Press Center

Lulu Brings the Power of On-Demand Publishing to Software

Open Source Developers Use Lulu to Sell Software CDs and Books

November 3, 2004 (Raleigh, North Carolina)—On-demand publishing is not just for books anymore. Lulu, the company that gives independent publishers free access to powerful tools for publishing and distributing books, music and other digital content, announced today that it would begin to provide those same tools to independent software developers.

The first five software sets available on Lulu include popular open source projects OpenOffice.org (an alternative to Microsoft Office), Fedora (a version of the Linux operating system), Slash, and Bugzilla. Also available is a preparation program for the Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA) test.

Colin Charles, the author and hacker who published the OpenOffice.org and Fedora sets on Lulu along with manuals he penned, notes that supporters of open source can’t walk into stores and buy the software they want, partly because the code is always changing. “Currently, OpenOffice.org or Fedora Core aren't products,” explains Charles. “You can't walk into a bookstore like Borders or a computer chain and pick a copy up. Offering a boxed set that is manufactured on demand makes life easier.”

At the same time that it broadens the amount of knowledge available to consumers, explains Lulu founder and CEO Bob Young, “Lulu changes the economics of publishing to allow the majority of revenue to go directly into the pockets of creators, whether they sell one book or one million. Lulu's model is to enable artists, authors, musicians—and now software developers—to control their own work.” Young is also known for having co-founded the open source software company Red Hat (RHAT) in 1993.

Lulu lets individuals who have written books publish and sell their content, set their own royalty, and keep control of their copyright. It also allows small publishers to offer an infinite number of titles without the risk of losing money on books that don't become bestsellers.

The Lulu marketplace—which contains nearly 15,000 books, along with thousands of independently published images, songs, and calendars—now offers publishers a form on its site to request custom products including software projects and books sold with CDs.

About Lulu (www.lulu.com): Lulu provides independent publishers with free access to on-demand publishing tools for content, including books, e-books, music, images, calendars and more. Contact: pr at lulu.com