Unfortunately, I've spent way too much time bugging fellow staff and committee members with how it has changed my musical listening life. Instead, I'll blog about something else on the list.
LULU--1st Place, Books
Have you ever thought about publishing your own book? Aside from actually writing it, determining how to get it printed is the biggest challenge facing a budding author. Lulu is allowing them to find a way to get their work out to the public.
The old way would be to go to a printer, have them print a minimum order of the book, and the author would then have to go out of there way to sell the book. This includes payment processing, shipping and handling, fulfillment and such. Not only does this take a lot of time, but it is expensive. The author has to purchase the books, regardless if they sell. Let's say your book cost $20 to manufacture and you had a minimum order of 1000. That means your already out of $20,000, without even selling a single copy. Ouch.
Lulu is a print on demand publisher. The author uploads their book to Lulu. That's it. Uploading the book is free to the author, and the title becomes available for sale through Lulu's bookstore.
Now what happens when someone wants to order that book? Lulu handles the purchasing with the customer. They process the order, print the book and ship it to the customer.
So how does anyone make money through a Lulu book?
Lulu sets a minimum fee for a book. Let's say your historical fiction on Napoleon's long lost twin brother costs $12 to print via Lulu. That price includes all their production fees. The author then sets the MSRP to $19. Lulu gets $12 to make the book and their overhead, the author gets $7 , and someone gets a book that they want.
Lulu makes it simple for everyone to get their books published.
In review, why Lulu?
- No inventory/overstock to pay for or have stored.
- Lulu handles everything; the author just has to write their book
Lulu is a 2.0 way to do a 1.0 thing. Way to go Lulu!