Articles by Cary

Getting Your Book on a Retail Shelf

Sometimes there is nothing more gratifying for an author than to walk into their neighborhood bookstore and see their own blood, sweat, and tears resting on the shelf. While there is no guarantee that your book will appear in “brick and mortar” bookstores, these tips and suggestions will certainly put your book on the right track for consideration.

ISBN

First things first, your book needs an ISBN. Whether you decide to register for one on your own through an ISBN agency such as Bowker (http://www.bowker.com/) or opt for a free Lulu-owned ISBN, this number will be the key identifier for your book and is also a requirement for the next tip.

globalREACH Distribution

globalReach distribution is essential for any author looking to increase their readership in stores because it enables your book to be available through the wholesaler, Ingram Book Company, which is the preferred go-between of most big-name retailers.

Go Local

Try visiting your local, independent bookstore (like Quail Ridge Books here in Raleigh) to see if there would be any interest in carrying your book. Typically, these retailers feel more open to supporting the work of homegrown authors. It may even sweeten the deal if you already have buyers lined up.

If you’ve tried and tried and still haven’t made the leap into bookstores, don’t feel discouraged. According to Book Industry Study Group, less than 40% of books are purchased in actual stores versus online. And the Lulu Marketplace is home to over 2.5 million unique visitors – that’s a lot of folks just itching to discover your remarkable work.

What’s in a Name?: Picking Your Book’s Title

Now that you have poured your heart and soul onto every page of your Lulu book, here comes the real dilemma…what about the title? Yes, the title. It’s hard to imagine that those couple of words will be the first to introduce a potential reader to your book and will help them decide whether to pick it up or pass it by. In an effort to provide some aid to this rather daunting task, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Take the Short Road

Take a look at The New York Times Best Seller List and you will notice that, most often than not, today’s most popular titles are 3 words or less. If that isn’t enough to convince you, think of some of the books that you have read in the past. Here are a few of mine – The Help, The Scarlet Letter, What Remains, Pride and Prejudice, etc. Do you see a pattern? If you’re afraid that a couple of words or a short phrase won’t sum up your book, consider using a subtitle to provide further explanation.

Be Original

Since titles aren’t copyrighted, there could be a chance that the title you choose may already be spoken for. In the case that your title (or one very similar) is in use, it may be best to reevaluate what you have chosen to avoid confusion. Not sure if your book title has a twin? Try checking out an online book database or catalog like Project Gutenberg.

Share Your Ideas

Once you have had the chance to brainstorm a few title possibilities, bounce them off of your friends, family, and coworkers. Make sure to provide several ideas and poll them for which ones they better. Like your potential readers, they won’t know much about your book and can only judge it based on the title.

Focus: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is a very exciting month for many reasons – pumpkins, costumes, football games, etc. But it’s also an important month for one very special reason. I’ll give you a hint…think PINK!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and according to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, about 207,090 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States this year. That’s a scary statistic, but the good news is that there so many foundations, blogs, and, of course, books out there dedicated to keeping people informed and to providing support to those experiencing the disease, firsthand.

On Lulu, we are lucky enough to have some great titles right at our fingertips! Whether you have been personally touched by breast cancer or are just looking for a way to contribute to the cause, here are a couple of books that may be just what you’re looking for.

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Becoming Whole
by Meg Wolff

Written by cancer survivor, Meg Wolff, this book tells the story of her complete recovery from breast cancer after being told that a mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy couldn’t stop her disease. Instead of giving up, Wolff took a different approach by changing her diet and is now a living testament that changing your diet can save your life.

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Mommy Found a Lump
by Nathalie G. Johnson, M.D.

This children’s book, complete with colored illustrations, was designed as a guide to assist parents in helping their children understand what a family experiences when a parent goes through the treatment of breast cancer.  A portion of all sales will be donated to cancer research.

