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Lulu Author Interview: Samata Angel

Samata AngelI am a huge advocate for social networking. My love of Twitter has kind of become a running joke around the office. Everything we do, I try to work in a way to utilize Twitter. In fact, our partner WeRead has implemented Twitter into the site and is allowing users to easily send out what they are reading. We are working on a few things at Lulu.com as well to help authors utilize all the social networking tools available (more on that later).

One issue with gaining converts to the power of social networking is showing the value. Many people who are unfamiliar with the medium only see the noise and not the benefits. I have found a number of my LuluBlog author interviews via social networking. In fact, Lulu author Bob McDonald conducted an interview with me via Twitter. Samata Angel found me via my LinkedIn profile and asked me some questions about Lulu.com and how she could effectively market her books. That simple message turned into this interview. The real trick to marketing your business, and yourself, via social networking is creating a conversation. None of the people who I have profiled or helped promote their content have sent impersonal messages. They all started a conversation with me. For now, here is my post on using Twitter to gain an audience and we’ll have more social networking how-to posts coming up on the blog and on Lulu.com.

Samata Angel has used Lulu to promote her fashion career. So far, she has created two books using Lulu.com and was kind enough to do an interview with me via email.

Tell us a bit about your background?

I grew up in Cambridge and moved to London to study my undergraduate degree in Economics, Finance and Management. Whist in London I just used the opportunity to get more involved in the fashion scene as I always loved being creative and wanted to see where it may take me, so I got involved in fashion shows backstage, assisted other designers and went to lots of networking parties. After university I worked in a range of fashion industry roles including Head of PR for a Chelsea 3 floor boutique and as Head of Marketing for a Japanese clothing label and it was after all of these experiences that I decided to register my company, Samata’s Muse. Since that I have just worked hard and been given the some great opportunities, with Samata’s Muse counting the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Dawn Richards as clients and having been featured in LOOK, PRIDE and Fashion Capital to name a few!

Lulu Author Interview: Jon Norris of OnWired.com

sm_book-coverI think that I have talked about how Lulu.com is home to some pretty amazing pieces of content in nearly every post I have written. One of my most recent discoveries was created by Jon Norris over at OnWired.com. OnWired is a a full service graphic design, web development, and online marketing firm located in Cary, NC and is run by a friend of mine, Tony Chester. They design some pretty amazing websites, so if you are planning on creating a website for your book, blog or whatever, shoot them an email.

Jon was kind enough to answer some of my questions about how they used Lulu.com to create a book to leave behind when they visited clients.

Can you describe what you made using Lulu.com and why?

We created a small full-color paperback book to serve as a leave-behind sales piece. In many cases, when we go to visit prospective clients, the person who contacted us initially is very familiar with us, but the powers that-be have no clue who we are. We wanted to be able to easily share with them a bit about our philosophy, our process, our services, and our experience, all wrapped up in a nicely designed package, since they are typically the ones who ultimately decide whether or not to hire us.

Lulu Author Interview: Dawson Vosburg

There is no real way to classify what is the typical Lulu author. We have such a wide range of people publishing books through Lulu that trying to classify who is a Lulu author is nearly impossible. It is this diversity that makes Lulu so special. We have college professors publishing their research, grandmothers publishing cookbooks, middle aged authors finally getting their “great American novel” into print and thousands more. It is truly amazing just to see what is published on a daily basis.

One author using Lulu is 14 year old Dawson Vosburg. He recently published the sci-fi adventure Double Life and was kind enough to answer some questions for me. I was really impressed that a 14 year old could write such a great story. I think my most impressive feat when I was 14 was finally rescuing Smurfette from Gargamel’s Castle in the Smurf videogame on my Coleco Adam computer.

Lulu Author Interview: Anthony S. Policastro

Working at Lulu.com has been a pretty interesting experience. Aside from all I have learned about the publishing industry, I have met some pretty unique people. I interviewed a former adult movie actress, a magazine publisher, and even helped a person in Moose Jaw, Canada publish a book via Twitter.

lulu-self-published-author

Even within Lulu.com there are tons of interesting people. I sat next to Anthony S. Policastro during his time at here and in between him getting hit in the head with a Nerf dart or answering his phone via his watch, we’d discuss different ways self-publishing authors can promote their books as well as the future of ebooks. Anthony has written two books that he has released through Lulu.com as well as guest posted on the Lulu Blog about writing and marketing.

