Lulu: Listing you on Amazon whether you want it or not
One of the reasons why a writer may be inclined to use Lulu.com to publish is because with Lulu their control over their work was supposed to be absolute. Revsions of projects takes place the second an author uploads them. You have control over cover, content, and who gets to buy it or even see it for sale. Obviously, tossing it up on Amazon changes that.
Although Lulu has scrambled to put up an opt-out clause and says they have fixed the problem with private projects being publically offered, this is a very disturbing breach of copyright, contractual, and publishing ethics, as Lulu acted first to open up their author’s projects for sale through an international distribution service (at a 30% markup to satisfy Amazon’s hungry maw) and then only informed author’s after the fact.
I about had heart failure, because I had two "dummy" files up on Lulu, one in draft form and one "published," though not yet public. Both were badly formatted and were there largely to let me try to manipulate the site info, and one of them had copyrighted images that I had no license for, which I didn’t think mattered because I had no intent to let them see the light of day. Thankfully, they did not post my stuff, and I’m hoping to God they were never going to. Jesus, I said private for a reason!
I’ve already been leery about Lulu because all I ever get from them is ads to buy their services but never any sense of how to actually USE their service, unless I pay for it. I figured they’d get paid through their cut, but now I’m starting to think they expect me to fail and just want to get as much money from me up front as possible. Not amused. But then, I think all PODs are like this. I really wish I could find a site that didn’t assume that I was trying to self-publish because I was hoping a fairy would notice me and take me to a traditional publishing house. If I could find one whose philosophy was, "With us, you can do just as well as a trad house until the industry sorts itself out, and maybe beyond," man, I’d be there in a heartbeat. I’d even pay.