Tuesday, April 27, 2010

GUEST POST Lulu Authors: Please Read. This Concerns You

The following post by Julie Anne Dawson is reprinted with permission from the Lulu forums.

All Lulu Authors: Please Read. This Concerns You


So now Lulu is not only selling ebooks by traditionally published authors, but it is also selling print books by traditionally published authors. Now I don’t particularly care about Lulu printing these books themselves. How the books get printed is of no concern to me. But what IS of concern to me is the preferential treatment these books are getting as opposed to OUR BOOKS.

Referencing The Last Song for points:

Preferential pricing: This is a 413 page book, selling for $10.94. Do you know what my cost to print a 413 page book is? $12.76! It costs me almost $2 more to print than this book sells for! And if I went through retail with the book, with NO ROYALTY the book would sell for $19.52. WTF!!!???

Preferential tools: Notice that this book has a “retail” price and a sale price? Well, I have been asking for this FOR YEARS for US, and Lulu has systematically refused, claiming that they couldn’t let us sell the books on Lulu for less than what the book retails for due to contractual agreements with Amazon and other vendors. I think this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt Lulu was LYING.

I have always assumed that when Lulu did something stupid, it was because they were doing something stupid. But this, this is downright CORRUPT. Lulu is whoring itself out to the big publishers to make money? Why? Because they never figured out how to make enough money on self-published authors? Well, maybe if you had bothered to listen to us all these years and give us good tools you would have made money.


Today I will be retiring all of my products at Lulu. I can’t even stomach being associated with Lulu anymore. Createspace has a distro program now. I don’t even need Lulu to get listed in online bookstores, and CS gives me better pricing without bending me over. I have spent thousands of dollars with Lulu over the years. They will never see another f-r-i-g-g-i-n- DIME from me.


Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

Yup. Yup. and Yup. This is why I left two years ago.

L.K. Campbell said...

This is what happens when companies get "too big for their breeches", I guess.

Mick Rooney said...

[...]Last year I wrote an article about Lulu and in the title for that article I suggested; 2010 May Be The Time For Lulu To Drop The Self From Self-Publishing. At the end of that article I wrote the following as an explanation as to what I meant. On reflection, and in light of the following Lulu Forum posting by author Julie Ann Dawson, which today was cross-posted by Emily Veinglory on POD People, I would like to expand on that original article I posted here in January. Having re-read the post again today, I think there is a danger in believing I was being somehow entirely supportive of the direction Lulu where taking their marketplace and business as a whole. If anything, I have subsequently being calling for Lulu to get back to the core values of what they are a DIY self-publishing services company - at least that is how I still see them - but their recent attempt at diving into the Canadian stock market in an effort to raise investment finance may suggest something quite different.[...]

DED said...

Wow, that's thoroughly depressing.

LLBR said...

I think the whole Will Eaton episode a while back gave Lulu the idea to try to attract a more "traditional" mainstream audience.

It wouldn't shock me at all to find them going even more mainstream. At work, I had a hospital request a medical text that was published with Lulu recently.

"What a funny name? I've never heard of them before," the caller said.

"Oh, I have. Funny indeed," I said.

But we bought the book for them and now Lulu is a vendor in our database.


Brent Robison said...

As if I didn't have enough to do already just staying on top of promotion -- now I need to put in the labor to migrate my books from Lulu to... CreateSpace, I guess.

Kristine said...

I know things are getting worse, but I'm still squishy about Createspace - what with them being Amazon and all, their terms have some uncomfortable clauses, and they still demand access directly into a checking account for payment, instead of using Paypal.

I know I lean toward the paranoid, but . . .

Michael said...

@Kristine: I had Paypal double-dip into my checking account, overbilling me on a purchase to the tune of hundreds of dollars. Took weeks to get it back. In contrast, Amazon's had access to my checking account for years (as a marketplace seller and also through Amazon Payments) and never once abused that trust. I'm not here to bash Paypal, I'm sure they're fine for the vast majority of people, but I've personally found Amazon to be much more trustworthy with my money.