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MrAngelwithnowings
08-18-2004, 05:21 AM
A few years ago I created and wrote my first comic book.

I was so proud of it. I was going to publish it until I found out how much self publishing cost.....

The internet came about and things have changed...

I am now seriously thinking of publishing it thru a POD....

I keep hearing about Lulu

Any feedback good or bad on it?

veingloree
08-18-2004, 04:12 PM
I know of a POD comics publisher with built in distribution that would be a better deal, but the book mark is on my home computer. Lulu is an ok vanity press but you would do better to go with comic-specific POD.

acetachyon
10-07-2004, 03:14 AM
Try comiXpress (http://www.comixpress.com/). They seem to specialize in short-run books (in traditional and mini sizes), will print the books for you, and even carry it for sale on their site.

NickolausPacione
11-01-2004, 02:10 PM
<div align=justify>Lulu is a great place to work with but you need to know damn well what you are doing before you go in with them. I self-published the anthology Tabloid Purposes and the short story collection Collectives In A Foresaken Landscape. If you want to be a self-publisher -- lulu is the place to work with but you need to find out about trying to get more freedom in designing the ISBN thing. It is a tough thing to design the back cover for the book. I had some help in designing the covers for the anthology and short story collections. I designed the back cover on the short story collection.

The Knowing Skull
01-04-2005, 08:44 PM
I have several books on Lulu. Some are self-published under my Metropolis Populous Productions (http://www.lulu.com/metro-pop-prod), and some by Wild Cat Books (http://www.lulu.com/wildcatbooks). Wild Cat is actually becoming a fairly successful operation using Lulu exclusively.

The bad thing about Lulu is you have to do all the work unless you want to pay them to do the editing, layout, cover design, marketing, etc. The other bad thing about Lulu is they don't have the traffic for readers up to the level of writers.

The good thing about Lulu is it costs nothing to post a book there unless you purchas the aforementioned extras. The other good thing about Lulu is you can buy one book, ten books, or a thousand books. You're not left being required to purchase a minimum number of books that could potentially load up your garage and never sell. Their ISBN deal is fairly nice, but as mentioned before, the back cover needs to be designed to ensure it will fit.

If you're going with a self-publishing route, it would be smart to go with Lulu even if you decide to go another route as well. Why not have your book available as many places as possible?

I spoke to a gentleman who posted his children's book on Lulu and eventually sold it to a professional publisher. He probably made some money in the meantime, and now has a book published. I don't think his story is unique, if it is likely rare.

Most of the stuff I have on Lulu are reprints of things other publishers printed of mine over the years. As far as calling it a 'vanity press', I think it's more like a print shop. They'll print what you bring them. There are some high-quality projects on Lulu, and an entire range beneath.

BelieveInJesus
01-31-2005, 05:59 AM
If one goes with Lulu as well as other markets including sell the books oneself -

does one buy copies from Lulu receiving a 'royalty' from Lulu?
Or
Does one have Lulu print the ones they sell and then get another printer to print up short runs of the book to sell one's self at a greater profit margin?

maestrowork
01-31-2005, 07:55 AM
You set your own royalties on Lulu. They charge you $x for printing the book and a small surcharge, based on # pages, binding, etc. You then set your own royalties. For example, if the cost of the 200-page book is $8, and you set your price at $12, you get a royalty of $4 per book.

You can also set the royalties to $0, then buy 1000 of it yourself for $8 (I think they do have bulk discounts) and sell it yourself for whatever price you want. Or you can simply set the royalty on Lulu and point your potential customers to Lulu's site.

Or you can print the book yourself using a traditional short run printer and save money (1000 books probably cost about $4-6 per book?) But then you have to worry about storage, and shipping, etc. So you have to account for all those expenses.

With Lulu, it's POD printing and they take care of shipping (for a fee, paid for by the customers). So really, you don't have to worry too much. You may have a smaller profit margin (so make your book $15, instead of $12), but you have less hassle.

James D. Macdonald
03-17-2005, 04:33 PM
It's dead easy, menu driven, and well designed.

But if ever the phrase "garbage in, garbage out" applied, it's here. This isn't a publisher, it's a printer. What you upload is what'll get printed, exactly as you sent it. If you don't buy any of the extras (like an ISBN, which you only need if you're thinking about bookstore sales) it's free. Like CafePress, they take a percentage of each sale.

But as to sales ... Atlanta Nights (http://www.lulu.com/content/102550) is currently hovering around #25 in their list of best sellers ever, and that's with slightly over 300 sold.

James D. Macdonald
03-19-2005, 06:14 PM
In fact I have read them twice ...

Hi, Ms. Guptill.

Richard
03-19-2005, 07:53 PM
You cynic, you...

(Ahem...)

James D. Macdonald
03-20-2005, 09:26 AM
First off I'm not Ms.Guptill, in fact I'm not even of the Female Gender.

Anything you say, Rebecca.

Medievalist
03-20-2005, 10:07 AM
First off I'm not Ms.Guptill, in fact I'm not even of the Female Gender.

Gah.

Words have gender; people have sex. Always remember, gender is no substitute for sex.

authorernieroy
04-09-2005, 02:46 PM
I have four books published with Lulu.com, and the only regrets I have with them is that they do not help promote my work. They are not a vanity press, for vanity presses cost the author money. It cost me nothing to publish through Lulu.com, and I set my own royalty.

Author of: Destiny of the Divas
Destiny of the Divas II - Angel of Mercy
Overturned
Mountain of Love
http://www.lulu.com/Destiny

Ernie's Place - http://authorernieroy.bravehost.com

Richard
04-10-2005, 12:03 AM
Rebecca/Rebecca's Friend, you're now spamming, and that message makes you sound like you've been drinking lead based paint. Please stop it.

Torin
04-15-2005, 06:59 PM
What I really like about Lulu.com is that they offered a free copy of your book if you were a NaNoWriMo winner, and I think they gave until mid- or late January to get your file in. I ended up with a paperback copy of my NaNo book, which I wrote for my daughter, to give to said daughter. Good quality, too. I was very pleased.

Innocent01
04-22-2005, 07:24 AM
I've published with Lulu, and I will do so again. There's really only one reason why I chose to publish with them, and it's because I can't afford to go the traditional route. I'm unemployed and living at home, currently with less than $100 to my name, and there's no way in hell that my parents are going to fund my journey to be published, even if I asked them nicely. They think I live in a dream world *rolls eyes* Buying one lonely 50 cent stamp doesn't seem like much at first, but it all adds up over time.

zizban
05-05-2005, 03:12 AM
You don't need money to go Traditional. Just a good story that will sell. So write, polish, submit to publishing house or agent, wash, rinse, repeat.

I am thinkin of using Lulu simply because I have my father's long out of print novel now and I'd liketo have it available to other family members.

gogoshire
05-12-2005, 12:38 AM
For a project like your dad's novel for friends and family, Lulu is perfect. Lulu published my Nanowrimo novel for free, and I bought a bunch of extra copies for friends for xmas presents. It was about $8/book, everyone thought it was a hysterical gift (the unrevised novel written in 30 days), and I didn't spend tons of cash. Also, it looks like a real book (I even added fake blurbs on the back, not some piece of junk bound together at Kinkos. When I'm done with revisions and ready to send the thing out (hopefully by summer's end), I won't be republishing with Lulu, but I'll use Lulu again any time I need a low distribution, low cost, high quality product.

I wonder if sending a Lulu copy to agent (after query is accepted, of course) rather than a regular MS would ever be appreciated. The initial printing cost is more, of course ($8 vs photcopying), but mailing would be cheaper b/c a paperback weighs less, and printer ink is costly. Hmm....

Sharon Mock
05-12-2005, 12:55 AM
I just used Lulu to print up copies of the WIP for beta readers. Thanks to the wonders of free shipping, it cost $30 less than going to Kinko's. It wasn't all that much more expensive than the cost of running off five copies on my printer, and I get a much less cumbersome and more convenient product.

I'll know how happy I am with them once I hold the copies in my hands.

Ralyks
05-16-2005, 03:48 AM
I've used Lulu to print books I wanted to get into the hands of a small--very small--audience. The finished product is of good quality, but you must do all of the formatting yourself. They will allow you to choose a free stock cover, but you can do no more than enter the title on it. You can't put anything on the back, unless you know how to design a cover yourself, then you can upload the front and back cover images you design. (You need to use photoshop or a similar program.)

James D. Macdonald
05-18-2005, 11:13 AM
I wonder if sending a Lulu copy to agent (after query is accepted, of course) rather than a regular MS would ever be appreciated.

No. Don't do this. The agent would expect the work in standard manuscript format. The publishers that the agent would be submitting the work to would expect it in standard manuscript format.

Julie Worth
05-20-2005, 01:12 AM
They will allow you to choose a free stock cover, but you can do no more than enter the title on it. You can't put anything on the back, unless you know how to design a cover yourself, then you can upload the front and back cover images you design. (You need to use photoshop or a similar program.)

I used to design my covers in word and print to a JPEG file. Now, with the new wraparound covers, I design in word and print to PDF. If you've some artistic sense, itís easy to make a good-looking cover.

As for sending paperback submissions to agents, I've had agents ask for the paperback over the standard MS. And I've submitted paperbacks to publishers as well. I've yet to get any negative feedback...on that aspect of it, anyway.

CaptMorgan
05-29-2005, 10:56 PM
I would like a copy of an early draft of a book I've written to give to the person I've dedicated it to. Can I print with LuLu and still send it out to traditional publishers? I only want three or four copies...but I don't want to unintentionally put it on the market. I'd rather go the traditional route.

How fast is LuLu? For example, if I submitted the book today, how fast would I have the copies?

Thanks!

Mandy

Julie Worth
05-29-2005, 11:14 PM
I would like a copy of an early draft of a book I've written to give to the person I've dedicated it to. Can I print with LuLu and still send it out to traditional publishers? I only want three or four copies...but I don't want to unintentionally put it on the market. I'd rather go the traditional route.

How fast is LuLu? For example, if I submitted the book today, how fast would I have the copies?

Thanks!

Mandy

Yes, just don't make it available to the public.

Count on about 4 working days for printing, and then it's shipped from upstate NY. They have every delivery option from overnight to media mail.

CaptMorgan
05-29-2005, 11:29 PM
Great! Thanks for your help!

James D. Macdonald
06-05-2005, 09:27 PM
I'm about to try an experiment.

From a standing start, on a Sunday afternoon, how fast can I have a book available on Lulu.com?

I'm going to log all the steps along the way, and describe the progress.

The text I'm going to use is the public domain A Mery Play Betwene Johan Johan, the Husbande, Tyb, his Wyfe, and Syr Jhan, the Preest
by John Heywood. I have this on my web page at http://www.sff.net/people/doylemacdonald/l_johan.htm

So far as I'm aware, no one else has a copy up anywhere.

Parameters:

I want to do this for free.

I want to design my own cover.

If and when it's earned enough to buy an ISBN I'll get one -- until then, nope!

So, starting at 1:30 pm EDT on 05JUN05 ... let's see what happens.

Ken Schneider
06-05-2005, 09:33 PM
Okay, I have a list of short stories, I may do the same after your experiment.

Dawno
06-05-2005, 09:36 PM
Since I want to follow the action on this I'm just posting to get my subscription to the responses. :D

James D. Macdonald
06-05-2005, 10:46 PM
Johan Johan log.
1:30 pm.
First step, find a copy of the text. I don't recall where it is on my hard drive, so fire up the Windows Search function. While I'm waiting for that to run... let me find HapiSofi's instructions on text formatting for print.
I find the link in "The Best of Uncle Jim" in the Novels board, and the post itself at http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=94054&postcount=18
posted at 12-02-2003, 07:07 PM.
I discover that the only version I have is in HTML format.
And finished fomatting (Palatino 10, Dauphin display type, formatted to 6x9, curly quotes, true em-dashes, etc. Comes to 32 pages total.) Time 2:35 p.m.
Probably could have done it quicker if I did this more often.

Dawno
06-05-2005, 10:55 PM
:popcorn:

So you're typesetting it just as you want it to be printed, right? (I noted that you're not setting it up in Courier 10) They don't do that for you?

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 12:08 AM
3:00 PM I go looking for cover art.
First stop is Google, where I search on ďpublic domainĒ artwork medieval. Pretty soon that takes me over to About.com http://historymedren.about.com/library/gallery/blpxindex.htm where I read ďCurrently, all images are in the public domain and are free for your use.Ē Cool! I get Elizabeth I and Anne Boleyn. Of the two, I think Anne is more interesting. Let me fire up a graphics program to see what I can do with her.

Meanwhile, letís go over to Lulu.com to see what they need for a cover graphic.
Cover requirements are here:
http://www.lulu.com/help/node/view/1727
I fire up Micrografx Picture Publisher (which is what I have on this computer) and resize Anne Boleyn to 6.375 x 9.75. She turns out a bit distorted (stretched vertically) but not too bad.
Playing with it some, and by 4:05 have something thatís good enough for government work: http://www.sff.net/people/yog/boleyn1.gif

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 12:44 AM
4:25, let’s see how uploading this puppy goes.

And bugger! Time 4:35, it turns out that Lulu’s .rtf to .pdf file conversion utility doens’t recognize either Dauphin or Palatino. Nor does WordPerfect (my wordprocessor) allow me to save as .pdf. Off to find a freebie .pdf conversion utility that’ll maintain my look.

Updated to add: I've since learned that WordPerfect will indeed save as .PDF. It isn't under "Save," though, it's under File/Publish To.

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 12:46 AM
:popcorn:

So you're typesetting it just as you want it to be printed, right? (I noted that you're not setting it up in Courier 10) They don't do that for you?

Yeah. What I send is what they print. In theory.

I've just discovered that they default all serif fonts to Times and all sans-serif fonts to Arial. This won't do at all.

Dawno
06-06-2005, 12:57 AM
Yeah. What I send is what they print. In theory.

