Let's add to your knowledge base about print on demand publishing via Lulu.
So far, you've learned that if you go with one of the standard copyright licenses, and you do not feel the need to register that copyright with the United States Copyright office, that your expenses, not including your time, are still zero dollars. Nada. Zip.
Today's decisions involve other aspects that may or may not cost you money depending on what you feel you need.
ISBN means International Standard Book Number. At the ISBN site, you'll find information relating to this number that is used by the book industry as well as learn how to get one if you want to do so independently of Lulu.
First, read the Distribution FAQ on Lulu to make sure you understand all the options.
If you want to have your work distributed, meaning sold, outside of Lulu, then you must have an ISBN. This enables your work to be listed on Amazon, B&N, and in other book stores. Each book and each version of a book has an individual ISBN.
If you only plan to sell your work through Lulu, which my mom intends to do with her memoir that I'm producing, then you don't need an ISBN. This means that the ultimate means of distribution, making your work available to the public, determines whether you want to cough up some significant bucks to obtain an ISBN.
Next decision involves Distribution Services meaning who will be the publisher of record for your book. On Lulu, there are three choices: Free, meaning you won't have an ISBN or any distribution services other than Lulu itself, Published By Lulu and Published By You. The two options are mutually exclusive and cannot be changed once purchased.
Once you have your final manuscript uploaded, reviewed, and ready to go, if you want the potential of wide distribution, you click the PUBLISH tab and then click the link for Distribution Options next to your title.
Published by Lulu costs $99.95. With this service, you grant publishing rights to Lulu and you receive a Lulu-owned ISBN assigned to your work. This does not affect your rights as the owner of the content just as publishing a book with Bantam, for example, they assign a Bantam-owned ISBN and are listed as the publisher but you still own the copyright.
Published By Lulu gives your book a slot in the global marketplace and will allow it to be sold on Amazon and other book retail outlets. If you think you have an undiscovered masterpiece that will attract a wide audience, then it would benefit you to pay the ninety-nine bucks and change to have it available worldwide.
To purchase this service, you'll click Purchase a Distribution Package link to the right of your project in your Projects List. Your ISBN will be assigned immediately and you will be expected to update your file with the ISBN and/or barcode in the appropriate places. Then you'll have to purchase a Proof Copy to make sure it displays properly and approve it.
Registration via Published By Lulu includes:
1. Pub rights to Lulu
2. an ISBN
3. a scannable Bookland-EAN bar code to be placed on back cover
your bibliographic data will be entered by Lulu in major international bibliographic databases and will be available to booksellers. Booksellers have the right to make your book available for sale online or in "real" bookstores. Or not.
4. Retail price will be converted into US$, British pounds, Australian$, Euros, Canadian$ by Lulu to facilitate global marketing
5. your book will be listed in a wholesaler's catalog which gives you access to online retailers
Published By You Distribution Service costs $149.95. Choosing this option allows you to be the publisher of record. I suppose if you wanted for whatever reason to be a publisher then this would be for you. The only reason I can think this would appeal to someone is if they registered a business name i.e. Starving Authors Publishing and then wanted to use Lulu for all the technical aspects of producing a finished book.
This option is offered only in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico. This is more complicated, more expensive, and requires more knowledge in order to make decisions.
Registration via Published By You includes:
1. you are the registered publisher.
2. you recieve the ISBN
3. you receive the Bookland-EAN bar code to place on the back cover.
4. bibliographic data is still dispersed by Lulu, same as the other option
5. Lulu still responsible for converting your retail price, same as other option
6. Lulu gets the listing in the wholesaler's catalog, same as other option
Study this and make the decision necessary. I imagine Mom will go the FREE route since she's not expecting to hit the NYT list with her memoir. After all, free is good.