New Lulu Book Templates

Here at Lulu we’re constantly listening and adapting to our authors’ needs.  Recently, we’ve received a lot of great ideas and feedback about the templates we provide for print books. We’ve taken all of your valuable input and are happy to provide Lulu authors with new and improved print book templates, which include the most common content and formatting elements for both fiction and nonfiction.  These templates are designed to make your life easier, give your book a more professional look and save you time during the self-publishing process. The 15 new templates can be used either as style guides or updatable downloads. Rest assured, everything you need to make your book great is contained in these new templates.

The new and improved templates are available in all formats. To access, click here.

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Key features of the new templates include:

  • copyright page
  • page numbers
  • section breaks
  • headers and footers
  • custom styles for dedicated sections of your book
Correct formatting and content for the title and copyright pages
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Margins, headers, and footers

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Custom styles for dedicated sections of your book
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The templates also include instructions on how to use each one and great tips for making your book look and read like one created professionally. Whether you choose to use these templates as a reference, a style guide, or a starting point, the ultimate decision as to how you format your print book is completely yours.

Authors using Helix Review: Abdul Karim Musaliar

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 3.43.54 PMAbdul Karim Musaliar, author of the crime novel, “The Transgressions of Achan Kunju” recently used the Helix Review to gain further insight into his particular writing style and how his book compared to others within his selected genre.  Here is what he had to say about using the Helix Review:

Tell us a bit about your book:

The book is about the son of a priest who is born in India but then goes to Provo, Utah to join a sect. He is transformed as orator. The sect makes him a preacher and sends him to his native land.  There he marries and has two daughters and that’s where the story takes a drastic turn involving adultery, the mafia, and many other criminal transgressions.

How would you describe the writing style of the book?

The narrative style I have is used is autobiographical with the protagonist bring a former classmate of mine. The narration is interspersed with autobiographical sketches.

Why did you decide to submit your book for the Helix Review?

I needed to know the quality of my writing.

How are you going to use what you learned?

Now that I know something about motion, density, dialog, description, and pacing, I can incorporate the same in my writing.

What would you tell someone considering trying Helix?

It has opened my eyes on my weaknesses. I would certainly recommend it to potential writers.

About the Helix Review:

Back in May we launched an experimental new offering called Helix, and dubbed it The Personality Test for Your Book. Helix is powered by The Book Genome Project, a massive database of over 100,000 of the world’s best-known books. And basically, it gives you a way to upload your manuscript and get back an incredibly rich and unbiased perspective on your book.

Lulu authors are currently using Helix to gain a better understanding of their book for marketing purposes, and in some cases to gain insight into their writing style. For the first time, we’ve caught up with some of the earliest Helix Review customers to hear more about their book and writing style and what they hoped to learn from Helix.

If you are an author that has used Helix and would like to be featured in the future, please tell us about your experience here.

Authors using Helix Review: John Locke

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 3.19.58 PMFor the next installment of our series on the Helix Review, we recently spoke to John Locke, author of “Stuff I’ve Written So Far,” about his experiences with the Helix Review. “Stuff I’ve Written So Far” is a compilation of various works, including essays from his first semester as a doctoral student. John Locke covers a variety of topics, but, throughout the book, there is a common thread – economic and social justice.

Tell us a bit about your book:

“Stuff I’ve Written So Far” is a collection of essays on topics of political revolutions and US intervention in world affairs.

How would you describe your writing style?

My writing style is mostly scholarly, however I can’t resist interjecting a bit of irony and sardonicism from time to time.

Why did you decide to submit “Stuff I’ve Written So Far” for a Helix Review?

I wanted to see how my book measured up to others in the genre.

How are you going to use what you learned?

I am encouraged. By comparing my book to another text that I have a great deal of respect for, and receiving a favorable review, I can proceed with confidence as I work on my next book.

What would you tell someone considering trying Helix?

It’s worth a try.

For more information about John Locke and “Stuff I’ve Written So Far,” please visit:

About the Helix Review:

Back in May we launched an experimental new offering called Helix, and dubbed it The Personality Test for Your Book. Helix is powered by The Book Genome Project, a massive database of over 100,000 of the world’s best-known books. And basically, it gives you a way to upload your manuscript and get back an incredibly rich and unbiased perspective on your book.

