Lulu Support Issue

In March of this year, I noticed a large number of zero-dollar transactions. I know they can occur when a book is loaded to a new device, but there were over 70 in one week. I posted here, the general consenus seemed to be that this was unusual, (which I thought as well), and I submitted a trouble ticket to Lulu.

 

What followed was surprising. I chatted with Kate over email, who seemed interested in helping and also hadn't seen that high of a zero-transaction tally. The issue dragged on for months, with periodic messages to Kate and replies that mostly consisted of advising me that Apple (they were all iBookstore transactions), weren't getting back to them. The issue was going to be escalated, and still I had no resolution.


The issue is STILL unresolved but what is more, Lulu has stopped responding to my requests for an update on the situation. I submitted three emails over about 8 days and it's been weeks later, (Kate usually got back to me within 48 hours previously), and I have heard NOTHING. This may be no big deal to Lulu, but it is potentially hundreds of dollars for me.

 

What is surprising is that Lulu, one of the more well known self-publishing facilitators, can't get traction with Apple ostensibly, and what is annoying and alarming is that rather than deal with me and try to update me and go to bat, they have started to ignore me, which is unprofessional.

 

I am REALLY frustrated by this point - it's an open item that stares me in the face when I write, check my sales, etc. I have been with Lulu over 2.5 years and they manage all my sales chains, except for Amazon, and I've sold a decent number of books through them, so it's not as if I am a taker and my efforts haven't contributed in some way to their bottom line. Aside from an expression of frustration with how long things have dragged out, (saying I was a bit annoyed with it), I have otherwise been friendly and tried to be understanding. (I have heard Apple horror stories too).

 

I've also seen a number of zero Google transactions now, and I know some of the 'newer' venues have different pay schemes, so perhaps they are one that has fractional payouts, but Apple never has, and 70? That is really high!

 

Suggestions?

 

 

Comments

  • If you guys want more sales try not undercutting the other beginner authors who, through trial and error are supposed to be able to have made a personal milestone as far as the writer is concerned only to find out that the books are only meant for people who really don't get that they're the ones that need to be humiliated, and downgraded if you will. As if it were a proud wood workers rickety old bookshelf that came without a back on it so that its constantly leaning to one side or the other due to poor craftsmanship which, depending on where the books are stacked on its shelves fully, to the right, to the left or both met in the middle so that it won't lean to one side or the other.

     

    Negativity always begets negativity. Although it is also true that positivity doesn't always beget positivity, but people with good story lines should be steered in the right direction with a positive upbeat way in a respectful manner instead of blacklisting creative authors who chosen to, "Color outside the lines." if you will and if I do say so myself? "This does nothing for the Indie writers ability to prosper in a unarratively unubsructed sort of way.So, in any case the whole indie writing community is suffering because certain individuals who have novelist accreditation's who want everyone to write just like they do.

     

    All because there is only one way to write and that's to pay the man $4000 dollars or some outrageous amount to properly edit, format, and create a custom cover for all in the name of a good bruising because no one respects an Indie Writer!" "No one can trust them!" people will begin to say. How can we trust it if it isn't scrutinized? The writing is so informal in some cases and is bashed so badly by the narrative collective who proclaim honesty and a forthright attitude with a politically correct outlook that it and is is encouraged by certain individuals in Indie Book Writing Forums of whom will all most certainly agree that, "It really doesn't matter what some people write about, their writing will never be allowed to be seen in, 'The light of day".