I've just discovered that they default all serif fonts to Times and all sans-serif fonts to Arial. This won't do at all.

ewww! The plot thickens!:popcorn:

Julie Worth
06-06-2005, 01:28 AM
...turns out that Luluís .rtf to .pdf file conversion utility doensít recognize either Dauphin or Palatino. Nor does WordPerfect (my wordprocessor) allow me to save as .pdf. Off to find a freebie .pdf conversion utility thatíll maintain my look.



For your lulu cover, you might try putting it together in Word, since itís so very easy for writers to work with. Then print your covers to jpeg files (assuming you have the softwareó Universal Document Converter is one). Or better yet, make a wraparound pdf cover in Word (again, assuming you have the software).

You may find that a pdf printer (especially a free one) doesnít handle some of the more dramatic fonts, and doesnít handle transparency. Iíve gotten around that by printing to jpeg using Universal Document Converter, trimming it with Photo Editor, then inserting it back into Word as a picture.

As for the stuff between the covers, itís best to supply your own pdf. Iíve taken to writing in 6x9 format with mirrored margins, so when Iím ready to put out a new edition, all I need do is print to pdf and upload it.

blacbird
06-06-2005, 02:26 AM
Yeah. What I send is what they print. In theory.

I've just discovered that they default all serif fonts to Times and all sans-serif fonts to Arial. This won't do at all.

Incorrect. I have done several special niche-audience books through Lulu (not my own work, but reprinting old public-domain material. I do complete layout and covers, using .RTF files, and have never had a problem. Garamond, my choice for book font, goes through just fine.

As for cover design, if you want an ISBN on the back cover, just leave the lower two inches or so blank on your cover design, and that's where they will insert the ISBN info.

They are highly cooperative, the website works with few glitches, although the first time through can be a little tricky. And they are utterly unpretentious. They tell you right up front what they do, you get total control over the product, if you wish, including the setting of prices. You can set up a storefront on their site, free, and maintain it yourself. For specialty kinds of things, it's a fine printing service, and that's how it should be thought of.

But I would never do any novel of my own there, or anything designed to further a writing career (whatever that is). I don't think any POD printer or "publisher" will get you there.

bird

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 03:05 AM
Created PDF with http://www.primopdf.com/ Free PDF Converter. (Don't know how that'll work for centering....)

Got to uploading the cover, made to their specs as 6.375 x 9.75, and got this notice:


The width or height of your image are too small. For optimal printing, your images should be saved at 2588 X 3375 pixels, a 8.625" X 11.25" image at 300 DPI. We do not accept cover images that are less than 1208 X 1575.

Well, shoot.

Back to Micrografx, to make a bigger cover file.

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 03:18 AM
This is actually my second time through Lulu -- the first was a novel (Atlanta Nights (http://www.lulu.com/content/102550)) done at about two in the morning, a raw dump from an RTF in Times New Roman.

Perhaps Garamond does work well, but based on this time and last, the display fonts I'd chosen (Dauphin this time around, English Vivace last time) didn't display as I wished.

So I'm creating a pdf, and we'll see how that goes.

Self-publishing shines with specialized non-fiction, niche fiction, and poetry. For commercial fiction and general non-fiction -- it's a poor choice.

mreddin
06-06-2005, 04:25 AM
Comparing the numbers, if your hoping for sales over 50 books then it makes more sense to use Lightning Source than Lulu. LSI does have an initial setup fee of $50 to $75 per ISBN and a $30 proof fee. Otherwise here is the break down...

1 printed book sent directly to the author, 225 pages, 6 by 9 paperback:

LSI: 90 cents + ($0.015 * 225) = $4.27
Lulu: $4.53 + ($0.02 * 225) = $9.03

If your book sales to the wholesale trade through lightning source, the per page price drops and there is no shipping cost I believe.

LSI: 90 cents + ($0.013 * 225) = $3.82
Lulu: $4.53 + ($0.02 * 225) - (13% Lulu Volume Discount) = $7.85

If you amotize out LSI's setup and proof fees across 50 books, the savings over Lulu is substantial. Again though this only makes sense if you believe you can sell more than 50 or so books.

Mike

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 04:35 AM
I'm also looking for something that costs nothing up front.

I don't know how things are right now, but for a while a couple of years back LSI was sending single-book authors over to Xlibris rather than deal with them directly.

Anyway -- my .pdf conversion printed out on 8.5 x 11, which explains why I needed the larger cover size. I want 6x9.

So off to find a different converter.

Wait a mintue ... I think I just found where to set paper size in PrimoPDF ... let me see.

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 06:08 AM
And here, ta-dah! It's up and live. http://www.lulu.com/content/132312

---------------

It had actually gone live about half an hour before the date stamp showed. I was hacking around with the blurb for the sales page there for a while.

Dawno
06-06-2005, 06:32 AM
I've ordered two and with regular USPS media mail the cost was only $13.20.

:Clap:

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 08:10 AM
If you amotize out LSI's setup and proof fees across 50 books, the savings over Lulu is substantial. Again though this only makes sense if you believe you can sell more than 50 or so books.


Let's not forget the cost of the ISBNs, though -- $250 for a block of ten (the smallest unit available).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but LSI also charges an annual fille maintenance fee, don't they?

==================

I may try this again with CafePress. Just to see how it goes.

mreddin
06-06-2005, 08:15 AM
Let's not forget the cost of the ISBNs, though -- $250 for a block of ten (the smallest unit available).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but LSI also charges an annual fille maintenance fee, don't they?

Yes, but that is true with LuLu as well if your going to use your own ISBN and corresponding imprint. All depends on what your trying to accomplish I suppose. I believe the LSI annual fee is $25 (or less) per ISBN. Again, inconsequential once you get over 50 books, not worth it for half a dozen. You really need to plan what your trying to accomplish then number crunch on a spread sheet to see what makes sense for you. (Though I suspect I'm preaching to the choir here, you know that already.)

Cafepress should be an interesting experiment as well...Ouch I just looked at their prices, the perfect bind price is $7 and $0.03 per page. (No upfront fees though that I can see offhand, so it should meet your criteria.)

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 11:00 PM
Always a good idea to figure out your goals in advance, including some objective way of determining if you've achieved them.

My objective for both Atlanta Nights (http://www.lulu.com/travis-tea) and A Mery Play (http://www.lulu.com/content/132312) was to have 'em available on the web for no cost in advance.

Incidentally, the MicroGrafx graphics software is the "DCE" version -- Digital Camera Edition -- that came free with a digital camera. No big expense there, either.

Dawno
06-06-2005, 11:01 PM
Always a good idea to figure out your goals in advance, including some objective way of determining if you've achieved them.

My objective for both Atlanta Nights (http://www.lulu.com/travis-tea) and A Mery Play (http://www.lulu.com/content/132312) was to have 'em available on the web for no cost in advance.

Will you be coming back from time to time to let us know how A Mery Play is doing?

James D. Macdonald
06-06-2005, 11:14 PM
Will you be coming back from time to time to let us know how A Mery Play is doing?

I will! Three sales so far, giving me a solid Lulu Sales Rank of 5672, and adding a buck fifty to the family savings account.

You know what would be funny? With A Mery Play back in print if some English program made it a required text....

I don't know if a high school would put it on, what with its heavy sex, drugs, and violence, but the students might get away with it if they present it in the original language. Though the scene where Johan Johan holds the wax candle upright in his lap and rubs it vigorously up and down -- well, that might be a startling image from out front and doesn't require that you be able to understand the words.

(A Mery Play is in Early New English, which is a bit thick for modern English speakers.)


Johan Johan. I chafe the wax ó
[aside] And I chafe it so hard that my fyngers krakks;
And eke the smoke puttyth out my eyes two;
I burne my face, and ray my clothys also,
And yet I dare not say one word;
And they syt laughyng yender at the bord.

Medievalist
06-06-2005, 11:22 PM
Why not do The Knight of the Burning Pestle as a companion piece?

Dawno
06-06-2005, 11:38 PM
Why not do The Knight of the Burning Pestle as a companion piece?

Goodnyss! That tytle isn't evyn subtyle! ;)

James D. Macdonald
06-07-2005, 12:17 AM
I could always do Mankynde ("the most indisputably popular play of the fifteenth century")with all the dirty bits left in....


NOUGHT. Lo, master, lo, here ys a pardon bely-mett.
Yt ys grawntyde of Pope Pokett,
Yf ye wyll putt yowr nose in hys wyffys sockett,
3e xall haue forty days of pardon.

and


NOWADAYS. I prey yow hertyly, worschyppull clerke,
To haue Ģis Englysch mad in Laten:
"I haue etun a dyschfull of curdys,
Ande I haue schetun yowr mowth full of turdys."
Now opyn yowr sachell wyth Laten wordys
Ande sey me Ģis in clerycall manere!

and so on.

But this is getting far afield from Lulu.

Dawno
06-07-2005, 12:39 AM
My Early English is pretty bad (I think I must have slept through that class 30 years ago) but am I correct in thinking that passage is "schetun-alogical" in nature?

(I promise, that's my last OT question, really.)

A Total Loser
06-12-2005, 06:54 PM
Hi! I'm new here, and I saw this topic on Lulu so I decided to read up on it, because I have a little dilemma myself with it.

See, I wrote some novels and such, and I really want a copy of them in book form, instead of just having them rot in my binders. And I don't want two-billion copies of the book either. I just wanted one really special one for me, so I was thinking about perhaps going with Lulu! But I have a problem...

I'm still not sure on how Lulu charges! I tried looking around, but all I see is, "We are absolutely free--we get money from your royalties!" And then I know the editing services and that stuff costs money, but I don't want to use any of that stuff anyway! :)

So, here are my questions...

Does that mean that it doesn't cost anything at all to get my book published and printed? Does that mean I could only buy one copy and they would get the money from my payment or something? I'M CONFUSED. Help would be greatly appreciated! :D

maestrowork
06-12-2005, 07:03 PM
It doesn't cost YOU (the author) any money to make it available. But when you "buy" it, you will have to pay the printing cost + shipping/handling + any royalties you set.

So in a sense, yes, you are correct.

CaoPaux
06-14-2005, 01:41 AM
Hi, Loser! :D If you don't want cover design, etc., all you'd pay is the cost to print the book. I believe Lulu waives their commission when you buy your own book, so it'd be print cost plus S&H.

Julie Worth
06-14-2005, 03:52 AM
Upload your own print-ready files and select the radio button so that no one but you can buy the book. That part is free. Now letís say your book is 250 pages. To get a copy of it, it will cost you about $10 plus $2.50 or so for media mail. Almost free!

maestrowork
06-14-2005, 03:58 AM
Upload your own print-ready files and select the radio button so that no one but you can buy the book. That part is free. Now letís say your book is 250 pages. To get a copy of it, it will cost you about $10 plus $2.50 or so for media mail. Almost free!



Still cheaper than Kinko's and nicer.

Edgarallenwannabe
07-31-2005, 12:00 AM
I'm finishing up a manuscript I'm going to have Lulu print in August. I'm not concerned with money, (I saw the thread about lulu not being a money-maker), it's more for friends, family, students, and copies to take with me to writer's conferences. Some very wise people here recommended them over POD's, because you retain your rights (thank you much!) and so far I'm pretty impressed with the way you can design your own cover, and send up pdf files.

Anyone actually do anything with Lulu? How was the turnout?

Kevin Lucia
www.kevinlucia.net (http://www.kevinlucia.net/)

Saanen
08-05-2005, 04:07 AM
I wish Lulu had been around when my family put together a family cookbook several years ago--not really a cookbook, sort of a family scrapbook with recipes. Does Lulu do pictures or just text? I guess I could go look at the site instead of asking here, though.

Total Loser, I like your idea of using Lulu to get nice hardcopies of old unpublished writing. I have all kinds of big binders full of unpublished (and probably unpublishable) stuff, fragments mostly but some completed works too, and it would be nice to replace them with nicely bound copies. I keep them because they're useful for sparking ideas, and I'm also a fiend about never throwing anything away. I might look into using Lulu to basically clean out my files for a small fee.

James D. Macdonald
08-10-2005, 09:25 PM
Yeah, I've experimented with Lulu. Worked fine.

Somewhere around here I posted a minute-by-minute account of starting with a file and creating a book.

Julie Worth
08-10-2005, 10:00 PM
Impatient idiot that I am, I mailed off a half-edited ms. to an agent. A week later, having made a slew of changes, I had lulu send her a paperback of the new version, with a letter to her printed on the back cover. She emailed me as soon as she got it. Loved it, she said, and she said she would move me up for an earlier read.

I'm thinking, great, fantastic, I'm a genius! But then I went through the book again and made another slew of changes. So now what do I do? Crap. I'm back to being an impatient idiot!

OneTeam OneDream
08-11-2005, 05:26 AM
So let me get this straight. I could take my WIP and upload it to LULU, and in a few days have a trade paperback copy for my (and my family's) viewing pleasure, but at the same time, it wouldn't affect anything about actually trying to get it published the traditional route?

Saanen
08-11-2005, 04:58 PM
That's what I understand. The important thing is to make sure you don't allow your work to be viewed by others. I went and looked it over the other day and they do offer that option. It's too bad there's not an option of manuscript format so you can get stuff printed to send out. It would sure save ink.

Richard
08-11-2005, 08:19 PM
Publishers won't care - you're not making it available, you're just printing a copy. Lulu isn't a publisher. Anyway, after you've received your book, delete it from their server and nobody will ever have a chance to know.

maestrowork
08-11-2005, 09:46 PM
the problem is, you CAN'T just delete it from their server. Once you've ordered it, I think it stays there...

But, if it's not available to the public at all, I think you're safe.

RustyVanReeves
08-11-2005, 10:05 PM
Impatient idiot that I am, I mailed off a half-edited ms. to an agent. A week later, having made a slew of changes, I had lulu send her a paperback of the new version, with a letter to her printed on the back cover. She emailed me as soon as she got it. Loved it, she said, and she said she would move me up for an earlier read.

