Sell More Books: Super Size Seasonal Discounts

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Let’s try out a few seasonal slogans you could use for holiday marketing efforts…

“Stuff those stockings with books!”

“Put some books on that shelf by the elf!”

“A dreidel AND a book? Best Hanukah ever!”

“Deck the halls with deals on books and while you’re at it strategically develop a marketing plan that takes advantage of Lulu.com’s seasonal sales and discounts.”

Okay, so that last one doesn’t quite flow off the tongue, but it’s good advice all the same. Coordinating your marketing efforts to coincide with Lulu’s impressive holiday discounts is the next best thing to having your books carried right down your readers’ chimneys by Santa himself.

What’s so great about it? For starters, everyone loves books and they love saving money. All you have to do is share the Lulu discount codes in your email and social media marketing. Don’t forget to also share the expiration date and any restrictions.

 

Savvy Marketing Tip

Did you know that when Lulu offers a store-wide discount, you can sweeten the deal by adding another 5, 10, or 15% off? That’s right, a 25% off sale can easily be bumped up to 30 or 40% off for huge savings.

Using this strategy, you can make any day Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or create your own huge sale event.

 

Here’s How to Juice Those Discounts

You can add a discount in the Lulu Bookstore for any printed book or calendar priced above the manufacturing cost.

  • Go to My Projects and click on the project title.
  • Scroll down to Pricing and Creator Revenues and click Edit.
  • Click Pricing Details to view manufacturing and profit splits

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  • Click Set Discount and choose the percentage discount you wish to offer.
  • Click Set Discount to apply the discount.
  • Click Pricing Details to view the discounted price and your revenue.
  • Click Save Changes.

 

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The discount is immediately applied to your book or calendar in the Lulu bookstore.

Note: When applied to purchases, Lulu discounts do not affect author revenue. Author-applied discounts reduce profits and therefore reduce author revenue.

Create a Sales Event

Tell everyone about your super sale.

I’m teaming up with Lulu to offer my book, <book title> at a special discount just for friends/family/fans/readers.

For X days only, Enter code XXXXXXX at checkout and save XX%.

Don’t forget, coupon codes are case-sensitive.

Offer expires: MM/DD/YYYY

Include a link to your book’s product page to make it easy for your buyers to make the purchase. And, though we are currently entering the season of sharing and shopping, this strategy works year-round. At Lulu.com, we’re always looking for ways to promote you and sell your books. Whenever we have a sale — seasonal or otherwise — send out an email or post it on social media letting everyone know. After all, ‘tis always the season for reading!

All current discounts, coupon codes, and expiration dates are listed on the Lulu home page.

 

Happy, Healthy AND Prosperous Holidays

The Christmas holidays are quickly approaching. Here’s a bit of advice to help make them merry.

  • Smile often and laugh loudly – it will increase your happiness.
  • Drink lots of water, wash your hands often, and get lots of sleep to stay healthy.
  • Encourage your readers to purchase your books and calendars in the Lulu bookstore for greater prosperity.

Your book should be available in the online bookstores in which your readers prefer to shop. But, you also want to make the highest profit possible. Help your fans help you by letting them know that your book is available in the Lulu Bookstore and all other online retailers. Always include a link to your Lulu product page when promoting your book on your webpage, social media, and email.

 

Make it personal: Custom Journals

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A notebook can serve as a journal, but can a journal serve as a notebook? After all, both are nothing more than a collection of bound pages. What’s the difference?

In my mind, the difference is intention.

When I purchase a notebook, it’s usually for a class or seminar. A journal or diary on the other hand is intended for recording something specific – like my thoughts on a day, my aspirations, travel experiences, the details of my workout, eating habits, dreams, ideas for my next book, etc.

I find there is something really quite relaxing about journaling. Like coloring, it allows us to take a few quiet moments to collect, reflect, and distill our thoughts before committing them to words on paper. It calms us to think of our day anecdotally or as a series of connected scenes. What happened today that is worth recording? Why is it important? How did I react to something unexpected? What actions or interactions were important today? Did I reach my goals?

