10-03-2011 09:12 AM
Does anyone know how long it takes to have LuLu remove an ebook from Barnes and Noble?
I clicked the remove my ebook from iBookstore and from Nook. It was removed from iBookstore within hours, however, the "remove" button for Nook, has been stuck on "removing" since Friday, and the ebook is still listed as an ebook download on Barnes and Noble.
This is very frustrating. I am so upset that LuLu is listed on Barnes and Noble as the publisher of my novel in its ebook format … plus my publisher has concerns about being able to publish an ebook of my novel in the future with their ISBN number, since LuLu has "claimed ownership” of my novel in ebook format.
As I have been unable to contact anyone associated with LuLu, my publisher will be calling Barnes and Noble this morning, hopefully they will be able to expedite the removal of my ebook as a Nook download.
I'm sure there are many authors excited that LuLu went to the trouble to convert and distribute their novels. However, I am not one of those authors, and feel that LuLu’s actions falls under Copyright Infringement!
10-03-2011 09:31 AM
This has happened to several people who are upset about it happening - myself being one. I had a thread here where I ranted about and the fact Lulu assumes everything is on an opt-out status - not an opt-in. And yes - the fact Lulu put their ISBN on the book and claimed that they had the rights as the publisher to publish the book - without authorization from the copyright holder is a clear violation of COPYRIGHT.
I don't understand how Lulu thought they had the rights to do that as I am sure both Barnes and Noble and Apple require that anyone publishing through there stores assert that they have the rights necessary to publish the book. Unless there is a contract or publishing agreement in place between the copyright holder and the person claiming copyright license to publish the book - publishing the book and listing themselves as the publisher is a clear COPYRIGHT VIOLATION.
You need to contact support or your publisher does and raise holy heck over this - I bet the book gets pulled quickly.
Once the book is out of distribution, they can reissue under a new ISBN. Happens frequently - a book's rights revert back to author at the ends of the contract period with one publisher and they get the book reissued with a new house. No worries there.
I would also demand that Lulu make sure they go into their Bowker listing and make sure the book is now listed as OUT OF PRINT under their ISBN so retailer don't see the double listing.(Something I still need to folow up with Lulu on)
Also make sure you retire that project in your projects as well.
10-03-2011 01:49 PM
Once again, I truly appreciate that you took the time out of your busy day to respond to my post. Your suggestions have been extremely helpful; as I have been unable to connect with LuLu via Live Chat, and my emails have gone unanswered.
Without your explicit information in regards to removing my ebook from LuLu, I would have spent additional hours researching the LuLu site to fully understand how to remove the ebook files. Thanks to you, the ebook files have been removed from the iBookstore, and my novel is no longer available for the iPhone or iPad.
I am reluctant to retire the ebook project from LuLu until I am confident that it has been removed as a Nook Book. Unfortunately, the removal status icon to remove the ebook from B&N has been stuck on “1/3 complete” since Friday.
As to LuLu notifying me of the conversion process, both my publisher and I have searched through all of our emails (from March through June), and neither my publisher, nor myself, could find an email from LuLu in regards to my book title being converted into an ebook format. I'm not stating that LuLu never sent the email, I am merely stating the email notification was never received. However, I am stating that. I know for a fact that no one has ever given LuLu permission to be listed as publisher.
This morning my publisher contacted the legal department at Barnes and Noble to see if B&N can offer an insight as to how B&N allowed LuLu to “claim ownership” of my novel, and assigning themselves as publisher (without my permission to do so).
On LuLu’s defense, I’m sure their intention was never to deliberately commit a copyright violation by acting as an author’s publisher without written permission (or email confirmation from either the author or the legitimate publisher).
Also, up until this copyright infringement discovery (with the exception of their new poorly-packaged book shipments) I have been very pleased with the printing and distribution services that LuLu.com has offered.
LuLu’s legal department should realize that: an author, not replying to a random opt-out email … does Not equate to an author authorizing LuLu to have publication rights of the author’s works.
I reiterate that LuLu was only authorized to be the printer and distributor. As the author of the work in question, I have never signed an agreement, nor authorized LuLu to be listed as publisher.
Thanks again Carol, for your help. As a side note, I explored your publishing site, and was very impressed, especially in your magazines.
10-03-2011 01:51 PM
Thank you for once again taking time to respond to one of my forum postings. As a fellow professional editor, publisher, and author, I respect your opinions in regards to LuLu’s policies and practices.
As a fellow professional, I’m sure that your intent has always been to intentionally offer helpful advice. Your interest in my current dilemma, and your offer of a suggested resolve, is, as always, greatly appreciated.
