Lulu Lens: How Do You Define A Successful Project?

One of the big projects we’re currently working on is reviewing how effective our publishing wizard is. It’s purpose is to help you get your book ready for publishing, and so we’re looking at ways we can improve on that core principle. We also recognize that there are a lot of different standards for what you’re looking to do with your book once you’re done with the publishing process, and we want to better understand your needs. To that end, how do you define a successful project?

Is it the number of books you sell? The reaction on your mom’s face when she sees her recipes in a printed cookbook? Holding the first copy in your hand? Tell us your stories, and help us understand how you define success for yourself.

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11 Comments

  1. For me success is how many books I sell. I launched my book with you some years ago and since then I’ve learnt a huge amount and one of the most important things is the books cover. A clear cover is important, especially the spine if it’s to be seen in bookshops. The size of the book too, as this affects the products saleability.
    I have several new projects in the pipeline and this time I will increase my success by taking these things into consideration.
    Anything Lulu can do to make the cover process easier, maybe showing a 3D image of what the finished product would look like, would be great.
    Toni

  2. Madison

    Do you have to pay to get your book published? If so, how much? I’m sorry, but I’m majorly new to this. Thank you!

  3. Hi Nick

    I raised issues regarding the publishing wizard well over a year ago (via support ticket in September 2009 and in comments on another Lulu blog entry: http://www.lulu.com/blog/2009/11/02/lulu-lens-what-can-we-do-to-improve-the-publishing-process/).

    In May this year, I finally had contact with Bob Young via email (after raising the issue in the forums). It was indicated to me (by another Lulu staff member) that the issue I raised would be fixed by summer…

    Well, the US summer has well passed and it’s almost summer where I live and the issue still hasn’t been fixed.

    Given how long it took Lulu to get at least some form of coupon manager (it had been requested well before I ever joined Lulu), I don’t hold any hope that the issue I raised will ever be fixed.

    Belinda

  4. Nick

    Belinda,
    Can you tell me who you spoke to that said it would be fixed by the end of summer? I will follow up with them.

  5. AJ

    Madison,

    Nope. It is absolutely free to publish and sell on Lulu.com. Cool huh? You get to set the price for your work and keep 80% of the profits.

  6. Hi Nick

    It was Daniel Wideman.

    Belinda

  7. I published my first book Sex, Brands & Rock’n’Roll a few days ago, and whilst I have not even see a real printed copy yet – to me the success has been the writing process itself. I think everyone has at least one book inside them, it’s just that few people have the vision / focus or discipline to see it through to completion. Just the fact that we’ve all go books on lulu is good enough reason to give ourselves a jolly good pat on the back! To self-publishing lulu authors everywhere – congratulations! :)

  8. Nick

    Belinda,
    I spoke with Daniel and he said that the project didn’t make it into our 2010 roadmap, but it is part of a project set to launch in early 2011.

  9. Thanks for the update, Nick.

  10. An improvement to the Publishing Wizard – Add the ISBN after a title is published:

    I typically publish first on Lulu and then add the ISBN designation at Bowker. The manuscript already has the ISBN but it is not official until it has been recorded at Bowker. My suggestion is this: In the My Lulu section under projects add the “Add an ISBN” feature. Some authors may want to add the ISBN later (after it has been purchased). This new feature would not require a new title to replace an existing title or require an author to unpublish an existing title by returning to the start of the publishing process. It would also strengthen the sales of existing titles as the ISBN listing would make titles easier to find. A simple “Add ISBN” button added to the edit sections on a title would also be very helpful.

  11. AJ

    Josier,

    Thanks for the feedback! It is constructive comments like yours that help us get even better! Thanks again.

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