Wednesday, 16 January 2008

City of Masks for sale on Lulu

You can now buy City of Masks on Lulu. I had just finished recording the next podcast episode and was about to start editing when there was a pounding on the door, and there was the courier with a very large and well-packed package, containing my proof. As far as I can see there are no printing errors, so - the book is officially available.


The CreateSpace corrected version is on its way to me now and should arrive this week (based on past performance). Based on the emails I got from their support people, they went through exactly the same steps this time as last time, suggesting that they need to improve their ability as a "learning organization" so that they only have to fix problems once.

Once that proof arrives, I'll do a major post comparing Lulu and CreateSpace step-by-step, feature-by-feature. At the moment I have to say I wouldn't be using CreateSpace except for the access they give to Amazon (and their audiobook and multi-disk CD capabilities), but their site is somewhat less cluttered and, for me, slightly easier to use.

I had fewer (in fact, no) printing hassles with Lulu, whose pricing is slightly better for single books and much better for bulk.

(Their freight prices to NZ are just ridiculous, though. If I get 50 books shipped to NZ, it's $245.16 (USD) for shipping and it'll cost me $14 (NZD) per unit in total, for printing, postage and packaging. Shipped to US: $31.60 (USD) for shipping, $8.58 (NZD) per unit. Actually, if I select USPS Media Mail instead of UPS as my shipping option, it's only $17.30 (USD) for shipping and $8.21 (NZD) per unit. So I'll be asking my parents-in-law if I can trans-ship through their address in California. There's no way it'll be over $200 for them to send the package on here.)

I know that others' experiences may well differ; anyone want to share Lulu or CreateSpace stories, good or bad?


Evil Hat Productions said...

I think I recall hearing that Lulu uses different regional printers and shipping configs depending on what currency you use to pay for it, so stuff paid for in Euros prints in Europe, etc. Have you tried messing around with different currencies to see how the rates work out? (That said, I've also heard that some euro printers have more trouble printing books, so, mixed bag there...) Sadly I doubt they've partnered with anyone in NZ, but I could be wrong. :)

So I see that City of Masks is a swashbuckling adventure, but does it have a system to it, or is it systemless? And good god, man! $10 for 128 pages? I'd strongly recommend charging $15 at least (I charge $15 for Don't Rest Your Head, which is pretty cheap by many standards, and it's fewer pages than that!)

Evil Hat Productions said...

And, duh. "Adventure" it says, and "RPG", I think. It's a *novel*. No wonder. :)

Yeah, fiction pricing is definitely different from game pricing. The $10 makes more sense.

Mike Reeves-McMillan said...

I've had a bit of interaction with Zenith Publishing over here - they're a short-run printer who are talking about doing something with the likes of Lulu but so far it's all been talk.

Regardless of where they're printing, a difference of $230-odd (USD) in shipping between California and NZ is unsupportable. No way does it cost that to move 50 books across the Pacific. $30, maybe, or even $50, but $230? I don't think so.

You're not entirely to blame for your confusion, Fred - after all, you got here from my post on Story-Games and I have in the past talked about a City of Masks story-game, which uses the same setting. I was going to put the game in the back of the novel but it isn't sufficiently playtested and I finally decided that realistically it wasn't going to be on any reasonable timescale, so I'd go ahead with publishing the novel, which was ready, and pick up the game again if and when.