10-03-2011 02:23 PM
10-03-2011 06:37 PM - edited 10-03-2011 06:39 PM
I was sincerely thanking you for your help, and I knew your comment was not intended to be a humorous one. I too had come to the conclusion that it “could” take time to remove the e-book version from B&N as they are a retail establishment. My concern was that the removal process icon appeared to be stuck, thus the removal process would be incomplete.
At the same time, I was very pleased that my e-book was removed from the iBookstore.
I can’t speak for Carol, although from her posts, I can assume that her publishing concerns are similar to mine. As to why I’m displeased with the auto-conversion of my novel into e-pub format without my authorization:
Reason One: It is a matter of professionalism
As a former Editor-in-Chief of an international printed publication, I am extremely cognizant of proper formatting for industry-standards in publication. Months were spent pouring over and approving my novel’s interior print formatting, from both myself and my publishing house.
Furthermore, we have been working over the past year to create the perfect e-pub format. As a fellow professional in the field of print and e-books publications, I’m sure you will agree that formatting is as important as content. My opinion is that a book’s format is equally important as the book’s content.
As an author and publisher I’m sure you will also agree that POD books have a stigma attached to them. In the publishing world, a POD book is often considered a “vanity press” project, instead of a legitimate publication. The New York Times seldom reviews POD books (there are rare occasions where a review has appeared, and in those cases the POD formatting was up to industry standards).
LuLu.com has done an outstanding job of dispelling the vanity press misnomer. By providing a POD with excellent print quality, as well as providing reliable distribution, LuLu.com allows Indie Presses to be viewed as legitimate publishing houses … without the Indie Press going into debt from printing costs.
It is also true that the “majority” of authors who publish books on LuLu.com have never worked in the field of publication. I know this for a fact, as I have purchased, reviewed, and assisted in the re-editing and re-formatting of many LuLu publications.
Writers write, publisher publish. I’m not stating that LuLu.com does a shoddy job of formatting the books that “LuLu is Paid to Format.” I am referring to the often poor quality of formatting on many of the books that authors (without a publishing background) format and upload themselves.
The beauty of LuLu.com is that they “allow” small publishers to publish books. However, LuLu.com also allows authors to publish books without industry-standard formatting (in regards to page setup, kerning, widows and orphans, line spacing between paragraphs, indenting, etc.), which works well for both professional and novice authors.
I purchased a download of the Nook version of my novel, and was very disappointed with LuLu’s formatting. As stated above, the printed version of my novel is heavily formatted. Each page, each paragraph, had some extent of kerning, and there was an extensive killing of all widows and orphans (geez that sounds very medieval, but in the world of printed publication … a necessity).
Due to the heavy formatting of the PDF of my printed publication, there is no way that the original uploaded PDF (which was created in Adobe InDesign and exclusively designed for print) could be converted into a properly formatted e-pub. In truth, I was surprised that B&N and Apple accepted the e-pub files created by LuLu.com.
Reason Two: Copyright Infringement
This is a big deal. As I digitally signed an agreement with LuLu.com to provide printing and distribution … I never authorized LuLu.com to be listed as a publisher. In fact … I committed to an agreement that insured that LuLu.com would NOT be the publisher.
By LuLu.com listing their name to my works, without my knowledge nor my authorization, they have committed a copyright violation … which has the potential to be a legal issue.
Reason Three: Owning the Rights to the e-pub
In regards to the e-book publication of my novel: I am under contract to my publishing house for all version of my novel: print, e-pub, audio, book trailers, and movie rights (yes, my publishing house is currently in negotiations for a movie based on my book).
If LuLu.com is listed (without my permission) as the publisher of my e-pub, my publishing house no longer has the rights to distribute “their e-pub version” of my novel … until LuLu.com removes their listings as publisher. This, once again, becomes a legal issue.
Reason Four: Unethical Business Practices
By LuLu.com sending out an “opt-out only” email in regards to their creation of an e-book (without mentioning that they would be listed as the publisher), they are in essence granting themselves permission do with whatever they wish in regards to my copyright material.
As anyone who sends or receives emails knows: emails get lost in transit, email replies get lost in transit; it is the way of the Internet. So, why would a company risk their reputation (and potential lawsuits) by sending opt-out only emails, instead of an opt-in agreement signed, (even digitally) by the author of the works in question?
Although I’m sure that there are many authors, such as yourself, that feel LuLu’s conversion project is a good thing. I wonder, how many authors and publishing houses, that use LuLu.com solely for print and distribution … have no idea that their copyright printed material is now being sold on B&N and on the Apple store, with LuLu.com as their publisher?
Lastly, I am very pleased with the relationship that I have with LuLu.com as a printer and distributor (not the publisher) of the printed version of my novel. However, I have never, and would never, give LuLu.com permission to be listed on my current or future publications as a publisher.
Hopefully this will be a learning experience for LuLu.com. I know it has been one for me.
