Want to Publish Your Book? - Publishing With Lulu is the Way to Go

by lovebuglena

If you want to publish a book to share with family and friends or to sell to the public publishing with Lulu is the way to go. It's free and has many benefits.

There are many publishers out there that you can publish your book with. Most traditional publishers won't look at your book without an agent. Finding an agent is hard especially one that is interested in your book and finding a publisher for it. And it is not free either. Whether you do find an agent or not you will face rejection after rejection when you submit your manuscript to a publisher and hence remain unpublished and dejected.

Of course there are some publishers that will publish your book. These publishers are not traditional publishers. They call themselves "vanity press", "self-publishing", or "print on demand" companies and they charge an arm and a leg for publishing your book with them. You shouldn't have to empty your own wallet to get your book published and out to the world. That's why it's a great idea to consider publishing with Lulu, which doesn't charge a fee for publishing a book. Sounds too good to be true? It's not. I've published eight books with Lulu and didn't have to pay anything to get them published.

Publishing Your Book With Lulu

Lulu is a "self-publishing" POD (print on demand) company that allows authors to publish their books, obtain a free ISBN for them, and then distribute them to Amazon, Barnes&Noble and other online retailers as well as to Ingram from which physical bookstores can purchase copies of the book. With Lulu you publish your book exactly the way you want it to be. There is no one to tell you what you can and can't do. There is no one to order you to make changes that you don't want to make. You are your own books. The only thing you have to do when publishing your book is adhere to the distribution requirements.

Publishing a book with Lulu is easy. To start off the process you have to create a free account on Lulu.com and then start a new book project. Enter the title and author name for the book and then choose which type of book you want to publish (book size, binding, paperback or hardcover, b&w or color...). Then upload your manuscript and upload and already made cover or create one from scratch directly in the Lulu cover creator. Next, enter the book information including a book summary, relevant keywords and copyright info., select the price of the book and hit the button to publish your book. When you follow these steps your book gets published and can be purchased by others right away, though it takes a few minutes for the book to appear in the website's search results.

Whether your books are purchased from Lulu or from other online retailers the books are printed only when an order has bee placed for them. That is the advantage of POD books. You don't have to worry about buying copies of your book, or stressing out about where you will store them all. You only order the books when you need them and order as many or as little as you need. No one dictates how many books you should get. If you don't plan on selling physical copies of your books to people or gifting them to friends and family you only ever need to buy one copy of your book, and that is so you can proof it before approving the book for distribution, which is a requirement.

When you do buy your own books you pay the manufacturing cost of the book not the retail price of it, so you save a lot of money and if you buy in bulk you save even more. Sometimes, Lulu even offers discounts on orders so you have an extra option to save even more money. You can share the discount code with your potential customers when you market your book, which can help them save money on their orders and also bring in more sales your way. On top of that you can discount your books sold directly on Lulu and change the discount or remove it altogether whenever you want.

How Much Do You Earn With Lulu?

When someone buys your book directly from the Lulu website you will make 80% for each book sale, with 20% going to Lulu. When someone buys your book from Amazon or any other online retailer you get less. I am unaware of the exact percentage but there were instances when my royalty on retail sites was around three dollars or so per book when on Lulu it was close to eight if not more.

It is best then to try and get people to buy your book directly from Lulu because you make more per book. If your royalty per book on Lulu is $10 for example, you will need to sell only ten books to earn $100. To earn $100 from retail channels you will need to sell at least double that amount of books, though most likely much more than that.

Your royalty per book will always be higher on Lulu than on retail websites. You can always increase how much you will earn per book on those sites but you have to keep in mind that the retail price of the book will increase. While you do want to make as much per book as possible you also want to keep it affordable. The higher you make the royalty on retail sites the higher the retail price of the book will be.

How Do You Get Paid Your Book Royalties?

When you have earned royalties for your book Lulu will be the one to pay you and there are two options to get paid. One is to request a check to be sent to you. In order for this to happen you have to earn at least $20 in royalties for your book. If you choose the check option you will be paid on a quarterly basis. Another option is to get paid via PayPal. With this option you get paid every month and you only need to earn $5 worth of book royalties to get the money. If you ever earn under the minimum the earnings will be carried over to the next month and if you reach the minimum then you will get paid. If you still haven't reached it by then the earnings will get carried over to the next month, and it will continue until the minimum is reached.

How Do You Know if Your Book Has Been Bought?

Whenever someone buys your book you will see the sale information in your account, which include the purchase date, the royalty per book, and in the case of sales from online retailers where it was bought. If your book is purchased directly from Lulu the sale information will appear in your account the next day. If your book is purchased from any of the online retailers that information will not appear right away. It usually takes weeks for that to information to be reflected on your account though I don't know the exact time frame.

Another way to see if your book has been bought is to look for a sales rank number on your book page. Not all sites may have a sales rank number but sites like Amazon, Barnes&Noble and Lulu itself do. So, if you see a sales rank number next to your book that means it's been purchased. You won't know how many copies have been bought from that number but you will know that sales have been made. The lower your number (which is equivalent to a higher sales rank) the more books have been bought.

Updated: 05/31/2014, lovebuglena
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