Talk:Lulu (company)

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Censorship warning[edit]

For transparency sake, please keep the references to Wikipedia censorship against Lulu links in. It is true, it is relevant, and people must be aware of it. Wikipedia cannot claim to be a free encyclopedia if it prohibits perfectly valid links to sources of information. See e.g. here about power abuse by wikipedians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


The pricing process was not correct and there is no "exclusive publication contract" for Global Distribution through Lulu. A "Published by Lulu" ISBN names Lulu as publisher, but a "Published by You" ISBN lets the creator be the publisher. Also, "Lulu-owned ISBNs" may be used to distribute the book outside of Lulu on databases and online retailers. A "Lulu-owned ISBN" just means that the content is associated with a Lulu-ISBN (just as the ISBN of a book published through a traditional publishing company would be associated with that company).

This article has had some problems with POV recently. In particular, user Carolynhack inserted an extremely long apologia for Lulu's handling of the UK issue. I've trimmed it back to a short paragraph, to put it more in proportion to the rest of the article.-- 04:16, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

lulu pdf support issues[edit]

I'm not sure about the paragraph claiming that lulu has support issues with pdf files. I personally created a book on lulu for global distribution using "cutepdf" and have had no problems. At any rate, it sounds like somebody wanted to vent ...

I recently read the site and it appears they had some problems with files generated by older versions of Ghostscript. Since Ghostscript come bundled as a part of some applications they may use an older version. Anyway, I've added a fact tag for it. // Liftarn
I've provided citations for all the statements in that paragraph.-- 20:17, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

I create my PDFs using Open Office and have had no problems whatsoever with these. I think the statement regarding open source PDFs is, at the very least, misleading. It seems to me that the vast majority of open source PDFs upload successfully.Cornovia 00:47, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any contradiction between your statement and any of the statements in the article.-- 22:41, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

vandalism, npov[edit]

This article has a history of inappropriate edits that seem aimed at astroturfing for lulu. On October 18, 2006, user Carolynhack inserted a long, argumentative, pov section titled "Lulu's Right of Reply," which I later edited down so that it made the same points in a couple of sentences, and in a more appropriate, encyclopedic way. (The Carolynhack account was never used to edit any other article except the one.) On April 9, 2007, user deleted almost all of the article, left it in a state where the formatting was messed up, and inserted the nonsense string "ejw." I've reverted the article to its state before that edit.-- 18:05, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Production Locations[edit]

This section was removed because though Lulu has print partners worldwide, the information below isn't valid.

"including Colorcentric in New York, Publidisa in Spain and the UK, and Lightning Source."

Should this read "including Colorcentric in New York, Publidisa in Spain and Lightning Source in the UK." ? Publidisa don't appear to have a UK opperation, whereas Lightning Source does.

It looks to me like the article originally stated this correctly, but later edits mixed things up and introduced the error you quoted. I've reinserted the earlier, correct version of the text.-- 22:32, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Page move and rename[edit]

This page needs moving and renaming, the company isn't called, it's simply called Lulu. I propose a move to Lulu (publisher). Ben W Bell talk 08:22, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Be bold and do it! UnitedStatesian 11:13, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Done. Just wanted to check with others. Ben W Bell talk 16:24, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Acrobat Required? No Open Source?[edit]

I have to question the accuracy of the claim that no open source derived PDF's will work. I do not have acrobat and generated my PDF's using Open Office software, and Lulu had no trouble publishing the book I wrote. Besides that, Microsoft Word may be far from open source but its not Adobe Acrobat and Word *.doc files can be accepted or converted (whether generated by Microsoft of open source software). Obviously, the claim that only open source derived PDF's are not supported and Adobe Acrobat is required is simple not true. -- 23:18, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

If you look back carefully at the article, it's not saying what you think it's saying. The statements in the article are also all carefully sourced.-- 23:07, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
This may be some sort of ongoing game, but "carefully sourced" is not the same as reliable sources. The author of the website may be argued to be as an expert, but he has no other notable mentions other than his association with lulu. And I found the paragraph confusing as well. Flowanda | Talk 02:21, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Reference [5] is to the information on lulu's own site. I would consider that a reliable source for information about lulu's policies.-- 22:27, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

More discussion of this below. The source is lulu's own web site.-- (talk) 01:53, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Added better description of services[edit]

I have added a sentence indicating that Lulu Publishing provides printing and distribution services to small publishers based on the fact that CD Publishing uses Lulu for these services and this is evident from their website: Robert 12:13, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I've removed it as completely unnecessary. Lulu will provide these services to anyone so having a statement that it provides them to small publishers is completely unnecessary. Ben W Bell talk 12:57, 3 July 2007 (UTC)


In my opinion, the critisims are basically the basis of this article. Can't find much positive stuff here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I think the new "Short Margins for Bookstores" section is probably what was fostering this impression. It was written in a very POV, argumentative, unencyclopedic tone, and its length was out of proportion to the facts it presented. I've drastically shortened it, and rewritten it with a more NPOV flavor. I think this takes care of the concern expressed by the person who added the { { tone } } template, so I've removed the template.-- 14:38, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


Very un-encyclopaedic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Equal Enjoy (talkcontribs) 06:34, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

See comment above, under "Negativity."-- 14:38, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Vanity press[edit]

