And if you didn’t win but would like to try the books anyway…

This was going to be a ‘Hooray, Lulu are now allowing their writers to set their own discounts! Have 25% off the list price, to encourage you to buy the book even if you didn’t win it!’ post. The good news is, there are indeed discounts!

The Maker’s Mask: Book One Of Requite in paperback – 25% off!
The Maker’s Mask: Book One Of Requite PDF download (sorry, not discounted, as Lulu won’t let me do that)

The Hawkwood War: Book Two Of Requite in paperback – 25% off!
The Hawkwood War: Book Two Of Requite PDF download (sorry, not discounted, as Lulu won’t let me do that)

The bad news is that Lulu is utterly confusing me over pricing. When I went and looked at the ‘My Lulu’ tab this morning, the first thing I noticed was that Lulu seemed to have finally noticed that I’m in the UK and changed the price of The Maker’s Mask to pounds. Unfortunately, it appeared to have done this by changing the dollar signs to pound signs, which… was not wholly ideal, given the exchange rate.

Would it let me revise the price? No, it would not. I checked the Lulu forums and it seemed to be a site-wide problem, so I thought ‘Huh. Hope they fix that soon’ and went off to discount it as far as Lulu would let me.

And then, when I checked the book’s page, it wasn’t priced at £18.99 at all. It was still priced at £12.57, but the discount was showing up just fine.

I looked back at my ‘My Lulu’ page. Yup, still showing up as £18.99.

At any rate, it just seems to be confusing me rather than inconveniencing the rest of you, so I’m hoping Lulu will sort it out sooner rather than later and not worrying about it. I don’t seem to be able to discount the e-books at all, so sorry about that.

The interesting news is that The Maker’s Mask is starting to propagate onto Amazon! So far there’s no cover image and it’s listed as out of stock, but Tony Loton’s always helpful Book Publishing DIY says that’s normal procedure. No sign of The Hawkwood War yet, but let me know if you spot it on Amazon or anywhere else.

I have to say, I’ve found the quality of products I’ve received from Lulu very high, but their help and forums section are not very intuitive to deal with. The quality of the advice on offer is generally very good and the forums seem friendly, but they’re slow to load, it’s quite hard to find what you want or to find an answer again if you’ve already found it once but just want to check on it again, and the search often comes up with things that aren’t relevant or fails to find things that are. I think Lulu could improve in this area, and if they did it’d make me a lot more likely to recommend them to other people who want to self publish.

Almost forgot! I now have an official Twitter at @ankaretwells, which I’ll mostly be using to tell my husband when there’s a new post up. If you also want to be notified by Twitter when there’s a new post up, feel free to friend me!

10 thoughts on “And if you didn’t win but would like to try the books anyway…

  1. I’d agree about Lulu. The books are perfectly good quality; aside from the lack of publisher trademarks and pictures on the spine, the main difference I noticed was that the covers are shiny card on both sides, not something that really matters one way or the other. Trying to buy from the website however, is not the easiest thing ever. It just doesn’t seem to link up with itself very well, I found it quite awkward to navigate around. On the plus side, the delivery was very prompt, quicker than advertised.

    1. I hadn’t noticed that the covers were shiny on the inside!

      I’m grateful that Lulu’s there, because I’d probably never have got round to self-publishing if I had to make a bulk order with a local printer (or even if I had to deal with CreateSpace, which doesn’t seem particularly well set up to deal with non-USA orders) but in some ways the website reminds me of the early days of LiveJournal. It’s like they assume everyone who needs to navigate the site already knows how.

      I’m also a bit bemused by the way they seem to have turned into a reseller for books that are published by major publishing houses. I wonder how much custom they get that way – I mean, surely anyone who wants to buy Zombies Versus Unicorns or whatever has easier ways of acquiring it than going through Lulu?

    2. You can do pictures on the spine of Lulu books, but it’s a bit complicated getting the artwork set up correctly.

      1. I might try that next time! I went for the two-part cover mostly because I couldn’t work out how to make sure that the ISBN graphic that they supplied came out at the right size on the back cover, and if I submitted the front and back covers separately their wizard would do it for me. It did mean the spines were a bit dull though.

      1. Well, I’ve submitted my review, we’ll see whether they post it as I read the guidelines afterwards and realized they don’t accept reviews published elsewhere…

      2. It said ‘published elsewhere’. Maybe they actually mean if the review is copied from a magazine review or something…

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