as to size of book, and binding and paper. It's all very nicely laid out and not hard to follow.
The text books have a template you can download which has pre-set margins for working in WORD. But I decided I didn't want to spend the time right now to figure all of that out.
I'm glad I chose the photo book template. It was easy to work with - just upload your photos and they appear in a side "tray" where you can easily move them to the page and the photo slot you want.
Not happy with your first placement? It's easy to remove a photo from a slot, put it back in the tray and then think about where it might be better placed.
I did end up changing page templates several times. It was easy to play around with and try various placements. The only drawback is that you cannot add a brief text caption to your photos. I consider this a major flaw, but there are a couple of template pages that have a large text area at the bottom of the page. So you could enter text describing each of the photos on that page. I did that for a few pages but I didn't want every single page in my photo book to have the same layout.
As I chose my photos and placed them in my book, I kept getting warning messages. These messages informed me that my photo might not display very well and I might want to resize it or choose another one. But I opted to leave the photos as they were (a bit worried but reminding myself that I was using photos from the early 1900s and late 1800s and they weren't all clear and sharp to begin with!)
Finally I had my cover designed (I chose a ready-made template) and the title entered and all my photos arranged. This is actually where the most challenging part of using Lulu.com happened!
I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to publish my book. I downloaded the proof copy as they suggested. But when I went to publish 6 hard copies to be delivered to me, I started to flounder. Information about my earlier choices (type of paper, colour versus black and white, size, binding) were displayed. But nothing looked familiar! I had chosen 8 1/2 x 11 paper but the size shown me was in cm not inches.
Perhaps it is just me and how my brain works (or doesn't work!) but I did find it challenging to actually order my printed books. However the good news is that I ordered them, they arrived within three days (amazing speed from USA to Canada), and they are gorgeous.