Monday, June 06, 2011

WARNING: How Lulu May Be Ripping Me Off

My main sales are ebooks these days, so I don't sell many print books, but there are still a few. Here are two screen shots. The first shows my reported print book sales by Bookscan. These are sales of new books, not resales.

The book in question is "Tales of a Texas Boy - Large Print." Only that one, not the sales (which were properly reported) for the other two editions. Since it's hard to see the actual count, here are the numbers:
Week ending 4/10 - 7 books sold
Week ending 4/17 - 1 book sold
Week ending 4/24 - 2 books sold
Week ending 5/1 - 2 books sold
Week ending 5/8 - 2 books sold
Week ending 5/15 - 2 books sold
Week ending  5/22 - 2 books sold
Week ending 5/29 - 2 books sold

Here's what Lulu reported in sales. These are the FULL April and May sales reports:

Sales reported: TWO books.

Note that I don't make much royalty on each book. Essentially, I've set the price as low as Lulu allows me to.

This under reporting has been going on since January. I've emailed many times with both Lulu and Amazon. I know that I can't put the lack of reporting on Amazon entirely since the Bookscan sales reflect sales from all distributors, so it may include any number of others. But ALL sales should have been reported to Lulu.

The final response I got from Lulu was that the case WAS CLOSED. They did not resolve the problem, or even note if they did anything to investigate.

My count of sales from January to now (I have screen shots of all Bookscan reporting) is 31 BOOK SOLD, ONLY 2 REPORTED BY LULU.
I "retired" (took off the market) the book last month. Copies are still being sold. I figured the only way I could keep Lulu from stealing from me is to cease selling the book. I wonder if that'll ever happen. I know it takes time for the fact to leak to Ingrams, so I'm trying my best to stop my losses.
Please, take warning. Do NOT use Lulu to publish your Indie book. Use LSI or CreateSpace instead. At least with CreateSpace, you can quickly change prices and book sales are reported within one day.
If you're interested in buying the book, please buy one of the editions I put out through CreateSpace. I produced them in a variety of trimsizes and in both regular and large print. I put a note in the book description asking people to NOT buy the listed book. I know I will be robbed of royalties and Lulu collects a lot more from the sales than I do.
All I can do is let people know about the theft and hope that I can inform even one author to go elsewhere rather than have your money stolen by a huge corporation who can swat you away without a thought.
Thanks for reading this report.


  1. Wow is all I can say. This is frightning. Thanks so much for the warning. I hope you get a lot of author readers for the article. Did you post it on FB?

    I'll be sure to stay away from them.

  2. I second that wow, and the thanks for the warning. Unbelievable that Lulu is so unprofessional.