Lulu, the self-published digital book store that is now part of Amazon, said Tuesday that it will launch a self-service platform in January for those wanting to start self-Publishing a book.
Amazon acquired Lulu for $500 million in 2013.
Lulu’s self-serve platform, which has more than 500,000 authors signed up, will also include a subscription model.
The platform, currently in beta, allows authors to register with a name, email address, and mailing address and then start signing books on the platform, with Lulu paying authors a monthly fee for each book sold.
Lula, Lulu Vice President of Content and Publishing, said the platform will be similar to Amazon’s existing self-hosted platform for authors, but with an additional layer of security.
“We’re going to build a secure platform that has a layer of control over the books that authors sell,” Lula said.
“This is going to be more like Amazon, where you can only upload and publish books, or like an actual Amazon, that’s the publishing side of things, but that is going live with Lulus.com.”
The Lulu platform will initially offer about 50 titles at a time, but Lula says it will eventually grow to include all kinds of authors.
“That will be a good thing,” Lulu CEO David Stansbury said.
But he acknowledged that the company could have built the platform more quickly had it built it with the right security features.
“If we had put more security on it, we would have done better,” he said.
Lulu, which was founded in 2003, has been accused of plagiarism, for example, of some of its self-styled books.
Its self-posted books are not listed by title, so it’s difficult to find the author or the publisher.
Some authors have said that they never signed an author-published book contract, instead relying on word-of-mouth.
Lulus founder David Stanasbury says the company will continue to focus on the self publishing side.
“I don’t know if we’re going in the wrong direction with it, but I think we need to make sure that it’s a good product, and that it does what we want it to do,” Stansburysaid.
The company’s platform will come with an app that will allow users to manage their book subscriptions.
For those interested in signing up with a specific author, the company said the self service model will also be available to them, with options to purchase a subscription or pay-per-book.
Luls publisher and vice president of business development, Paul Pang, said in a blog post that the Lulu team has had a great time building this platform.
“Over the past six years, we have built a community of readers that have been loyal, loyal readers, and we have made an impact in terms of helping to build and grow Lulu,” Pang wrote.
“So, we’re excited to launch this new product as a way to keep our fans and our subscribers informed of new books coming from the Lululemon brand.”