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 Lulu, Createspace, et al

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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:08 am

It's been a while since anyone has commented on lulu and createspace as ways to get POD services. Is there anything new to know? Anyone know enough about both to venture a comparison?
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:20 am

Shelagh seems to be sticking with Lulu...she may know. Createspace keeps sending me emails since I have a book lost in formatting land forever....but nothing appeals to me.

I still favor small presses. For a straight ebook that you know has market appeal and has a solid edit, I'd go to smashwords and Kindle. Personally, I don't think anyone gives a whit about who publishes an ebook.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:07 pm

Small presses are less expensive when you know how to market a book. But you have to buy quantities up front.

POD is free at first. Perhaps a compromise is to use POD until sales take off, then pull the title from the POD publisher and self-publish.

I get a kick out of how they proclaim loudly and proudly that royalties are 80%. Then, when you calculate the net, that's 80% of not very much.

e-books are easy after you climb the curve. Smashwords can get you into iPad. Kindle is DIY for those who want to make the climb.

Lulu gets you into iPad, too. Createspace does not, which is not surprising, given that it is owned by amazon.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:22 pm

Fiction is best published by a commercial publisher. Non-fiction can be more profitable if self-published (POD or small print run). There is no one-size-fits-all. I use Lulu because it costs nothing for a book without an ISBN (such as the Literature & Fiction Interviews books).

The important thing is that these different forms of publishing exist and are very popular -- giving affordable alternatives to just about anyone.

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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:55 pm

I guess small presses come in many forms. The small presses with which I work operate like traditional publishers. They only accept material they believe can be marketed to their particular target audience; they provide editors, covers, ISBN's, Library of Congress registration, review copies, a small advance that is deducted from the early book sales (and since the advance is small, that recoupment comes quickly); they distribute to all online print and ebook sellers; their distribution channels include returnable status for brick and morter stores (Ingram, Baker & Taylor, etc.); they provide minimal marketing support (web site, news releases for new releases, newsletter, blog, etc.) and additional but limited support as requested.

There is zero cost to the author with the small presses with which I am most familiar. In fact, they pay royalites with regularity and provide substantial discounts to retailers. If the author needs business cards, book marks, brochures, etc., those are the expense to the author. If the author wants a full-page magazine ad, that is the author' s expense. I have had no expense with either of the small presses with which I have had anthologies and novels; my advances were fully covered by book and anthology sales, and the experience has no down side.

Small presses are orienting toward ebooks more than print at brick and morter stores because of the bias against POD books even though the small presses may have print runs. Their print runs are generally smaller than a traditional press and are still considered POD by the big box retailers. Small presses may not be capitalized sufficient to purchase shelf and display space in the brick and morter stores which is a detriment to sales even when small press books are shelved.

However, the types of small press publishers is as varied as their multiple purposes. They may be single book oriented - one high flying seller may be their mainstay with other books less steller though high quality. They may have many books published with steady sales multiplied by the diversity of their books, but no specific high flyers that carry them. Often, their authors have built their own following, enough for steady sales, some limited name recognition and a market for their next book. Online marketing through blogs and reviewers is generally extensive.

If small press publishers are requiring author monetary participation; for instance, the purchase of a minimum number of books or charges for edits and changes, then they are not a traditional small press but rather some hybrid that approaches a vanity press.

There are small presses as respected and solid as traditional publishers but they wish to publish only certain manuscripts to a limited and generally elite audience. It is as difficult to have a manuscript accepted by them as it is a New York publishing house.

This is my experience. Someone else may have an entirely different experience with different small press publishers.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:55 pm

Thanks for the explanation, DK. I was thinking "small press" meant a printing company set up to print and bind books. It does no promotion and simply charges based on the number of copies in a print run. I have used that kind of service to publish software manuals.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:59 pm

You are right, before small presses as I know them came into the forefront of creative publishing, a "small press" meant exactly what you describe. I had forgotten that such entitities do exist where their entire purpose is printing, "printing press" as opposed to publishing company.
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Cliff Ball
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:59 pm

With my newest novel, I'm trying both CreateSpace and Lulu. I like how sturdy my novels feel with Lulu, but the price for a paperback for the novel is $10 more than I really want to charge. With CreateSpace, I got into Amazon, B&N, and Books A Million faster.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:23 am

With lulu, you can get a hard cover book with a full-color dust cover. Expensive, but eye-catching on your coffee table. With createspace, you get amazon, which is a plus.

