Our First Reddit AMA

All right, Reddit, we admit it, we have been lurking you longer than we should have.

First you wooed us with memes, viral videos and funny pictures of cats. Then we realized that Reddit has real depth and grit. The front page of the internet has every relevant news article, opinion paper and helpful how-to for whatever your passion is. And you know what? That’s something we can get behind.

Since /r/books became one of the default subreddits you are set up with during account creation, we like to think there’s been a resurgence of interest in what we do best: the printed word. Over three million people subscribe to talk about books they have read, ones they want to read and to exchange ideas on what it really means to be a writer. However, just because /r/books is popular doesn’t mean that’s where our authors go for inspiration.

That’s why we’ve decided to land on /r/selfpublish for Lulu.com’s first-ever AMA. We want to reach out to authors who are doing it on their own, because we know the process is insane and exhausting, but ultimately fulfilling. On December 9, we will be answering your questions about the self-publishing process, how books are made, what “print on demand” really means and so much more.

Hosted by Lulu.com’s global fulfillment team, we will have the entire company at our disposal to get at the nitty gritty details of your roadblocks, the tools you’re missing and the areas where you may need clarification to feel confident in publishing your work.

As a special treat, we will have a coupon code for anyone who comes to participate or even just observe and follow the Q&A session.

At Lulu.com, we believe in authors creating what they love. Let us help you along the way to success as a self-published author. We look forward to your questions!

Email Marketing 101: Making the Most of Seasonal Sales

Let’s try out a few seasonal metaphors for your email marketing efforts…

Stuff your readers’ stockings with email! Deck the halls with deals on eBooks! Pass the turkey and mashed potatoes… and… strategically develop an email marketing plan that takes advantage of Lulu.com’s sales and special offers…

Okay, so that last one doesn’t really flow. But – it’s good advice all the same. Email marketing that coincides with Lulu’s impressive special offers is the next best thing to having your books carried right down your readers’ chimneys.

What’s so great about it? For starters, email marketing works. Social media may seem the savvier approach, but email is roughly six times more effective at bringing in new buyers than Facebook and Twitter. Email gives you a great platform for sharing special offers and introducing new books, without your carefully crafted content getting lost in the endless scroll of tweets and status updates.

And it’s simple. We were recently inspired to share a template with you based on an email from one of our authors to his reader base. So, you can take what’s below based on an offer we currently have running – and be sure to get the email out soon.

 

Email Subject Line: Get <Book Title> for 35% Off

Email Body:

Have you ordered a printed copy of <book title> yet? <Placeholder for one line description of title> If you haven’t placed your order already, then today is the day to do it.

Until December 3, you can save 35% by checking out with code WQT32 on Lulu.com. Simply visit the link: <Placeholder for link to book>, add it to your cart and apply the code at checkout to have your discount applied.

Plus, you can grab copies at a great deal to share with friends and family.

Grab a copy today! <Link to book>

<Author name>

 

See? Simple. You can highlight the current savings, briefly describe the book, and gives easy instructions. It’s low-pressure, good-natured, informative and brief. You can even provide a link right to your Author Spotlight and save your readers from searching.

And, though we are currently entering the season of sharing and shopping, this strategy works year-round. At Lulu.com, we’re always looking for ways to promote you and sell your books. Whenever we have a sale — seasonal or otherwise — send out an email blast letting everyone know. After all, ‘tis always the season for reading!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is almost here and it’s time for us all to reflect on what we’re grateful for in our lives. Yes, we all appreciate the turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and more, and we all enjoy taking the day to feast surrounded by the ones we love the most. But Thanksgiving is a special day because it prompts us to slow down and take the time to think and be grateful for what touches our hearts the most. At Lulu.com, we’re thankful for many things, but mostly we’re thankful for you, our authors with your creativity and desire to share good stories with the world. We have an amazing team here at Lulu.com, and we’re also thankful for each and every one of them. Below are a few of the things the Lulu.com team is thankful for:

  • “I am grateful for every day that allows me to explore the beauty of this world, enjoy good company, relish great entertainments, embrace the people I love, taste the deliciousness of food and drink, and fall asleep contentedly anticipating tomorrow.” – Glenn H., Sr. Technical Writer
  • “I’m thankful to have escaped the freezing Illinois winters after having relocated with my family to North Carolina. I’m also grateful to work with a team of great people that make it fun.” – Erika M., Graphic Designer
  • “I’m thankful for a few days of cooking, eating, eating some more, and spending time with my family.” – Caitlin M., Strategic Business Analyst

What are you thankful for? We want to hear from you! Share what means the most to you in the comments section below. Also, be sure to stock up on extra copies of your book to share with family and friends for the holiday, while we have our Thanksgiving sale happening. Until November 27, you can save 15% on all print books with code GIVETHANKS.