     

    Because their apparently misappropriated novels have a good premise but lack continuity, or some sufferage like that.Take my novel for instance. What do people think I did? Write a document of 150,000 words about absolute gibberish? I know several people in this forum alone who will whole heartedly agree that this is surely, " "Rubbish" and that they will say isn't worthy of a proper paycheck. This is the issue that faces us all nowadays because of people like this. Thanks a lot boys for not even one complement. You've really done a huge service to the creative writing community as a whole. Charlatan's if you as me. Shame on you! KRB/CRC

  • potetjppotetjp Professor
    Readng all these complaints, I have the impression many e-books are stolen by distributors. They make money on them, but do not pay royalties to the authors. I only make printed books, and hope this won't happen to me.
  • Wondered about this myself. I've found my books in strange places but I never make any money from those sites. I also retired one book from Amazon so it says out of print. Now it's back with someone selling "new" copies for eighty three dollars per copy. How did that happen and are they stupid? Most of my sales are from ebooks but I'd almost retire because it's so easy to steal them and resell or torrent them.

  • So sorry to hear about your difficulties.

    I tracked down your support case, which was escalated to another department for investigation.

    I will do my best to get this moving once again to provide some sort of resolution.

     

    It is possible that we are still awaiting an answer from the iBookstore. Since Apple owns the world, they tend to respond at their own pace. Regardless, we will provide an update later today.

     


  • Shadowmonkey wrote:

    Wondered about this myself. I've found my books in strange places but I never make any money from those sites. I also retired one book from Amazon so it says out of print. Now it's back with someone selling "new" copies for eighty three dollars per copy. How did that happen and are they stupid? Most of my sales are from ebooks but I'd almost retire because it's so easy to steal them and resell or torrent them.


    If I had been the one to say that I would've been drummed out of town, because its been happening to me for a long time now. Three years and on ly 1 book sale.  All because of the insults from people in these types of forums I complaints have gone on unheeded as if I'm crazy or something. In a way, I'm glad it finally happened to one of the in crowd. Now you know the hopelessness and powerless fedeling that I get! KRB/CRC. Finally, soemone is listening.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    potetjp wrote:
    Readng all these complaints, I have the impression many e-books are stolen by distributors. They make money on them, but do not pay royalties to the authors. I only make printed books, and hope this won't happen to me.

    Those will not show up in Lulu's sales pages then even as $0 sales.  Smiley Happy

     

    I have often said, why would anyone go to the trouble of scanning an entire printed book? especially by lesser known writers, but I recently realised that my own HP all-in-one machine is able to copy both sides of multiple pages, even using OCR, and all I would have to do is to slice the pages out of a book and stack them in the scan input tray. The HP machine is fully automatic. It's worryingly too easy.

  • To get back on topic..

     

    We have contacted Apple about this case several times over the last few weeks. When we get a response, it is usually that these are redownloads and are normal. We are looking through the data we collect to see if we can connect the 70 redownloads to previous purchases.

     

    Some of these may be associated with the relatively new Apple (iOS) sharing capability, but until we view all the data we cannot be sure.

     

    Please be assured that we are as interested in finding out what is happening as you are. If you don't get paid, neither do we.

     

    Once again, thank you for your patience.

     

     

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    Shadowmonkey,

     

    Wouldn't it be nice to be rich so that one could buy a copy of the book at $ 83.27 and see what is delivered so that we would know, once and for all, what is the meaning of this?

     

    If it turns out that you get absolutely nada for your money, or a second hand book, if would be interesting to see what Amazon have to say about that.

  • Please forgive me 'hijacking' this message; the 'New Message' button is grey-toned in both my personal and the Cowichan Valley Arts Council (CVAC) accounts, and I have an urgent request.

     

    Lulu sent out last night a wonderful 25% off discount, which is good until August 10th. CVAC just published a full-colour poetry and art book (with me doing the on-Lulu work for them because I have four other books I already published through Lulu and therefore know how to do it).

     

    The problem is, two of those five days when the discount is active are weekend days, when we don't receive mail. The proof copy of our book is in transit; we received the notice that it had been shipped two days ago. We are a non-profit charitable organization with limited funds, so this discount, combined with the bulk discount for purchasing the 100 or more copies we want to buy, is very significant to us.

     

    QUESTION:  Is there any way we could do a purchase during the deadline time, but hold it in abeyance until we receive the proof copy and verify it is a 'GO'?

