Every writer dreams of publishing at least one book in their lifetime. There are many options available to writers to make that dream a reality. One is to submit their manuscript (whether a collection of poetry, a collection of short stories, a memoir or a novel) to traditional publishers in hopes to get published. Another is to submit their manuscript to POD (Print On Demand) Publishers or “vanity” publishers. Yet another is to self-publish their work with one of the self-publishing companies. There are many self-publishing companies out there. The one that I’ve been using is Lulu. Here are the nine reasons why you should publish your book with Lulu.
1. Publishing and distribution is free
A lot of self-publishing and/or POD publishers will charge a hefty fee to publish your book. Lulu doesn’t charge you anything to get your book published if you do everything yourself. At first I thought it was too good to be true but it is not. I’ve published nine books with Lulu and have never been charged to have my book published. It’s great that you don’t have to spend money to get published but you have to go through the book publishing process on your own. It’s fairly easy to do. If I was able to figure it out you can too. Once you publish your book you can distribute it to Amazon, Barnes and Noble (online) and other online retailers for free. That is an added bonus. You can reach more customers this way.
2. Total control over the book’s exterior and interior
With traditional publishers and even self-publishing companies you don’t have a final say in how your book looks both inside and out. In fact, you may not even like what’s done to your book. With Lulu you have total control over your book’s exterior and interior because you do it all yourself. That means your book cover and the layout and design of the book’s interior is just the way you want it to be. There is no one to stop you from doing your book exactly the way you want it. You just have to adhere to certain requirements necessary for book distribution.
3. Books are POD (Print On Demand)
Lulu books are Print On Demand. This means that no physical books actually exist. They are only produced when a customer (be it you or someone else) orders the books. This is a great advantage because you as the author can order the books only when you need them and you can order as many or as little quantities as you need.
4. Authors determine royalties per book
When you publish your book with Lulu you decide how much you make per book. There is no one to stop you from making as much money per each book sale as you want. You have to keep in mind though that how much you make per book will affect the book’s retail price. The more you decide to make the higher the book’s price will be, especially for books bought outside of Lulu.
Since you make much less per book for books sold outside of Lulu than you do per book for books sold directly on Lulu you may have to increase your book’s price to make a good enough royalty per book for books bought on Amazon, etc. Make sure it’s a fair price though. Priced too high and you can lose potential book sales.
5. Authors get paid monthly
You don’t have to wait months or years to get your royalties because you get paid on a monthly basis. You will get paid in the current month for their previous month’s earnings. The only thing you need to get paid is to have a valid PayPal account and to have earned a minimum of $5 in book royalties the previous month. If for whatever reason you didn’t earn at least $5 in that month that amount will be paid to you once you get new sales that will bring your earnings total up to $5 or more.
6. Authors can discount their book at any time
The books that are sold directly on Lulu can be discounted at any time. For each book project there is a drop down list of the % you can discount your book by. Choose the discount % you want and you are good to go. For each % you choose you are told how much the book price will be and how much your royalties will be for books bought directly from Lulu. You can go through each one and see what your royalty and price per book will be before choosing the discount that is best for you.
7. There are discount offers available to authors and customers
In addition to being able to discount your books Lulu also offers discounts and promotions of their own. Sometimes it’s for shipping and sometimes it’s for books. This allows customers to save even more. You can use those discounts and promotions for yourself as well if you decide to purchase copies of your own book. When you buy your own books you don’t pay what your customers pay. You actually pay just the manufacturing cost of the book plus applicable taxes and shipping fees. This saves you money. And there are also bulk discounts available when you purchase large quantities of your book.
8. Authors get their own author spotlight page
When you publish your book with Lulu you get your author spotlight page. This page will have your bio and will list every book you publish with Lulu. Customers will be able to buy your book directly from this page. They just have to click the Add to Cart button underneath the book to make the purchase. You have to set up the author spotlight page yourself. The books will automatically show up on the page. All you have to do is add your author bio, author picture, any relevant links (perhaps to your website) and the name for your page and you are good to go.
9. Authors see every sale and where it came from
Every time your book is purchased directly from Lulu or from Amazon or other online retailers that information will be displayed in your Lulu account. You will see what book was purchased and in what format, when it was purchased, which country the customer was from, and how much you made per book. This way you can keep track of all your book sales and earnings. You can also see a list of the royalties Lulu paid you and when those payments were made.
Lena Kovadlo is a poet, writer and published author of nine books, one of which is a debut novel The Secret Life of Ashley Miles. She is also a content writer for HubPages, Bubblews, Writedge, Daily Two Cents, and Wikinut, among other websites, under the username lovebuglena. She helps other authors publish books. She is originally from Minsk, Belarus but now lives in Staten Island, NY.