Lulu authors are currently using Helix to gain a better understanding of their book for marketing purposes, and in some cases to gain insight into their writing style. For the first time, we’ve caught up with some of the earliest Helix Review customers to hear more about their book and writing style and what they hoped to learn from Helix.

If you are an author that has used Helix and would like to be featured in the future, please tell us about your experience here.

Elevator pitch answers

Popular books and their elevator pitch

Here’s the answers – how many did you get right?

No Country for Old Men

Western meets suspense meets a Tarantino-esque hit man. A cowboy stumbles on a drug deal gone bad, takes the money, only to find that he’s being hunted by a relentless killer. 

Twilight

Hearts will race for lovers of fan fiction. For the tween girl that would risk her soul for the everlasting love of the vampire version of James Dean. 

The DaVinci Code

If you love puzzles, religious symbolism and a great crime mystery, you’ll hang on every action-packed moment as our hero decodes his way across Europe to uncover an ancient secret, zealously guarded by a clandestine society that will stop at nothing to protect it.

Jurassic Park

What if dinosaurs could be cloned? For the child in all of us that still marvels at T-Rex in the natural history museum, this sci-fi adventure novel set in the modern age, tells the story of an adventure theme park whose proprietors have done just that. 

Crafting your elevator pitch

The formula for an elevator pitch is simple:

1. Explain in your pitch who will like your book

2. Share one simple hook that will draw the reader in

3. Provide a proof point that your book is good. In our case, it was sharing that all of them are blockbuster films. You can use things like reviews from readers or the press, or your own expertise and credibility in the topical area.

 

 

Authors using Helix Review: Protasio Chipulu

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 1.47.40 PMNext up in our ongoing Helix Review series, we have Lulu author Protasio Chipulu, author of Living with Cerebral Palsy:  A Parents’ Guide to Managing Cerebral Palsy. Helix, powered by The Book Genome project, allows authors to upload a manuscript and receive an incredibly in depth analysis of the book.

Tell us a bit about your book:

In this book, we (father & mother) have given details on our daughter with cerebral palsy and how we have been managing the condition.   Our experience compels us to plan for the establishment of a center of excellence for children with disabilities.  We have also given stories on CP starting with our own story with the challenges and coping mechanisms of disabilities.  Our experiences are not exhaustive and it does not attempt to answer all the questions related to the management of CP.  This is our personal experiences as a family. All the short comings in the management of our daughter with CP are our responsibility.  Our experiences may be different from other families and some of the information may be outdated but we shall endeavor to update the information.

How would you describe your writing style:

My style is of high density writing and it is descriptive and this makes the reading a bit of a challenge because it takes longer to read.  The pacing is relatively high making it easier to browse through pages.    The motion in the book is relatively low and dialogue is very low.

Why did you decide to try Helix:

First, to improve the writing of my current book so that I have higher sales.  Second, to improve my writing in the future.

What were you able to learn from the Helix Review:

The comparison of my book to other books in my category was very beneficial because I can use the comparisons when writing my next book.

How do you plan to use the Helix information:

When I write an another book, I will improve on my writing style (motion, density, dialogue, description and pacing). I will try to balance styles so that it is easy to read and provides excitement, suspense and education.

What would you tell someone considering trying Helix:

I was not certain at first about the Helix Review but after ordering was happy with the overall results. For the price it was a great way to get feedback that can help me understand my book and how it fits into the genera and along side other books.  I can also take the feedback and apply it to my future writing to create better and more full enjoyable creations.

For more information about Protasio Chipulu and Living with Cerebral Palsy:  A Parents’ Guide to Managing Cerebral Palsy:

Author Blog

About the Helix Review

Back in May we launched an experimental new offering called Helix, and dubbed it The Personality Test for Your Book. Helix is powered by The Book Genome Project, a massive database of over 100,000 of the world’s best-known books. And basically, it gives you a way to upload your manuscript and get back an incredibly rich and unbiased perspective on your book.

