CreateSpace and Lulu Print-on-Demand: An Impromptu Comparison.

While updating the Write Like an Egyptian Autograph Book for a full-color edition to publish at Lulu, I came across some interesting background on King Tut’s name(s). Click on the image to read the article:The lesson for writers is that no matter how short and sweet your project may be, you can’t get away from the research!  🙂

Since beginning to design autograph books last winter as an occupational therapy project, I’ve produced 20 of them! (Nineteen are now published.) I started out publishing them through CreateSpace, which will print that trim size only in black-and-white, so when I discovered that I could have them printed in color at Lulu, I’ve been revising them and publishing them there. Their being printed in color results in higher production costs and retail price, but I think the beauty of color is worth it. The trim size at Lulu is slightly bigger, too.

As an old saying goes, “If you have two loaves of bread, sell one, and buy hyacinths to feed your soul.”


The CreateSpace autograph books have been enjoying steady sales. My best customers are in the United Kingdom. My first-ever European Union sales have been autograph books. These have all been via Amazon, which is the CreateSpace advantage: because of their size, CreateSpace will not distribute the autograph books to bookstores, but they do issue ISBN numbers for them, so they can be sold through their parent company, as well as the CreateSpace store. Lulu does not issue ISBNs for the autograph books, so they can be sold only through the Lulu store.

Sales of any of my books through the CreateSpace store have been glacial in speed, and I expect no better showing from the Lulu store. The quality of the products from the two print-on-demand providers is the same, but the advantage of variety in formats lies with Lulu: they do the same number of sizes of paperbacks, but also do hardcover books and calendars.

The Lulu publishing process is a little more user-friendly than the CreateSpace process. Both PODs take about the same amount of time to print and ship. Shipping fees are higher at Lulu, but they also use better quality packing (foam wrap, plus shrink wrap to a backboard, and often a tough fused plastic shipping strap around the box or mailer) than does CreateSpace (a simple cardboard mailer, or a box with a wad of kraft paper rammed on top of the books to fill up space). I frequently receive books from CreateSpace with damage to the corners of their covers or to the edges of their spines, but I’ve received no damaged products from Lulu.

My Lulu autograph book inventory may not move fast, but there will be more of them available from Lulu than from CreateSpace, because some of the themes need to be in color for their best presentation. Any autograph books that can remain in black-and-white on white will also be available from Lulu for the same price as those at CreateSpace, but they’ll be in a bigger trim size, which may be an advantage to prospective owners who would like there to be more space on the pages for sketches and poetry, as well as autographs.

If you haven’t considered Lulu as an additional vendor for your works, why not check it out? You can also compare the color versions of my Lulu autograph books with their monochrome cousins at CreateSpace.

Remember, if there’s anyone among your friends or family who’ll be going away to university, or starting a new job, or transferring to a job out-of-town that will oblige them to move house; or a child who may be moving up to a new school, or whose parents are involved in any of the above changes, one of my themed autograph books may be the right parting gift.

And as always, thank you for your support!



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5 responses to “CreateSpace and Lulu Print-on-Demand: An Impromptu Comparison.

  1. Createspace did my full color 50 page cartoon book several years ago. Yes color expensive, costs $10 to manufacture each paper book plus $1,500 set up charge. . So create space no longer does color ?


  2. I changed to Lulu because the POD books don’t have to be posted from the US. They have print facilities in a few countries. I also found it easy as Lulu will pay to Paypal while I was going through hoops at createspace trying to st up a bank a/c. Since then of course Createspace now make payments to banks.
    Huge Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the link to the explanation of Tut’s name. It just happens to be useful for a project I’m working on right now.

    Liked by 1 person

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