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Rejected for Distribution through Lulu - Now What?

I published a 776-page hardcover book on Lulu fine without an ISBN because it was within the 800-page limit and it looked great; however, when I decided to sell it everywhere and include an ISBN, Lulu’s wizard rejected my book because it was more than the 740-page maximum limit required for distribution. Is there any way I can still publish through Lulu and somehow have an ISBN too if I absolutely must have this hardcover book be 776 pages? I’ve published all of my books through Lulu for the last decade and would hate to work with any other publisher. All I can think to maybe do is buy my own ISBN and apply it myself but still publish through Lulu. Is that possible? Do I have any options?


  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Hmm... Lulu will not print it. There is one other printer that may have the option of 800 pages. BUT -- the distribution at Lulu is at least four times better. I have tested it against others.


    In the long run you will win if you reduce your font size, adhere to the 740 limit and stay here. Guaranteed.

     A citizen of the world.

  • Thanks for your prompt response.  Unfortunately, the nature of this project requires it to be 776 pages, no exceptions.  Changing font size and cutting are both not options for this particular project. 


    Am I to understand that I can sell it on Lulu as-is, all 776 pages, without an ISBN code and without distribution, but there is no possible way I could add an ISBN to it and still sell/print it through Lulu?


    Basically, I doubt many people will want to purchase it since it's so huge, but I would like it to be easily located should anyone ever want to purchase it outside of Lulu.

  • An additional FYI about this one... Lulu does print it up to 800 pages for hardcover; they just don't distribute it if it's larger than 740 pages.  This inconsistency in maximum page counts is driving me mad, but I'm happy at least I can print it for sale on Lulu even if it doesn't have an ISBN.  I just really want an ISBN too...

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    I guess your book is in the 6x9 format. Split it into two volumes, each with its own Lulu ISBN, or try larger dimensions, Crown Quatro for instance, unfortunately without the possibility to have it hardcovered.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    That's good to know, thomk. I guess it's at Lulu that I had seen the "800."

     A citizen of the world.

  • Em_PressEm_Press Professor

    Make it 8.5x11. It will surely be under 740 pages. I think distribution is important.

     A citizen of the world.

  • If this were a novel with 500,000 words or something, then splitting this into volumes would make sense.  Unfortunately, this is a different type of project, and its concept actually requires separate pages for each part even though it's only 55,000 words.  For the sake of this special project, I don't want to split it.  Also, switching the page size and font size won't make a difference, as you can tell from the word count. 


    It's mostly poetry, with a different piece on each page.  Seeing that there isn't a huge market out there for poetry and there also isn't a huge market out there for 776-page hardcover books, I'm thinking a lack of distribution wouldn't be the worst thing...


    It really looks great when printed as-is, before distribution, so I guess I don't mind not having distribution.  People could always just order it from my bookshop at Lulu.


    I welcome any other thoughts or suggestions, though.

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    The market for poetry is absolutely miniscule; I give away far, far more than I sell.

    Realistically you will be lucky to sell one copy of a hardback book of poetry weighing in at 800 pages.


    If you really want to be distributed - and the 740 page limitation is cleary set by the distribution

    channels, not Lulu - drop some of the poems. All authors have to learn to be ruthless;

    editing and letting go is as much part of the creative process as dreaming the stuff up

    in the first place. Kill 60 of the poems that don't hit you right in the gut each and every

    time that you read them. Print on demand is expensive compared to books published

    by traditional publishers; each and every poem in your collection has to earn its place there.


    I love poetry but there is no way I would buy a print book of poems, much less a 740

    page hardback book. From time to time I take a chance on amatuer poets at $0.99

    for an ebook.

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    When one has a large collection of poems, the best is to sort them by themes, or by seasons, and publish them as pocket books of not more than 150 pages each, that can be read on the metro or the train. Never forget musicians write scores on poems that inspire them.

    An omnibus of all the poems would be published separately as a collector's item.

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