At Lulu we are always thrilled to hear when anyone is interested in writing and publishing. Gearing up to start your own publishing venture is no minor feat though. For many, publishing is a huge decision that can seem overwhelming. We work hard to make the publishing process as smooth as possible so you can excel no matter what your publishing goals may be. We are always trying to grow and improve while continuously engaging the community we started in. That said, I think it would be beneficial to anyone seeking Lulu out to provide explanations to some of the questions and comments we have encountered during our daily customer service and community interactions.
The goal is to address aspects of Lulu that may be unclear at first while answering why we do or don’t do certain things, and ultimately: “Why Lulu?”
First, I would like to address a question I get a lot: “could you send me a sample of a book?” I totally understand where people are coming from on this one. You are investing your time and money into something new and different and you want to make sure it is worth it. So much of the fun of having a book published is getting it out into the world and frankly … bragging about it to your friends!
What you make has to look great and be a good interpretation of what you are trying to convey to your readers.
Lulu is responding to the trends and needs of the digital age. Authors on Lulu have the option to sell their books as print or electronic download. The idea here is that the items on our website can be shared instantaneously without ever becoming physical content, much like the current digital music craze.
Beyond that, Lulu functions as a print on demand company that produces only what you sell. No printing occurs within our building but with various global print partners. Printing on demand is great for both the environment and the author’s pocket because it means that without a minimum print run, you only have to pay for one sample instead of mass-produced stockpiles of books that take up expensive warehouse (or garage) space.
For photo books, the virtual Lulu Studio ™ actually does a really great job of letting you see your work every step of the way. The Studio ™ is free and there is nothing to install. You simply upload content straight from your computer and customize the layout. There is even a built in cost calculator that updates the manufacturing cost along with the changes you make to your content. If you are like me, you like to have an actual thing in your hands though. For regular books, you can buy your finished book at manufacturing cost or order a copy of a fellow author’s book similar to what you are trying to achieve. You’ll have your sample, and you’ll be making another Lulu author’s day in the process!
I hope this post and the ones that follow help to shed a little light onto the Lulu process. Please know that we are growing and learning right along with you to do something exceptional!
Since 2002, Lulu has powered the knowledge-sharing economy by enabling creators in more than 225 countries and territories to publish over 2 million books. Lulu’s industry-leading tools and global network of print facilities provide creators with the resources to succeed on their terms.