Given that Lulu specifically address the vanity press issue on their site, and that they don't charge the author for multiple copies of the book (just the first copy), self-published or print-on-demand seem to be more appropriate descriptions, without employing the derogatory and marginally POV vanity press term. - Bilby (talk) 00:08, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Of course it's a vanity press--here's where they charge for publication--[link deleted]--it's such a notorious site that WP won't even let me post a clickable link! Qworty (talk) 02:06, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I gather that the site is blacklisted due to authors using Wikipedia to spam links to their books. This doesn't speak to Lulu as such. Nevertheless, I'm saying that the term "vanity press" is POV as it is used as in derogatorily manner (I'm not referring to you here, but to general use of the term), Lulu specifically refute the claim that they are a vanity press, and that other terms, such as "self-publishing company" and "print-on-demand" are all equally descriptive. Even if we ignore those points, the central description of "vanity press" is that they publish books at the author's expense. Lulu charge the first copy of the book, and will sell additional copies to the author, so in that sense they are similar to vanity press. However, they rely more on print-on-demand - they don't require the author to print multiple copies of the book, but instead print when a customer requests a copy, and shares profits with the author. This is a significantly different model. The "self-publishing company" covers both models - "vanity press" does not. - Bilby (talk) 02:28, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Re: "Lulu specifically refute[s] the claim that they are a vanity press..."
No, it specifically denies it's a vanity publisher, a different thing entirely. In my experience, all vanity publishers deny that they are vanity publishers, which doesn't make them any less vanity publishers. One of the inherent problems with this article is that many Wikipedia editors likely to be interested in a company like Lulu are likely to be clients of a company like Lulu (that is, vanity authors), which will inevitably distort their perception of a company like Lulu. TheScotch (talk) 07:20, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

What this vanity press charges[edit]

WP won't allow their link, since even their home page is considered spam. But here are the prices this vanity press charges:

Starter Pack, $500.00
Advantage Pack, $650.00
Marketing Pack, $350.00
To call this company anything but a vanity press is to lie about what they are doing. Qworty (talk) 02:11, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
  • All three packs you mention aren't for printing as such beyond the standard one copy of a book: they specifically address marketing, review, formatting, cover design and promotional materials. They are selling services, not printing. The question is what do they charge for printing, which is the cost of one book for the author. Additional books can be purchased by the author, but the author doesn't need to - instead they rely on print-on-demand to sell copies straight to the public. - Bilby (talk) 02:34, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Here and in your comments above you are unwittingly doing nothing more than repeating the company's lies. My god, I don't want to get into a ten-year debate with you on this. But you are using all of those terms falsely. POD, for instance, is a printing technique--it has NOTHING to do with vanity versus self-publishing. You are even using "self publishing" incorrectly--"self publishing" occurs when a writer publishes himself directly, doing all of the publishing work himself, NOT when he goes through a third-party such as Lulu. The bottom line is that any entity that charges a writer for publication is a vanity press, period period period. They can lie about it all they want and throw around terms that are misunderstood by people like you. It doesn't matter. Lulu CHARGES people for publication (and the other things you mention, "marketing, review, formatting, cover design and promotional materials" are all part of PUBLICATION, for god's sake). So what are you going to do, make me repeat all of this to you and everybody else over and over and over and over and over again? We don't need to have this "debate" or any kind of edit war. They're a vanity press and that's all there is to it. Qworty (talk) 02:48, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

But it's not just a vanity press, it's much more accurately a Print on Demand publishing company. Many companies print through them as it is cheaper to use a POD publisher for smaller runs of books than a traditional printing press. Vanity Press implies that it's a company that is only used by people wanting to print their own books that no one will buy. Canterbury Tail talk 02:56, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I can see that indeed I'm going to get into a spiral of repeating myself over and over and over and over again here. Print on Demand is nothing more or less than a technology. It has NOTHING specific to do with vanity presses, self-published authors, or traditional presses. All three of these can use POD as a technology, and all three do so from time to time. POD is NOT the issue here. Except, of course, that modern vanity presses like to lie about who they are by calling themselves "POD." There's no reason to repeat their lies here. Qworty (talk) 03:00, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I must ask how you are defining vanity press, as as has been mentioned it isn't just individuals who use Lulu's services but companies, corporations and other organisations who actually use them to print profitable books and materials. Canterbury Tail talk 03:02, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
A vanity press is any entity that publishes any individual who pays for publication. That is what Lulu does. You or anyone else could use them right now--so long as you paid. Do you deny that this is the truth? It IS the truth. Qworty (talk) 03:07, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes they are like any printers that are not inhouse printers in that they will print materials for anyone who can pay what they ask. I don't deny that, but by your definition any printers can be called a Vanity Press as anyone can pay to have stuff printed. Canterbury Tail talk 03:08, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not interested in an edit war or anything silly - my interest here is being fair and accurate about a company when it is included in Wikipedia. And I am aware of the distinctions you mention. I'm not arguing that the term "vanity press" doesn't describe some of what Lulu does. I'm suggesting that the term is derogatory, doesn't fully capture their business model, and can be reasonably replaced with "self publishing company" (as opposed to "self publishing"). The Wikipedia entry on self publishing includes vanity press, but it also distinguishes that from POD. In the entry linked above, it states "vanity publishers make the majority of their money from fees charged to the creators for publishing services, rather than from sales of the published material to retailers or consumers." The POD model moves the focus from the author as the primary market to the readers, as Lulu make much of their money from sales of the books to consumers, not to authors. At any rate, this article has had numerous POV issues, so if one term that is POV can be reasonably replaced with one that is not, yet captures the same content, it seems to me that it is a reasonable change. - Bilby (talk) 03:09, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
You are not being fair or accurate. Most of their sales are to authors, not to the book-buying public at large. There's no reason to censor that fact from the article. Shall we take this up a notch to WP:RS, or will you edit war to scrub out WP:RS as well? Qworty (talk) 03:15, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm not sure what you're referring to with the WP:RS points. That aside, there's no wish to censor that out - I'd like a source that supports it, but I don't see an issue with mentioning it. My issue is only with strongly POV terms that can reasonably be replaced with less POV terms that serve exactly the same purpose and may be more appropriate. - Bilby (talk) 03:31, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
If that's really what you believe, then you should revert your own edits, because all you've done is throw in extremely POV terms that are not only inappropriate but false. Qworty (talk) 03:36, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that you're a tad confused - I've made one edit, and that edit was to remove a POV term. At any rate, I've sourced an RS that distinguishes Lulu from vanity publishing, so it should be all good now. - Bilby (talk) 03:40, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I've been able to confirm that they don't charge authors to list their books or to publish them. They do charge for optional related services which would normally be provided by publishers as part of the agreement. Although the Merriam-Webster defines vanity press as "a publishing house that publishes books at the author's expense", which isn't the case with Lulu, I don't think it is a clear-cut case, and am willing to go with sources arguing that they lie in between vanity press and mass-market. Either way, I've added the debate to the article, as it seemed relevant and was mentioned in some way in many of the sources. - Bilby (talk) 11:47, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Have you a source for your claim that most of their sales are to the authors? That seems to be the crux of the argument here. I know for a fact that many RPG publishers sell quite well through Lulu which is perfect for their niche market small print run needs. In fact many of the top sales ranks are indeed sales from these RPG companies. Also vanity press tends to charge a heck of a lot more than Lulu. I think Lulu probably actually falls into the area of third party small press publisher and are simply a digital printing and fulfillment house. That some people use it for their own vanity publishing is true, but that can actually be said of any printers, but it is not the entirety of their business. Remember Lulu charges the customer a fee on each book they sell to customers (which can be someone completely different) to cover printing expenses, not charge the author a large fee to print X copies which the author then has to sell themselves. Canterbury Tail talk 11:54, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I haven't seen accurate breakdowns on their figures, with one of the better references stating that a reliable breakdown might be almost impossible to get. However, The News & Observer quotes sales of 167,000 per month, off 45,000 titles for sale on their website. It doesn't mean much, but it suggests that they sell multiple copies. I've seen a few people mentioning that they believe sales would be mostly to authors as well, but not yet with any support. - Bilby (talk) 12:20, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I know Redbrick Limited sells all their books either electronically online through various sources, or for print only exclusively through Lulu. They are a company with many titles, several of which are in the top hundred sales and being bought by people all over the world. They actually published their sales figures for 2007 only for four products as

