Self publishing is a booming industry and 2019 has been a great year for it so far. If this year’s statistics are anything to go by, 2020 is estimated to be an even better year for writers taking publishing into their own hands – and if you’re thinking of it yourself, all of the self publishing platform options out there can be overwhelming.
Should you choose KDP Select, Lulu or opt for any of the other self publishing platforms out there?
Lulu is certainly one of the most popular ones. It’s one of the first that a lot of writers hear about. But is it right for you? Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of picking Lulu.
Here’s why Lulu.com is one of the most powerful self publishing companies out there if you’re looking to release your book to the world in 2020.
Pro: Lulu.com is easy to use.
A lot of writers who have never published their work before have no idea how to approach factors like cover art and formatting for their book. One of the great things about the Lulu platform is the fact that it’s easy to use even if you’ve never worked with it before – and there’s a help section that can help you to iron out all the kinks while getting your book ready.
Pro: Lulu.com lets you retain full rights to your work.
Lulu doesn’t ask for exclusive rights when they list your work on the Lulu platform. This can be a benefit to writers who want to retain full control – but the drawback of this is that listing your work on Lulu doesn’t automatically mean that it’s listed on platforms like the Amazon marketplace.
Pro: Lulu.com offers print publication too.
Many self publishing platforms are exclusive to publishing e-books – and while there’s nothing wrong with this, many authors still want a print copy of their book to promote and sell, even in cases where it’s a short limited run of print books. The Lulu.com platform allows you to order a print version of your book, but there are some drawbacks, including high shipping costs that can end up increasing the mark-up of the final sold book.
Con: Publishing with Lulu can limit your distribution.
Choosing Lulu.com as your self publishing platform doesn’t automatically mean that your work will be listed on platforms on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. This takes a separate formatting and uploading process, and a lot of authors find it easier just to list their work directly on KDP Select if they want access to the Amazon market.
Con: Lulu has a higher mark-up.
A lot of readers who buy their books through the Lulu platform will tell you that the books are sometimes a little more expensive than they feel they should be – and for authors who want to sell their work, this can be one of the biggest drawbacks of the platform. Shipping costs for print books and final sale prices for e-books are higher through Lulu.com because they take a bigger cut, and for a lot of writers, this isn’t ideal.
Con: Formatting for Lulu can take several tries.
Even for people who have done book formatting before, Lulu has some odd formatting specifications that you won’t find with the other best self publishing companies. This means that even if you think your book has been perfectly formatted, the Lulu uploading and printing platform might not agree with you – and it will mean that you have to approach the formatting of the book from the very start of the process just for Lulu’s benefit.