As a self-published author, I go where the readers are. Which means, of course, that my prime medium for sales is Amazon, with their CreateSpace publishing arm for paperback books, and Kindle for ebooks.
Now a lot of authors knock Amazon, but I never have and I’m not going to now. Certainly, they’re not perfect and some of their policies regarding reviewing and so forth have caused considerable frustration and upset to some friends of mine. But when it comes to getting books in the hands of readers as quickly and as cost effectively as possible, they really can’t be faulted. And that’s what it’s all about. An author should never forget that a good service is a service that’s good to the reader, and readers love Amazon.
Their pricing and royalty rates are pretty good too. They’re not the best that are available to self-published authors, but they’re plenty good enough. The quality of their printed books is high also. Probably 95% of my book sales are made through Amazon and it’s a working relationship I am very happy with.
But if people ask me where they can get hold of my books, I often direct them towards Lulu. This is because I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Lulu, for the following reasons.
- They were one of the pioneers of self-publishing, one of the very first companies to say, “Hey, authors should be able to publish and market their own books!” I admire that pioneering spirit, that visionary zeal, so all my books still have a presence there. Indeed, Lulu is usually the first place that a new book of mine will appear.
- Lulu are good to authors. Their royalty percentage is very good, higher than Amazon’s, so I get a little extra every time someone buys from Lulu.
- Lulu are good to readers. There is ALWAYS some sale, discount, free shipping or other special deal going on. Discounts of 20% – 30% are quite common. If you’re planning to buy, always check Lulu’s home page for their current deals and grab yourself one. If there’s not one that meets your needs, come back the week after and there probably will be! You can save big time if you buy using Lulu’s regular discount codes.
- This one’s a biggie for me: Lulu publish hardbacks, but Amazon don’t. My own shelves creak under the weight of beautiful hardback editions of all my books (and they really are beautiful quality books). So if you want the best possible quality edition, you can only get it from Lulu.
The only things I don’t do on Lulu are ebooks. The advantages offered by Amazon for exclusivity in their Kindle Select programme are too good to be ignored, for myself and readers alike: all of my Kindle titles are free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
But if you’re looking to buy a print book, take a look at Lulu. You’ll also find a whole load of titles there that simply aren’t available anywhere else, so take your time and browse.