Articles by Carol

April 19 Lulu U Class: Tricks to Sell More Books

Be sure to sign up for the next Lulu University class on April 19th @ 7PM: Red Hot Web 2.0 Tricks to Sell More Books! You’ve heard the term “Web 2.0” but can it really help you sell more books? You bet it can and this class will show you how. Packed with tons of information and super simple things anyone can to do get themselves into the Web 2.0 marketing world, you’ll walk away with fun ideas, simple tricks, and tons of helpful advice.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Creating “feeder” sites that feed traffic into your web site!
  • Using book videos to sell more books
  • Using Wikipedia to market yourself
  • Why linking to other web sites is a bad idea
  • How to get more web site traffic right away!
  • Got blog? The one thing you should NEVER do with your blog!

Don’t miss this class! Sign up today!

What's Your Lulu Find?

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To celebrate our newly expanded open marketplace, we’re giving away a book a day to one lucky follower! From April 16 -21, follow Lulu on Twitter and tweet us your favorite Lulu find (make sure to use #LuluFind in your tweet). You could be the lucky daily winner of a $20 coupon for your favorite Lulu find!

Focus: The Tax Man Cometh

It’s April 15th and here in the States it’s Tax day. So for all you procratinators who waited until the last minute, this week I’m featuring books to help you with your taxes. And becuase you’ll need them right away, I’ve specifically chosen eBooks since they can be downloaded (and referenced) instantly!

Taxes2009 For DummiesTaxes 2009 For Dummies
Eric Tyson, Margaret A. Munro, David J. Silverman
The one-stop tax guide for the first-time or last-minute filer Updated and revised for the 2008 tax year, Taxes 2009 For Dummies is the only tax guide on the market that walks readers through the major tax forms line by line, including the 1040 Schedules A through E. Filled with helpful tips and strategies for filing income tax returns accurately and on time, this book is aimed at individuals who want to do their own taxes without hiring a preparer. Financial expert Eric Tyson teams up with tax experts Margaret Munro and David Silverman to answer the most frequently asked tax questions in plain English.

HowtoPayZeroTaxes2009

How to Pay Zero Taxes 2009
By Jeff A. Schnepper
The best advice in tax savings for 25 years!“If there’s a tax break allowed out there, it’s in here.” —New York Daily NewsCompletely up to date for 2009, this tax guide focuseson saving money on taxes, not on filling out forms.From converting personal expenses into businessexpenses to avoiding or surviving an IRS audit, How toPay Zero Taxes, 2009 Edition, comprehensively coversmore deductions than any other tax book, all convenientlyorganized in six fast-access categories: exclusions,credits, “above-the-line” deductions, “below-the-line”deductions, traditional tax shelters, and supertaxshelters.

How to Pay Zero Taxes 2009
By Jeff A. Schnepper
The best advice in tax savings for 25 years!“If there’s a tax break allowed out there, it’s in here.” —New York Daily NewsCompletely up to date for 2009, this tax guide focuseson saving money on taxes, not on filling out forms.From converting personal expenses into businessexpenses to avoiding or surviving an IRS audit, How toPay Zero Taxes, 2009 Edition, comprehensively coversmore deductions than any other tax book, all convenientlyorganized in six fast-access categories: exclusions,credits, “above-the-line” deductions, “below-the-line”deductions, traditional tax shelters, and supertaxshelters.

Focus: Spring Gardening

Spring has certainly sprung around Raleigh, NC. In fact, it’s sprung so much that everything outside is covered in a beautiful yellow coat of pollen. I’m certain that those with allergies are doing their best to keep their windows closed and stay inside, but I personally cannot spend enough time in my new garden. Because I have the opposite of a green thumb, whatever color thumb that may be, and I am certain to be the cause of any nightmares my houseplants may have (if that’s possible), I’ve decided that it would be best to get some gardening advice from my fellow Lulus. In case you are looking forward to playing in the dirt, too, I thought I’d share some of the great Gardening Books I’ve found on Lulu!

Growing Points

Growing Points
by Colorado Master Gardeners El Paso County
For many years as part of the Colorado State University Extension, Colorado Master Gardeners in El Paso County have enriched the local gardening landscape with research-based writings and stories from their personal experience. Here you will find this eclectic collection in one place, sorted by general topic, and written in tones from humorous to “no nonsense.”

Organic Gardening - A Way of Life- Inspiration and Instructions for Starting Your Own Organic GardenOrganic Gardening – A Way of Life: Inspiration and Instructions for Starting Your Own Organic Garden
by Barbara Hardy, Julia Anne Lis
Organic Gardening – A Way of Life provides instructions and inspiration for planning, growing and harvesting your own organic vegetables, fruits and herb. It also includes time tested recipes and instruction for canning and freezing the produce you raise.

Focus: Autism Awareness

Today, in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, I’m showcasing Lulus whose lives have been touched by Autism. While Autism affects more and more families each year, there is still very little known about it. Below, I’ve selected a wide range of books about Autism. Lulu has provided these authors, and many more, an outlet for their voice which may have otherwise been overlooked.

