I've been using Lulu for the last few years, and never considered this an issue until I started preparing to publish my current book. I found my royalties/revenues for each copy of this book sold through Lulu would be more than $5., BUT the same copy if sold through Amazon would bring me only 38 cents! I honestly don't know what to do about this- while it's not very professional, and reaches fewer people, to sell only through Lulu, I can't see letting a book I put two years into writing going for only 38 cents profit. I know Amazon and other retailers need to make a profit, but I think this is outrageous.
Not knowing the details (such as the book's list price, page count, or dimensions), I can say only that the royalty of 38 cents/book gives the impression that Lulu prefers not to handle wholesale sales and has set its author payout accordingly.
I also dislike independent booksellers hiking up the price of my books so they stand to make a huge profit. While the discrepancies between their profits and mine are bad enough, I don't like the fact that potential buyers are expected to pay so much. My approach has always been to make the selling price as low as reasonably possible so the books are accessible to more people.
Have you seen independents doing this? I ask because for them to hike up the price would generally be counterproductive, unless the discount they received from Lulu provided them insufficient margin.
My current book is the main issue, though-- do you think I should only sell it through the publisher? I can't see making only 38 cents a copy!
I think it depends on the probability that a potential buyer would purchase the book from Lulu if it weren't available through his or her favorite retailer. It is possible to lose enough 38-cent royalties to more than offset one 5-dollar royalty.
Hope that helps,