But what if you've been working on a pet project for a very long time, such as quirky little novel? Let's say you've sent it out to every single known publisher that would possibly be interested, and none of them have taken it. What can you do? Lulu and similar print on demand self-publishing options can provide you with the opportunity to at least make your book available. I have used this service myself, and I've also ordered books from the Lulu website. But I don't think any of those books was ever a novel. Why is that? Because just by reading the author's descriptions on Lulu, you can tell that the far majority of these books were unable to find publishers for the simple reason that they are not good books. You would have to look long and hard through the Lulu catalog to find any undiscovered masterpieces.
If you are the author of such a masterpiece, Lulu is an option of last resort. At least it makes it easy for you to have copies made so you can send them to your friends and relatives. But you won't sell any books. If you're the author of a nonfiction book in a niche market, and you have some idea of how to market to that niche, Lulu is an excellent option. You set the book price yourself, so you'll be making an actual profit on every book- not just royalties. If you've written that kind of book, Lulu can be a better option that a traditional publisher.