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Chris O'Byrne

You are so right about this, Dana. Many authors are still very nervous about the cost of self publishing until I tell them that they can do it virtually for free. I use Lulu.com, but I'm going to check out Lightning Source.

I'm also going to buy POD for Profit, it sounds like the perfect book to give to the authors I edit for.

Chris O'Byrne

I just read in the description for POD for Profit that Lulu (and several others) use Lightning Source as their printer. Now I'm very interested!


Thanks for your comments Chris. By printing with Lulu you will pay a higher cost per book because they are acting as a middleman for Lightning Source. However, when printing directly with Lightning Source you will have a $100 set up fee and need to purchase your ISBN. For books with very low sales potential, Lulu may be a better deal - authors should compare costs based on expected sales volume.

Kirsten Lesko

Very informative post - thank you! I also look forward to reading the Aiming at Amazon article you referenced.

Elton Kaufmann

...but I beleive Lightning Source will not print a landscape format book!


Interesting point Elton. See this page for a list of all the formats and sizes that can be printed by Lightning Source:


They print paperback, hardcover and full color books.


After reading your articles, looking to start implementing right away. Very useful information!


POD/Short run books is definitely a growth market. I work for a small printing company in the UK, and although we offer printing services alone, we've seen an notable rise in the number of writers looking to take advantage of POD short run books.

Increasingly we are approached by authors, who've used a PDF template (available free from the web) to style and format their book. Depending on the nature of the book and its intended audience this can be enough. However, to echo Dana's point, if you are unfamiliar with preparing work for print, it'll pay dividends to consult a book designer!

Dana Lynn Smith

It's great to hear the perspective of a printer - thanks for your feedback.

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  • The Savvy Book Marketer podcast, guidebooks and training programs are no longer available, but the blog articles will remain online for a while.

    Thank you to everyone who has supported the Savvy Book Marketer website, and I wish you much success with your books! Dana Lynn Smith