Articles tagged "Community"

Decoding Facebook Ads to Sell Books

From the Lulu Forums

Lulu is very grateful to have such an engaged and helpful community in our forums. There was a recent conversation about Facebook Advertising that we thought would be helpful to share with all of you on our blog. Below are some helpful tips from forum community member, Charles Conway.

Have you Considered Using Facebook to Sell Your Book?

With nearly a billion users from around the world, Facebook offers authors a fantastic opportunity to reach out to their potential readers in ways that are simply not possible through other media outlets.

CAMEX Recap – Bringing the Power of One-Stop Publishing to College Communities

Lulu was at the Campus Market Expo (CAMEX) March 2-6th this week and boy did we have a great time. It was our first year at the event and since we were partnered with the National Association of College Stores (NACS), the guys responsible for CAMEX, attendees were anxious to see what we had to offer. We did not disappoint.

Lulu got to show off our fancy new beta platform for college stores. What the heck does that mean? Well, we’re providing stores with the tools they need to effectively become their own publishing hubs. This is great for everyone including faculty and staff, students, and the stores themselves. The platform puts the power back in the hands of the community. Educators are able to create customized course materials and text books at prices they set. Students get more up-to-date and affordable content, and can publish works of their own. Stores get to diversify their revenue, take advantage of Lulu’s distribution partners, and look like the good guys they are to their customers – all while Lulu does all the heavy lifting on the backend. Cool huh?  So far, the pilot program has sign-ups from Montezuma Publishing at San Diego State University, Jayhawk Ink at the University of Kansas, and Odin Ink at Portland State University.

You can learn more about Lulu’s partnership with NACS on the Lulu Press Center. In the meantime, check out these fun pictures from the show.

Lulu Support and Connect Update

As many of you are aware, a couple weeks back we launched a new forum and knowledge base platform, Lithium. Since then, we have been monitoring the feedback from our users, and thus far the new platform has been received quite positively. In fact, we’ve even seen some of our longtime customers return to the forums that we haven’t heard from in quite sometime – praising the new system.

We also launched Lithium with the objective of creating a clear distinction between “Support” and “Connect“. Our intention is to have the Support page be the home for issues requiring direct Lulu team member involvement, while Connect is meant to be focused on “self-service” support with our knowledge base and community of fellow users. We have reinforced that distinction consistently within Connect, and we have our users helping to reinforce it with newer customers. In the past week, we have seen over 500 posts made to the new boards, and we continue to receive positive feedback on the changes we have implemented.

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to solicit feedback from our users, and we’ll be setting up polls to help gather that data. Please check the Connect home page to see the active polls on the right-hand side. We’ll also be looking at ways to increase activity and engagement, and we welcome any suggestions you may have.

Congratulations to the Project Team and all who supported the efforts in getting Lithium launched and off to an incredibly successful first couple weeks.

Lulu Launches New Connect and Support Pages for Improved Help

At Lulu, we succeed when you do. That’s why we look to our community to help us grow, adapt and get better. Always. Today Lulu launched an all new area to the Lulu.com site, Connect! The Connect section is our new forum, knowledge base and idea exchange area, and replaces our previous system. We’re quite excited about the improvements this update is offering, including enhanced navigation, speed, and an improved content structure.

The New Connect page

Additionally, it is a launching point for our newly revised Support page. We are striving for ease and speed in getting you the type of help you need, and the Support page is focused on emailing or chatting live with the Lulu customer service team. The link for Support is presented in the upper right-hand corner of every page, which will help you access important tools and resources you may need to reference. Our customer service team is dedicated to responding to you with the best solutions for your needs — whether you’re here to make or find something remarkable.

Screenshot of the new Support page

The New Support Page

While launching Connect and our Support page, we want to clearly distinguish between the functions of the areas served. Connect is designed to be your home for interacting with other Lulu customers, browsing our knowledge base, and sharing new ideas. It’s a self-service option that also hosts our community and will help you find great solutions. In the past, the forums have served as a place to post to get assistance from Lulu team members, as well as fellow customers. Moving forward Connect and Support will be separated so you can more easily get the help you need. That said, this doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help there, or that I’m going anywhere.

Connect continues to be the home of our community, and Lulu team members will still be present there, but it’s not the place to resolve specific cases. The focus moving forward for Connect is one of collaboration, building resources for our customers and helping our product team understand your needs. Feel free to browse our comprehensive knowledge base for answers to your questions about Lulu, join the conversation, or start one of your own, to share ideas, ask questions, make friends, and learn something new.

When it comes to issues that need a team member response to a technical matter or quality concern, we encourage you to use the options available to you on Support. Our team of Lulu Specialists can instantly see your customer history and will work to get you the best solutions.

At Lulu, we’re committed to giving you a more enriched experience. Currently, our customer service team has an 81% customer satisfaction rate, and we are improving on that every week. You’re definitely in good hands! Now get out there and Connect with other Lulu customers!

Find Authors and Readers Like You at Wattpad

Introducing our partner, Wattpad

Read what you like. Share what you write.™

What is Wattpad?
Wattpad is the world’s largest eBook community, and a platform for remarkable writers, just like you, to connect with readers, collaborate with fellow authors, and expand your fan base.

