Remarkable Finds

Get 90 Days Free Access to the Author Learning Center

Author Learning CenterThe Author Learning Center (ALC) is a one-of-kind online author education community designed to help educate, motivate, and support you as you work to become a published author. The center offers educational information about writing, publishing, and marketing from a variety of industry experts, agents, best-selling authors, publicists, and editors.

 

How can the ALC help you?

By combining industry-leading education, exclusive tools, and a supportive community, the ALC provides a one-of-a-kind resource to help you get to your goal of becoming a published author.

By taking advantage of all the ALC has to offer, you can become:

  • better educated on the publishing industry,
  • more equipped to finish your manuscript, and
  • empowered to makes smart choices for your book marketing.

 

90 Days Free

Lulu authors get a free 90 day subscription with access to:

  • Ask The Expert Video Interviews
  • Podcasts on writing, publishing and marketing
  • Live online webinars with industry experts
  • Articles and recorded webinars
  • Exclusive tools to help you get to your goal

ALC Stan Lee

The Author Learning Center also provides a unique set of tools to help you quickly move through your writing and publishing process with confidence:

  • The Book Launch Tool, which helps you identify the tasks you need to complete your book and helps you track your progress
  • The Author Circle, which enables you to invite up to seven people into your private online writers group to provide feedback and encouragement throughout your publishing journey.

Learn from bestselling authors

Among the wide range of interviews on the ALC are a number of best-selling authors share their wisdom and experience. Here are just a few of the names you recogonize.

  • Elmore Leonard, Best-selling writer
  • Victor Villasenor, Best-selling author, Pulitzer winning writer, Rain of Gold
  • Stan Lee, Former head of Marvel Comics
  • Mitch Albom, author, playwright, and screenwriter who has written seven books, including the international best-seller Tuesdays with Morrie, the best-selling memoir of all time
  • Seth Godin, author of 18 international best-sellers, including Tribes: We Need Your to Lead Us

 

90 Day No-Risk Free Trial!

ALC CommunityYou can access the ALC for 90 days for free.  If  after three months you want to continue your subscription, it is only $9.99 a month. You can cancel at any time.

Join now to be a part of the best online author community available and let us help you get to your goal of becoming a published author!

To claim your FREE 90-day trial, go to the Author Learning Center, click the button to claim your 90 Day Free Trial and enter the promo code lue during registration.

* Your credit card number is required to register with the Author Learning Center. It will only be charged if you do not cancel your Author Learning Center account before the free 90-day subscription expires.

Worth the Struggle: Advice for Aspiring Authors

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When I first started writing, I just didn’t understand how a story was supposed to flow. No matter how many times my English teachers told me that a story should be written in such a way, I would just stare at them with a blank expression; it just didn’t make sense. But, when I wrote my first story, Day Runners, I started to understand how it should all work and how a story should be written; it was like the fog had cleared and everything was crystal clear. So, when I started writing my second story, Parallel, the experience was definitely easier.

Parallel

Parallel

While developing the premise was still tricky, as all good premises are, the details, characters, and settings flowed like a river. For once, I understood what my teachers had been telling me; the story should flow at a pace that doesn’t require it to skip details. At the same time, the story shouldn’t be so slow that extra details flood in, and obscure the plot. Day Runners took so long to write because I was trying to find my writing style and my direction. Parallel, on the other hand, was easier because my style and direction were set before I started.

I remember my eighth grade English teacher telling me that once the first book is written, the ones that follow will be a piece of cake. And while I won’t compare writing to cake, I can say that it has become easier knowing that my first book was published and that people actually enjoyed reading it. Like my first book, Parallel has received nothing but praise since it was released. The fact that I knew how the process worked and how writing should be done, helped me to continue writing, and proceed along the road I want to go.

The advice I would give to aspiring writers who are struggling is to fight through that first book; make sure it is done well, not rushed. Rushing only leads to a bad story, and can make the writer feel worse about their ability. The other piece of advice I would give is to continue writing after the first story is done. I’m not saying that having one story finished will magically turn subsequent stories into a cake walk, but it will reduce the difficulty because you understand how and what you want to write, how a good character should be developed, and how to manipulate the story in the direction you want. With each completed book, the process only gets easier.