     

    Many thanks,

     

    Gail Robertson, president

    Cowichan Valley Arts Council

     

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Please forgive me 'hijacking' this message; the 'New Message' button is grey-toned in both my personal and the Cowichan Valley Arts Council (CVAC) accounts, and I have an urgent request.

     

    Lulu sent out last night a wonderful 25% off discount, which is good until August 10th.

     

    I assume that was via e-mail?

     

    CVAC just published a full-colour poetry and art book (with me doing the on-Lulu work for them because I have four other books I already published through Lulu and therefore know how to do it).

     

    Smiley Happy

     

    The problem is, two of those five days when the discount is active are weekend days, when we don't receive mail.

     

    But e-mails don't know what date it is and the discounts are for use on Lulu's site, and that is always open for business.

     

    The proof copy of our book is in transit; we received the notice that it had been shipped two days ago. We are a non-profit charitable organization with limited funds, so this discount, combined with the bulk discount for purchasing the 100 or more copies we want to buy, is very significant to us.

     

    QUESTION:  Is there any way we could do a purchase during the deadline time, but hold it in abeyance until we receive the proof copy and verify it is a 'GO'?

     

    I don't understand the problem. You are notified by e-mail of a discount, that should also show as an offer on your Lulu log in page. You place the order using the discount in the time specified on a site that is open 24/7. But as to holding back an order, I think it's processed only when you click the final checkout button.

     

    Ah, right, you want to see a Proof first. I get you now. But making sure it is right before you order 100 or more is far better than ordering 100 or more at a discount that you may have to scrap, Revise and then order 100 or more replacements. Don't worry though because offers are not rare and the bulk discounts are always running.

  • Thank you for your reply. We are on a time budget, to have the stock in hand for the opening of the 'A Vision of Words' show. That's why this 25% discount, at this time, is so valuable to us. But we're concerned that the discount deadline will pass before the proof copy arrives, in the next few days.

     

    We are hoping Lulu would allow us to place the order before the deadline, but not activate it, so to speak, until the proof copy arrives.

     

    Is there any way to do that?

     

    Many thanks,

     

    Gail

     

  • Support will sometimes extend a coupon code, depending on how close to the expiration date you place the order.

     

    In other news, we have another 20% discount starting 11 Aug and another 25% discount on starting 14 Aug. My suggestion is to await the arrival of your proof copy, take your time reviewing it, and if it meets your expectations, place the order next week with the new coupons.

  • Glenn, thanks so much. This is all wonderful information.

     

    All the best,

     

    Gail

     

  • Sorry it has taken so long to respond - life interfered in a rather strong way but I wanted to take the time to respond, albeit late.

     

    I'm sorry for whatever issue you have had, Bolter1224, but I don't know how it pertains to my books having a lot of zero transactions on iBookstore. I have not read or commented on your books, and I too am an Indie author; I have experienced sporadic 'success' but I fight for every reader, just like many Indie authors do, and I do so in an ethical manner. I didn't solicit a street team, I don't do **bleep**-for-tat positive reviews, I ask for honest appraisals from readers, and I put out a high quality product, mostly on my own. This is why 70 zero-revenue transactions were so important to me- and although Lulu matched up a few of them and said they feel the transactions are legitimate, I am not certain they are, because everyone I spoke with was surprised by the sheer number of them in such a short period of time. That being said, I recognise that Lulu has a limited capacity to act and audit, because of Apple's lack of co-operation. I am not a large-volume Indie author who can afford to lose hundreds of dollars in sales.

     

    On to your remaining points; while it is true not everyone can write a novel, (complete one I mean), one of the joys of Indie publishing and facilitators like Lulu is we get to 'colour outside the lines', as you put it. That being said, we are craftsmen - and just as you would want to purchase a bookshelf that fulfills its purpose, (holding books), as authors we need to fulfill ours if we are to be taken seriously, and that is to provide entertainment using the written word in a creative way, conforming as much as possible to standards. This is more for the reader than anyone else - despite "Ulysses" being hailed as genius, how easy is it to get into the new narrative style? How many of us have read books with a foreign or utterly contrived language and scratched our heads in confusion?

