coil binding and distribution

Background: I have attempted to self-publish a 180-page book of my piano music for several years. It hasn't been easy, and now I am considering doing this through lulu.com. (If there is a similar publishing site that specializes in print music or scores, please let me know - lulu doesn't even provide a category for music, but otherwise the concept here seems ideal.)

 

My book has to have coil binding. Any other type of binding would make it unusable when reading it at the piano. Coil binding allows a book to stay open while you are playing from it. There is no substitute. 

 

I have been just crushed to learn at this page that lulu books with coil binding will not be eligible for distribution (Amazon, etc.). I think that was a terrible decision, but I didn't come here to complain about that. 

 

Finally getting around to my question. If my book has to have coil binding, that means that it will only be available through lulu.com. If books are only available through this site, won't that make them awfully hard to find? Don't most people prefer to buy books from well-known outlets such as Amazon or Barnes&Noble? I am just worried that having my book available exclusively from lulu.com will be like burying it under a rock somewhere.  Lulu availability is better than no availability, but do you find that distribution with Amazon or others significantly adds to your sales, or the prestige of your offering?

 

Thanks, Ned

Comments

  • Ned,

     

    If you already  have your market (students for example), they will buy it here. Not a problem.

     

    If you do not have a market and do not plan on marketing your book, then make an exception and publish perfectbound. Add extra gutter and make onesided only.

     

     

     

     A citizen of the world.

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    Print on demand coil bound books don't go into distribution. 

    The coil bound books you see on Amazon are probably

    being offered for sale by people who hold physical stocks.

     

    If coil binding is imperative to you then you have two options.

    One is to register as a seller on Amazon, get your coilbound

    books printed by Lulu and then sell them through Amazon.

    The other option is to build up your market and then direct

    buyers to Lulu to make the purchases.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    NedGerhart wrote:

    Background: I have attempted to self-publish a 180-page book of my piano music for several years. It hasn't been easy, and now I am considering doing this through lulu.com. (If there is a similar publishing site that specializes in print music or scores, please let me know

     

    Not as such because not even Createspace or Blurb seem to offer coilbinding, so you are 'lucky' that Lulu do, even though you cannot have a Lulu ISBN or Dist for it.

     

    But I did find this interesting alternative option >>>    http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/classical-music-mashup-digital-sheet-music/20186749   That is an example of one of the items there.

     

    - lulu doesn't even provide a category for music,

     

    Possibly of more importance are the Metatags you can add to your Project. They are keywords that people may search for, such as Music.

     

    but otherwise the concept here seems ideal.)

     

    For printed work it does seem the best option because as already said, Lulu do generate a Spotlight storefront for you from which people can buy from, (as long as they know it is there, usually!)

     

    My book has to have coil binding. Any other type of binding would make it unusable when reading it at the piano.

     

    That is true, and the same applies to cookbooks.

     

    Coil binding allows a book to stay open while you are playing from it. There is no substitute.

     

    There is. Tablets, and possibly far easier to turn a page over using one! (Swipe left).

    https://orpheus-app.com/

    That's only one example of the apps available.

     

    But of course there's also the option of individual printed sheets, and people can always print off their own. 

     

    I have been just crushed to learn at this page that lulu books with coil binding will not be eligible for distribution (Amazon, etc.). I think that was a terrible decision, but I didn't come here to complain about that.

     

    What Lulu can distribute or not is not always their decision. Such as Amazon who own Createspace who print anything 'Lulu' bought via Amazon. As said above, Createspace do not POD coilbound books, so they cannot be listed at Amazon.

     

    Finally getting around to my question. If my book has to have coil binding, that means that it will only be available through lulu.com.

     

    Indeed.

     

    If books are only available through this site, won't that make them awfully hard to find?

     

    No harder really than any other publication. People often need to know a book exists before they look for it.

     

    Don't most people prefer to buy books from well-known outlets such as Amazon or Barnes&Noble?

     

    Indeed they do, and no offence to Lulu, it is not really a known-place to buy books from. They only promote the self-publishing aspect. Lulu users often promote their own Spotlights, at times from their own websites.

     

    I am just worried that having my book available exclusively from lulu.com will be like burying it under a rock somewhere.

     

    Have you never noticed that publishers advertise their books? Get reviews for them, interviews with the writers, etc etc. They don't just publish them and leave them to chance. You too will have the do that if you wish to sell a lot, or perhaps even any! regardless of where they are listed for sale.

     

     Lulu availability is better than no availability, but do you find that distribution with Amazon or others significantly adds to your sales,

     

    Not as such. There's billions of other books on Amazon and a few offering the same as you, even though not coilbound. They are competing with each other. 

    83,165 results for Books : Sheet Music & Scores : Paperback

     

    or the prestige of your offering?

     

    Nope. Anyone can stick a book directly on to Amazon. (I do it with books for Kindle). Amazon do not look in them for quality of contents. Perhaps a lack of prestige is using self-publishing.   Smiley Frustrated

     

    Thanks, Ned


     

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    If you accept the Google search, potential customers will find your book through Google, and Google will direct them to Lulu. No big deal.

  • As the others have said you could still make the book coil bound. Activate google search and they can buy it here. You will also make  a lager profit if they buy it here. Just give your potential buyers the link and maybe a video on youtube.

  • Thanks for your thoughtful replies. I have more questions in mind about lulu and printed music, but will start a different thread (if I can't discover answers otherwise). 

     

    Ned

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