Printing On Demand.

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by von Poop, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I've been waiting for this to get mass-market for a while; bought one last year (Buckley's British armour in Normandy book) that seemed to be printed on demand, and now on Amazon there's this link on some out of print stuff:
    "I own the rights to this title and would like to make it available again through Amazon"
    Which leads to this page:
    BookSurge: Out of Print is Out of Date..

    The technology's been around for a while but the fact a major player like Amazon's promoting it could be very encouraging news for those of us with a literary wish-list of hard to find titles - which I'm assuming is most of us.

  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    What do people think of Lulu book quality?
    I only ask, as I got that 'Tanks of TOG' book, which is printed by some place called 'Lightning Source', & despite being a very interesting book is also the flimsiest volume I own outside of WW2 era paper shortage volumes & came with a bit of a printing error on the cover. (Had to get a clear plastic wrap as it felt like it would not survive a normal bookshelf alone).

    I know some of you have Lulu things, quite possibly the 'technical history' volumes, just wondering what they're like physically. Some dodgy reviews out there from authors & shoppers.
    (Not that anything's probably going to stop a test purchase of the Black Prince one. :rolleyes: )
  3. Seroster

    Seroster Canadian researcher

    I would say "fine"... the only thing I don't know is what the different print outputs look like. They have a higher quality full colour option (if a book is set up and sold for that). No idea what that would be like. The only thing I would criticize is the print quality of the photos.

    I am sorry to hear about the TOG book quality :(
    von Poop likes this.
  4. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    My books are all printed through Lulu and I have been generally happy with the results.
    One of the strengths of Lulu is that they have contracts with printers all around the world which is helpful for shipping costs. However, print quality can sometimes be variable as a result.
    Roy Martin and von Poop like this.
  5. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Having published three books of a soldier's war time letters and diaries through Lulu I've found the quality to be very good, and of book shop standard, and can recommend it.

    If anyone is interested in self publishing, I thought it might be worth using this thread to set out the process. There is a page limit for book size, but they offer a number of formats - I went for standard soft cover paperback. There are templates available to download. I did all my own typesetting, illustration, and cover design (I have a design background) avoiding any Lulu in-house facilitators. I used the professional Adobe pdf maker (subscription based, available on monthly rate) to convert type to page set and in particular to compress the text, but be aware that this process also compresses photographs and images, the way round this being that once compressed (it doesn't affect print quality) you reinsert the photographs and images at the original quality. This will increase the file size, but if you only have a limited number of images it's not a problem. If you have a predominantly image based book, Blurb is better and of very good quality, but also quite costly. I've published here too, both hard and soft A4 books of photographs (not WW2 related). By contrast with Lulu, I found their type based book system inflexible, which is why I ended up at Lulu instead. Again proof copies are required that add to your costs.

    Be aware that you need to print off and pay for a proof copy before you can put books on general sale, and the same for every update/correction that you undertake. I also ordered additional copies for an independent proof reader, who will inevitably pick up little things (e.g. some 'smart quotes' in Word being the wrong way round for apostrophes!). You can set your own price/discount on Lulu, and also allow copies to be sold through Amazon, Ingram, and Barnes and Noble, but the payments on non Lulu sales are less than through Lulu, which is generally not the route that most buyers take. Most of my sales seem to be through Amazon, and spread over Europe and US, apart from those that I give away, when of course you buy at cost. You will need to obtain an ISBN number before you can publish to the public.
    With Lulu it's necessary to complete a US tax declaration before books can be sold. The website will keep you updated on sales and earnings, and payment is made through PayPal once a threshold has been reached, and usually a month or so behind. But don't expect to make a living out of this, especially once you take into account associated research costs etc!! Earnings are of course taxed.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    von Poop likes this.
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Small observation of an odd thing.
    Amazon won't deliver them to my local locker or collection point.
    No idea why, and irksome.

    Hmmm... I suppose possibly posted straight from Lulu so no infrastructure...

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