Articles by Carol

What We’re Reading

It started off simple enough. I sent a company-wide email to my fellow Lulus asking two very simple questions.

I just finished reading a screenplay written by a friend of mine and was looking for some suggestions from my friendly Lulus as to what I should read next. Having worked here for four years, I should have known what to expect. CHAOS. There’s two things about us Lulus that you have to understand, we love books and we’re very opinionated. I made a rookie mistake, and I admit that. I received so many replies to my email that I’ve decided to take each Wednesday in August to highlight just a select few of the books that my fellow Lulus are currently reading.

August Sales Contest – $2750 in Total Prize Winnings!

The August Author Sales Contest is underway and Lulu.com is offering cash prizes and additional exposure to the authors who publish the top 3 most purchased books on Lulu throughout the month of August.  To enter the sales contest, simply register using the email address associated with your Lulu account and get started promoting your book.

Registration is free and all entries must be received no later than August 31, 2010 to be eligible.

Winners and runners-up will also receive

  • Recognition and books highlighted on the contest results page
  • Highlighted in e-mail blast to Lulu authors, and in our newsletter
  • Interview highlighted in Lulu blog

Lulu University: Media Training Magic

Picture 10Are you ready for your close up? If you’re not sure then this class is for you. Before you spend valuable marketing dollars to get yourself on radio and TV, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing when it comes to media exposure.

This class will teach you what you need to know about media training. We’ll also share with you the media mistakes you never want to make.

Media Training Magic takes place August 9, 2010 at 7pm EST at a computer near you!

Making Criticism Work For You

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re the creative type and maybe even a DIY-er. If I were to guess, I’d have to say you’ve probably written your own book, edited it, and then designed the cover. Pretty impressive, and you definitely get a pat on the back from me. But you may have noticed that it’s really easy to get stuck inside your own head and become blind or even evasive of constructive criticism when you’re doing it all on your own. The key is to not let your work suffer.

Tell Your Readers About FREE Summer Shipping

Picture 18

A few months back, we announced that we’d be offering FREE Shipping for the entire summer. You may be thinking, “that’s great and all, but my shelves are packed.” Well, if you’ve recently published with Lulu, now is the perfect time to tell your readers. Create a press release and let your fans know they can get your book this summer with FREE shipping. There’s no better time.

If you need help creating your own press release, we’ve got you covered.

Lulu University: Think Outside The Bookstore Box

Book SigningBookstores got you down? Take heart. Did you know that only 35% of Americans get their books in bookstores? There are lots of things you can do to promote your book even if it isn’t in the bookstores. This class will cover the top 10 super savvy ways you can promote yourself without setting foot in a bookstore.

We’ll talk about all of the other places you can sell your book and we’ll also look at creative ways to do non-bookstore signings and events. Plus, we’ll discuss how to promote yourself by hosting your very own virtual tour.

10 Super Savvy Ways to Promote Your Book without Setting Foot in a Bookstore takes place July 12, 2010 at 7pm EST at a computer near you.

Blog Maintenance

2942026934_17963107c0_o The Lulu blog will be down for a short period Monday night, and we won’t be able to add new posts or accept new comments during that time. We’re making some improvements behind the scenes so that we can add new features in the coming months to benefit our loyal readers. The most significant change right now is the Web address. It will become www.lulu.com/blog. But don’t worry. We’ll automatically reroute readers who visit our old one. We’ll let you know when the blog is back in business. Thanks for your patience.

And… we’re back! Everything went along without a hitch. The biggest change you may have noticed is that the new address for the blog is www.lulu.com/blog. There will be more updates in the near future, so we’ll be sure to keep you informed as changes take place. Stay tuned for more details. Same bat time. Same bat channel. Or, blog for that matter.

The July Author Sales Contest is Underway

July Author Sales Contest

Understanding Distribution and ISBNs

Distribution

Much like Bigfoot and Chupacabra, ISBNs and Distribution remain a mystery to many Lulu authors. While we can’t explain Chupacabra or Bigfoot, we can help you understand Distribution and ISBNs.

What is distribution?
Distribution is a service that gets your book out to the world. We make your book available through bibliographic databases, online marketplaces and distribution catalogs. Lulu currently offers 3 distribution options: extendedREACH, globalREACH, and marketREACH. I will explain each of those in a little bit.

What is an ISBN?
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a controlled, 10- or 13-digit identification number that allows publishers, libraries, and book dealers to locate books. You may get a free ISBN from Lulu or you can bring an ISBN you own and assign it to your book.

In September 2009, Lulu separated distribution and ISBNs so authors could get distribution for ISBNs that they own and bring to Lulu. We offer distribution options for ISBN and non-ISBN titles. Each Lulu project may have one distribution option and/or ISBN. Once an ISBN or distribution option has been applied to a project, you cannot change it.

Our current distribution options:

Writing Exercise: 750 Words

750 WordsA few months back, I came across an article on Lifehacker about a new web app created by Buster Benson called 750 Words. Once I read that Benson’s app could help writers like me get back into daily journaling, I was hooked. In the Lifehacker article, Gina Trapani expalined that “every day, you type 750 words—the equivalent of three pages…. whatever you want, free writing.” I loved this idea.

Often, I find myself staring down a blank page with a topic rattling around in my head, clouded by a million other thoughts. I was already laying down the groundwork for the upcoming Script Frenzy challenge and thought this would be a great way to get focused and write like I’ve never written before. And it’s really helped.

The days I haven’t written my daily quota, I struggle. It takes me longer to say what I want and I stumble along the way. It’s harder for me to focus and stay motivated. But the days I’ve tackled this writing exercise I fly through pages. The words flow with ease and I’m less stressed about what shows up on the screen.

One of the things I really love about this site are the graphs. Stats are extracted from your writing and displayed after you meet your daily goal. They show you how you are feeling, what you are concerned about, what your mindset is, and highlight your frequently used words. The 750 Words webapp also times you and tracks how many distractions you’ve had. (You can see a sample of my daily stats on the left.) For me, this feature is invaluable when it comes to dissecting my daily brain dump.

If you’ve been wondering how to take your writing to the next level, I highly recommend you try writing 750 words a day.