Yearly Archives: 2012

Lulu’s 13 Days of Writing – Day 1 Video

On the first day of writing my true love gave to me….

We created fun holiday videos in stop animation to celebrate writers. There is a great deal being announced each day of the 13 days (Dec. 13- Dec. 26, 2012), so stay tuned!

Life After NaNoWriMo

We’re well into December, and it’s almost the end of the year, but let’s take a minute to talk about last month. How did you spend your November? Maybe getting ready for the change in seasons or braving crowds to get a head start on holiday shopping? If you participated in NaNoWriMo you can add “writing an entire novel” to that list. Fifty thousand words in thirty days is no small feat so first things first: congratulations! Now that you’ve got everything all typed up and had some time to go over it, the most important question is…what’s next? You wrote your book in record time, so why not publish it just as quickly? Lulu has the professional publishing services to put a little shine on things and get your work ready for the world.

Cover Design


They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but let’s be honest, a nice cover goes a long way and can hook a customer before the first page is even turned.

How to Market Your Book During the Holiday Season

November and December are the most lucrative months of the year for retailers because people are in a crunch to find and buy the perfect holiday gifts for their loved ones. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the season and show off your written wares.

Publicize your ultimate holiday gift list. At this time of year, people looking for the perfect gift often need help in the form of suggestions and ideas. Offer up your suggestions on your blog, on a contact’s blog, or perhaps even for a local magazine or newspaper. Whatever you suggest should be in line with what your book is about. For example, if you’ve written a cookbook, then come up with a list of the best bake ware — and no matter where you publish your gift tips, make sure you provide a bio with a link to your book.

Make a donation. Giving during the holiday season means more than handing out shiny new presents to friends and family, it means giving back to your community. Pick a charitable organization that inspires you and offer to partner with them. Offer signed copies of your book as perks for donors who contribute at a certain level (perhaps the charity will even name that level after you or your book!) You can also vow to donate a percentage of your profits to a charity that you support. This is a great way to boost holiday spirit and to get a charity to help promote your book to their audience. You can also donate books to families, libraries and schools that are in need. There are countless ways to give back. Which will you choose?

Drop the eBook price. Between the iPad, the Kindle, the Kobo Reader, and the Nexus 7, among many others, e-readers are becoming more and more hot, and with every new user comes the potential for many more eBook libraries. So entice potential customers by dropping the price of your book for a limited time.

Give away copies to friends, family, and social media followers/fans. Perhaps the most obvious tip but not to be overlooked since the best way for people to learn about your book is to hear about it from others. So order extra copies and stuff them in stockings or offer signed giveaways to fans on Facebook or followers on Twitter.

Strategize for 2013. There are another 365 days coming up… soon. This means you have holidays to capitalize on, anniversaries to plan, promotions to fund, and even new books to promote. Spend the last few weeks of this year thinking about how you want to handle the next 52 weeks and come up with a marketing and social media plan that will get you to your new year’s goals. This may help: Pre-Publication Marketing Timeline for Authors.

Tell us, what are you doing to prepare for the holiday season? Are you buffing up your marketing efforts?

 

Congratulations to the “What Are You Thankful For?” Contest Winner Tasha Scott

Sometimes a few simple words can make all the difference. That’s what your “What are you thankful for?” comments did for us today. As an office we want to thank you for your comments because they invigorate us and remind us of how important our work here is. We are so proud to support each of you on your personal journeys and through your personal struggles. Thank you for sharing such thoughtful and candid messages about what you’re thankful for. Each of your comments touched us and inspired us.

We’d like to congratulate Tasha Scott, who we have selected to win $100 to spend on Lulu.com for her comment that is featured below:

“I am thankful for the mental fortitude to go out and pursue my dreams. The self-awareness to measure what is attainable and what is not attainable for me. I am then doubly thankful that I have found true happiness in whatever circumstances that I find when I wake up the next morning. It makes life so interesting to know that I get only what is meant or me. It keeps me deliriously happy and content.”

And, of course, every day is a good day to reflect on what you’re thankful for, so feel free to post more comments on that theme at any time in the year.

