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The Pulp Faction • View topic - Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Working for yourself or for a publisher, chat about the business side here.

Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby mrdenmac on Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:24 am

Just got the following e-mail from Lulu:

Lulu.com - Domestic Printing Now Available in Australia and New Zealand

Local Printing Now Available in Australia and New Zealand
Receive Your Orders Fast and at a Price You Can Afford

Dear Lulu Creator,

Lulu.com is proud to announce significant improvements for our customers in Australia and
New Zealand, saving you time and money on your next order. By partnering with a local
printer near you, Lulu now offers faster turnarounds on the same great quality services you
trust.

Here are just some of the benefits you can expect on your next order:

Economical shipping - enjoy the lowest shipping rates we've offered to customers in
Australia and New Zealand.

Faster turnaround - once shipped, receive most book orders in as little as 1 to 5 business
days with standard shipping. Learn More (
http://www.lulu.com/en/help/shipping_pa ... AUSFYI_FAQ).

And of course, the same great print quality and service you've come to expect from
Lulu.com!
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby The Wraith on Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:39 pm

That's fantastic news for us that use their great services :D
Frank Dirscherl
Publisher, Trinity Comics


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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby jpaulos on Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:41 pm

Has anybody used this service yet?
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby ChrisWahl on Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:06 pm

That is great news.

Definitely will be taking advantage of it.

Thanks for the heads up, Colin!
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby ChrisWahl on Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:22 pm

Saying that, upon closer investigation there seems to be a lot of problems with the new Australian service (thin, yellowed print stock, little reduction in cost and delivery time etc.)-

http://www.lulu.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=95082

...and a possible alternative

http://www.bookpod.com.au/
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby mrdenmac on Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:03 pm

Hi Chris, do you know what the quotes are like for bbokpod? Are they competative?
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby ChrisWahl on Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:18 pm

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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby ChrisWahl on Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:28 pm

Re Bookpod, I'm not 100% sure but I think they only offer b/w interiors (with the option of colour inserts). So it seems a bit limiting.
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby The Wraith on Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:51 am

Every new service has a few bugs in the system. Don't worry about Lulu, they'll work things out before too long. I'd trust them over any other service, including Bookpod, any day of the week.
Frank Dirscherl
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* Cult of the Damned, the third prose novel in The Wraith series, will be released SOON! *
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby rumpusroomie on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:06 pm

are lulu responding to the issues? where's the trust coming from Frank?

Just wondering since when i was looking at printers, small press was cheaper than lulu so if the quality is also down why?
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby The Wraith on Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:07 am

The trust comes from having worked with them since their beginning and knowing some of the people there. They've had such bugs before and ironed them out, by listening to the public (and even taking onboard some of my own suggestions in the past). The same will happen again, rest assured. They may always be a little pricier than others, but that's always been the case anyway.
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby rumpusroomie on Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:36 pm

I'm sure they're nice people but my expectation is that if they're going to be more expensive they should start with a superior product rather than requiring user feedback. I'm not having a go at them, i'm just wondering what your business model is that would have you use a more expensive printer where there is a greater risk your customers will feel ripped off with flaws
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby Baden on Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:47 am

I know I have a pecuniary interest here but I looked through the Lulu fora discussing their problems with the Australian printer and i found it quite bizarre. The central problem seemed to be poor/cheap paper choice and poor print quality i.e. the black text was either faded or inconsistent or skewed.

The paper problem could be fixed with a phone call from Lulu. They pick up the phone and specify another paper - easy. They have probably locked in a contract with the printer redgarding stocks but in the face of such vocal complaint surely it is in both their interests to renegotiate. Besides, the difference in cost between a standard 80gsm bond and a thinner 70gsm is not much - and any extra cost would be more than accounted for from fewer jamming issues that the thinner stock would encourage (this is only from my experience - not sure if that is also true for Lulu's Aust printer).

The print quality is a different matter. Skewed /poorly aligned pages do happen in digital print and there is not much you can do about them apart from keep an eye out in quality control - it's a natural result of the plastic nature of digital pressses that inaccuracies like these occur. The printer needs to make sure the books are checked before binding. Even then some will slip through and it's no hanging offence - but they still need to take responsibility for it. It is why whenever I do a run i include overs - you call me and tell me 2 books out of 200 are skewed/have a double sheet? No worries - you actually have 210 books in the boxes so feel free to bin those bad ones.

As for the blackness or consistency thereof that is a two pronged issue.

Firstly, Lulu need to make sure the printer is using a press of sufficient quality. Current standard B&W presses rate at 600dpi - this is fine for text (I should note that I would never do a comic on anything less than 2400dpi (although plenty of people do)) but there are plenty of very cheap and nasty machines out there that will give you an acceptable office copy of 10 to 40 sheets but suck on consistency when any kind of longer run is put through. Lulu need to check that the printer is not trying to run long runs on small run presses!

Secondly the printer/Lulu needs to check the servicing/supervision of the machines. I have had times when a mark or faded section has developed in a run and cost me a lot of money in damaged sheets - I have to chuck that money/paper in the bin. But it would cost me a lot more money to try and pass those substandard sheets off to the client. Better monitoring of the print run would help as would a touch of proactive servicing - change the drum when the warning light comes on, not when it stops or call for a service at the first sign of a mark, don't wait until it is a huge black streak across the page!

Anyway my dad always told me never to criticise another printer's work (and i wouldn't have here if the company's name was known) but given the puzzling way this has been allowed to go on by Lulu i thought the background info may be interesting. It is especially puzzling given the high praise for the American printers - there is literally no difference between here and there regarding anything to do with quality of machinery or materials available.

Forgive the preaching!
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby ChrisWahl on Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:18 am

Baden- At the moment on the Aussie printer thread, Lulu seems to have gone quiet in the hope that ignoring the problem will make it go away.

I'd love to see you post what you've said here, over in that thread. Maybe it will get their arses into gear.
Last edited by ChrisWahl on Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Domestic printing for Australia/NZ on Lulu!

Postby Baden on Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:41 pm

Done
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