My brother is not specialMy Brother Is NOT Special!
by Samantha & Tyler McLeod

Samantha wonders why her brother, Tyler, is always called “special.” Although he has Autism, she sees him as no different than anyone else. She observes him and comes up with a very interesting conclusion.

This is Samantha McLeod’s second book following the popular award winning book “Normal.” She continues to write about her experiences with a brother who has Autism.

Kids with autism can

Kids With Autism Can
by Katie Murwin

This book wasn’t written to create false hope. Just hope.

A portion of the proceeds from this book will benefit Kids With Autism Can, a not-for-profit organization aimed at helping children with Autism work toward independence through therapy and education. Please visit our website at kidswithautismcan.org.

Focus: eBooks

You may have noticed that eBooks are quickly becoming a very popular option for readers. They offer instant gratification and can conveniently be read on portable eReaders, computers, and in some cases, even on your smart phone. eBooks are a great option for authors too, sometimes even allowing for higher royalties. Some authors even use eBooks to market their print books by providing a free sample of their work – a great technique sure to get new readers hooked.

One of the reasons I love Lulu eBooks so much is the content. Without a doubt, we have a unique selection that can’t be found anywhere else. Below, I’ve chosen a few that caught my interest. Take a look at my top eBook pics for the week!

Fight On! #7 Fall 2009 PDF VersionFight On! #7 Fall 2009

Deep under the misty mountains, the proudest and toughest keep Fighting On! Join us in those days of blood and plunder by picking up a copy of issue 7, dedicated to M.A.R. Barker and featuring EIGHT adventures, tables, settings, reviews, encounters, monsters, spells, magic items, new classes, non-canonical expansions to Empire of the Petal Throne, and much, much more!


The Crochet Dude's Flying AfghanThe Crochet Dude’s Flying Afghan!

Download version – As seen in the Accord Crochet Pattern-a-Day Calendar, here are all the patterns you’ll need to create this sampler afghan by The Crochet Dude. In no time you will have a wonderful gift (perhaps for yourself).

Included are the instructions for twelve large squares and sixteen small squares. Mix and match to create your own layout! Oh, and you also receive the Dudessembly instructions to put it all together!

Guest Author Blog: John Edgar Wideman

Today, Lulu is proud to welcome John Edgar Wideman to Lulu and pleased to present a very special guest author blog. Mr. Wideman chose Lulu after a distinguished career of 40+ years in the traditional publishing industry for many reasons, among them his desire to connect more intimately with his readers and to embrace the opportunity our platform provides for creators to retain complete control over their work. For Mr. Wideman, who has never used a computer, venturing into online publishing and the blogoshpere is an intimidating but exciting event! He’s eager to kick off a conversation with the Lulu community by sharing an introduction to his new work, and asks for your patience as he learns to respond and engage in a brand new forum.

JohnWideman_newBriefly, since these remarks introduce a book titled Briefs, I’d like to share a few thoughts about why and how I’ve been working the past three years on a volume of very short stories. My first novel was published in 1967 and I’ve been in print since, so my writing career’s far from brief, but brief an accurate, merciful word to describe a parcel of time which has rushed past so swiftly, stealthily, brutally, it feels some days like I just got here and it’s nearly time to go already. The micro-fictions in my collection are about losing time, saving time, enduring time, fearing and escaping time.

About the ubiquitous, silent pulse of time and how people learn to dance to it or not, to stumble through or find themselves graced by time or ignored or get their asses kicked.

Talking about the Lulu Community

talktalk

by PinkMoose

We’ve recently revealed our shiny new forums and support platform for all to see. Now, while we’re actively tweaking them and improving them to be the best based on your feedback, I’d like to highlight a few conversations you might be interested in.

Waiting Room Copies – Has Anyone tried This Yet? – This discussion is focused around a particularly creative approach to marketing your work. EelKat says “On the table along side the usual stacks of magazines was a book. On the Cover of the book was a large round sticker which read: ‘Waiting Room Copy – to Order Your Own Copy Please Go to www—–’”

Participants Wanted – Julie Dawson is requesting submissions to benefit Doctors Without Borders. Julie states, “As many of you know, each year I sponsor a charity writing contest.  I mentioned in a previous post that I was thinking about giving away an Amazon Kindle for the grand prize this year.  After reviewing everything, I have decided that we will definitely be doing this.”

So… where’s the line? – In this discussion, Elmore Hammes asks, “When do you call it “literature” – is it just when the book doesn’t fit firmly in a genre such as science fiction or romance? Or does it have to elevate to a higher level of writing to be deemed such?”

How do I make something available as a free download? – The title says it all!

So, head on over to the forums and get to know other Lulus!

Focus: Independent Art

Sure, Lulu has a lot of great literature. Fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, the list goes on and on. But did you know that we also have a plethora of independent artists? Lulu is attractive to indy artists for the same reason it’s attractive to indy authors: control, audience, quality and opportunity.

