Articles tagged "Awesomeness"

Author Press Kit: How You Market You

J_K__Rowling

Example from an author we all know.

Who is your favorite living author? Have you ever visited their website? If you wanted to know more about them, where would you click? What would you expect to see on that page?

Now think about your website or blog. If a journalist, blogger, production manager, or agent wanted to know more about you, where would they find the information? How are you selling yourself as a writer or subject matter expert? How are you telling the story of you?

If you are new to publishing, you may not have even thought about needing an “About” page on your website. If you have one, it probably has a few fun facts about you, some pictures of your family and maybe an homage to your faithful pet. This information may be meaningful to you, but will it get you an interview or a speaking engagement? If not, perhaps it’s time to re-work your “About the Author” page to serve as an author press kit.

“Who has the time for that?” you may ask. In truth, it’s likely you already have most of the information needed to create an effective press kit. You just didn’t know you needed one. An effective press kit includes:

Author Biography and Contact Information

Lulu recommends authors have multiple versions of their bios for use in article submissions, guest posts, and interviews. Your press kit bio should be about 200 words focusing on what makes you interesting and your areas of expertise. Don’t forget to include a head shot and your (or your publicist’s) email, phone, and social media contact info.

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In addition to contact information, always include a clear, professional head shot with your bio.

 

Specific information about your book(s)
List the title, topic, genre and intended audience for your book as well as a succinct summary (no spoilers).  If you are writing nonfiction include your credentials or personal experience relevant to the topic.

Press Coverage
Show your press-worthiness. Include excerpts from reviews, transcripts from interviews, links to press releases, blogs and articles written about your work. List awards, nominations, and recognitions your work has received. Your press kit is not the place for humility.

Press Kit Newsroom1

Busy reporters are always looking for compelling local stories. A well-written press kit makes it easier for them to meet their deadline.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)
If your goal is to schedule newspaper, radio, or television interviews, include a list of frequently asked questions and answers about you and your book. The more upfront information you provide, the easier it is for a journalist to prepare a story. Your answers should be personal, conversational, and quotable. FAQs and answers also provide jumping off points for further questions:

  • What lead you to writing?
  • How does your early (or current) life influence your writing?
  • What is your inspiration for developing these characters / writing on this topic?
  • How does the story mirror your own experiences?
  • Why did you choose to self-publish your work?
  • What are you working on now?

    Press Kit Radio Interview

    “You’ve probably answered this question a thousand times, but I just have to ask….”

Excerpts

Fiction authors should include a few meaningful sections that artfully demonstrate their writing style or provide character insight. Nonfiction writers should include a PDF of the first few chapters of their book.

Upcoming Events
Do you have a book signing event scheduled? Are you attending or speaking at a conference? Are you appearing on TV or radio? Let the world know where you will be and how to contact you during the event. If you choose to include an “events” section on your press kit page, it is imperative you keep it up to date. You may also choose to update this section with pictures from the events or links to print articles and interviews (audio / video).

Press Kit Reporter

“I saw you were going to be in town. Will you have time for an interview?”

 

Sell Sheet
If you are selling books directly from your website or through social media, you should also include your product and price lists for hardcover and paperback versions as well as wholesale bulk pricing for bookstores.

Remember, your author press kit does not have to be fancy. Keep the format, font and layout simple and easy to read. Start with material you already have and add to the page as you build your reputation online, in print, and through broadcast media. Remember this content is how you sell yourself and your work, so proofread, proofread, and proofread again to make sure it is error-free. A professional looking press kit page will help get you the publicity you need for publishing success.

Press Kit paparrazi

The publicity you deserve!

Additional Resources

How to Write a Killer Author Bio

Guest Blogging: How to Build Your Online Reputation

Five Hours to Success

 

Author Jay Nachlis: Write Your Rock Star Memoir

Last week, author Jay Nachlis dropped by the Lulu office to talk about his experience writing and self-publishing his memoir “Never Trust a Grown Man with a Ponytail: How a Regular Guy Lived a Rockstar Life.”

Our conversation covered several topics, including why he felt compelled to write a memoir at such a young age, creating an effective media kit, and self-publishing as the new normal for authors.  He also shared some great marketing ideas for fellow memoir writers.