10-03-2011 08:21 PM
There are a number of reasons as Dee Marie pointed out and I agree with all of them - for me the primary is that it is illegal - it is a violation of copyright laws for anyone to publish someone else's copyrighted material without a license or authorization to do so. With all the problems I had with books being published by Lulu to epub, I have no doubts I could have gotten a lawyer versed in copyright law who would have loved to file the lawsuit. I probably could have quit my day job off the settlement. But I didn't take it that far - however Lulu is on thin ice with me - if something else happens, I will look at filing suit.
Lulu is NOT the copyright holder - they ARE NOT my publisher. I am the publisher and I publisher OTHER people. I AM NOT self publishing. I use Lulu for printing as an a retial outlet only. By converting the projects that they did to epub and distributing to the iBookstore they could have cost me significantly - how do they even know I have electronic rights to the books they converted and distributed without authorization?
Fortunately, I do have those rights - Lulu does not - however, those books are already available on the iBookstore, Nook, Kindle, etc. and having a second edition shown as published by Lulu creates other issues when someone is looking for the books I publish.
Because of the problems with copyright violation, it is also highly unprofessional for a PRINTER to assume they have the right to take someone else's copyrighted material and do whatever they want to with it. This is why places like C/S and Smashwords use an opt-in system or give you the opportunity to opt-out as soon as something is uploaded and BEFORE it is approved for distribution.
It has nothing to do with the payments - it has to do with the fact Lulu DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO PUBLISH AND DISTRIBUTE WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION WHEN THEY ARE NOT THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR THEIR LICENSEE.
I do not appreciate ANYONE taking something that DOES NOT belong to them and doing whatever they want with it.
I do not use Lulu as a publisher - never have - and do not appreciate them taking my projects and listing themselves as the publisher of record with Bowker - which means they are listed in Books in Print as the publisher of record as well.
Considering I have seen a number of people posting comments about being upset with the automatic conversion and distribution who were upset - I am surprised someone hasn't filed a class action suit.
10-04-2011 03:06 AM
Thanks to both of you for tkaing the time to answer. I appreciate it.
I've just scanned the answers with the rest of the messages posted over night as I do every morning.
I need to come back later in the day and re-read them and them some comments or ask mor questions.
For now - I really must get on with my current book and stop getting distracted answering questions here.
10-04-2011 11:13 AM
Thanks for taking the time to provide that response. I appreciate that.
I agree with you entirely when you talk about formatting and understand where you are coming from.
My guess is that over 90% of the folks creating books and using Lulu to have them printed, made available and sold aren't particularly bothered with format or appearance. They all think that they are wonderful writers and just want to see their stories in print. They believe that the world owes them something and that they should be overnight sensations.
The Lulu Word to EPUB Converter caters for them as it what is does to take almost any Word document with minimal formatting and attention to detail and produce a "readable" eBook that can be bought and sold. That's good simple business for Lulu and if the writers are happy so be it.
For the over 10%, or less, who want to see a professional product out in the market place then the Lulu Word to EPUB Converter is not for them unless they use it just to knock up the bare bones of an EPUB and then work on it from there.
With the right tools, knowledge, expertise and experience it is possible to create an EPUB that is as professionally formatted and readable as any hard copy book. Unfortunately Lulu doesn't help there as they tend to impose a number of rules that are in conflict with the EPUB 2 Specification and not what Apple stipulate.
Now Carol and Dee,
I readily admit that my knowledge of Copyright is minimal and so I won't even attempt to argue any pro's and con's of the subject but I would like to make some comments.
First I guess that the pair of you are well versed in the subject and apply it to any work you are involved in for yourselves or for others.
What I find confusing again with 90% is that they claim copyright in their books. Now do they claim copyright as the writer, author, themselves, a publisher name they have dreamed up of perhaps a legal entity or company they have properly created and registered.
If copyright is claimed as the writer then surely the copyright is for the content of the book whether it is published as hardcopy, PDF or EPUB? If that is the case then surely there is no harm in Lulu creating one format from another.
Still on copyright I wonder why the 90% are concerned - do they really think that someone might take their beloved work and make a fortune from it?
Publishers: Ah, yes who and what is a publisher. Again for the 95% who bring their books to Lulu to be printed and sold, with or without Lulu's free ISBN, the surely Lulu is the publisher.
I can see you both wanting to jump up and down now.
For those who provide their own ISBNs that are registered with the appropriate International Agency and then use Lulu to provide their globalReach service so that books are printed and made available for sale through the online retail channel are they the publisher or not.
I suggest that if they don't handle the sales, distribution, supply, billing etc then they are not the publisher but that Lulu still is.
Finally and this is where I go tongue in cheek and be a bit naughty - is Lulu's actions legal or unlawful? I don't know. What I do know is that the lawyers rub their hands with glee when someone contacts them and says I want to file a suit and/or it's a matter of principle.