Monthly Archives: May 2010

Focus: Cookbooks

I am a foodie.  I was raised in the south by a mother and grandmother that loved to cook and I can spot a good restaurant a mile away.  If I know anything, it’s food.  Some say I’m a harsh critic when it comes to any dish, but we all know what a little extra attention and care can do for a recipe.  You have to start somewhere though, and Lulu can help you make a cookbook full of your own favorite dishes or you can check out some of the really great ones we have to offer – from healthy eating to down-home comfort food.

Let’s start with what I know best:  soul-food.

Comfort and Joy

by Callie Works-Leary


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This soft-cover cookbook features large, high-quality color pictures and gives you the know-how to make a quick snack or a five-course meal right in your own kitchen.   This book has the perfect mix of “stick-to-your-rib” delights like “Texas Slow-Cooked BBQ Brisket” as well as fun, light dishes like “Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Apricots.”

Comfort and Joy is a collection of recipes for the way that we really cook, eat, and entertain in our rapidly changing times. Most importantly, it is food that is comforting in its simplicity and depth of flavor, but joyous in its creativity and charm.  It is perfect for every-day use or for hosting a party.

We're at BEA!

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On Monday, AJ announced that we would be at BookExpo America at the Javitz Convention Center this week.

Sherrie has been busy with the New Title Showcase, highlighting books by Lulu’s who ordered the Book Fair services package. What’s better than getting your book at BEA right at the front entrance?! It’s the perfect location for getting noticed by more than the 35 thousand people in attendance.

So far, we’ve been having a blast meeting new people and making new friends. We’ve seen steady traffic at our booth (#2348) and a lot of people have walked away inspired and ready to share their creations with the world at large. We’ve also had the wonderful pleasure of meeting authors who have already published with us. Hearing their experiences makes this crazy idea called Lulu totally worth it.BEA1

If we haven’t seen you yet, please stop and say hello. We’d like to meet you.

Lulu Lens: What Do You Want Out Of Forums?

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When we released our new forums back in February, we were excited. The old forums had been implemented when the Lulu.com site first went up and they had a lot of issues. Most of them were behind the scenes (admin features that were broken or added on), but they were difficult to work with. We thought Helpstream was the solution. Through a number of issues (slowness, being logged out) as well as concerns about navigation, many of our users told us they aren’t happy with the new system. We listened and have spent a lot of time trying to create a structure that will serve both our community and our internal needs. That’s where you come in.

We want your opinion. What do you want out of a world-class forum? What features do you like? What do you never want to see? We value your feedback and need your help as we figure out our next steps.

Interview with Shayla Hawkins: Winner of The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest

Shayla HawkinsLast Tuesday, we announced Shayla Hawkins as the winner of The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest. Her microstory, “A Test”, was selected to be included in future copies of John Edgar Wideman’s latest book, Briefs.

When I read the announcement that Shayla Hawkins had won the contest, I couldn’t help but wonder who this amazing talent was. And I couldn’t help but think that others might want to get to know her as well. I was ecstatic when she agreed to answer a few questions for the Lulu blog.

What do you do for a living and what do you aspire to do?
I’m a freelance writer and editor, but my dream is to be a successful novelist so that I can write great stories with memorable characters whenever I want, wherever I want. And, although it sounds silly because there’s no money in it, I would love to have books of my poems published, too, since I was introduced to literature by way of my early exposure to poetry (fairy tales, nursery rhymes, Bible stories, etc.), and the love that I developed as a child for the rhythm, rich language and concision of good poetry remains with me to this day.

Lulu at Book Expo America

Picture 20Through Thursday, May 27th, Lulu will be at the Javits Convention Center in New York City for Book Expo America (BEA), the largest book trade fair in America. We’re very excited to be a part of BEA because it is one of the only times that so many remarkable authors, publishers, businesses, educators, and distributors come together from all over the world to discuss the current trends in the publishing industry and share their passion for books.

This year’s BEA already has close to 30,000 attendees and we’re hoping to reach out to each one of them to inspire them to publish and share their works in a whole new way with Lulu’s open publishing model.

In addition to BEA, we’re also making a splash at the DIY Author’s Conference that is held at the Javits Center today before BEA begins. Sherrie, our very own Sales and Services Rep, will be showing people just how easy it is to use Lulu to become a successfully published author. Sherrie is helping authors choose from Lulu’s robust service options, make content available in multiple formats, and find millions of new readers through our vast distribution channels that include Amazon.com and Apple’s iBookstore. It all adds up to maximize the rewards for authors and readers alike, no matter how they’re measured.

If you’re at BEA or DIY this week, please stop by and say “hi!” We’re at booth 2348 at BEA and table 4 at DIY. We’d love to meet you and help you get started on any projects you’ve got cooking.

Lulu Authors Sell More Books Thanks to John Grisham

BOOKeditedThe world’s readers are better off now than they were a month ago.

Why? Because more of them are finding the remarkable works of Lulu authors.

Back in April we expanded the Lulu Marketplace with more than 700,000 traditionally published titles (including works from John Grisham) to bring a bigger audience to Lulu.com. As I explained then, the goal of this and other initiatives we have underway is to help our authors sell more while introducing buyers to a bigger and better world of content.

Some early numbers since we expanded the selection of books available on Lulu.com show the strategy is working:

  • Sales of titles by Lulu authors have increased 14% in the days since we added the additional selection compared with the prior period.
  • That’s due, in part, to that fact that readers are spending more time browsing our site. We’ve seen a 25% increase in page views of Lulu content since we added the traditionally published titles.
  • About 50% of these buyers of traditionally published books are completely new to Lulu.
  • This new and expanding audience benefits Lulu authors, because 60% of the customers who bought a traditionally published title also bought a book penned by a Lulu author. 
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And the Microstory winner is…

A TEST by Shayla Hawkins

On April 1, John Edgar Wideman invited aspiring writers everywhere to submit their own microstory for possible inclusion in future copies of Briefs. It was a unique way for this literary master to connect with his readers.

The competition was fierce, submissions plenty and the talent overwhelming. But the time has come to announce the winner of The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest.

We are pleased to say that Shayla Hawkins’ microstory “A Test” was chosen to be  included in a special edition of Briefs. She will also receive a complimentary signed copy of the book from Wideman. “A Test” is about how even the smallest actions of our mundane daily lives are actually tests that we all pass or fail .

A heart-felt congratulations to Shayla Hawkins and special thanks to all the very talented writers who submitted their microstories.