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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 26 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: LULU.COM  (Read 3356 times)
Larry L.
Member

Posts: 639

aka Miskatonic


« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2009, 02:14:51 PM »

It's interesting this topic has come up. I recently read this article which seems to suggest there are some potentially hoary terms to Lulu's basic license agreement.

Quote
With PbL (free), you grant Lulu exclusive publication rights to your ms and must pay $49.95 extra for the Expanded Distribution Service if you want it. While Lulu's site isn't terribly clear on the ramifications of this, I would take it to mean that you cannot publish the same edition of the same book elsewhere (i.e., publish through Lulu for international orders and through CreateSpace for US orders), and it may also mean you must return to Lulu if/when you want to publish new editions of the same book.

Whoa, really? I wasn't previously aware of any such thing. This sounds kinda scary.

Is this a legit concern, or some kind of scaremongering?
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greyorm
Member

Posts: 2293

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2009, 02:48:23 PM »

Is this a legit concern, or some kind of scaremongering?

That is ONLY if you choose to go with the PbY or PbL licensing and pay for such (which includes an ISBN, your book being sent to libraries, international distribution and listing, etc). It has absolutely no application outside purchasing a PbY or PbL option, and does not affect the way most indie publishers utilize the service.

Quote
...purchasing the Published by You or Published by Lulu Distribution Service will get it in on-line bookstores like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.com.

Quote
..the Published by Lulu Distribution Service...With this service you grant publishing rights to Lulu and receive a Lulu-owned ISBN for your book.

So the concerns you raise are  only when you pay to use Lulu as a publisher and not just as a printer.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Larry L.
Member

Posts: 639

aka Miskatonic


« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2009, 06:27:10 PM »

Raven,

Thanks. I think that clears it up for me.
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jerry
Member

Posts: 100


WWW
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2009, 11:17:04 PM »

Hard to tell what April is worried about since they don't quote from the license agreement. I followed their link through to the agreement and couldn't find anything like what's written above (their link leads to http://www.lulu.com/en/help/index.php?fSymbol=pbl_agreement). I've been following Lulu.com for quite a while now, and I'm pretty sure Lulu.com has never required exclusivity, whether for publishing in the Lulu Marketplace, Published By Lulu, or Published By You.

Most of the difference between the PbL/PbY agreements and the standard agreement has to do with ISBNs and how they work.

Jerry
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Jerry
Gods & Monsters
http://www.godsmonsters.com/
April L. Hamilton
Member

Posts: 3


« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2009, 06:49:02 AM »

Jerry -
Excerpted direct from the PbY Terms of Svc you linked to:

1. You are granting publishing rights to Lulu to act as a publisher on your behalf to retailers and wholesalers globally.

3. Lulu will assign an ISBN to the title and Lulu.com will be listed as the publisher in all bibliographic feeds.

7. Lulu will be the sole source of bibliographic data on your book. Lulu will feed data to the U.S. ISBN Agency as well as to Bowker's Books In Print and other industry databases. The data will identify Lulu.com as the publisher.

9. You accept that Lulu.com is the publisher of record and that any creator revenue you earn through this ISBN meets the true & legal definition of the term 'royalty'.

11. You may not make available to the public a duplicate project with a lower Lulu Marketplace price while the original is active in Distribution.

#1 - 9 state (repeatedly) that Lulu will be the sole publisher of record for your book, and #11 may preclude making an ebook edition available---"duplicate project" isn't defined. That's why I said the language isn't terribly clear, but you may be required to return to Lulu for future printings (a common practice among self-pub companies, and a bad business practice). The only way to be sure is to contact Lulu directly---and get their response in writing. Personally, I prefer to use CreateSpace anyway since their costs are so much lower.
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April L. Hamilton
Member

Posts: 3


« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2009, 07:28:32 AM »

BTW, I don't mean to imply that I think Lulu is engaging in bad business practices...I'm just saying that Lulu's verbiage isn't specific enough to know exactly what rights you are, or aren't, signing away here. As with any contract, if there's any doubt about what you're agreeing to (and there's plenty of doubt in *my* mind where the PbL agreement is concerned), get the specifics first, and get them in writing.

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April L. Hamilton
Member

Posts: 3


« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2009, 07:35:37 AM »

Sorry for the triple posting...I don't see how it's possible to edit a post once you've made it here...since the time I wrote my blog post, it seems Lulu has removed the word "exclusive" from there PbL terms of service; I'll update my blog post to reflect this. It's a good sign, but again, those items I quoted from the terms of service seem to grant a de facto exclusive publication right to Lulu anyway. Like I said before, clarification is needed.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
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Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2009, 08:23:17 AM »

Yeah, that's a good point, April. I asked for clarification about it when I used Lulu for Spione and insisted on using my own ISBN. The person I worked with said that Lulu was merely a service and dictated no exclusivity, and I could simply stop using it whenever I wanted. However, that person's not with Lulu any more, so I'm glad the official language changed too. I think I may have caught it in the transition/refinement period.

