The first question you should ask yourself before publishing a hardcover book on Lulu is, “Do I really need a hardcover of my book?”
If the answer is yes, you’ll get a quality piece from Lulu.
But you’ll be one of the few who appreciate it.
The hardcover of “The Percussionist’s Wife: A Memoir of Sex, Crime & Betrayal” costs $32.95 on Lulu.com, and I’ve sold four copies — all to people who are related to me and love me a lot (thanks, Mom, et al).
The trouble of publishing on Lulu wasn’t worth it. I had to print the hardcover a half inch taller and wider than the softcover on CreateSpace because Lulu offers limited sizes; this required me to completely reformat the Microsoft Word document. And because the hardcover comes with a dust jacket — with flaps — that had to be completely redesigned, too.
Let’s face it: Self-publishers aren’t big New York publishing houses which have the time and money to release a hardcover first and follow-up in six months with a re-promotion of the paperback.
Publishing your book is probably about getting your story to the world, not creating a lovely printed piece, so Amazon is a better vehicle for you.
Even Lulu isn’t about promoting your content. It’s making money on the printing, I assume. I still can’t figure out how the pricing and royalties work (so I’m afraid I can’t explain them to you).
No one at a public event has ever asked me for a hardcover either, so Createspace is a better source for paperbacks. And dramatically faster than Lulu. My loved ones told me they waited two weeks or more for the hardcover from Lulu, while the paperback from Amazon arrives in a matter of days.
So, give Lulu a try if you must, but don’t do it for the blockbuster sales.
Tomorrow: Direct sales