Remarkable Finds

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!

 

Press Release: Lulu Leaps Ahead of Competitors with Release of Solar-Powered Books

2016 April Fools

 

RALEIGH, NC – <April 1, 2016> – Lulu, the first and largest independent publisher, today announced a breakthrough in reading technology, the solar-powered book.

By incorporating this new technology into FSC Certified, acid and lead-free, premium quality paper, every page of a book ordered on Lulu.com acts as its own solar-powered reading substrate. The paper’s reflective qualities highlight the print in such a way that when a page is exposed to light, black text appears to float in a pool of white and colors seem to vibrantly leap off the page.

“By combining this affordable, cutting-edge technology with our global print-on-demand network, Lulu will once again disrupt the publishing industry,” said Lulu CEO Nigel Lee. “Despite the fact that I knew what our team was developing, I was gobsmacked when I held the final product. When I put it under the light, the page lit up clear as could be. What I didn’t expect was the warm comfort I felt when reading it.”

Following recent advancements in cell sensitivity, Lulu’s solar-powered books are not limited to use in direct sunlight, but are fully functional with LED, incandescent, fluorescent, firelight, candlelight and even moonlight on clear nights. This breakthrough ensures that students and readers everywhere can complete their assignments and even read for pleasure in any lighted space regardless of access to electricity or charging stations.

Beginning today, all printed books purchased from the Lulu.com bookstore will incorporate solar activated pages at no additional cost.

Continued Lee, “Light activation is indeed the future of reading and we are leading the way. I predict that solar-powered books will soon be the norm in every home around the world.”

To learn more or to order light-activated books for your home or business, visit: www.lulu.com.

UPDATE: As you may have figured out by now, this was an April Fools Day prank. The hoax being that all printed books are light-activated – i.e. cannot be read in the absence of light.

About Lulu

Since 2002, Lulu has enabled authors in more than 225 countries and territories to self-publish nearly two million publications. Our industry-leading tools and global community help authors hone their craft and publish printed books or eBooks for free, then sell them around the world via multiple channels. At Lulu, authors are in control, owning the rights to their works, setting their own price and keeping up to 90 percent of their book profits.

Tell Your Story: Three Minutes of Awesome

A few months ago, we asked Lulu authors to send us a video about themselves and their books.

From the submissions we received, we created a short film.

This is the extended version – or director’s cut as I like to call it. We hope these authors will inspire you to tell your own story.