Articles tagged "Create"

30 Days to Be Remarkable

It just so happens to be the first day of December and that means you have exactly 30 days left in the year to be remarkable. This may sound a little daunting, but don’t worry. The great thing about being remarkable is that you get to decide what that means for you. Consider these recent examples:

Just last week, I spoke with a national medical company that figured out they could cut their budget by millions if they consolidated all of their new hire materials into one Lulu book. They had been paying $400 every time they wanted to print 10 copies of their packets at a local store. On Lulu, they figured out they could make the same thing, in a better, more accessible format for a third of the cost. And with Lulu’s fast track printing, they are still able to have their materials in a couple of business days.

Bloggers like Momma in Flip Flops and Frugal Plus are using Lulu to share their interests with their readers while boosting their traffic by throwing Lulu Photo Book Contests.

Others still are thrilled to receive projects they’ve made for their families this holiday season or are just happy to hold their work in their hands for the first time:

“Just got 10 of my large calendars from @luludotcom – they’re even better in person,” says Twitter follower chiotsrun.

“My children’s books came, what a load off. Thank you for effectively saving Christmas Lulu,” says Facebook fan Greg.

So what does being remarkable mean for you as 2010 winds down? Is it saving your company some cash, building up a name for yourself, or making a book of memories for your family? Either way, Lulu is here to help you create just about anything from hardcover books to eBooks, photo books to mini books, calendars to cookbooks, CDs and DVDs, and even your own websites and applications.

So go forth and be remarkable. Happy holidays.

Author Success Story: From Salesman to Silver Screen.

Love & Other Drugs in theaters today.

Today, Lulu author Jamie Reidy is getting to see one of the biggest dreams any author can have come true. His autobiography, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, has been made into a movie, Love & Other Drugs, starring breakout actors Jake Gyllenhall and Anne Hathaway.

If you ask Reidy if he ever expected this level of success, he’ll chuckle and smugly say: “Well, yeah.”

While Reidy jokingly admits to being somewhat of an egomaniac, he believes that any author who has gone so far as to have their work published should be thinking about their potential and at least have an idea of their long term goals for their work. Otherwise, it’s a self-defeating process.

“If you’re determined to be an author, you obviously have a story to tell and characters to share” says Reidy. “It doesn’t make sense if you’re not ready to go to all lengths to make something happen with them.”

Even with Reidy’s newfound success, his follow-up book, Bachelor 101: Cooking + Cleaning = Closing, available on Lulu, was still rejected by traditional means.

“The industry is scared to take a chance right now” says Reidy. “Luckily, tech like Lulu lets me sell my work anyway and I can get on with my writing.”

Reidy is particularly fond of Lulu’s formatting services and the freedom of not having to go back and forth between editors, which can become very expensive and time consuming.

“With Lulu, $400 for formatting was a deal – I know I got my money’s worth,” Reidy says.

Be sure to pick up a copy of both of Reidy’s books in the Lulu Marketplace and head to your local theater to see Love & Other Drugs, opening today. And for those aspiring authors out there, Reidy has a few last sarcastic words of advice: “No matter how good it is, you cannot count on your friends to buy your book.”

Getting Your Book on a Retail Shelf

Sometimes there is nothing more gratifying for an author than to walk into their neighborhood bookstore and see their own blood, sweat, and tears resting on the shelf. While there is no guarantee that your book will appear in “brick and mortar” bookstores, these tips and suggestions will certainly put your book on the right track for consideration.

ISBN

First things first, your book needs an ISBN. Whether you decide to register for one on your own through an ISBN agency such as Bowker (http://www.bowker.com/) or opt for a free Lulu-owned ISBN, this number will be the key identifier for your book and is also a requirement for the next tip.

globalREACH Distribution

globalReach distribution is essential for any author looking to increase their readership in stores because it enables your book to be available through the wholesaler, Ingram Book Company, which is the preferred go-between of most big-name retailers.

Go Local

Try visiting your local, independent bookstore (like Quail Ridge Books here in Raleigh) to see if there would be any interest in carrying your book. Typically, these retailers feel more open to supporting the work of homegrown authors. It may even sweeten the deal if you already have buyers lined up.

If you’ve tried and tried and still haven’t made the leap into bookstores, don’t feel discouraged. According to Book Industry Study Group, less than 40% of books are purchased in actual stores versus online. And the Lulu Marketplace is home to over 2.5 million unique visitors – that’s a lot of folks just itching to discover your remarkable work.

Lulu APIs are Ready for the Big Leagues

Hello faithful blog readers. I just wanted to highlight a new, ongoing blog series happening over at our developer portal.

For the more tech savvy readers out there, or for fans of all things Lulu, our new API developer blog will provide first hand information on what exciting projects Lulu is working on, as well as how you can use our APIs to further your own projects – like getting your books into the iBookstore. We will also highlight what Lulu is doing with the developer portal and which APIs you should definitely be watching, like twournal that lets you instantly publish your twitter updates into a book (neat huh?).