Tristan Jensen

Tristan Jensen

About the Author

Tristan is an aspiring author who published his first book at the age of 17.  He lives in a small home in Texas with his hounds Peaches, Ian, and Missy and his fat cat, Mater, who enjoys moist food and sleeping on Tristan’s keyboard. He hopes to one day write full time.


Calling All Lulu Authors

Do you have a story to tell about realizing your dream as a writer?
Do you have self-publishing knowledge or expertise to share with other authors?
Want to expand your digital reach?

If so, we are looking for authors like you to share your story with our blog audience. Email your story pitch to PR@lulu.com. Include a brief biography and a link to your published work. We will do the rest.

Guidelines for guest posting.

Bring on the Reviews!

Thank you, Internet for connecting all of us, all the time. I can’t make any decision without consulting the web for reviews. Need new tires? Find some affordable options and compare reviews. A new computer? Same. Dinner out? More of the same.

Books are different. I’m not going to pick a handful of books and make a choice based on the reviews. Buying books is more subjective. I actually decide whether or not to consider buying based on reviews. Those little stars can be the difference between trying out a new author, or passing them over for someone I know and trust.

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In this way, getting reviews for your book may well be the most important factor in hooking new readers (a good cover and well crafted description being the other elements). The question becomes: how do I get reviews for my book?

The first thing to do would be to tap resources you have on hand, such as friends, family, coworkers, or fellow writers. These are the folks who are willing to read your book and give reviews initially. It’s a great place to get started, particularly if you have a network of authors and fellow writers who can provide honest feedback.

Remember, not all reviews are going to be glowing. But a specific criticism or suggestion can be more valuable than simple praise. This is self-publishing, so a well crafted critical review could be the impetus to revise the work, in the end landing you an even stronger book!

Once you’ve reached out to your friends, family, and fellow writers for reviews, you might consider sources like Publishers Weekly or Kirkus, who offer paid reviewing services. This is a good way to get a “professional” review, but this may not be the most important element in increasing sales and visibility.

In fact, what might matter the most, are the stars. Invesp is a site dedicated to the commerce of opinion, and they present a nice little info graphic (see below) that highlights how important it is to have stars on those reviews. The main takeaway here is that getting 4+ stars can be as important, if not more important, than having a written review from a paid service like Publisher Weekly. Another crucial point this information brings up is review quantity. Most buyers feel confident with 4 to 6 good reviews. What this means is that you don’t actually need a lot of great reviews to get your book that extra attention. Just a few reviews with 4+ stars can be all it takes to start pulling in new readers!

bookheartEither way, as a self-published author, if you hope to have your worked noticed and picked up by new readers, you’ll want as many stars and reviews as you can get. These reviews are the “word of mouth” you’ll need to help find new readers and get them excited for your book.

 

It’s a lot of work, arguably more work than writing the book, but in the highly competitive self-publishing world, getting attention is the cornerstone of growing your book’s readership.

Bonus – Lulu has a section in our Forums called “Shameless Promotion” for, well, shamelessly promoting your book. It’s a great way to get the attention of the Lulu community and test the waters for reviews.

 

Infographic – source

The Importance Of Online Customer Reviews

Infographic by- Invesp

 

 

One Minute of Inspiration

Your life consists of many chapters. Each describing a portion of who you are. When put together, these chapters create your story. Since 2002, Lulu has helped nearly 1 million people tell their stories. The world is waiting to hear yours.

Released May 2, 2016

Lulu Print-on-Demand – How It Works. Why It’s Great.

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In 2002 Lulu made publishing available to everyone through the use of print-on-demand technology. Our free, online tools allow authors to publish and distribute their work to online bookstores around the world. There are no upfront costs for publishing, other than the purchase and approval of a proof copy, there are no inventory costs, and authors earn profits on every book sold.

When you place an order in the Lulu bookstore, we send the book’s digital file to an approved printer in our global network. Whenever possible, we choose a printer located closest to the book’s final shipping destination where it will be printed in 1-3 business days and ship directly from the printer – hot off the press. When your books ship, you will receive an email with shipping and tracking information.

Why does it matter?

Lulu’s printondemand production model eliminates the need to maintain a huge inventory of books. It also reduces the waste associated with traditional publishing in which approximately 40% off all printed books are returned to publishers for pulping. In 2009, an estimated 77 million unsold books were pulped in the UK alone*.