I'm thinking, great, fantastic, I'm a genius! But then I went through the book again and made another slew of changes. So now what do I do? Crap. I'm back to being an impatient idiot!



I thought it was taboo to bind your manuscript in any form. Yet, you pressed yours into book form and the agent loved it. I don't understand how breaking one of the main rules can get you rewarded. What size did you make the book? 6x9?

p.s. I added to your reputation points. :Clap:

Rusty :flag:

Julie Worth
08-11-2005, 10:49 PM
I don't understand how breaking one of the main rules can get you rewarded. What size did you make the book? 6x9?

Yes, it seems unfair, doesn't it? Still, I may have done myself in with my haste, so it all evens out.

6x9 is the only useful size for novels. Mass paperback might also work, but they haven't introduced it yet.

Thanks for the rep point! I hadn't gotten one in a long time.

RustyVanReeves
08-12-2005, 12:25 AM
Yes, it seems unfair, doesn't it? Still, I may have done myself in with my haste, so it all evens out.

6x9 is the only useful size for novels. Mass paperback might also work, but they haven't introduced it yet.

Thanks for the rep point! I hadn't gotten one in a long time.

I went to lulu.com and converted my ms into a 6x9 book (form) with covers and everything. It was very easy. I wonder now if I'm brave/stupid enough to try what you did. I left my font at new courier 12 - I guess that'll look right? :Hammer:

Julie Worth
08-12-2005, 01:00 AM
I went to lulu.com and converted my ms into a 6x9 book (form) with covers and everything. It was very easy. I wonder now if I'm brave/stupid enough to try what you did. I left my font at new courier 12 - I guess that'll look right? :Hammer:

They recommend AGaramond 12pt, which is what I use. Single space with 1" top and bottom, .7" left and right, and a .35 inch gutter. Print to a PDF file and upload. Did you do the wraparound cover? That's PDF also, and looks fantastic.

What's the main reason for using Courier in a manuscript? Because you can tell how many pages are going to be in the book!

CaoPaux
08-12-2005, 08:51 PM
So let me get this straight. I could take my WIP and upload it to LULU, and in a few days have a trade paperback copy for my (and my family's) viewing pleasure, but at the same time, it wouldn't affect anything about actually trying to get it published the traditional route?Yup. I know a few folks who do this to give their beta readers a more manageable mss.

ETA: And they'll delete your account per the terms of the contract.

Epicman
08-18-2005, 02:04 PM
Look at the thread "Infinity vs Diggory" we've been doing some research and Diggory is lower cost with better and a more complete service than Lulu IF you are publishing to distribute.
If you just want a personal copy and dont sell to anyone else stick with Lulu.

Epicman

Leyla
09-26-2005, 05:34 AM
I checked out the Lulu site wow. I'm impressed at all they have to offer.

Writer2011
09-26-2005, 08:38 PM
Lulu is very close to where I live actually :) I am in the process of working on a novel for them to publish. I know they don't pay a ton of money but at least it's some exposure and you can honestly say you've been published :)

Julie Worth
09-26-2005, 09:08 PM
Lulu is very close to where I live actually :) I am in the process of working on a novel for them to publish. I know they don't pay a ton of money but at least it's some exposure and you can honestly say you've been published :)

It makes little difference where you live, but it's better to be closer to luluís printer in upstate NY. As for paying you up front, they donít. You set your own royalties and they pay you quarterly on what you sold. Itís entirely up to you to promote your book. Lulu furnishes you with a free web page for that purpose, but donít imagine thatís going to do you much good. Lulu is a beautiful interface for the self-publisher, and thatís pretty much it. Lulu's top 50 books or so sell 500 or more copies, and the rest of them less than that.

As for saying you've been published by lulu, I wouldn't put that on a query.

Saanen
10-06-2005, 04:34 AM
I'm about to put some old comics I published as a zine way back in 1995 up on Lulu for some friends. Does anyone have any experience with Lulu's perfect binding? How's the glue holding up? Should I go with saddle stitch instead?

maestrowork
10-06-2005, 06:07 AM
How thick is your book. The glue works just fine, IMO.

Saanen
10-06-2005, 05:02 PM
Only about 60 pages all told. I always think perfect bindings look better than saddle stitched, but I'd hate for the glue to start to crack in a year or so. I recently bought a few books from the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, one of which was on sale and marked "no returns." When I got it I found out why--the glue was so brittle the binding broke the first time I opened the book; I eventually ripped all the pages out, holepunched them, and put them in a binder. That book wasn't a Lulu printed book, but I can't help but be a little nervous about their binding without first-hand experience. Maybe I'll go with saddle stitched after all.

Julie Worth
10-06-2005, 05:33 PM
I've seen no problem with the glue. I've had books made from 70 to nearly 700 pages, and never any trouble with the binding.

Susie
10-12-2005, 06:57 AM
Can someone tell me if there are any charges relating to being published with them? Thanks much.

Writer2011
10-12-2005, 06:58 AM
None at all :) That's the beauty of it...They have a calculator on there so if you're book is like 60 pages it will calculate what you should be asking...It's really easy...they will convert the files for you and everything. :)

maestrowork
10-12-2005, 07:00 AM
Actually they do charge a surcharge/fees... but it's all calculated in the base price of the book (then you set your own "royalty" above that). But no upfront cost or out of pocket cost.

Writer2011
10-12-2005, 07:10 AM
Ahh...thank you Maestro :)

Susie
10-12-2005, 07:18 AM
Thanks much, Bill & Ray. Most appreciated! I'm thinking of doing my poetry e-book with them and can't afford any fees, even basic, unfortunately.

Mike Coombes
10-13-2005, 02:16 AM
I'm thinking of doing my poetry e-book with them and can't afford any fees, even basic, unfortunately.

Can I propose something radical?

You don't need Lulu or anyone else to publish an e-book. And in all honesty, you aren't going to make much - if any - money out of sales.

Why not give it away? Create your e-book and self publish it under a creative commons licence. My favorite poet of the moment, Rebecca del Rio, has done this with a selection of her poetry and offers it asa free download from her site - http://www.rebeccadelrio.net/html/poems.html - and will shortly be adding mp3 readings of her poetry as well.

You don't make money - but an e-book isn't a big earner anyway - but you do get read - her e-book gets downloaded around 50 times a week.

Decide what's important - earning pennies, or wider recognition. Build up a fan base of people who love your poems, and when you offer the next anthology for sale, they'll buy.

blacbird
10-14-2005, 04:47 AM
Their bindings are as good as any you'll see on a perfect-bound trade paperback in any bookstore, so no worries there. Overall, the physical quality of the books is excellent.

You may have another problem, though. They have a lower (and and upper) page limit for their perfect binding. It's listed somewhere on their site. I have it stuck in my head that it's 70 pages, but I could be mistaken.

bird

Julie Worth
10-14-2005, 05:35 AM
70 pages? I remember that too. But I can't find a minimum. The spine width calculator and the book cost calculator both go well under 70.

Saanen
10-14-2005, 05:18 PM
It's on Lulu now with a perfect binding and Lulu didn't seem to have a problem with its 60 pages. Maybe they removed the minimum at some point. I have a copy on order to take a look at it, but I expect the binding will be okay. At any rate, it's not exactly high art; I just don't want the book to fall apart too quickly. :)

Julie Worth
10-15-2005, 03:08 AM
I found it! It's 35 to 740 pages for perfect binding, and 3 to 88 for saddle stitch.

Writer2011
10-17-2005, 06:27 AM
You are most certainly welcome Sherri.... You have to be careful of other publishers on demand out there...some will require you to buy so many books and such. It all depends on the market and who wants to books. Don't let anyone discourage you because i'm certainly not going to let anyone discourage me.

It's very difficult to get published these days as it is...so why not do POD...at least you get your name out there and some kind of recognition :)

Mike Coombes
10-18-2005, 02:26 AM
It's very difficult to get published these days as it is

These days? It's always been difficult to get published. That's because publishers tend to discriminate between good and bad. POD will print anything, no matter how bad.

Susie
10-18-2005, 05:11 AM
Thanks much, guys,

Mike, I understand what you're saying and know first-hand that most e-books don't sell well, especially poetry, but I really can't afford to just give my e-books away, as much as I'd like to, but sure appreciate your suggestion.

Mike Coombes
10-22-2005, 12:43 AM
In what way can you not afford to? They are electrons, nothing more. They cost nothing.

How many copies of your e-book would you expect to sell, and for what return? Realistically?

Look at it this way; people dislike parting with money if they don't have to - you are a case in point. Who is going to part with their hard-earned to read a poet they never heard of? It's hard enough for established poets to sell anything more than a handful of copies.

Giving something away - especially something that costs you nothing - is bread cast upon the water. Your ebook buys the reader's goodwill. It's win-win. They get something for nothing, and may like your work. It costs you nothing, and they are potentially a future customer. If they like your work, they'll buy the next one.

What have you got to lose?

DigitalDragon
11-03-2005, 08:00 AM
Let me throw my two cents in. Electronic marketing is huge, and building a mailing list is one of the keys.

If you want visibility and to get some buzz going, then do two things:


Put links in your ebook that take the reader somewhere you want them to go. "Read more of my writing" and take them to your web site or to a page where you sell stuff. "Back-end sales" is what it's called. Then when someone gives away their copy of your ebook, the person who gets it is likely to do something interesting. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif
Always ALWAYS get their name and email address when you give something away. Then you have permission to email them to tell them about your next ebook, speaking engagement, book, or whatever. The larger your list, the better off you will be.
I know how hard it is to give stuff away, especially if you need money. But sometimes an investment like this pays off hugely.

Susie
11-08-2005, 03:01 AM
Thanks much to both of you. Sure appreciate your input!

clintl
11-08-2005, 11:10 PM
I'm planning a little project that I'm planning to use Lulu to print. It's only going to be a few private copies, not a book to self-publish for sale. I see Lulu has a hardcover printing option. Has anyone ordered or seen a hardcover from Lulu? If so, is the binding quality acceptable?

jcdelatorre
11-27-2005, 08:09 AM
I've loved my experience with Lulu. The books are all very high quality, the royalty is what they say it is. But please note, Lulu does NO promotion for you. Its all on you to promote your book. With that said, Lulu's forums have been invaluable for great ideas. Good people there. I'd highly recommend Lulu to anyone.

Mike Coombes
12-02-2005, 02:06 AM
I've loved my experience with Lulu. The books are all very high quality, the royalty is what they say it is. But please note, Lulu does NO promotion for you. Its all on you to promote your book. With that said, Lulu's forums have been invaluable for great ideas. Good people there. I'd highly recommend Lulu to anyone.

How many copies have you sold? And how did you market it?

Susie
01-25-2006, 08:12 AM
Can someone tell me if I can sign up with Lulu now and then do my book later on? Thanks much. Much good luck, everyone.

maestrowork
01-25-2006, 08:26 AM
Yes, you can just open an account, then fill your "products" later. When you are ready to make your book, you can follow the on screen instructions. If you don't want to sell it, just make it "not available" or something like that. Then only you can order the book.

Susie
01-26-2006, 02:04 AM
Thanks so much, Ray. I knew I could count on you for an answer. Really appreciate that.

Fahim
01-27-2006, 04:55 PM
Well, I know the question was already answered but thought I'd affirm that it *really* can be done since I'm doing it at the moment :p I have opened an account with Lulu but have not actually uploaded my book. I think I went through the first part of the wizard which asks for the book title etc. but that's about it.

Susie
01-27-2006, 07:03 PM
Thanks much, Fahim. I really appreciate your help and :welcome: to the watercooler. I have another question. Can you tell me if you have to have an ISBN in order to sell the books or is that optional? Much appreciated.

maestrowork
01-27-2006, 07:10 PM
Thanks much, Fahim. I really appreciate your help and :welcome: to the watercooler. I have another question. Can you tell me if you have to have an ISBN in order to sell the books or is that optional? Much appreciated.

ISBN is optional. But if you want to sell online or at stores, you need an ISBN number. If you just want to sell it on Lulu, then you don't need one.

Fahim
01-27-2006, 07:14 PM
Thanks much, Fahim. I really appreciate your help and :welcome: to the watercooler. I have another question. Can you tell me if you have to have an ISBN in order to sell the books or is that optional? Much appreciated.

You're welcome :) And thank you :)

As far as an ISBN goes, nope, you don't need an ISBN to sell on Lulu's own site. However, if you want to go with their Global Distribution track - where Lulu lists your books on Amazon etc. and fulfills any orders for your book from wholesalers, then you need an ISBN. Of course, an ISBN is included in the price of their Global Distribution price. If you're interested, my blog had a few entries about Lulu and PoD in general over the last few weeks. Not exactly sure of the dates when I posted the entries but if you're interested, I can find out and give you the direct links too :)

Susie
01-27-2006, 11:34 PM
Thanks so much Ray and Fahim. Your help is really appreciated. I tried to find the info about the ISBN on the lulu site, but didn't see it.

Maladroit
01-30-2006, 10:24 PM
Here's the ISBN info:
http://www.lulu.com/help/node/view/153

I waited about 8 months before I uploaded a POD book to LuLu. I also made a classic Pontiac GTO calendar which sold pretty well.

I sprung for Global Distribution, but got upset when Lulu plugged-in my book everywhere, but only one online book seller displayed the cover!

Too bad-- they did a nice job, but fumbled at the 1-yd. line when they failed to follow through with the cover.

It made me think that I should have just bought the ISBN and did the Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million thing myself. I'd be $130 bucks richer.

