Lulu Lens – How can we make help more helpful?

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At Lulu, we believe it’s important to provide as much information as possible in our Help section and to present the information in an easy-to-use way. To accomplish this we have video tutorials, community forums, and an extensive knowledgebase where creators can help each other. However, we also recognize that we can always do better. Part of this is reflected in our continued commitment to improve our customer service, but we also want to make our Help easy to navigate and as useful as possible.

We are already working on initiatives that allow us to easily pull useful threads that our community creates into Help and improve navigation, but we want to hear from you. How can we make Help more helpful?

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20 Comments

  1. John Rudolph

    About a week ago I asked where to snail mail my W-9. Still no personal replies from Lulu.com staff (the canned response did not answer my question).

    I believe a more personal contact would be beneficial – either that or just provide more details on how to either upload or email or snail mail in the W-9.

  2. Hi John

    The answer you’re looking for is you can snail mail it to:

    Lulu Enterprises, Inc
    Attn: Accounting/Royalties
    3101 Hillsborough St
    Raleigh, NC 27607-5436

    (Not 100% sure if it can be emailed/uploaded, but the mailing address will get it there.)

    Hi Nick

    An addition I’d like to see is if there’s a bug in the system, is a notice somewhere in the forums indicating:

    1. There is a bug;
    2. The web developers know about it (and are working on it);
    3. An estimate of the fix lead time; and
    4. When the bug is fixed.

    I know the developers post the bug fixes in the Developers Log forum, but there are always multiple posts in the forums when people see bugs (and probably multiple tickets raised, making it harder on Support).

    There’s a bug in the search function which means it’s not working at the moment. And the hit counter’s gone from the product pages when creators are viewing their own content. And even though reviews are being migrated to weRead (and no longer available on the product pages for the products for which they’ve been left), replies to reviews left on weRead are showing up on the product pages for the products for which they’ve been left.

    If creators know that there is a bug, and know that it’s being worked on, then it would in all likelihood ease the number of support tickets lodged.

    Regards
    Belinda D’Alessandro

  3. Attempted to obtain information (phone +e-mail) four (4) times without any positive results.

    As the organizer of two(2) Italian web based/local meeting clubs, in addition to being an Italian teacher, tour guide, cultural ambassador (of sorts),etc., I have started an online book club dedicated to furthering above referenced Italian language, culture, etc.

    My focus is on books written in Italian, in addition to informative, educational history and travel material, on ITALY, also written in English.

    QUESTION: ” How can I sign up so that I can best utilize LULU’s Italian related resources through my Italian Club website(s) portal (i.e. Italian club bulk purchases for discount; Italian Club group download materials,Italian club group online teleconference book readings led by me,Italian Club group reviews, etc)?….”

    Simply said: “How can (my) above referenced Italian cultural, language, history, travel, social club “book club division” be a conduit to my members through my (or your)site, so I can suggest the subject matter and provide LULU w/ group feedback and make group purchases of download & print media?”

    I thank you in advance.
    Lori Samarin
    Organizer
    LEONARDO’S Italian Link &
    LEONARDO’S Italian Club
    http://www.meetup.com/Leonardos-World/
    http://www.meetup.com/Leonardo-Italian-Club/
    http://www.italianenterprises.com (under construction)

  4. Hi… I would like to help on the issues of helping more, about lulu lens focus… as many writers use to say, trillions years ago… communication is key… If any of my information works… I would like to be welcome to update more information!

    My ideas for navigation, in making the help more helpful, would be considering, better e-mailing statuses… so that user names are not just the main options. The other would be considerations on creating a lens for our Storefronts, so that attractions of viewers may exercise social networking…

    Also… a FREE lulu lens website for the idea RESEARCH… of expanding.