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Pre-formatted Journal Pages

No matter what information you record in your journal, it’s your information. It’s personal, so why not create a custom journal?

It’s pretty simple to layout pages with writing prompts, lists of daily exercises, fitness or spiritual goals, appointments, or other experiences or feelings you wish to track. Once you’ve got it right, duplicate the page until you have the desired number of pages. You can also design your own cover from your favorite photos and choose from paperback, hardcover and coil bindings.

Just remember to create the pages in the same dimensions as the journal you wish to print. Also, the total number of pages should be divisible by four.

Why adapt to something you find on a shelf that’s sort of close to what you want when you can easily create something that’s perfect for you?

Here’s a quick tutorial to help you create your custom journal.

Resources

Sample Journals for Inspiration and for Sale

Lulu’s 2016 Best Gifts

Win Christmas with These Great Gift Ideas

Best Gifts 2016: Memory Books

 

Best Gifts 2016: Create a Custom Coloring Book. It’s Easy

Coloring books are among this year’s hottest quirky trends. When I first wrote about them in January, I truly thought adult coloring would be a quickly passing fad. Boy was I wrong. Apparently the relaxing pastime is just what we all need to take our minds off the everyday stresses of our adult lives.

Adult coloring book themes trend towards imagery such as mandalas, stained glass windows and other complex patterns. They are, in themselves, works of art.

I hear you thinking, “The title says it’s easy. With the holidays quickly approaching, who has time to plan, draw, and publish a coloring book? I’m not an artist.”

Well, my darling, you do and you are – with a little help from technology.

A search of the app store returns several free and inexpensive apps that will convert your photos to line drawings. There are also several tutorials on YouTube for converting images into line drawings using Photo Shop. Check out these examples created with the free version of QuickSketch.

Image converted using the free version of the QuickSketch App.

Image converted using the free version of the QuickSketch App.

 

Myanmar 2015

Myanmar 2015

Myanmar 2015

Myanmar 2015

To Create Custom Coloring Books:

  • For best results, convert pictures to line drawings at their original sizes.
  • If you are using an app, save the converted images to your phone, email them to yourself and save them to your computer.
  • Insert the images into an MS Word file.
  • Resize the images to fit the page.
  • Insert captions if desired.
  • Save the manuscript.

Here’s a quick tutorial for creating, uploading and printing your custom coloring book.

With these apps and the free online tools at Lulu, you can create coloring books using the images from your summer vacation, weddings, baby’s first year, your favorite dining out adventures, local sights, nights out with your friends, or any other theme. Can you imagine a better gift than a coloring book starring you, your friends, and the things you love best?

Color me surprised! QuickSketch also allows to you take photos as line drawings.

Color me surprised! QuickSketch also allows to you take photos as line drawings.

Additional Information

The Secret to Happiness: Adult Coloring Books

Spread Happiness: Create Your Own Coloring Book

The 2016 Best Gift Award Goes to…. You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Gift: Personalized Hardcover Editions

hardcover-books-giftwrappedCome a little closer. I have a confession to make.

I may appear to have it all together during the holidays, but as a “people pleaser” from way back, I stress over every single holiday gift purchase. Do I really know what this person likes? Will it be the right size, style, color, or design? What if they already have one? What if I under spend or worse yet, over spend?

One thing I have found, however, is that everyone loves a gift featuring people they love, a shared experience or delicious consumables, hence the seasonal popularity of custom photo books, calendars and baked goods. People also like to receive unique items and collectable things like signed hardcover editions from their favorite author – who happens to be you.

If you published a paperback book this year, with very little effort, you can create custom hardcover editions to give as gifts this holiday season.

  • If you published in US Trade (6”x9)” or US Letter (8.5”x11”) paperback format, you can simply upload your print-ready PDF file to create a hardcover edition in the same size.
  • If you published in other formats, you will need to resize your manuscript file. Take a moment to review you formatting and page layout before uploading the resized manuscript for conversion.
  • Use our cover designer to create a beautiful dust jacket design. In many cases you can use much of the same imagery from your paperback book.
  • Our selection of colored linens and foil stamping will make your book stand out from all the other books on the shelf.
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Guess what I got you! No, go ahead. Take a guess.

