Articles tagged "books"

How To Get Your Book Into Libraries

A question that keeps popping up around the Lulu community is “How do I get my book(s) into a library?” Libraries can provide a great way to reach new readers that, otherwise, may not find out about your books. There are a lot of perks to getting your work into the library system. You don’t really have to worry about maintaining inventory or making a huge sales pitch because libraries are in it to share knowledge and help educate people. Many libraries even highlight local authors or will host regular book events like fundraisers that accept donated books. That doesn’t mean that some of the same marketing rules don’t apply when approaching a library however. And there are a lot of misconceptions about the best ways to go about getting a library’s attention.

Quality – Give Them Something to Work With:

A quickly diminishing stereotype of self-published books is that they are of poor quality. Lulu works to erase all of the preconceptions about self-published titles and helps authors create quality products that can sit on a shelf next to any best-seller. As long as an author takes his or her time to create a professional book that is formatted and edited well, then there is no reason a Lulu book can’t make it into a library.

It is important to note that some libraries do prefer certain bindings and can be reluctant to stock others like comb bound and saddle stitched (stapled) books. If you’re thinking about pursuing library distribution, it might be a good idea to call ahead to see what their requirements for submittal are.

Lulu Lens: How Do You Define A Successful Project?

One of the big projects we’re currently working on is reviewing how effective our publishing wizard is. It’s purpose is to help you get your book ready for publishing, and so we’re looking at ways we can improve on that core principle. We also recognize that there are a lot of different standards for what you’re looking to do with your book once you’re done with the publishing process, and we want to better understand your needs. To that end, how do you define a successful project?

Is it the number of books you sell? The reaction on your mom’s face when she sees her recipes in a printed cookbook? Holding the first copy in your hand? Tell us your stories, and help us understand how you define success for yourself.

Banned Books Week

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read!

Every year hundreds of books are threatened with removal from schools and libraries across the country. Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom has recorded more than 11,000 book challenges, including 460 in 2009.

Even though most of these challenges are made with the best of intentions (protecting people or children from difficult ideas), banning books prevents the freedom to choose and express opinions. Challenged books range from Mother Goose stories and the Harry Potter series to classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The ALA’s annual Banned Books Week is going on this Sept. 25 – Oct. 2. Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has served as a reminder that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view.

The Future of the Book

One of our designers sent around a link to this video this morning. It was put together by IDEO, the global design firm, and shows the possibilities it envisions for the book. Some interesting ideas. Let us know what you think!

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

Focus: Books That’ll Make You Grin

Working at Lulu can introduce a person to tons of new books and authors, as you’d probably imagine.  Since I have been here, I have hoarded some of my favorites from the rest of the office at my desk.  They are the ones that have caught my eye walking by as they peek out from our bookshelves. Some are about music, some about food, but mostly, ones that make me laugh.  Below are just a few recommendations for anyone looking for a grin.

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Never Iron When Your Are Naked
by Trevor Perry

Advice your mother should have given you, but never did. Trevor Perry has a gift for taking the complicated things in life and turning them into good advice.  While ironing naked may be dangerous, Perry also reminds us to live with passion, to laugh often, and to constantly stand in awe of life itself.

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The Things Your Don’t Know You Don’t Know
by Harland Williams

Get ready to laugh yourself silly, scratch your head in wonder, and perhaps even cry as you delve into the hilarious and often bizarre mind of renowned actor/comedian Harland Williams.  Here, Williams shares his ridiculous and sometimes poignant observations on…well…everything. Some are things you may have overlooked, others you just not have cared to notice.  But with Williams unique spin on life and the things we interact with, you’ll start second guessing how you take things in.

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The Torture Device Coloring Book
by Erik Ruhling

You might feel slightly guilty as you snicker at this coloring book clearly not intended for children.  This coloring book’s irreverent humor is reminiscent of artwork by one of my favorite artists Brandon Bird. In Ruhling’s book, colorers can explore all sorts of historical torture devices, each with an accompanying rhyme. Stay within the lines or you will be punished.

Feedback: Newsletter Revamp

At Lulu, we realize it’s a two way street – we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. That’s why our main goal is to help you succeed. We want to give you all the tools you need to enable your success. We’re all part of this greater movement – creating published authors from dreamers and enabling them to connect and build relationships in ways that haven’t been possible until recently. You have made this place remarkable, and your voice is invaluable as we continue to grow.

