Monthly Archives: March 2010

Free iPad with any All-Inclusive Pack Purchase

FreeiPadReady to publish your next book? Let us help. Lulu’s all-Inclusive Publishing Packages are fantastic for getting the professional pre-publishing services your book deserves. Our publishing experts will make your title bookstore-ready and, for a limited time, we’ll help you celebrate the momentous occasion with a free iPad!

That’s right, we will give you a Free iPad with the purchase of any All-Inclusive Package between now and April 10, 2010. Choose from three options —  3 Star, 5 Star or  7 Star — all carefully crafted to meet the varying needs of our authors.

You’ll work with the industry’s best — a publishing consultant to guide you through the process, professional designers to create your cover and format your manuscript, and our team of editors to fine-tune your work.  Throw in 125 books to get you through your first book signing, and you’ll be inspired to write your next bestseller.

$150 Book Fair Coupon with the Purchase of a Publishing Pack

BookFairSvcs_BlogGraphicWhat better way to show off your newly published book than at a book fair?  Purchase any one of our publishing packages from now through March 31, and we’ll give you a coupon for $150 towards any one of our book fairs.  Most of the book fairs we offer start at $150, so you essentially can get a great promotional tool for free!

Marketing your book at a book fair is a great way to get exposure to booksellers, librarians, agents, the media, and more.  Your book is displayed at the show and is also included in the book fair catalog.  This catalog is a valuable tool that book buyers use when they’re making their annual purchases.

If you’re ready to publish and were going to use one of publishing packages anyway, why not get some extra icing on your cake?  Not only will we help with editing, formatting, cover design, and ISBN distribution, with our book fair offer you’ll get a great marketing push as you introduce your work to the market.

This promotion cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Author is responsible for cost of shipping 2 books to be displayed at the book fair. The $150 coupon is applied toward a book fair service, but may not cover the entire cost of the book fair. When selecting a book fair, the publisher should consider the time it will take to go through the pre-publishing process.

The Importance of Editing

photo: Unhindered by Talent

photo: Unhindered by Talent

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Why isn’t my book selling?”  The answer is usually painful to hear.  Avoiding that question altogether lies in tackling another question early in the publishing process, “What will prevent my book from selling?”

Editing is one of the absolute factors that will influence your book sales. The degree to which you personally edit your thoughts and writing, combined with the degree to which you invest in professional editing will ultimately play a large role in developing reader comfort.  A great edit will not ensure your book sells, but it will definitely eliminate one of the largest potential detractors that might prevent book sales.

Win a Prize for Contributing to Our Knowledge-Base

KnowledgeBaseContest_BlogBanner

We see success every day in the vibrant community of authors, artists, and creators that has gathered around Lulu.  Creators come together on our Facebook page, Twitter feed and blog to give advice and cheer on each other as they realize their dreams and ambitions.

We’re particularly excited by the strong response to our improved — and expanding — knowledge base. In the past seven weeks, more than 6,000 items have been added in six different languages and thousands of customers have used our tools to check out popular articles, add to the community discussion, and recommend ideas.

Just the other day I saw how author Keith Dixon helped a new author decide what her best print options would be for the project she has in mind.  It’s great to see that kind of support and encouragement from one passionate creator to another.

And we want to reward it.

From now through April 23rd, we will give away daily prizes to knowledge base users with the most posts, highest ranked posts, best questions, and best answers.  Daily winners will receive a coveted Lulu hat (you should see how fast these things go at conferences) and bragging rights.  Once a week, we’ll randomly select a winner for a grand prize ranging from an iPod Nano to a Book Lover’s Bonanza Service Pack (a $1,895 value), one of our newest service offerings.

We truly appreciate the Lulu community and all the ways you help us grow, adapt, and improve.  So join the conversation, or start one of your own.  Check out our knowledge base to share ideas, ask questions, make friends, and learn something new while inspiring creativity in your fellow creators.


Ideas & Feedback

Picture 16As many of you are likely aware, last month we introduced a new section in our Community & Support area called Ideas & Feedback. The purpose of this area is simple – we want to hear from you. We want to know what you think would improve the Lulu experience. You can post your ideas and vote on existing ones. We’ll be constantly reviewing ideas and seeing what people suggest. We’re listening.

Two of the recent ideas that have received the most votes are things like improving the visibility of templates and allowing Lulu Creators to give out coupons & gift certificates to buyers. Be sure to check out the ideas that are already posted and share your own ideas with us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Focus: eBooks

You may have noticed that eBooks are quickly becoming a very popular option for readers. They offer instant gratification and can conveniently be read on portable eReaders, computers, and in some cases, even on your smart phone. eBooks are a great option for authors too, sometimes even allowing for higher royalties. Some authors even use eBooks to market their print books by providing a free sample of their work – a great technique sure to get new readers hooked.

