A lot of people seem to be asking the same question of late: what is up with Lulu? For example what is with:
* International shipping and currency conversion fees that are beyond ridiculous.
* Buying the poetry.com domain despite the miasma of scam-iness that will hang about it for years to come.
* Listing books on Amazon without changing their terms of service or asking people to opt in, including many book set to "private".
* Responses to help requests slowing to a crawl.
* A blog that does not inform people about these issues and only belatedly even refers to them in a post called, perkily if unrealistically, "Improvements to Customer Service".
* The Lulu site in general remaining under-developed and hard to use with clunky and ineffective search capacity, no recommendations methods, no widgets, no real social networking capacity, and no affiliate program.
* The website being increasingly out of sync with what Lulu actually offers, including some outright inaccurate information.
*And over the past few weeks there have been reports that customers are experiencing errors on the website and having a lot of trouble completing purchases.
...And I bet those of you publishing with Lulu could give me a few more examples.
Once upon a time what they had was adequate--but this is no longer that time. Even of the goal is to maximise author sign ups, minimise staff and development costs and not worry much about sales volumes there is a basic level of service that you cannot sink below. You need to do what you promise do, not do random things that are contrary to your terns of service, and sell book to people when they ask for them. That really is not asking for a lot.
Is the era of Lulu as the top fee-free self publishing provider coming to and end? Is there any real successor in the wings?