The good part is that Amazon has actually sold a few of my "Woodward Avenue" books and a few sales went to Australia from Lulu. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

In all, I like LuLu though. I just uploaded an eBook that details online scammers and eBay auction fraudsters
http://www.thescamkiller.com

But man, I am one POOR promoter! I can seem to spark people to get interested.
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/EmoteShrug.gif

Susie
01-30-2006, 10:58 PM
Thanks so much for the links, Maladroit and :welcome: to the watercooler. That's so nice of you. Sure glad you made some sales. Why not google and find articles on promoting books. Here's a link that might be helpful to you on promoting your book. http://wordthunder.com/list/

yeyeman9
01-30-2006, 11:03 PM
Lulu is a self-publishing company? just like AuthorHouse?

Fahim
01-31-2006, 05:07 AM
Yes, go on over to lulu.com and check it out, if you're interested that is :)

ddgryphon
02-02-2006, 03:24 AM
Maladroit:

Could you explain specifically what you mean when you say:


It made me think that I should have just bought the ISBN and did the Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million thing myself. I'd be $130 bucks richer.

I'm not sure what you're referring to.

Fahim
02-02-2006, 04:46 AM
Maladroit:
Could you explain specifically what you mean when you say:
I'm not sure what you're referring to.

I believe he meant that he could have saved $130 (I thought it was $150?) for the Global Distribution Service provided by Lulu and done it himself. Of course, the $130 might be him deducting the cost of an ISBN from the $150 ... but that's just me guessing :)

Edgarallenwannabe
02-19-2006, 06:17 AM
Wow! I kinda of lost track of things and this thread I started, (duh, grad school and baby suck brain cells dry), but I'm happy to see all the positive feedback on Lulu. I'm still going to try traditional publishing, but I'm all set to go through lulu, I've even got some artists to do some nice graphic insets for me,and there's even talk of a graphic novels around between myself and them. That, and the process is really easy.

blacbird
02-20-2006, 06:44 AM
at least it's some exposure and you can honestly say you've been published :)

It's actually hardly any exposure (you have to work for all of that yourself), and it's not really a publication credit. That's not a knock on Lulu, just the reality of all POD self-publishing. Lulu is a high-quality straightforward outfit that doesn't promise what they don't deliver. They are an excellent choice for niche projects that you can useful distribute yourself (manuals, private organizational publications, etc.) But they do not represent a good way to advance a writing career.

caw.

Edgarallenwannabe
02-20-2006, 07:23 PM
But they do not represent a good way to advance a writing career.


Very true, and very true about having to do all the promo work yourself. HOWEVER, there comes a point in every writer/artist's life when they wonder if they're writing for a career...or simply creating for the creation's sake. After all the traditional avenues are exhausted, (which I plan on doing 1st before turning to Lulu), there's no harm in doing something for oneself. The nice thing is you keep all the rights with Lulu, UNLIKE POD's, and if you choose not to register an ISBN, and say simply market it locally...if there is a base to do so...if lightening DOES strike and a publsher/agent comes calling, no harm done, really, because there will be no ISBN/copyright hassle.

Kevin Lucia

James D. Macdonald
02-22-2006, 09:05 AM
There isn't a problem with ISBNs, since all ISBNs uniquely identify both the book and the publisher. Any new edition -- and any new publisher -- will have a new ISBN.

There isn't a copyright problem either, since every book is automatically copyrighted at the moment it is fixed in tangible form.

Please remember: Lulu is definitely a POD. POD means Print on Demand. That's 100% of what Lulu does. When someone orders a copy, a copy gets printed.

Medievalist
02-22-2006, 09:19 AM
Wow! I kinda of lost track of things and this thread I started, (duh, grad school and baby suck brain cells dry), but I'm happy to see all the positive feedback on Lulu. I'm still going to try traditional publishing, but I'm all set to go through lulu, I've even got some artists to do some nice graphic insets for me,and there's even talk of a graphic novels around between myself and them. That, and the process is really easy.

I would not do a graphic novel with Lulu; they're not set up to do the illustrations properly. I'm not knocking them, but technically, they don't have the right set up for graphic intensive book like a graphic novel. You'd be better of going to a local printer, and working with somone knowlegedable about prepping graphics to the printer's specs.

Edgarallenwannabe
02-22-2006, 03:44 PM
Please remember: Lulu is definitely a POD. POD means Print on Demand. That's 100% of what Lulu does. When someone orders a copy, a copy gets printed.


Yeah, I get that, and I'm inclined to take the advice of everyone here, because they are much more experienced than I am...but I get confused sometimes over semantics. I've heard people called Authorhouse, Iuniverse, BookSurge, and PublishAmerica as PODs, and Lulu and Cafepress as off-set printers. My main thrust is this, which everyone here seems to have already affirmed: Lulu is a better choice than the previously mention folks, correct? Obviously the best choice is to get published traditionally, but if that doesn't work out...

Edgarallenwannabe
02-22-2006, 03:46 PM
I would not do a graphic novel with Lulu; they're not set up to do the illustrations properly. I'm not knocking them, but technically, they don't have the right set up for graphic intensive book like a graphic novel. You'd be better of going to a local printer, and working with somone knowlegedable about prepping graphics to the printer's specs.

Any other digital printer's you would suggest? All we have around here is Fedex Kinkos.

Medievalist
02-22-2006, 07:53 PM
Any other digital printer's you would suggest? All we have around here is Fedex Kinkos.

Depending on your local Kinkos' staffing, they may be just the thing. I'd also look in the yellow pages of the phone directory; there's likely to be at least one independent printer.

Julie Worth
02-22-2006, 08:08 PM
...but I get confused sometimes over semantics. I've heard people called Authorhouse, Iuniverse, BookSurge, and PublishAmerica as PODs, and Lulu and Cafepress as off-set printers.

They're not PODs, which is a technology. And Lulu and Cafepress are not offset printers; they use POD technology too. Lulu, for one, doesn't have its own printer, but contracts out. Many of the smaller POD publishers do the same. Quite a few use BookSurge as their printer.

POD is short for Print On Demand--that means one book at a time. The per book cost is high, but the upfront investment can be low, esp. in the case of Lulu.

Offset is a commercial process for printing large numbers of books (typically 1000 on up). If you want that many, Lulu (and most of the others) can get it done for you. But they don't do the printing themselves.

Edgarallenwannabe
02-23-2006, 06:16 AM
This is good stuff, I can honestly say I'm learning a lot, and now know much more than even three months ago. Well, like I said, I am giving the 'pie-in-the-sky' dream a chance first by submitting to publishers and agents, the Lulu option is my back-up, 'hey, I would just like to see a copy of my work in book format for own sake' option. I live in a fairly small town, so even if we have some printing businesses here, I imagine they won't be any cheaper than Lulu...

If anyone has any more input, keep it all coming...

Paint
02-23-2006, 09:32 PM
Lulu did Stories of Strength for Jenna and a large group of AW writers, it was a very good experience. Easy to work with.
You may want to check out
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=30&f=47
On PODs.
I personally thought the cover looked great.
I used Lulu to make a calender for Christmas gifts. It was great fun and very simple. They looked super! The color was good and that was critical. I think the idea of getting your book made up for promotion purposes is a great idea! Very professional. I am going to keep that in mind!
Paint

blacbird
02-24-2006, 01:45 AM
Lulu is a better choice than the previously mention folks, correct?

In my opinion, Yes, absolutely. I use them for a niche project not involving my own writing, and I did a lot of researching of various POD outfits, as well as standard short-run printers, before going with them. It helped also that I spoke with them on the telephone on a couple of occasions, and found them accessible, enthusiastic, polite, intelligent and helpful. How many businesses of any kind can you say that about anymore?

caw.

Fahim
02-26-2006, 10:39 AM
Whether Lulu is the best option for you or not depends on your requirements and needs. If you want to do a POD book but are not looking at their Global Distribution Service for placing your book with amazon.com etc., Lulu provides a very good price for the production cost - still not the best but overall, it's not bad considering that you don't have any up-front costs.

If you want to place your book with an online distributor and want to be able to have the book reasonably priced as well, then Diggory Press (http://diggorypress.com/) or Lightning Source (https://www.lightningsource.com/index.htm) are better alternatives. However, with each, there are up-front costs involved and the costs (as well as the final production cost for your book) varies. With Lightning Source, you have to be able to do the page layout, the cover design and all the other stuff that Lulu mostly takes care of for you. You are basically a publisher with Lightning Source and you have to be able to do the work involved in being a publisher.

Diggory Press on the other hand, does do a lot more of the work for you as Lulu does. However, they do charge a setup fee up-front and so it might not be for you. The advantage with Diggory is that they have very good support and the final production cost is much lower than with Lulu - especially if you are going with an online retailer.

Edgarallenwannabe
02-26-2006, 09:35 PM
Lulu provides a very good price for the production cost - still not the best but overall, it's not bad considering that you don't have any up-front costs.

See, and that's the rub, as they say. I teach at a small private school that doesn't pay very well, my wife has recently taken time off work to be with the baby, I'm going to grad school so I owe enough money as it is, so we're really on a shoe string budget. I've looked at all those others and they look GREAT...but I just don't have the cash to toss out like that.

Sigh. Well, I AM going to exhaust all my traditional options first....query letters to publishers and agents, and I've REALLY been studying up on the proper procedure on that. I guess I'm just saving Lulu for myself and my friends. If lightening strikes and I get picked up by a traditional publisher, it's all good. If I try real hard and nothing comes of it, I'll have some printed at lulu, do some local marketing, and it will look cool on my shelf. Then I'll start over with a different story, and try to get THAT published traditionally...and so on. I'll just keep writing for my own enjoyment and fulfillment.

Fahim
02-27-2006, 04:53 AM
I'll just keep writing for my own enjoyment and fulfillment.

That's about the only way to go :) Writing for anything else (or anybody else), at least for me, is pointless. Write for yourself and keep writing, eventually you'll get there. I am in the same boat as you and I wish you the best of luck!

Enigma101
02-28-2006, 01:57 AM
I totally agree, I've been emailing Diggory about their services and apart from the set up fee and a couple of extras you have to pay (you don't pay lulu) it works out cheeper in postage, in printing the books ,and you don't have to mess about with Amazon, ect.. Diggory does that for you. They have a much better service than LULU. I'm just eager to see the finished product.

blacbird
02-28-2006, 07:06 PM
Writing for anything else (or anybody else), at least for me, is pointless. Write for yourself and keep writing, eventually you'll get there.

If you only "write for yourself", and "writing for anything else (or anybody else)" is pointless, where is the "there" you'll eventually get to?

caw.

blacbird
02-28-2006, 07:18 PM
I just did a little quick research. With Diggory Press, for a trade paperback book using their package of text layout, cover design, ISBN and promotion, you'll spend about 150 pounds (they are in the U.K.) up front, or roughly $250 U.S. if they're exchange rate is normal. For each individual book you then purchase, there is another charge. I couldn't ferret out a figure for that right away, though I assume it's less than Lulu's. I'll estimate 1/2. Which, for a relatively standard 300-page book, gives you:

Lulu up front, $0 to $150 (for ISBN and promotional package), and ~$10 per book.
Diggory up front, $250, and $5 per book.

By my math, that makes the breakover point, assuming you would use Lulu's top service package, around 20 books.

Diggory's prices are pretty good, compared with other PODs. I'd be interested in knowing the quality (though pretty much all these outfits now produce good physical quality books), and if, for a Yank, there's any hassle involved in dealing with a Brit firm.

(I just went back and ferreted around on the Diggory website a little more, and got the distinct impression that my estimates above are low. There are some caveats there involving book size and other things that are a little difficult to quantify, but almost certainly would involve extra up-front and possibly down-the-road expenses. In any case, for anyone contemplating using one of these services, do thorough research. For my own project, described earlier, I have yet to find anyone comparable to Lulu).

caw.

Fahim
02-28-2006, 07:55 PM
If you only "write for yourself", and "writing for anything else (or anybody else)" is pointless, where is the "there" you'll eventually get to?


Publication is the "there" - if Edgarallenwannabe simply wanted to write for the sake of writing and wasn't worried about publication, then he wouldn't be looking into publication options would he? So there still is a "there" to get to - just because you write for yourself, does that mean that you don't have to have a goal? :p

Fahim
02-28-2006, 08:01 PM
I just did a little quick research. With Diggory Press, for a trade paperback book using their package of text layout, cover design, ISBN and promotion, you'll spend about 150 pounds (they are in the U.K.) up front, or roughly $250 U.S. if they're exchange rate is normal. For each individual book you then purchase, there is another charge. I couldn't ferret out a figure for that right away, though I assume it's less than Lulu's. I'll estimate 1/2. Which, for a relatively standard 300-page book, gives you:


Funny how you can twist the math around however you want :p You don't have to go with Diggory's text layout, cover design etc. And if you count Diggory's cover design charges, then you should also take into account that Lulu does not do the cover design for you and so you would have to spend $150 or more (some of the Lulu associates charge more) into account for the cover. My price estimates were based on using what I needed to get a book printed with an ISBN but without adding in all the extras - I can do all that myself. Why would I be lazy and ask Diggory to edit my book or to do text layout or anything? I can do all of that ... If you're lazy enough to want all that, sure you pay the extra but don't go twisting the math up and making it sound as if you *have to* pay all that stuff - it's optional :p

Basically, do your own investigation but be aware of what you're paying for and what exactly you're buying ... Just pointing out the inaccuracies here for those who might not want to do the math :)

Enigma101
03-01-2006, 02:38 AM
Okay. This is by my calcualtion for a 6x9 book adv 110 pages.

Lulu: 50xbooks $281.50 cost $151.53 shipping to Greece.

Diggory: 50xbooks $242.69 cost $85.03 shipping to Greece


Diggory first payment: 1xprinted book/ IBSN number/ initial set up fee/ file storage/
$167.62 Other p.o.d publishers $500 + (this includes advertisement and distribution in Amazon uk/usa, Barnes and nobel, whsmith online, tescos online on other bookstores.
You pay for 6xbooks, but they are then sent to head libraries and the copyright office. This leaves you without the fuss and of sending the books off yourself and filling in forms etc...
You have the choice of free book covers although they are very simple compared to what Lulu offer.

