Tag Archives: paperbacks

Lulu is Getting a New Look! | | Lulu Blog

Click on the new Lulu logo to find out more.

I started out as an Indie Author-Publisher with CreateSpace, and was content to leave it that way for several years. Then I tried Lulu, and found their output to be just as good, their range of print options to be more varied, and their customer service to be superior.

Lulu also distributes to all of the major online outlets and to Ingram. Moreover, at the Lulu Store, I can price my books more reasonably than the list prices that are required for non-Amazon-originated publications that are listed for sale at that Major Online Retailer – and I can still receive a reasonable return on my investment of time and talent.

As far as publishing costs are concerned, although the costs of copies in some standard trim sizes at CreateSpace were less than at Lulu, CreateSpace shipping and handling fees tended to cancel out the difference, because Lulu frequently offers discounts on purchases and free shipping (and sometimes both at the same time), while CS never did in the six years I’ve been enrolled there as a publisher.

The advantage of my continuing to publish with CreateSpace was that I could obtain a free ISBN for my autograph books, which are in a non-standard trim size, and they are automatically offered on Amazon (although their being non-standard disqualifies them from distribution to other outlets). Lulu doesn’t offer a free ISBN for nonstandard trim sizes, so if I wanted those books to have them, I would have to purchase my own, which is prohibitively expensive, for me. At Lulu, not having an ISBN for a book in any trim size restricts sale of that book to the Lulu Store, which at present is a discoverability disadvantage; nevertheless, my Lulu-printed autograph books are larger than the CS-printed ones (7″ x 9″, versus 6″ x 8.25″), which is an advantage to my customers.

But the game is about to change, because of alterations by Amazon to its printing business portfolio. I’ve read some of their explanatory posts regarding the impact of those changes on works formerly published through CS, but I’m not reassured about the ultimate outcome.

I’m apprehensive about my being forced to comply with Amazon’s self-serving protocols, such as Kindle ebook participation (because I have always opted out of that for my works published through CreateSpace, having preferred to use Smashwords), and the pressure Amazon puts on authors to give away their work, which falsely inflates Amazon’s “sales” statistics with freebie distribution numbers. (Lulu also produces ebooks, but Irish Firebrands is the only one of the many titles I have out that can be published digitally, and I haven’t gotten around to looking into that, yet).

I’m also displeased with the additional month of postponement in royalty payments that will occur with the transfer of CS titles to the KDP line: a move that’s calculated to squeeze as much revenue as possible out of participating Indie Author-Publishers, by Amazon’s earning an extra month’s interest on our royalties that they have on deposit pending payout.

It’s possible that other prejudicial actions may be taken, particularly against those of us who also publish through other print-on-demand providers who distribute to Amazon. For example, many weeks after having successfully put out Volume 2 of the two-part paperback second printing of Irish Firebrands, and having seen it appear at Amazon, I unexpectedly received a notice that the file was “corrupted” and needed to be fixed (no details provided) for it to be sold through that retailer.

Perhaps Indies who don’t publish exclusively through the Amazon system are going to be dumped, and that smacks of attempts to establish a monopoly – which sticks in my craw. It’s anybody’s guess how this is all going to fall out, but CreateSpace’s days are numbered – and so may be mine, in the Major Online Retailer’s grand scheme.

Now that the Amazon knife is poised at the CreateSpace throat, Lulu – with its stated commitment to printing on paper – may be in the position to step into the void that will be left by the coming demise. If you decide to publish with Lulu, be sure to let us know, so we can help drive more traffic there and improve discoverability and sales for all Indie Author-Publishers.


Lulu Logo Source: Lulu is Getting a New Look! | | Lulu Blog

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And the Winner is….

4ca904b6943ff118e9b61d17b0de5640Ali Isaac, author of the Conor Kelly books and other Irish stories, for naming the POD that sells her paperbacks. Now we can order her books directly from her printer, and she will earn more for her work.


Let’s get selling!

Seriously, Indie Author colleagues, as I posted in my pre-Christmas appeal, if you want my business, you’ll publish on paper*, and you’ll tell me where to find those books. If I’ve put one of your titles on my TBR, I can search and eventually find out if you’ve published via a Print-on-Demand purveyor, but that may take time – and I’m a fast reader, so I like to refresh my inventory as frequently and quickly as my limited budget allows. Why make it difficult (or even impossible) for a potential customer to purchase your product?

Contrary to popular belief, my buying your book from The Major Online Retailer will not improve your discoverability among the millions of publications on offer there. The A-to-Z Retailer is not your friend: it’s an enormous, cold-hearted business that’s only interested in maximizing its bottom line, and it does that by taking a whopping percentage of a book’s retail price as the company’s “discount,” for its profit on the sale (an especially egregious hand-in-the-pocket of those who publish via its subsidiary POD). That means you get a significantly smaller royalty payment.

Coincidentally, after checking out Ali’s POD listing, I found a very interesting-looking book by an author who is a complete unknown to me, and I intend to purchase at least one of his works, too. Because I now know where to purchase his work to ensure that he gets the maximum royalty possible, that author goes to the top of my TBR, too.

Let’s have a little shameless self-promotion here, folks! Reveal below where you’ve hidden your POD paperbacks!

*I have a visual disability that makes it impossible for me to read for pleasure from a screen.


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Makin’ my List and Checkin’ it Twice!


ATTENTION fellow Indies! If you publish PAPERBACKS through the CreateSpace (CS) print-on-demand (POD), I WANT TO KNOW!


I prefer to do my new book shopping directly through the POD, because YOU, MY FRIENDS, WILL MAKE MORE MONEY that way. 😀

You see, if I were to buy your books from Zon, they would skim the cream from your royalties, because they own CS, so they already get a share of what the POD makes, before they even charge authors for the privilege of having their books sold through the A-to-Z Online Retailer. (Plus, ordering direct from CS gets me my books a lot faster than going through the double-dipping middleman.)

Please list your name and paperback titles in the Light a Fire Here comment section, below. If you don’t, I shall be FORCED to buy books written by complete strangers! 😦


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