Posts Tagged 'Lulu'

A look at some new features on Lulu

Last night Lulu released several changes to the site, introducing some interesting new features, enhancements and fixes. Here’s the scope:

Lulu’s Homepage

If you haven’t noticed already, much of Lulu’s homepage and marketplace has undergone quite a facelift.

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Lulu Marketplace, and Featured Content

With more and more unique, extraordinary, interesting, or just plain unusual content being published on Lulu every day, it’s about time a small portion of it gets the recognition it deserves. In the recent changes we’ve made to Lulu, a greater emphasis has been made to highlight and feature a small portion of what we consider as some of best content in Lulu’s marketplace.

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With so much great content out there, choosing the features for our marketplace can be quite challenge. But don’t take my word for it. To view some of this great content yourself, check out Lulu’s Buy page to access the Lulu Marketplace. You never know what you’ll find.

Bringing back an old classic – The Services tab is back on Lulu

We understand that each author has different needs, each facing their own unique set of challenges. Everyone, regardless of their skill level could use some extra help from time to time, and whether it’s just about seeking some professional advice, editing your manuscript, designing an eye-catching cover, or simply getting your book into electronic form, Lulu provides a wide variety of services tailored to suit your needs.

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In addition to the tried and true distribution services we offer such as “Published By Lulu” and “Published By You” which helps get your book into online bookstores, or the free marketing tools that serve a wide variety of the do-it-yourself authors, Lulu offers a wide variety of individual services in pre-publishing, marketing, and distribution. Here are just a few of the new service offerings available on Lulu. Please note that many of these services are only available in the United States.

  • PDF Conversion – Takes the guesswork out of converting your manuscript to digital PDF format for print on demand.

And much, much more

For increased value, Lulu also offers heavily discounted bundled service packages which include a number of individual services starting at just $300.00.

And don’t forget, Lulu still offers a wide variety of high quality publishing services provided by our official Lulu Service providers. For more details please check out of Services page.

 

Distribution – 40% off revision fees for PBY and PBL books

 

Those of you who have a distribution package associated to your book will be happy to know that the cost of revision fees for books in distribution just got cheaper! Revisions to books with Published By You or Published By Lulu distribution are now only $49.95.

 

Lulu Celebrates the The National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival, taking place in Washington, DC is just around the corner. To celebrate this occasion, Lulu has created a new theme for our Lulu Studio™ Photobooks.

 

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Celebrate the occasion by creating and sharing your own Photobook on Lulu.

 

As always, we hope that you like what’s going on at Lulu. Please let us know what you think about these new changes by commenting in Lulu’s Community Forums.

 

Regards,

Adam

 

 

 

 

Giving It Away – How Previews May Help You Sell

I tend to come across a lot of material on the site because of my job.  Sometimes, it’s because I’m looking for something to buy, other times I am checking out whether it’s in violation of our membership agreement, and still others I am looking for content to highlight. Regardless of the reason, I am often surprised by how much of it lacks a preview. According to Chris Anderson, author of the “Long Tail”, on average, 500 copies of a book are sold per year.  For a self-published author, selling 500 copies in a year is considered a huge success, but how do you get 500 people to buy your book when most of them haven’t ever heard of you? The simple answer is to let them read it.

If I have never heard of a writer before, and I’m in a bookstore, three things that make me decide to take a chance on a book. First, does the summary grab me? If a book has a good description and it sounds interesting, I will take a closer look at it. I can’t tell you how many books I come across with descriptions that don’t tell me enough about what it’s about, because it’s a lot. So, that’s step 1, think about your description, and try to tell people what your book (or CD or whatever) is about, and why they should give it a shot. Show it to people you trust to give you constructive criticism, and get their advice. Remember, if you don’t draw people in, they probably won’t take a risk and pay for your book.

The second thing I look for is who is recommending the book to me. If I see an author I recognize (and like) telling me they like the book, then I am more likely to pick it up. Since self-published authors can’t always get someone well known in their genre of choice to recommend their book, it helps to have people who are willing to give thoughtful and honest reviews of your work regardless. If it looks like your mom is the only person who reviewed it and loved it, I hate to say it, but I’m probably not going to buy it (unless your mother is Haven Kimmel or another woman whose writing I enjoy).

The final thing that will convince me to purchase a copy of a book I’ve never heard of before is being able to read the book, or at least part of it. I cannot stress how important this is. Barnes & Noble will let me sit in their cafe, read a book while drinking some Starbucks and never blink. They do this because they know that A) I will buy their overpriced snacks (and I will), and B) because they know I am more likely to buy something if I can read some of it first. They also know, I am unlikely to read an entire book in the store and then put it back on the shelf. So, they let me sit down, get comfortable and read, hoping I will like what it and buy it. The same thing applies to selling books, cds, and anything else online. People are unlikely to read an entire book online, and even if they do, if they like the book, they are probably willing to pay $15 to own a copy. On the other hand, if you don’t have a preview, no one knows how good your book is, and they aren’t as likely to give it a try.

This is why we advocate offering a preview. You don’t have to put the whole book or album up for people to read/listen to, just put up what you are comfortable with, and you think will help convince strangers and loved ones that they want to read, and/or listen to the whole thing. I can’t guarantee that you’ll sell 500 copies, but I can guarantee you’re more likely to sell copies if you let people try it first.

Nick Popio

Meet the Lulu Mini-Storefront Widgets

Ever wanted to put your Lulu storefront on your own website? Well, the community development team here at Lulu has been hard at work on some tools that let you do just that. We’re calling them the Lulu Mini-Storefronts and we’ve got three great options to choose from:

Javascript/HTML

Pros: Easy to add to your site, very customizable
Cons: Helps if you know CSS and HTML

Best For: Personal websites, personal weblogs, sidebars

  1. Go to the Lulu Mini-Storefront Wizard
  2. Click on HTML/Javascript Widget
  3. Copy and paste the widget code on your site
  4. Use CSS to style the widget any way you want

Flash

Pros: Easy to add to your site, works well on profiles pages
Cons: A little too big for a blog sidebar

Best For: MySpace, other profile pages

  1. Go to the Lulu Mini-Storefront Wizard
  2. Click on Flash Widget or MySpace Widget
  3. Customize your widget
  4. Copy and paste the widget code on your site

Facebook

Pros: It works on Facebook!
Cons: It only works on Facebook!

Best For: Facebook!

  1. Go to the Lulu Mini-Storefront application on Facebook
  2. Click on Add Application

Jackson Fox, Community UX Engineer

Welcome To “Adventures in Self-Publishing”

Hi, I’m Nick Popio. A long time Lulu, I have previously been involved in such community-related activities as the Lulu forums, the Lulu newsletter and Lulu’s previous blog, “Adventures In On Demand Publishing.” I’m really excited to be introducing you to our sparkling new blog “Adventures In Self-Publishing”. Aside from a new (though admittedly similar) name, we’re livening things up – covering not only Lulu but self-publishing in general.

Some of the thrilling new topics we will be covering:  how to market your work, advice from successful community members, the self-publishing industry, and an inside look into Lulu’s development process. We’ll also ask you for your feedback, so we can make this blog and the Lulu site in general as useful to you as possible. We’re excited about our new “Adventure in Self-Publishing” and hope you’ll stay tuned for some exciting new posts such as Public Relations: How and Why Should I Relate to the Public to Sell my Book?” in the coming days.