Kindle vs Lulu
So, you've written a book and now you want people to read it and pay you for the privilege? Why not? You have
always paid for your books and writing a book is harder than most people will ever know, but what do you do now?
This article will help you think about that and outline the options.
The first thing to do is decide which formats you would like to make your book available in. The choices are:
paperback, ebook and hardback and the second decision is where you want to make your book available.
It might sound obvious to say: in all formats and in every country, but that is not possible with any one
company as things stand at the moment. This means that you either have to prioritize or sign up for several
companies. This is not a problem if you are au fait with sign-up software.
However, if you want to keep signing-up to a minimum, you choice is: Kindle vs Lulu.
You can pay someone to do it for you, but all the options that I have seen cost about $1,500 and that sounds
expensive to me for a service which is basically free of charge and takes less than an hour to set up, if you have
the right files in the right formats.
If you expect to sell your book to mostly Americans, then the easiest option is to sign up with Amazon's
CreateSpace to make a paperback. It is free and the easiest to navigate. Furthermore, it will only take an hour
and, once you have set it up, you are just a click away from creating an ebook version to put on Amazon's other
CreateSpace and Kindle will then make your paperback and ebook available on Amazon USA. With a few more clicks,
you can have it put on the European versions of Amazon. For another click and $25, they will provide you with
'extended distribution', which covers libraries and bookshops.
But ONLY in the USA and Canada. NOT in Europe, but you are not told that. Unfortunately, Amazon, despite it's
European franchises, is still very US-centric and, at the moment, there is no way of getting into European
libraries or bookshops via Amazon.
I have made them aware that their books are not available in UK bookshops and libraries that use Nielsen. They
said that they would 'look into it', but an author is cutting him/herself off from 55,000,000 potential customers
by only going with CreateSpace.
Lulu is a similar company with a similar on line set-up system. It is a little more difficult to get set-up, but
Lulu rewards you for it, by providing more options. Ebook and paperback set-up is completely separate, so it takes
a little longer, but they also offer a hardback version which is very easy to create.
Furthermore, if you want to promote through Nielsen, they have an option. It costs $75, but it is the only way I
know that gets you into British (and other European?) libraries and bookshops.
My advice is to set-up first via CreateSpace/Kindle and then do Lulu, because the experience will make it
easier. It is not really a question of Kindle vs Lulu, it is a necessity to do both if you want to get on.
by Owen Jones