Articles by Jay

Author interview: Richard Galbraith

Richard Galbraith is a rock band photographer who has recently published a book of KISS photographs. I got a chance to interview him for the Lulu blog.

How long have you been taking photos of rock bands?

My father had sent a 35mm camera while he was overseas, so my first attempt at taking pictures at a concert was around 1971 at a Bloodrock and Grand Funk Railroad concert. Guess I was around 13. Next Alice Cooper, but it was a few years after that before I really got anything decent. We lived around 100 miles from Oklahoma City so it was a bit of a challenge getting to concerts at that age. I shot a lot of shows in the 2nd half of the 70’s, but by the time the 80’s hit, it was a lot harder to get passes for shows. By the time the 90’s got here it was very seldom that I took pictures unless Ronnie Dio had
a concert in the area.

Lulu’s new site design

Lulu.com is undergoing a redesign.

See our site with a 960 grid overlay

See our site with a 960 grid overlay

So far, we’ve remade our home page and our Publish section with an emphasis on more concise text and bigger graphics. Our pages are built with using a 960 grid system.

We’ve still got a ways to go. Our Services section is next (I think). We hope you like the direction our site is headed.

 

Lulu Author Interview: Greg Prato

Greg Prato has published two books through Lulu, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon and Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story. Both of Greg’s books document the lives of musicians entirely through interviews given by the people who knew them best. The author himself agreed to an interview with me, and here it is:

You conducted interviews with people who knew the musicians best, people like parents, siblings, girlfriends, former bandmates and other famous musicians.  How did you convince these people to talk with you?

I was lucky because in both cases, I had done pretty long feature articles on each artist, for Classic Rock Magazine (a UK publication). So I had a pretty good head start for both books with the interviews I conducted for the articles. Once I got permission from the main subjects in each book (in Blind Melon’s case, the 4 surviving band members, and in Tommy Bolin’s case, Tommy’s brother Johnnie), they each submitted suggestions of who I should get in touch with and interview for the books (and in many cases, provided contact info). And since I was very familiar with each beforehand (I’m a long-time fan of each), I did some research and got in touch with other people that were friends or acquaintances to see about setting up interviews. During the writing of the Blind Melon book, I was also working on a book about grunge bands (see the more books in the works), so I was able to ask Blind Melon-related questions to some grunge bands that they were friends with.

Bob Marckini: Lulu Author Interview

Robert J. Marckin is the top-selling author of You Can Beat Prostate Cancer, a survival guide that he wishes had been available when he was diagnosed. Bob has generously shared his insight into what has helped his book become a best seller.

What was your inspiration for sharing your story?

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 8 years ago I was extremely frightened. The more research I did, the more books I read, and the more doctors I spoke with… the more frightened I became. Books on the market at that time were all written by physicians with their own biases. I vowed to write a book from the patient’s point of view, a book that puts prostate cancer in proper perspective.

What made you decide on using Lulu to self-publish your book?

A friend who had heard of Lulu and who knew that I planned to self-publish told me that Lulu was the best in the business.

You’ve been selling your book through Lulu for almost a year. What were your first sales like and how do they compare to your sales today?

Sales are increasing. Just last week we crossed the 23,000 mark. That’s about five times as many books as I thought I’d sell in that period of time.

Do you feel like there was one breakthrough moment when your success jumped? If so, what do you think caused that jump to happen? If not, what do you think has been the key to a sustained success?

I founded and now run a 4,000 member international prostate cancer support group. I promote my book through my website (protonbob.com) and my monthly newsletters. I have also been asked to do several interviews on radio, TV and the Internet. Some of these are archived and linked on my website home page.

Some other events caused my sales to spike. Both Loma Linda University Medical Center and University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute now send my book to patients who make inquiries into proton therapy for prostate cancer. Also, Senior NBC TV News Correspondent George Lewis ran a story on the Today Show and NBC Nightly News about his prostate cancer journey. I had helped him on that journey, and my book was part of his journey. George interviewed me and showed my book on both TV pieces. Sales spiked after that.

Do you advertise your book?

Just on my website and in my newsletters.

How did you arrive at your book’s visual design and layout?

My daughter and son-in-law are graphic designers. The entire cover design and layout was their idea. I had a professional photographer take the picture, but everything was “choreographed” by my daughter and son-in-law.

Let Lulu help you with your Thanksgiving feast

Thanksgiving is a holiday stuffed with family, friends and food. And while too many cooks in the kitchen can be a problem, no one has ever complained about too many dishes on the table.

Lulu is your one-stop DIY Halloween party planning advisor

All Soul’s Day, Samhain, Halloween, Protestant Reformation Day – they’re all a week away. Chances are, you’re either going to a party, hosting one or hiding in terror. Make whatever you’ve got coming up better with the following guides.

Do you have a costume yet? Do you dread geting caught between spending too much time and money, and wearing the lamest getup ever? You should read Easy & Creative Halloween Costume Ideas by Lisa Severson. This book will show you 60 painless ways to create memorable costumes for yourself, your kids or that lackadaisical loser who shows up at your house dressed as “Joe the Plumber.”

Serve memorably spooky snacks at your party by following the repulsive recipes in Kaye Hamm’s Kreepy Katering. This illustrated cookbook features 29 stomach-churning concoctions sure to enliven, I mean deaden, any party. My favorites are the Slimy Bat Wings (relax, they only look like bat meat), and the Rotten Apple Martini. Also worth taking a peek at is 13 Halloween Recipes from ThirteenForHalloween.com. Those Goblin Horns are making me hungry. Please remember that these depraved dishes are only visually arresting – we have the authors’ word that everything featured is very tasty regardless of appearance. Even Poop On A Cracker.

Put some horror in your house by taking cues from The Secrets of Disney’s Haunted Mansion by Jeff Baham. This 64-page compendium includes the original script and sheet music, a walk-through of the mansion, descriptions of the ghoulish props and loads of vintage artwork, adverts and blueprints. There’s even a blank Haunted Mansion death certificate that you can fill out with petrified party guests’ names.

Further frighten up your humble abode with pumpkin heads – both carved and knitted, spooky sounds, mummy dolls, and unbelievably adorable Jack O’Lantern crochet poppets.

Keep your party guests groaning in delight with jokes from Tony Iacoviello’s Blood Lines. Here’s an example: What does a vampire never order at a restaurant? A stake sandwich. There are 52 ridiculous pages of this balderdash. Another book that would be fun to have at your party is Professor Ichbonnsen’s Monster Month. It’s a spectacular who’s who of the monsters that are likely skulking your streets this season. And, finally, if your party gets to the point where a past life regression session or druid healing spell is necessary, it’s probably a good idea to have a copy of A reference guide to the Craft on hand.

With all this fine literature at your disposal, any chilling celebration is bound to be a smash hit.

The Lulu Demo

As a Lulu employee, I frequently find myself explaining to relatives, neighbors and new acquaintances exactly what it is that Lulu does. I usually say things like “We’re a company that enables you to print books on demand.” I tell people that we don’t read every book that’s submitted to our site because our Oompa-Loompas have an aversion to anything that doesn’t rhyme. If you want your book in the Library of Congress, then you can purchase an ISBN and fill out a participation application. It’s an easy way to make conversation, talking about your job.

But sometimes, people forget what they hear. Or they visit our site without talking to me first. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to create the Lulu Demo. It’s an animated, narrated description of how Lulu’s marketplace enables you to Create, Sell and Buy user-generated content. It also delves into our other services, and our strong user community. It’s like having me at your party, except that your snacks won’t disappear.

The Lulu demo screenshot