Get 90 Days Free Access to the Author Learning Center

Author Learning CenterThe Author Learning Center (ALC) is a one-of-kind online author education community designed to help educate, motivate, and support you as you work to become a published author. The center offers educational information about writing, publishing, and marketing from a variety of industry experts, agents, best-selling authors, publicists, and editors.

 

How can the ALC help you?

By combining industry-leading education, exclusive tools, and a supportive community, the ALC provides a one-of-a-kind resource to help you get to your goal of becoming a published author.

By taking advantage of all the ALC has to offer, you can become:

  • better educated on the publishing industry,
  • more equipped to finish your manuscript, and
  • empowered to makes smart choices for your book marketing.

 

90 Days Free

Lulu authors get a free 90 day subscription with access to:

  • Ask The Expert Video Interviews
  • Podcasts on writing, publishing and marketing
  • Live online webinars with industry experts
  • Articles and recorded webinars
  • Exclusive tools to help you get to your goal

ALC Stan Lee

The Author Learning Center also provides a unique set of tools to help you quickly move through your writing and publishing process with confidence:

  • The Book Launch Tool, which helps you identify the tasks you need to complete your book and helps you track your progress
  • The Author Circle, which enables you to invite up to seven people into your private online writers group to provide feedback and encouragement throughout your publishing journey.

Learn from bestselling authors

Among the wide range of interviews on the ALC are a number of best-selling authors share their wisdom and experience. Here are just a few of the names you recogonize.

  • Elmore Leonard, Best-selling writer
  • Victor Villasenor, Best-selling author, Pulitzer winning writer, Rain of Gold
  • Stan Lee, Former head of Marvel Comics
  • Mitch Albom, author, playwright, and screenwriter who has written seven books, including the international best-seller Tuesdays with Morrie, the best-selling memoir of all time
  • Seth Godin, author of 18 international best-sellers, including Tribes: We Need Your to Lead Us

 

90 Day No-Risk Free Trial!

ALC CommunityYou can access the ALC for 90 days for free.  If  after three months you want to continue your subscription, it is only $9.99 a month. You can cancel at any time.

Join now to be a part of the best online author community available and let us help you get to your goal of becoming a published author!

To claim your FREE 90-day trial, go to the Author Learning Center, click the button to claim your 90 Day Free Trial and enter the promo code lue during registration.

* Your credit card number is required to register with the Author Learning Center. It will only be charged if you do not cancel your Author Learning Center account before the free 90-day subscription expires.

Market Your Book: Finding Your Audience

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Build your audience and sell more books with these tips from successful Lulu authors.

In our last article on marketing, we talked about knowing your book’s target audience. Now it’s time to go out and get them. We asked 4000 successful Lulu authors how they found the audience for their book.

Here’s what they said:

Marketing Series 2 Finding Your Audience

Most authors wrote for audiences they either consider themselves to be a part of or groups whose needs and shopping behaviors they have familiarity. This made the process of determining how to reach their audience easier because they had an idea which marketing channels would most effectively grow their reader base.

Is this true for you? For example, if your book is on health and fitness and you have identified your audience as other like-minded fitness enthusiasts, you may already know several websites these enthusiasts regularly visit to learn about fitness and to make purchases.

If you are writing for an audience you do not know that well, you are not alone! Nearly a third of authors conducted online research to discover what made their audience tick and how to find them. They identified pre existing professional networks, organizations and online communities to reach readers who would be interested in their content.

What Should You Do?

Make a list of and, if possible, join professional networks, organizations and large communities to promote your book. Remember, pitch the hook not the book. Start out with your area of expertise, then mention your are an author.

Key Takeaway

Often, bestselling independent authors are a member of the group for which they are writing. If you are not, research ways to discover their interests and reach out by joining and participating in their communities.

Worth the Struggle: Advice for Aspiring Authors

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When I first started writing, I just didn’t understand how a story was supposed to flow. No matter how many times my English teachers told me that a story should be written in such a way, I would just stare at them with a blank expression; it just didn’t make sense. But, when I wrote my first story, Day Runners, I started to understand how it should all work and how a story should be written; it was like the fog had cleared and everything was crystal clear. So, when I started writing my second story, Parallel, the experience was definitely easier.

