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Lulu packaging excellent; covers variable

Bondi Beach

I've been creating paper editions of my books, revising as I go along, for myself. Sales are not the point, since the books are free downloads on SOL and the other usual places, albeit without the latest revisions yet, and I've been putting up PDF versions of the paper editions as well on Google Drive.

I've ordered at least a dozen books over the last few months, not a huge investment given the size of the books and Lulu's ongoing promotions and sales, but I am impressed with their simple but effective packaging---the volume has a slightly padded wrapping, and in turn is shrink-wrapped to a piece of cardboard inside a correctly-sized flat cardboard container, which itself has a strap around it.

There is no effing tape!

Cover colors have been generally accurate, even if today my copy of Goddess arrived with a very slightly greenish Hebe on the cover. Perhaps she was carsick from the road trip. Others, including Chloe with very warmish tones on the cover, have arrived spot-on.

Interior layouts are fine. Like Ernest, I give them exact print-ready PDFs to work from, so no automated conversion.

Overall, probably 4 out of 5 stars to Lulu.


Crumbly Writer

I wasn't generally pleased with lulu's print books, mainly due to the price differential, though, to be honest, I compared services several years back, so things may have changed.

I've been happy with Createspace's books, though with them you run the risk of bookstores refusing to carry any product associated with Amazon, despite their being an independent company with Amazon having/taking no direct actions regarding their behaviors.

I've also been extremely disappointed with lulu's sales and error reporting. While my smashword sales were decent, similar sales on lulu are few and far between. Frankly, my one gay story has sold more on lulu than any of my 'mainstream' books so far, though none near my worst selling book on smashwords.

As for their error reporting, I've never ONCE been able to figure out what they were objecting to, as most of their claims were patently incorrect. Since the sales are SO bad, I've decided against selling any more books thru them. Frankly, I pay out more for the ISBNs I waste on the site than I gain in royalties.

I'm glad you've had success with them, but I haven't been impressed.

By the way, my createspace print sales have been insignificant as well, as I order many more books for myself as gifts than I've ever sold to anyone else.

Other than Amazon and smashwords, I haven't found any other sites which seems capable of selling more than a few books at a time.

On the other hand, smashwords has notorious problems with their book conversion software, which they consistently deny, despite their information pages continually referring to 'the nuclear option' which is their only work-around to the problem.

Amazon's biggest problem is their reporting (they consistently report greater sales than I've ever received payments for), but I've never had a single issue with the books I've submitted to them, the quality of the final product, or the sales they generate (though their sales were always lower than my smashword sales, as well).

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

As for their error reporting


Bondi is discussing the print book versions, not the e-book versions. I know, if you set up a book to sell at Lulu and do not select the market partner option so the sales are only through Lulu the error reporting can be overridden without any issues. I have one book where it got hit with a title error and I simply went past the report and the book prints and sells OK.

The error reporting process on the e-book is another issue, but again, I've walked past it without any issues for books I choose to sell only on Lulu and only ever had an issue with a book where I selected to sell through the market partners of Amazon, Apple, B&N,etc.

Even then, the one time I had an error in the metadata Apple was raising a major stink about the Lulu support people worked with me to find it and fix it.

Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

Frankly, I pay out more for the ISBNs I waste on the site than I gain in royalties.

Lulu will give you an ISBN for free, although they are then listed as the publisher, which may or may not be desirable.

As Ernest points out I was talking only about printed books and ignoring any sales or price issues. If it matters, for eBooks using MS Word with styles Lulu gives a clean conversion, to my eye.


Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Bondi Beach

If it matters, for eBooks using MS Word with styles Lulu gives a clean conversion, to my eye.

I use Calibre to create my own e-pub and lodge that, for the e-books. That way I get to know what the final product is before it leaves me.

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