Amazon KDP Versus Lulu

Thing is, once I’m done laying out the magazine, the time comes to order proof and contributor copies. This time out, I’m packing at home and then mail all the issues because several times, Amazon has marked certain items “undeliverable” and then refunded me the money. This necessitated going through the ordering process again. I suspect that some drivers get sick along the way, so whatever’s in the truck goes back to the facility. What’s more, the USPS is under new management, which means streamlining costs and eliminating overtime, causing the delay in shipping. I think I really needed that balloon!

I needed a Mylar balloon, at least in principle. I just ordered a print run for Night to Dawn 38, not from Lulu like I’ve done since 2008, but from Amazon KDP. Lulu reports longer shipping times, and I expect some of this with KDP because many postal workers have gotten sick; ergo, fewer people are available to do the job. What’s more, certain countries put a ban on international shipping. In theory, COVID shouldn’t affect NTD’s process unless I get sick. Thankfully, with practical coaching from my Mylar balloons, I’m staying healthy.

I was pleased with the proof, but that’s not the only reason I went with KDP. Lulu has changed its website. The first proof looked good, but after I made some minor changes, an issue came up with the print extending full bleed to the edges of the page. Several tries and swear words later, I found Lulu’s new templates and margin requirements. This will necessitate redoing the layout. I have in mind to rework the file after I mailed all the contributors their issues.

The KDP proof looks good. I don’t have double columns like I did with Lulu, and the cover looks different. When I went through my changes with KDP initially, they wanted an author name on the cover, so I tucked in “Presented by Barbara Custer” in small letters. Copies for the print run will cost a little over $2.00 each—not bad. The reduced price per issue will make up for the increased cost in postage. If things go smoothly with shipping, I will start sending issues through the distributor again.

I never thought I’d see the day I’d choose KDP over Lulu for the Night to Dawn 38. But Night to Dawn 38 is now available through Amazon. So today, I went out and got the Mylar balloon posted below.

featuring Barbara Custer's Night to Dawn 38
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