www.lulu.com is a self-publishing company that allows anyone to print up and sell their own book. They even offer assistance (for extra $$$) in marketing your book on amazon.com.
Its easy – just upload the pdf of your book that you wrote. When it comes to cover design, you can simply upload your own cover jpeg file. Or, they have a cover-designer with some really nice free stuff. Then you choose elements like hard- or soft-cover and the size of the pages and binding. Within 10 minutes, you can be ready to order it (though actually printing and shipping does take a while).
Why did I use it? When I was at the stage in my thesis of printing out the whole thing (almost 250 pages), I found out that lulu does it cheaper (with binding and cover design) than printing it out through a local print shop or in the university. Now, when it comes to the official thesis, you need to follow university regulation, but I wanted to print up a copy that I could proof-read. I am a better reader (with an eye for mistakes) when I have a printed copy in front of me. So I ordered it on lulu and it was great. It looked fantastic. Also, after I submitted my thesis, I printed up another copy through lulu that I will use in my viva (defense) and also I can print up copies from lulu for my supervisors once I pass (fingers crossed).
Also, I can see lulu being helpful if you have something that you, as a lecturer, want your students to read (let’s say over 75 pages long) that you wrote. It is quite cheap and you can make it look very nice and professional. Also, I wonder if you send a book manuscript to a publisher in a nice form from lulu, would it be more attractive? I don’t know….
Anyway, the best part is that it is cheap and has lots of professional add-ons and an easy-to-use cover designer. If I can do it, anyone can!
NB: I know that Ken Schenck has used it; see HERE.