Sunday, 10 October 2010

Lulu introduces discounts

Interesting news from our friends at Lulu: publishers may now set a discount on books sold there.

It seems like a small thing, but it goes to the heart of a long-standing problem.

For books distributed via Lulu to other booksellers, such as Amazon, you would have to set a price sufficient for the book to not lose money after Amazon took its cut. The price needed to make a profit via Lulu, however, was much lower.

Once upon a time, users were able to set one price for Lulu, and another for distribution, but under pressure from other booksellers Lulu removed that feature.

The result was that books on Lulu ended up being more expensive than they needed to be, just so that they wouldn't make a loss on Amazon.

To put figures on it, a 160pp paperback would only need to be about £4 to make a profit on Lulu (like TQF), but would need to be closer to £6 or £7 if being sold on Amazon as well (like our books).

Some people got around this by creating two editions of their books, one for Lulu and one for distribution, but this is much better and should make people really happy.

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