Lulu FAQ

edited November 14 in Lulu Basics

Can I use a pen name?

In order to use a pen name, stage name, pseudonym, alias, etc., enter it into the Author field when you create a project. You can also revise the project after you publish your work and change the author name. For more information, see:

How do I revise my published book?

Who is the publisher - me or Lulu.com?

You, as the creator, are both the copyright holder and publisher of all works created and distributed using the tools and services available on the Lulu.com website. Therefore, when creating your work's copyright page, you should list yourself as the copyright holder and publisher. If you wish, you may list Lulu.com as the distributor. 

Please keep in mind:
  • A copyright page will not be automatically created for books published through our site. Authors are responsible for creating this page and recording themselves as the copyright holder (Copyright © Year by YOUR NAME) and publisher of their work (Published by <PUBLISHER NAME>).
  • If you choose to use a free Lulu ISBN, Lulu will register the pertinent information about your book with bibliographic services.
  • Lulu does not register ISBNs with the United States of America Library of Congress or any other country-specific copyright office.
  • If you choose to use your own ISBN, purchased from either Lulu.com or another provider, you must enter the bibliographic information (title, author, format, publisher, etc.) required to associate the ISBN with your book. As a best practice, you should list the same information on your copyright page that was used to register your ISBN.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand (POD) is a method of producing books or other media using a digital file. The books or other media are produced only at the time of purchase.

Traditional publishers usually print thousands of copies all at once. Although this costs less per copy, it requires a large publishing company that can pay for and store all that merchandise.

Want to know how print on demand benefits the environment? Then check out this article on the Lulu blog: Saving Mother Earth by Using Print on Demand

Ready to get started?  Go to Lulu.com for more details on printing your remarkable work.

What rights does Lulu.com have over my work?

Lulu.com holds no rights or copyright on your work and makes no claims or restrictions on the ownership of your work. Rights and copyrights remain with you as the author and creator. You continue to own the rights in your name or, if you have contractual arrangements, on behalf of others. 

Your purchase and use of any Lulu.com publishing services does not undermine your rights or copyright. Lulu complies with the US Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). As such, we will do everything we can to discourage the violation of intellectual property rights. The Content section of the Membership Agreement outlines rights maintained by both Lulu.com and the account holder.

How much does it cost to use Lulu.com?

Creating a book and offering it for sale on Lulu.com doesn't cost anything. It only costs money when you purchase an item!

Lulu takes a small commission when your content is purchased. Lulu's commission is 20% of the profit for printed books and 10% for eBooks. The purchase price of all products includes a base cost for raw materials and printing service. Prices for specific products can be found in the Product Information specifications or by using our Cost Calculators located on the Publish pages.

Is Lulu.com a vanity press?

Lulu.com is a technology company, not a vanity press. Vanity presses typically offer many services, all of which must be paid for in advance. It is not unusual for vanity presses to require an initial order of hundreds of copies of any book they print. Lulu not only offers Print On Demand services, but also provides a marketplace to make it easier for you to sell your books through a worldwide network of online book and eBook retailers.

Can I use Lulu in conjunction with another publishing company?

Lulu.com does not restrict the marketing of your work, but other companies may do so. We recommend that you fully understand the terms and conditions of all businesses with which you deal. We urge authors to take advantage of all the sales venues available to them and to share their successes with us and with other authors.

Note: If you published your book with using free Lulu ISBN, you must obtain a new ISBN if you choose to publish your book with another publisher.

Is Lulu.com appropriate for printing just a few copies?

At Lulu.com there is no minimum order. Customers make their own purchases or you can purchase the copies you need and distribute them yourself. Authors who wish to distribute their print books to online retailers, such as Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble, must purchase and approve a proof copy to qualify for distribution.

Even if you do not intend to distribute your print book, we strongly urge authors to purchase a copy of their work to review before purchasing multiple copies.

Will all orders of my book look like the proof copy?

