Articles by Paul Lascara

Elmore Leonard, the great American writer

Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard

Author Elmore Leonard passed away this week at the age of 87, making this a sad time for the many authors he inspired and influenced, and the readers he excited with his work.

We know the Elmore Leonard of 2013 as a great success, with novels adapted for Hollywood films as well as the small screen, a Peabody Award for ‘Justified’ and a National Book Award. His career spanned nearly fifty years, and even Stephen King called him ‘the great American writer’.

But at Lulu we love Elmore Leonard for his beginning. In a time before self-publishing was feasible, he set out to be a writer but was forced to work on the side, with no promise of reward.  He entered many short stories in contests by sending them to magazines, some composed on the pad he hid in his desk drawer at work. We bet there are some Lulu-ers out there right now with  documents buried in the folders of their work computer, a manuscript that hasn’t yet seen the light of day.

Leonard was also well known for his Ten Rules of Writing, published in 2007, which also seem to be slanted for the aspiring writer, using simple guidelines like “Never open a book with weather” and “Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue.”

Join our Elmore Leonard Tribute

We are joining in the tribute taking place on Twitter, and thought you might like to share a message as well.

You can click on the links below to start a tweet to Elmore using the hashtag #LuluLovesElmore so we can share our remembrance together. Feel free to add you favorite one of Elmore’s books, quotes, movies, rules for writing or simply retweet the message below.

Click Here to Tweet Your Own Message to Elmore

Click Here to ReTweet Lulu’s Message to Elmore


How To: Serialize with Lulu

There was such great response from Lulu authors at our blog post about a resurgence of interest in novel serialization, that we thought it would be helpful to talk about…

What’s the best way to make a serial novel with Lulu?

EBooks are really the way to go with serialized material, and the most important reason is length. Sizing options for print books require 32-page minimums for the best results. Don’t get us wrong, Lulu print books are a great way to compile and release your whole, finished novel at the end of the serial novel process, but most of us can’t write 32-page chapters on a regular basis. The short length of a single chapter of a novel is much more suited to a Lulu eBook. In order to harken back to the golden age of serialization, when a reader could sit down with the newspaper and read the latest installment of a Dickens epic after current events, you’re going to need a Lulu eBook. Don’t forget that Lulu will turn your .doc, .docx, .rtf, and .odt files into an EPUB eBook file for free, and provides retail distribution.

EBooks are also less of an initial investment for the author, of both time and money, and that matches the low initial investment that comes with serialized novels. Think of eBooks as a chance to test the waters with whatever project or concept you just haven’t been able to get out of your head but you’re not sure will work on a large scale. You can write one chapter, and see if readers are engaged and excited about it. If you release Chapter One and decide, based on reader feedback, that your hero needs a sidekick, guess who you’ll be able to introduce in Chapter Two? You guessed it, the pun-hurling partner in crime of your terse heroine.

Whether you decide to go with print or electronic publication (hey, if you crank out chapters Dickensian in length, more power to you!), there are some things you’ll want to consider for your personal writing process, and some of the decisions you make after you finish an installment.

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