  • Softcovers (Earthdawn): ~610 books
  • Softcovers (Fading Suns): ~130 books
  • Hardcovers (Earthdawn): ~750 books
  • Hardcovers (Fading Suns): ~50 books

These are for their sales in 2007 only, with Fading Suns being a late set of releases in the year. They sold ~450 print books in 2006 with a limited range and being new to Lulu. I know from conversations they've had on various online forums that this isn't their total lifetime sales, and they have been doing relatively well this year. This is a proper company that pays their freelance writers and artists. Canterbury Tail talk 12:45, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

  • They seem like reasonable figures. Most (reliable) sources refer to "only dozens" of copies being sold per book (with some notable exceptions being much higher than this), but that is a tad higher than the author and immediate family only, so it seems that they are generating revenue from sales to the general public. As far as I can tell, arguments that they are a vanity press tend to boil down to their lack of editorial oversight, which seems to be a valid point. But they don't behave like a traditional vanity press, either. So I'm inclined to agree with you and say that they are a digital printing and fulfillment house, or something else along those lines, unless I can see a better argument to the contrary. - Bilby (talk) 14:24, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

I think the page should be moved to a different name. As Lulu themselves state they are not actually a publisher, they are a printing and fulfillment house (who now happens to offer some other optional services) not a publisher. Canterbury Tail talk 15:24, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Makes sense to me. Haukur (talk) 20:39, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Seems a reasonable name. Canterbury Tail talk 21:13, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) I support the name change, as the assertion that this notorious vanity press is in any way a legitimate "publisher" is completely absurd. I would support a "neutral" term such as "printer." Qworty (talk) 22:33, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

They do do more than just printing though, the other primary component of their business is as a fulfillment house something vanity presses don't do. They also do editing and marketing as an optional service. Lulu (company) is probably the best version. Canterbury Tail talk 22:01, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I went ahead with the move to 'company'. Haukur (talk) 07:12, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Vanity press[edit]

Qworty I must ask what you have against Lulu, as you seem to feel very strongly that it can only be a vanity press (despite others evidence and comments to the contrary) and not anything else. It does printing to those who pay, as does any printer they are just in a price range that all can achieve. Also a major component of their business is fulfillment. In addition they do editing and marketing which a vanity press also doesn't perform. Canterbury Tail talk 22:02, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

This really is a dumb argument going on whether they are a vanity press or not. It is clear to any one with half a brain that LuLu is a POD printer that also offers vanity publishing services.

Yes, the publishing and distribution they offer is vanity publishing, and the fact that they have a non-traditional pricing structure for it (where the author does not pay up front) doesn't change that.

