Articles by Carol

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.

DIY Father's Day Gifts

Father's DayIf you’re anything like me, you think the world of your Dad. He is your teacher, your hero and your best friend. I’ve always struggled with finding just the right gift for him – usually just settling for a neat tool that he’s mentioned in passing or the latest tech gadget.

With Lulu, rest assured that this year it’ll be easier than ever to create your very own personalized Father’s Day photo book or calendar. Using your favorite digital photos of Dad and the family, you can make a photo book or calendar quickly and affordably with our free online Studio tool. With a wide range of options to choose from, you can make your DIY Father’s Day gift as unique as you like.

Create your photo book or calendar and Save 25% with code FORDAD at checkout. Offer ends 6/20/10.

Lulu University: Book Signings

Book SigningJune 14, 2010 brings our next Lulu University class – Book Signing Gold!  If you have a book signing coming up or want to know how to strike book signing gold, drive crowds of people to your event, sell more books AND get invited back – then this class is for you! We’ll teach you how to plan an exceptional book signing from start to finish and leave a positive lasting impression.

Lulu empowers creators with the tools needed for success. Our FREE Lulu University webinars provide you with the knowledge and know-how to get the most out of your work. You can register for the Book Signing Gold class by adding the free service to your shopping cart and checking out.

You will be emailed with instructions on attending this free Lulu University webinar from lulu@amarketingexpert.com a few days prior to the event. Webinars are held at 7pm EST/4pm PST and require computer access.

See you in class!

We're at BEA!

BEA2

On Monday, AJ announced that we would be at BookExpo America at the Javitz Convention Center this week.

Sherrie has been busy with the New Title Showcase, highlighting books by Lulu’s who ordered the Book Fair services package. What’s better than getting your book at BEA right at the front entrance?! It’s the perfect location for getting noticed by more than the 35 thousand people in attendance.

So far, we’ve been having a blast meeting new people and making new friends. We’ve seen steady traffic at our booth (#2348) and a lot of people have walked away inspired and ready to share their creations with the world at large. We’ve also had the wonderful pleasure of meeting authors who have already published with us. Hearing their experiences makes this crazy idea called Lulu totally worth it.BEA1

If we haven’t seen you yet, please stop and say hello. We’d like to meet you.

Interview with Shayla Hawkins: Winner of The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest

Shayla HawkinsLast Tuesday, we announced Shayla Hawkins as the winner of The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest. Her microstory, “A Test”, was selected to be included in future copies of John Edgar Wideman’s latest book, Briefs.

When I read the announcement that Shayla Hawkins had won the contest, I couldn’t help but wonder who this amazing talent was. And I couldn’t help but think that others might want to get to know her as well. I was ecstatic when she agreed to answer a few questions for the Lulu blog.

What do you do for a living and what do you aspire to do?
I’m a freelance writer and editor, but my dream is to be a successful novelist so that I can write great stories with memorable characters whenever I want, wherever I want. And, although it sounds silly because there’s no money in it, I would love to have books of my poems published, too, since I was introduced to literature by way of my early exposure to poetry (fairy tales, nursery rhymes, Bible stories, etc.), and the love that I developed as a child for the rhythm, rich language and concision of good poetry remains with me to this day.