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Tell me about lulu

Started by noahtrammell, February 25, 2010, 03:46:55 AM

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 So, I'm developing a game and even though it is a loooong way in the future, I'm looking ahead to publishing.  Lulu looks easy and stress-free.  I'm not looking to make a ton of money or anything, I just enjoy playing and developing.  What have your experiences been?  What are the pros and cons?  Should I use it or get out now before it crushes me with its Cthulhoid tentacles?
"The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."
-Mark Twain

My Tiny but Growing Blog

Eero Tuovinen

I haven't used it myself, but my experience is that Lulu can be difficult from a retailer's perspective - many Lulu publishers are unable to give me the discounts I want and need due to the low profit margins they operate on. This is not, of course, a major concern if you're planning exclusively on direct sales. This is a reasonable stance if you're not going to get distributed in any way, as most retailers won't specifically look for you out there if you don't offer yourself to them.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.

Ron Edwards

My biggest concerns with Lulu are:

1. A certain ambiguity concerning ISBNS. If you follow the posted procedures, then effectively they become the publisher, not you, because they own the ISBN. I got around this via a personal connection with a staff member who showed me how to do it differently (not like I remember though), which obviously isn't an option for most people.

2. The blunt fact that Lulu as a site does not operate as a sales-point. People don't shop there very much, or if they do, there's no guarantee that your kind of stuff and Lulu's kind of shoppers are a good fit. It operates fine as a way to make the book physically available and to get you paid if someone buys it, but the only way that happens if some other on-line activity brings people to that exact page through an external link. So promotion, marketing, and any aspect of "here it is, here's what it is, buy it" has to be set up by you and probably conducted by you in some other way.

Best, Ron

Jason Morningstar

It's another channel, and it is worth considering the use of a format they support, like 6x0 instead of digest. The quality is good and they can be pretty fast. For very small projects you just want to get out there, it might be a useful resource. I have a little game up on Lulu; the PDF is free (and they host it) and a print version is absurdly expensive but available. I don't think there is a way to use their service profitably at a low volume, though.


 As I said, the main focus for me isn't so much profit as much as just getting the thing out there in some physical form.  I don't think its going to get into Barnes and Noble anytime soon.  Thanks for the advice!
"The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."
-Mark Twain

My Tiny but Growing Blog


I've managed to turn a profit on my game "The Eighth Sea" while purely using Lulu.

Most of my sales haven't come through their site though, maybe a quarter of my sales have been through my presence on forums (and direct inquiries to me about the game), the remaining three quarters have come through placing orders of my own, then selling them at conventions.

As a minimal investment project, I'm happy to be getting something back for the work I put into it. 
A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.