Are you an author, and you are looking for how to self-publish your book(s) at low cost and you don’t know how to go about it? Worry no more, you are on the right page.
Have you heard of Lulu.com or better still Lulu Press? If No, Lulu.com, is an online platform that offers services ranging from self-publishing, distribution to print-on-demand.
The US-based company is a self-publishing platform that provides books in printed (I.e black and white or full color) and/digital format. It also helps to make printed books readily available in several formats and sizes not excluding the paperback, cover designs, and other options.
So far we have been able to compile everything you need to know on self-publishing on Lulu.
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Is Lulu Publishing Legit?
As I have mentioned earlier, Lulu publishing or “Lulu Press” as the company is now called, is an online print-on-demand platform that offers printing, digital and editing services and can be unarguably called one of the best self-publishing platforms in the market.
However, Lulu Press has acquired negative reputations, one of which stated that the company is taking substantial cuts of author royalties leading to high pricing of books by the author or in a worse-case scenario, the author not receiving any royalties at all.
One anonymous user complained.
This was the statement he made, “I’d been with Lulu pretty much since they began. They were great for POD (Publish-on-Demand) books. Until April 2020, when they launched their improved platform. Nine months later, I still do not have access to my books, let alone distribution stats or compensation…As a writer, I strongly advise future customers to stay away from Lulu. They are dishonest…”
On April 4, 2021, another user stated,
“Lulu had my sample books within 7days. Any imperfection is on my end. Because I’m the one who provided the PDF. Their print quality is amazing! No hassle or anything! Better than Amazon or B&N”.
They are a lot of customer reviews on the internet concerning the “legitimacy” of Lulu. Most of which are negative.
WHAT DO WE THINK?
Lulu is not a scam. You just have to be ready to put in a lot of work if you want to get the best out of them. Same goes with all print-on-demand publishing, not just Lulu.
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How Much Does It Cost To Publish On Lulu?
Publishing on Lulu is somewhat FREE.
However, they are distribution, book marketing, printing, and other costs that are considered when it comes to publishing on Lulu Press.
Using Lulu is free, but the other services mentioned above are not.
These services are; Printing, distribution, and other author services.
- Printing: The printing services cost depend on size, book type, paper quality, etc. Printing a colorful children’s book might be more expensive.
- Distribution: Lulu’s commission on your book’s net profit is just 20%.
- Author Services: There are different price ranges for different author services. For individual services, for example, cover designs, the price ranges from $289-$599.
Though many customers stated that the cost of self-publishing on Lulu has a price from $2000-$3000.
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Is Lulu A Self-Publishing Platform?
Lulu is a straightforward self-publishing platform that helps independent authors produce and publish their books by providing additional services and tools to help them create highly saleable books.
Though similar to Amazon’s KDP, it has some technical formatting differences.
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Who Owns LULU Press?
The company’s founder and CEO is Bob Young.
Step-By-Step Guide on How To Publish On Lulu
Publishing on Lulu Press is not as difficult as you might think. It takes six(6) easy and comprehensible steps to publish on Lulu. These steps are listed below;
- Write, edit, and format your book
- Choose your book size, paper, and binding
- Enter your title and author name
- Upload your formatted book file
- Create your book cover
NOTE that before doing the above-listed things, you must have created a user profile (if you don’t already have).
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To create a user profile,
- Go to Lulu.com and click on “Sign Up” in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage
- Enter your information, choose a username and password. Click “Sign Up”.
Writing your book is obviously the first step you take into becoming an author. Because, what’s there to publish if there’s no book.
1. Write Edit and Format Your Book
Edit it, do some thorough scanning on the work, check for errors etc.
After writing and editing, choose the format you want the book to be in. We highly recommend you work on your book in the PDF format.
2. Choose Your Book Size, Paper, and Binding
After writing and editing your book, log on to the website, click on “create”, where you can choose either a ”Print book” or an “e book”.
In this post, we will show you how to use the ”Print book” so you get the most information as possible.
After clicking on “Print book”, you will come across the options listed below;
- Standard Paperback
- Premium Paperback(which is more book quality)
- Professional Hardcover
- Photo Books & Calendars
Select the button for paperback or hardcover.
Put in your page number. It has to be a minimum of 32 pages and a maximum of 740 pages.
On the same page, you can change the binding, interior print, and product size.
You can also check the volume discounts and spine measurements.
NOTE that there is no need for calculating the spine measurements yourself.
3. Enter Your Title and Author Name
When you are done with choosing your book size and all, Click on “Make this book”.
