My 'Baring My Soul Creatives' Facebook group just finished our BMSC 5-Day Composition Challenge and we had a blast! Not only was the challenge engaging, it was very informative. Creatives from various backgrounds and skillsets participated in the challenge and shared their expertise along the way. What I loved most about the challenge is that it was a collective effort and we respected one another's process (no matter our expertise). Now that the challenge is over, some of us (including me) are trying to figure out what to do with all of our great designs. We are asking ourselves: "What's a good marketing strategy?; "What prices should I set for my books?"; and most importantly, "What publishing site should I use...Amazon KDP or LuLu.com?"
I use both publishing sites, but what works for me may not work for others. Plus, my marketing strategy can use some work! And, I probably should not admit this, but I didn't think about a marketing strategy before I started the challenge. So, I decided to ask an expert...ChatGPT. That's right, Creatives! I went straight to the artificial intelligence app to get my answers and this is what it generated:
Pros and Cons of Lulu and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
1. Versatility: Lulu offers a variety of formats, including print (hardcover and paperback), ebooks, and even photo books and calendars.
2. No upfront costs: Lulu operates on a print-on-demand basis, which means you don't have to worry about upfront costs or managing inventory.
3. Control over pricing: Authors have a high degree of control over how much their books sell for.
4. Global distribution: Lulu has a wide distribution network that includes not just its own platform, but also Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers globally.
5. Rights and control:Authors retain all rights to their work and can easily make changes to their books at any time.
1. Complex interface: Some users find Lulu’s user interface to be less intuitive and more difficult to navigate compared to other platforms.
2. Less visibility: Although Lulu has wide distribution, books published through Lulu may have less visibility than those published directly on Amazon due to Amazon's market dominance.
3. Slow proofing and shipping:Some authors report slow turnaround times for receiving proofs and shipping books.
1. Huge audience: Amazon is the largest online retailer, which provides a massive potential audience for your book.
2. Print-on-demand and ebooks: Like Lulu, Amazon KDP also supports both print-on-demand and ebooks, and it makes it easy to create Kindle-compatible ebooks.
3. Ease of use: Many authors find Amazon KDP's platform more user-friendly and intuitive than Lulu's.
4. Royalties: For ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99, authors can earn a 70% royalty, which is higher than what most traditional publishers offer.
5. KDP Select: This exclusive program gives authors the chance to earn additional royalties through Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, and access promotional tools like Kindle Countdown Deals.
1. Exclusivity: If you opt for KDP Select, your ebook must be exclusive to Amazon—meaning you can't sell it anywhere else.
2. Royalty structure: For ebooks priced outside the $2.99-$9.99 range, the royalty rate drops to 35%. Plus, you pay a delivery fee for larger files.
3. Limited print options: Compared to Lulu, Amazon offers fewer options for print formats, and no options for specialized products like photo books or calendars.
4. Rights and control: While you do maintain rights to your book, making changes after publishing can be more difficult on Amazon KDP compared to Lulu.
Here's my two cents...Click the link below to see my KDP vs LuLu comparison chart based upon a 75 page composition book. Yesterday, I uploaded similar books to both sites to compare the costs and other differentials. Note: You may need a Canva account to view.
The bottom line is that you have to do what is best for you. Determine your desired outcome and don't stress over low royalties from Amazon KDP and Lulu. Do a little market research, set competitive prices, and develop YOUR PLAN to present your remarkable products to the world. We are in this thing for the long game...which is to build our brands, businesses, and legacies. Let's affirm and agree that we are abundantly and wonderfully blessed...individually and collectively!
Baring My Soul Creations