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[Publisher] Lulu.com



I just checked the website and took a look at the preview available for a couple of their books. The quality of the writing that I saw was quite low--grammar errors, poor spelling, incorrect punctuation, etc.

I wouldn't want my book associated with the ones I saw on their website.


Re: lulu

Wouldn't the same be true for the titles at iUniverse, PublishAmerica, etc??

I guess what I'm asking concerning LuLu has more to do with the quality of production, order fulfillment, listing on online booksellers, etc?




I don't know if this has been posted elsewhere, but what is your opinion of lulu.com.? Is it something worthwhile, or should I beware?

James D Macdonald

Re: Lulu

Depends on what you want to do.

If you want a couple of copies of your book in printed form, that's one thing. If you're planning to get your book into stores for general sale, that's something else.


i agree!

just another pod... go this route, if you really want to, but don't think it'll make you a 'published' writer, 'cause it won't...


BOY!! Do I need HELP!!!

Has anyone ever heard about lulu?


I was drawn in by the website but I am such a naive person and trusting soul. Would somebody please tell me if this is legitimate? If it is not, would somebody please slap some sense into me?!?!?!?:smack

An ever-faithful student.... Tammy


Re: BOY!! Do I need HELP!!!

So far, I do not have any complaints about Lulu at P&E. Based on initial appearances and comments I have read here and elsewhere, Lulu appears to be honest in what it has to offer.

Regardless, it's young and it's a bit early for any true horror stories to have emerged, so I can only state that the jury is still out, though I hope it turns out to be good for writers as there are some writing needs that Lulu might suitably fulfill.


Re: BOY!! Do I need HELP!!!

There's one person here on the board who had a poetry book published through lulu. I don't know if he's still around but I can link you to where he talks about lulu, if you'd like. (I was also a part of that discussion.)


Re: BOY!! Do I need HELP!!!

I would like to know all I can. How do I get the link? This is the only message board I know of.



Re: BOY!! Do I need HELP!!!


I went to that sight and tried to email the guy in person and the email is no longer any good. So I still don't really know anything....:shrug

Does anybody else know anything else about Lulu?



Re: BOY!! Do I need HELP!!!


Which "guy" do you mean? The one who made the offer? If so, I'd forget about that. He charged WAAAAY too much for a poor-quality book. I hate to say anything bad about people, but the gist of it is that I was given a fee of $1200 for a small book with a black&white cover. With that kind of money, I should get a better presentation...

Lulu is looking pretty good to me so far. I haven't seen complaints about them but when I saw them listed in a magazine article as a novelty publisher, I started having second thoughts. I dunno yet.

Ask around and see what your options are. My sister is an artist and she can do a pretty darn good book cover for you, if you have the means of getting printing. Her rates are very fair, too.

Send me an e-mail, if you'd like: [email protected]

Good luck! :)



Re: BOY!! Do I need HELP!!!

It seems like Lulu is pretty up and up and honest about what they are and what they are not. They're basically a self-publish POD offering but without the basic trap (no contracts, no upfront fees, etc.). The unit cost is high, even with the volume discount, but you set your own royalties and they pay you, I believe, quarterly. On top of the print cost they charge you a service charge. So let's say your basic cost per book is $8, and you want $8 royal, the price of your book would be about $18? A little steep for a paperback, but still not too bad.

There are other services if you don't supply your printer-ready covers and ms. You can use their stock covers or design your own. You can let them typeset your ms (follow their ms guidelines) or typeset yourself and give them a PDF.

The ISBN and ISBN PLUS programs sound reasonable. With ISBN PLUS they put your in Ingram or some other distribution databases. And your book is automatically for sale on their website.

I think Lulu is a viable solution. But I think they're still considered vanity since just about anyone can print and sell their books without any quality control. It's good for someone who wants to sell a few hundreds of their book. It's easier than having to completely do it yourself (e.g. printing it at Lightning Source and registering your own ISBN, etc.) So for someone who knows nothing about self-publishing it's a viable solution, but there's probably still going to be a stigma of "vanity."

