Articles by Sarah

Send Your Book to the Frankfurt Book Fair

Road Trip! – For your book

Remember Book Fair Day in elementary school? If you’re anything like the rest of us Lulus, it was your favorite day of the year. You perused shelf after shelf in the Media Center, leafing through the books and marking your favorites on the order form, and if you were very lucky, your parents would send a check the next day to order the books.

Well, book fairs have grown up! The Lulu Book Fairs, like the 2012 Frankfurt International Book Fair, are a great way to showcase your book, providing the opportunity for it to be noticed by book and publishing industry professionals. Like the book fairs of your youth, the books are not available for sale at the actual Fair, but they are there for anyone interested in viewing and sampling new independent titles.  The same professionals flipping through your books are also provided a catalog of all of the books in the showcase, along with the information necessary to contact you and purchase the book at a later time.

HURRY, THE DEADLINE TO PURCHASE THIS SERVICE IS AUG. 10 AND THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT YOUR REGISTRATION AND A COPY OF YOUR BOOK IS AUG. 15.

The magic questions are, what do you get, and will someone notice your book? Like any publicity service, what we can guarantee is exposure, not direct sales. We guarantee that your book will be included on the Lulu.com shelves at the fair, and that editors, agents, librarians, journalists, and other industry professionals will be in attendance (depending on the type of fair, the types of attendees may be more narrow). Whether they purchase the book depends on a great number of factors. In addition, there are other ways you can use the road trip experience to showcase your book.  Having your book at the Frankfurt Book Fair is a great credential to add to you back cover, saying, “Showcased at the Frankfurt Book Fair.”

Think about the most successful authors and the pride they exude for their books; there is an unwavering certainty that inside the book is something they think is worth reading. So often, we hear, “My book could be a best-seller, if only the right people knew about it.” If you have the same feelings for your book, a Book Fair is a great place to start with your book’s marketing campaign.

What’s required?

  • Buying the event service by Aug. 10
  • Completing the registration form by Aug. 15, and
  • Sending a copy of one book to the exhibitor office located in the US by Aug. 15. (You may ship your book directly from Lulu if you’d like.)

A full list of Book Fairs can be found here, by clicking on the “Book Fairs” button: Lulu’s Book Fair Events and a full list of FAQs for events can be found here: Book Fair Marketing FAQs.

Announcing the Lulu Publishing Advisor

Introducing… The New Lulu Publishing Advisor

I had coffee recently with an old friend who’s recently written a children’s book.  He, like many others, set out to conquer publishing without the help of an agent or publishing house. So naturally he went to the World Wide Web to begin his research, only to find a sea of mixed messages, daunting choices, and publishing “experts.”

He quickly realized he wanted a source he could trust to give him the best advice, in an hour over cappuccinos. So we talked about his personal publishing needs, while he took furious notes and asked fitting questions.

Recognizing the value of this custom experience was the impetus for Lulu to create the Lulu Publishing Advisor.  Our goal was to create something fun, personalized, and informative to help new authors ease into the open-publishing industry.  We at Lulu have seen lots of common mistakes (ahem, skipping editing to save money, anyone?) and have plenty of advice we want to share, from doing preliminary market research to planning a release party.  The challenge is that the needs of each author vary greatly. We’ve, therefore, customized your publishing advice based on 5 pick-an-answer questions.  We worked really hard to make this a fun experience, so have a try, and maybe you’ll pick up a few tips for your first or next book!

 

Confessions of a Lulu Services Team Member


I confess. It excites me to read brilliant content from our creators. I also confess I see content with potential that lacks basic principles of composition.

The Editing Month festivities at Lulu last month challenged me to consider how one might break habitual bad writing habits and make significant changes to please the reader. I literally dusted off my grandmother’s copy of Strunk’s The Elements of Style in hopes of finding a few elements that would change any manuscript.

From William Strunk, Jr.’s The Elements of Style III. Elementary Principles of Composition:

  • Use the active voice: The active voice is more direct and vigorous than the passive. I shall always remember my first visit to Boston is much better than My first visit to Boston will always be remembered by me.
  • Put statements in positive form: Make definite assertions. Avoid tame, colorless, hesitating, non-committal language. Use the word “not” as a means of denial or in antithesis, never as a means of evasion. For example, rather than He was not very often on time one could use He usually came late.
  • Omit needless words: Read your manuscript and see how many times you see the fact that and try to replace it with since, because, though or although. Another example is “there is no doubt but that” could simply be “no doubt.”

Too often I meet authors whose excitement of a speedy book launch diminishes the importance of a thorough pre-publishing scrub. One passionate author related the book launch to taking a child to school on the first day of kindergarten. Just as parents send kids equipped with backpacks and lunch boxes, your book should be as equipped with a proper edit. Correctness is contagious.

A professional editor can review your manuscript to determine which elements could make your book an easier and more enjoyable read. Our publishing packages provide the Editorial Quality Review as well as Formatting and Cover design. Buying services in June automatically enters you to win one of two new HP Mini laptops. Plus, use the coupon SVCWIN and we’ll take 15% off any package (maximum discount $1,425).  Offer expires 6/30/2011.

*No purchase necessary. Enter coupon code SVCWIN at checkout and receive 15% off any service package or simply publish a work through Lulu.com. The maximum savings for this offer is $100. Sorry, but this offer cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use this code once per account, and unfortunately you can’t use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer expires on July 8, 2011 at 11:59 PM, so don’t miss out! While very unlikely, we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so. Shipping destinations must be within the United States.

Some of Our Favorite Book Covers

Lulu employees get just as excited about great cover designs as the author does. We enjoy huddling together over a computer screen to view the exciting covers that we see on a daily basis. Not only is it the enthusiasm our authors put into the detail of the cover but the outcome from what our designers can do that make a great cover.

Here are a few of our favorites. These were all created using our Premium Cover Service, which is included in our Masterpiece and Laureate publishing Packages:


Author Feature: Elizabeth Wright

Author of Dear Bob, Dear Betty:  Love and Marriage During the Great Depression

What Do St. Valentine and Book Publicity Have in Common?

In a nutshell they are both misunderstood. Poor St. Valentine–there is actually no historical evidence that his sentiments were intentionally romantic. It is reported that he healed the blind daughter of his jailor and then wrote her a note signed: “From Your Valentine.” That was his name after all; how else would he have signed it?

Just like the St. Valentine story, perceptions of the best way to promote your book are not always true. You might want to dump the idea of promoting your book and start courting the notion of promoting yourself. Let’s remember whose idea the book was: yours!

You are the best publicity tool, not the book.

It was never the Valentine’s Day card that did it for me; it was the message in the card that made me smile thinking of the sender. For fun, let’s say your book is the card and its contents are the message. The most compelling part of that idea is the author behind it, you. Think about the last few books you’ve loved. You should be able to tell me something about the authors: their history, credentials, education. Those are the things your readers will need to absorb to make the same connection with you. Once that connection is bridged, you might have a relationship that surpasses a first date, your readers will know you as the expert on the topic or a leading resource in your genre.

How does this happen? For example, if you’re an expert on ancient Rome, and have written a book about Roman saints, now would be a great time to be promoting your expertise. Think of all the newspapers, magazines, and TV shows that want to talk about the origin of Valentine’s Day! You could be their go-to person to explain the myths and little-known facts about poor misunderstood St. Valentine.

We’ll never know if St. Valentine’s intentions of romance in his note were real or not. What IS real, however, is the impact that a great publicity campaign can have on your book sales!