Not to be confused with lala.com (June 10th post), lulu.com is fighting the good fight in the war on big business publishers. Founder Bob Young knows from personal experience that the book-publishing industry can be unfriendly for new, independent authors. Young found that most publishing companies make their money by capitalizing on economies of scale and only printing books that will sell tens of thousands of copies. His answer to this was to create a print-on-demand system that produces a hard copy of any given publication only when a customer purchases it. Demand comes before supply.
Finally I can publish my work of art "How To Break Your Leg And Ruin The Summer Of 2006". I don’t want to spoil the ending but I can tell you that my piece is an auto-biographical account of the events of April 29th, 2006. While some people think that flag football is merely a means to stay in shape and have a little fun, I on the other hand see it as a great opportunity to shatter my tibia, thus requiring surgery and several months on crutches.
I digress. Lulu.com is doing very well, currently it is receiving more than 75,000 people per month and book sales are quickly approaching 100,000 in that same timeframe! While Young did not invent this economic model, whereby demand precedes supply, he is doing a bang up job of executing it and proving that big business does not always have to win.