Jay may think of himself as a “regular guy,” but he was personable, prepared, and professional. In other words, he was a rock star.

Write Your Rockstar Memoir

A very big thanks to Jay Nachlis for joining us in our Lulu Author Talks series on “How to Write Your Rockstar Memoir.” Please share your comments below and let us know what topics and guests you would like us to feature on future shows! #LuluLive #AuthorTalks

Posted by Lulu.com on Monday, March 6, 2017

 

Learn more about memoirs and how to publish your story.

Follow Lulu on Facebook for more helpful advice from authors, coaches, and marketing experts.

For the latest interviews and announcements, subscribe to our YouTube or Vimeo channels.

Books, Beans and B-Corps: Making New Eco Friends

Larry’s Beans: Where the magic happens

Eco wonder woman, a.k.a. Arwen from Lulu’s Customer Support team, and I traveled to Larry’s Beans to meet a fellow B Corp company, learn new sustainability tips, and frolic in caffeine happiness. We were aware of the Raleigh-based coffee roaster’s reputation as a sustainability superstar, so we were eager to learn more about their practices.

Within seconds of entering the building, we were welcomed with mugs of hot coffee and introduced to Daniel Tassitino, Communications Ambassador for Larry’s Beans. We began our tour at the end of the production process – the compost, recycling, and trash bins. While learning about their waste reduction initiative, we ran into the company’s namesake, president and founder, Larry Larson!

We got to say “hello” to the little wriggly ones.

Larry, with coffee cup in hand, shared his perspective on sustainability and the challenges of promoting a culture that values environmental responsibility. I asked him if there were any best practices he’d like to share.  He quickly explained that Larry’s Beans doesn’t have “best practices.” They just know what does and doesn’t work for their business. They’re still learning as they grow.

On their sustainability journey, the coffee roaster has accomplished some pretty great things including:

  • Ethical Coffee Sourcing: All Larry’s Beans coffee is Organic, Fair Trade, and Shade Grown.
  • Energy Efficient Facility: The facility utilizes composting, zone heating, natural daylight, solar panels, rainwater harvesting barrels, and more!
  • Biodiesel: The roaster is home to Raleigh’s only B100 fueling station
  • Worms: Larry’s Beans uses their compost, coffee grounds, and burlap coffee bags to house and feed their worm farm.

After our tour, we asked Daniel, “Do you want to be Lulu’s friend in sustainability and hold each other accountable?”

“YES!” he exclaimed to our delight.

We high fived then rumbled off into the sunset in the Larry’s Beans recycled veggie oil bus. Just kidding. Instead, we went to a conference room and began planning the next steps in our goal-setting partnership.

Veggie Oil Powered: Larry’s Beans Coffee Bus

Together, Lulu and Larry’s Beans will hold each other accountable in our efforts to achieve our sustainability goals. After all, what’s better than a good book and a cup of fine coffee – both from certified B Corps? Okay, maybe a cuddly cat on your lap, but not much else!

Take an online tour of the Larry’s Beans facilities.
Learn more about Larry’s Beans and their commitment to sustainability

 


About the Author

Sheridan is Lulu’s Coordinator of Sustainability and Outreach. She is also an author advocate, a friend to all cats everywhere, a clog aficionado, and an art maker.

 

Happy Holidays from Lulu!

Following our holiday potluck, we had a little fun with drones, mannequins and light sabers. The entire Lulu team wishes you the happiest of holidays, a very merry Christmas, and a most successful New Year.

 

2016 Best Gifts: Family Cookbooks

turkey-feastFood sustains us both physically and spiritually. Food is not just fuel to keep the body going – it’s love, friendship, family, memory, comfort, home – it’s life.

Whether I am preparing something just for me, cooking for my partner, preparing a potluck dish to share or planning a dinner party, I often find myself solely focused on the experience of preparing the dishes. The act of cooking, the chopping, measuring, stirring, and simmering always takes me to my happy place. Then of course, there is the eating….