We’re wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends

Authors: Make your voice heard!

Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest are doing their third annual Author Survey. The results of the survey help guide the direction of the industry and the survey takes 15 minutes or less to complete. Be sure to make your voice heard and complete the survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6XM6N7D.

“Participants in the survey will get a sneak preview of results. The full results will be presented at the Digital Book World Conference and Expo in January 2015 and published as a series of blog posts on the Digital Book World website, offering free analysis and commentary on a range of subjects captured by the data. In-depth analysis will also be available for purchase both in a comprehensive technical report as well as in a series of shorter briefs designed for authors and their partners.”

Read more about the survey here: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/digital-book-world-seeks-input-from-authors-on-publishing-experiences/.

You Find It, We Make It Better

We love when we get feedback from our customers on how to make their experience with Lulu.com even more awesome!

Today we made two important new changes: we’ve made it easier for potential readers to find your book in our bookstore and we have made it easier for you to contact customer support to get answers to your questions. The navigational links in the top right have been improved across the site to make it even easier to find the answers you need. Help is now called Support, and lives at a new URL: www.lulu.com/support. Additionally, your customers will now find your book faster if it begins or contains an article like “a,” “an” or “the.”

Have an idea you’d like to share on how Lulu.com can be even better? Share a comment and let us know!

To read more about the changes we’ve been working hard on to make you love Lulu.com more than you do today, you can visit: http://connect.lulu.com/t5/Lulu-Announcements/Release-Notes-2014-47/td-p/322010.

Self-Publishing Book Expo Recap

This past weekend, Lulu.com was proud to once again be a sponsor of the Self-Publishing Book Expo (SPBE), which is now in its sixth year and was held in New York City. Originally created for authors considering self-publishing as an alternative to traditional publishing, the expo has expanded and now features lectures, panels and workshops targeting both novice and experienced independent authors.

This year, two members of our team and a Lulu.com author participated in panel discussions throughout the day. Dan Dillon (Product Marketing) led discussions on Team Building, Advanced Marketing and participated in the Ask an Expert panel. While Dan was sharing his expertise, I manned the exhibition booth and moderated the Formatting panel discussion. Even more exciting, Lulu.com author Pascale Kavanagh, author of Fish Tails & Lady Legs, was a featured speaker in the Romance Authors’ workshop.

World Diabetes Day

Did you know that roughly 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes? It is the seventh leading cause of death in the country, with the total number of deaths from diabetes projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. Needless to say it is an epidemic that effects more people on a daily basis than we realize. In fact, the medical community projects that by the year 2050, one in three Americans will have some form of diabetes.

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes poses. For some people the disease is unavoidable, while others can take strategic steps, like controlling diet and exercise, to prevent the disease. Yes, the statistics are scary. But the good news is that there are many foundations, blogs, and, of course, books out there dedicated to keeping people informed and to providing support for those who suffer directly from the disease.

At Lulu.com, we are lucky enough to have some great titles right at our fingertips. Whether you have been personally touched by diabetes or if you are just looking for a way to learn more, here are a few books that may be just what you’re looking for.

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Diabetic Recipes
by Mark Duffy

Millions of people have diabetes and have to maintain a special diet. But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the things you like, you just have to make them a little differently.

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The Truth about Type 1 Diabetes: The Myths Exposed
by Caitlynn Oberhausen

Children with type 1 diabetes, T1DM, live with a widely misunderstood, chronic disease. The daily management regimens and psychosocial aspect of TIDM bring attention to the child with diabetes. Myths and misconceptions of diabetes management abound. The intent of this book is to address these myths and misconceptions as well as provide a basic understanding of what life with T1DM is like.

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“The Bitter Sweet Life”- A teenagers journey with Diabetes by Ruhi Kumar

15 Year old Ruhi has had diabetes since she was nine years old. This book illustrates the challenges and obstacles Type 1 diabetes brings to ones life, and how with motivation, dedication and proper treatment, it is in fact possible to lead a completely active and healthy life with diabetes.

For additional titles on Diabetes, check out our bookstore here.