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I'm posting these questions here hoping we will get to see answers from people like Peter and Linda with much experience in these matters.

The site is not an easy one to penetrate, it seems to me, and I think there are some big questions many would like to see answers to:

1. Can you really publish a book there "for free"? If so, how? Is there a link to a page that explains it?

2. Similarly, how does their "Published By You" thing work, how much does it cost, where can you read up on it?

3. And lastly, what about ISBN's? How much to get them for a free book? For a "Published by You" book? Can you just buy an ISBN from them?

Thanks to anybody who can fill us all in on these things.

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Replies to This Discussion

Boy, Greg and LA, this is a big help to me, and hopefully to others.

Since you have done the contracts on this and all, let me ask: okay, if you are published on lulu "By You", meaning your own imprint and ISBN, then what's to keep you from taking that ISBN to lightning source and producing cheaper books under the same name and ISBN number?
Allow local stores to order from them, perhaps even sell them on eBay or as a third party seller on
If you use your own imprint and ISBN, as long as the finsihed book looks the same, you can use any printer. The biggest problem there is that, many times, cheaper books come with a difference in formatting. That, or you are acutally renting the use of Lulu ISBN - we do this for any customer who doesn't want to do their on application process. If it is a Lulu ISBN, Lulu is the only printer that can use that ISBN.
Nothing is EVER free.

Actually many, many, many things are free.

And I think most people would share my angle that buying copies doesn't mean that the publishing itself wasn't free. Published means available for purchase or reading.
WOW! Thanks, Anita! This may seem like one more simple post on this thread, but believe me when I way that to me it's an example of the value of these social network sites. That will probably provide me with the solution to a problem that's been driving me nuts for a year.

So cool, thanks.

You Scotia folks may be in the neighborhood, but you ain't no Newfies, huh? :-)
Hi Anita,

This is great info you have shared. you mention Create Space wonder if you have used them? If so how do they compare to using LULU?


wow sounds like lulu had to step up their game to compete with CreateSpace. I havent used Lulu, opted for createspace instead. i designed my own cover, 50,000 yen or about $500, got the book formatted, $300. Bought my own isbn, $125.00, bought my own barcode, $150.00 then uploaded the files to createspace. I am quite please with create space, highly recommend them
I'm new to this group so apologies if this isn't the right string to publish this comment/question in, but self publishing electronically leads me to ask...

Does anyone know the market for electronic-only books? I'd be curious to know if authors who have used that mechanism for publishing know how many people have read your work?

I'm not as much interested in "how many you sold" per se, but really to know how the material can make an impact on your prospective audience.

Any thoughts?

Hi Carol
I have an electronic "book" on the market (the "How to Make Videos" one shamelessly pimped in another thread)

It's pretty easy to know how many people are BUYING it, since it's either emailed out (as is mine) or downloaded from another site, which is a retailer of publisher and therefore reports sales to the author.

If you mean how many people are reading it, in the sense of how much it gets passed around by the original buyer, that's as impossible to tell as it is with any book. (In fact it's possible to "lock up" eBooks so that, unlike paper books, they can't be resold or used by other people, on other computers, etc)

If feedback is your concern, it would be really easy to include a mail link in your eBook where people can click to get a free chapter of your next book, join a mailing list, or just see your writer's blog.
You could have a special landing page for that link, one that refers hits to the other pages, but keeps a count of how many come to it from the only place it's public, your book.
I saw this and thought I could be a bit of help. Lulu and create a space are very similar. Lulu now uses Amazon/Create a space as a distributor.
The only time you have to purchase anything is the proofs. It may only be one copy or if you change things you will need to purchase an updated version.
You can do the Published by you. I believe it is like $99, I am not sure. By doing this, you become the publisher with all of the duties of publisher. I recommend you go to Bowkers to read what they say. There are other companies as well that can do this. They have a list of companies that can assist you with an ISBN.

The link above is from Lulu, might help answer a few more questions.

Really the biggest draw back is Lulu has started working with amazon, which means if you are interested in having your book listed with Ingrams, you will have to pay $49 for it. In the scope of things, they are a good company for writers that want to remain in control.

Hope that helps! Drop me a line if I can be of any help.

Yes. is free. But here's the catch when you make a paper book your price must be beyond the manufactering cost and you get the money beyond that. And manufactering costs are a bit steep. So it's much easier to submit short books or a long book in small print to make it afforable for other people. But you pay nothing whatsever. Published by you gives your ISBN and allows you to hold the copyright even if you take it away from, and cost fifty dollars. Published by LUlu gives you a ISBN and it's free but you only have it as long as your on work is on Hope that helps/

P.S. check out my book website Lelue's Realm at
This new Lulu service allows you, the author, to register to become your own publisher and purchase your own unique ISBN from the official US ISBN Agency. This ISBN is directly mapped to you as the official, registered publisher. The Books In Print database and others will show your registered details as publisher. You must be a resident of the United States, Guam or Puerto Rico to get this service.
You do have to pay if you want it on amazon. You have to buy your book from LULU and then approve it. And if you ever want to revise it you have to buy it again and approve it for it to go back on Amazon. It's not as simple as looking at the PDF and knowing that it's better, you have to buy it. I don't really like that rule. I have so many copies of my memoir now.


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