Articles by admin

Need Some Publishing Help?

Lulu HelpThe Lulu help section has been updated with quite a few new entries. As Nick mentioned, there are now a number of great video tutorials that will help you get through the publishing process, but we’ve also added a lot more information in general. There are sections on how to set creator revenue and the final price of your Lulu content and the different paper options for books. Lots of answers to common publishing questions can be found in the Lulu help section.

The Lulu help section is a perfect place for any aspiring author to start before getting ready to tackle the publishing process.

Click Here to Go To Lulu Help.

Twitter Etiquette

twitterEver since the world sat glued to the TV waiting for Oprah to send her first Tweet, I have seen more and more people join Twitter and get frustrated because they “don’t see the point” of it. There is much more to using Twitter than just letting people know what you had for lunch or that your cat threw up again. Smart authors can use the service to gain a valuable audience that can turn into readers. Wil Wheaton used Twitter and his blog to increase his network and when his book, Sunken Treasure, was released it rocketed to the top of the Lulu Top 100 Sellers Chart.

As with anything, gaining Twitter followers does not happen overnight. I initially wrote about how to use Twitter last year to find an audience, but with more and more people using the service, having your voice heard can be difficult. These simple tips should help you gain followers and stay followed by those who can turn into readers of your Lulu.com content.

Censor Yourself: Before you post anything, think if you’d actually like to read the Tweet if it came from someone you were following.

ReTweet: I often ReTweet links or posts that I find useful, interesting or humorous. I find that people whose Tweets I have Retweeted often Retweet my Tweets (say that 3x fast). This allows my message to reach an even larger audience.

Don’t Spam: An alarming trend is happening, many people are simply sending out the same message to every celebrity using Twitter over and over. These messages are not read by the celebrity and often cause the sender to be unfollowed or blocked.

These simple tips can help you build an audience and establish relationships using Twitter and ultimately help you sell more of your Lulu.com content.

Follow Lulu here.
Follow me here.
Sign-up for Twitter here.

Read more about using Social Networking here.

Fight On! The March Lulu.com Sales Contest Winner

Fight On MagazineIgnatius Umlaut, the winner of the Lulu.com March Sales Contest was kind enough to take the time to conduct an interview with me via email this week. If you are a Lulu.com author, or want to be one, be sure to head over to the monthly contest page and sign up.

Tell us a bit about yourself and Fight On!

Certainly. I teach at a university and have a family; fantasy roleplaying is my main hobby. I started playing RPGs back in grade school in the seventies and have more or less been going ever since.

Fight On! is a fan magazine that celebrates and tries to pick up from those early days of the hobby, modeled loosely on classic FRP magazines like Dragon and Alarums & Excursions. Our focus is on old-school fantasy roleplaying games, especially in the style that developed around the original Dungeons and Dragons rules in the seventies and early eighties (Empire of the Petal Throne, Thieves’ Guild, Arduin, Runequest, AD&D, Tunnels & Trolls, Fantasy Trip, Dragon Warriors, and many others). Today games like Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, Encounter Critical, Mutant Future, Forward: to Adventure, Mazes & Minotaurs, Spellcraft & Swordplay, and many others carry this tradition forward – several of these games sell on Lulu.com, I might add! We try to give people tools they can use in their games and encourage a do-it-yourself, make-your-own-fantasy kind of approach to roleplaying in general.

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.