Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is the Deal With Lulu?

Seriously.  When they made it impossible to search for lulu books at I was a bit annoyed.  When they decimated the forums and Bob-the-Founder decided to imply anyone voicing criticisms was some kind of corporate spy, well, whatever. When they described me as a "forum mainstay" a month after I public quit the forum for good, and deleted my comment correcting that description... Oy.  And buying notorious scam site  Well. None of these things are major issues.

I stopped buying from them at that point but still thought they were basically okay as a supported self-publishing service. When they published private or retired books to Amazon, and when they crashed their customers Amazon pages, I started to get a bit worried about their underlying competence for the first time.  Reports of books not arriving, arriving defective or just being the wrong books seem to be increasing. Shipping costs have gone through the roof at the same time.

As of yet I have never found an ironclad case of royalties not being paid in full and on time--their last remaining virtue? But do they really have to go that far before their reputation gets seriously muddied? At what point is enough enough and Lulu's public status has to go from 'going through a rough patch' to 'circling the drain'?


Shannon Yarbrough said...


Step away from the Lulu! The rest of us have. She never calls. She never writes. It's time to move on.

S.L. Armstrong said...

I retired a book early last year. They still have it available through Amazon, though I have repeatedly sent requests to have it pulled. I even tried to get with Amazon themselves, but Amazon told me I had to go through Lulu. It doesn't seem to matter to Lulu that they no longer have the right to publish my material, but they've ensured there is very, very little I can do about it. I'm still royally ticked off.

I just hope no one buys that book. It's an embarrassment now that I know so much more than I did four years ago.

Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

S.L. the reason Amazon may still have it listed is that they may still actual copies of the book on hand. In my experience with Lulu distribution, Amazon would always keep a copy on handin some cases. Now the other issue is, they may not actuall have any on hand but they do not change the status of a book to out of print until someone tries to purchase it. Then if they cannot get it, they will finally list it as out of print, but it will never be gone, especially if someone decides to sell a copy through a third party retailer. So my only advice is to try and buy one and see what happens.

Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

And yes, Emily, leave and don't look back if you can. I don't close my account because I want to make sure I still have access to my old retired first editions should something shady happen.

Rob said...

Man. I learned about that poetry scam the hard way. Bought the 80 dollar book they were toting with my poem in it. Then I kept getting spam mail from them telling me I should buy more things. If lulu bought them, they sure as heck didn't do any research.