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Enforced retirement of projects. "This project has been permanently retired."

A dozen or more of my projects, some of which I was planning to complete and publish this summer, have been wiped off my Project List. The formats are all current, so I guess they were wiped off because no orders were placed: well, of course not -- once I have my proof copy, I have no need to buy more until the next revision is completed. And to be sure, no one else will want to buy an unfinished book.

Alas, if emails informing me of this inevitable doom were sent to me, I missed them.

Because of chronic ill health, I sometimes take two years to complete a project; I have several running at the same time, and I cycle round the time I devote to them.

If Lulu are going to hold a gun to my head, that is, force me to a deadline, then I will have to quit Lulu. Enforced deadlines are not for me.

I want to see my projects in their unfinished state before moving on to make further revisions. Sometimes, as the months pass, I do order more proof copies -- sometimes five or six times.

I want Lulu to accommodate my method of working, which has served me well for almost a decade.

If Lulu is so desperate for money, then charge me for the privilege of keeping a project uncompleted for as long as I want, NON-REFUNDABLE if the project is never published, or results in fewer than 10 private sales, REFUNDABLE when the project is published, and paid back at the time the first royalty payment is due.

For peace of mind, and assurance that my projects are not going to be blown away and lost forever, I would pay a deposit of $50 per project. Bend my arm, and I would go up to $100.

I have been looking around Createspace, but cannot determine if they similarly delete projects that are taking a long time. As soon as I know they do not, I’ll be off. Unless Lulu value my custom and accept my method of working.


  • If a project is private it is listed as 'retired' after a set amount of time.

    It's not a case of it taking a long time or not selling.

    I wonder if there is a way to 'unretire' a project.
  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Hi Keith,


    Post it in suggest. However, if you'd like to save your money, simply publish the works as Direct Access.


    Incidentally, the down side of Creatspace is they have no storage (as far as I know) and you can't access and download your own files from any kind of My Files section.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Hello Keithseddon


    Lulu updated our content retention policy in November 2012 and automated it's enforcement in January 2013.

    The content retention policy states that Private content will be permanently retired 6 months after publication or the last purchase date, whichever is longer. At this time, we are enforcing a 12 month period from the last purchase before content is actually retired.

    Content retired under the content retention policy cannot be unretired. If you wish to continue working on the project, please update the manuscripts you previously saved on your computer. You can quickly recreate and publish the new revisions using this content.


    People often ask why we adopted this policy. In order to continue providing free tools, we must be able to control costs. File storage for 1.6 million books and their revisions (about 15 terabytes of data), many of which were one-time purchases by the author or have never been published or sold, costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in hardware and file storage costs.

  • I do appreciate the reaons for Lulu not being able to store data indefinitely.


    If I was sent emails alerting me to the new policy, I missed them, as I also missed emails warning me of the imminent retirement of my projects. (I really don't think I received such emails. Maybe I thought they were irritating promotions, or something.)


    In order to publish my books in paperback and hardback editions, I prepare ONE file which includes on the copyright page ISBNs for all editions. I therefore start paperback and hardback projects at the same time, in order to get the ISBNs.


    I complete the paperbacks first, then go back to get proof copies of the hardbacks (jacket and cased) before also approving them.


    But when I went back to Lulu to get proofs of the hardbacks of my latest project (late, I realise) they had been retired.


    I now have a paperback in print with two incorrect/nonexistent ISBNs, and no way to publish the hardbacks without starting new projects. If I can recover the old ISBNs, I am not sure I have the patience to find out how to do this, and then do it.


    For the moment, I will let my thoughts stew. But I am thinking of retiring the messed up paperback and starting again at CreateSpace. So much for the Lulu hardbacks...

  • That's a helpful reply but why on earth aren't creators told about this? I have come online to re-order workbooks I have made for occasional use - and they're gone, with no warning. Very disappointing.

  • Very sad about losing calendars I created.  I have hard copies, but now not the safety of a back up in case they are lost.  Very disappointed in the policy and implementation.  It would have been nice to receive a notification prior to the deletion, and some option to retain or copy the file.  Now the projects are completely lost without a chance for recovery.  Again - notification would have been nice.  If it was done, it may have ended up in spam.  It should also be done when signing in to Lulu.  I was on just about a month ago, and the projects were there, and now they are gone.

  • Let me make sure: If I have a book that has been released for Global Distribution and is on General Access, it will not be retired?


    I am a very poor salesperson when it comes to selling my book, but I still want it available for when I get the hang of it.




    Plainsong Bible: Chapter Summaries of the King James Version

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