I've used them to do a mock copy of a book -- it's not for sale to the public... a better choice than Kinkos and CafePress, in my opinion. They're good to make anything from books to pamphlet or manuals, etc. The quality seems decent, actually a notch better than Cafe Press and cheaper, too.


Re: Boy, Help

Maestro said:
"...you set your own royalties and they pay you, I believe, quarterly. On top of the print cost they charge you a service charge. So let's say your basic cost per book is $8, and you want $8 royal, the price of your book would be about $18?"
Aha! I recognize that -- it's the CafePress model. You provide the content, they do the production. Base price per unit covers the cost of production plus their own modest profit. You set the retail price wherever you think it'll sell. If you're right, you both make a little money. If you're wrong, you don't get paid for your time and effort, but otherwise nobody takes much of a loss.

It's not really publishing, just putting your book into print, and lord knows you'll never get rich off it. On the other hand, it's harmless.


Re: Boy, Help

Thanks, Maestro and Hapi, for shining more light on Lulu.com.


Anyone dealt w/POD publisher called Lulu?

I'm thinking of using them for upcoming book.


Re: Anyone dealt w/POD publisher called Lulu?

If you are going vanity, Lulu isn't so bad. Just the usual problems of the book costing twice as much as a normal one, and the need to edit and promote it yourself, and the fact no book store will carry it.


Re: lulu

I haven't used them but I read through their website.

It looks like they'd have the same negatives and positives of any POD.

If you DON'T want distribution, this is better than most PODs, because you pay no set up fee and can set your own cover price. You'd get your 250 page book for about $10 a piece, then you could re-sell them yourself at whatever price you want for a profit. But if this is all you want, a printer would probably make more sense than a POD.

If you DO want an ISBN and distribution to the online retailers (no POD will get you in bricks and moretar stores), you'll need to pay a set up fee of $160, still lower than most other PODs set up fees.

As for earnings, you set your own royalty and therefore your own cover price.

For a 250 page book, they would take about $10 (which they claim covers "cost" but that is much more than the cost of a printing a POD book) plus 20 percent of the royalty you set. Thus, if you set your cover price for $14, you would get $3.20 of that and they would get $10.80 for every sale. This seems about standard for a POD--a little lower than some, a little higher than others. You have more control with LULU though, and can set your own royalty and thus your own cover price.

I haven't heard of anything about their follow-through on distribution to the online retailers. I'd search by publisher on Amazon.com and see if any books come up.

This might be a good option, too, if you just want one or two copies of your book in book form for editing.

Julie Worth

Re: lulu

I use them regularly. Their trade paperbacks are of high quality (if you upload quality files, of course). I use the books to get feedback and blurbs. Good blurbs do help if you’re trying to get an agent or publisher interested.


www.lulu.com...anybody know about their trustworthiness?

My writing partner and I have been looking this site over and it LOOKS ok....has anyone on this board ever used them? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

any info would be helpful.


Re: www.lulu.com...anybody know about their trustworthiness?

I know of one small company that used them to promote their 'complimentary' magazines. Another author uses them to show potential editors and publishers her finished manuscript. The small publishing company has now moved on to another printer.

On the flip side they have no marketing tactics, nor editing services, you have to do all the work yourself. An author of a children's book was disappointed to learn that in 6 months he only sold 2 books. That was after I told him to check the status of his sales.

The general consensus is to check with your local printer and see what kind of 'deal' you can work out.

James D Macdonald

Re: www.lulu.com...anybody know about their trustworthiness?

They're a printer.

Everyone I know who's used them (admittedly a small sample) says that their quality is okay.

The one copy I saw was a decent physical specimen (though the author had used a typeface too small for my aging eyes in order to save paper costs).

Check their prices against the prices of a local short-run printer you find in the yellow pages for the number of copies you want to determine which makes the most sense.