The Magic Art of Paperbacks Pt 1

You want to find the best Print on Demand company that fits your book, so let’s look at the big contenders: Createspace, Lulu, Blurb and Lightning Source.

(Note: I used my own books for a price comparison. Your price may differ slightly.)


You pay $20 for your proof, and then after that it’s up to you if you buy your books for a discounted price. If you do buy copies to sell, you only pay the production price… the sell price.

You can choose your size and type of cover finish. It’s best if you already have the formatted version ready to plug in. Filling in the information is easy.

You set your price, but there is a minimum requirement so both parties make money. So for my paperback, which is listed at $10.40 (minimum requirement) it takes $4.16 to produce the book. They take $4.16 as their distribution payment, and my royalty payment is $2.08. This is for sales. On direct Createspace sales, I would make $4.16 in royalties.


Let me say this. Lulu has a lot of different choices for books. They offer hardback covers, which I have had a customer request. At the time I was publishing through Createspace and didn’t have the option of hardbacks for my first book.

Just like the Createspace site, you will plug in your information and download your cover and formatted manuscript.

They are a bit higher. For my book to be printed, it would cost $6.81. That’s a little over $2 more than Createspace.

Lulu will make your books available to Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Ingram, and their own site as well. They set the list price for my book to be $14.95. For any book sold, I would make an average of $7.00 if they buy direct from Lulu, and $1.58 if they purchase my book from one of the other channels.

Next week we will be looking at Blur and Lightning Source.