Only a few weeks ago, Lulu got their search system working again. It took them only... well, about four months to repair a system that would not find a book even when you typed in the correct title or author's name. But, well, credit where credit is due--you can now do this successfully (key word or genre searching remains somewhat hit and miss).
But now I wonder for whom this repair was made? Recently Lulu searches started bringing up all kinds of mainstream books. This was not, of course, explained on the website or in the Lulu forums--but an online Press Release dated yesterday explains:
"Lulu ... today announced a vastly expanded selection of eBooks, adding 200,000 titles from authors such as Dan Brown, Malcolm Gladwell and Emeril Lagasse to a catalog of content already among the Internet's most diverse ... "It's time for a new era in publishing, one that treats all content equally and gives all authors an equal shot at success," said Harish Abbott, Senior Vice President of Products at Lulu. "We've built an open content marketplace that lets everyone get their ideas to all readers in all forms, print and electronic. And we mean everyone."
I guess it is a bright day for Dan Brown. I wonder how else he would ever manage to sell his books?
On one level I think more books, means more customers, which means more sales. One the other hand Lulu is never going to compete with Amazon, B&N and Powells. So it seems more likely to me that they are maximising their own profits and their authors can either accept a smaller slice of the pie or go to hell.
p.s. if you go there to buy my books, that of course is fine. [/hypocrisy]