The Lulu.com global network of printers produces books based on the best fit for the job in a given region of the world. Some of the factors that determine where your book will print are: book size, binding type, order quantity, page count, delivery destination, etc. We take great pains to ensure consistency in look and feel for our printed products, but there can be slight variations in printing and binding between orders. This variation is not a workmanship or manufacturing defect and does not qualify for a refund or return.

Can I publish fan fiction on Lulu?

We encourage all authors to familiarize themselves with publishing requirements specific to fan fiction. For more information, the Stanford Center for Internet & Society maintains a FanFic FAQ that explains many of the copyright and trademark issues surrounding Fan Fiction.

As a strong supporter of copyright law, Lulu will remove fan fiction content reported as violating the intellectual property rights of others.

What kind of digital press does Lulu use?

Lulu.com's global network of printers utilize a variety of the latest digital print technology:

  • Our b/w interiors are printed on a combination of Kodak, Xerox, Hewlett Packard, and Oce equipment.
  • Our color products are printed on a combination of HP, Xerox, Xiekon, and Kodak equipment.

Why Lulu might not be right for you

Reason 1: You don't want to be the one selling your book.
Traditionally, publishers do all the marketing for their authors' books. That takes resources, which is why it is hard to get a book accepted by a publisher. Lulu lets you publish your work without going through a publisher, but that means that the burden of selling and marketing your book falls to you. There are ways to do this and the Web makes self-marketing easier than it has ever been. We also offer tips for marketing your book in the Lulu.com blog.

Reason 2: If you are looking to sell your book primarily through "brick & mortar" bookstores, there isn't much we can do to help.

While we do offer ISBNs for books published through us (which means your book can be ordered through bookstores), print-on-demand economics prohibit the large discounts that bookstores require to stock books. Bookstores depend on the economy of scale available to large publishers and print distributors. Bookstores are only going to buy Lulu books when they are special-ordered by customers. The Web is a terrific way to sell books, as Amazon.com has demonstrated.

Reason 3: You're a very picky author.

In order to make our publishing system both affordable and scaleable, we have to limit choices about things such as paper and book size. We don't offer alternative paper selections or custom-trim books. We do, however, offer download versions of books (e-books). For detailed specifications about the sizes we offer, see What paper will my book have for the cover and interior?

There are plenty of companies out there who will provide more options if you give them money. Lulu is the only publisher that offers you all that we do for free.

How do I get answers to questions not in the FAQs?

Our peer-to-peer Community Forums are a good place to receive help. In the forums you can interact with other members of the Lulu community. Lulu Community Moderators also post notices in the Announcements forum about updates to the Lulu.com site as well as reported issues that are being examined by our engineering team.  See this article for details on how to subscribe to our community announcements board.

TIP: If you are having a problem using the Lulu self-publishing tools, it is likely that someone else has had the same problem. A simple search of the forums may provide you with the information you require. Just remember, as in all professions, the terms used in self-publishing can be very specific, so make sure your search includes keywords specific to the issue you have encountered. If your search does not provide you with the answers you seek, please create a discussion thread and someone will offer to assist you.

To initiate a forum discussion, click on the appropriate forum title (General Discussion, Print Book, eBook, Author Workshop) and click the New Message button. A few things to keep in mind when posting and responding in the Community Forums:

  • The community forums are intended to serve as a peer-to-peer support group. All members are volunteers. Lulu employees are easily identified by the Lulu logo next to their user name.
  • Community forum members cannot access your account; therefore you should contact our Support Team with issues specific to your user account (i.e. password changes, revenue reporting, purchases, payment information, print issues, etc.).
  • When you post to the forums, give your posts a clear subject describing your problem, such as "How do I use Buy Now buttons?" or "My document won't convert." This makes it easier for others to use the information in response to your inquiry.
  • Your language and subject matter should be suitable for all age groups and people of all comfort levels.
  • Please stay on topic and be civil. A pleasant demeanor usually results in friendly responses from your fellow authors.
  • Inappropriate messages will be edited, moved to a more appropriate forum or deleted at the moderator's discretion.
  • For more information see Lulu's Posting Policies.
  • You may also contact support if your question is not answered to your satisfaction.
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