That said, it seems most people who use LuLu are self-publishers who are usinging it as a printer (talk) 17:52, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Qworty is a misinformed idiot. One of my books has sold exceedingly well, and I have been required to buy exactly nothing. Zero. My required expenditure has been zero cents, in return for pure profit and sales of units in the triple digits. He/she simply has no idea what he is talking about. Lulu is not a "vanity press." (talk) 22:34, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Re: " One of my books has sold exceedingly well, and I have been required to buy exactly nothing.:
It's probably against Wikipedia policy to go around calling other editors idiots (this is understatement). In any case, the above admission (that you are a client of Lulu) makes your endorsement appear rather biased. TheScotch (talk) 07:53, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

pdf, acrobat, and open formats[edit]

Ben W Bell reverted my edit about support for open formats, I think because the link in the reference to made him think it was fishy. The reason the link is to is because WP's spam filters are automatically disallowing links to I've requested that the blacklisting of be removed. I'm going to re-revert.-- (talk) 01:52, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

I posted on Ben W Bell's talk page and told him I was opening a discussion here on the talk page, but he re-reverted without discussion. Can we please discuss this on the talk page rather than getting into a revert war? Re-reverting. -- (talk) 02:01, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Oops, my mistake, he didn't delete it, he just put in a cn tag.-- (talk) 02:05, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Faked links should not be added, as that's viewed as a form of bypassing site policies about blacklisting, and therefore a form of disruption to Wikipedia. Note also that forums rarely if ever qualify as reliable sources. The link to the policies may be permitted, but the specific link should be submitted to WT:WHITELIST, to allow the specific good link, rather than opening the entire domain. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 02:19, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I've initiated the process of requesting that the blacklist on be removed or modified. The article is about, and already includes, naturally enough, a large number of references that link to If we need to add more references to, it's clearly not correct for the blacklist to be preventing us from doing that.-- (talk) 02:59, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Which is why the whitelist exists - to permit specific links. To initiate the process, you should submit specific links that you want to permit to WT:WHITELIST (as had been done with the references that are already included in the article that point to Submitting a request to de-blacklist is not the correct procedure, and will almost certainly be declined (just as prior requests have been treated - this isn't the first - far too many spam links created towards that domain to do this the other way around). --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 03:13, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Ben W Bell's complained (in his edit summary) that a cite was needed to show that this was actually something users had criticized lulu for. I've added two of them. We now have three links in the ref:

  1. a link to lulu's policies, on lulu's site
  2. a link to an independent site that describes how this is a problem for a lot of users, and discusses ways to deal with it
  3. a link to a lulu forum discussing the problem, with comments by one of lulu's engineers

Although Barek's point about forums not ordinarily being good sources is well taken: (1) lulu's forums are the only place users typically would go to complain about this kind of thing; (2) this particular link gives comments by a representative of lulu; and (3) if you look at the references in the article, there are already a whole bunch of them -- that's just where the information is. I think I've addressed Ben W Bell's concern, so I've removed the cn tag.-- (talk) 03:07, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

  • While I think this is probably a good point to make, I don't belive that we can use any of the citations you've provided. The two that are to luluxyz are, first, possible broken and don't seem to load, but if they did I'd be really uncomfortable about using them, as they aren't technically reliable (I'm assuming that it is a mirror of Lulu's site, in which case they would need to be an official, acknowledged mirror, and even then is is still (much) better to go through the process of getting the actual links whitelisted. The second link, while working, isn't to what I'd regard as a reliable source. I'd recommend leaving the cn tag in place for a bit, leaving the content in place, and just see if someone can come up with a better source. If not then it might be worth getting one of the two whitelisted, and thinking about the third again. But it won't hurt to have a cn for a bit. - Bilby (talk) 05:39, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
    • I've done some digging and found a few sources, but nothing that supports the entire line. As far as I can tell, Lulu doesn't dictate that users employ Acrobat for anything other than Global Distribution, (which is in keeping with the material in the article), and it seems (based on both the sources added and everything I can dig up) that this has nothing to do with supporting or not supporting Open Source, but because pdfs produced with Acrobat are the only ones which are guaranteed to work on all computers. They do accept non-Acrobat pdfs for print versions, of course, although their strict requirements (all fonts included in the file, no duplicates, etc) mean that there's a fair bit of work involved. At this stage I'm thinking it may be better reduced to a sentence and dropped in the Overview section, as giving it a full subsection under criticism seems like undue weight. I'm open to alternative views, though. - Bilby (talk) 08:27, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I think part of the problem is also that only ones created with Acrobat are guaranteed to fully meet all the requirements of the full PDF specification and features. Many of the open source and third party PDF creators don't produce fully compliant PDFs. With Lulu it's most likely a case that other PDFs may work, and they'll take them, but they can only guarantee the conversion to print 100% if produced with Acrobat due to the non-100% compliance of some third party ones. Canterbury Tail talk 11:48, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
That sounds about right - they don't seem to have an aversion to open source, and will accept PDFs from anything for printing, (and will produce PDFs), but won't accept them for direct distribution. So presumably they want to know that the files for distribution are fully compliant. - Bilby (talk) 12:02, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

npov swung the other way[edit]

It looks like from these comments, that this page used to be an advertising tract, as evidenced by one comment that seemed to claim was astroturfing with contributions toward this page.

If this is true, at it's current state, it has swung too far the other way and needs a lot of work. It's way too negative toward It needs to be neutralized.

Fredsmith2 (talk) 21:31, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

I have two publications through Lulu. One went smoothly and lulu was heavenly, the other had small problems and lulu was hellish. I have learned a great deal about them. I spent a great deal of time on revision of this article, with thanks going to the assistance of an unknown editor, and based my knowledge of lulu I have to say it is by far a positive description.

Things can go very wrong at Lulu because of the way they do support, and this is barely hinted at in the current article. Also, Lulu often misses their quoted times to shipping. I was told by lulu the times quoted on their website were *guidelines* only, and they were extremely evasive and non-apologetic. Though in response to my hissy fit before an important meeting where I needed the boo, and nothing less than a hissy fit would do, I did get one order shipped on time.

In general the chat people can simply make you go away or ignore you entirely, as there is no visibility into the company. You can't call and ask the operator who to talk with and then go over their heads -- and they know it. Apparently they will even lock authors out of chat, as I have been locked out over the last two days probably because of my pesky-ness that they fix a problem that is now getting rather old. I am only pesky as that is what is required not to bring attention to a matter, though they took blown off to a new level now and locked me out. And no, still the matter has not been completely addressed.

