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Titling issues at Lulu

Bondi Beach
Updated:

Some time ago we were discussing Lulu's somewhat odd capitalization requirements and I said you needed to meet their requirements in the metadata fields but you could put anything you wanted on the cover.

Not exactly.

I revised the cover of Emily to insert "A Romance" between the title and the author. This apparently flagged an error for Lulu, because they are claiming a mismatch between cover and metadata:

"The information you entered in the title/author metadata does not match exactly the cover of the book."

Apparently they don't care about blurb lines, even when they appear between title and author, as appeared on an earlier approved version of the cover. Perhaps it's because the revised version had everything together on a white insert, who knows?

EDIT to add: Except they're not consistent. I did the same revision on the cover of Sarah's Honeymoon, and not a peep out of them so far.

If you want to see, the Emily covers are here (link is to Tumblr blog):

http://joe1bondibeach.tumblr.com/private/145628290666/tumblr_o8h46kAgL71rtgkgy

bb

Ernest Bywater

@Bondi Beach

BB,

Lulu issues such notices on alerts from their partners, not in their own right. If you can see if the partner is identified.

Replies:   Bondi Beach
Crumbly Writer

@Bondi Beach

I had to rename my entire "Catalyst" series for Lulu because my covers all said "The Catalyst #", and yet, still, I've only gotten 2 books out of 11 onto the distribution channels despite following each rule to the letter. I'm about to pull ALL the distribution options as it doesn't appear I CAN get all my books accepted anyway.

Lulu admits that 70% of every book submitted for distribution fails because of their capitalization rules. That should tell them something, especially since no one else requires the same restrictions.

I'm still looking for another ebook organization.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I'm about to pull ALL the distribution options as it doesn't appear I CAN get all my books accepted anyway.


CW,

My Book The Falcon has been on Lulu for years without any issues at all, but, then, I don't have it for release to the partners. The capitalisation rule is imposed by the partners in the agreement, not by Lulu themselves. Yes, the system checks and alerts while uploading, but I just ignore that by clicking on it and keep going, the book uploads OK and hasn't had an issue in the years it's been on the site.

In a related issue, I got a notice today about Make a Good E-pub because there's an issue with the metadata. Lulu forwarded on a notice from Apple about how the author name appears in the metadata being a problem for them, it seems Amazon, B&N, Kobo etc. had no issue, but Apple do. I've sent an email to Lulu Support about it, but if it stays and issue, I'll simply not have the book available through Apple in the future, but it's taken them a year and two revisions to notice the issue.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I just now went thru and pulled every book from every distribution channel. There's simply no way I can get it approved. A couple books got thru, but others with the same meta-data were rejected. ALL the meta-data is correct, all the capitalization is correct, but it won't pass after about 12 tries (12 * 10 = too many tries to care anymore, especially since I've only sold 3 books via lulu so far).

The issue seems to be Apple since I post to Amazon directly and Kobo thru SW, but haven't posted to Apple for some time. Now that I know about their nutso rules, I'll never publish via Apple again, nor will I ever submit another book to ANY lulu distributor. Life is just too short to spend months trying to get someone to adhere by their own guidelines. It makes no sense having 1 book in a series available but no others!

Apple stood to take over the ebook market and revolutionize publishing, and now they've not only killed that entire market, they've also killed off their music market (they're hardly selling anything anymore).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Life is just too short to spend months trying to get someone to adhere by their own guidelines.


CW,

I had issues with Amazon and what they were doing with Rough Diamond by dropping the price from my set US$5.95 to US$3.27 without any discussion or notification. Also, I produce it as an e-pub, but they were selling it as a Kindle file - don't know if they changed it in any way. Over a year ago I pulled it from going to Amazon on the Lulu partnership distribution deal, but Amazon still advertise it for sale via them, and I know some sales have been made through Amazon since it was pulled, but I've not got a cent from Amazon for those sales.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Bondi Beach

@Ernest Bywater

Lulu issues such notices on alerts from their partners, not in their own right. If you can see if the partner is identified.


There's nothing to indicate anything about a partner. Lulu's statement indicates they haven't forwarded it to anyone yet:

"The Lulu Quality Assurance Team has identified the following issues with your eBook Emily (Project CONTENT ID: 14661234) that prevent us from forwarding it to our retail partners and making it available for purchase through those channels."

bb

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I had issues with Amazon and what they were doing with Rough Diamond by dropping the price from my set US$5.95 to US$3.27 without any discussion or notification. Also, I produce it as an e-pub, but they were selling it as a Kindle file - don't know if they changed it in any way. Over a year ago I pulled it from going to Amazon on the Lulu partnership distribution deal, but Amazon still advertise it for sale via them, and I know some sales have been made through Amazon since it was pulled, but I've not got a cent from Amazon for those sales.

In that case, Ernest, I'd contact Amazon, as it's more likely that someone else got the book and is posting it himself, claiming that he's you and is being paid for it.

Amazon is very careful about those issues and will halt sale of the book if it's challenged. It's then up to the author to prove that the book is his (say by demonstrating you're either the publisher, or that you had earlier versions before the publication date).

I also have an issue with Lulu insisting that I scrunch up my 6"x9" covers into squarish low-res displays. If I do, they'll still display the correct covers on their site, but won't pass them on to their partners which do allow 6"x9" covers. That makes NO sense!

But in either case, if one book out of a series can't make it through to a partner, then I won't allow the partners to have ANY of the books in that series.

Personally, I'm not happy with my results on lulu at all. My Amazon sales have been climbing, but my lulu sales have been negligible, and I can't count of lulu to follow their own posting restrictions. However, as yet I haven't discovered any decent alternatives.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

In that case, Ernest, I'd contact Amazon, as it's more likely that someone else got the book and is posting it himself, claiming that he's you and is being paid for it.


The advertised book has the ISBN for the one in the marketing partnership agreement and the other details I put on the page for the marketing partnership.

I also have an issue with Lulu insisting that I scrunch up my 6"x9" covers into squarish low-res displays.


The marketing partnership has a set cover art image quality minimums (I can't remember what they are), if the image doesn't fit them then it isn't included. All my books have 1800 x 2700 pixels x 300 dpi or 600 dpi cover art images that carry across for all the books I have under the agreement - mostly the freebies.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The marketing partnership has a set cover art image quality minimums

Except that none of their marketing partners use that odd cover dimension (other than Lulu).

I'm leaning more and more to simply offering the books via PayPal sales. Someone deposits the money to my account for book XXX and I ship them the book in whichever format they want. No more maintaining 5 separate versions of each book (5 x 13 = 65 copies!).

Update: My lulu sales have upticked. I'm now up to 5 sales, 4 for "The Nature of the Game", my gay romance, 3 of which sold on Apple.

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