When your books arrive, personalize them for each recipient with a handwritten note. If you want someone to feel extra special, edit your manuscript file to include a special dedication.

Let’s face it, a personalized, collectible edition of your book is a much better gift than an ill-fitting sweater, new socks, or burnt cookies – and they are easy to wrap.

 

Author-preneurs:

With the holidays just around the corner, consider offering signed hardcover editions on your website and social media accounts. Your biggest fans will love them. By taking advantage of Lulu’s pre-holiday sales, you can save big on the stock you need for the best holiday season – ever.

More Tips for Holiday Success

Sell More Books: Easy Christmas Marketing Ideas

Holiday Publishing Checklist for Authors

Holiday Success: The Magic of Drop Shipping

The 2016 Best Gift Award Goes to…. You!

And the Winner is….. “The 45 Presidents”

45_pres_lulu_cover_trump_isbn0_fixed_pdfWe have a winner. The 45th President of the United States of America is Donald J. Trump.

Within hours of the announcement, Blue Socks Media LLC published a new workbook “The 45 Presidents” using Lulu’s free online publishing tools. The workbook’s cover design features each president’s full color caricature – with the new president-elect’s front and center.

The 84 page, large format workbook not only includes facts and line drawings of each president, but also 39 additional fun learning activities such as fill-in-the blanks, First Lady matching, letter to the president and pages for coloring iconic images associated with the president such as the White House, Air Force One and Mt. Rushmore.

The book, written by Raggs creator Toni Steedman, is available exclusively in the Lulu bookstore thru Nov. 15. The book is targeted at elementary through middle school age children and will be the first learning resource to present all US presidents in one fun book.

By using Lulu’s free online publishing tools, authors have all they need to publish topically relevant books like The 45 Presidents and make them immediately available for purchase through the Lulu Bookstore, social media and personal websites.

Publish with Lulu and be ahead the wave – not chasing it.

 

ABOUT TONI STEEDMAN

A marketing and media entrepreneur for 25 years, Toni Steedman Zelickson heads Blue Socks Media LLC, which owns and controls the worldwide rights to the Emmy award-winning children’s musical TV series Raggs. Toni is also the creator of Raggs, named after her daughter’s imaginary dog. She      is available for appearances and interviews.                          

raggsABOUT RAGGS

Raggs  is the star of the Emmy award-winning Raggs TV series and is the lead singer of the “Raggs Band,” which includes his friends, Trilby, Pido, B.Max, and Razzles. Raggs is available for appearances, meet-and-greets, and dance-offs.

For more information on Raggs, please visit www.raggs.com.

 

Best Gifts 2016: Memory Books

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I won Christmas with this memory book.

I know, I hear you.

“One holiday at a time please.”

“Christmas is still 6 weeks away.”

But, you better start now if you want to win Christmas.

You know what I’m talking about. Everyone wants to be the person who gives the gift someone goes back to after all the other gifts are unwrapped. The one they take with them to parties and dinners later in the day to show their friends. The one that doesn’t get put away and forgotten in the back of a drawer or closet.

You’ve heard me say it a few times now, but the best gifts are the ones created from your best memories. So what could be better this year than creating a memory book for the people you love?

“What’s a memory book?”

It’s like a photo book, but better. A memory book not only collects your pictures, but also your words about a particular time or event such as a vacation, wedding, baby’s first year, 50th anniversary party, etc.

With the Lulu Studio, you can choose from our selection of beautiful hardcover photo books, choose a theme, and upload your images. With our text box and captioning tools, you can also record your thoughts about the event or write about favorite or humorous memories.

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I created this book using Lulu Studio. It’s about two foodies and their dad eating their way across Asia.

 

It’s a bit like creating an adult picture book – but all the characters in it are people and places you love and the words are yours.

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Three years later, it’s still prominently displayed on Dad’s coffee table.

 

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays.

Hope you win!

 

Other ideas for winning Christmas

The 2016 Best Gift Award Goes to…. You!

Custom Calendars: Daily Reminders of Your Best Memories

Lulu’s 2016 Best Gift Guide

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