After my first order at Diggory my book will cost me $4.91 per copy, if I buy a bulk of 50. I pay $6.73 per copy at Lulu.

Lulu retail price (I set my own royalty) $12.98 - $6.73 printing cost- $1.25 lulu commision leaves = $5 royalty
Diggory retail/amazon etc... $13.97 -25% disscount to stores- $5.25 fullfilment charge (distribution/postage) = $5.17 royalty

It may not be a lot of difference but selling on amazon etc.. increase my chance of sales.
I distribute nationaly thoughout Greece so because of the shipping charges Diggory works out a lot cheeper for me.

It may not be the same for everyone. I'm just going by the calculations I've worked out.

blacbird
03-01-2006, 04:17 AM
Funny how you can twist the math around however you want :p You don't have to go with Diggory's text layout, cover design etc. And if you count Diggory's cover design charges, then you should also take into account that Lulu does not do the cover design for you and so you would have to spend $150 or more (some of the Lulu associates charge more) into account for the cover. My price estimates were based on using what I needed to get a book printed with an ISBN but without adding in all the extras - I can do all that myself. Why would I be lazy and ask Diggory to edit my book or to do text layout or anything? I can do all of that ... If you're lazy enough to want all that, sure you pay the extra but don't go twisting the math up and making it sound as if you *have to* pay all that stuff - it's optional :p

Basically, do your own investigation but be aware of what you're paying for and what exactly you're buying ... Just pointing out the inaccuracies here for those who might not want to do the math :)

Actually, Fahim, I'm not arguing with you at all. I see Diggory as being an interesting potential option for the right kinds of projects, at least for U.K./Europe residents, and maybe even for U.S. I found their website a little less straightforward than Lulu's, and that may account for some of my hesitancy. Like I said, it was a quick perusal. For instance, it wasn't immediately clear that you could do your own layout, which is what I do with my Lulu project, and, obviously that cuts a cost. In the end, the message is that at some point there is a breakeven between these two printing services (that's what they really are, folks), which can be quantified by a number of books sold, which is dependent on specifics of an individual project. That's the number you should try to determine, and then you can make an intelligent decision about which is best for you.

Likewise, at some point, there is a breakeven between any POD and a standard offset printer, again quantifiable in numbers of books produced.

Also, for clarification Lulu will produce a generic cover at no charge (I don't like them, however), but it is dead easy to produce your own cover for them (again, costs nothing from Lulu). I have the advantage of some decent experience in graphic design, which not everybody is equipped to undertake. The generic cover template I saw displayed on the Diggory site is to my eye somewhat more attractive than Lulu's options. Lulu's ISBN charge is somewhat less than Diggory's, but not enough different to be a deal-breaker.

At any rate, it might be useful to do some harder numbers research between these two places, and see in more detail just how they compare.

RR

blacbird
03-01-2006, 04:23 AM
Okay. This is by my calcualtion for a 6x9 book adv 110 pages.

Lulu: 50xbooks $281.50 cost $151.53 shipping to Greece.

Diggory: 50xbooks $242.69 cost $85.03 shipping to Greece


Diggory first payment: 1xprinted book/ IBSN number/ initial set up fee/ file storage/
$167.62 Other p.o.d publishers $500 + (this includes advertisement and distribution in Amazon uk/usa, Barnes and nobel, whsmith online, tescos online on other bookstores.
You pay for 6xbooks, but they are then sent to head libraries and the copyright office. This leaves you without the fuss and of sending the books off yourself and filling in forms etc...
You have the choice of free book covers although they are very simple compared to what Lulu offer.

After my first order at Diggory my book will cost me $4.91 per copy, if I buy a bulk of 50. I pay $6.73 per copy at Lulu.

Lulu retail price (I set my own royalty) $12.98 - $6.73 printing cost- $1.25 lulu commision leaves = $5 royalty
Diggory retail/amazon etc... $13.97 -25% disscount to stores- $5.25 fullfilment charge (distribution/postage) = $5.17 royalty

It may not be a lot of difference but selling on amazon etc.. increase my chance of sales.
I distribute nationaly thoughout Greece so because of the shipping charges Diggory works out a lot cheeper for me.

It may not be the same for everyone. I'm just going by the calculations I've worked out.

Yeah, Lulu is probably not a competitive option for someone in Europe, on account of the shipping charges. Shipping in the U.S., even to where I live in the far far far northwest tip of the continent, is much less.

Secondly, in the U.S., most stores won't be happy with a 25% discount. Standard distributor discount is 40-55%. That's what tends to kill POD as a viable option for getting books into bookstores here.

I'm going to investigate Diggory further for my own purposes, and might be interested in branching out what (it's not my own writing) I produce into European markets, if it's feasible.

caw.

Fahim
03-01-2006, 05:18 AM
I'm not arguing with you either, blacbird :) Just pointing out stuff which might be useful to somebody looking at all available services not quite sure of how to compare them ...

I did quite a bit of digging and price comparison between some of the major POD outfits when researching POD for my own book. At one point, I was convinced that there could be on better option than Lulu. Then I took a look at their Global Distribution Service (I wanted an ISBN and I wanted to sell on Amazon) and that's when things got a bit murky :p

You see, I wanted a book with a reasonable cover price and Lulu gave that to me - on their site. However, as soon as I go with the Global Distribution Service option, my cover price jumps up from $10 to $20 and becomes a wee bit more than I would want to price a book at. I understand the reasons and the arguments for doing it that way, just don't think I'll sell many books at that price ... Diggory on the other hand sets a 25% discount for Amazon and I can still have a book with a cover price of $10 on Amazon. That was the clincher for me.



Secondly, in the U.S., most stores won't be happy with a 25% discount. Standard distributor discount is 40-55%. That's what tends to kill POD as a viable option for getting books into bookstores here.


This actually doesn't work exactly as you might think with Diggory, I belive. If you are looking at Diggory as your fulfilment agent, then the US bookstores would first have to order from Diggory won't they? I don't know if brick-and-mortar bookstores place orders with POD outfits - most conversations on AW seem to indicate that they don't particularly like to. But then again, I might be wrong. If you are supplying the bookstores directly with the books, then you can get as many copies as you want from Diggory at your standard rate and then can add as much of a markup as you require to bring the price in line with the discount percentage required by the store. Or perhaps I'm oversimplifying things or might have got things wrong since I haven't actually done any of this stuff ... I'd much rather speak from experience than research but in this case, research will have to suffice :p

Edgarallenwannabe
03-01-2006, 06:21 AM
Good Lord....kinda like the Gordian Knot, ain't it? I think I've gotten TOO much information. But that's impossible...right?http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif

Mark for Lulu: I do .pdf formatting myself, as well as graphic design, layout, and photoshop. English BA, English teacher, English grad student: I can edit/proofread myself - and yes, I know I used "ain't" and started the third sentence with a conjunction, not to mention I didn't capitalize Photoshop.

Mark against Diggory: I have no money to pay many costs AT ALL. I'd like to consider myself dedicated to getting published, but I's (I know....bad grammar) got's a family to feed.

Mark for Lulu: I wasn't planning on trying to purchase a lot of books and taking them into bookstores; I too have picked up the general vibe here and elsewhere that's not gonna be all that successful. I was planning on using some local & professional contacts to sell the book from my website, and if I could get the ISBN, through BN.com and Amazon.com.

Murky details on cover price at Lulu with Global Distribution ISBN: bugs me too. I'll have to keep digging on that one.

I guess the best option is to get published by a big publishing house and make $$. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/EmoteROFL.gif


Oh, yeah...OF COURSE we write for others, any writer who doesn't secretly harbor a desire to be the next Hemmingway is a good faker. In the end, though, for the writing to be pure...I think part of it HAS to be for yourself, for the sake of creation and writing itself.

Enough from the arm-chair writer who has never published anything. Thanks for all the good advice.

yeyeman9
03-01-2006, 11:27 PM
Lulu charges per book? No right? They just get an amount of what the book costs. Say it costs $10, they get like $7 and you get like $3?

Enigma101
03-02-2006, 12:29 AM
At Lulu you set your own Royalty/ how much you want from a sale of your book. Printing charges are around $6.25 per book and Lulu also takes $1.25 commision.
For authors that are pubishing their book for the first time and don't have any money, I would go with Lulu. For those that don't mind spending a little cash and want the distribution and sales in amazon etc.. taken care of then I'd advise you to try Diggory.

blacbird
03-02-2006, 03:35 AM
At Lulu you set your own Royalty/ how much you want from a sale of your book. Printing charges are around $6.25 per book and Lulu also takes $1.25 commision.
For authors that are pubishing their book for the first time and don't have any money, I would go with Lulu. For those that don't mind spending a little cash and want the distribution and sales in amazon etc.. taken care of then I'd advise you to try Diggory.

Not quite right. Lulu printing charges are based on the number of pages. You get to set your own retail price above that amount, and Lulu takes 20% of that retail profit; you get 80%. For a book that cost $10 to print, if you set a retail price of $15, you make $4 profit and Lulu makes $1. It all gets automatically calculated during the submission process.

Also, to reiterate a point that may have become buried, shipping charges are a big deal. Lulu being U.S. based, the shipping charges to Europe can be pretty steep. Diggory being U.K. based, but with a U.S. operation, I'm not certain of their shipping arrangements.

caw

Fahim
03-02-2006, 05:07 AM
Diggory being U.K. based, but with a U.S. operation, I'm not certain of their shipping arrangements.


I believe they ship from the US for US customers but from UK for the rest of the world but then again, I'm going by memory and might be wrong and might actually be thinking of Lightning Source here :p

Edgarallenwannabe
03-05-2006, 01:49 AM
Does anyone have any suggestions for printing a graphic novel?

yeyeman9
03-06-2006, 01:51 AM
Say I publish with them now and for X or Y reason, and in 2 years I would like to re-publish it with someone else. Would I be able to?

Cheers,
Jose

Fahim
03-06-2006, 04:20 AM
Say I publish with them now and for X or Y reason, and in 2 years I would like to re-publish it with someone else. Would I be able to?


Yes Jose, you can :) Of course, if you get an ISBN from either Lulu or Diggory, the ISBN belongs to them and so your new edition will be published under a new ISBN but other than that, I believe you can publish it without any issues since you do hold all rights to the work itself.

veinglory
03-06-2006, 04:47 AM
Say I publish with them now and for X or Y reason, and in 2 years I would like to re-publish it with someone else. Would I be able to?

Cheers,
Jose

That would be negaotiated with the publisher. It woudl depend whether they considered the work previously published and whether they considered works that have been previously published.

CaoPaux
03-10-2006, 03:45 AM
Does anyone have any suggestions for printing a graphic novel?http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22140

logos1234567
03-24-2006, 03:10 AM
Originally Posted by blacbird
Diggory being U.K. based, but with a U.S. operation, I'm not certain of their shipping arrangements.



Diggory Press are UK based but print and ship from either country, the UK or the USA, depending where the author or trade are based. US trade orders go through Ingram distributors and are shipped (according to amazon) within 24 hours. In addition to their pod outfit Diggory also do litho printing in the UK and Austria and have done a fantastic litho colour hardback for me at a very reasonable price...(cheaper even than print quotes I sourced myself from China!!!) And yep, Diggory Press work out cheaper than Lulu in a massive way for UK authors but also authors wherever they live be it USA, Greece, Sri Lanka or wherever if they want more than a few copies of their books or want to sell on amazon etc.

Blacbird, their us dollars price list is here for usa-based customers
http://diggorypress.com/product_info.php?cPath=160&products_id=268

I have used Diggory Press several times for pod work as well as litho - they are fast and efficient and fair and the books are to a high spec and like lulu there are zero tie-ins for the author. I found out about them by accident by finding a book of theirs in a bricks and mortar bookstore (which is unusual enough). I have been with Diggory since last year and Diggory have always reported my royalties coming through their free fulfilment service accurately and fairly (I have ways of checking my sales they don't know about ...) and Diggory have paid my royalties promptly which sad to say is so unusual it is remarkable amongst the sea of self publishing sharks out there.

In their blurb on their website they explain they are a Christian-owned publishing company and believe in fair trading hence their low prices and attitude - I can say this is true and I have found them very fair as have all the people I have refered their way. (A few prominent people are now Diggory Press's customers including a member of parliament (not one of my referrals and few charities.)

newfieval
03-27-2006, 06:09 PM
Has anyone else found many people being down right mean and rude on the LuLu boards on their site?

veinglory
03-27-2006, 08:27 PM
I think rudeness comes and goes on any forums--but I haven't visited Lulu for a while.

jenngreenleaf
03-27-2006, 08:31 PM
I think rudeness comes and goes on any forums--but I haven't visited Lulu for a while.

You're right about that . . .

newfieval
03-27-2006, 11:51 PM
I guess i just don't understand why someone feels the need to degrade another person.........

jenngreenleaf
03-28-2006, 12:03 AM
I guess i just don't understand why someone feels the need to degrade another person.........

It's frustrating -- especially when you're trying to offer some solid advice or constructive criticism and it's met with a bad attitude or just plain mean-ness. :rant: I get over it, though, and press on because I know the information provided could be useful to someone else who "really" wants to listen. Okay, I'm done now. LOL

newfieval
03-28-2006, 02:15 AM
What i think is funny is when people start a thread, ask for your opinion and when you voice it because they don't like it they get all personal and huffy.... Come on i mean at least be mature?:e2grouphu

jenngreenleaf
03-28-2006, 02:24 AM
YES! :rant: That's EXACTLY what I've been going through!!!!!!! Okay, I feel better now . . . :)

newfieval
03-28-2006, 02:30 AM
Yes. The same here. Makes you wonder if you should post at all?:Soapbox:

jenngreenleaf
03-28-2006, 02:34 AM
LOL I still post -- there were times when I've completely left a forum because of people like that, but then I realized the bad guys were just being bullies and winning. So, I came back and do more watching than posting . . . but it's better than nothing at all.

newfieval
03-28-2006, 02:39 AM
Oh yeah they have me pulled in now as the bad guy on one thread here.

jenngreenleaf
03-28-2006, 02:43 AM
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . . people like that just need to go away and find something useful to do with their time.

newfieval
03-28-2006, 02:43 AM
Indeed.:tongue

MightyMax5
04-07-2006, 01:29 AM
CHeck out my new book, Mighty Max 2, Max goes to Summer Camp.

http://www.lulu.com/mightymax (http://www.lulu.com/mightymax)

this book comes in three options:

Download
Hardcover
Softcover

I just received the hard cover and it really looks great.

nikki
04-11-2006, 08:56 PM
Does anyone have experience self-publishing with lulu?