Lulu authors are currently using Helix to gain a better understanding of their book for marketing purposes, and in some cases to gain insight into their writing style. For the first time, we’ve caught up with some of the earliest Helix Review customers to hear more about their book and writing style and what they hoped to learn from Helix.

If you are an author that has used Helix and would like to be featured in the future, please tell us about your experience here.

Authors using Helix Review: Dr. Oluwagbemiga Olowosoyo

For the next installment of our series on the Helix Review, we recently spoke to Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 5.47.32 PM, a pastor, head of a Christian ministry, and author of “God’s General.” Patterned after real events in a front-line Christian ministry, the book tells the story of a pastor who became so powerful, highly anointed and popular, but ultimately came to his demise. Dr. Olowosoyo turned to the Helix Review to gain insight into how “God’s General” compares to other similar work and shared his thoughts with us.

How would you describe your writing style?

[It] is very simplistic and sincere. [I] write from the Christian and biblical perspective.

Why did you decide to submit “God’s General” for a Helix Review?

I wanted to have a second opinion about my books.

How are you going to use what you learned?

I learned that my writing is unique to me, but could compete very well with the best in the market. It has given me more confidence in writing.

What would you tell someone considering trying Helix?

It’s worth it!

For more information about Oluwagbemiga Olowosoyo and “God’s General,” please visit:

About the Helix Review

Back in May we launched an experimental new offering called Helix, and dubbed it The Personality Test for Your Book. Helix is powered by The Book Genome Project, a massive database of over 100,000 of the world’s best-known books. And basically, it gives you a way to upload your manuscript and get back an incredibly rich and unbiased perspective on your book.

Lulu authors are currently using Helix to gain a better understanding of their book for marketing purposes, and in some cases to gain insight into their writing style. For the first time, we’ve caught up with some of the earliest Helix Review customers to hear more about their book and writing style and what they hoped to learn from Helix.

If you are an author that has used Helix and would like to be featured in the future, please tell us about your experience here.

- See more at: http://www.lulu.com/blog/#sthash.mEHSR4zO.dpuf

Authors using Helix Review: Kareem Kamal El Gazzar

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 10.50.43 AMThrough the autumn, Lulu is featuring authors who have used the Helix Review to gain insight into their writing style and explore new marketing opportunities for their book. Today’s interview is with Kareem Kamal El Gazzar, author of 4 Steps to Your Authentic Career, a business-meets-self-help book about converting passions into dreams and matching dreams to priorities.

Quick Description of the Book

In 4 Steps to Your Authentic Career: How to Discover Your True Career Path, Kareem Kamal El Gazzar makes career-related observations that might be helpful to people entering the workforce. He talks about the need to become an authentic leader who defines career success as “a life and work that brings personal fulfillment and lasting relationships while also making a difference.”  The author discusses three different attitudes people have toward their careers: He calls them the Road, the Horse, and the Cart. The Road, writes El Gazzar, represents individuals who love a career filled with the exhilaration and excitement of action. The Horse, who races just for the pleasure of running, typifies someone who is happy simply doing their work. Individuals represented by the Cart are interested in what is being carried by one’s work, such as values or character. El Gazzar makes the point that the Cart is likely to be the most useful attitude. “Great careers have a point of view and are not just a job,” he writes. “You need to believe in something.”

How would you describe your writing style?

I like to write about a wide range of topics and themes, including government and social discourse, dreams and nightmares, history, academics, culture, financial matters and money.

Why did you decide to submit 4 Steps to Your Authentic Career for a Helix Review?

To be able to get an objective evaluation of my book.

How are you going to use what you learned?

I have learned about my book themes compared to other titles in my chosen genre, plus I have learned about other books that are similar to mine. I will read the books that are similar to my book and try to elaborate on my original book ideas and themes by writing a new book focusing on these elaborated themes and ideas.

What would you tell someone considering trying Helix?

It is really amazing that there is a product like the Helix Review for writers.

For more information about Kareem Kamal El Gazzar and 4 Steps to Your Authentic Career:

About the Helix Review

Back in May we launched an experimental new offering called Helix, and dubbed it The Personality Test for Your Book. Helix is powered by The Book Genome Project, a massive database of over 100,000 of the world’s best-known books. And basically, it gives you a way to upload your manuscript and get back an incredibly rich and unbiased perspective on your book.

