Monthly Archives: June 2010

Understanding Distribution and ISBNs

Distribution

Much like Bigfoot and Chupacabra, ISBNs and Distribution remain a mystery to many Lulu authors. While we can’t explain Chupacabra or Bigfoot, we can help you understand Distribution and ISBNs.

What is distribution?
Distribution is a service that gets your book out to the world. We make your book available through bibliographic databases, online marketplaces and distribution catalogs. Lulu currently offers 3 distribution options: extendedREACH, globalREACH, and marketREACH. I will explain each of those in a little bit.

What is an ISBN?
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a controlled, 10- or 13-digit identification number that allows publishers, libraries, and book dealers to locate books. You may get a free ISBN from Lulu or you can bring an ISBN you own and assign it to your book.

In September 2009, Lulu separated distribution and ISBNs so authors could get distribution for ISBNs that they own and bring to Lulu. We offer distribution options for ISBN and non-ISBN titles. Each Lulu project may have one distribution option and/or ISBN. Once an ISBN or distribution option has been applied to a project, you cannot change it.

Our current distribution options:

Lulu Lens: Highlighted Discussion – Pre-Publication Marketing

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Recently in the forums, mark_sheldon1221 made a post about Pre-Publication Marketing that generated some interesting discussion. Mark asked:

“Since I’m not going to be publishing the first book for another nine months, is there any way to set up some sort of marketing here on Lulu that I can refer users to between now and publication?”

Several of our forum mainstays like Keith Dixon and veinglory have chimed in with suggestions for Mark. What are your thoughts? Should you market your book before it’s released? What are the pros and cons?

Market Your Book on Facebook

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Did you know Lulu has a free marketing tool that allows you to share books with your Facebook friends? Did you know that the entire process could be done in less than a minute? Here’s how…

Market Your Book on Facebook

That’s it! You’re now sharing your book with your entire Facebook network.

Promote your books on Facebook.

Rome – a city of fashion, design, history… and Lulu?

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Federica (left) and Diana Balmori

That’s right! Lulu made an appearance recently at the Festa dell’Architettura, a meeting of the most creative urban designers, architects, artists, authors, professors, graduate students, and politicians in Italy. The purpose of this event was to exchange ideas to better the wonderful metropolis of Rome. Because Rome is such an ancient city, 2,000 years of buildings often impede progress. This event inspired a rebirth and revitalization of urban planning.

Lulu was there this year, to show these remarkable thinkers how our open publishing model creates opportunities for them to publish, profit, and connect with a larger audience.

I met great people and chatted with them while sipping Prosecco. I had the opportunity to introduce Lulu to a room full of Romans in the beautiful downtown Galleria di Architettura Come Se, directed by Rosetta Angelini, on two different occasions. I also met New Yorkers like Diana Balmori, an internationally renowned landscape and urban designer, and Lulu author.

After I presented and introduced Lulu, Dario Marcucci, President of Terzo Municipio of Rome, came to me and we spoke for a while. His words describing Lulu were “this is simply brilliant.”

The most exhilarating part of this experience was during the last night at the very end of the event. Out of nowhere, Professor Antonino Saggio, the Scientific Curator of the conference, spoke about the journey of all these numerous projects coming together to better the city of Rome, and all the struggles and difficulties they went through in order to make this event possible. He concluded his speech with “we will write a book about this long lasting endeavor and will publish it with Lulu!”

I believe the sense of excitement was not induced by the Prosecco.

More Readers at Your Fingertips

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Here at Lulu, our goal is to get our authors’ works in front of as many readers as possible. And it sure is nice to have partners helping us out with that goal.

In case you haven’t heard, Apple has expanded the availability of its iBookstore. This is the bookstore application it released in April along with the iPad tablet, which the company has sold 3 million of in the past 80 days. The iBookstore is now available on newer iPhones — the 3G, 3GS, 4 — and the iPod touch with the release of the new ios 4 operating system that runs the devices.

What does this mean for you, the Lulu author?

You can reach more buyers.

Setting Realistic Goals for Marketing Your Book: Part 1 – Treat Yourself like a Business

goal-smWriting a book is no small feat. And you should be proud of yourself for all the hard work you’ve done so far. As exciting as it is to have a finished manuscript in front of you though, there is still a lot more to do after the typing has stopped and the pen and paper are put away. Some authors can afford to hire an agent or a publicist, but for others taking the DIY approach, marketing yourself and your book can seem pretty daunting. As much as you want to share your book with everyone and show them what you’ve accomplished, if you don’t set some realistic goals, you’re setting yourself up for some unnecessary disappointment and frustration. Planning how to market yourself and your work may be easier said then done, but the payoff – reaching more readers and selling more – is worth the effort.

Change Your Perspective
The first step to getting a better hold on your marketability is to change your perspective of yourself as a writer, to an entrepreneur starting your own business. You’ve done the writing, but now you have a product to sell. Whenever you take the time to put yourself “out there,” your ultimate goal should be to make a good impression on people so they’ll want to read your work, keep coming back, and recommend your book to others. You’re building your reputation – your own personal brand, and you need people to trust that brand in order to grow a loyal fan base. This is something that takes a lot of time, planning, and strategizing. Any successful business, big or small, starts with a list of goals and then creates a plan to achieve those goals. A successful business also remains flexible and responsive to its customer’s needs and the current trends of the market. You can do this by having backup plans in place for whenever one of your plans doesn’t work or you need to change something on the fly.

Writing Exercise: 750 Words

750 WordsA few months back, I came across an article on Lifehacker about a new web app created by Buster Benson called 750 Words. Once I read that Benson’s app could help writers like me get back into daily journaling, I was hooked. In the Lifehacker article, Gina Trapani expalined that “every day, you type 750 words—the equivalent of three pages…. whatever you want, free writing.” I loved this idea.

Often, I find myself staring down a blank page with a topic rattling around in my head, clouded by a million other thoughts. I was already laying down the groundwork for the upcoming Script Frenzy challenge and thought this would be a great way to get focused and write like I’ve never written before. And it’s really helped.

The days I haven’t written my daily quota, I struggle. It takes me longer to say what I want and I stumble along the way. It’s harder for me to focus and stay motivated. But the days I’ve tackled this writing exercise I fly through pages. The words flow with ease and I’m less stressed about what shows up on the screen.

One of the things I really love about this site are the graphs. Stats are extracted from your writing and displayed after you meet your daily goal. They show you how you are feeling, what you are concerned about, what your mindset is, and highlight your frequently used words. The 750 Words webapp also times you and tracks how many distractions you’ve had. (You can see a sample of my daily stats on the left.) For me, this feature is invaluable when it comes to dissecting my daily brain dump.

If you’ve been wondering how to take your writing to the next level, I highly recommend you try writing 750 words a day.