I used to feel pretty positive about Lulu.com, but every new scheme seems to plot another point in their downward spiral. The release of books to Amazon without prior notice (let alone permission). The movement of reviews over to WeRead. The help system that has pretty much ground to a halt. The suppression of all non-Lulu paid services. Etc etc.
Meanwhile tools to help sell books to readers languish, under-developed. The search engine is terrible. The store fronts are a joke. The handling of adult material and related complaints is terrible. Shipping charges are insanely high and climbing, especially for non-Americans. And if there was any doubt that Lulu is more interested in milking aspiring authors than selling books, they have unveiled an affiliate programs: Lulu Partners.
"The Publishing Partner Program provides organizations with a mechanism to register members as Lulu authors and earn a share of the revenue generated by those authors' book sales and services purchases. Unlike traditional affiliate programs, this is a lifetime revenue sharing partnership-you register authors once, and share in all future revenue they generate."
So Lulu is "partners" with people who will indenture authors to them. The relationship with the authors themselves seems somewhat less egalitarian. Lulu, Rather than cutting out a share of the profits for procurers to bring you even more authors, how about helping authors lower their cover prices to make their books more competitive?