I found the whole process of publishing on Lulu to be fairly painless. The most difficult part, since I was doing my own cover, was dowloading Paint.net and GIMP -- since I needed to be able to creat a 300 dpi JPEG -- and figuring out how to use them. The Lulu cover looks somewhat different, though the theme (understandable if you've read the book -- you have, haven't you?) is the same:
I still don't quite see how POD publishers make money. I suppose a lot of it comes from selling services like help with formatting, cover design, etc. From the actual publishing, I don't know. Lulu takes a couple dollars from each book sold but even if everything's done by computer . . . well, it's hard to see how they make a buck off that.
I spent nothing, not including time. I did it not because I think anyone's going to suddenly start paying $10.47 -- current, discounted, Lulu-only price -- or $14.95 -- regular, to-come price -- when they can download an e-book version for free. I did it so I could have a few real book-form copies of my baby myself. Which makes Lulu the cheapest vanity publisher ever.
Which is not a bad thing.