Start your new project by entering the working title and author name.
You can also decide on how you want to distribute your book on this page.
You can decide to;
- Make it private and accessible only to you
- Make it public in the Lulu Marketplace if you want to sell
- Assign an ISBN in order to sell in online bookstores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and more.
4. Selecting an ISBN Option
Assigning an ISBN to your title on Lulu enables your book to be listed with the United States (Bowker) ISBN agency.
You can decide to
- Get a free ISBN from Lulu.com
- Add an ISBN you already own
- Not add an ISBN to the book
NOTE: After choosing your project options, click “Save & Continue”.
You will need to create a copyright page for your book and include your ISBN on the page.
The barcode is automatically added to your cover if you use a Lulu template; if you upload your cover, you will have to add it to the back yourself.
5. Upload Your Formatted Book File
Add your files. A file that exceeds 300mb will have to be broken into parts. Be sure that the words “part 1” and “part 2” is in each file so that Lulu knows the order to piece them together.
Once your file(s) has been uploaded, click “Make Print-Ready File”.
A dialogue box will appear with errors. Correct errors and click “Save & Continue”.
6. Create Your Book Cover
When you are done with uploading your book file, you will be taken to the Lulu Cover Wizard.
If you have designed your own cover, click “One-Piece Cover(advanced)” to upload your image. Click “Save & Continue”
Fill in the boxes to describe your project. This helps customers to find you. Click “Save & Continue”.
Choose your project price for print. Set your project price for download if you choose to make download available. Click “Review Project”.
Review the choices you have made in the wizard and change them If you desire. Preview the final book before publishing. Click “Save & Finish” when you are ready to publish your book.
NOTE that before publishing your book you must be careful. Any changes to the content (including very minor copy changes) are considered a new edition and require a new ISBN.
Lulu Press Self-Publishing Reviews
We understand that you might be a little worried about Lulu since you have seen so many of the customer reviews on the internet, with the majority of them stating the negative.
The truth is, as, with other publishing companies, Lulu has it pros and cons. It also has it strengths and areas of improvement.
They are more benefits than disadvantages.
Here are the top Pros and Cons for Lulu.com.
The Pros of Lulu Press
- Affordable printing cost: Printing costs on Lulu.com are very affordable. For instance, a 120-page book on either of the two template sizes produced in the “Write a book in a weekend DIY” system will cost approximately $5. This is a wonderful deal if you want to get your book published.
- Hardcover printing: The thing is, not all self-publishing companies offer this service e.g Amazon’s KDP. This is an advantage Lulu has over them.
- Solid ROI: The return on investment per book when you sell directly on Lulu’s website is great.
- Quality: Lulu Press has high quality print books that stand up against most competitors.
- Quick global shipping: Lulu Press has one of the quickest global shipping. The books are printed and shipped globally to over 150 countries, that’s huge!
- Fast shipping: In addition to their quick shipping service, the book will be printed and shipped in 3-5 working days.
Now that you have seen the advantages, let’s move on to the disadvantages or better still, the areas were where Lulu press needs to improve.
The Cons of Lulu Press
- Low author royalties: Since Lulu doesn’t drive as much traffic as Amazon, the cost to sell Lulu print copies on other sites results in very weak author book royalties.
- High price: Please don’t confuse this with the printing costs that are very reasonable. The publishing services are pricey.
- Basic templates: If you have a book with complex interior art and a high resolution cover, it is recommended that you hire a professional formatter and cover designer. The reason being, Lulu’s customizable formatter and book templates are best suited for basic publishing.
- Lack of customer support: Lulu has poor customer care services. Their mail is hardly reachable. When you reach them through their mail, they hardly reply. Just make sure you don’t do things that will end up requiring Lulu Press’ urgent attention.
- Advanced interface: Lulu really is a “do-it-yourself”website. As it has been mentioned earlier, you will be expected to upload/download and navigate on your own through the requirements for formatting.
Looking from the disadvantages and most customer reviews, you would have discovered that Lulu is not a scam! It just needs to improve on it weaknesses.
Lulu Press Self-Publishing Website
Self-publishing allows you to define your own costs and timeline, earn a high percentage of royalties after sales, and market however you prefer. If you self-publish, you have boundless creative control — true to the self-publishing moniker, you get to do everything yourself!
With print-on-demand, there is no entry cost to print your content. You can use Lulu to upload your files completely free and order exactly as many copies as you need.
Generally, Lulu publishing is a great company that has proven its worth over the years. It has great printing quality, and the company transports and ships pretty quickly both in the U.S. and across the world.