21 responses to “How Does Lightning Source Compare to Lulu and Createspace?”

  1. Dawson Vosburg

    The poster mostly knew about CreateSpace and LSI–she didn’t say much about Lulu. Wonder how long she’s been there.


  2. LK Gardner-Griffie

    Love the boxing glove as the pic for this piece. It says it all. :D

  3. mike mcgill

    although I have yet to publish, I have collected the fee info and have set up accounts for Lightning Source and Createspace — it should be noted that Lightning Source charges $1.50 per order for processing – not per book as your article states – true about the $40 revision price – ouch!

  4. gwenmccauley

    One thing about ISBN that Canadian authors s/b aware of. Each of us can create an account FOR FREE with the Canadian government and get all the ISBN’s we want/need, again FOR FREE. Visit http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/isn/index-e.html for more info.

    When I got my ISBN I was also surprised to get a bar code included in the price …again FOR FREE! My buddy who bought his bar code privately paid over $40 for it.

    Love it when I see my tax dollars working for me!

    Gwen McCauley
    Follow me on http://www.twitter.com/gwenmccauley and http://www.linkedin.com/in/gwenmccauley

  5. Linda Austin

    Lightning Source also occasionally offers special deals, so keep an eye out for those through their website if you choose them.

  6. Brandon Gene Petit

    Where do you see that a block of 10 ISBN numbers is only forty dollars? I checked on the Bowker site and a block of 10 costs way more… like in the hundreds. A single ISBN from Bowker, without the barcode, is said to cost $120. Does Lightning Source offer a cheaper ISBN package? Or was that merely the Bowker price at the particular time?

  7. Gina

    A newbie here: can people order single issues that will be shipped to them from Lightning source? I am assuming they don’t have a webpage like other pod’s do (Createspace and Lulu) where you can send people to buy your books. If I set up my own webpage for people to order the book will Lightningsource ship say a single book to them? And if so how would I link up the my webpage to Lightningsource to do this?

    There is a cover generator with the ISBN number where they ask for the price.. how do I determine the price. I didn’t see a price calculator (for my fee, Lightning sources fee and retail mark up) on the website so how do I know what to put on it? Do they have a price calculator or list?
    When you have a price for your ISBN bar code (however I get that? see above…) do you put the price for that you pay on it, and then amazon will add their price to it, or do I put the total retail markup on it?
    Can they put a barcode on with the price for you?

    And, I can’t figure out the PDF submissions. I have a color cover and all color insides, do I make one PDF that has the front and back called cvr,pdf? And then what is the middle called?

    I also don’t know what to pick for retail discount, I read if you go to low they won’t pick you up. How do I choose and when does Lightning source ask for this.

    P.S. if my book is 7×10 and it’s a graphic novel that I want to print all the way to the edge, what information do I put in for trim etc.? It is exactly how I want it right now at 7×10…

    P.P.S. if I want to sell through Ingram, amazon all retailers, library exposure and individual sales do I pick this one? http://www.lightningsource.com/print_to_publisher.aspx

    Thank you! Gina

  8. Raj

    I want to include- this that I noticed in Create space-Pro
    $39 Pro fee
    $9.57 proof
    TOTAL $48.57 Cost per 360-page book ($0.85 + $0.012/pg) $5.72.

    But if you do pro fee transaction separately first
    Then your proof copy would be $5.72 and not 9.57

  9. Raj

    Even with volume Lulu cannot match cs pro on price (for pod create space is very low on price)- I give comparison 6 x9 full color book 97 pages

    Retail Print Your Revenue $5.36 (cost 40.13) Price $45.49
    Print Your Revenue 17.27 (cost 28.22) Price $45.49
    For quantity order of 50 books 8 – 15% discount currently

    CS $13.27
    CS Pro $7.57 pirce same $45.49
    selling through amazon total cost 31.47/ pro 25.77
    CS E-store total cost 22.37/ pro 16.67
    Hope this is helpful

    I dont know how to get into libraries, as I own my isbn- it is not possible in cs pro

  10. Raj

    I forgot to mention cs price is for 7 x 10 that is more value

  11. Darlene

    Through the Extended Distribution option from Createspace my books are available from the following stores worldwide:

    * Abe’s Books
    * Amazon.com
    * Barnes & Noble
    * Books-a-Million
    * Borders
    * Powell’s Books
    * Reader’s Supermarket

    United Kingdom:
    * Amazon.co.uk
    * The Book Depository
    * Foyles Bookshop
    * Langton Information Services
    * Waterstones

    * BerkeLouW Books
    * Borders Australia
    * The Nile

    * Amazon.ca

    * Bookshop Krisostomus

    * Amazon.co.fr

    * Amazon.co.de

    * Amazon.co.jp

  12. Pam Knight

    Just a few comments about LS, since we are a small press and use them.
    As I understand, they do not work with individual authors, but only with publishers. There is an application process and a publisher is defined by a threshold of the number of books you will be publishing. For example, we publish 50-60 titles a year. They provide no training; they assume that as a publisher you know how to publish books. Also, a correction to the original article: the $1.50 handling fee is per order, not per book. Big difference.
    My experience with LS is that they are a class act. The quality and quality control is excellent. However, as a publisher or author, you want to get your book into as many distribution channels as possible. So if you have your own ISBN, you can put your book on more than one just to take advantage of their distribution channels. That being said, you still need marketing. An author blog and an author Amazon page are two of the best investments of your time that you can make.

  13. Roger

    I’d like to comment on your remarks about Lightning Source costing more. for its $75 set up fee and $12 yearly fee. Createspace does charge less for set up at $39 and then $39/year after that. After two years, your book will cost $80. After 3 years your book will cost almost $120 while at lightning source after 3 years, it would cost $99 and the cost only goes up from there. So sure, create space is awesome for a quick cheap shot to start, but if you’re running a series of books or if you’re publishing more than one book, then you might as well kiss your butt goodbye with Createspace because it’s going to continue to cost you high yearly costs that, may I add, are the most expensive yearly costs out there.

  14. Darlene

    What Roger says is not true. Createspace does not charge any “set up fee.” They used to charge a $39 fee for a higher service level and reduced per-book costs. The renewal was $5 per year but they kept waiving it. They discontinued that fee. Now you can pay $25 for the “extended distribution network” instead. I’ve had a few books with them for 2-3 years and I’ve never paid more than $39 in fees for a single book.

    But the best thing to do is to visit the websites of the different places and compare for yourself.

  15. Marjorie Schinke

    I have printed four books with Createspace. Since I do my own formatting as a graphic artist, there has been no cost for publishing except the now $25 fee (used to be $39) for Extended Distribution. It’s called the Pro Plan and it does cut the cost of the book considerably. The reviewer is wrong that your only distribution is through Amazon. That is only the case if you do not pay the $25. Paying the $25 gets you in the Ingram catalog so that anyone who shops from the Ingram catalog can find you. Once I paid the $25 it took about 8 to 10 weeks to get into the next issue of that catalog. My book “Creation Story Reader” got onto Barnes and Noble soon after it was on Amazon. Marketing is the big thing. I have made business cards for my website and since my book is to help babies learn to read, I had these cards out to mothers with babies wherever I see one and it has helped traffic to my website.

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