A Review of Lulu Self-Publishing

By on May 9, 2014 in Self-Publishing Platform Reviews


Lulu is always featured on lists of popular e-book selling and self-publishing platforms. However, there are many things about Lulu that set it apart from other self-publishing platforms. Here are some interesting and useful facts in this review of Lulu self-publishing.

Lulu Started it All

Lulu was actually the first one in the self-publishing arena who started off the concept of self-publishing your own book and making it available quickly to readers. Lulu has enjoyed huge popularity and a loyal self-published author base for over a decade now. Until now, Lulu has been used for self-publishing over 1.6 million books.

Various Types of Self-Publishing

Lulu offers authors the options to self-publish their books as paperback, hardcover or e-books, or all three. Lulu’s print-on-demand book service is one of the better ones available, and allows printing of as few or as many books as you like. Besides just books, Lulu also allows people to print photo books, calendars, and other items.


Lulu has a good reach with a large global network. Lulu claims to be “the world’s largest indie bookstore”. In addition, when you use Lulu for self-publishing your book, it can be made available in many formats, and on multiple platforms and bookstores like Barnes and Nobles, Apple, Amazon KDP, etc. However, there is a charge associated with selling through some channels.

Ease of Use

As the pioneer in self-publishing, Lulu has a highly effective and user-friendly self-publishing procedure. The whole process is very simple and easy to use for new authors, and there is a detailed guide on how to self-publish with Lulu. The entire Lulu site is easy for authors to navigate, discover the options and start the publishing process, with a good ePub conversion tool and preview options. For print books, the number and types of available printing and layout options are great. The calculator tool helps you to decide the book price to set, by breaking down all the expenses involved in printing.

Royalties and Payments

It is free to publish an e-book on Lulu, and to make it available on different platforms. Lulu takes only 10% from your book sales through its store, and again 10% over the sale price through other channels, leaving you with 90% royalty from your book sales. This is one of the better payment options available to writers. You always own the book rights and can set any price you like, without affecting the royalty payment. Compare this with the 35% or 70% royalty options in Amazon depending on the list price. You can also make your book available for free as a promotional tool.

Other Services and Tools

The post-publishing tools are useful and let you track sales, profits, etc. Lulu also has an authors’ forum/community where you can get your questions and concerns answered. Unlike Amazon or Smashwords, Lulu provides authors a variety of other services to choose from, such as cover creation, formatting, promotional services and more. These are paid services of course, and there are several different packages that start from $99. For new or busy authors, these are helpful tools to minimize their non-writing work. Lulu also offers a free ISBN to authors.

Image credit: Maria Elena on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0

CS Rajan is a freelance writer who loves to write on various topics, and is currently working on her first novel.



  1. I use lulu for publishing my work. I find it easy for someone who is computer illiterate to manipulate through and create a good looking book. My own crutch is I don’t understand epub files so have been unable to do anything with ebooks. I like the physical things in my hands anyhow. Highly recommended.


    August 14, 2014

    • Hi Patrick,

      Welcome to eBooks India and many thanks for sharing your experiences of publishing with Lulu.

      With regards to eBooks, have you tried self-publishing with Amazon KDP? They have a very well documented process.

      Thank you.

      Hiten Vyas

      August 15, 2014

  2. Thanks for this review, I self publish with Amazon KDP and Smashwords, I will give Lulu a try. Thank You…

    Stephen Gane

    February 7, 2015

  3. Hi,

    I am writing to know if in India today it is possible buy a book from http://www.lulu.com because I made a book specially for India design students but someone said it is impossible to order it!

    Thank you.

    Luciano Bove

    August 31, 2015

  4. I want to publish eBook and want 50 copies print
    What is the actual procedure
    I have different files numbered by me , a book in Hindi and also in English, though I have many books but I shall try with first one, the book A deep Research in Highest Bliss , the book is about 100 pages. How to proceed for eBook as well as print book?

    B. M Sharma

    October 29, 2017


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