I encourage you to check out my top Indy Art book picks of the week.

POSTMARK L.A.

POSTMARK L.A.

by Teresa McFayden et al

Embark on an artful adventure between a group of friends! Join Rebecca Sower, Pam Garrison, Teresa McFayden, Charlotte Lyons, Carolyn Peeler and Amy Hanna as they attend a fabulous vintage art party, and tour Los Angeles with an artful eye. This book is filled with their Los Angeles inspiration! In Postmark, L.A., the friends continue on to provide several projects, some with templates just for you. Enjoy interviews, frivolity and so much more. Vintage inspiration awaits you…

Pasticcio Quartz Issue 8

Pasticcio Quartz Issue 8

by Angela Cartwright, Sarah Fishburn

The fabulous, phenomenal, oversized Winter ’09-’10 issue of Pasticcio Quartz is finally here. It’s new; it’s NOW! Art, eats, etsy, fashion, history, holidays, pets, plaid – totally wrapped up in the prettiest package ever, and tied with a big red bow. Come to think of it, you’d better grab a few extras to give as gifts to those you love the BEST! 72 pages in brilliant color!

Guest Blog: Author Julio Vazquez

2010. I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since I first stumbled on Lulu.com.
Looking back, I had originally come across the site during a job search. When I looked at the positions available, I didn’t find anything that I felt I could fit in comfortably. While I was on the site, I got intrigued by the fact that they were offering the ability to publish and print books for literally pennies per page.
I had already written a novel and a set of short stories. I didn’t have any particular success placing the work with publishers because, frankly, I didn’t do the sort of market research that would place me with a traditional publisher. I just wrote and what I wanted to do was make my work available to others to read. I wasn’t worried about making multi-million dollar deals. I knew that there were few authors who got to that level in the business. I just felt that I had some good stories that I wanted to share. Lulu gave me the opportunity.
I remember the first time I went through the process. Watching that manufacturing building pulse to produce my work. Then I wound up disappointed because I got things I didn’t expect for my fiction. The thing looked like a text book. There was a table of contents and other things that I considered ugly. Suffice it to say that I wasn’t pleased but I contacted the support team. Fortunately, they wanted to learn and they wanted to get my work to the point that I’d be happy with it. We talked through the forums and emails about publishing and expectations and what would work better. The publishing process improved. Finally I published the first two books, The Truant Murders, and Pictures at an Exhibition: Vignettes from my Mind.
Okay, they didn’t sell much. That wasn’t the point. I was able to share these works with others easily now. I did sell some and I was also able to send copies to the man who encouraged me to write. I got back a nice hand-written letter that encouraged me and stated that I validated his career (he was a H.S. English teacher). That defined success for me.
I then started contributing to forums and I started a blog. I wanted to help others who were writing. Things like how to get through writer’s block intrigued me and I tried to help folks get over the hump and suggest strategies that could help. I tried to maintain a positive attitude about the experience, even when I had some concerns about the process and the product. Overall, I suppose I was successful because I was asked to be a community leader.
Sometime during these years, I wrote two more novels, Death at Disney and Where is Love?Death at Disney had legs. It sold more units than I expected for a self-published book. I entered it in the Self-Published book competition and it scored fairly well, even if it didn’t win. I also entered Where is Love? after I published that one and it did remarkably well in the scoring (though they did tell me what I knew – the cover wasn’t great).
I’ve been in technical communications for a long time and I finally used Lulu to create a technical book that is my best seller yet, Practical DITA. I believe that the ability to get the book out to press quickly (2 editions in less than 6 months) helped achieve that success. This book has been a boon to me and the company for which I work, SDI (http://www.sdicorp.com) in showing that we do have expertise in the field.
Overall, I’ve had a pretty positive relationship with Lulu and have been happy with the results. I look forward to getting 2 more books out this year (if I can ever slow down enough to spend more time writing) with their help.
Enjoy the ride!

I’m honored to have Julio Vazquez guest blog today. Julio is one of our very first authors and has become good friend of mine, too. He’s a leader in the Lulu Community and can often be found helping others in the forums. I asked him to share his experiences with Lulu here on the blog.

Julio Vazquez

2010. I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since I first stumbled on Lulu.com.

Looking back, I had originally come across the site during a job search. When I looked at the positions available, I didn’t find anything that I felt I could fit in comfortably. While I was on the site, I became intrigued by the fact that Lulu were offering the ability to publish and print books for literally pennies per page.

I had already written a novel and a set of short stories. I didn’t have any particular success placing the work with publishers because, frankly, I didn’t do the sort of market research that would place me with a traditional publisher. I just wrote and what I wanted to do was make my work available to others to read. I wasn’t worried about making multi-million dollar deals. I knew that there were few authors who got to that level in the business. I just felt that I had some good stories that I wanted to share. Lulu gave me the opportunity.