Monday, November 5, 2012

Lulu is now smart enough to provide toilet paper

What do these books have in common?

They all came up in a search on for the very specific title of my Telecom Reference eBook. I uploaded it a while ago as a test, and with the pathetic hope of selling a few copies.

The wacky search suggestions included:

  • Professional Helicopter Pilot Studies
  • Gay Girls in Dresses
  • How to Study and Interpret the Holy Bible
  • Sacred Geometry Design Sourcebook 
  • Epic Role Playing Game Manual
  • Dragon's Den
  • Resurrection of the Hellcat
  • Thinking Skinny Ebook
  • Passion X:
  • Film Dollies, Cranes, & Camera Stands
  • Disciplinary Dialogues
  • ...and more irrelevant crap.

I previously posted that if Miss Lulu thought these books are the right books, I would not trust her to bring me a roll of toilet paper when I am in need.

Lulu's search technology was pathetic. A search for my exact title brought up 5,685 results -- of which only one was the right one.

A search for my exact name brought up 8,246 results -- of which only one was the right one.

One time, the right one was buried so far down that I never found it.

The next day, it was the very first one.

The second time I searched on that day, there were 5,256 results (nearly 3,000 names disappeared from Lulu in less than a minute!), and my name was once again buried deeply among some absolutely absurd search results.

Since my name was not displayed on the first screen, I clicked to see the second screen and got this cheerful message: "Sorry, your search did not match any of the interesting content on Lulu. Suggestion: Make sure all words are spelled correctly, also try different or more general keywords."

The most interesting content on Lulu might be a book that no one can find.

Authors' names that came up in a search for "Michael N. Marcus" include "Michael Winkler," "Sebastian Michael," "Raymond McMahon," "David Nutter," "B├ętina Daquin," and "Mary-Barbara Doloris" -- BUT NOT MY NAME!

I then tried to make the search even more specific than by using my exact title or exact author's name. I put the search term within quotation marks -- the normal way to enhance searching. I got ZERO results. The brain-dead search system thought that the quote marks were part of the search terms.

I am not making this up. No one could make this up.

Lulu boss Bob Young said, “We publish a huge number of really bad books” and “We’re not trying to get books to a mass market." 


Lulu's search system now works just fine -- at least for my own book titles and name. Lulu's printing prices, however, are still so high that it would be tough to make a profit on books Lulu prints. CreateSpace or Lightning Source are better choices.

1 comment:

  1. I'm waiting for Lulu and Outskirts to merge and go out of business together.