EPUBs Made Even Easier with Lulu Ebook Enhancements

Getting your eBook ready for the world to see can be a learning experience – for authors and for Lulu. We always want to give you the best, easiest tools possible to get your eBook out there, and part of reaching that goal is making changes to the process to make it as painless as possible. Case in point: the new multi-file upload and table of contents preview features that help you to make sure you’re well on your way to having a distribution-ready EPUB file.

Making your EPUB file was already pretty easy. You can upload Microsoft DOC and DOCX, RTF, and ODF files, and we’ll take care of converting them into an EPUB for you. For print books you could always upload multiple files and we’d stitch them together into one coherent, print-ready PDF. Now you have the same convenience for your eBook. Maybe you’ve been serializing your work or maybe you’re just taking it one chapter at a time; either way, it’s simple to move forward. Just get  your individual files ready with the first line formatted as Heading 1, upload all of the files and move them around so they’re in the order you want, and you’re done! You’ll have a finished EPUB in no time.

(For more info on our recent enhancements, click on the image above.)

Speaking of those headings, if you’ve ever created an eBook on Lulu you might have received an error message regarding your NCX – the eBook’s table of contents that lets the reader jump instantly to any chapter or section. After all, it’s one of the top ten reasons why eBooks are rejected for retail distribution. Creating a proper NCX requires a pretty straightforward but very specific use of styles and headings so that all of your chapters, sections, and subsections line up appropriately. Not sure if you’ve done yours correctly? After you upload your eBook files you’ll now find a table of contents preview that will let you see how everything will be ordered in your NCX. If you’ve used the method above to upload multiple files for your EPUB, this preview is a simple way to make sure everything was put together just the way you wanted.

You’ve already got the Lulu eBook Creator Guide with all the information you could ever want about eBooks right at your fingertips, and these new additions to the Lulu site will help you out even more along the way. Plus, we still have our great paid services available if you want everything taken care of for you with no hassle. There’s never been a better time to create your eBook, and it’s never been easier to do it with Lulu.

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

Skip the tie & cufflink set. Create a unique gift in less time than it takes to make a mall haul.

In his latest New Yorker essay, “Understanding Owls: What does a gift say about the giver?” humorist and fellow Raleigh-native David Sedaris reflects on the friend and family imposed owl collection that gets bigger each year.

Does there come a day in every man’s life when he looks around and says to himself, ‘I’ve got to weed out some of these owls’?… Just when you think you’re making progress, you remember the owl tobacco tin, and the owl tea cozy. Then there are the plates, the coasters, the Christmas ornaments. This is what happens when you tell people you like something.

So how can you ensure that you get a gift that your loved ones will really appreciate? We realize we’re biased, but we recommend that instead of reaching for the last-minute, pre-wrapped, hand-cranked flashlight-radio-tire pressure gauge, go the sentimental route and create a unique, personalized and meaningful gift this year – a gift that really says I care about you.

In half the time it takes you to find a parking space, create a unique gift they’ll cherish forever — a personalized calendar or photo book. Through Nov. 27 our special holiday deal means creating one has never been more enticing.

Rather than wrapping up the umpteenth necktie in the tis-the-seasons-series for grandpa this year, create a photo book featuring all the ties you’ve gotten gramps throughout the years with corresponding photos of you and him. He may not have something to begrudgingly wear when you come to visit, but at least he’ll enjoy a genuine smile every time he reaches for that book.

Got kids? Then you’ve got photos. Pictures have a special power to make fellow family members happy. Need gifts for your kids’ coaches and teachers? What about a way to remember your latest family reunion or family vacation? The list of possibilities is endless when you bring your imagination to the project.

Happy Holidays and cheers to cherishing back the memories.

 

What Are You Thankful For?

I’ll keep this short and sweet so that you can get back to your family, food and festivities. We’re asking a simple, but important question: WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?

In five sentences, answer this question in the comments below for the chance to win $100 to spend at Lulu.com. A team of Lulu judges will select our favorite entry and award the winner at our sole discretion. We will accept entries until 11:59 pm EST on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. We will announce the winner on our blog by 6 pm EST on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.

We hope you will enjoy writing your entry and reflecting what you are thankful for. For what it counts, we are incredibly thankful for you, the creators of the world.

Happy Thanksgiving!