  5. Elizabeth Elias

    Hi Nick,
    it’s been one month-ish that I’ve been trying to get help by emailing Lulu and posting on your blog.
    Recall my book is published but I would like to fix a few typos but used a pub.pack so don’t know how to format. I’m even willing to pay $.
    So far I’ve had NO help.
    What am I doing wrong?
    thanks
    Elizabeth

  6. Gilles Méline

    Hi, I wrote a book that i sent to Lulu. The name of the book in ” un bar en tropikie”. ISBN 978-0-557-12709-2 – Identification : 7695959 – I have an envoice for tha book “I wrote” (only one sample, just to check that everything is OK). It’s been done on SEPTEMBER 24th. Could you tell me when I could expect it ? Im am eager to see it and I hope I will get this sample very soon. It is a huge and wonderful novel (Xcuse me but I am French, so i am on the best writers in the world – as any french poeple). Beeing serious : do you have some news about my book (Lulu said it was sent one month ago)? My mail again : gilline@lagoon.nc

  7. Nick Popio

    Thank you everyone for your feedback! It’s very useful and we’ll definitely be taking it into consideration as we move forward.

    Elizabeth,
    I am very sorry you haven’t received a response yet. I just spoke with Sarah in services, and she will be contacting you today. Please let me email me at npopio@lulu.com if you don’t hear from her.

    Gilles,
    Have you submitted a ticket to customer support? If not, please use this link to do so http://www.lulu.com/help/email_support.php?fKindOfHelpNeeded=1 If you have, then please tell me the reference id and/or case number you were assigned and I will follow up with customer support on your behalf.

  8. Lori Buttermark

    I have a comment of frustration to share. Just finished a 32-page booklet. Self-published, I’m using the 6X9 template for Perfect Bound. My publisher (no longer) used the Saddle Stitch with no problem. Seems that the binder size keeps changing its requirements. How can I get around this.

    Thank you. A cry for Help:(((

    An “almost there with despair” author

  9. Rebecca Morris

    My account number is 7703888. JUST NEED TO ADD A PAGE OF TEXT! For the calender I am doing for charity about the fund. It shouldn’t be that difficult but the calender wizard won’t let me do it, and I CAN’T CONTACT ANYONE!

  10. Nick Popio

    Lori,
    Did you use Lulu for that? If so, did you submit a ticket to customer service?

    Rebecca,
    Unfortunately there isn’t an option to add just a page of text onto a calendar. One possibility would be that you could add an additional month and add the text as an image, or add the text to one of the images. I know it’s not a perfect solution, but it would be a possible work-around. Would either of those work?

  11. Dear Lulu,

    I am a college teacher that may be making orders of 100 to 400 books per month for the next few years. I will be running an art workshop that will require a book project.
    I was wondering if you use recycled paper or card stock?
    Is there any way to receive samples? How can I see the quality of your books?
    What is your normal turn around time on an order?
    Would you be able to ship the order out to say 25 students addresses or would that incur extra costs?

    Lastly I am a bit concerned because I could not figure out how to contact anyone at Lulu (that is why I am placing my questions here) and am hearing on this Blog that people are having difficulty reaching Lulu support too.
    What is up with that?

    Thank you

    Greg Spalenka

  12. I would like to be able to find the hit count for my books. It used to be found by clicking on the shopping cart for a title when in the My Lulu section. Now it has disappeared! Has this information moved to another place? I have asked Lulu through the help email, and also through a forum, and got no response.

  13. What is happening in the Lulu help department? There used to be a live chat (about a year ago). Then there were emails that were answered in a reasonable time. Now there is only a message that says to ask somewhere else: forums, blog, etc. This is getting to be more and more of a problem. Could you explain what is going on at Lulu?

  14. Nick Popio

    Greg,
    Currently our paper/card stock is .
    I would recommend publishing a test version of your book for yourself and setting the access level to Private. Then order a copy of your book to proof so you can see exactly what your book will look like before you set it as available to the publis.

    Our turnaround time is 3-5 days for printing and then shipping is dependent on what option you choose.

