Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lulu and Createspace

When I was looking to self-publish my manuscripts, I looked at both Createspace (which is Amazon's) and Lulu. I went with Lulu, and I'll try to explain why in simple, but nonjudgmental terms. I think I can do it one sentence:

Amazon charges, and Lulu doesn't.

Createspace advertises early on in one of the screens that it doesn't charge up front fees. That is true. One needs to read carefully... The fee isn't up front. It's there, but it's not an up front fee. You need to look at the side-by-side comparison, and you do that by clicking on a box on the right side of the screen. You'll see there are many publishing/marketing packages offered and each one contains a setup fee. It's not an upfront fee...they take it out of the first of the profits/royalties paid. That fee starts at $299.

Lulu attaches a markup to each book ordered, but there is no setup fee. (I expect no less from any publisher. It's how they can afford to stay in business and why they're in business in the first place.) With Lulu, the writer's royalties/commissions are just that: the writer's. I don't know if Createspace puts a markup on the books. Frankly, I stopped looking once I realized the first three hundred bucks was going to go to pay for something the other guys weren't going to charge me at all. I suspect there is a retail markup on Createspace books, but can't say for sure.

I didn't want to pay $299 for the privilege of publishing my manuscripts. I preferred to pay nothing at all to self-publish my books...and that's what I paid.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Miller said...

Thanks so much for doing the legwork! Last year, when I started looking into self-publishing I checked out Createspace, Dog Eared and Author House. I had already read a little on Lulu (actually, I knew someone who published through Lulu) and at first I wasn't sold. I liked Create Space, but that price tag and all the "extras" made me a leery about going this route. Sure, if you have a couple grand to toss down, Create Space might be worthwhile. I didn't get too far in reading all the particulars, but for them to take $300.00 before you get any money...well, that's not money well-spent in my book (pun intended).

Lulu seems to have it down to a science and that is why it seems to work for them and the authors who chose them.

Novel aside, I am seriously thinking about putting together a 30-40 page Chapbook of 20-25 flash fiction (if more gets published, I would like to have 50 in it) and publish it through Lulu.

That's my plan--come out with my novel in two months followed by my chapbook.

I suppose there are some people who might scoff at Lulu, thinking they are not a "real book publisher." I would disagree.

Thanks again for the informative post.