Lulu for literature

Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 8.00.26 PMWhenever I see the POD service Lulu, I think of LuLu hypermarkets, where my wife and I sometimes shopped in Abu Dhabi.

But then I also think about friends of mine who’ve put out work through, and I think about the online literary magazines who have turned to Lulu to produce their fine print editions and special anthologies.

This month, I’m proud to be in two such print editions!

product_thumbnailThe first was a couple of weeks ago, when I re-blogged editor Meg Tuite’s post announcing the release of the Exquisite Quartet Anthology 2012. If you haven’t checked out that anthology yet, do — it’s a fantastic (and fantastically fun) collaborative exercise in which, for each story, Meg joins three other writers in crafting a single tale, with awesome results. If you’re still not sure you want to shell out for the book, check out the Exquisite Quartet column at Used Furniture. And then buy the book, because you’ll want one.

Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 7.57.26 PMThe second project I’m in, just released today, is the ninth print issue of Bartleby Snopes. Culled from the online archives, the print issue contains Bartleby Snopes‘s Dialogue Contest finalists, their Story of the Month winners from the last six months, and an amazing collection of stories handpicked by their staff. I’m particularly excited to be in this issue because my friend Matthew Burnside is in there with me, and folks, if you haven’t been following his “Eliot” fables series, you are seriously missing out!

Published by Samuel Snoek-Brown

I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.

5 thoughts on “Lulu for literature

  1. I think you and I have discussed POD and self-publishing at one time or another. I am wondering whether these avenues will ever overtake ‘legitimate’ publishing. Certainly the big publishers start with a clear advantage, inasmuch as they already have the commercial ‘clout’ to be able to mount an advertising campaign, sponsor a TV ‘book club’ hosted by celebrities, push their authors’ books to film and TV companies, and so on. The ‘little guy’ (such as P’Kaboo, who published my ‘Lupa’) has to rely on a book ‘catching on’, and sometimes this catching on can be elusive. Also, an author relying on Amazon sales may find himself or herself in the position where Amazon is holding on to royalties, because they only make payment when a specific level is reached.

    Lulu actually seems like a very good service for the type of publishing project you describe, however – much preferable to hawking a manuscript round to print shops within a hundred mile radius and waiting nine month for a smudged print run. The only disadvantage from the point of view of a novelist is that a ‘legit’ publisher will take one look and thing “Oh, she has self-published. That means her ego exceeds her talent.”

    Anyhow, congrats on the two print editions. 🙂


    1. Yes, we have debated the merits/embarrassments of self-publishing before! I love those discussions, partly because they’re still evolving as the market/business of publishing changes. For now, I still put a lot of faith in traditional, “legitimate” publishing, at least in the beginning (virtually everyone I know who has found success with and promotes self-publishing got their start with a “legitimate” publisher and so has the accompanying literary “cred” that comes with a vetted, professional publication to boost their self-pub endeavors). But for these kinds of projects — print editions of online mags and anthologies of special projects — POD self-publishing is an excellent option. I’ve heard great things about CreateSpace for similar projects, and by all accounts Lulu is at least as good. So I agree with you: more power to us all in those cases!

      1. There is a tie-up between Amazon and CreateSpace, is there not? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

        I must admit that I have considered / am considering Lulu for some particular projects; however, as things stand, with a ‘legit’ novel published, a second currently with a ‘legit’ publisher (probably in the slush pile, if I’m honest), and a ‘legit’ collection of poems due out soon, I appreciate the value of ‘vetted, professional publication’. I only wish that being legitimate guaranteed sales.

      2. That’s pretty much the argument that my self-publishing friends have made: they liked the cred of getting published through a publisher, but they like the pay of self-publishing a lot better….

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