From the Vault: How Previews May Help You Sell

Picture 10A while back, I explained why previews and reviews are crucial to sales. Seeing as more and more people are publishing every day, I thought it would be helpful to share this post again. Please enjoy this post “From the Vault.”

I tend to come across a lot of material on the site because of my job. Sometimes, it’s because I’m looking for something to buy for content to highlight. Regardless of the reason, I am often surprised by how many books lack a preview. According to Chris Anderson, author of the “Long Tail,” on average, 500 copies of a book are sold per year. For a self-published author, selling 500 copies in a year is considered a huge success, but how do you get 500 people to buy your book when most of them haven’t ever heard of you? The simple answer is to let them read it.

If I have never heard of a writer before, three things help me decide to take a chance on a book. First, does the summary grab me? If a book has a good description and it sounds interesting, I will take a closer look at it. I can’t tell you how many books I come across with descriptions that don’t tell me enough about what the book is about. So, that’s step 1 – think about your description and try to tell people what your book (or CD or whatever) is about, why they should give it a shot. Show it to people you trust to give you constructive criticism and get their advice. Remember, if you don’t draw people in, they probably won’t take a chance on your book.

Lulu Lens: Featured Idea – Flexible Pricing

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One of the more popular ideas in our Ideas & Feedback section is Julie Dawson’s recommendation that we allow “Flexible Pricing.” This is somewhat related to Belinda’s idea last week of allowing Lulu creators to generate their own coupon codes. However, Julie’s idea takes this a slightly different direction and branches out into allowing users to create discount bundles (if someone buys two books they get X amount off), having a sale price on your storefront, and giving the eBook version away for free if you purchase the print copy.

Please follow the link and comment on the idea, and if you like the idea be sure to click the “I like this idea” thumbs up next to it. If you have other ideas for how Lulu can improve, post it to the Ideas & Feedback section. I can’t promise that they’ll all get done, but I can promise that all the right people are paying attention.

Win a Prize for Contributing to Our Knowledge-Base

KnowledgeBaseContest_BlogBanner

We see success every day in the vibrant community of authors, artists, and creators that has gathered around Lulu.  Creators come together on our Facebook page, Twitter feed and blog to give advice and cheer on each other as they realize their dreams and ambitions.

We’re particularly excited by the strong response to our improved — and expanding — knowledge base. In the past seven weeks, more than 6,000 items have been added in six different languages and thousands of customers have used our tools to check out popular articles, add to the community discussion, and recommend ideas.

Just the other day I saw how author Keith Dixon helped a new author decide what her best print options would be for the project she has in mind.  It’s great to see that kind of support and encouragement from one passionate creator to another.

And we want to reward it.

From now through April 23rd, we will give away daily prizes to knowledge base users with the most posts, highest ranked posts, best questions, and best answers.  Daily winners will receive a coveted Lulu hat (you should see how fast these things go at conferences) and bragging rights.  Once a week, we’ll randomly select a winner for a grand prize ranging from an iPod Nano to a Book Lover’s Bonanza Service Pack (a $1,895 value), one of our newest service offerings.

We truly appreciate the Lulu community and all the ways you help us grow, adapt, and improve.  So join the conversation, or start one of your own.  Check out our knowledge base to share ideas, ask questions, make friends, and learn something new while inspiring creativity in your fellow creators.


Ideas & Feedback

Picture 16As many of you are likely aware, last month we introduced a new section in our Community & Support area called Ideas & Feedback. The purpose of this area is simple – we want to hear from you. We want to know what you think would improve the Lulu experience. You can post your ideas and vote on existing ones. We’ll be constantly reviewing ideas and seeing what people suggest. We’re listening.

Two of the recent ideas that have received the most votes are things like improving the visibility of templates and allowing Lulu Creators to give out coupons & gift certificates to buyers. Be sure to check out the ideas that are already posted and share your own ideas with us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Talking about the Lulu Community

talktalk

by PinkMoose

We’ve recently revealed our shiny new forums and support platform for all to see. Now, while we’re actively tweaking them and improving them to be the best based on your feedback, I’d like to highlight a few conversations you might be interested in.

Waiting Room Copies – Has Anyone tried This Yet? – This discussion is focused around a particularly creative approach to marketing your work. EelKat says “On the table along side the usual stacks of magazines was a book. On the Cover of the book was a large round sticker which read: ‘Waiting Room Copy – to Order Your Own Copy Please Go to www—–’”

Participants Wanted – Julie Dawson is requesting submissions to benefit Doctors Without Borders. Julie states, “As many of you know, each year I sponsor a charity writing contest.  I mentioned in a previous post that I was thinking about giving away an Amazon Kindle for the grand prize this year.  After reviewing everything, I have decided that we will definitely be doing this.”

So… where’s the line? – In this discussion, Elmore Hammes asks, “When do you call it “literature” – is it just when the book doesn’t fit firmly in a genre such as science fiction or romance? Or does it have to elevate to a higher level of writing to be deemed such?”

How do I make something available as a free download? – The title says it all!

So, head on over to the forums and get to know other Lulus!