Lulu Author Interview: Marty Wombacher

marty wombacherLulu.com is a pretty amazing website. We get tons of books, photobooks and other awesome content published through the site each day. When the site was smaller, I could pretty much see all of the new books that people had published each day. Now it is much harder to do and I end up missing out on discovering some really cool books.

I am a huge fan of the social networking tool Twitter and have added all of the Lulu authors I can find who use the tool. (Follow me here and Lulu here.) I happened to be following Marty Wombacher who, as it turns out, is kinda semi-famous. He founded the magazine Fishwrap and also has written a number of books.

Buy Now Buttons for Lulu Products

One of the great features that often goes unnoticed on Lulu is our pre-made Buy Now Buttons.

Scatter customized buttons and banner ads on pertinent websites and link them directly to your product on Lulu. People who are browsing see them, click on them and, in many cases, become buyers.

All you have to do to make it happen is to go to the “My Lulu” page and click on the “Promote” icon (a star) next to one of the available products. Customized code is created and can then be placed on other websites to generate a button or banner ad.

Visit this page to learn more about how to add these great buttons to your blog or website. For best results, add them below a picture of your cover or description of your content.

For more great ideas on how Lulu can help you sell, visit our Writer Marketing Services page.

Lulu Author Interview: Chad Moutray

Lulu is home to thousands of books. You can find cookbooks, books about golf, puppy calendars, business guides and more. While I was browsing the Lulu marketplace happened across a book that stood out to me. Chad Moutray’s touching memoir of his brief, but intense, relationship with his wife Laura is a great example of how people turn to Lulu to publish their most intense personal memories.

Last Minute Holiday Gifts

If you you are like me, you probably have put off buying gifts and now are facing the horrible task of going to a mall the weekend before Christmas. After worrying about getting beaten up in the parking lot over a parking space I decided to just do my shopping at Lulu.com.

Here are some of the great gifts that I found:

Bawdy & Soul by R.A. Christmas is the result of R. A. Christmas’ lifetime interest in American Folk and Popular music—specifically, his roughly ten-year quest (ca.1975-85) for success in the “music business,” in and around Hollywood.

 

Christmas… Relax your spirit with the gentle sounds of pure piano holiday favorites, 
celebrating the serenity and beauty of Christmas. An outstanding collection of Christmas classics played by Marilyn Byrnes in a moving and contemporary style.

 

The Thorner Historical Society 2009 Calendar is twelve months of fantastic archive photos of Thorner in Leeds, capturing the good old days of horse drawn carriages and steam trains, no longer to be seen in Thorner.

 

There are thousands of great last-minute gift ideas available at the Lulu.com marketplace.

Lulu.com Author Interview: Bob McDonald

I love using Twitter to find out what the Lulu community is up to.  Often, I head over to Summize.com and type Lulu.com in the search field to see how our authors are promoting themselves via Twitter.  There are hundreds of recent messages from authors and buyers that have been sent talking about Lulu.com.  I decided to find one of the Lulu.com authors who actively uses Twitter to find out what kind of success they have had promoting their work.

Bob McDonald, author of Flagrant Foul and Dilemma, was kind enough to conduct an interview with me via Twitter today about how he has used the latest social networking tools to promote his books.

Taking it to the Web: Tools for online marketing and promotion

The Lulu “Mini-Storefront” widget and website banners are the unsung heroes for online marketing.  Last month we talked about how press releases are a great way to spread the word about your book.  With the Lulu widget and website banners, you can encourage people to buy your book wherever you are on the web.

The Lulu “Mini-Storefront” widget attracts visitors from your blog, MySpace page, Facebook profile or personal website to your Lulu content.  With the Mini-Storefront, your captive audience can view your book, read the description and – the best part – buy your book(!) all from the comforts of your website.
Let’s try the Facebook Widget – Here are a few tips to keep in mind when setting up your widget with your Facebook profile: