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Friday, March 23, 2012

Lulu's big ego just got bigger

The Lulu search robot thinks I wrote a book about Jesus.
The robot is wrong. Unlike Google, Lulu doesn't understand quote marks.

Lulu.com charges more for its products and services than other pay-to-publish companies, and publishes a huge number of books -- and still manages to lose money. Two years ago it cancelled a planned IPO.

Apparently Lulu is trying to get better and sent out the following press release a few days ago. Naturally, I had to add a few snarkisms.

RALEIGH, N.C., Mar 20, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Lulu.com, the leader [says who?] in self-publishing, launched a new ecommerce platform today along with major site upgrades [The new site looks like the old site.] that will give authors and readers the absolute best [says who?] self-publishing experience for buying and selling books in any format across the globe.

Powered by leading ecommerce platform provider Elastic Path, the upgrades are designed to maximize author agility [What the hell does that mean?] in a rapidly changing publishing industry and ensure that readers can easily find remarkable works anywhere in the world including the places they already shop like Amazon.com, the iBookstore(SM), and Barnes and Noble's NOOK(R) Bookstore. [ (1) I can't imagine why anyone would use Lulu to buy books sold by Amazon or B&N. (2) Lulu's search robot still shows many stupid results. (3) In a quick test, Lulu did not offer Tolkein's The Hobbit or Hemingway's The Sun Alo Rises -- which are available at Amazon and B&N.]

Customers can expect an even easier to use Lulu.com with new capabilities such as registration-less checkout, faster browsing times, enhanced international language and currency support, improved address validation, and customizable marketing tools for authors -- adding to Lulu.com's already free publishing services. [NOT free if you want any actual books to be sold]

"Lulu and Elastic Path have made publishing and buying quick and easy," says Matt Dion, Vice President of Marketing for Elastic Path. "Lulu is a great example [Bullshit] of an innovative company providing their customers with a compelling value proposition,[Bullshit] cementing Lulu's leadership position in the publishing technology arena for years to come." [Bullshit]

The new platform creates an entirely new infrastructure for Lulu.com to build upon, which greatly increases the speed at which the company can release new features and updates in the future to better equip customers with the tools they need, when they need them. One example being Lulu.com's soon to be available ecommerce APIs (Application Programmer Interfaces), which enable businesses and publishers to build Lulu.com and Elastic Path's ecommerce tools into their own branded websites -- absolutely free. [Why would a publisher want to?]

With just a few clicks of a button, anyone can upload content to Lulu once, and sell it through a global network of premier retail channels as a print book or eBook -- all for free. [Bullshit.] Creators set their own price for their titles and keep up to 90 percent of the profit whenever their works sell. Learn more about self-publishing and the new and improved Lulu.com by visiting, http://www.lulu.com/ .


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