I'm also considering smashwords for the e-book format, because they can get it into the iPad bookstore.

Whatever POD service you use, you need to do your own promotion.
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:05 am

I think CreateSpace for print in demand books are getting popular because they are very affordable, they have Amazon, and they have also good feedback from patrons. Most of the authors I have work with are publishing in CreateSpace. Lulu is also good and Smashwords are very well known for their eBook publishing.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:55 am

Very informative comments above. Thanks.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:08 am

I have friends who publish with Createspace and are pleased.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:25 am

I used Createspace for the print editions and KDP for the ebook editions of my two niche books on ventriloquism. I am pleased with both services, Createspace particularly. Two online dealers carry both my print editions. It takes only a few days to fill an order when they need to replenish, which they do through me. I order the copies at the author discount (for which there are no royalties) and have them shipped directly to the dealers. The dealers pay me my costs + 50% of net based on their selling price. That setup is going very well.
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:18 am

Good information to have.

I'm just starting out with kdp, b&n and smashwords. I'm definitely on a learning curve right now with the promo work.



Robin Mahle
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:14 am

Well, I went with CreateSpace and Smashwords after countless rejections from publishers. Overall, I'm happy with them except for their strict formatting standards which doesn't always work perfectly. The downside to self-publishing is you have to do all the promoting yourself.

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Richard Bowers
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:08 am

Enjoyed the info Al. I appreciate an author that admits they have taken the "smart pill." Thanks.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:32 am

My friends who were publishing with Createspace switched to a local vanity publisher, Barringer. They paid to have their books published this time...
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vmaxnick
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:06 am

Am I right in thinking that you have no contractual ties
with Createspace? I have just published to CS and Kindle to get the Amazon 1
day availability instead of a 14 day wait. I've used my own ISBN numbers
purchased here (UK) from Nielson, but have also used a straightforward commercial
printer to print for me so I can schlep copies round the bookstores. I don't
recall signing any exclusivity to Createspace.
Am I tied to match the CS price or can I set my own price for the books I have independently
published?
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:04 am

Yes, you are right:

"13. Relationship of Parties
You and we are independent contractors, and nothing in this Agreement will create any partnership, joint venture, agency, franchise, sales representative, or employment relationship between the parties. You will have no authority to make or accept any offers or representations on our behalf. You will not make any statement, whether on your site or otherwise, that would reasonably contradict anything in this Section or Agreement."

https://eu.createspace.com/pub/signup/view.memberagreement.do

You can sell your book at any price of your own choosing. If you enrol in the KDP Select (Kindle) program, you cannot sell your book in e-format on any other site except Amazon.

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vmaxnick
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:30 pm

Thanks Shelagh
I have enrolled in KDP select to get the extra English speaking Countries but
as it only ties me for 90 days I thought it was an acceptable constraint.


I've got my US IRS EIN number too so all that remains is to push the 'sale' button on the cash register. Laughing

Got my shoes re-soled and bought a little diesel hatch back for the long distance schlepping! This is going to be fun. Laughing
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vmaxnick
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:14 pm

I've discovered a great way to spot a clandestine vanity press pitch quickly and easily. Write them a query letter with a synopsis of your book and a chapter sample. If they reply, saying they love your book and would be delighted to publish it, they're a vanity press, bin them off or clear a space in your garage for your boxes of books. Very Happy 

I have found a fun way to spot their sites though; scroll to the reviews, if their customers are raving about the quality of binding and the speed the books were delivered, they're a vanity press, if the reviews are all from people thanking them for the $10,000 advance or the excellent way they handled their last book launch, or thank you notes for the Ferrari, send me the link......Please.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Lulu, Createspace, et al   Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:04 am

Vanity presses are more open about their business model than in the past. Many unpublished authors are looking for ways to turn their word files into a book with the least amount of effort and no requirement to learn how to self-pubish. Complainers there will always be, no matter what the business provider. When people pay for a service, they assume the right to complain.

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