[Updated 7th May 2009]
I use both.
Createspace to get books quickly onto amazon.com and to be able to offer discounts and to order cheap copies for me and for many-page books that simply aren’t economic on Lulu.
Lulu for customers to order direct from my Lulu store, and to get books – sometimes when it works – onto amazon.co.uk and amazon.de and barnes&noble and Ingram.
It’s a pain maintaining copies in both places – the ISBN issues make my head spin – but both publishers have their pros and cons
CreateSpace wins on margins but Lulu has much better distribution. Lulu has quality issues and more expensive (?) shipping. Support for both of them sucks.Createspace whips Lulu for writer's share on a basic black-and-white paperback book.
Look at this:
170 page Trade black and white perfect-bound (glued) paperback
At $18.99 retail...
using CreateSpace Pro Plan ($39 to join)...
At cost books for me:
On Amazon my cut is:
Lulu $4.41 !!!!!
On web store my cut is:
But in the broader picture it is a tough call:
Advantages of CreateSpace:
Fast onto Amazon.com
Better cost margins
Even better cost margins as the number of pages increase
Equal or better quality books, especially compared to Lulu's Australian and Spanish printers
Choice of white or cream paper. Lulu fixes the colour by page size. The cream colour on Lulu's Melbourne-printed books is a horrible yellow
Advantages of Lulu:
Reaches Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de etc as well as Amazon.com (CreateSpace are a wholly owned subsidiary of AMazon and they cannot get you onto any Amazon but the US one - it sucks BIG TIME)
Reaches Barnes and Noble etc
More choices including hard-cover
Ship locally from Australia and Spain and UK - faster delivery but the forums are abuzz with complaints about quality and shipping cost of overseas printing
The under-dog: not part of the Amazon mega-corp
Reportedly good photo-quality books??
Support from both CreateSpace and Lulu sucks equally.
Maybe you take the lower margins and slightly lower quality of Lulu for the other advantages. Or maybe all your readers are Yanks - go for CreateSpace margins.
or if you are advanced you'll look at Lightning Source