If one 10-inch (25 cm) diameter tree yields 30 books of 200 pages in length**, then in one year 2.5 million trees were turned into books no one in the UK wanted. This number is just for one country. Imagine the number of trees saved each year if all books were printed using Lulu’s print-on-demand business model.

*Daily Mail 30 December 2009

** South Florida Business Journal, 23 May, 2014

Rather watch the movie?

“What is Lulu?”
Where are my @#$% books?”

Order books from Lulu – Save More Trees – Get More Oxygen

#LuluinLondon: The London Book Fair 2016

A Spectacular Celebration of International Publishing: The London Book Fair 2016

Last week members from the Lulu.com team attended the 45th annual London Book Fair! The event took place in Olympia, London from April 12th through the 14th. The team had a blast attending informative exhibits, connecting with authors, networking with readers, and learning the latest in self-publishing trends!

Lulu.com has experienced an increasing demand for online, independent publishing. We are currently focused on catering to the needs of our international authors. With 35% of our overall business coming from outside of North America, we recognize our duty to meet the needs of an international market. It was a great pleasure to meet industry leaders within the publishing space at the the wonderful world renounced London Book Fair.

We are thrilled to share a few of our favorite photos from The London Book fair 2016.

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Vendors from all over the world gathered at the Olympia center to celebrate the 45 annual London Book Fair!

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Did you know? Almost 10% of attendees are authors!

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The city was alive with color and creativity at the London Book Fair.

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We had the chance to meet with two of our amazing authors!

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Author Elena Nicoleta Busoiu photographed with Lulu.com’s CEO Nigel Lee

Find her book The Princess of Ice and the Fallen Angel: Rhapsody One on Lulu

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Author Janae Keyes photographed with CEO Nigel Lee at the London Book Fair.

Find her book Broken Politics on Lulu at Lulu.com.

Learn more about Lulu.com at the London Book Fair.

Find out why everyone is self publishing with Lulu.com.

Drop us a line on Twitter @Luludotcom

Follow Lulu.com’s CEO @Blindfoldzebra  

The Future is Now!

Lulu Press is situated right on the edge of NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Among the benefits of this location are ample affordable eateries for lunch, coffee shops to keep us running, and the beautiful campus itself.

For a bunch of book people (like us) the center piece of NC State has to be the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.

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Hunt Library at Night

This incredible building is home to so much more than just books! All antiquated concepts of musty shelves lined with aging volumes must be discarded. Libraries are so much more now!

The Hunt Library is an information hub, epitomizing the role Libraries will play in our burgeoning age of technology and connectedness.

Apart from the aesthetic (bright colors, abundant natural light, and high ceilings) the Library is consciously built to control it’s carbon footprint, volume level, and the ability for all it’s occupants to get the most out of their experience.

The coolest thing in the entire Library (and believe me, I do not use the word cool lightly) is the Book Bot.

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Robert the Book Bot!

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Book Bot in Action

 

The Hunt Library is home to more than one and a half million volumes. 1,500,000 books! The Book Bot is a system of storing and organizing the books. The vast chamber features row upon row of book bins, each containing 100 to 150 books. A student goes to a terminal, selects a book, and the Bot finds the bin. Then it transports the bin to a balcony on the far end of the cavernous book hold, where a Librarian finds the book and brings it to the student.

Yes, you can’t browse like you can at older libraries. But that’s the trade off for access to such a staggering number of books. 1.5 Million!

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Common Reading Space

 

The Library is built for the future, lush with acoustically conscious work spaces, presentation halls with wall to wall screens, some featuring moveable screens that can create an 8 sided, fully immersive virtual experience. There’s also a game innovation and creation studio, with a twenty-foot wide touch screen, allowing up to eight individual screens to run at once. Budding game designers can unleash their imagination, unconfined by technological limitations.

On top of the incredible technology, there’s the basic amenities you expect from a library – comfortable seating (they even encourage napping!), quiet work spaces, ample computers, tablets, and printers (including a 3-D printer!), and even music booths for sound recording.

 

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Painting Created On Site

What truly wows you is the seamless merging of form and function. Here is a brilliant, purposeful building, featuring state of the art machinery, and providing broad access to an incredible wealth of knowledge. When I imagine the future of libraries, the Hunt Library is it: high tech, open access, and still capable of putting books from a vast catalog directly into your hands.

 

The ice cream shop in the lobby doesn’t hurt either!