The last entry in this series I looked at lulu.com which offers on-demand book publishing for those looking to publish their own book. The level of entry at lulu.com is nothing, no setup fee and they take fixed cost plus 20% of your profit which all told is not a bad deal.
This time around I’m looking at iUniverse.com which is backed by Barnes & Noble. They do charge to get started. The cheapest of their packages is $299 for those that aren’t interested in distribution of their work. (Just making it available through the iUniverse.com store.)
Among the features of this level of publishing are…
* Your choice from our template cover designs
* Paperback formatting
* Volume discounts for author book purchases
* One (1) free paperback copy of your book
* ISBN assignment
* Inclusion in the iUniverse online bookstore
* One-on-one author support
* Non-exclusive contract
As I recall the lulu.com fee for an ISBN number was $35. Just a straight up comparison of the two for a small self publisher wanting print on demand books… I’d probably still be leaning towards lulu.com The catch with either (at this level) would be promotion. ISBN number or not that doesn’t mean you’ll get distributed. If you’re just looking at availability to friends, family and the occasional website visitor, then the bigger packages (with distribution) probably wouldn’t be worth it to you anyway. The big advantage I see is that with lulu.com there is no up-front cost for publishing your work. e-books can be published for free.
The best conclusion I could draw is that iUniverse and lulu.com are likely targeting slight different audiences. Global distribution is possible through lulu.com and the price certainly makes it approachable for anyone. iUniverse has some features of the pricier packages that would probably fine tune a work for publishing. (Editorial evaluation, custom designed cover, marketing kit, etc.) If those value added service pique your interest, then iUniverse may be worth a look for on demand book publishing.
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