Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Self-Publishing Options Part Three

We continue to look at the self-publishing options available in 2021.

Lulu offers paperback, hardcover, ebooks, calendars, journals, comic books, and photo books. They have Lulu Jr. for Kids for children's books.

Cost: There are no fees or charges to upload your files. You can make changes.

Rights: You maintain all rights. Your book must be assigned an ISBN to qualify for Global Distribution on Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Google Play, Ingram, Barnes and Noble and Scribd. They provide an ISBN or your can use your own.

Distribution: Your book is listed for sale on the Lulu Bookstore. The Lulu Global Network makes your book available for purchase on Amazon, B&N, and other online retail sites at no additional cost to you. They also create a listing for your book with the Ingram Book Company, which allows brick and mortar bookstores, retail stores, and libraries to purchase your book. If you have an online Shopify ecommerce store, you can list your books for sale and your book orders will be printed and fulfilled by Lulu Press.

Services: Lulu discontinued their service packages for editing, cover design, marketing and publishing services. Instead, they encourage you to utilize other providers like Fiverr.

Payment:  You are paid 80% of the amount left after print costs and distribution fees (taken by Amazon and other retailers). The other 20% goes to Lulu. Lulu reports revenues to the IRS if you use their ISBN number for your products. If you own the ISBN, they do not. You can look up your current sales and estimated unpaid revenue. They pay by check or directly into a PayPal account. PayPal may deduct a service charge for disbursing your royalties. PayPal determines this fee. Lulu has no control over these fees.

Outskirts Press offers publishing packages for ebooks, paperback, hard cover, and children's books.

Cost: Packages run from $900 to $2000 for paper. The children's book option with up to 10 illustrations is $8000. Additional fees will apply for every change and reupload.

Rights: You maintain all rights. They provide an ISBN and bar code. 

Distribution: Worldwide distribution through Amazon, B&N, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bertram, and aLibris. Ebooks are distributed through Apple books, Nook, and Kindle books.

Services: You choose package options like cover design assistance, formatting of print books, manuscript evaluation, web page with social media integration, marketing coach, etc. They have a sales dashboard to track your sales. This is a pricey way to get publishing services given that they cannot guarantee sales on any platform. They have stringent file requirements: Acrobat Distiller is the ONLY acceptable PDF software. 

Payment: Payment is 90 days from the end of the quarter in which sales occurred via check or direct deposit. Authors within the United States have a threshold royalty requirement of $25 to receive payment.  Royalties less than $25 will be held and paid at the next royalty check cycle that meets or exceeds $25.

Reedsy is a provider of author services rather than a direct publisher. I included it because it could be a valuable resource. 

Cost: Fees are negotiated with service providers. 

Rights: You retain all rights, with caveats. If you use their Discovery service, they can keep your uploaded previews (usually the first chapter) online indefinitely. There is another line in their publishing rights that suggests they can use whatever you upload indefinitely but not exclusively. I would have an intellectual property lawyer read the terms first.

Distribution: None.

Services: Reedsy has a curated contact list of professionals who perform services for self-published authors such as developmental and line editing, proofreaders, cover and interior designers, marketing, publicity, ghostwriters, and web designers. Tools include book promotion sites, review blogs, Booktube channel guide, Book title generator, character name generator, pen name generator, short story ideas, writing contests and exercises, and file conversion. 

Payment: None.

Scribd is an ebook subscription service for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, and personal computers. Subscribers access unlimited books from thousands of publishers including the big four. It is a sort of Netflix for books. It includes audiobooks and comics. You must publish on their site through one of the other self-publishing platforms such as SmashWords, INscribe Digital,  BookBaby, Draft2Digial, or PublishDrive.

Cost: None. You can upload and change at any time depending on your chosen platform.

Rights: You retain all rights. You can provide your own ISBN or use one from the publishing platforms.

Distribution: Scribd has signed distribution agreements with their publishing partners and will make books distributed through their platforms available in their membership program.

Services: None. If you’d like to publish your own content on Scribd and make it freely available to the public (where you will not receive compensation), you can upload it directly.

Payment: None. Payment would be through your upload source.


On to Part Four...

Did you miss: Part One : A to B | Part Two : D to K?

Posted by Diana Hurwitz, author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment :

  1. Again, Diana, you add to the wealth of information you are providing for those who want to embark on a self-publishing journey. Thank you once more for sharing so many publishing options from which those who dream of telling their tales to the reading world can choose. Every article in this series is a keeper, and I look forward to the fourth and final post coming up soon.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. If a glitch is preventing you from commenting, visit our Facebook page and drop your wise words there: Blood-Red Pencil on Facebook