Parallel

Parallel

While developing the premise was still tricky, as all good premises are, the details, characters, and settings flowed like a river. For once, I understood what my teachers had been telling me; the story should flow at a pace that doesn’t require it to skip details. At the same time, the story shouldn’t be so slow that extra details flood in, and obscure the plot. Day Runners took so long to write because I was trying to find my writing style and my direction. Parallel, on the other hand, was easier because my style and direction were set before I started.

I remember my eighth grade English teacher telling me that once the first book is written, the ones that follow will be a piece of cake. And while I won’t compare writing to cake, I can say that it has become easier knowing that my first book was published and that people actually enjoyed reading it. Like my first book, Parallel has received nothing but praise since it was released. The fact that I knew how the process worked and how writing should be done, helped me to continue writing, and proceed along the road I want to go.

The advice I would give to aspiring writers who are struggling is to fight through that first book; make sure it is done well, not rushed. Rushing only leads to a bad story, and can make the writer feel worse about their ability. The other piece of advice I would give is to continue writing after the first story is done. I’m not saying that having one story finished will magically turn subsequent stories into a cake walk, but it will reduce the difficulty because you understand how and what you want to write, how a good character should be developed, and how to manipulate the story in the direction you want. With each completed book, the process only gets easier.


Tristan Jensen

Tristan Jensen

About the Author

Tristan is an aspiring author who published his first book at the age of 17.  He lives in a small home in Texas with his hounds Peaches, Ian, and Missy and his fat cat, Mater, who enjoys moist food and sleeping on Tristan’s keyboard. He hopes to one day write full time.


Calling All Lulu Authors

Do you have a story to tell about realizing your dream as a writer?
Do you have self-publishing knowledge or expertise to share with other authors?
Want to expand your digital reach?

If so, we are looking for authors like you to share your story with our blog audience. Email your story pitch to PR@lulu.com. Include a brief biography and a link to your published work. We will do the rest.

Guidelines for guest posting.

Market Your Book: Knowing Your Audience

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You wrote and published a book. Congratulations!

Now it’s time to think about the business of marketing and selling it. The most important challenge you face after publication is getting your book in front of people who want to buy it. Where do you start?

We asked 4,000 of our top selling authors to share some of their secrets to success. Over the next few weeks we will share their insights. While you may find some of their answers to be painfully obvious, others may surprise you. The first question asked why author’s why they thought their book had found success.

Lulu-Marketing-Your-Book-eBook28web-final29_pdfThe top 3 answers are all representative of understanding and providing content for a very specific audience. Again and again the words “niche,” “audience,” and “filled a need” came up in answers to this question. As one author said, “Make it your overriding passion to learn as much as you can about your audience and then give them what they crave.”

Take note of two related answers “Only book of its kind” and “Subject matter / topic.” Many authors stress that successful books require a fresh perspective on a popular topic or that they address a subject that’s never been written about. One author said their book was successful because “it fills a niche with no competition for content, quality or clarity of presentation.”

Also, take a second look at the votes for “Author platform.” Later on, we’ll look at the different elements of an author platform, and which parts of the platform our best-selling authors think helped them the most.

What Should You Do?

Define your audience. What are they interested in? Where do they spend time online and in the real world? How do they satisfy their need for content similar to yours – for example, blogs, magazines, social communities, events, or video? What can your book oƒffer this audience that’s not available anywhere else?

Key Takeaway

The most important step in effectively marketing your product – whether it’s a book, a business or a lemonade stand – is understanding your audience. Successful independently published authors credit knowing their audience and filling a niche as their key to success.

Additional Information:

How Authors Can Build Their Marketing Presence Online
Guest Blogging: Building Your Online Reputation

B Corp Update: Sooooooo Close!

best-for-the-world“The B Corp movement is one of the most important of our lifetime, built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just shareholders—it has an equal responsibility to the community and to the planet.”

Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia

At Lulu we actively strive to make a positive impact on society and the environment – one creator, one creation at a time. We provide free tools for authors to tell their stories, children’s book-making kits to encourage creative learning, and tools that transform digital imagery into art. Better yet, we do all of this using print-on-demand technology that reduces waste and preserves our natural resources

It would be easy to simply stop there. We could sit in our comfy offices in Raleigh, NC, pat ourselves on the back, and call it a day. Instead, we decided to prove we were making a difference. This past February, Lulu was accepted as one of four local businesses to participate in North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) B Corp Clinic.

To achieve B Corp certification, businesses must prove they are:

  • Good for Workers
  • Good for the Community
  • Good for the Environment
  • Good for the Long Term
  • Good to the Core (establishing an innovative business model)

To reach certification, Lulu must score at least 80 out of 200 possible points. Our initial score was 37 points. That may not sound very impressive, but that score represented 37 reasons why Lulu is extra awesome.

By April we had increased our B Corp score to 66.5 points, due in large part to a diligent team of MBA students from NCSU and Duke University. In May we submitted our application for review and we are pleased to announce our current score is 79.6 points. Sadly, the B Corp review board does not round up, but we are working to further increase our score to blow through the minimum threshold of 80 points.

Lulu’s current initiatives include:

  • Reviewing vendors to ensure best employment practices.
  • Ensuring print partners use only sustainable FSC certified paper
  • Auditing waste and recycled material
  • Tracking utility usage
  • Developing collaborative work spaces
  • Writing policies for employing interns

We are also pleased to report that Lulu employees are making good use of their corporate volunteer days. Many employees have used their days to support favorite groups and charities. We have also had teams of Lulus work together on larger efforts.

We may be sitting on a C+ score, but you can be assured Lulu will soon be listed on the B Corp honor roll. Stay tuned. For more information on B Corp certification:

http://www.bcorporation.net/
http://www.ncbcorps.org/

Habitat

Habitat for Humanity

 

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Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

 

 

Renata Habitat Restore

Renata from Italian Support at the Habitat ReStore

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Luise from German Support at the Habitat ReStore

 

We Are Orlando: Stories Lost

We are OrlandoLulu was founded in 2002 to provide a better way to publish books. Our goal was to tear down the barriers that prevent people from sharing and benefiting from their stories, experiences and knowledge. Fourteen years later, nearly one million authors from all walks of life and nearly every country on the planet have written and published their stories on Lulu.

It is our belief that we all have common stories of struggle and perseverance, stories of defeat and victory despite the odds, as well as stories of faith, family, and love. When shared, our stories help us see our similarities and understand our differences. They bring us together through a universal desire for a safe home for our families, plentiful food, clean water, loyal friends, and hope for a happier future. Our common stories are the glue bonding us together into a human tribe.

This past weekend, 49 LGBT people were murdered in an Orlando nightclub. 53 others were injured. The lives of the victims’ families and their innumerable friends will be forever changed – as will those of the shooter’s family. How many stories came to an end that night? How much knowledge did we lose? How will our human tribe heal and come back together?

In the wake of these events, Lulu continues to believe that there is a better way. Our collective stories tear down the barriers that separate me from you, us from them, ours from theirs, the familiar from the strange – but only if we are willing to hear and learn from them. By passing along our knowledge and telling our stories we truly come to know each other, appreciate love in all its glorious forms, and cherish the diversity of our human family.

With profound sadness, the Lulu family mourns the loss of these lives. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families, friends, and survivors of this tragedy. Most importantly, we send our love to Orlando and the LGBT community. Although the world seems to be a little less beautiful today, we have faith that a tragedy can be transformed into a story of hope and love.

Tell your story.

Change the world.

Charlie Minds His Manners: Lulu Thank You Notes

Charlie is an indie author who recently self-published his book on Lulu.com. He wants to expand his marketing options by building a mailing list to communicate with his readers. He discovers Lulu Thank You Notes and puts them to good use.

For more information on developing your author platform, See:

Building Your Online Marketing Presence

Guest Blogging: Building Your Online Reputation