One of the reasons I love Lulu eBooks so much is the content. Without a doubt, we have a unique selection that can’t be found anywhere else. Below, I’ve chosen a few that caught my interest. Take a look at my top eBook pics for the week!

Fight On! #7 Fall 2009 PDF VersionFight On! #7 Fall 2009

Deep under the misty mountains, the proudest and toughest keep Fighting On! Join us in those days of blood and plunder by picking up a copy of issue 7, dedicated to M.A.R. Barker and featuring EIGHT adventures, tables, settings, reviews, encounters, monsters, spells, magic items, new classes, non-canonical expansions to Empire of the Petal Throne, and much, much more!


The Crochet Dude's Flying AfghanThe Crochet Dude’s Flying Afghan!

Download version – As seen in the Accord Crochet Pattern-a-Day Calendar, here are all the patterns you’ll need to create this sampler afghan by The Crochet Dude. In no time you will have a wonderful gift (perhaps for yourself).

Included are the instructions for twelve large squares and sixteen small squares. Mix and match to create your own layout! Oh, and you also receive the Dudessembly instructions to put it all together!

Lulu VIP: A New Level of Service

John Edgar Wideman’s decision to join the Lulu community has gotten quite a bit of attention. Stories have appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly and the Huffington Post. And all that coverage has generated quite a bit of interest in our new Lulu VIP Services program.

Mr. Wideman is the inaugural customer of this program, which provides white-glove service to premiere authors. It’s our most customizable offering, executed by industry-leading professionals who have helped drive the success of A-list authors. Each title receives the highest level of attention and each author retains complete control over the process, from cover design and editing to online marketing and media relations.

Indeed, our new VIP Services program provides everything a traditional publisher can offer. We launched the program to help authors gain more control over their own publishing process and recruited an experienced team of professionals with traditional and bestseller experience to lead the way. We’re extremely honored that Mr. Wideman decided to use Lulu for Briefs and that our VIP Services are part of his journey.

Our goal is to expand the visibility of authors’ works and maximize their success through red carpet treatment, personalized attention, and quality, publishing-house services at their fingertips. We’re confident that authors and agents alike will find comfort in the professionalism of our VIP Services program.

Email us today at vipservices@lulu.com for a free consultation.

Guest Author Blog: John Edgar Wideman

Today, Lulu is proud to welcome John Edgar Wideman to Lulu and pleased to present a very special guest author blog. Mr. Wideman chose Lulu after a distinguished career of 40+ years in the traditional publishing industry for many reasons, among them his desire to connect more intimately with his readers and to embrace the opportunity our platform provides for creators to retain complete control over their work. For Mr. Wideman, who has never used a computer, venturing into online publishing and the blogoshpere is an intimidating but exciting event! He’s eager to kick off a conversation with the Lulu community by sharing an introduction to his new work, and asks for your patience as he learns to respond and engage in a brand new forum.

JohnWideman_newBriefly, since these remarks introduce a book titled Briefs, I’d like to share a few thoughts about why and how I’ve been working the past three years on a volume of very short stories. My first novel was published in 1967 and I’ve been in print since, so my writing career’s far from brief, but brief an accurate, merciful word to describe a parcel of time which has rushed past so swiftly, stealthily, brutally, it feels some days like I just got here and it’s nearly time to go already. The micro-fictions in my collection are about losing time, saving time, enduring time, fearing and escaping time.

About the ubiquitous, silent pulse of time and how people learn to dance to it or not, to stumble through or find themselves graced by time or ignored or get their asses kicked.

Why Wideman’s Here

briefsOur press release said it best: John Edgar Wideman is a literary lion. He has more than 20 traditionally published works to his name and a catalog of accolades — including two Faulkner Awards for Fiction. He has received much critical acclaim in his career and can command significant royalty advances.

But he’s not satisfied with where the traditional publishing model has taken him. He doesn’t know his readers. And too often he’s been left in the shadow of blockbuster titles that get publishers’ attention.

So, for his latest work, Briefs, Stories for the Palm of the Mind, he decided to experiment. He published the book, which goes on sale today, exclusively on Lulu as our inaugural VIP Service client. I talked to him recently about his decision to publish with Lulu, what he makes of the current state of the industry and what his goals are for this project. An edited transcript follows.

Publish an ePub. Win an iPad

iPadContest_BlogBannerThe time to get in on the gold rush for ePub books has never been better.  From now until March 22, 2010, simply publish an ePub version of your book, and you’ll be automatically eligible to win one of three Apple iPads.  Yep, that’s right – just create an ePub book and you could score a brand new iPad…on us.