Publisher’s Weekly reports this week that Lulu.com is,and I quote, "Turning Bad Books Into Big Bucks."
"We publish a huge number of really bad books," admitted Bob Young, the Canadian entrepreneur who founded the digital publisher Lulu.com in 2002.
He doesn’t care whether the books he publishes are are good or bad. His job is to play on the ego and despiration of aspiring authors who are eager to see their unpublished (and usually unpublishable) manuscripts printed in book form so they can delude themselves into thinking they have been published. Lulu, like most vanity presses, makes the vast majority of their money on authors, not readers.
Andrew Pate, Lulu’s vp of global fullfillment (now there’s an interestig professional title….I wonder if his wife agrees with it?), provides a statistic that puts Lulu’s business into sharp perspective: 80% of their orders are for ONE copy of a book. Can you guess who is buying that copy? The author, of course.
"Retail is still a low percentage of sales," said Pate. About one million people have signed on as members, with about 60% of those buying an item from the site and 40% using the site to create a product.
The company is heading towards revenue of $30 million this year