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For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers

As I begin looking into POD and distribution options for my upcoming series, The Noricin Chronicles,I have found myself torn between the two main services geared toward the self-published author, CreateSpace and LuLu.

The common ground for both services that lifts them above other self-publishing services is that you don't have to pay any upfront fees - a huge plus if, like me, you are publishing a series of novels and don't have the funds to pay a whole bunch of fees upfront.  With so many similarities between the two, the question that remains for me is, what's the difference? As simple a question as you might think that is, it is a question that seems to be a question that is rather difficult to have answered straightly.

From quickly browsing the web, I've found very conflicting messages and little clarification.  From one article I read, the biggest concern about using LuLu was its print quality - or in this writer's opinion, lack there of.  Another review claims that CreateSpace is much better in that respect, whereas yet another review claims that LuLu is better than CreateSpace.

From what I can see, it seems as if the biggest advantage of CreateSpace is that, since it's owned by Amazon, you get distribution on Amazon without having to lose profit to the Amazon Advantage fees.  The disadvantage of CreateSpace, according to some sources, is that it only distributes through Amazon, so if you want to reach a larger market, you'd be better off going through LuLu, which has several international printing and distribution centers.

There are also some who claim that you can use both CreateSpace and LuLu - while I was not surprised about this in regards to e-books, I am rather startled that neither company would require exclusivity over physical production and distribution.  If this is, in fact, true, then that would certainly make things a lot easier, since you can have the best of both worlds.

I was just hoping that maybe some people here who have had experience with working with one or even both of these companies might be able to shed some light on this matter for both myself and the other members of this community who I'm sure are having similar questions. 

Please feel free to use this forum for any discussion on the pros and cons of not only CreateSpace and LuLu, but other similar services as well.  I could use as much advice as possible and I am sure I'm not alone in that matter.  I am very interested in hearing what other authors' experiences have been with these companies.

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