If you have been trying and failing to buy a paperback copy of my novel The Golden Cut – I apologise to you.

It seems that Lulu, the print-on-demand service I used for The Golden Cut, is rolling out a big site update – and has taken the liberty of removing its authors’ print books while it does so. So if you click on any of my previous blog links to the paperback of The Golden Cut, or even try to go through Lulu itself, you will get a “404 Page Not Found.”

It’s only the paperback that’s affected. The ebook version of The Golden Cut is still available. It’s not nearly as nice as the paperback – because it doesn’t have Janice Hathaway‘s beautiful book design – but it’s in epub (on Lulu) and Kindle (on Amazon), and it’s free to download.

I also have a small number of paperback copies of The Golden Cut on my own shelves. If you would like one at cost price, drop me a line.

The same thing has happened with my poetry collection The Reality Binge Trick – except that in this case it’s not only the paperback but also the ebook that’s disappeared. I have a few spare copies of that too, so again, if you’ve been trying to get one, just ask me.

I knew that there was a Lulu site update coming, but I had no idea that it would result in the disappearance of my books for sale. Lulu has done this with no warning, no explanation, and no indication of how long the situation will last. I only discovered it by accident this morning. To say I am unimpressed is to put it, ahem, rather mildly.

The reason I used Lulu for The Golden Cut in the first place was because it produced decent print books. As I discovered to my dismay, its ebook publication service is awful. That’s why the ebook version looks, frankly, crappy: I wasn’t able to use any of Janice’s lovely design work in it.

Now it seems that the paperback service has gone west as well, and I am more bitterly sorry than ever that I used Lulu.

As soon as I find out what the hell is going on and/or the books reappear on the Lulu site, I’ll tell you about it here on the blog.

In the meantime, gentle reader, if you know of a better, more reliable, and less effing useless print-on-demand service I might try for my next book, please let me know. I’m tearing my hair out here.

Image: Plum dung beetle (Anachalcos convexus) navigation process composite image, Phinda Private Nature Reserve, South Africa. Photo by Charles J. Sharp, Sharp Photography, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.

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10 thoughts on “Lulu Is Poopoo

  1. That sucks. I thought something might be up as the entire site was down when I visited yesterday. I’m about to use Blurb to produce a book very shortly, so will let you know how it goes. I know Steven Cline used it for the first edition of Echo and reported a decent experience. I think his only objection was the book prices were higher than on Lulu. I have a copy of the Blurb edition of Echo and I think it’s comparable in production quality to the newest Mormyrid releases, of which I was able to acquire three from Lulu before it crashed (actually there were a few uneven page cuts in two of the Mormyrid books–a not uncommon issue with POD books). The one caveat with Blurb is that they do not offer a premium paper for their trade paperbacks (only for the photobooks). So the paper is not going to be as high quality as what The Golden Cut is printed on.

    1. Thanks Sean. I’ll be very interested to hear how you get on with Blurb, please keep me posted (and also – new book, yay, congrats!).

      On the pricing front, I’ve always suspected that Lulu keep their book cover prices artificially low by overcharging for P&P, which is eye-wateringly expensive. But one thing that Lulu have been good at is fixing problems with print quality, uneven page cuts etc. So perhaps there’s been a trade-off between cost and quality. Well, let’s see what happens next with the current Lulu snafu.

      1. There seems to be trade-offs with all of these POD companies. I’ve researched most of them pretty thoroughly and they all have pros and cons. None of them are ideal, but I guess each user has to decide for themselves which trade-offs are acceptable.

  2. Hi Merl, Am I too late to order a copy of The Golden Cut directly from you? I can send you sterling( in the flesh as it were) I only found this cache of emails now…in a google hideyhole.

    Irene

    1. Sure! You should actually now be able to order it from Lulu again, but if you have any trouble, drop me a line and I’ll send you one from the stash.

    1. It did eventually get resolved, although I only found that out by repeatedly searching for my own book on the site until it reappeared. Lulu’s communication remained abysmal throughout, and I don’t know what to suggest about contacting them. Good luck!

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