Lately, we’ve been thinking about how we could make the monthly newsletter better, how we can use it to help you reach your goals. What is it that interests you? Do you want to see more Lulu Author success stories? Would you like tips on how to use Twitter and Facebook, advice on how to best market your book, industry news updates? We want give you more of what you need to help you be as successful as you’d like to be.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. We’d love your feedback to help make the Lulu newsletter better than ever.

What We’re Reading

It started off simple enough. I sent a company-wide email to my fellow Lulus asking two very simple questions.

I just finished reading a screenplay written by a friend of mine and was looking for some suggestions from my friendly Lulus as to what I should read next. Having worked here for four years, I should have known what to expect. CHAOS. There’s two things about us Lulus that you have to understand, we love books and we’re very opinionated. I made a rookie mistake, and I admit that. I received so many replies to my email that I’ve decided to take each Wednesday in August to highlight just a select few of the books that my fellow Lulus are currently reading.

Focus: Independence Day Books

Between grilling, watching fireworks, and visiting with family this weekend for the Fourth of July, I thought I recommend a few titles that are great reads to get you into the spirit of celebrating our nation’s independence.

Born on the Fourth of July

By Ron Kovic

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This classic, New York Times Bestseller details the author’s life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film of the same name) from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country’s most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair. Ron Kovic served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. He was paralyzed from his chest down in combat in 1968 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. Kovic’s powerful and moving new introduction sets this classic antiwar story in a contemporary context.

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100 American Flags

By Kit Hinrichs

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This vibrant collection of 100 Stars and Stripes artifacts ranges from Civil War-era banners and Native American braided moccasins to an early 20th-century “friendship” kimono and original flag art by several of the world’s leading designers. Destined to captivate folk-art aficionados, history buffs, and collectors, this book provides a stunning visual history of America’s most treasured symbol. A timely, patriotic full-color book presenting 100 American flag artifacts from one of the world’s most eminent collectors, designer Kit Hinrichs.


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John Adams

By David McCullough

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In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot — “the colossus of independence,” as Thomas Jefferson called him — who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.


April 19 Lulu U Class: Tricks to Sell More Books

Be sure to sign up for the next Lulu University class on April 19th @ 7PM: Red Hot Web 2.0 Tricks to Sell More Books! You’ve heard the term “Web 2.0” but can it really help you sell more books? You bet it can and this class will show you how. Packed with tons of information and super simple things anyone can to do get themselves into the Web 2.0 marketing world, you’ll walk away with fun ideas, simple tricks, and tons of helpful advice.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Creating “feeder” sites that feed traffic into your web site!
  • Using book videos to sell more books
  • Using Wikipedia to market yourself
  • Why linking to other web sites is a bad idea
  • How to get more web site traffic right away!
  • Got blog? The one thing you should NEVER do with your blog!

Don’t miss this class! Sign up today!

Lulu Takes Manhattan! – Sponsors Self Publishing Book Expo

November 7th Lulu sponsored and attended the first annual Self-Publishing Book Expo (SPBE) at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers.  While the event drew a modest crowd, SPBE offered a great chance for Lulu to speak with the community both one on one and through our various workshops and executive-led panels.  All of the Lulu staff involved were proud to be a part of something that inspires creativity while informing authors of all their options.  Even our CEO Bob Young made it out to the event to discuss Lulu’s exciting transition into open-publishing!

Lulu had a great presence at SPBE.  We had a sizable booth space, and passed out reusable tote bags.  At one point, people in the hotel lobby asked where they could get one of the “cool orange bags”.  We had a contest and gave away some bose in-ear headphones and a Primer Publishing Pack.  From 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, Lulu staff manned the booth to field questions, educate people on the Lulu process, and offer demonstrations.  Nick and Harish gave a well-attended panel on how social networking will change self-publishing.  I think everyone learned a lot from the experience on both ends.

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For me, the event reinforced why I work at Lulu.  At its core, Lulu is about sharing ideas and spreading knowledge.  We understand that you’ve worked really hard to get your content out there and you want to get it in front of as many people as possible.  Things like Lulu’s non-exclusivity and extensive distribution options are things that should go hand-in-hand with self-publishing.  When I explained all the things we currently do and plan on doing to help make an author’s self-published book more visible, people’s jaws honestly dropped! It was a great feeling, and I look forward to more opportunities to interact with customers face-to-face.

We got some great ideas in New York while introducing people to the idea of open-publishing.  Lulu hopes to continue to be a part of events like SPBE that give us the opportunity to just talk with people.  If you have suggestions of events or community gatherings you think Lulu should be a part of, please don’t hesitate to send them in!