Originally Posted by dadioflex
EDIT - "Lulu.com, for example, only take 20% of the price of digital media sold on their web site." --- But if they help you with artwork, typesetting or anything else don't they expect to be paid back for that first? I don't really understand the lulu.com business model so you can probably educate me. They always struck me a low rent.
Lulu.com are mostly a POD house, and make most of their money on the print cost of books, since the unit cost they charge is higher than (say) lightning source. On the plus side, there's no up-front costs for simple publication on their site.
As far as I know, Lulu do NOT offer help with artwork, typesetting or anything else. They do offer 'distribution' packages, including ISBNs, but again, they're a little overpriced.
They are good on PDFs - this being the PDF you uploaded (or that their automatic conversion software generated), only taking 20% of the purchase price. Similarly, they only take 20% of the price of other digital files. (& for printed books, as well as the slightly inflated print costs, they also take 20% of the difference between the sales price and the print cost.)
I suspect that, since their software handles such things pretty much automatically, they can make a good profit on just that 20%.
Amazon must be raking it in on ebooks by taking 65% of the retail price. (Although Amazon do sometimes discount the retail price, cutting into their 65% to do so.)