Articles by admin

Send Your Book to the Frankfurt Book Fair

Road Trip! – For your book

Remember Book Fair Day in elementary school? If you’re anything like the rest of us Lulus, it was your favorite day of the year. You perused shelf after shelf in the Media Center, leafing through the books and marking your favorites on the order form, and if you were very lucky, your parents would send a check the next day to order the books.

Well, book fairs have grown up! The Lulu Book Fairs, like the 2012 Frankfurt International Book Fair, are a great way to showcase your book, providing the opportunity for it to be noticed by book and publishing industry professionals. Like the book fairs of your youth, the books are not available for sale at the actual Fair, but they are there for anyone interested in viewing and sampling new independent titles.  The same professionals flipping through your books are also provided a catalog of all of the books in the showcase, along with the information necessary to contact you and purchase the book at a later time.


The magic questions are, what do you get, and will someone notice your book? Like any publicity service, what we can guarantee is exposure, not direct sales. We guarantee that your book will be included on the shelves at the fair, and that editors, agents, librarians, journalists, and other industry professionals will be in attendance (depending on the type of fair, the types of attendees may be more narrow). Whether they purchase the book depends on a great number of factors. In addition, there are other ways you can use the road trip experience to showcase your book.  Having your book at the Frankfurt Book Fair is a great credential to add to you back cover, saying, “Showcased at the Frankfurt Book Fair.”

Think about the most successful authors and the pride they exude for their books; there is an unwavering certainty that inside the book is something they think is worth reading. So often, we hear, “My book could be a best-seller, if only the right people knew about it.” If you have the same feelings for your book, a Book Fair is a great place to start with your book’s marketing campaign.

What’s required?

  • Buying the event service by Aug. 10
  • Completing the registration form by Aug. 15, and
  • Sending a copy of one book to the exhibitor office located in the US by Aug. 15. (You may ship your book directly from Lulu if you’d like.)

A full list of Book Fairs can be found here, by clicking on the “Book Fairs” button: Lulu’s Book Fair Events and a full list of FAQs for events can be found here: Book Fair Marketing FAQs.

How To Land a Major Publisher

Aspiring author Michael Ennis felt the sting of rejection after submitting drafts of his work, “The Malice of Fortune,” to several publishing houses. Ennis was ready to give up until he received a tip from his agent: Try booksellers first. Ennis and his agent, Daniel Lazar, set out to self-publish the title using, eventually sending 48 copies to top-tier booksellers such as Books & Books in Miami and Tattered Cover in Denver.  23 sellers responded and within days, rights to the book were purchased at six figures by a traditional imprint – ordering a 75,000 copy run.  A representative from the acquiring publisher says the work Ennis did upfront was key in getting the publisher to even look at the new title due to the high volume of submissions they receive. Yet another example of a modern day author giving away their work for free, with successful results.


To read the full story in the Wall Street Journal, click here: To Land a Publisher, an Author Prints Sample Copies for Stores


Recommended Reading:

Book Expo America 2012: Three Authors and 36 Million Reasons to Meet Them

Lulu is headed to Book Expo America (BEA), one of the largest publishing events in the world, next week, but we’re not going alone.  Three of our very own authors will be on site June 5th – 7th signing free copies of their bestsellers and, more importantly, sharing tips on how to make it in this lucrative new world of open-publishing.

The line-up of bestselling authors at BEA includes New York Times Bestseller David Thorne, former congressional candidate and political author Kevin Powell, and marketing/tech guru Scott Steinberg. This is a can’t miss for everyone attending BEA, so stop by to see us at book #3476!

Lulu Founder and CEO, Bob Young, will also be there presenting on two panels Sunday, June 3rd.  Bob will be calling on his years of salesmanship and expertise to share valuable tips and insights for publishing success.  Both panels take place this Sunday at the Javits Convention Center in New York.  Bob’s speaking schedule below:

  • 9:00AM – 9:50AM – Room 1E14 – Break Through & Publish You
  • 1:30PM – 2:20PM – Room 1E13 – Publishing Partners That Put Unknown Authors on the Bookshelf
Lulu’s presence at BEA comes hot on the heels of our 10-year anniversary, which had us celebrating our authors making over $36 million in revenue in our decade-long history.  At over 677,000 published eBooks and over 618,000 published print titles, we’re more excited than ever to show the folks at BEA just how easy it is to publish works in all sorts of markets and formats more profitably than ever before.  See you at the show!

Announcing the Lulu Publishing Advisor

Introducing… The New Lulu Publishing Advisor

I had coffee recently with an old friend who’s recently written a children’s book.  He, like many others, set out to conquer publishing without the help of an agent or publishing house. So naturally he went to the World Wide Web to begin his research, only to find a sea of mixed messages, daunting choices, and publishing “experts.”

