Dear Planet Earth, we love you, respect you, and want to do what we can to protect you.
In honor of Earth Day this Sunday, here are some important, “did-you-know?” facts about why Print-On-Demand (the Lulu-way) is a sustainable alternative to Traditional Offset Printing:
Also, in honor of Earth Day, enter the Lulu Earth Day Contest on Facebook. This is a print sales contest. Submit your book to compete for most sales between April 18-April 25. Also, Lulu will plant a tree per contest entry up to 6,000 through our tree-planting partner Eco-Libris. Contest prizes include a Nook®, a Marketing Consultation ($475) and a Clarion Book Review ($350). Enter now!
Click here for more info on Print On Demand.
When it comes to when and where to write, everyone is different. Maya Angelou starts early and works in hotel rooms with bare walls, Truman Capote claimed he could only write when in bed, horizontal, and Vladimir Nabokov scribbled on index cards for entire nights. Some authors hold themselves to 10 pages per day no matter what (Stephen King), while others force out 500 words a day (Ernest Hemingway). Despite these differences in approach many writers share one commonality: a routine. Like competitive athletes, writers don’t show up for practice when they feel like it. They commit to a schedule and stick with it. Yes, some days will be good, and some days will be bad, but in order to improve one has to keep going.
To be clear there’s no “right” routine, only what works best for you. So what is that? Well, first off, what do you want to achieve? Are you hoping to finish a 100,000 word novel in 12 months? Or complete a short story in 60 days? Once you know, write your objective down and put it in a place where you’re sure to see it every day. A constant reminder will hopefully spur you forward.
Now that you know what you want to achieve what’s next?
Like anything routine (ie. general hygiene, washing the dishes, etc.) it becomes somewhat second nature after a while. Explains author Kristiana Gregory, “Since it’s now a long-time habit, a day without writing makes me feel naked.”
So, Lulu authors, now it’s your turn to tell us what your routine looks like in the comments section below.
“You’re sending a message to the world that we’re not inclusive… North Carolina is competing with the world for business, and we have to be inclusive and open.”
This amendment has an economic impact. As a business owner, it impacts my ability to attract the talented, highly educated, open minded people that Lulu needs. It further impacts my ability to offer competitive health benefits to my employees and their families.
This is not about supporting or opposing gay marriage, it’s about taking the conversation off the table completely. It’s about North Carolina, via its constitution, sending a message that everyone in the state isn’t even willing to have the conversation.
What’s your M.O.? Our very own Sarah Gilbert was featured on M.O. this week. She talks about some of the most meaningful books she’s worked on during her time here at Lulu. She also talks about seeing the rise of eBooks firsthand and what “a day in the life” of a Lulu is like. Help us vote Sarah’s interview up to the top. Just click on the badge above to read the interview and vote for Sarah!
I had an interesting conversation with an up and coming author recently who has a very specific vision. She wants to cut out any potential for a “middle-man” to distract her readers from finding and buying her works. She eventually even wants to run her own publishing business directly from her website starting with her own titles. This would enable her to maximize her profits and directly tap into her fan-base while helping other aspiring authors share their works too. The problem is she didn’t have an easy means of distribution, eBook creation, or order fulfillment. She needed someone to help her do all the heavy lifting on the backend, so she could focus on creating a successful business. That’s where Lulu and our Open Publishing APIs (Application Programmer Interfaces) come in.
An API is kind of like a Lego® block that makes a website or application work. All the “blocks” that make Lulu’s great self-publishing site function are available to the public so that anyone can use them no matter their needs or their market. With Lulu APIs, authors, publishers, businesses, and developers alike can take whatever pieces they need from Lulu and use them on their own websites to instantly produce, manage, and sell content. The best part? They are absolutely free.
Suddenly this up and coming author has a completely customized publishing solution to start that business she dreams about. She can sign up other authors but can relax while she uses Lulu’s global print-on-demand network to cut on shipping costs. She gets to offer her authors distribution through Lulu’s retail partners like Amazon, iBookstore(SM), and NOOK Bookstore – where many readers already shop. It’s all under her own imprint and designed for her to be more profitable than ever before possible.
Lulu is constantly rolling out new APIs too. Coming soon Lulu’s eCommerce APIs will be released for general availability, enabling customers to buy directly through an author or business’s own website. Also be on the look out for general availability of our Creator Revenue APIs which allow a business or imprint to easily keep track of an author’s earnings.
Indeed, the Lulu APIs are empowering people and organizations – like our friends at campus bookstores across the nation – to grow and monetize content in exciting new ways while diversifying revenue and expanding their businesses – all under one roof. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks for some more exciting news about how our APIs are helping to break down even more barriers for authors, for businesses, and for everyone in between.
In 1640, Stephen Day self-published the Bay Psalm Book, only 20 years after the pilgrims arrived in North America. Consider the self-publisher as the ultimate American underdog. Our history is pretty much filled with individuals who started publishing on their own, in somewhat obscure conditions, to become cultural and political leaders.
Ben Franklin self-published Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1732, well before he became known for his politics and diplomacy. Thomas Paine self-published “Common Sense,” a pamphlet that inspired the American revolution.
It makes sense that self-publishing would be a hotbed of interesting, radical ideas. If your ideas are truly radical and pushing the envelope, there’s a good chance they’ll scare off traditional publishers. We think this means you’re doing something right.
Mark Twain self-published Huckleberry Finn in 1885, one of the first books to seriously tackle racism in America. Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, a seminal collection of poetry that has inspired countless American writers, was also self-published.
What is it about self-publishing that attracts some of the best and most influential talent America has to offer? Hemingway self-published his first work, Three Stories and Ten Poems, in 1923. Perhaps it has something to do with the vanguard-status of writers who self-publish. Because they are often ahead of their time, traditional publishers may not feel ready to take a gamble on them. Perhaps because they consider what they have to say more important than definite material reward, they self-publish with an urgency and passion that they wouldn’t find at a publisher.
Thoreau, Stein, Crane… the list goes on. To consider self-publishing a new “trend” would be to ignore the very foundation of publishing and writing in America. In the Internet age, we’re given even more of an opportunity to put our writing out there, to publish it ourselves, be it digitally or physically, to connect with our readers and to make a difference in our world without a publisher, without an advance, without a care in the world.
The history of the American writer is really always the story of an underdog. No one is born a best-seller. Everyone starts as an underdog. There’s no bigger underdog than the self-publishing writer. And pretty consistently in America, the underdog makes a big difference.