Working with them when things don't go right has been highly confrontational. Their chat people appear to have the goal of getting you to read the directions on the website, period, so one is forced to argue that the problem is not related. This is an endemic problem to the way they are doing things, and it stands in stark contrast to how it is done at other publishers where everyone views the product as the source of income for all that it is. Though this problem could easily be fixed. A more accurate article (one that is much more negative) would do their company some good as someone in upper management might read it. There is no other way to give lulu feedback. They have completely isolated themselves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:36, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

The astroturfing continues. Twice I have added language stating that lulu does not provide phone support. They don't -- it is a fact. Twice it has been edited out without reason being provided here or elsewhere. I'm putting it back again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:11, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Needs coverage on topics, famous books, etc.[edit]

Shouldn't the article cover the subject matter that Lulu publishes? There's a lot of info on the mechanics of how the books are published, but there ought to be something that points out what Lulu covers well. For instance, on the top-sellers lists there seem to be a -lot- of books about web design. Some articles written about Lulu talk about titles they feel are notable, and some of the books have been reviewed in other media. I'm going to take a shot at this. Squidfryerchef (talk) 19:39, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Done. Looks like we have those bases covered now. Squidfryerchef (talk) 20:59, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

A Press?[edit]

The introduction refers to Lulu as simply a "press" and yet the very first sentence under "Overview" calls it a publisher.

Bob himself has refered to Lulu as "a technology company," a "self publishing" company, a publisher, etc. The truth of the matter is — Lulu is a company of DIVERSE and INNOVATIVE functions. It can be used as a publishing company, a co-publisher, a printing press, and a technological company. Lulu almost defies concrete description but it is undeniably all of these and more.

Because of the diverse and innovative services they offer, a few critics originally described Lulu as sitting somewhere between a traditional publishing company on one side and a variation of a vanity press, although a more respectable version, on the other. Others strongly disagreed by saying it was a traditional publisher. David Rani noted that, unlike vanity press publishers, Lulu didn’t charge authors an upfront fee. Linda Stilborne stated that Lulu was not a variation of a vanity press at all, reporting that authors would find Lulu "affordable" and "books that are not worth reading still won't sell." The Times denied that Lulu was a vanity press, stating that it was "a collision of the web, new printing technology and a universal yearning to vent and dazzle” instead. Self Publishing News listed Lulu as a self publishing company. Lulu consistantly ranked number one on Self Publishing web sites. Author Maya Reynolds described Lulu as a subsidy publisher. Over time Lulu became known more as “a different kind of traditional publisher” that also offered additional services. Today most consider Lulu to be more of an innovative and diverse combination of a "different kind of publishing company," a co-publisher working with outside publishing companies, a printing company for outside publishing companies, a tool for self publishers, and a technology company. DSnow101 (talk) 05:59, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

It's obviously a vanity publishing company that tries to camouflage itself. It tries to camouflage itself because vanity publishing is inherently a scam. Its clients, many of whom have been editing this article, defend it vigorously because they are inherently party to the deception: that's the nature of vanity publishing. TheScotch (talk) 06:26, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Lulu (company) is an ambiguous title[edit]

It strikes me quite odd for this article to be titled "Lulu (Company)." Previously this article was titled "Lulu Publishing." References in past articles referred to it as "Lulu Self Publishing," "Lulu Printing company," and "Lulu Publishing Company." The present title would seem to me to be somewhat ambiguous since other "companies" also use the name of Lulu. For example, Lulu is a name commonly used when referring to the company Lululemon Athletica, an international athletic apparel retail company. Also Lulu was an early automobile manufacturer. In addition there are various other smaller companies presently using the name "Lulu" (Lulu Guiness company, Lulu Restaurants, Lulu's supermarkets, Lulu's Bridal Boutique, Lulu's Dim Sum, Lulu Chi company, Didi Lulu company, Lulu and Luigi, Lulu's fragrances and handbags, etc., all using the shorthand "Lulu" or "Lulu company"). It seems to me that it would be proper to use the name that "Lulu (company)" itself uses in most of it's legal documentation which is "Lulu Enterprises." Although Lulu is comprised of both Lulu Enterprises,Inc. and Lulu Press,Inc. they most commonly refer to to themselves as "Lulu Enterprises" when not using the common nondescript nickname of Lulu. DSnow101 (talk) 01:01, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes it is an ambiguous title, however Lulu most commonly refers to itself simply as Lulu. Even their corporate profile table calls themselves just Lulu. Lululemon isn't commonly known as, or called Lulu, and most of the other companies you refer aren't named just Lulu but it is simply part of the larger name. Even the automobile manufacturer was LuLu not Lulu. However Lulu is just called Lulu, even by themselves in press releases, but occasionally as Lulu, Inc. Maybe Lulu, Inc would be a better title, if it can be proved that that is the official name of the company. Canterbury Tail talk 02:15, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Although the abovementioned companies individually have a larger title, they commonly use "Lulu" as a shorthand or nickname of their company. This is true also of Lulu Enterprises, Inc., which commonly uses the shorthand of "Lulu." Lulu is not the name proper of the mentioned companies anymore than it is the name proper of Lulu Enterprises, Inc.

Although they no longer refer to themselves as publishers, they did refer to themselves as such just a few years ago. It is optional but they do provide the same services as do other companies that are referred to as publishers. "A rose is rose is a rose, by any other name is still a rose,". At one place on their site they still say, "Lulu offers publishing services to meet every authors needs". They have also stated several places that they are co-publishers with other corporate business partnerships.