He quickly realized he wanted a source he could trust to give him the best advice, in an hour over cappuccinos. So we talked about his personal publishing needs, while he took furious notes and asked fitting questions.

Recognizing the value of this custom experience was the impetus for Lulu to create the Lulu Publishing Advisor.  Our goal was to create something fun, personalized, and informative to help new authors ease into the open-publishing industry.  We at Lulu have seen lots of common mistakes (ahem, skipping editing to save money, anyone?) and have plenty of advice we want to share, from doing preliminary market research to planning a release party.  The challenge is that the needs of each author vary greatly. We’ve, therefore, customized your publishing advice based on 5 pick-an-answer questions.  We worked really hard to make this a fun experience, so have a try, and maybe you’ll pick up a few tips for your first or next book!


Bestselling Author Kevin Powell Comes to Lulu

Author your vision, Live your purpose with Kevin Powell

Author Kevin Powell stepped off the stage into a packed room of over 700 people after finishing his keynote speech in Raleigh, North Carolina last February.  He didn’t leave until he had personally spoken to every single attendee who had come to hear him speak.

Powell knows how to command a room, but will leave you feeling like the star.  That’s because to Powell, you are the star. We all are.

Former MTV reality show personality, turned journalist, turned activist, turned congressional candidate, turned riveting political author, Powell has lived a life not unlike a real-life Forrest Gump (or so his friends say). His uncanny ambition, open-mind, and big heart have taken him all over the world and allowed him to experience diverse people and perspectives – uniting them all under the simple concept of helping your fellow man.

“Life isn’t a straight line,” Powell says. “It is an all over adventure.”

Powell remains grounded through it all, though – truthful to his humble beginnings in New Jersey and Brooklyn and the life lessons his southern single mother provided him as a boy. It is this amazing balance between where Powell came from and where he is today that makes him more personable and more real than anyone else you could encounter – even while standing up on a stage in front of hundreds of people.

“There was a point in my life when I needed to step back and figure out what was important to me. It wasn’t fame or attention; it was making the world better – helping people. I love people. If you can remember where you came from – be proud of where you came from – and love yourself, then you can start to love others, too.”

Powell’s 11th book, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and the Ghost of Dr. King is available today on It echoes many of these fundamental concepts and how they fit into a rapidly changing American society and culture in the modern day.

Powell’s love for writing started when he was just a child.  He remembers his mother taking him to the library every Saturday and Sunday and being fascinated by books and their authors.

“At 11 years old I was reading For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway,” Powell recalls.  “I didn’t necessarily understand it all, but I was hooked. I researched Hemingway, learned he ran with the bulls in Europe, lived in Key West, and thought:  ‘Wow, this is what you get to do as a writer.’ Reading had a profound impact on me. It took me places and filled my imagination.”

One of the first things Powell did once he found his stride as a writer was travel to Hemingway’s home in Key West as a “thank you” to his idol and to just be in the same place as where Hemingway had worked and lived.

Growing up, Powell’s mother didn’t exactly see his artistic vision quite as clearly as he did, however.

“My mom came from farm life,” Powell says. “That was working to her – not writing. At first, my mom thought I was out of my mind.”

Powell went to college at Rutgers in New Jersey where he fell in love with journalism and discovered activism. A nearby friend happened to have started an indie newspaper and hired Powell to write for 20 bucks an article.

“I was just happy to have a byline,” Powell says. “I started to find my voice. It was the most liberating time of my life.  I spent the entire summer of 1987 sitting on the steps of the New York Public Library writing in my journal. I couldn’t stop.”

Powell continued writing, oddly found himself on a popular MTV reality show, then landed a spot writing articles for Vibe Magazine working for another childhood idol Quincy Jones.

“Now my mom started to come around,” Powell laughs.  “People in the neighborhood started talking about me. Now my mom is the first person to tell people about my book. Whenever I release one, she’ll call and say: ‘Did you say anything about me?’”

So how, then, does a successful author and speaker who has run for congress find self-publishing?

“If you’re ever in the world of media, you inevitably think to yourself: ‘There has got to be a better way,’” Powell says. “I’ve had agents and publishers turn to me and simply say:  ‘We’re not gonna represent you anymore.’ They try to force you to make choices like ‘are you an artist or an activist?’ A person can be both. The people at Lulu have been some of the coolest to work with, and there is something to be said for feeling like you’re dealing with real people, where the CEO will actually reach out to you if you need him. Lulu really practices what I personally believe in how you should treat people.”

Be sure to check out Kevin Powell’s new book Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and the Ghost of Dr. King on today. To learn more about Powell and his upcoming speaking engagements visit

Expand Your Business with Custom Publishing Solutions

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 organizationslike 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.


Heads Up: Site Maintenance this Weekend