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Apr
30

The Pros and Cons of Publishing with Lulu

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If you want to publish a real live book, there’s no reason to deal with publishers anymore. You can use Lulu.com to publish it yourself. It’s really easy and the end result is your own physical book, which is even cooler than publishing electronic titles online.

The Sheer Power of Online Publishing

Now for Sam & I we are already on Kindle and other ebook platforms but there’s every chance we will also experiment with ‘publish on demand’ as well, so that’s why we’ve covered Lulu here, see what you think…

How Lulu Works

I shouldn’t say that it’s incredibly easy – lots of people have found it difficult to publish with Lulu. But they have a user-friendly system that walks you straight through the steps to getting your book published. I don’t know how they could make it any simpler.

The first step is to sign up for a free account. Write your book and turn it into PDF format. Now, one complicated thing about Lulu is that they have tons of different packages. Spend some time checking these out and decide which one is best for you.

Follow the steps and upload your file. You then get to choose paper quality and cover material. Upload your cover design and you’re ready to go. They’ll send you a proof of your book and once you approve it, it’s off to the printers.

The Advantages of Lulu

Lulu isn’t the only game in town when it comes to self-publishing. There are quite a few similar services. But Lulu does offer some distinct advantages over the others.

First of all, Lulu prints books POD, which means ‘pay on demand.’ You don’t have to pay up front to print thousands of books and you don’t get stuck with boxes full of them taking up space at your house forever.

Probably the area where Lulu stands out is in the quality of its books. Other companies products books that are slightly shoddy and this is especially true of the covers, which wear down quickly. Lulu produces real books with the same quality you get from real publishers.

One of the things I love about Lulu is that they do some of your marketing for you. Lulu automatically puts your books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, public library databases, and their own marketplace, which is huge.

The Downsides of Lulu

Lulu produces high quality books but you pay for it. It’s a bit more expensive than other self-publishing services to use. This is especially true for titles that have lots of images.

They also take a 20 percent cut of each book sold. That really adds up after a while, but that’s how they make their money.

Another thing that lots of authors don’t like is that if you’re outside the US, your book will have Lulu as the publisher. This isn’t a good thing from a branding perspective. You might want to use your own name for publishing but you can’t do that.

Lulu is a quality service but it has its lovers and haters. There are lots of bad reviews along with the good. I’d say just to give them a try if you want to find out for yourself.

Toby Russell

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Have you used Lulu? What do you think of it?

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