Looking for a self publishing service provider who support storefront branding
August 20, 2008 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Is there a self publishing service kind of like lulu.com but which lets you "brand" the storefront with your own stylesheet and logo? One that lets customer buy electronic copies as well as printed versions? One that you've had good experiences with?

The company I work for sells a highly technical manual with a fairly limited audience. I doubt that it's as much of a profit source as it is a service to our customers who need the documentation for reference. So it's important for goodwill which helps build brand recognition.

Until now, I think they've just had a printer create a limited run of the books and then sold these to clients who call in. It occurs to me that it would be cheaper for us and probably easier for the clients if we could do this through a service. I'm aware of lulu.com and it seems like they'd be a good choice, but it does not look like they support branding (important for brand recognition). Hopefully the hivemind can tell me who might.
posted by tomwheeler to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
theres this
posted by Gregamell at 6:07 PM on August 20, 2008

i wish i actually had some experience at this so i could actually answer your question, but google has a lot of ideas. havent tried any of them though.

Here s a nice article about what to watch out for when doing self-publishing from The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. btw did anyone check out their convention?
posted by Gregamell at 6:19 PM on August 20, 2008

Why not put a book page on you own site, put your book in BookSurge, and then become a member of Amazon's Associates program. Link the buy button on your page to Amazon and make money on both the book and the referral. Amazon owns BookSurge. Using their self-publishing services will get you a page on Amazon's site. Using the Associates program will allow your link to put the book right into the user's Amazon cart. If your user uses use one-click, the book will simply ship to them.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:40 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oops, I meant Amazon 1 Click.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:43 PM on August 20, 2008

Best answer: Lulu does allow some limited branding and customization on their storefront pages, and they do offer electronic .pdf downloads as well as print copies. I don't think you get full access to the stylesheet, but there's a basic WYSIWYG interface that lets you add a logo, determine column layout, choose colors, add images, etc.

We did a little project with them over the summer (logo-branded storefront page here) and were generally happy with the service.
posted by picopebbles at 8:12 AM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: I was not familiar with booksurge.com and while it was interesting to learn about them, they seem to want more of a relationship and much more of a cut than would be called for in our case. Since we write, publish and promote (to the extent we care to) the material, we just need a service provider.

Limited though lulu.com's branding support may be, it's closest to what we're after so I am marking picopebbles as the best answer. Thanks everyone.
posted by tomwheeler at 7:44 PM on August 21, 2008

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