I've been using Lulu for several years now at work, as a production tool as much as a book printer: I upload manuals and coursebooks in Word format (produced from Author-it) and use Lulu to generate the print-ready PDFs of both contents and covers. While my company is moving closer to the holy grail of full on-demand manual publishing, there's still trepidation about whether this is the best option out there. So, while I have to justify Lulu in comparison to local printers, I'll also put out the many on-demand publishers who might offer better value propositions for different situations:
- Trafford Publishing
Several years ago, I got bids and proposals from Trafford Publishing (who have a division dedicated to on-demand technical manuals), but the model and level of automation/virtualization wasn't quite what I was after or could sell to my organization. I hope to find time to visit and review these other players in this exploding field.