Monthly Archives: August 2010

Focus: Books That’ll Make You Grin

Working at Lulu can introduce a person to tons of new books and authors, as you’d probably imagine.  Since I have been here, I have hoarded some of my favorites from the rest of the office at my desk.  They are the ones that have caught my eye walking by as they peek out from our bookshelves. Some are about music, some about food, but mostly, ones that make me laugh.  Below are just a few recommendations for anyone looking for a grin.

asdfasdf

asdfasdf

Never Iron When Your Are Naked
by Trevor Perry

Advice your mother should have given you, but never did. Trevor Perry has a gift for taking the complicated things in life and turning them into good advice.  While ironing naked may be dangerous, Perry also reminds us to live with passion, to laugh often, and to constantly stand in awe of life itself.

asdfasf

asdfasf

The Things Your Don’t Know You Don’t Know
by Harland Williams

Get ready to laugh yourself silly, scratch your head in wonder, and perhaps even cry as you delve into the hilarious and often bizarre mind of renowned actor/comedian Harland Williams.  Here, Williams shares his ridiculous and sometimes poignant observations on…well…everything. Some are things you may have overlooked, others you just not have cared to notice.  But with Williams unique spin on life and the things we interact with, you’ll start second guessing how you take things in.

asdf

asdf

The Torture Device Coloring Book
by Erik Ruhling

You might feel slightly guilty as you snicker at this coloring book clearly not intended for children.  This coloring book’s irreverent humor is reminiscent of artwork by one of my favorite artists Brandon Bird. In Ruhling’s book, colorers can explore all sorts of historical torture devices, each with an accompanying rhyme. Stay within the lines or you will be punished.

Reach More Readers, Sell More Books with Upgraded eBook Tool

Interesting read in the Wall Street Journal this morning:

People who buy e-readers tend to spend more time than ever with their nose in a book, preliminary research shows.

That’s great news for authors, because it shows that eBooks are creating ever more sales opportunities for their work. Here’s even better news: Lulu now makes it easier than ever to create eBooks and reach readers all over the world.

We’ve updated our eBook wizard so that you can instantly publish to both U.S. and international versions of the iBookstore, including the U.K., Germany, France and Canada. And we’re hard at work opening even more channels — our goal, in fact, is to create the most vibrant, multi-retail eBook publishing tool available.

Indeed, our revamped tool is designed so authors who upload eBooks today will automatically have them distributed to other regions, marketplaces and devices as they become available. That effectively makes Lulu a one-stop shop for eBook publishing. To quote one of my favorite infomercial personalities:  “Just set it, and forget it.”

Why do all this? Because more eBook channels lead to more sales. In the first three months of iBookstore distribution, Lulu authors sold more than 6,000 eBooks and earned more than $30,000 in revenue. In the first week of our new eBook publishing tool, Lulu authors have sold three times as many eBooks globally than they could in the U.S. alone.

Now, that’s something to get excited about.

Help Us Stay Vigilant

Slashdot is pointing out that it is possible, and occasionally does happen, that some scoundrel will steal content and try to sell it on Lulu in direct violation of our terms and conditions. (See the third paragraph of our member agreement.) While we’re still investigating the specifics of this particular incident, plagiarism and other content issues cause trouble for almost all public Internet sites — Slashdot has even been the victim of questionable or inaccurate content from time to time.

The Internet’s and Lulu’s best defense against the dishonest among us is to harness the 99 percent of honest Internet users to monitor and notify us of any illegally posted material as soon as they see it. That’s why we fully endorse Slashdot’s efforts to remind us all “the price of honesty is eternal vigilance” (with apologies to Wendell Phillips).

If you ever find questionable content on Lulu, do not hesitate to click the “Report This Content to Lulu” link at the bottom of every content page or email us at questionablecontent@lulu.com. We will always act swiftly to protect the intellectual property and hard work of authors.

Lulu Lens: Alternatives To Credit Cards For Payment

We’ve often heard from customers that they would like options other than paying by credit card or Paypal for their books and services. One of our users, dasbruce had an excellent recommendation for chavee3. Chavee3 asked how they could buy books online without using a credit or debit card. Dasbruce pointed out that you could buy a Visa or Mastercard gift card with the amount of your purchase on it so that you didn’t have to use a card with your personal information on it.

Do you have a preferred payment method other than a credit card or Paypal? If so, what is it?

Feedback: Newsletter Revamp

At Lulu, we realize it’s a two way street – we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. That’s why our main goal is to help you succeed. We want to give you all the tools you need to enable your success. We’re all part of this greater movement – creating published authors from dreamers and enabling them to connect and build relationships in ways that haven’t been possible until recently. You have made this place remarkable, and your voice is invaluable as we continue to grow.

Lately, we’ve been thinking about how we could make the monthly newsletter better, how we can use it to help you reach your goals. What is it that interests you? Do you want to see more Lulu Author success stories? Would you like tips on how to use Twitter and Facebook, advice on how to best market your book, industry news updates? We want give you more of what you need to help you be as successful as you’d like to be.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. We’d love your feedback to help make the Lulu newsletter better than ever.

Marketing Your Book: How to Get Your Book on a Blog

I’ll be the first one to admit it- I love blogs. They’re resources for information, inspiration, and ideas. Plus, blogs are perfect venues for marketing your book. It’s a great way to get your book noticed.

Why market your book on a blog?
It’s an inexpensive way to get your book out to lots of people in your target market- all at once. If you play your cards right, your book could get quality exposure at a really low cost.

Do your research – and participate.
This is the crucial step—finding the right blogs. Think about your market. Where does your average reader hang out online? Read a lot of blogs (really read them) and figure out where your book fits best. Start commenting on posts, subscribing to feeds, and mentioning snippets you liked in various social media endeavors. Always be nice! Bloggers will be glad to have a new active reader.

What We’re Reading

It started off simple enough. I sent a company-wide email to my fellow Lulus asking two very simple questions.

I just finished reading a screenplay written by a friend of mine and was looking for some suggestions from my friendly Lulus as to what I should read next. Having worked here for four years, I should have known what to expect. CHAOS. There’s two things about us Lulus that you have to understand, we love books and we’re very opinionated. I made a rookie mistake, and I admit that. I received so many replies to my email that I’ve decided to take each Wednesday in August to highlight just a select few of the books that my fellow Lulus are currently reading.