View Full Version : Lulu.com?

05-24-2006, 11:47 AM
I'm in the early stages of a work I'm planning on doing as a webcomic, but would eventualy like to publish as a TPB.

I looked at Lulu.com. Their setup looks good, and the distribution option looks very good, but I'm concerned about price, the average manga costs about $10.00 retail and Lulu's example of a 200pg B&W book is over $10.00 wholesale and over $20.00 recommended retail. That seems "out of the market" on price.

Anyone care to share their opinions on Lulu's quality price and/or service?

(Thank you all in advance)

05-24-2006, 12:07 PM
Lulu fills a need. But I wouldn't recommend them to anyone serious about publishing. The quality is good...but just like CafePress, it's more geared for those selling to their Mom & Dad. The same book that costs $8 to make at Lulu will cost you $2-$3 anywhere else.

I have tested Lulu with a few books and I don't see people selling much outside their own market. (Family & Friends) You are better off printing yourself and selling yourself.

05-24-2006, 12:08 PM
Check out this thread for ideas on other printers.

L Jamal
05-24-2006, 01:05 PM

they will all give you squarebound books much less than Lulu.

Paul Sanderson
05-24-2006, 06:26 PM
Lulu are best for prose novels or even graphic novels, but not for regular sized comics. They are not cost efficient for those.

05-24-2006, 06:33 PM
I've spent the last few weeks putting together a site called COMIC BOOK HUSTLE (http://www.comicbookhustle.com/) which will serve as a resource for those looking to self publish comic books and graphic novels.

It is still under heavy construction as I add posts and design the site, however, I am going to start working on a series of articles called the "POD Wars" that will give details on all the POD printers available.

I'm going to test them all with a single book and then report. So far, these are the printers on my list...

Rapid POD
Dreamweaver Press
Cafe Press

Am I missing anyone? Let me know as I want it to be a pretty comprehensive resource.

I'll be reporting on everything. Customer service. Price. Print quality. Everything.

Paul Sanderson
05-24-2006, 06:39 PM
Dimestore is another option. Sounds like a worthy project, good luck with it.

L Jamal
05-24-2006, 07:27 PM
Dimestore no longer prints

05-24-2006, 08:16 PM
good info


Paul Sanderson
05-24-2006, 11:08 PM
Dimestore no longer prints

Oh yes, I'd forgotten that. Well, I'm sure that will change before too long.

D.J. Coffman
05-24-2006, 11:33 PM
I bought the Hurricane Relief webcomic book I was in, and I wasnt thrilled with the paper quality on the inside. It was kinda cheap. Cover was nice.

I have a JOe and Monkey collection that was printed there, and it actually feels much better. Maybe it's a size issue, where the bigger the book, the floppier the interior stock?? Something to keep in mind.

Paul Sanderson
05-25-2006, 04:38 AM
Where was that, DJ?

05-31-2006, 02:52 AM
I think it's important to note that if you publish with Lulu, you grant them the rights to that work. Some people may not be comfortable with that arrangement.

Paul Sanderson
05-31-2006, 04:45 AM
That's been covered before here on the board I recall. It's no different to doing anything with Zazzle, Cafepress etc. etc. You still own your own work. I self published my first novel with Lulu initially, before signing a book contract with Coscom Entertainment to re-publish that novel and subsequent novels. Not a problem at all.

05-31-2006, 03:59 PM
Oh yes, I'd forgotten that. Well, I'm sure that will change before too long.
No, in fact it won't. I have no desire to re-enter the fray, and am going to be concentraiting all my energy into the Distribution area, including finally getting back to Self Publisher! Magazine. I started working the printing scene because there WERE NO ALTERNATIVES at the time I started poking around to have a solution for the SPA. Now there are a solid number of viable solutions, I'm not really feeling the need to broker things anymore, and the time I spent doing so will be better used on other things.

06-01-2006, 02:30 AM
But Ian... weren't you kicking around the idea of throwing down some of the printer info you'd collected over the years?

And I thought I'd examined the cafepress contracts and lulu contracts. It seemed that cafepress was allowed to print your material without your consent, assuming I read it properly.

In anycase, I was under the assumption that the stock available through LULU or Cafepress were not very bright, maybe that's changed, but it sounded like standard novel stock. Art books need high bright white paper.

L Jamal
06-01-2006, 08:57 AM
All POD printers that sell books for you have to be able to print the book without you okaying every single order. When you upload the book you give them that permission, so it's not without your consent. How else would you expect them to deliver the books that they sell for you?

If you don;t want them to sell your book, then just remove it from their web site after your print job is completed.

06-02-2006, 02:45 AM
And we are all anxiously awaiting the new and improved Dimestore as well... When can we see a peek at the new code Ian? ;)

Jeff Mandryk
SIPS Comics

06-02-2006, 04:17 AM
I'd say give Lulu a try if you don't have a lot of money to throw around on large print runs. I publish "GAAK" through them as a trade of the webcomic. At 128 pages it sells at lulu for $11.99 and retail (Amazon, B&N, etc--I have their distrbution package) for $12.96. As for only selling to your immediate family and friends? I've been as high as #48,984 at Amazon US, #7,918 at Amazon UK, #890 at Amazon CA, and #501 at Amazon Japan. You can sell to anybody with the right marketing plan. But you have to do the work. Give it a shot.



06-02-2006, 09:07 AM
I've published a couple books through Lulu.com and have been very happy with the results. The books look professional and they're relatively quick with their shipments. The biggest advantage i've found is that you can add an ISBN number through them for a fixed price, which is alot cheaper and more efficient than buying it on your own. But yeah, the biggest downside is that they don't advertise. You have to do that yourself. I've ordered a bunch of copies of my books and am gonna start distributing them slowly at comic stores around where I live. I don't intend to stick with lulu forever, but for right now, considering my budget, it's the best option for me.

06-02-2006, 10:26 AM
Lulu is pretty awful, price wise for comics, especially 32 page books. Over $5 a book, that's just crazy. They're perfect bound is a little better in terms of pricing but certainly POD's like SIPS, RapidPOD, Ka-Blam and Comixpress will all give you similar value, if not exceed Lulu. Most of these POD's will list you for distribution as well.

L Jamal
06-02-2006, 10:34 AM
and around and around we go...

Paul Sanderson
06-03-2006, 06:54 PM
Like we've always said, if you want to print a regular sized comic, don't use Lulu, it's not cost effective. If you want to print graphic novels or prose novels, then Lulu comes into its own.

06-03-2006, 09:54 PM
Exactly. Lulu is NOT for single issue, 22-32 page comics or comic series'. Lulu's costs send the single issue prices threw the roof. But if you want to put out a trade compilation of a webcomic or do a GN, then you can quickly and easily put out a high quality, 100 plus page, pefect bound book at market price and make a good royalty for yourself after costs with Lulu. And as was mentioned above, you can get an ISBN for your trade or GN rather cheaply at a fixed price.

And as was mentioned before, Lulu is a great starting point to test the waters of self publishing.