Lulu Publishing vs Draft2Digital: 2 Top Self-Publishing Platforms Compared

Lulu Publishing vs Draft2Digital: 2 Top Self-Publishing Platforms Compared

By on Feb 28, 2018 in Publishing

lulu publishing vs draft2digital

If you’re about to embark on a self-publishing journey, a big congratulations to you.

You’ve decided to take responsibility for your book, its writing, publishing, and sales and marketing.

You’ve become a true entrepreneurial writer.

Once you’re manuscript has been completed and edited, the next step will be finding appropriate self-publishing platforms.

There are many top self-publishing platforms out there such as Amazon KDP, CreateSpace and Blurb.

The post looks at two others through a Lulu Publishing vs Draft2Digital comparison.

Continue reading to learn about the key ways in which you can use Lulu Publishing and Draft2Digital to publish either a print book, an eBook, or both.


What is Lulu Publishing?

Lulu Publishing ( is based in North Carolina, and was founded by Bob Young, who also co-founded Red Hat, the open source software company. Bob started Lulu Publishing, a self-publishing company in 2002, and since then, it has enabled creators of content across the whole world to produce almost two million books. When it comes to the world of indie publishing, Lulu self-publishing is a popular way for entrepreneurial authors to get their books out to the world.


What is Draft2Digital?

Based in Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, Draft2Digital does exactly what its name suggests. It enables you to format your book, convert it into an a eBook and then distribute it to online stores, making it available for sales.


How much does it cost to publish a book on Lulu Publishing?

The cost of publishing a book on Lulu depends on whether you want to publish an eBook or a print one.

If you would like to publish an eBook, it is essentially free to do so. However, if you prefer to get help with publishing your eBook, Lulu also offers premium eBook publishing packages.

On the hand, if you want your book to be in print, Lulu offers various options for this depending on what you want. To give you an idea, if you want to get a 100 page book printed with Lulu’s Standard Paperback option in 6x9in US trade size, the manufacturing cost would cost would be $2.45 for a black and white perfect bound book. Alternatively, if you chose Lulu’s Premium Paperback option (which would give you a book of bookstore quality), for a 100 page black & white book, the manufacturing cost would be $3.25 for a book 6x9in in US trade size in perfect bound. The manufacturing cost for a Professional Hardback option with dust jacket for 100 page book would cost $14.65.

We must stress that Lulu offers many choices for covers and binding, interior colors, paper quality, cover finish, and spine text colors. It is well worth playing around with the options at this page, to create the book design you want, and find out what it will cost you through Lulu. Lulu also offers volume discounts when you print your book in a bulk.


How much does it cost to publish a book on Draft2Digital?

The cost of publishing an eBook with Draft2Digital is completely free just like with Lulu self-publishing. What Draft2Digital also does is to offer you the ability to convert your eBook into a one size fits all PDF document of your book. The conversion is completely free of charge. You can then use this PDF document to produce a paperback version of your book with a print-on-demand service provider.


How much royalty does Lulu Publishing pay?

Lulu Publishing offers two royalty rates depending on whether you’re selling a print book, or an eBook. For example, if you’re selling a print version of you book through Lulu’s own store, the net profit (selling price – manufacturing cost) is split 80/20 with 80% going to you, and 20% to Lulu. For instance, if the net profit from the sale of one copy of your print book is $6.00, your earnings would be $4.80 and Lulu Publishing’s earnings would be $1.20.


If you’re selling an eBook through the Lulu bookstore, the royalty split between you as an author and Lulu Publishing is 90/10. As an example, if your eBook was on sale for $3.00, you would make $2.70 and Lulu would earn $0.30. Take a look at this page on the Lulu Community website for some useful examples, and also for information on the impact of distributing your book (both in print and as an eBook) through retailers (such as Amazon) on your earnings.


Draft2Digital royalties: How much can you make?

Just like Lulu, Draft2Digital takes a small commission for the privilege of publishing with it. Its commission is 15% of the net profit generated from the sale of your eBook, or around 10% of your eBook’s retail price.


How do you prepare and format a manuscript with Lulu Publishing?

