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    Monday
    Aug012011

    Link of the Day - Lulu.com

    I've been considering Lulu lately. Lulu is an online company that allows you to self-publish books. You can choose all the specs for the size/paper/color... and after you write and design your book, you upload a PDF file -- making your book then available for others to purchase. The books aren't printed until an order comes in (the same way that CafePress or Zazzle will let you design imprinted mugs/shirts/etc, but they don't get produced until somebody places an order for them) -- and as you promote your book however you like, they also list your book in their large selection of customer projects for folks to view who search/browse the Lulu website.

    There is also the option for creating digital eBooks, readable on iPads/etc. and the ability to purchase an ISBN code, which can allow you to sell your book on Amazon. Lulu will let you upload your own artwork files, or you can pay for their formatting/design/marketing services to help you out.

    I've had a couple of book ideas on San Francisco history that I've been mulling about, and I'm curious to try Lulu. The company has been around for several years, and from a quick perusing of the chat forums, I see that there are some people who have many books uploaded/available. I'm wondering how successful this medium really is (I've never made much from my various CafePress websites, although truthfully I've never made any marketing attempts with them). I'm thinking that potential customers are not going to look for books outside their general familiarity zone (Amazon, bookstores, etc), and that the only way to actually make some money is by self-promotion efforts. I wonder how successful these attempts would be without having an ISBN number and by having your work available at Amazon.

    If anybody has any experience with this, I'd be interested to hear it. And in the mean time, I think I might try tackling one of my smaller book projects and just see if I even have the time/inclination to put together a book in the first place!

    www.lulu.com