Any ideas on marketing, placement on Amazon, PCN, CIP, LOC?

emeraldcite
04-11-2006, 09:01 PM
Hi, niki! Welcome to Absolutewrite! I'm going to move this post down to the self-publishing forum. If you scroll down to the bottom of the boards, you'll find some answers to your questions! Thanks for posting!

James D. Macdonald
04-12-2006, 06:09 AM
Does anyone have experience self-publishing with lulu?

Any ideas on marketing, placement on Amazon, PCN, CIP, LOC?

If you get an ISBN, getting listed on Amazon is easy.

You won't get a PCN or CIP, so don't bother looking. They aren't available for self-published/POD books.

You will be listed in the LOC when you get your copyright, but your book won't be in their holdings.

Marketing -- is the tough point. It'll be about the same as if you had copies of your book run off at a local printshop, except more expensive on a per-unit basis. The big advantage of using POD is that you'll save on warehousing. The question is whether the savings will be enough to offset the price difference.

You should be aware that if you get the ISBN through Lulu rather than supplying your own, you're vanity publishing. And if you do supply your own, arranging distribution will be interesting.

Lulu/POD is best for specialized non-fiction. It doesn't generally do well for novels or general interest non-fiction at all.

Chickenchargrill
04-12-2006, 12:17 PM
I've had a book from them. It wasn't one that I wanted to get published, more a family story that's been passed down. I wanted it in book form for my children. It's dead easy to get started. It's great if you only want one or two copies of a book, or want to get your own calendar published for charity...

But, I would really advise against it for selling to the general public through Amazon or you local book shops. Have you sent it off to agents/publishers first?

james1611
05-12-2006, 11:21 PM
Can't a person go directly through Lightning source and Bowkers as their own publisher?

I don't think Lulu is the actual marketer or distributor, except on their website, but getting on Amazon and so forth seems to be done apart from lulu...they become the middle man between the author and LSI, BOWKERS.

Some appear to partner with lulu, but they could go directly to LSI, and knock off a substantial markup on each book allowing them to sell the book for less and possibly help their sales a bit.

Rev. james

JNLister
09-07-2006, 10:31 PM
LuLu has unilaterally and without warning increased the UK list retail price of all its books sold through its Global Distribution package. The rise is substantial and averages around 50% per title. This affects all LuLu authors, though those based in the UK are naturally particularly affected. At the new prices, LuLu books are pretty much unmarketable in the UK.

The LuLu agreement specifically allows authors to set their own list price in US dollars. This is then converted into other currencies for overseas markets. LuLu are arguing that they have stuck to this agreement, and have simply changed the formula used for the conversion. This is a clear case of (arguably) sticking to the letter of the fine print, but ignoring the spirit and overall basis of their agreement.

This is LuLu's e-mail explaining the changes.


Dear UK Lulus,

You're receiving this email because you purchased Lulu's Global Distribution Service. As you have probably noticed, the retail price of your book, when listed in pounds, has recently increased. We know it's alarming to see a price increase for no apparent reason, so we want to explain the reason for this change.

The original formula we used to convert the Lulu price (in US dollars) into a retail price (in pounds) failed to take into account two things: fluctuations in exchange rates, and higher UK printing costs.

When we discovered this error, we had to create a new conversion formula, because we were making a loss on every global distribution book printed in the UK. The new, corrected formula allows for exchange rate fluctuations and the costs of printing in the UK. Unfortunately, adding these factors into the conversion results in a higher retail price for your book, wherever costs are listed in pounds.

Remember that you will continue to maintain complete control over the price of your content in USD. You've always had this right, and the corrected international pricing formula does nothing to affect that right. Until the entire world uses a single currency, we'll have to use one currency as the standard, in order to ensure consistency in pricing for all Lulu content.

We know this change is unsettling right now, but the new global pricing structure will be more stable than the old one, which was adjusted monthly. That meant that books which were almost exactly the same, but published at different times, would show significant differences in price. Those inconsistencies will be eliminated under the new system.

All that said, we take full responsibility for our failure to communicate this change to our international community in a timely manner. We're already designing a system for community notification on any pricing issues, to ensure that we never make this mistake again.

Thank you for bearing with us as we work out the details of bringing distributed, print-on-demand self-publishing to the entire world. It's never been done before, so we're all figuring this out together. We're here to do all we can to minimize any adverse effects that the sudden change may have had on you, our UK Lulus. Email distro@lulu.com (distro@lulu.com) with your questions, and we'll do our best to help.

Best wishes,
Lulu Customer Support

And this is my response:


This simply does not add up.

The US retail list price of my book is $15.99.

The actual conversion, at today's rates on xe.com, makes this &#163;9.58 in sterling.

But my revamped UK retail list price is &#163;13.50.

Having taken account of currency exchange, this price differential is explained by LuLu as being solely down to higher printing costs. I'm sorry, but I do not accept this. It is not credible that printing costs in the UK are so much more expensive as to raise the price by 40% compared with copies printed in the US.

LuLu have not offered a solution. The explanation that the US dollar price we set remains the same, and thus they have stuck to the original agreement, is a misleading, unethical, unfair attempt to follow the letter of the agreement, while completely failing to live up to its spirit.

Yes, it was only the US dollar list price we set as authors. But given the nature and purpose of the Global Distribution package, it was fair and reasonable for us to expect that in non-US markets, the price would be converted in a fair and reasonable way that accurately and transparantly reflected the genuine currency conversion and specific local market costs.

I set the price of my book. I wrote, published and marketed my book on the basis that third parties such as Amazon could sell it at, or around that price. Had the new increased price been the only option back then, I would not have published my book, because it simply is not marketable at that price.

LuLu have therefore taken away every piece of work I put into writing, publishing and marketing and made it, from this point on, a complete waste of my time, money and efforts.

The Global Distribution package no longer lives up the product which we paid for. The correct thing for LuLu to do would be to honour its original agreement and revert our UK prices. If this is genuinely not possible, then at the very least they should offer a refund at a sliding scale (100% for recent authors, less for those who have had their book on sale for longer) to compensate us for lost sales or the costs of republishing with an alternative publisher.

Finally, putting aside the complete lack of goodwill, customer care or decency on display here, I am utterly staggered from a purely commercial standpoint that LuLu have adopted this new pricing policy. It is not a case of a potential decline in sales, or tigher margins - LuLu books are now simply not sellable in the United Kingdom market. This will hurt authors immensely, but it will also hurt LuLu, who have effectively killed a major market for their products - both their services to authors and the proceeds LuLu receives from book sales.

To clarify a point - LuLu have now admitted they are converting on the basis that $1 = &#163;0.75. At the moment $1 = &#163;0.53, and has been nowhere near &#163;0.75 in the past year.

Anthony Ravenscroft
09-07-2006, 11:57 PM
While I empathise with your plight, that's a problem with a cross-border trade that's pegged to a single currency.

In the past five years, I've watched a UK professional journal I get go from $86/year to $135/year. The UK price has barely risen, so it's hardly a matter of production costs.

The simple fact is that (though few in the U.S. appear to know) the value of the dollar has declined & is continuing to decline. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the prices go against you again.

Yes, I do fault Lulu for this -- if they had as much business sense as they ought, they'd standardise prices for at least their major venues.

(What I don't understand is how the disparity between U.S. & Canada prices continues to increase even though the Canadian dollar is holding out quite well & inching toward parity -- so much for NAFTA, says I.)

huw
09-08-2006, 04:07 AM
UK print costs are substantially higher. I don't know if that accounts for the inflated 1:0.75 exchange rate they're using, but it's hard to see how they could do a "market-rate" conversion on this without losing their shirt on UK sales.

That doesn't help you, of course, particularly if the work you're offering is mainly of UK interest. So I sympathise, but I also think Lulu probably isn't doing anything not justified by the differential print costs. Where they messed up is in not recognising this from day 1, and setting UK prices accordingly.

JNLister
09-08-2006, 04:30 PM
I can accept that printing costs may be higher in the UK.

I do not accept that these costs are so much higher that a book that retails in the US for $15.99 (equivalent to £9.58 in the UK) should cost £13.50 in the UK.

Further, LuLu at no point told authors who signed up to Global Distribution that the non-US list prices could/would be open to revision by LuLu without notice, nor that the conversion rate could include a premium for overseas costs, let alone that this conversion rate would be 50% worse than the genuine exchange rate.

PODLINGMASTER
09-08-2006, 05:28 PM
I have recently heard from an author who was doing quite well with the sell of his lulu.com book and is there continued number 1 fiction title. He told me that his book sales have dropped substantially and when he investigated, he found this same price increase in place.

If lulu's number 1 fiction title (sustained for quite some time) is seeing this dramatic decline due to the UK price hike, then it doesn't bode well for the other lulu authors at all.

As someone else has said, they may have just killed their UK market.

Podlingmaster

huw
09-08-2006, 08:02 PM
JNLister, if you are referring to the book I believe you are, $15.99 is the direct lulu price. Books offered via lulu.com end up cheaper because there's no middleman demanding a 50% wholesale discount.

When comparing US vs UK pricing, it only makes sense to compare Amazon.com vs Amazon.co.uk, i.e. $17.99 vs £13.50. This is still inflated compared to a straight currency conversion, but pretty much what I would expect. Imagine that a book costs $4 to print in the US, and £3 to print in the UK (not unreasonable estimates). Apply a 200% markup in each case, and you get $16 and £12--completely out of line in currency terms, but that initial difference has multiplied along with the markup. Where does the 200% markup come from? Well, having a 50% wholesale discount creates one doubling. The other doubling presumably comes from lulu's profit margin and author royalties, both of which are likely to be some fixed percentage of the base print price.

Where Lulu is arguably in the wrong is if they sold Global Distribution without mentioning that the retail prices could change. Actually, I guess that they must have a contract clause that allows them to revise pricing...after all, any print partner could increase prices, meaning Lulu would need to follow suit (any fixed-price print contract will eventually expire).

Anthony Ravenscroft
09-09-2006, 01:48 AM
Sitting before me I have an item that's 5.99 UK price, & for U.S. trade marked $14.99. That's the current reality.

Right this moment, the official exchange market says that a pound is worth $1.87, & a dollar's worth 0.54 pounds.

Then, factor in shipping, rising rates of fuel, fewer carriers, & so on.

When you order a book from a POD vendor, each order constitutes a different job. A company could change the wording of a contract between jobs, if you've signed a piece of paper where you allow them to do so. The honest companies are the ones that allow you to terminate the overall agreement.

If it's possible to do what Lulu's doing & make any sort of profit, then I'm certain some other vendor will wander along & try to take up the slack.

JNLister
09-09-2006, 05:08 AM
JNLister, if you are referring to the book I believe you are, $15.99 is the direct lulu price.

Well spotted! The reference to $15.99 in my original post is a typo - it should indeed read $17.99.

However, the UK figures I listed are correct, as is the price disparity I mention.

ghooker
09-13-2006, 04:36 AM
This is my first post here, and I don't generally visit, but I wanted to post some information.

We do some of our retail book printing at LSI UK, just as Lulu does. Our retail prices seem to be lower than theirs, BEFORE THE INCREASE, and at those prices, both we and the author make a small profit, thank you very much.

If I can be of any assistance, feel free to get in touch...

Gord Hooker

FergieC
09-27-2006, 06:41 PM
I've got several beta readers lined up - including a local reading group - for a novel I've recently completed.

I've noticed that, with Lulu, there is an option to POD your book but tick a box that allows only you to see and order it. I'm thinking this would be great to do, just to see how it looks and be able to hand out to those kind of beta readers as a proper 'book' rather than an A4 manuscript.

As it's still at the re-write stage, however, I don't want it actually 'published' and certainly don't want to muddy the water with prospective agents / publishers about whether it's already considered to be published.

Does anyone know how Lulu works that way? Would it still be considered 'self-publishing' to have done that, or could it be done just as a bit of completely private fun prior to another re-write?

Or is this currently a grey area?

veinglory
09-27-2006, 06:45 PM
If it is not availble to the publish this is no different to using a local printer except in being more expensive and requiring you to pay shipping. Personally I would not bother--or would use a local store. In my neck of the woods you can get perfect binding (like a normal bound proof) for about $5.

FergieC
09-27-2006, 06:46 PM
If it is not availble to the publish this is no different to using a local printer except in being more expensive and requiring you to pay shipping

I did wonder that actually. I'm sure there's a printing shop around the corner from me. Either way, it would probably work out stupidly expensive for a bit of fun...

james1611
09-28-2006, 12:54 AM
I've got several beta readers lined up - including a local reading group - for a novel I've recently completed.

I've noticed that, with Lulu, there is an option to POD your book but tick a box that allows only you to see and order it. I'm thinking this would be great to do, just to see how it looks and be able to hand out to those kind of beta readers as a proper 'book' rather than an A4 manuscript.

As it's still at the re-write stage, however, I don't want it actually 'published' and certainly don't want to muddy the water with prospective agents / publishers about whether it's already considered to be published.

Does anyone know how Lulu works that way? Would it still be considered 'self-publishing' to have done that, or could it be done just as a bit of completely private fun prior to another re-write?

Or is this currently a grey area?

It is not considered published that way, its like having kinkos print it for you if you don't make it available to the public.

