I'm not sure how badly I really want to shill for POD publishing service Lulu yet since my relationship with it only just began, but I am willing to go ahead and say that my initial experience with it has been reasonably easy, user friendly and efficient...whereas my experience with POD service CreateSpace FREAKIN' SUCKED!
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Just yesterday, in a matter of a few minutes (or certainly less than an hour), I uploaded to Lulu and made available for sale a print edition omnibus (a word I am always looking for an excuse to say) of M-Branes #1 and #2. There's very little learning curve involved in understanding their interface, it walks you step-by-step through their process, and (best part) they let you download your document and look at it right then and there after it has been made "print-ready" for their system. If all is well with it, publication by way of one's virtual "storefront" is immediate. They also accommodate pretty much any page size including the normal, every-day letter-size pages of M-Brane.
Contrast this with CreateSpace: First problem was my page size. I uploaded my zine to them and then waited one business day for a reply by email. Which took at least three days because my first attempt with them was on a Friday a few weeks back when I was putting out #1. The email reply I received was a lengthy litany of little problems with my document formatting, but the biggie was that my 8 1/2 x 11 pages were too big. Biggest page size is 8 x 10 with them. I can't believe I didn't just stop there, but I pressed on because it appeared that they would be slightly cheaper for my theoretical print readers to purchase from than Lulu. I sat here and painstakingly reformatted the whole goddamned M-Brane #1 to slightly shrink the page dimensions. And that was just for the interior contents. The cover was a complete other fiasco. Each upload of my repaired documents required another "one business day" for a reply, until finally, blessed holy day, they sent me an email approving my files and informing me that I am now ready to publish on CreateSpace...AFTER I purchase from them a "proof copy" for about $8.00 plus about $6.00 shipping...and WAIT up to three weeks to receive it. Then I gave up on CreateSpace. It'll be a cold day in hell, apes will rule the earth, and squid will swing from the trees before I purchase a "proof" copy of my own zine unless I am turning around and selling it right away, and I'm not going to wait that long for it to show up either. Not in the age of the interweb and its series of tubes.
One glitch that Lulu shares with that other company is the apparent impossibility of printing stuff on the inside cover. It makes the process a bit incompatible with how zines are often laid out. I don't think they anticipated anyone wanting to use this service for magazines. But I am satisfied with my Lulu experiment so far. One reason I gave it another look was because I follow Wil Wheaton on Twitter and on his blog and he is always talking about how great his new book, self-published via Lulu, is doing.Related Articles :
Labels: zine operations