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.
Promoting your book can seem a little daunting, where do you start? Who do you use to plug your book? And how much will it cost? The good news is that there are plenty of options available and a wide range of price points to suit most author’s needs.
Over the past few years many websites have sprung up which offer platforms to advertise your book to an audience, this is great for both the reader and of course the author who wants to put their book in front of them.
Here we have a list of some of these sites that you should consider, some are free and others charge, it’s also worth considering using multiple sites and staggering your promotions so that you always have something out there promoting your work.
One – BookBub
This is one of the more well-known book promotional websites and is very popular with countless authors. It works by sending out daily emails to its subscribers where it promotes books to them, they send featured deals in this email which you can pay to have your book be within (the featured deals however are expensive, many authors paying thousands of dollars to use, but, it will put your book in front of a massive audience too, and lots of authors have had great results using this).
They also run ads within their website and within the email, these are a lot more reasonable and are very popular with the majority of authors, you can also schedule when the ads will run and set budgets.
Two – Book Bongo
This service is from free up to $199.99, their free offer is dependent upon them liking your deal and is essentially them posting it upon their website and social media. Their top package however includes a video to promote your book, this you can then download to use yourself, it gets uploaded to their social media channels, YouTube page and is featured in their weekly mailout.
Three – TCK Publishing
You can apply to have your book included within their own book deals newsletter which goes out to over 20,000 readers, they do have stipulations about the quality of the books which they promote (4 star reviews and be on promotion at $0.99 for the days requested to promote.
Four – Many Books
They have three packages which are $29, $39 and $79, you can choose to promote your book on their website, newsletter and/or blog, they state that their newsletter has 175,000 active subscribers, they have 500,000+ monthly website views and guarantee 500 downloads from their middle package.
Five – Free Booksy
Great if you are promoting your book for free, this service covers a broad range of genres and sub-genres too. They feature the books on their homepage, their daily email and promoted upon their Facebook page (which they quote as having 300,000+ fans). Pricing starts from $30 and varies dependent upon your genre.
Six – Book Goodies
They have a free option where your book will be posted to their website for six months and also posted upon their social media channels, however, the free option won’t get your book included within their newsletter.
Their chargeable advertising currently starts from $49 and goes up to $399, this can get you a feature for up to eight weeks on their home page along with inclusion to their email letter and of course social media.
Seven – Book Gorilla
Pricing here starts from $40 and varies based upon your book’s genre, it’s also just for Kindle, having a reach of 350,000 followers on a range of platforms which includes their email and social media, they also give a great breakdown of reach by % (which is very helpful).
Eight – Author Ad Network
With this service your book will be featured over several book promotion websites for a limited time, your book will also be posted upon their social media channels too (namely Twitter & Facebook), pricing starts from $129.
Nine – Digital Book Today
This is where you can add your free Kindle eBook to their list of ‘the top 100’, updated weekly a regular listing is free (but your book will gradually slide down the page), they also have options from $30 to featured and stay in the top section of their site for a limited time.
Ten – Book Lemur
Pricing starts from $25 and is based around genre, there’s also additional fees if your book is not free to your readers (they want to offer free and discounted books to their own subscribers). Currently they have 16,000+ active subscribers and over 8,700 Facebook followers.
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