Their proper name is NOT Lulu,Inc. nor is it Lulu company. It is Lulu Enterprises, Inc., which they have used in all legal and business matters from day one. On Lulu's web site, although they often refer to themselves with the Lulu nickname, on all legal documents they use "Lulu Enterprises Inc." Check out the following on their own web site:

(Wikipedia filters prevented me using the the www dot Lulu address, therefore I by necessity have to spell out the first part of the web addresses below):

Their web site states:

" Lulu Enterprises, Inc. is a licensee of the TRUSTe Privacy Program."
(http://www dot Lulu dot com/en/help/privacy_pledge)

Also on Lulu's web site:

"Notice of Copyright
c/o Lulu Enterprises, Inc.
860 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300
Morrisville, NC 27560"
(http://www dot lulu dot com/en/help/copyright_notice)

In their court case they are documented as "Lulu Enterprises, Inc."

"The Complainant is Lulu Enterprises Inc, Morrisville, North Carolina, United States of America, represented by Abelman Frayne & Schwab, United States of America."

It is called "Lulu Enterprises" by BusinessWeek

"Lulu Enterprises, Inc. operates a marketplace for digital content on the Internet... Lulu Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Morrisville, North Carolina with additional offices in Canada, the United States, and Europe."

There corporate profile is always listed as "Lulu Enterprises, Inc."

"LULU ENTERPRISES INC is in the Business Services, N.E.C. industry in MORRISVILLE, NC."

Also here:

"Lulu Enterprises
Morrisville, North Carolina 27560

Even their incorporation papers name them as Lulu Enterprises, Inc., but Wikipedia editors insist on the ambiguous title of Lulu company? DSnow101 (talk) 21:11, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Lulu can act as a publisher exclusively using Lulu Services. In addition the company can operate as co-publisher working with other outside publishing companies. It can also act exclusively as a press by printing books for other publishing companies outside of, and with no connection to, Lulu. However, the companies most popular and innovative utilization is by offering the tools and the means for individual writers for self publishing purposes.

As a co-publisher, Lulu claims to form “business partnerships” with companies looking for “innovative, scalable publishing solutions.” Lulu publishing further claims that it is “robust enough to support the publishing needs of global corporations, and flexible enough to adapt to changing markets and new business opportunities.” Due to the expansion of services offered by Lulu, the companies CEO, Bob Young, no longer refers to it as a "publishing" company but as a “technology company.” However that does not mean that because of these diverse services that it no longer "publishes," or self "publishes," or "co-publishes." It still publishes but it is no longer an exclusive publishing company. DSnow101 (talk) 23:49, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Lulu (company) was chosen to move it from the inaccurate title of Lulu (publisher), it was just an idea. Since you have sources to back it up then I have no problems with moving it to Lulu Enterprises, Inc. However we cannot call Lulu a publisher, yes sure they offer that as a service, but it is not their core function. Saying they are a publisher would be a bit like saying Microsoft is a company that makes computer keyboards and mice. Technically true, but it is not the majority of their business. Canterbury Tail talk 12:46, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Canterbury, you have the right idea. They have the ability to publish but that is not their core function. Why not simply put those very words in the article?

DSnow101 is partially correct. Lulu Enterprises, Inc. IS one of the names of the company HOWEVER most people are unaware that there are TWO incorporations operating as ONE company — Lulu Enterprises, Inc. and Lulu Press, Inc. The two incorporations cover the many diverse functions in which Lulu operates, including self publishing, co-publishing, as a printing press company for publishing companies outside of Lulu, and (using their added services) as a publisher.

On their web site Lulu states:

"The terms and conditions set forth in this document apply to all visitors ("Users" or "you") to Lulu's web site ("Site"), and constitute a binding, legal agreement ("Agreement") between the User and Lulu (Lulu Enterprises, Inc., and Lulu Press, Inc.— collectively, "Lulu"). (http://www dot Lulu dot com/about/member_agreement.php:)

Therefore the proper title for this article would seem to be : Lulu (Lulu Enterprises,Inc./Lulu Press,Inc.) This would certainly be less ambiguous.

Although DSnow101 provided sources for Lulu Enterprises, Inc., there are just as many sources for Lulu Press, Inc. as well as for Lulu Enterprises, Inc./Lulu Press, Inc. CWatchman (talk) 16:13, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Too long, didn't read[edit]

I'm going to assume that the executive summary for the arguments to move this article go along the lines of "there are lots of other companies which go by the name "Lulu"". If none of those companies have articles on Wikipedia, then they are irrelevant; we only disambiguate titles where they conflict with other articles on Wikipedia, not where they may conflict with arbitrary things in the real world which don't have articles. Please see Wikipedia: Naming conventions (companies) for why the article is at "name (parentheses)" and not "Company's Full Name, Inc". Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 16:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

The main problem with the present title is ambiguity—it doesn't say anything. It is neither a proper name nor is it descriptive. CWatchman (talk) 16:54, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
That it is apparently (from the discussion above) difficult to tell exactly what kind of company Lulu is would seem to suggest that just using "(company)" is ideal. See the section below. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 17:36, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Lulu (Lulu Enterprises/Lulu Press)[edit]

Lulu is the popular nickname for Lulu Enterprises,Inc./Lulu Press,Inc.

Lulu Enterprises IS one of the names of the company HOWEVER most people are unaware that there are TWO incorporations operating as ONE company — Lulu Enterprises, Inc. and Lulu Press, Inc. The two incorporations cover the many diverse functions in which Lulu operates, including self publishing, co-publishing, operating as a printing press company for publishing companies outside of Lulu, and (using their added services) as a publisher.

