We compete directly with Lulu Press. When we reject a manuscript, we NEVER refer those authors to Lulu.
It’s been almost a year since we checked on what Lulu has been up to. This time last year, authors were asking if they were going out of business. If they are, it’s a very slow death. In the meantime, the complaints just keep rolling in!
I never pay attention to a company’s responses underneath complaints on third party sites unless the complaint is truly a fake one (and those are pretty easy to spot). And, a customer should never post a complaint to a website without first contacting the company, and giving them a reasonable period of time to respond. Unfortunately for Lulu, there are lots negative posts online where the authors stated they’d already opened a support ticket with Lulu (or more than one ticket), and the author had not received a response.
A customer should never feel so frustrated that they have to take their issue to a third party. Shame on Lulu for wracking up this many complaints – in just the past year! The quotes from BBB.org are from just the past four months!
Under some complaints about Lulu Press posted online, you can read Lulu’s responses. Again, if they’d handled the complaints directly, when their authors first “opened tickets” with them, there would not be so many public complaints posted about them online.
At BookLocker, we have a messaging system for our authors. All BookLocker employees can see all of the messages in that system. If an author is having any problem at all, the first person who sees that message sends an urgent Whatsapp note (we use that app to communicate with each other all day long, and at night as well because our cell phones ding when we do) to the employee handling that aspect of the author’s project. We have red, orange, and yellow alerts. And, it works! You can read what authors are saying about BookLocker (36 5-star reviews!) on the BBB.org website RIGHT HERE and you can read numerous unsolicited BookLocker author testimonials HERE.
Here’s a small snippet of what’s to follow about Lulu Press:
- “Do yourself a solid and don’t use Lulu publishing.”
- “I’ve spent in the thousands and can’t get ANY help!”
- “I would never buy from Lulu.com again.”
- “Customer Service is a nightmare.”
- “Do not use Lulu publishing.”
- “Worst experience ever.”
- “As a writer, I strongly advise future customers to stay away from Lulu. They are dishonest and could care less about their customers.”
- I have a ticket number and have contacted Lulu but I just get a canned email response, saying they are busy.
- “This is not merely a matter of an upgrade/date gone wrong – it is a sinking ship.”
- “Many (of my books) disappeared from many sites and still are missing after six months.”
- “Hi Lulu – I’ve been emailing and sending you support tickets for several months now, with no response.”
- “Lulu’s online info is confusing and misleading, I would even say predatory.”
- “…the books I received looked terrible…”
- “I was sure there was a proper explanation but this silence from LuLu is getting me very anxious and very angry.”
- “…this is absolutely ridiculous.”
- “I guess it is time to look for a different publishing company.”
- “…my revenue is down an average of 39%!”
- “Lulu needs to step up and own this problem.”
- “Please note that our Finance Team has indeed reviewed sales data and if we’ve seen a decrease or not in sales, is not information we would share with our authors.”
- “I’ve sent them six emails concerning my closed account. I’ve received no responses at all.”
- “Support is nonexistent.”
- “I was wondering if anyone has received revenue payments from Lulu since January 2021?”
- “…why did you destroy a great website?”
- “I have asked you over and over again. Can someone please help me take care of this???”
- “Wow. You guys blocked me from commenting on your page just because I was trying to get help for a tech issue on my account???”
- “I can’t even get into my account since you ‘fixed” everything.’ Can’t even order my own book…”
- “Nine months later, I still do not have access to my books, let alone distribution stats or compensation.”
- “Lulu should be avoided, if you are serious about what you do!”
- “I have a number of issues with them. Some haven’t been solved since November 2020.”
- “They purely don’t seem to care, even when you have been using them for several decades and have over fifteen books on their site.”
- “What is going on with the customer service at Lulu? Are they going out of business?”
- “…customer service is terrible, in fact it is non existent.”
- “No response. No support.”
Better Business Bureau Complaints are RIGHT HERE.
Average customer reviews: 1.53 out of 5 stars (22 1-star reviews!)
Short snippets from those (there are MANY more details at the link above):
“Lulu’s online info is confusing and misleading, I would even say predatory. They don’t care about providing good service. I emailed them to ask about their proof process and received unhelpful replies from a bot pretending to be a human. They went ahead and printed my books without any proof process, and the books I received looked terrible.”