Lastly, but most importantly, this new blog is another opportunity for you to talk back to us. So please feel free to offer suggestions, join in the conversation, or start one of your own. Enjoy.

Supersize Your Memories

We all have loads of digital images, but how many of you have taken that extra step to take them back a generation and make a book? You probably know by now that you can make a fantastic photo book with Lulu. It’s simple, fun and you end up with a beautiful keepsake for yourself, your family and your friends. Whether you’ve got loads of wedding photos, shots from your vacation last summer, or designs for your professional portfolio — the options are endless.

What you might not know is that Lulu now offers photo books in extra large sizes. We have 12″ x 12″ square and 13″ x 11″ landscape books with premium paper and gorgeous matte covers. Of course we think they’re great, but seriously, they are GREAT. The larger sizes have a majestic feel and harken back to days when people actually had photos printed and took the time to paste them into albums. But you’re not pasting, you’re dragging and dropping. With these books, you can create a seriously professional project with minimal effort on your part. We have plenty of themes and fonts to choose from to give your book the personal touch you desire.

In fact, these large size books aren’t just in the Lulu Studio. If you want a bit more creative liberty, you can design your own book and upload the PDF into the Lulu Wizard, while still taking advantage of premium paper and the classy matte hardcover option.

With the holidays just around the corner,  this is actually the perfect time to start a photo book project and still have plenty of time to tweak your text and add that extra bit of finesse to your photos. The only real decision is whether you flex your creative muscles and upload your own custom created PDF or take advantage of specially designed themes in the Lulu Studio™.

How to Market Your Book:Blog #2

Get Your Book Into Influential Hands

We recently asked 1,000 of our bestselling authors to share their secrets to success. While the responses covered everything from taking out radio spots, to promoting at family reunions, there was one universal theme to marketing a book: Build relationships with influential people in your market.

A great way to get your new relationship off on the right foot is to send out complimentary copies of your book.  Target anyone you could think of that might be able to help create a buzz around your book.

  • School administrators
  • Local newspapers & radio stations
  • Community & church leaders
  • Scouting organizations
  • Bloggers

Be sure to include something personal, like a hand written thank you note, or a short memo describing how and why you wrote your book – anything you think will help you connect more strongly with your new audience.

Before you know it, more recommendations for your work will come from good old word of mouth. Happy publishing.

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.

Marketing Tip of the Week: Get the Word Out

Email your friends and colleagues:

Email is a great way to get the word out on your book, and who better to support you than those you already know. Explain why you wrote the book and what it is about. Be sure to include a link to your book on Lulu so they can click through and make a purchase. You can use your personal email provider or use the handy email button included on every Lulu product page.


Lastly, ask the people on your list to forward the email on to their friends and colleagues. Think of it this way – if you send an email to 100 friends, family and colleagues, and half of them send it on to another 10 people, you will reach 600 people – quick and cheap. Just take care to be respectful and don’t spam people with your book with too many emails. That can be a pretty quick turn off.

Contact your local newspaper:

Local journalists are always looking for new and interesting things to report on, so help them out by approaching them with your story. Onlinenewspapers.com serves as a directory for newspapers worldwide. Just select your state or country to find local newspapers in your area. Here are some tips on how to increases the odds of being featured:

  • Research the newspaper’s staff and identify the editor who would be most interested in the subject matter of your book based on their field of coverage (don’t send your book on murder mysteries to the international affairs journalist).
  • Have an angle: Pick one or two ideas that could be the lead-in for the story and why you think readers will find this interesting.
  • Have family, friends or coworkers read your pitch and make tweaks based on their questions and feedback.
  • Email the editor and follow up with a phone call.

Outreach like this can go a long way in gaining important exposure for your book. So, don’t be shy – get the word out!

Bedtime Stories Contest

Bedtime stories are the best. They take you to magical kingdoms in faraway lands where, once upon a time, princes and princesses lived fairy tales lives.

If you’ve ever dreamed of writing your own, now is a perfect time to do it.

The folks over at Nature Made Sleep® are holding a Bedtime Stories contest that’s a great chance to show your creativity. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a professional illustration of their story, along with 10 professionally printed copies of their book courtesy of Lulu. In addition, they’ll take home $7,500 in cash, plus a year’s supply of Nature Made Sleep.

It’s easy to enter. Just visit the Bedtime Stories site, where you’ll be led through the simple process of creating and illustrating your bedtime story. Enter your text and drag-and-drop in some colorful illustrations before submitting your story to be entered in our contest. Contest winners will be decided by a combination of number of votes and selections by a panel of judges, so have your friends and family visit the site often to vote for your bedtime story, or visit the site yourself to vote for your favorite story (everyone can vote once a day).

So let your imagination run wild. And don’t let the bedbugs bite.