On their web site, in a legal agreement, Lulu states :

" ...Legal agreement ("Agreement") between the User and Lulu (Lulu Enterprises, Inc., and Lulu Press, Inc.— collectively, "Lulu")." http://www dot Lulu dot com/about/member_agreement.php

Another source states: "The second component of Lulu Enterprises is Lulu Press, an internet-based publishing platform for building collaborative, customizable content. Lulu Press was formed when Young purchased OpenMind Publishing Group in March."

(Lulu also started a trade fair show called "Lulu technological circus") states : "Lulu Enterprises which also includes newfangled e-publishing company Lulu Press."

We are extremely happy to welcome our newest ePartner, Lulu Press, a division of Lulu Enterprises."

Lulu Enterprises -- Young takes the name from the 1930s definition of "lulu" as a remarkable thing, person or idea -- is the parent company of Lulu Press

One review refers to them as : Lulu Press Lulu enterprises

Since the popular name by which they are known is simply "Lulu" I propose this continue to be the name proper of the article. However since they are also known as Lulu Enterprises and sometimes as Lulu Press that this be included in parentheses. In summery I suggest the title , to be politically correct and to avoid any confusion whatsoever, would be the following: "Lulu (Lulu Enterprises,Inc./Lulu Press,Inc.)" or the shorter "Lulu (Lulu Enterprises/Lulu Press)." CWatchman (talk) 16:50, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I think you may be confusing the purpose of the article title - the main reason is to make it easy to find. Thus it tends to be descriptive, as in "Someone (Author)" and "Someone (Politician)", in order to differentiate people (or companies) with similar names. Naturally, someone can be both an Author and a Politician, but we'd just go with the one they were best known as, rather than "Someone (Author/Politician)", and describe their other roles in the article. Thus if, as you say, most people think of the company as "Lulu", then Lulu should be the name for the article. Then in the body it would make sense to differentiate between Lulu Press and Lulu Enterprises. "Lulu (Lulu Enterprises/Lulu Press)" would be far too complex, and would be against the standard naming conventions on Wikipedia. I would add that there may be a case for Lulu Press and Lulu Enterprises to exist as redirects, but that's a different issue, and it is very easy to do. - Bilby (talk) 17:07, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
That's not an appropriate qualifier. The term in parentheses should indicate the genre within which the subject belongs, per point two of WP:NCDAB:
A disambiguating word or phrase can be added in parentheses. The word or phrase in parentheses should be:
  • the generic class that includes the topic, as in Mercury (element), Seal (mammal); or
  • the subject or context to which the topic applies, as in Union (set theory), Inflation (economics).
I'd advise you to have a read through the rest of that page. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 17:41, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Since the title seems to be drawing conflicting opinions we could at the very least offer an explanatory statement in the article. Since Lulu no longer claims to be a publisher it DOES (on several places on it's web site) claim to provide publishing services for businesses, self publishers, etc.The following would be a fair and descriptive opening statement:

"Lulu (Lulu Enterprises, Inc., and Lulu Press, Inc.— collectively, "Lulu") is a company offering diverse publishing and printing services. Its headquarters is at Morrisville, North Carolona. The company is international with staff in 12 countries, and offices in Raleigh, London, Toronto and Bangalore." DSnow101 (talk) 19:13, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Can we have references that it has offices in London, Toronto and Bangalore. I wasn't aware of this, and I'd like a reference. I'm not doubting it, but still. Canterbury Tail talk 23:50, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Difference between Lulu Enterprises and Lulu Press?[edit]

What is Lulu Enterprises in relation to Lulu Press? Are they different business units within the company, or do both names refer to the same thing? I'm not too familiar with "Enterprises", but I've always known the publisher as "Lulu Press". At any rate, I don't find the debate over a move constructive. Best solution is to create redirects here for the names "Lulu Press" and "Lulu Enterprises", and mention both and any distinctions between in the article. Squidfryerchef (talk) 17:21, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Lulu Enterprises is the parent company. Lulu Press, although a separate incorporation, operates more or less as a division of Lulu Enterprises. Both are collectively referred to by the public simply as "Lulu." Lulu Press acts more as a press for outside publishing companies and corporate businesses. Lulu Enterprises acts more as a tool for individual self publishers, creators of CDs, ect. However they are collectively "Lulu," so Lulu does it all. The different incorporations have more to do with legal matters and taxes more than anything else. To complicate matters more Lulu has a third company called Lulu Technology Circus. I think it would be good to follow your advice and create redirects for the names "Lulu Press" and "Lulu Enterprises" and I will leave that for someone more knowledgable than I to do. As for the debate over the name of the article I think that my above propoasal of mentioning both of the companies in the article will suffice. BTW, the article lists Lulu as being founded in 2003 when in reality it was founded in 2002. I changed this but someone reverted my change. The correct date should be looked into. Thank you. DSnow101 (talk) 23:04, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I also thought the title "Lulu (company)" was awkward and considered renaming it to "Lulu Press". But after reading about all the different subsidiaries, Lulu (company) is the wisest choice. I created redirects for Lulu Press and Lulu Enterprises as more likely search terms. I don't know which date is right. Which is more supported by our cited sources? It's also possible different parts were incorporated on different dates. You might want to see if North Carolina puts incorporation records and DBA (doing-business-as) names online; those will have dates. Also you can check the USPTO trademark registry to see if/when they applied for a trademark. Squidfryerchef (talk) 01:45, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

From the fact sheet on Lulu's press center : [Lulu is] "a privately-held company, founded in 2002 by CEO Bob Young, also the co-founder of Red Hat." ( DSnow101 (talk) 00:41, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Criticism of Lulu vs Criticism of Print on Demand[edit]

All except for the first criticism (the UK problem) aren't Lulu-specific, they're standard features of Print On Demand (POD) companies. It's a bit like including "does not drive on roads" as a criticism in the Submarine article. IMO, it would be better to list these criticisms in the POD article and say in this article "Lulu is a print on demand company. Common criticisms of print on demand companies also apply to Lulu". --Irrevenant [ talk ] 08:37, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