– Jesse L
“I am so frustrated. I’ve been using LuLu for years now, but since I have a real book out there earning revenue for the first time things have been screwing up… I am getting very angry. Right now it looks like I am getting robbed here. I was sure there was a proper explanation but this silence from LuLu is getting me very anxious and very angry. I really liked LuLu and didn’t want to rile anything up but this is preposterous. I need answers.”
“I find it terribly sad that I have to post here to hopefully try and get real help. Have put in 3 support tickets on the same problem, #******, #****** and #******… Am I supposed to give up on Lulu altogether and go elsewhere?”
– Sharon R
“I’m considering deleting my account and going elsewhere because this is absolutely ridiculous. It’s sad that I have to leave a complaint on the BBB to receive a response instead of just receiving a response to my ticket.”
– Malia J
“I’ve read the latest reviews and it seems your issues started last March with revamping your website, then in April you reduced staff due to covid, but I’m wondering if these are valid enough issues to continue my book through you or should I just go elsewhere. When do these issues become fixed, or is this a permanent long term problem at this point and us writers need to move on elsewhere?”
– Zelphie A
“POOR SUPPORT – I have been trying for over a month to resolve issues in publishing an ebook… I have submitted at least three support tickets with no response. I guess it is time to look for a different publishing company.”
– Thomas W
“No response. No support.”
– Tom P
READ MANY MORE DETAILED COMPLAINTS about Lulu Press at BBB.ORG.
COMPLAINTS FROM AUTHORS ON LULU’S OWN AUTHOR FORUM:
“I ask because it always best to check where your books actually end up. I found mine on a similar site also. They are the type of sites that paid subscribers can read 10,000s of ebooks, for free. The first site of that type I found my books on said that Lulu and Ingrams had given them permission to include them (I actually asked both Lulu and Ingrams about that, and they never replied). Huh?!”
“Yes Lulu got rid of Ingram’s core source. They said it would save money for them not paying Ingrams that would make us more money. Not really the case. I sold martial arts books to those off the wall online stores Ingrams distributed too including 24symbol.com and others. Since Lulu changed the site and their distribution my sales have drops close to 90 percent.”
And, at the same link:
“However, starting in Dec of 2020 (the change month) and continuing to present day – even with the money now flowing – my revenue is down an average of 39%! It can’t be coincidence that the trend over 4 years happened to change in the month Lulu started changing their distribution strategy. Lulu needs to step up and own this problem.”
“I was told that they would distribute our books themselves to various outlets. This has caused huge problems with my books. Many disappeared from many sites and still are missing after six months.”
“I have, yet another update. This one is far more bothersome than the others.
“Basically, they are telling me that they have done an analysis as to how the change in their distribution has effected their authors revenues – and will not disclose the findings. Their exact words are:
“‘Thank you once again for your question and your feedback. Please note that our Finance Team has indeed reviewed sales data and if we’ve seen a decrease or not in sales, is not information we would share with our authors.'”
“..am seriously wondering WHAT REALLY went on. Having to witness this painfull destruction of something that was working so well still drives tears to my eyes. This is not merely a matter of an upgrade/date gone wrong – it is a sinking ship. Those that are left to deal with the aftermath have no way of coping with this mayhem.”
“I was wondering if anyone has received revenue payments from Lulu since January 2021? Last time I received any revenue payment from them was Jan 17 2021 and I haven’t been paid since then. And that payment only covered revenues up to and including Dec 31 2020.”
FROM THEIR OWN FACEBOOK PAGE
Lulu has an old Facebook page that they’ve stopped posting to. However, people still come there to post complaints. A few of those are posted first below. The complaints below that were posted to their newer Facebook page were all posted in the past 2 weeks. And, we didn’t even include all of those.
“Do not use Lulu publishing. I used them to publish my book, what a mistake. Once I published they now will not even return my calls. …they charged me twice for the same thing on the same day. I consider this theft. When I signed with them I was told how they would advertise my book. After almost 3 years I have not sold one book because they set the price way too high and there is no way I can get the price changed…. Do yourself a solid and don’t use Lulu publishing.”