    Your students could order directly from us, or you could order copies for all of your students and have them sent to multiple addresses without incurring additional charges.

    The easiest way to contact us is via the “Email Support” forms which you can find on our Help page. If you do not receive a timely response, you can always let me know and I will try to help you get your answers.

    Diane,
    That feature was temporarily removed, but it will return early next year along w/ more tools for authors. As for the messaging from customer service, the intent is to encourage users to use Help, the forums, etc when those are viable channels for finding the answers they need, but obviously that isn’t going to answer all of the questions people have. If your question isn’t answered using Help, etc, then you can reply to the original email which will alert our agents that the issue still needs to be addressed.

    If that is not being properly conveyed in the message, then I will work with customer support to help clarify.

  15. Jan Berinstein

    Nick,

    Your reply to Diane indicating that the hit counter will be reinstated “early next year” is encouraging (although I’m sure many of us would like to see that very desirable feature brought back right away).

    Despite the fact that inquiries about the sudden disappearance of the hit counter have popped up in several forums and blog posts, your post here is the first place I’ve seen the information about plans to reintroduce the feature next year. Could someone from Lulu post a “sticky” thread about the status of the hit counter at the top of one or more of the “main” forums? It seems to me that there’s a high degree of interest in this topic, as well as a need for one centralized place where people can find out what’s going on.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    Jan

    Author, “Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007″

    Author/Photographer, “Lyon, France 2010″ calendar

  16. Nick Popio

    Great idea Jan! In fact, I am thinking I’ll make a post about it in the blog later this week and also invite ideas for what you all would like in terms of other stats, etc. Expect to see something in the Lens that talks about the feature’s return and inviting other suggestions.

  17. Thanks for the answer, Nick. Does Lulu have a way to just give everyone who is in the system a message? I think this would be a great way to tell about changes such as this one with the hit counter. It is important to my business for me to monitor the hit count, and I’m sure it is for other people, too. If we know why it’s gone for now, and when it will be coming back, we will be less stressed about this change.

    About the help messages: I did hit “reply” to the original e-mail message. After a couple of weeks of no answer, I figured it was just lost, and deleted the message from my computer. So I don’t have the ticket number anymore. My question was, is there any way to make changes (or for Lulu to make changes) to an e-book order that has already been placed? One of my customers ordered the wrong book by accident. It was one she already had. She wrote to me, asking for help with this problem, and I sent her a copy of the correct book by my own email. Since the books were both the same price, this was an easy solution. But I’d like to know if there are any other alternatives, for the future.

  18. Nick Popio

    Diane,
    The short answer is that the code generating the hit counter was old and buggy. We’re overhauling it to be more accurate, less buggy and to look at what other stats we can give you about activity around your book.

    We do have a method for contacting everyone, but it’s a fine line to walk between communicating information and spamming our users. We didn’t realize how important this feature was to some of our users and that was certainly an oversight on our part. We should have alerted you before the feature was removed, and I apologize that it was not done. At the very least, I will try to answer any questions you all ask about the feature and do my best to make sure it is returned as quickly as possible, and that we improve the overall experience for everyone once it’s brought back.

    As for your question, I am not sure if there’s anything that can be done to change an ebook order after it has been placed. That said, each issue would have to be taken on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances. If something happens in the future, I would recommend contacting customer support with as much information as you can. If they don’t respond in a timely manner, you can always contact me.

  19. I have successfully published and sold the first batch of books. I did the steps myself and own the copyright, ISBN, etc. I have listed the book with Barnes and Noble, by stumbling around various sites until I discover a way to list with them, but have no idea how to list with companies through Lulu. Doesn’t some form or procedure exist through which we can list our titles for book stores? I have heard that Lulu has these available, but it remains a mystery as to where there can be found and how to use them. A simple step by step instruction would be helpful. thanks

  20. Nick Popio

    Hap,
    If your book is available via Books in Print, then bookstores should be able to order it.

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