Assuming you’ve already had your manuscript edited and proofread, you’ll want to ensure it is formatted optimally for Lulu. If you’re publishing a print book, a thing to consider as recommended by Lulu is to provide a source document that is the right size for the type of book size you have selected through Lulu. Doing so will ensure your book after it has been printed, won’t contain fonts and images that are too small. In addition, remember to ensure you’ve selected the orientation to portrait, embed graphics right into your manuscript rather than as links, check that pages on the right are odd numbered, add page breaks when you want text to start on a new page, and ensure pages are numbered correctly and use standard fonts as advised here.


How do you format a manuscript with Draft2Digital?

Draft2Digital doesn’t impose a style guide on you. The Draft2Digital software can work with the style you choose. However, if you need some further guidance from Draft2Digital on formatting, it suggests a couple of things.

One is to really make your chapter breaks stand out through making them bold and using a bigger font size, and to ensure you’re consistent, which you can achieve through using a particular style of heading.

The second thing Draft2Digital recommends not to do, unless you’ve already done so, is to worry about things like a title page and a copyright page. Draft2Digital works in such a way that you can add these types of elements automatically after you’ve uploaded your manuscript. However, if you’ve created your own title page, or page about other books you’ve written for instance, Draft2Digital will strive to format your document correctly.


How do you publish a book with Lulu?

Assuming you’ve edited and formatted your book, now it is time to publish it. You may have your own book cover which you can upload, or you can create one with Lulu using the Lulu Cover Wizard. You then need to choose a type of product (Standard Paperback, Premium Paperback, Professional Hardcover etc.)

After this, you then need to give your project a title and select whether the book is just being created for you, or whether you want to sell it on the Lulu bookstore, or distribute it further through retailers such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

You can then upload the file(s) for your book. There are different formats acceptable for print books such as doc, docx and PDF and for eBooks such as ePub, RTF and doc and docx, among others. Do take a look at this page for full details on how your book or eBook would be published by Lulu.


What is the Draft2Digital publishing process?

Publishing with Draft2Digital involves first setting up an account and adding some details including a title, a description, search terms and sales categories.

After this, you can upload your manuscript in formats such as doc, docx and RTF, along with the cover design for your book. Draft2Digital then takes care of the rest, adding elements such as a table of contents, and page breaks to separate chapters. Draft2Digital will also add elements such as a story teaser page and a copyright page.

Then you select the retailers you want to sell your book though and set the list price, which can also be free. There are many options for online stores to make your eBook available from, such as including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Playster, Inktera and OverDrive, among others. Do take some time to take a look at the publishing steps in full at Draft2Digital’s website.


How does Lulu Publishing distribute books?

If you’re using Lulu to self-publish a print book with distribution being a primarily goal, Lulu’s Premium Paperback and Professional Hardcover options are eligible for Lulu’s globalREACH distribution service. This service will get your title listed with retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble around 6-8 weeks after it has been given distribution approval.

You book would also become available to physical bookstores who can order it via Ingram. Do note though that your book will need to be formatting according to industry standards as mandatory, in addition to Lulu’s formatting requirements. Lulu has provided some useful guidance on ensuring your book is formatted according to these standards.

Do take time to ensure your book complies, otherwise, you risk the possibility of it being rejected for distribution.


How does Draft2Digital distribute eBooks?

Draft2Digital begins to distribute your book to various online stores as soon as you’ve published it. However, Draft2Digital advises that the time taken for your title to appear on other online stores can range anywhere between two hours to a couple of weeks.


How do these two self-publishing platforms deal with International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs)?

An ISBN is an identification number with an important purpose. It allows book sellers, publishers and libraries to find your book.

Lulu Publishing offers three approaches to an ISBN. One is to get a free ISBN, which would mean Lulu would be assigned as the publisher of your book. Another option is for you to add an ISBN that you already own. If you’re from the US, Lulu also offers a service to purchase an ISBN for you.

Draft2Digital also offers a free ISBN which you can use. Alternatively, you can use your own.



That’s the end our Lulu Publishing vs Draft2Digital comparison. We hope you now have a better idea of how these two top self-publishing platforms can enable to you to get your book out to the world.

If you’re wondering about which platform to use for your book, a lot of this depends on whether you want to publish a print book or an eBook.

If it is the former, then Lulu self-publishing is definitely worth a try.

If you want to publish an eBook, then Draft2Digital thrives in this particular area.

Why not try them both in true entrepreneurial fashion and find out which one is best for you?

Lulu Publishing vs Draft2Digital: 2 Top Self-Publishing Platforms Compared is an article from Writing Tips Oasis.
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Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.


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