– Eugene of Spanish Fort, AL
“I politely requested a refund and was refused because the PDF had been released. When I responded respectfully voicing my displeasure, the reply email said, “Thank you for shopping with us,” and hoped that I would repeat my pleasant experience. This company does not support the consumer whatsoever. They state that you may cancel your purchase within one hour, but that option is truly nonexistent when they send out PDF crap. I would never buy from Lulu.com again.”
– Tracy of Parkland County, AB
“Ordered a book from them that I never received. Company will not track package for me, send a replacement, or refund me. Best they can do is waive shipping if I purchase another copy. Will be requesting chargeback.”
– David of West Hollywood, Ca
“Customer Service is a nightmare. Different people give totally different answers to the same question. Sometimes they don’t understand and just read off a script. Horrible. They also don’t necessarily respond in a timely manner. As happy as I am with the actual finished product, dealing with them is impossible. Had I known, I would have gone elsewhere. Customer Service is the worst ever!”
– Randy of Westbury, NY
“I’d been with Lulu pretty much since they began. They were great for POD (Publish On Demand) books. Until…April 2020 when they launched their improved platform. Nine months later, I still do not have access to my books, let alone distribution stats or compensation. What I do have is a myriad of emails from Lulu telling me to be patient. They have no intention of fixing this issue for their customers. As a writer, I strongly advise future customers to stay away from Lulu. They are dishonest and could care less about their customers. If you are a former customer trying to resolve an issue, file a complaint with the Attorney General in the state Lulu is operating from.”
– Yosif of Cleveland, OH
“Worst experience ever. I paid $1999 and my manuscript sat for over TWO months in “Step 1 – Content Evaluation,” before some dude named Eugene ** called me and told me that he “didn’t think my book was a good fit for Lulu Press” and basically told me to pound sand. WHAT??!!”
-Randy of San Diego, Ca
Read MANY more complaints about Lulu Press on ConsumerAffairs.com HERE.
Lulu should be avoided, if you are serious about what you do!
“The customer support is slower than slow! If you are lucky, you get a reply within 2-3 weeks. I have a number of issues with them. Some haven’t been solved since November 2020. Some support tickets were closed by them without further notice or help. One day there were there, next day they were gone…”
– Maurice L.
Lulu has gone downhill
“Lulu used to be an excellent site. Something changed in 2020 and it has a fraction of the publishing features it once offered… Then, there is the not so small matter of customer service. They purely don’t seem to care, even when you have been using them for several decades and have over fifteen books on their site. Wish I could jump ship.”
– Judy J.
“They haven’t been able to deliver my order in a month (!!) and their customer service is doing all they can to postpone/not have to issue a refund. Never ever again.”
I am having a bad experience with customer service service at LULU
“I have had great experience with Lulu in the past, but recently their customer service has all but disappeared. I signed over one of my books to a publishing company, so I no longer have the rights to publish it. I “retired” the book on Lulu, but the book is still being sold at all online outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc). I have a ticket number and have contacted Lulu but I just get a canned email response, saying they are busy. What is going on with the customer service at Lulu? Are they going out of business?”
The quality of the cut is horrible I’m…
“The quality of the cut is horrible I’m so disappointed in the last two books I received they are cut terribly”
– “Published Author”
“I have just published my first book with Lulu and I am very disappointed, there customer service is terrible, in fact it is non existent. They have put my book on Amazon and are not paying me for what they are receiving on book sales. I have asked them for a full report on my sales but am still yet to hear from them. (It has been 6 weeks)”
Read more complaints on TrustPilot.org HERE.
Absolutely the worst customer service ever. I’ve spent in the thousands and can’t get ANY help! Do not shop here. No one will help you!
– Alice R.
Needless to say, we recommend all authors continue to avoid Lulu.
- MORE COMPLAINTS about Lulu.com! WHAT the HECK is going on over there?!
- More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First! By Angela Hoy
- Complaints About Lulu Are Spilling Onto Lulu’s Own Twitter Page
- LULU CONTINUES TO RECEIVE LOTS OF COMPLAINTS
- Has Lulu Gotten Too Big For Its Britches?
- Lulu Responds to Angela’s Article with Marketing Blurbage, Implies False Accusation about “Accuracy”
- UH OH – PART II! What are Employees of CreateSpace and Lulu Saying About Those Companies?
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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