All cooks have our specialties, the recipes we’ve perfected through trial and error, the dishes people request us to bring to every event. My grandmother kept her recipes on index cards in a box above the stove, while in my kitchen, recipes are “organized” in a binder. Some of my favorite recipes are still on my grandmother’s index cards, others are handwritten by mom on note paper while others are printouts shared by hosts following a dinner party or recipes I’ve found online. It’s obvious which are my favorites, they are the recipes covered in notes with some ingredients being scratched out and others added. All are lovingly protected in plastic sleeves.

pecan-pieThis year, I’m combining my specialties with family favorites and printing an “official” family cookbook to give as Christmas gifts to extended family members. I’ve assembled recipes for our nostalgic favorites like mom’s pecan pie and Nanny’s “secret” turkey stuffing, plus our adult favorites like my sister’s eggnog and my brother’s chicken curry. Of course my “regionally famous” pimento cheese and championship chili recipes will be included among many others. To make it ours, I’m asking family members to contribute stories and anecdotes specific to the dishes and/or the holidays in which they were served.

What could be a better gift than all the tastes, smells and memories that span three generations?

As my nieces head off to college, move into their own homes and start their own families, I hope to one day visit and see dog-eared copies of this book annotated and bulging with the recipes they have discovered and perfected. Then I will know my work is complete.

vegetable-christmas-treeIf you want to create and print a family cookbook, Lulu can help you get started with our cookbook templates. No time to create your own? We’ve selected a few of our favorite cookbooks just in time for the festive holiday season.

Wishing you and your family the very best in 2016.

Other 2016 Gift Ideas

Gifts for Authors and Writers

Memory Books

Custom Journals

Personalized Coloring Books

eBook Distribution: Understanding Your NCX or eBook Table of Contents

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Distribution Henry

As I perused  the Lulu mailbag this morning I was struck by the number of queries regarding NCX errors in eBook submissions. Some excerpts:

My eBook was recently rejected from retail distribution due to an NCX error. What does that mean? What do I do?

I Googled NCX and was directed to articles on sodium-calcium exchangers? Do I have to know chemistry to make an eBook?

Great questions that unfortunately come as no surprise. NCX errors are among the top three reasons independent eBook authors are rejected from retail distribution. Setting up a fully functional NCX requires some working knowledge of heading styles in MS Word—a feature that a lot of otherwise savvy writers ignore. But never fear, it’s not difficult. And once you’ve applied the proper styles to your document, Lulu’s Epub Converter will convert them into a fully functional NCX for you.

It’s exactly this simple:

  1. Apply Heading 1 style to the Title and to each line containing a Section name (copyright, prologue, etc.) or section (Part 1, Section II, etc.). Heading 1 style will always appear at the top of the next page.
  2. Apply Heading 2 style to each line containing a Chapter name or number
  3. Apply Heading 3 style to each line containing a sub chapter or subsection.
ebook-creator-guide

Create an eBook from your MS Word document.

 

Still confused? Click here to dip into Lulu’s Knowledge Base and learn more about formatting these headings.

One more thing. I foresee tomorrow’s mailbag asking:

But why?

Do I really need an NCX?

What purpose does it serve?

 

 

So. In a nutshell:

NCX is short for Navigation Control file for XML. (XML is a set of rules for formatting that both humans and computers can read.) It’s that first word in NCX—Navigation—that reveals its purpose. Like a table of contents in a printed book, an NCX helps your readers navigate your work.

But unlike a traditional table of contents, an NCX can’t simply list page numbers. The text in your eBook is scalable (meaning, the size can be changed), and just tilting an iPad 90 degrees can completely change the layout of eBook pages and how many words fit on them. So the number of pages in your eBook is variable from one reader—and even one moment—to the next. A table of contents built on static page numbers is useless, even a little misleading. Navigation has to be connected to something other than page numbers.

Enter the NCX. It contains links to your chapters, sections, and subsections. It lets readers jump from place to place in your eBook without thumbing or scrolling endlessly. You want your readers to have a good experience. So do we, and so do our retail distribution partners. It’s why we collectively urge you to have a fully functional, fully-enjoyable eBook.

Need help with something else? No worries — here’s a link to our insanely thorough Knowledge Base.

Go forth and learn, then publish.

The Dead Are Rising

About the Author

Distribution Henry is a member of the Lulu eBook Quality Review team.

He is also a Lulu author.

You can view his work here: It’s Going to Be Okay. I Promise.

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