Monthly Archives: March 2012

Give us your best prank

What’s the funniest prank you’ve ever played? Tell us and be published in our Lulu Community Prank Book!

Join together with other Lulu authors by submitting your entry in the comment section below. We will select entries to compile into a collaborative book written by all of you as a Lulu community piece.

How to submit:

  • Enter your prank in the comment section below before April 3, 2012
  • Please fill out your full name (so we can give you credit)
  • Please use a valid email address so we can notify you when the book is published
  • In the URL section, pls include the link to your author spotlight if you have one
  • By entering your prank into the comment section below, you give Lulu permission to use the content at will

Share the joy of a good laugh :)

Literacy Month: Know the Facts, Make an Impact

As writers, the very ability to read is something we take for granted. But the truth of the matter is that 32 million adults in the United States have low literacy skills. That means one in seven Americans would have a difficult time finishing even a page of a book. To us, people who spend our days writing and reading, it seems unfathomable that illiteracy is still a problem in the United States. But it is.

The Facts:

When parents don’t read to their kids, it can lower their average reading score by 74%. (source)

Only 31 percent of college graduates have high level literacy skills. (source)

Only 24% of 17 year olds ever read for fun. (source)


Decoding Facebook Ads to Sell Books

From the Lulu Forums

Lulu is very grateful to have such an engaged and helpful community in our forums. There was a recent conversation about Facebook Advertising that we thought would be helpful to share with all of you on our blog. Below are some helpful tips from forum community member, Charles Conway.

Have you Considered Using Facebook to Sell Your Book?

With nearly a billion users from around the world, Facebook offers authors a fantastic opportunity to reach out to their potential readers in ways that are simply not possible through other media outlets.

How To: Use Video Chat to Connect with Readers

Just because you don’t have the time or money to travel the country touting your book doesn’t mean you have to languish at home post-publication any longer. Programs including Skype and Google Hangout make it easy (and free!) to meet a group of your fans face-to-face. Explains Sarah McCoy, author of The Baker’s Daughter, “Now authors can jump online and literally be a face at the party for an hour. It’s lovely, and such an opportunity for us to directly connect with wonderful readers.”

So how does one successfully bring his or her computer screen–literally–to life?

Choose the right program: Sign up for Skype and Google Hangout and get a feel for what you like most. While both offer free long distance, Skype requires a premium membership for 3+ people, uses a lot of bandwidth to work well, and will drop the entire session should the host drop off. Google Hangout has its drawbacks, too, so figure out what works best for your needs.

Is self-publishing a bubble?

The dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, sending the economy into a recession. The housing bubble burst in the late 2000s, crippling the U.S. economy. Is self-publishing a bubble? Could it burst? And if so, what effect would it have on the publishing market? These are the questions that have been getting a lot of attention as self-publishing continues to expand in popularity, reaching all-time highs in both books being published and sold.

Indie e-readers support the “Reading Local” movement

Are you in for an indie e-reader? According to a recent Publishers Weekly article, the American Booksellers Association is looking into developing an e-reader to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. To keep up with the same features the larger chains offer through eBook downloads, independent bookstores would offer eBooks through venues including the Google ebookstore.

For consumers, this makes sense — an e-reader that caters to people who want to support independent booksellers while also purchasing eBooks. This would also help self-publishers diversify their distribution. If a writer wanted to support independent bookstores through the sale of their book, now they would have a choice to do that, instead of having to sell it through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Reading Local” is what independent booksellers hope to emphasize over the next few months, as they begin to look into increasing sales of eBooks. As one bookseller put it, “This idea [Reading Local] came from listening to people tell me that you can’t buy eBooks locally. Last year, 28% of our sales were eBooks.”

Blogging Guide, Part 2: Ready, Set, Write!

Click here for Blogging Guide, Part 1: Which Platform is Right…

So you finally did it. You have your own blog. Congrats!

Now what?

While the blank page can be intimidating, to face a blog post shouldn’t be. You’re responsible for shortish pieces on whatever strikes your fancy and, unlike in a novel – which requires believable dialog, a plot arc and a storya good blog post needs mostly personality.

Whether you’re sticking to one niche (e.g. the road to publication or writing tips for authors) or a number of subjects, the material you present must reveal you in some way. Without this your text will be bland, making it harder to forge a personal connection with your readers.

Connections, you’re asking? Who needs ‘em?

Everyone. The Internet is a vast world and there are plenty of places for people to turn so here are 10 blog prompts to get you and your followers thinking:

1. Look at what’s trending on Twitter (by hashtag) and write an opinion piece about the topic at hand. Remember to use your researching skills to back up your argument.