All spamblock filtered text patterns removed[edit]

This long list of my edits were intended to (1) improve some of the citations, tagging where needed, and (2) remove all spamblock filtered lulu URL patterns because the spamblock filter made editing quite painful. To do this I had to make all www dot lulu dot com URLs so crippled that they will not be usable, but that editors will be able to copy and paste them without triggering the filter (except the first section, see below). Also I found I had to cripple even the links for old pages. All except the very first section, which the spamfilter appears not to notice, see the there for example (a bug?). I have left them there, because they appear to be the only archive links of lulu dot com that remain usable. Unless someone has a better way to "get around" this filter? -84user (talk) 16:14, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

We could probably go to the spam filter noticeboard and ask that Lulu be removed from the blacklist or downgraded to the XlinkBot list. At one point I saw the argument where Lulu was added, and it wasn't originally about Lulu but about some other websites and then Lulu got added to the discussion. I don't believe they ever made a convincing case for putting Lulu on the blacklist, and I think having it on the blacklist is disrupting our article on them. Squidfryerchef (talk) 19:37, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Any sources of help or places to provide instructions that are not Lulu controlled[edit]

Using Lulu can be very confusing and their own resources are self-contradictory. Could anyone provide links in the articles to critical articles, help pages not under their control, etc.? Lulu is a good idea, but the people who run it have no concept of linking pages in ways that will actually deliver required information. If that information is available elsewhere then providing it to Wikipedia readers could be a great service. P0M (talk) 02:57, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

That is however not what Wikipedia is for. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, not a how to manual or a collection of links. Canterbury Tail talk 12:11, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Authors who publish/print materials and similar works through Lulu retain the copyrights to such materials and similar works[edit]

does that line imply that lulu will copyright your material for you? Or do you still need to get a us copyright before you submit anything to lulu?

(Authors who publish/print materials and similar works through Lulu retain the copyrights to such materials and similar works) I think the line in the article needs to be edited for clarification. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:34, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

There are three stages of copyright. (1) Anything you create, you own. But people may try to use it anyway and if you haven't done anything about specifying that you don't want people to copyright your stuff, you have to put in a "(C) 2011 John Doe" page after the title page. (2) If you have put in a copyright notice your next problem might be that somebody else could claim to be the true author of the material. So to guard against that possibility you should file a copyright claim with the Library of Congress. (3) You are the only one who can file the copyright claim. It costs a little money. I think it can now be done on-line by e-mailing a PDF copy of your book with a fee to the Library of Congress.
Lulu does none of this stuff for you. They cannot do it for you.P0M (talk) 00:52, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Some of the actual vanity presses out there will claim copyright to your work and if you leave them, they will demand you buy the copyright back. Lulu is a printing service that helps individuals publish themselves, but the author retains his/her copyright. And copyrighting the work is the author's responsibility. --Naaman Brown (talk) 12:32, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Strange English[edit]

The article currently has one weird sentence:

(returns are not accepted, which limits distribution to physical bookstores)

The way I read this, it means that distribution of Lulu books is limited to, i.e., has no greater sphere of activity than, physical bookstores. That idea is incorrect. Physical bookstores can carry Lulu books.

Probably the writer was trying to indicate that physical bookstores are reluctant to buy copies of books that they cannot return.P0M (talk) 00:39, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Close try. Since print-on-demand POD books are generally non-returnable if they don't sell, brick-and-mortar bookstores often prefer not to carry them in inventory on the shelf, although some will order specific POD books for paying customers. (Traditional publishers do accept returns from bookstores, in part because they are often equipped to shop the returned books elsewhere or make enough on books that do sale to enable them to absorb the loss on those that don't. People who self-publish via POD services like Lulu often don't have large profit margins and sometimes operate at a loss as a hobby.) -- Naaman Brown (talk) 14:12, 31 July 2014 (UTC)


One error on this Wiki page is re: costs for distribution/marketing. If your book meets requirements (size, length, etc.), there are no costs for this service. (talk) 21:32, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Spammy prose removed[edit]

I've just tweaked the article to remove some text which seemed to be trying to gloss over the fact that this is a self publishing firm. For instance, claiming that editors aren't assigned as this is a strategy to keep prices down is nonsense - the standard business model for self-publishers is to produce whatever the customer wants printed with little or no external quality control taking place. Nick-D (talk) 10:35, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

External link[edit]

The external link to their website is outdated. But it can't be updated to their current link because it's banned by the spam filter (which is why neither can actually be quoted and saved here). Flipping Mackerel (talk) 01:08, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

 Done: It can be bypassed by using Wikidata. Chmarkine (talk) 23:53, 27 October 2014 (UTC)


I've suggested the Lulu Blooker Prize article be merged into this topic. The prize itself is not notable and short-lived -- only awarded twice -- and wouldn't be notable without the notability of the parent company. -- Mikeblas (talk) 16:24, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Done! Rob (talk) 21:47, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Suggested rename[edit]

The name of this article has been intelligently debated here, here and here but Lulu (company) still strikes me as wrong. The company, I'd argue, is non-notable. Only notable is the service it offers: a popular print-on-demand website. I suggest renaming to or Lulu (website).

As precedents, Twitter, Delicious, Kickstarter and Vimeo are not primarily articles about companies. A subtle distinction perhaps, but the focus in each case is the service, not the administration. Rob (talk) 05:49, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Why does "Elise Sutton" redirect here?[edit]

Not mentioned in article. (talk) 23:17, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Good question. I've started Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2014 November 26. Dougweller (talk) 09:52, 26 November 2014 (UTC)