     

    I sympathise with the expense of hiring professional help, but there are resrouces out there. Posting on reddit, Goodreads or elsewhere for freelance editors might yield some results, and if you're satisfied with references and their previous work, will probably be less than a traditional editor. For professional covers, you can buy rights to images on iStock that are fairly inexpensive and include use up to 200,000 copies, and services like www.thebookcovermachine.com offer unique premade covers for ~$40- $70 .

     

    It is difficult enough to get your Indie name out and like it or not, presentation plays an important role when readers decide what novel to select. We are no longer constrained by the limits of the traditional brick and mortar publishers and this gives us freedom, but unfortunately it also requires more diligence on our part.

     

    I'm not certain who your last paragraph is targeting, but as I don't know you and I don't believe you know me, I will assume it is directed at someone else, or at  the process in general. Either way, I wish you well.

     

    Holly Blackstone

  • Shadowmonkey -

     

    Do you think it would be useful to start a thread where people can post links to sites where they have found plagarized books? We could check for our own and perhaps with enough complaints the host will shut the site down or if it is someplace like Amazon, perhaps they will ban the user.

     

    Holly

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    How woule people know they are?

  • I should have clarified and said plagarized THEIR books - since shadowmonkey mentioned he discovered that.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Plagiarising means to use the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas, and one would have to read the entire contents of books to discover that. It's not the same as some one stealing an entire book's files some how  and putting it up for sale and not paying for the rights to do so.

    It's worryingly far too easy to do that with e-books, especially since some on line retailers insisted that DRM should be removed.

  • I just wanted to thank those of you who responded to my original question. Because CVAC is a charitable not-for-profit organization, Lulu most generously created a one-time-only discount code for us to use for our order.

     

    We are most grateful for their kindness and generosity.

     

    All the best,

     

    Gail Robertson, president

    Cowichan Valley Arts Council

     

  • My name is Yvonne Porter Young, and i would like to discuss the book in reference to title. On my first edition of the

    "Children coloring Book of Genesis & Exodus" there is a glitch on the cover. 

    Instead of "Children Coloring Book of Genesis & Exodus"

    It is written "Children coloring Book pf Genesis & Exodus" 

    I need to know if this can be rewritten the right way and resent to me because i want to began ordering but not until the matter is resolved.

     

    please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX (removed by moderator)

    I would like to be able to have a signing but can not do until the matter is delt with.    Thank you

  • You should have contacted Lulu direct via Support, not in an open forum, and in an old thread.

     

    My name is Yvonne Porter Young, and i would like to discuss the book in reference to title. On my first edition of the

    "Children coloring Book of Genesis & Exodus" there is a glitch on the cover. 

    Instead of "Children Coloring Book of Genesis & Exodus"

    It is written "Children coloring Book pf Genesis & Exodus" 

    I need to know if this can be rewritten the right way and resent to me because i want to began ordering but not until the matter is resolved.

     

    This is mainly a DIY self-publishing site, are you saying you paid Lulu to do it via one of their Services? If that is the case then you should have a contact number for whoever created it for you. If Lulu did not do it then you should get on to whoever did do it. If that was actually you, then you have to do it via Revise.

     

    please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX (removed by moderator)

     

    I have paged Lulu staff to delete your phone number. It really is not wise to put it in a forum.

     

    I would like to be able to have a signing but can not do until the matter is delt with.    Thank you

  • Hello Yvonne

     

    I had a look at your project list. You have a quite a few copies of this project in various states of completion. However, I notice you are using the cover wizard and templates. The title inserted on the cover is the title entered on the first step of the publishing wizard. If you notice an error, you can skip back to that first step, make the correction and then click "save and continue" until you get back to the cover wizard. You also have an opportunity to review and correct these types of mistakes on the last step of the wizard before publishing.

     

    Best of luck to you.

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