Self-publishing experiments (Lulu vs. BookSurge)


Jury is still out, I’ve decided to do some self-publishing experiments so I can get a sense of what is out there. I’ve uploaded a book to Lulu (I’m not telling you which one, and it is still a private book, so you can’t buy it.) Some initial reactions…

  • It is very affordable to self-publish – I’m surprised at how much it costs to print a book wholesale. In fact, if you are not concerned about turn around time, uploading a PDF to Lulu and ordering a one-off copy of your own book is about half the cost of printing a document directly to Kinkos.
  • Both Lulu and Booksurge allow you to use your own ISBNs, if I do start using either service for distribution, I’m assuming that it is preferable to have your own ISBNs…. we’ll see.
  • Signing up for BookSurge generated an almost immediate call from a sales agent, where Lulu is all about self-service. Also BookSurge looks like it has more of an upfront, sign-up fee. I’m going to try both services over the next year, but I think I’ll start with Lulu.
  • I was looking for a 7″ x 9″ format which is about one inch wider than US Trade. Lulu doesn’t offer this size, the best fit I could get was Royal Quarto @ 7.444″ x 9.681″. I guess that will do, but I’ll have to figure out how that plays out. The problem with US Trade size is that the 6″ width is going to mean that I have to trim code examples to less than 80 character-width. We’ll see….

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