From: Bob Maxey ^lt;>
Date: 08/17/05-02:21:01 PM Z
Message-id: <BAY5-DAV55A11E2412FBD3F3ED6C6E6B30@phx.gbl>

>>>Has anyone on the list published a photo book with Lulu?
I am curious about the reproduction quality for photographs.
I heard an interview recently that said Lulu would be
providing a hard bound book service in the near future. >>>

I have seen two heavily illustrated Lulu books and both looked fine. Neither book was hard bound, however. I have been told they will offer hard bound books in the future, so it might not be a rumor. Have you emailed Lulu and asked them?

The books I saw were not photo books, just heavily illustrated. I do not know if they would be more careful with a hard bound book than they are with the typical perfect bound books they usually sell.

It seems to me they would carefully inspect every hard bound book they produce due to the production costs.

You should drop them a note and ask a few questions. Ask for some printing and binding details. If it were me, I would ask about the press they will use, the printing process, how the books will be bound, if there are endpapers, binding options, etc.

I can tell you this: Lulu is trying to elevate themselves above all other POD publishers and their reputation is by all accounts pretty good. Then again, you get what you pay for.

By some accounts, Lulu's quality can be sporadic; yet overall, it is apparently quite good. Some books look betters than others; there are occasional variations from book to book.

I am not sure about their return policy, but it seems to me if you are selling a book of photographs and there is a printing problem, the customer will return the book. So it is vital that you work with a publisher that can guarantee their quality from book to book.

Read the terms on the web site and find out who pays for the returns. It might be you and it might be Lulu. I have not perused their TOS for a few months, although I still receive their email newsletter.

You do not want lost profits because of book returns by angry customers. You might control the image quality, but you have no control over the quality of the books sold to customers. You must know that you can trust the quality.

I do not know what your goals are. Perhaps you want to use Lulu to handle all order, payment, shipping, and publishing details; or are you simply looking for a printer and bindery. If you are selling and shipping your books and you want hard binding, you should investigate local printers. Here in Utah, we have several good printers and their quality is exceptional and quite reasonable.

When you look at each book, you can cull the bad books before they end up in the hands of customers.

Finally, do not overlook the possibility of binding your own books. Because the printer is also the bookbinder, you might have a sales hook. Bookbinding is not as difficult as it might seem. The tools and materials are cheap and you can easily make most of what you will need. I have bound books, made slipcases, and repaired damaged bindings in the past.

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Received on Wed Aug 17 14:26:48 2005

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