My little lulu-experience

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by brummelisa, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. brummelisa

    brummelisa Member

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    Hi,

    I just want to share my beginners-experience with lulu.

    I know that lulu has a forum, but I just want to share this information in case anyone of you is designing a photo-book right now.

    Since I only will use B&W photo I went for the non-color-version on lulu (and paperback sine I just wanted to try them without having to pay too much).

    The book is on 140 pages and it only cost $7 and another $10 for the shipping. Pretty cheap, so the price is ok.

    When I received the book (it took one week to create it and one to ship it (but I ordered it during the holidays so that might have increased the time) it was not a nice experience.

    The cover was way too dark (the image on the cover is used in the book and there it's ok).

    But using B&W images without creating a color-book was not a good idea. I haven't yet created a black-and-white book using color, but the paper in my book is not nice at all. The images shine through and the paper is very matte (sp?). I knew that the paper shouldn't be glossy, but I didn't knew how bad quality the paper was.

    I know that I can talk to lulu about the cover, but this was only trial for me. I will try the color-book to see if the glossy paper is a bit better.

    Anyway, this was just FYI in case you are designing a book at lulu and wondered how the non-colored paper is.
    Don't use it for photo.

    / Marcus
     
  2. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  3. brummelisa

    brummelisa Member

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    Susanne, I will.

    I have read other lulu-threads at largeformatphotography.info saying that it's easy to get an unwanted color-cast at lulu.

    Right now I'm more interesting in how the paper feels. I understand that I get what I pay for, but I never thought I could get as bad as I just got.

    The binding is great, but the paper has lower quality than my normal printer-paper's got.

    / Marcus
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There was a very good article in the BJP in the spring which I kept, the writer had produced a number of books and gave a lot of useful information. Comments elsewhere were that the paper quality was better from Blurb.

    I'll try and find it, I tore the relevant pages out.

    Ian
     
  5. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I wouldn't recommend their calenders by any means. Very poor print quality. I did two separate runs and each looked like they were printed through a berlap bag. I don't know how else to describe it. And forget their customer service.
     
  6. dmr

    dmr Member

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    There's quite a thread over at RFF on the quality (or lack of same, specifically a magenta cast) in the B&W printing from Lulu. Specifically mentioned was their facility in Spain. Their service people were apparently clueless as to what could be done about it.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sam portera made his book through lulu. it looks beautiful!
     
  8. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    My book was made through and still available at lulu.

    My experience was much the same as yours. The first several books I bought were dark and had a green cast. I discovered that lulu made no attempts to make available profiles for their printers.

    So I whittled my book down to fewer pages and ordered one copy, then ajusted my monitor's curves to match. Then ordered another and ajusted again, finally when I was close I ordered a large batch.

    The first batch was great, I was very pleased. The next batch ordered several months later had a majenta cast but was still acceptable.

    I have not ordered in a while so I can't speak to the quality.

    In self publishing my experience is that you get what you pay for. Lulu provides a low cost alternative to publish.

    Overall I was happy with my experience, you just have to do the leg work yourself
     
  9. mark

    mark Member

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    What other self publishing companies are out there, that are reasonable. I have a little book I want to do for the family and quality is important to me.

    Sorry to go off topic

    I am actually amazed, Sam, that you had to self publish your images. Compared to all the other published images from that area and that time, yours truly stand out as much more than documentation. had you approached a publisher about it?
     
  10. brummelisa

    brummelisa Member

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    I have made a couple of more books now and this is my result:

    I made a book containgin two black and white photos. In the book I tweaked the photos with different contrast and added different kind of color-casts.
    I wrote on the images what type of manipulation I did.

    When I got the book I noticed that I had to add a contrat of 10% in photoshop unless I wanted really dark images. I also found out what type of color-cast I should use to get a decent image.

    So, I changed all my images to this setting and ordered a new book.

    But when I received this book and compare the images to the first one, the latter one is not even the same.
    The images are way too dark and has a too brown color-cast.

    So, my conclusion is that maybe I just got a bad one, but I don't want to order a book or have customer order a book and not knowing in advance how it will look like.

    My book is printed in Spain and I don't like that either. I mean I don't have anything against Spain, but my American buyer will probably get their books printed in the states and I can never get that book to Sweden so I won't know how the American printers do their job.

    I will not use Lulu anymore.

    My experince with Blurb is that the book is a bit too small and I really don't like that they seem to scale the images I add to the book. This made the text I wrote on the cover-page look dreadful.

    Has anyone else tested any other Print-On-Demand company?

    / Marcus