Lulu authors are currently using Helix to gain a better understanding of their book for marketing purposes, and in some cases to gain insight into their writing style. For the first time, we’ve caught up with some of the earliest Helix Review customers to hear more about their book and writing style and what they hoped to learn from Helix.

If you are an author that has used Helix and would like to be featured in the future, please tell us about your experience here.

Authors using Helix Review: Cristina Archer

As part of our ongoing series on the Helix Review and how authors are using the tool to analyze their work, we recently interviewed Cristina Archer, author of The RecidivistScreen Shot 2013-08-25 at 11.47.33 PM, a speculative fantasy fiction book that is an exploration of religious, moral, and political ethics throughout history, and across alternative worlds.

How would you describe yourself as an author:

“I have long been fascinated by philosophy especially ethics, and have been writing fiction in my spare time since I was a teenager. I write speculative and fantasy fiction as these genres offer wide scope to explore many a “what if” question.”

Why did you decide to try Helix:

“I wanted to be more precise about where my style of writing fitted in the general market so assist me with pitching the book to agents and publishers.”

What were you able to learn from the Helix Review:

“I learned that, while the ideas were comparable to books I had been comparing my work to, my actual style was quite different to those books. Correcting this misunderstanding has been very useful. I now have a better understanding of the most likely target audience for my work.”

How do you plan to use the Helix information:

“The Helix review has assisted me in tailoring my pitches to prospective agents.”

What would you tell someone considering trying Helix:

“It is a valuable service for improving the design of a marketing strategy for your work.”

For more information about Cristina Archer and The Recidivist:

Author website
Author blog
Facebook Page

About the Helix Review:

Back in May we launched an experimental new offering called Helix, and dubbed it The Personality Test for Your Book. Helix is powered by The Book Genome Project, a massive database of over 100,000 of the world’s best-known books. And basically, it gives you a way to upload your manuscript and get back an incredibly rich and unbiased perspective on your book.

Lulu authors are currently using Helix to gain a better understanding of their book for marketing purposes, and in some cases to gain insight into their writing style. For the first time, we’ve caught up with some of the earliest Helix Review customers to hear more about their book and writing style and what they hoped to learn from Helix.

If you are an author that has used Helix and would like to be featured in the future, please tell us about your experience here.

Authors using Helix Review: Ian Thomas Phillips

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 1.52.52 PMIan Thomas Phillip’s first collection of poetry, “69 Poems,” marks the first publication for the twenty-two year old poet from Illinois. Written to express the often-conflicting nature of the world around us, “69 Poems” shares Ian’s thoughts and ideas after two years of “wading through life’s many mud holes” and includes a glossary of words not frequently heard in conversation.

Ian turned to the Helix Review to gain insight into how his first collection of poetry compared to the “greatest books and authors” and understand how his work compares to other ‘popular poets’.

How would you describe your writing style?

“Form and rhyme are the most important aspects of my poetry writing philosophy. Many poems are written in the spirit of satire.”

Why did you decide to submit “69 Poems” for a Helix Review?

“I am curious to know how my work might compare to the greatest books and authors of this and previous ages.”

How are you going to use what you learned?

“I learned how the topics of my poetry relates to the subjects that are popular among other authors. In considering my audience, I can compare the assessment of my work to that of what is popularly written about.”

What would you tell someone considering trying Helix?

“It is a helpful tool that can quantify the ‘uniqueness’ of your work.”

For more information about Ian Thomas Phillips and “69 Poems, please visit:

About the Helix Review:

Back in May we launched an experimental new offering called Helix, and dubbed it The Personality Test for Your Book. Helix is powered by The Book Genome Project, a massive database of over 100,000 of the world’s best-known books. And basically, it gives you a way to upload your manuscript and get back an incredibly rich and unbiased perspective on your book.

Lulu authors are currently using Helix to gain a better understanding of their book for marketing purposes, and in some cases to gain insight into their writing style. For the first time, we’ve caught up with some of the earliest Helix Review customers to hear more about their book and writing style and what they hoped to learn from Helix.

If you are an author that has used Helix and would like to be featured in the future, please tell us about your experience here.

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