James

maestrowork
09-28-2006, 01:17 AM
Just don't make it "available." You can still print "private" copies and it won't be considered "published."

James D. Macdonald
10-26-2006, 02:34 AM
There's no difference between printing out a few bound copies for your beta readers and handing them a stack of manuscript pages or a text file.

Publishing means "make public." If you haven't made it public, it isn't published.

Carmy
10-27-2006, 08:03 AM
If it's printed privately, does the author need an ISBN?

greglondon
10-27-2006, 07:37 PM
<i>If it's printed privately, does the author need an ISBN?

I think those are mutually exlusive.
It's either private, or its got an ISBN.

ResearchGuy
11-29-2006, 04:11 AM
As an experiment, on Nov. 17th I reformatted one of my unpublished manuscripts (a monograph on a California history and economics topic) for a 6 x 9" page layout, created a simple cover, and uploaded the results to Lulu.com (after taking a couple of minutes to open an account there) for printing as a trade paperback. I ordered two copies (b/w trade paperback), and they arrived today, less than two weeks after I placed the order (shipped via the cheapest Postal Service rate).

Pretty nice, on the whole. The title is a bit off-center on the spine (very narrow spine for a book under 100 pages, so I knew that was iffy anyway). Surprisingly, the graphs, which were in color in the manuscript printed in a sharp grayscale in the book (I had expected a murkier look to those). I noticed after I had placed the order that I had neglected to delete an unwanted hyphen and to fix a couple of bad line breaks in the text for back cover. (Optional hyphens in Word can be a nuisance.) Lesson there is to look more closely at the preview of that sort of thing.

It was a painless process, and the result entirely satisfactory (as the only problem was my own error on the back cover). I'll use Lulu again, next time for a more serious project. The result was much nicer than I could have gotten from a copy shop and much less expensive than any local full-service printer could have provided.

If you want to give it a try, be sure to proof read carefully (including cover text!) and order a sample copy to examine before ordering in quantity. Lulu can autogenerate a cover for you (spend some time with the options and with the cover gallery), or, if you have the tools (Photoshop Elements seems to suffice) and the skills, you can design one yourself. (Next time I will not bother with a one-piece cover, but this time I wanted to see how one would work out and to learn how to size the image.)

FWIW.

--Ken

expatbrat
11-29-2006, 05:06 AM
I had the same idea for my beta readers. Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer this question.

As I will need to post books to beta readers anyway I may as well get attractive looking copies for my readers and have lulu ship them out. (and printing around here is stupid expensive, PLUS the staff will no-doubt stuff up the page orders and bound the whole thing completely wrong).

jchines
11-29-2006, 05:10 AM
I did this with one copy of an unpublished novel as a gift for my wife. (She liked it a lot more than my agent did ... sigh.) One or a handful of copies that aren't publicly available and don't have ISBNs isn't going to matter to a publisher.

I also think it's a useful exercise for an author, going through the process of typesetting and cover design and proofreading and writing back cover copy and so on. I learned a lot, and came away with a lot more respect for the work that goes on behind the scenes at the publisher.

popmuze
12-07-2006, 10:58 PM
I'm wondering if sending lulu a finished, printed hardcover version of my book, which has been released by a regular publisher (I have the trade paperback rights) would lower my POD costs, but I can't figure out a way to get their help desk to answer?

huw
12-08-2006, 01:03 AM
Unless things have changed since I last looked, Lulu's customers upload page layouts and covers digitally (Word, PDF, maybe other formats). So I'm not sure that lulu would be able to help you with scanning it.

Something to consider: do you have the right to use the h/c page layouts and typography? It could be worth checking. There's also the issue of whether the book sizes offered by lulu will map well to the size used for the hardback layout. Finally, if your book is illustrated , be sure that the images will print acceptably on POD before you commit a lot of time and work to this.

Julie Worth
12-08-2006, 01:12 AM
Lulu is not a regular POD. Its speciality is its interface with a printer. You go to lulu and upload your files, and everything takes place electronically, without human intervention (except for the non-lulu running the POD machine and putting your order in a box). No one at lulu needs to see the product at all, unless there's a problem.

They also have help pages and a forum that you might want to check out.

And no, they wouldn't be interested in your book if you sent it to them. That's not how they work.

BTW, you can publish through lulu for free, so lowering your POD cost is not possible.

veinglory
12-08-2006, 01:38 AM
I don't know why Lulu would want a hardcopy of your book. They take a digital file and make a POD. So they want a digital file, and making a POD will cost the same regardless.

Reluctant Artist
12-12-2006, 07:30 AM
Research Guy:

Just today I received the two copies of my book that I submitted to Lulu for largely the same reason you did it: for the fun and satisfaction of it. I, too, found things I would change the next time - and one I'll change on any other copy that goes anywhere - a misspelling, caught by my 11 year old daughter on the 2nd page!!! (peek - not peak!) It really makes me want to get the manuscript to a copy editor, when here all the time I've been thinking I could catch each and every boo-boo myself........

Julie Worth
12-12-2006, 07:34 AM
Never order more than one book. God the mistakes you can make! And Lulu will faithfully reproduce them.

6x9? I like the mass market size. It's cute, and you can put it in your pocket. Great for betas!

ResearchGuy
12-12-2006, 08:04 AM
... It really makes me want to get the manuscript to a copy editor, when here all the time I've been thinking I could catch each and every boo-boo myself........
No one is his or her own best copy editor or proof reader -- maybe not even a barely adequate one. True of myself, for sure.

--Ken

Julie Worth
12-12-2006, 08:06 AM
No one is his or her own best copy editor or proof reader -- maybe not even a barely adequate one. True of myself, for sure.

The good thing about lulu is that each book can be a new edition.

M.A.Gardener
12-14-2006, 11:50 PM
How much did it cost you to do that? Did you have to pay up front, or is it just that they take a percentage? How much did you "make" off each copy?

Christine N.
12-15-2006, 12:40 AM
I used Lulu to reproduce a transcription of my great-grandmother's 1901 diary. I added transcription notes, pictures, geneology. It took me a long while to convert the dang thing on my computer, but that was my own idiocy. Once that was done. I chose a cover, made it look pretty and ordered one.

I re-paginated things, added blank pages between sections, etc.. and re-ordered copies for family for Christmas. Yes, the quality is pretty darn good - I also expected the grayscale pictures to be blurrier than they were; they came out beautifully. What a nice keepsake it's going to be, and I can order more copies if needed. For less than $10.00 each. Sweet!

Love Lulu for stuff like that.

M.A.- no, it's free to setup a book and have an account. You, as the author/publisher set the sale price above the 'base price' (which is where Lulu makes their money) and the difference is your 'royalty'. Not a bad deal, considering.

ResearchGuy
12-15-2006, 06:57 AM
How much did it cost you to do that? Did you have to pay up front, or is it just that they take a percentage? How much did you "make" off each copy?
I paid about $16 for the two copies of mine, postage included. No other charges. I'll keep one for my files and I am using the other as a sample to show when I talk to folks about POD.

To get ISBN and some other services would have cost $99.95, and there is another package for $149.95 (the user can pick one or the other or neither). Those extras are unnecessary if you are only using Lulu as a printer -- you can even have the books available for purchase via Lulu's site with no cost other than the price of the books. Full info. on prices is at www.lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com).

Lulu has a markup included in the printing cost it charges, and if you set a selling price above the printing cost it takes 20% of that. So, if your book has printing cost of $10 and you price it at $20, Lulu sends you $8 per copy purchased, but you can buy for your own use at $10.

Bear in mind: Lulu does no formatting for you, no editing -- bare bones book printing from your file. It does provide some free cover templates.

--Ken

kwwriter
12-16-2006, 02:32 AM
Sounds like the way to go if you want to see your work on paper -- print paper without all the expenses.

Ralyks
12-20-2006, 04:53 AM
I used Lulu for a poetry book. I basically just wanted copies for friends and family, as I am well aware that the market for poetry (particularly traditional poetry) is limited. I managed to sell a few copies to strangers as well. Very economical. I used thier stock cover option and found that the cover looked quite nice--I just wish they would allow you to add back cover text on the stock option. (I don't know how to use Photoshop to design my own.) It is cheaper than using my local copy shop. I sometimes like to use Lulu just to make proof copies--I find it more enjoyable to edit in that format and don't want to print out all those pages on my printer at home.

M.A.Gardener
12-21-2006, 02:35 AM
It sounds like a good way to go, especially for small runs. I'm a former desktop publisher and still do some freelance design work, so I have no doubt I can make it look good. The problem as I see it is if I want to do the distribution and promotion all myself. I do want to sell these books, after all! ;)

Chumplet
12-21-2006, 02:46 AM
If you don't get an ISBN number and only print a few copies, would the book be considered published or not?

Suppose you still want to get a publisher or agent to take it on. I'm hoping that having it printed in this manner doesn't hurt your chances.

Julie Worth
12-21-2006, 02:51 AM
If you don't get an ISBN number and only print a few copies, would the book be considered published or not?

Suppose you still want to get a publisher or agent to take it on. I'm hoping that having it printed in this manner doesn't hurt your chances.

Publication is defined by the copyright office as "the distribution of copies... to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies ... to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes publication. A public performance or display of a work does not itself constitute publication."

So if you don't sell your book, or offer it for sale through lulu, it shouldn't be considered published.

Julie Worth
12-21-2006, 02:58 AM
(I don't know how to use Photoshop to design my own.)

You can design your covers in Word, and then print to a PNG, JPEG OR GIF file using a software print engine called "Universal Document Converter." It's easy to make a cover in Word if you know how to work with text boxes, and it's no more difficult to print it to a lulu compatible file format than to print it to paper. You can try out the converter software (http://www.print-driver.com/download/) for free, but it will leave a watermark on the image until you pay for it.

Ralyks
12-22-2006, 02:50 AM
You can design your covers in Word, and then print to a PRN, JPEG OR GIF file using a software print engine called "Universal Document Converter." It's easy to make a cover in Word if you know how to work with text boxes, and it's no more difficult to print it to a lulu compatible file format than to print it to paper. You can try out the converter software (http://www.print-driver.com/download/) for free, but it will leave a watermark on the image until you pay for it.

Thanks for the info. Would it convert an image designed in Publisher? I'm not very good working with Word to design things, but I can use Publisher just fine. It's the spine, spacing, etc. I'm uncertain about doing.

Julie Worth
12-22-2006, 03:22 AM
Thanks for the info. Would it convert an image designed in Publisher? I'm not very good working with Word to design things, but I can use Publisher just fine. It's the spine, spacing, etc. I'm uncertain about doing.

I've never done that, but if you can print from Publisher, it should work.

Julie Worth
12-22-2006, 04:45 AM
It's the spine, spacing, etc. I'm uncertain about doing.

You can upload front and back covers individually, in which case these need to be PNG, JPEG or GIF files, while the spine is done separately on lulu, where you can specify only a line of text, and the colors of the text and background. If you upload a wraparound cover, you can put pictures on the spine, or have a picture or other graphics go all the way round, but that has to be in a pdf file. You probably already have pdf capability, since the interior of your book has to be pdf.

Christine N.
12-23-2006, 08:19 PM
I use Primo .pdf to convert my files. It's free.
Only thing I can't figure out is how to get the page numbers from the Word .doc to the .pdf. It won't convert the headers and footers.

David Wisehart
01-06-2007, 01:39 PM
I just approved my book Valentino: a play in verse (http://www.lulu.com/content/485931).

My experience with Lulu has been very positive. The production quality is good and the setup was easy.

For a book that is unlikely to find a traditional publisher, I think this is a great way to go.

MisterEThoughts
01-12-2007, 12:48 PM
How Do I get the ISBN? from LULU?

MisterEThoughts
01-14-2007, 05:55 AM
Anyone?

MMcC
01-14-2007, 08:32 AM
You purchase one. They go for around 150 bucks, I believe. If you are going through LuLu they have excellent directions right on their website if memory serves. It's a pretty quick application and payment process.

Julie Worth
01-14-2007, 04:33 PM
If you're buying an ISBN just to get your book on Amazon, you might want to consider other POD pubs that can get it there for a lower price. Even while you keep your non-ISBN book on Lulu.

Also, don't buy an ISBN before you're finished fiddling with the book. The big advantage of Lulu (apart from getting a book published in minutes) is that you can put out new editions whenever you want, which is great for getting books for your Beta readers. But once you get an ISBN, you're locked into your last edition.

veinglory
01-17-2007, 06:48 AM
Lulu has a package called ISBN plus. The information is on their website but it really takes some work to sort out excatly what is involved. I would suggest printing it out, costing a book and spending some time looking at all the documentation. It's an okay deal if you can live with the final cover price.

ResearchGuy
01-18-2007, 08:12 PM
Worth a look: http://www.lulu.com/content/626583.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
01-18-2007, 08:22 PM
How Do I get the ISBN? from LULU?
See http://www.lulu.com/help/index.php?fSymbol=isbn_faq .

If needed, Lulu offers "live help." See www.lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com) for information on accessing that.

--Ken

BenPanced
01-19-2007, 11:32 PM
If you don't get an ISBN number and only print a few copies, would the book be considered published or not?

Suppose you still want to get a publisher or agent to take it on. I'm hoping that having it printed in this manner doesn't hurt your chances.

I can't remember the exact wording, but there is an option on there to keep a book out of public listings and have it set up so only you can view/order it.

Popeyesays
01-21-2007, 04:30 AM
As long as you do not allow the public to view it and buy it, it is not published.

Many people use LULU to get a free copy of a book of their manuscript, as long as it is never listed for sale, it does not need an ISBN nor is it 'published'.

Regards,
Scott

Christine N.
01-21-2007, 05:10 AM
Yeah, you can make it just for you. I did that with my grandmother's diary, because I only needed a few copies for family.

I think you click the 'private' listing button.

kborsden
01-22-2007, 02:09 AM
Right, I'm looking to publish my latest book through LuLu. If I go ahead with this and I go for the ISBN option, my book is published and ready to sell, right?
But, how is it advertised? and with whom?

