If you’re a self-publishing author, or about to become one, you will have no doubt looked at the big players in print on demand publishing, and one of these is Lulu.
So, who are they? Well, founded by Bob Young in 2002, Lulu is an online print-on-demand, distribution and self-publishing service, currently based in North Carolina. They have published millions of titles and offer authors a wide range of formats for their books.
Lulu offer several services to authors:
This is for print on demand self-publishing and is free to use, there are no minimum orders, you sell your book via Lulu’s own bookstore and their global distribution channels (which include Amazon, Ingram and Barnes & Noble), you also retain 80% of your book’s gross profit.
Currently this service offers a free ISBN (for projects with global distribution, sold through Lulu.com, Direct and print API), Lulu.com also works if you just want to publish as an eBook only.
This is for those who are selling their own book themselves, Lulu have created an app which will work with your Shopify website, so you can make order fulfillment a great deal easier.
The service is free to use, customer data will still be retained by you, you can have your own labeling and there’s no inventory management to worry about. It’s great if you are starting your own publishing imprint and want to sell your book (or series of books) away from just Amazon via your own Shopify website.
Aimed at publishers or businesses that want to sell their own books via their own websites, this service is free to use (and like Lulu Direct) you retain your customer details, don’t have to deal with inventory and keep 100% of the profits.
One thing about Lulu is that they offer some great options for formats of printed books/products, from standard paperbacks to hardcovers (casewrap and/or dust jacket) to photo books, comic books, magazines, year books and of course eBooks.
They also offer a decent range of trim sizes, starting at 4.25in x 6.875in (Pocket Book) and going up to 11in x8.5in (Calendar), along with the sizes, you’ll have options for perfect bound, coil bound and saddle stitch (format dependent of course).
The interiors give you the options you would expect, standard B&W and premium B&W, the same goes with their color interiors, the premium versions being better suited for books with higher res and larger images within them. They offer paper stocks of 60# cream, 60# white, 80# white and 100# white, again, these are format dependent.
Distribution with Lulu
Lulu’s distribution connects your book for print to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Ingram, your eBook is distributed to Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Google, and Libri. As you can see, Lulu seems to connect you with the major outlets where you would expect to see your title.
Lulu does have stipulations as to what books can be part of their global distribution, so it is well worth taking a look at their guide to ensure your book will be fine.
Bulk buying with Lulu
If you want to order lots of copies of your book, Lulu does currently offer discounts for bulk buying, if you’re purchasing between 100 to 499 copies you’ll get 5% off, from 500 to 999 copies 10% off and over 1000 copies you’ll receive 15% off of the price.
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