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Eat for the Cure
by Maria Fernandez

This cookbook is a compilation of recipes contributed by women all over the country, dedicated to the discovery of a cure for breast cancer. With recipes ranging from Baked Apple French Toast to Jalapeño Havarti Cheese Grits, your taste buds will thank you! All profits made from sales will benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

Lulu’s Last-Minute, Key Ingredients to a Fabulous Holiday Party

Hang the mistletoe, plug in the lights, and trim the tree because December is here and so is the holiday party season. Make it one to cherish and remember with these tips:

* Pick up a scrumptious copy of Cookies and Cocktails . This festive cookbook has recipes sure to please even the pickiest of party palates. Whether you serve the Jack Frost Martini or the Kris Kringle cookies, your guests are guaranteed to come back for seconds and, who knows, maybe thirds.

* Whether you’re hosting or attending, a digital camera is a must have. Capture all of your party’s unforgettable moments and create a Lulu photo book to share with friends at the party and those who couldn’t make it. With the easy-to-use Lulu Studio™ photo book tool, you could have it ready before the next party. Could be a great gift idea…(hint hint.)

However you choose to celebrate your upcoming holiday event, have a very merry Happy Holidays from Lulu.com.

Holiday Gift Ideas on Lulu

Even though it is only the second week of November, everybody knows that the holiday shopping season has been kicked into high gear. But instead of braving the stresses and mobs at your neighborhood shopping mall, sit back, put your feet up and check out a couple of the cool things Lulu has to offer.

For that special sports fanatic in your life, pick up Dugout Wisdom: Life Lessons from Baseball by Dan Migala. This book features a compilation of words of wisdom from 55 greats of the game such as Sparky Anderson, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Whitey Ford, Goose Gossage, Monte Irvin, Kirby Puckett, Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo and Mike Schmidt. As a plus, you can even order a custom cover complete with your own personal holiday message!

For those cooking enthusiasts, the options on Lulu are limitless. In fact, there are even options for those non-cooking enthusiasts, which brings me to my next gift idea: Paul Gaj’s How to Cook: A Guide for Men Who Don’t. Through this cookbook, Gaj provides (for the price of an average meal) a guide to help the average man, whether he be 18 to 80, prepare his own food.

Of course, if you’re looking to add a personal touch, you can take advantage of the Lulu Studio™ and compile all of those family photos and put together a fabulous photo book that puts all of those gift certificates to shame.

Get Sound Financial Advice From Lulu Authors

With all this talk of bail-outs, recessions and slumping markets, I’m itching to yank my money out of the bank and throw it under the mattress. Ok…maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but I can’t help feeling a little antsy about my finances during these difficult times. And I know I’m not alone.

Luckily, I’m here to ease your tensions with a list of books from Lulu to help alleviate some of those money woes.

One of the most common financial problems experienced today is debt. If you find yourself in that boat, check out Janine Bolon’s book, Ditching Debt . This financial guide provides easy principles on how to deal with the debt you already have and how to prevent yourself from incurring more.

Also plaguing the minds of most working Americans today is retirement. In Secure Your Retirement , Lulu author John Mahaney shares his personal story of how, after his early retirement at age 41, he took his net worth from $40,000 to $1,000,000 in just ten years. (Seriously, where do I sign up?)


Of course, if you’re looking for a more lighthearted read, pick up The Girl’s Guide to Money Etiquette by Julianne Pekarthy and Heidi Farr. Jam-packed with hilarious anecdotes of when money and personal relationships collide, this money etiquette guide is sure to keep you advised and entertained.

So before you go into panic mode, pick up one of these great books and educate yourself!

Customize Your Way to a Published Success

When I was in school, nothing stressed me out more than having to edit and format those 10 to 15 page term papers, so I can’t even imagine how much pressure authors must feel when tackling those massive 300 page manuscripts. Now, Lulu authors have it easy! Lulu Services has whipped up some exciting new offerings to better meet everyone’s needs and ease a little of that pre-publishing anxiety.

Introducing (drum roll, please)…Customizable Publishing Packs!

The standard Publishing Pack is PERFECT for anyone who is feeling a little overwhelmed about putting the finishing touches on their work, because this service bundle has industry professionals take care of pre-publishing needs like editorial work and custom cover design.

Wait…it gets better! Now, anyone interested in the pack can choose to customize their bundle with one of Lulu’s four formatting services. These offerings range from a basic service for text-only manuscripts to a custom service for longer books with an unlimited number of images.

If you’re looking for a way to move your project to the next level, a Lulu publishing pack will take you there and beyond!