Lulu founder on the invention of the self-publishing business

MON, OCT 20, 2014 12:49 EST helped define modern publish-on-demand services. In my mind, they did define them; I remember printing my first photobook and sending it to Lulu to be sent back, spiral-bound. I was amazed. I had essentially put together a small markup language (DSL, or Domain Specific Language, even), processed it through a Scheme script, and spit out LaTeX that produced reasonably pretty pages that could be converted to PDF and submitted for publication. I think I bought two copies.

As it turns out, there are other people who use the service for much, much more. Authors are successfully self-publishing their works at a significantly greater per-unit profit through Lulu than through other online services. Families work together to produce comic books of their children’s drawings and stories. Calendars, photobooks, post cards… you name it, they print it, on demand. I still dream of completing my text on parallel programming for the Arduino and offering it print-on-demand through Lulu, in trade paperback format.

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