Also, I've used a local POD to print Spione for con purposes, and no one seems to have objected.

Best, Ron
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jerry
Member

Posts: 100


WWW
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2009, 06:23:23 PM »

Jerry -
Excerpted direct from the PbY Terms of Svc you linked to:

1. You are granting publishing rights to Lulu to act as a publisher on your behalf to retailers and wholesalers globally.

3. Lulu will assign an ISBN to the title and Lulu.com will be listed as the publisher in all bibliographic feeds.

7. Lulu will be the sole source of bibliographic data on your book. Lulu will feed data to the U.S. ISBN Agency as well as to Bowker's Books In Print and other industry databases. The data will identify Lulu.com as the publisher.

9. You accept that Lulu.com is the publisher of record and that any creator revenue you earn through this ISBN meets the true & legal definition of the term 'royalty'.

11. You may not make available to the public a duplicate project with a lower Lulu Marketplace price while the original is active in Distribution.

#1 - 9 state (repeatedly) that Lulu will be the sole publisher of record for your book, and #11 may preclude making an ebook edition available---"duplicate project" isn't defined. That's why I said the language isn't terribly clear, but you may be required to return to Lulu for future printings (a common practice among self-pub companies, and a bad business practice). The only way to be sure is to contact Lulu directly---and get their response in writing. Personally, I prefer to use CreateSpace anyway since their costs are so much lower.

Hi, April. I'm still not seeing it.

#1 doesn't state anything about exclusivity or being the sole anything.

#11 also doesn't talk about exclusivity. It's almost the opposite of it: it says that you *can't* use Lulu if what you want to do is duplicate the book at a lower price on the Lulu storefront. It doesn't say that you can't make a lower price available somewhere other than Lulu. I was around when they added this; Lulu claimed that the bookstores (mainly, Amazon) complained about books on the Lulu store undercutting the list price; they threatened to stop selling Lulu books. (Before this, they didn't care; If you go here you can see a Lulu staff member in 2003 explaining how to sell a book at two different prices.)

Regardless, #11 is not about exclusivity, all it says is that if you sell your book through multiple Lulu distribution methods, you can't undercut the Distribution price (the ISBN price) in the Lulu Marketplace.

#3, #7, and #9 state that they are the sole publisher of record for that ISBN, and bibliographic data for the book that the ISBN belongs to. That's the way ISBNs work. The organization to whom orders must be ultimately sent is encoded in the ISBN. They're not really taking anything from you here, they're telling you how ISBNs work.

The main agreement is the only place I can find where they mention exclusivity; there, they specifically state that their interest is non-exclusive:

http://www.lulu.com/about/member_agreement.php#content

Jerry
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Jerry
Gods & Monsters
http://www.godsmonsters.com/
redalastor
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2009, 02:22:43 PM »

I am still using Lulu, but I'm looking at Amazon's CreateSpace now.  It's cheaper than Lulu, comes with a free ISBN for your game book, and lists it on Amazon.com.  You might want to look into that as well.

I just found out they actually don't really give you an ISBN. They bought a bunch of them, "assign" them to your book, reassign them to someone else if you unregister your book with them and keep the same ISBN for your book no matter how much you revise it which is absolutely contrary to the point of an ISBN.

How they manage to do that is simple, they don't actually register your book under that ISBN so the only point of having that ISBN is to have it sitting in an Amazon database and be displayed on Amazon.com. No one can actually find your book outside of amazon with that ISBN.

More details here:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=372957
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guildofblades
Member

Posts: 309


WWW
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2009, 03:23:20 PM »

>>How they manage to do that is simple, they don't actually register your book under that ISBN so the only point of having that ISBN is to have it sitting in an Amazon database and be displayed on Amazon.com. No one can actually find your book outside of amazon with that ISBN.<<

Which is not a bad thing as far as that goes. It just means they're using that block of ISBNs as internal SKU numbers effectively, since the rest of their system is set up to use ISBNs in that manner. They have removed the need for you to buy an ISBN in order to sell through their marketplace, but they aren't "giving" you an ISBN that you can apply and use elsewhere. If you want to play in another sandbox, you'll need to buy your own ISBn numbers and assign and register them to your titles.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com
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Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
redalastor
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2009, 05:03:33 PM »

Which is not a bad thing as far as that goes. It just means they're using that block of ISBNs as internal SKU numbers effectively, since the rest of their system is set up to use ISBNs in that manner. They have removed the need for you to buy an ISBN in order to sell through their marketplace, but they aren't "giving" you an ISBN that you can apply and use elsewhere. If you want to play in another sandbox, you'll need to buy your own ISBn numbers and assign and register them to your titles.

My point is not that their offer is worthless, it's that it's deceptive. I'm sure most people who sign up for this service believe they have a bona fide ISBN that can serve the same purpose as one they would have bought themselves. It's not right for them to say "we are going to give you an ISBN and put your book into our marketplace" when they only thing they'll really give you is the latter.
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