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This page contains "bookmarks"
of possible interest to residents of, or visitors to, Morro Bay, CA.
Many of these links have been added in response to reader questions about where
to find something.
Self-publish and print-on-demand
LuLu.com (started in
2002) is getting a lot
of publicity (2005,
2006) as a self-publishing vehicle, and is rapidly growing (91,000+
professionally bound books were published through Lulu in January 2006,
nearly three times the 35,500 books the site produced in August 2005.
Sales are running at about $1 million a month but growing at an
extraordinary clip of 10 percent monthly, said founder Bob Young.). Read their
http://www.lulu.com/ page which says in part "Lulu
is the web's premier independent publishing marketplace for digital
do-it-yourselfers. It's the only place on the web where you can publish,
sell and buy any and all things digital books, music, comics, photographs,
movies and well, you get the idea. We simply provide the tools that leave
control of content in the hands of the people who created the content. You
see, Lulu is a technology company, not a publisher. So you can use Lulu to
publish and sell any kind of digital content, and no one here is going to
ask you to change anything. Ever. Your vision is entirely YOURS." There is
no set-up fee and no minimum order to publish and sell on Lulu. We manage
the online business, including printing, delivery and customer service. You
set your own royalty for each piece of content, and at the end of each
quarter, we'll mail you a check for the royalties your content generates.
Lulu makes a small percentage from each transaction, which means that we
only make money if you succeed in selling your work." LuLu
was founded by Bob Young, who might be better known as the co-founder of Red Hat
open source software company. See my sample Lulu storefront at
http://www.lulu.com/mikebaird to e.g.,
a photo at
http://www.lulu.com/content/164274 and a
PowerPoint presentation at
In fact, many smaller publishers now use LuLu for all their printing and
distribution services. "Self-published" and "Vanity" press authors
should not confuse "getting a publisher" with printing, distribution, and
Before LuLu, I recommended the following two services, which still might be
right for you.
(Note: in early 2006 I noticed that the "Global Distribution Service"
(since renamed "Published by Lulu...") at LuLu,
which gets you an
number and distribution through the wholesale channels like
Ingram Book Group,
was not offered for books with color illustrations. This was a major
disappointment for certain kinds of works, like CA State Park ecologist
Walgren's popular local nature books; In November 2006 I notice
that wholesale distribution of color books is now supported in the
8.5"x11" and 8.5"x8.5" formats).
As further proof that the print-on-demand self-publishing market is growing,
a new player -- called Blurb (
) -- became a competitor to Lulu on May 3, 2006.
Pricing and mechanics differ at Lulu and Blurb, though the basic process
is similar. At Lulu, authors upload their material as preformatted,
printer-ready files and then tweak them online. Blurb offers offline
formatting by providing special software that authors download and use to
lay out text and images. For now (May 2006), Blurb offers only
full-color hardcovers starting at $30 for 40 pages, each 8 by 10 inches.
Prices rise to $35 for 80 pages and $80 for 400 pages. Paperbacks will be
coming soon, along with templates for different genres, including novels and
text-only manuscripts. Lulu offers far more choices, including
text-only formats, paperbacks that start at less than $9 and color books at
less than $35.
to... Xlibris is top-quality self-publishing. It is not free,
but the services rendered are excellent.
Bay resident Freeman Hall produced a book using Xlibris.
One chief difference between the newer services Blurb and Lulu, and the
older services Xlibris and iUniverse, is that Xlibris and iUniverse charge
authors up-front fees, which makes publishing through them more expensive.
- Not necessarily recommended, and definitely not a
brand presence, printmybookonline.com is local
to Morro Bay (being in Los Osos, CA) and might be worth your investigation.
(Note: 3-28-06 Oops, printmybookonline.com now seems to be out of
commission, the domain owner is spotlightprinting.com).
- Compare the above services that can reward the author
with most of the profits, with, for example,
might be thought of as self-publishing vanity press
options with an online twist. If you do most of the work and take all
of the financial risk, you should get most of the rewards.
- If you can sell your book proposal to a recognized
traditional publisher (this may be much more difficult than writing the book
itself), who will make a significant investment in you, in improving your
product, and in marketing your book.. that is usually preferable... but the
fact is that most books, especially those written by first-time authors, and
books written for smaller niche markets, do not have the potential financial
return-on-investment needed to make them candidates for traditional
print-on-demand publisher was acquired by amazon.com in 2005 and should
be given serious consideration for "author initiated publishing". They
have good distribution services, inc. for color books... Pricing example, a
60 page, full color, 8.25"x11.75" book would retail for $25.99 and be
printed on 80# white paper using 4-color
their Author's Express Publishing Program - Full Color - $299 (gets you an
ISBN and distribution)... trim size no smaller than 4" width x 6" height, no
larger than 8.25" width x 10.5 height.
another newer Amazon property (see BookSurge above) that facilitates
self-publishing print-on-demand books (new), CDs, and DVDs (previously).
for book publishing just came to my attention in January 2008. "The
CreateSpace Book on Demand program is a self-service, do-it-yourself online
tool that allows you to upload your ready-for-printing PDF book files and
make your trade paperback book(s) available for sale online." With
this service you get an ISBN and marketing and sales at Amazon.com.
Depending on your project and personal computer skills, CreateSpace should
be seriously considered in place of Lulu or Blurb (two services I highly