About the ISBN thing again, I live in Britain, I have the number to ring in order to get one, but if LuLu does it for me, how much does it then cost? The same as when I do it myself? Is it included in the overall LuLu price package?

Thanks,
Kie.

Julie Worth
01-22-2007, 02:17 AM
Many people use LULU to get a free copy of a book of their manuscript...

The books are never free. But for ten dollars or so, almost.

ResearchGuy
01-22-2007, 02:32 AM
...but if LuLu does it for me, how much does it then cost? The same as when I do it myself? Is it included in the overall LuLu price package?...
Go here: http://www.lulu.com/author/

Scroll down to find links to FAQs (left side of page). Those will answer your questions. Or skip a step and click on http://www.lulu.com/help/index.php?fSymbol=isbn_faq -- that should have all the answers you need about ISBNs.

If you still have questions, there is live phone help -- but probably not needed, as the FAQs are pretty comprehensive, especially for such basic questions.

--Ken

blacbird
01-23-2007, 09:14 PM
You can design your covers in Word, and then print to a PNG, JPEG OR GIF file using a software print engine called "Universal Document Converter." It's easy to make a cover in Word if you know how to work with text boxes, and it's no more difficult to print it to a lulu compatible file format than to print it to paper. You can try out the converter software (http://www.print-driver.com/download/) for free, but it will leave a watermark on the image until you pay for it.

Even easier to do it in MS-Excel. Text-boxes and image manipulation are more flexible than in Word, and there are associated drawing tools in Excel that aren't available in Word. And you can copy any portion of an Excel spreadsheet as an image and paste it into any graphics program you have for file translation into JPG or PNG or whatever.

caw

Popeyesays
01-23-2007, 11:24 PM
Use MS Publisher, then print it to a PDF file. If anybody has a cover they're working on and just can't seem to get it layered properly, check with me, and if the elements of the cover are available I can put it into Publisher, and create it in PDF in about twenty minutes. Glad to help.

Regards,
Scott

kborsden
01-24-2007, 01:16 PM
What about the layout of the book? After I've converted to pdf, is each page as it will appear in the finished work?

Kie

James D. Macdonald
01-29-2007, 12:46 AM
Yes, each page in your pdf is as it will appear. So make sure you have your margins the right size, that you've got your page numbering, your running heads, your justification, your title page, your copyright page ... everything ... as you want it.

kborsden
01-29-2007, 04:46 PM
thanks, but I've been searching their site and find no mention of HOW I'm supposed to pay their fees, what are the options?

Julie Worth
01-29-2007, 04:54 PM
thanks, but I've been searching their site and find no mention of HOW I'm supposed to pay their fees, what are the options?

That's cause it's free. When you buy books, you pay with your credit card.

Oh...you mean the ISBN. That's also credit card.

ResearchGuy
01-29-2007, 09:10 PM
thanks, but I've been searching their site and find no mention of HOW I'm supposed to pay their fees, what are the options?
Set up a Lulu account (including credit card information). It is about as simple as setting up an Amazon account. Maybe simpler, as you would list only one credit card for Lulu, as opposed to the possibility of several at Amazon. Then book purchases (your own or any others you buy from Lulu) and any other charges (distribution packages) are billed to the credit card associated with your Lulu account.

--Ken

James D. Macdonald
01-30-2007, 08:32 AM
Right, I'm looking to publish my latest book through LuLu. If I go ahead with this and I go for the ISBN option, my book is published and ready to sell, right?

Right


But, how is it advertised? and with whom?

You do it.


About the ISBN thing again, I live in Britain, I have the number to ring in order to get one, but if LuLu does it for me, how much does it then cost?

If you want Lulu to do the fulfillment for you, you have to get their ISBN. If you're doing your own fulfillment (just using Lulu as a printer), you can get the ISBN wherever you want. Here's their FAQ. (http://www.lulu.com/help/index.php?fSymbol=isbn_faq)

I'm sure Lulu lists somewhere how much all this costs.


The same as when I do it myself? Is it included in the overall LuLu price package?

Thanks,
Kie.

Here's what they have to say:


Lulu offers Published By Lulu Distribution Service for $99.95 and Published By You Distribution Service for $149.95. For all the details see the Distribution FAQ (http://www.lulu.com/help/distribution_faq).

Julie Worth
01-30-2007, 04:49 PM
If you want Lulu to do the fulfillment for you, you have to get their ISBN.

You don't need an ISBN to sell through Lulu. But without one you can't sell through Amazon, etc.

mustlovedogs
02-06-2007, 08:35 PM
I think I have read and understand that if you use the Published by Lulu service that you get your ISBN, listing in Book In Print and then your book can appear on Amazon and/or B&N - my question is does anyone know of anyone who has actually done it ? Is there a book currently listed on Amazon that was published by Lulu ?
I tried a search for Lulu publishing and came up empty.
Thanks
Lisa

CaoPaux
02-06-2007, 08:53 PM
Looks like their books are listed as Lulu.com, Lulu Enterprises (UK), Lulu Inc., etc., rather than "Lulu Publishing". A search on just "Lulu" found >5,000.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_adv_b/?search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=&author=&select-author=field-author-like&title=&select-title=field-title&subject=&select-subject=field-subject&field-publisher=Lulu&field-isbn=&node=&field-binding=&field-age=&field-language=&field-dateop=before&field-datemod=0&field-dateyear=2009&chooser-sort=rank%21%2Bsalesrank&mysubmitbutton1.x=13&mysubmitbutton1.y=12

James D. Macdonald
02-07-2007, 12:20 AM
Here's one (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1411622987/ref=nosim/madhousemanor/).

alleycat
02-07-2007, 12:31 AM
There's an extra "o" in the word amazon in James's link.

Here's what he meant: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1411622987/ref=nosim/madhousemanor/

RichHelms
02-12-2007, 05:09 AM
For Canadian writers the process of obtaining an ISBN is online and free.

http://www.collectionscanada.ca/isbn/index-e.html

Realize your are the publisher in a self-published book. Enter yourself as the publisher. This sets up a set of ISBN numbers with each only differing by the last numbers

Once you get your ISBN, go to www.camrin.org/barcode.htm (http://www.camrin.org/barcode.htm) and
enter the number without the dashes. Select “large barcode” and click on
the “Generate Barcode” button. Copy and paste the barcode into an image
editor such as Photoshop. Save the image as a .tif and import it into
your document.

snook
02-15-2007, 06:40 AM
Mine is, no sweat was easy

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780615138381&itm=2

http://www.amazon.com/Man-His-Maniac-Bunkie-Story/dp/0615138381/sr=11-1/qid=1171507172/ref=sr_11_1/002-1128734-3810401

snook
02-15-2007, 06:48 AM
It's EZ, even a caveman can do it.

Moltten
02-17-2007, 01:14 AM
My question is; What is the difference of using a service like LULU and say, iUniverse... is Lulu also a POD. Which one is better than the other and why? If one is an author wanting to sell his books and hopefully get a traditional publisher, do any of these two methods increase one's chances... Thanx guys

Rob

snook
02-17-2007, 01:45 AM
LULU: you retain ALL rights to your work

iUniverse: I don't know, but I think that you are contract bound. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It's been known to happen.

POD: I couldn't find an agent or editor that would let my book be my way. When they were done with my work, nothing of myself was left in it. I didn't like that, so here I am. POD does NOT help you with traditional opportunities.

Some POD authors do get picked up, but it's RARE. Come to think of it though, it's RARE to get picked up, traditional or otherwise. Nevermind.

ChunkyC
02-17-2007, 02:17 AM
The folks at LULU are honest and professional about what they do, and the finished product is excellent. We used them for our Stories of Strength anthology after hurricane Katrina and couldn't have been more pleased.

Talia
02-24-2007, 02:02 PM
has anyone tried book surge (the amazon POD co)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=13685731

James D. Macdonald
02-28-2007, 05:59 PM
Complete workshop instructions for getting a book on Lulu, for free:

Using your favorite wordprocessor:

Write your book.

Format the pages to 6x9. Set the margins to something reasonable.

Follow HapiSofi's instructions for Decent Typesetting (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=94054&postcount=18).

Put in the title page, a hard page break, the copyright page (use the format from a book you find on your shelf for this), hard page break, dedication, hard page break, blank page. Now the book starts on a right-hand page. Follow the format of a book you pick up off your shelf for the page numbers and running heads. (If your wordprocessor supports it, author's name on the top of left-hand pages (even pages), title of book on right-hand pages (odd pages).

Check the whole thing for formatting oopsies: changing the margins can reveal inadvertant linebreaks and such. (Use View/Page rather than View/Draft in WordPerfect, similar in other wordprocessors.) If your book has 16,000 lines, this means hitting the Down Arrow on your keyboard 16,000 times. Last chance to look at the thing.

Create a .pdf when you're happy with the way it looks. Either use your wordprocessor's native pdf creation (in WordPerfect it's File/Publish To/PDF) or a third-party (http://www.cutepdf.com/) PDF (http://www.freeware-guide.com/dir/util/pdf.html) utility (http://www.trustmeher.net/freeware/pdf.htm).

Go to Lulu. Create an account. Follow the prompts. If you aren't up to doing graphics yourself, use one of their freebie default covers.

There you are, a book, with your name on the cover, that you can hold in your hands.

Some examples done this way by me:
http://www.lulu.com/content/219003
http://www.lulu.com/content/132312
http://www.lulu.com/content/700451

Christine N.
02-28-2007, 06:53 PM
Lulu can give you some idea how to format the page, including gutters, on their FAQ pages.

Getting it to convert to .pdf in 6x9 took me a whole day to figure out. There's a way to include a 6x9 choice in your 'page setup' in Word, but I forget how I did it. I found the answer, again, on the Lulu help boards. But making a special size was the only way I got it to convert from Word to .pdf in the 6x9 size. It kept on going from 6x9 to 8.5x11 in the .pdf.

If you don't care about the font (which was why I did the conversion myself, along with the fact I had quite a few photographs) then lulu has a .pdf converter you can use for free.

I would also view the file as a 'book' first in Word. There's a button up top that has a little 'book' icon and says 'read'. It'll show you what the pages will look like. I learned from experience that you need to see it that way to figure out where the blank pages and such go.

Julie Worth
02-28-2007, 07:01 PM
Don't forget that lulu has other sizes, everything from pocket to 8.5 by 11. I always get the pocket size, because it's so cute!

Ghengis Kant
02-28-2007, 09:30 PM
Idea- Can I use Lulu to publish 1 or 2 copies of a completed manuscript in order to give them to beta readers?

Julie Worth
02-28-2007, 09:32 PM
Idea- Can I use Lulu to publish 1 or 2 copies of a completed manuscript in order to give them to beta readers?


That's what I do.

Ghengis Kant
02-28-2007, 09:35 PM
Awesome!

ResearchGuy
02-28-2007, 10:24 PM
Complete workshop instructions for getting a book on Lulu, for free:

Using your favorite wordprocessor:

Write your book.

Format the pages to 6x9. Set the margins to something reasonable.

Follow HapiSofi's instructions for Decent Typesetting (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=94054&postcount=18).

Put in the title page, a hard page break, the copyright page (use the format from a book you find on your shelf for this), hard page break, dedication, hard page break, blank page. Now the book starts on a right-hand page. Follow the format of a book you pick up off your shelf for the page numbers and running heads. (If your wordprocessor supports it, author's name on the top of left-hand pages (even pages), title of book on right-hand pages (odd pages). . . .
http://www.lulu.com/content/219003
. . .

Jim, did you do all the formatting on those examples yourself? According to your instructions?

If so, I would be most grateful if you would let me in on how you got the headers and footers and page numbers right without using section breaks. (I only looked at the first example, but figure the others are similar.)

If the file was created in Word, I am mystified as to how it could have been done without section breaks. (Maybe other word processors have some other option.)

Thanks.

--Ken

Christine N.
02-28-2007, 10:29 PM
Yes, that was my one problem - I couldn't get the headers and page numbers to transfer to the .pdf.

ResearchGuy
02-28-2007, 10:33 PM
Idea- Can I use Lulu to publish 1 or 2 copies of a completed manuscript in order to give them to beta readers?
I think you mean "print 1 or 2 copies," not "publish." But absolutely yes, with or without book-style formatting and in your choice of binding (perfect bound or spiral) and choice of page size. I have found the Lulu option to save me two-thirds of the cost of printing and spiral-binding at my local Staples or OfficeMax. Sure, it takes about two weeks to get the copies, but at a savings of $20+ per copy for a large manuscript, that is still a good deal. It is a practical choice for galleys/ARCs, too.

--Ken

ResearchGuy
03-01-2007, 12:28 AM
Yes, that was my one problem - I couldn't get the headers and page numbers to transfer to the .pdf.
My guess would be an incorrect setting for margins. If margins are not set right, stuff at the edge disappears when it is not within the print area, and making a pdf is a type of printing process.

Layout for printing, especially for a document laid out book-style (front matter, headers, footers, page numbering conventions, headings, subheadings, table of contents, and so on), is not nearly as simple as some folks want to suggest (even in Word, let alone in professional tools like FrameMaker). My guess is that those who say how easy it is for amateurs have never actully designed a book and laid out the file for printing.

--Ken

Talia
03-02-2007, 01:08 AM
It's free in NZ too. I didn't know you had to purchase in other countries.

Will an ISBN from another country work on Amazon? I have 2 books published but the ISBNs don't show up on amazon

Talia
03-02-2007, 01:17 AM
p.s. if you are printing with lulu and want to sell your book on amazon you have to buy the isbn from lulu. they won't list your book on amazon unless you buy from them.


taliamana: Do you mean amazon won't take it or lulu won't try to list it?
Josh - Lulu Support: if it is an existing isbn lulu will not add it to amazon.
Josh - Lulu Support: Only if it is a new one that you get through lulu.