Articles tagged "Distribution"

What is Metadata?: How to Save Yourself Some eBook Distribution Headaches

As eBook sales continue to rise, Lulu wants to be sure you have access to all the latest and greatest tools and resources to help you sell more books in this exciting new market. In order to reach the millions of customers who own e-Reading devices, it is important to stay up to speed on best practices for making an electronic book quickly and easily.

One term you’re likely to come across when publishing your eBook is “metadata.” It also happens to be one of the main causes eBooks get bounced back from distribution.  In many cases, a quick revision of your eBook’s metadata is all it takes to push your content out onto digital shelves and increases your work’s marketability.

Simply put, metadata is the who, what, when, and where of your eBook.  Items such as your title, author name, volume number, etc. are all types of metadata and are what most retailers use to appropriately list and categorize your content.  When your eBook is listed on an online store, customers will see an image of your cover, which they can click on for more information about your work and to access the actual content of your work.  Many retailers treat the cover image and the actual eBook’s content as two separate pieces and it is vital that the metadata for both match (including upper and lower case letters) so your customers are linked to the correct book interior.

For example, lets say your book title is The Greatest Book Ever: A Tale of Suspense and Intrigue by Samantha Thomas. If the metadata for your cover is only listed as The Greatest Book Ever, by Sam Thomas, without the subtitle and a different author name, then the retailers can’t be sure if it’s the same work.  With the thousands of new eBooks being submitted everyday, it becomes too difficult to try to match the cover to the content.

Luckily, on Lulu it is pretty simple to ensure all your metadata matches. When you start a new project and name it, whatever you enter into the title and author fields will autofill the empty fields in the cover step. Whenever a colon is used in the project title, the system automatically treats any text after it as a subtitle. Once you get to the cover step, you can still edit your title, author name, etc. just be sure if you do make changes, you also go back and change the project information you started with too. For authors uploading a one-piece cover, again, just be sure all the text matches the project information you enter.

Be sure to check out our knowledge base for more eBook metadata tips to help you reach more readers in more markets all over the globe.

 

iPad 2 Means More Readers for You

We love technology at Lulu, especially technology that helps our authors reach more readers.

Today, Apple is set to unveil the new iPad after the first version shattered sales records (15 million units sold in 2010) and introduced a new retail channel, the iBookstore, for authors to distribute their eBooks through.

Last year, eBooks accounted for $263 million of total trade book sales, which represents a 193% increase from 2009 according to the Association of American Publishers. As readers continue to find new ways to discover and purchase content, any author would do well to provide their work in as many formats and on as many devices as possible because you never know how your next biggest fan may discover your work.  As speculation builds over new iPad features, more eyes are turning towards the device, which opens up even greater opportunities for authors to expand their readership across millions of people.

In recent posts, we’ve shown you how to get your Lulu published eBook into the iBookstore and onto the iPad and we know how eager you are to see your books out in the world. That’s why we’re happy to help you distribute your remarkable works through our growing network of retail partners. Keep in mind too, that authors are always able to publish and sell their books immediately to the 2.5 million unique customers in the Lulu Marketplace for free, either electronically or in print. Lulu continues to help you bring your knowledge and expertise to your customers more easily than every before. We look forward to your continued success with Lulu and our retail partners.

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.

Understanding Distribution and ISBNs

Distribution

Much like Bigfoot and Chupacabra, ISBNs and Distribution remain a mystery to many Lulu authors. While we can’t explain Chupacabra or Bigfoot, we can help you understand Distribution and ISBNs.

What is distribution?
Distribution is a service that gets your book out to the world. We make your book available through bibliographic databases, online marketplaces and distribution catalogs. Lulu currently offers 3 distribution options: extendedREACH, globalREACH, and marketREACH. I will explain each of those in a little bit.

What is an ISBN?
An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a controlled, 10- or 13-digit identification number that allows publishers, libraries, and book dealers to locate books. You may get a free ISBN from Lulu or you can bring an ISBN you own and assign it to your book.

In September 2009, Lulu separated distribution and ISBNs so authors could get distribution for ISBNs that they own and bring to Lulu. We offer distribution options for ISBN and non-ISBN titles. Each Lulu project may have one distribution option and/or ISBN. Once an ISBN or distribution option has been applied to a project, you cannot change it.

Our current distribution options:

More Readers at Your Fingertips

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Here at Lulu, our goal is to get our authors’ works in front of as many readers as possible. And it sure is nice to have partners helping us out with that goal.

In case you haven’t heard, Apple has expanded the availability of its iBookstore. This is the bookstore application it released in April along with the iPad tablet, which the company has sold 3 million of in the past 80 days. The iBookstore is now available on newer iPhones — the 3G, 3GS, 4 — and the iPod touch with the release of the new ios 4 operating system that runs the devices.

What does this mean for you, the Lulu author?

You can reach more buyers.

A couple recent happenings here at Lulu…

  • Free ISBNS and Expanded eligibility – Did I stutter? No, seriously! For a limited time only we are offering our PBL (Published By Lulu) ISBN service w/ retail distribution, free of charge! Click here for more details.

In addition, we’ve also just recently introduced a new expanded eligibility plan for distribution which should allow more published content into our distribution programs than ever before. Check to see if your book is eligible and sign up today!

  • Lulu users in the UK will be pleased to learn that we’ve expanded our payment options to allow payments using the Visa Electron in £ (GBP). In the coming months, we hope to offer even more payment options in both £ Pounds Sterling as well as the € Euro.
  • For Photo book creators we’ve expanded on some image editing features in the Lulu Studio™ allowing users to rotate the angle of their images within a photo book. If your digital photos were taken at an angle that prevents them from displaying right side up, simply hover your mouse over the image to display a “rotate” icon which will allow you to rotate your image 90 degrees at a time.

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Lulu Studio now allows you to rotate imageswithin your photo book.

 

  • Flash Previews are now available for Lulu Studio™. We’re happy to announce that we are able to offer the same Flash-based previews for Lulu Studio photo books that we offer for our full line of book products.

 

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  • Lulu’s Community Homepage has had a bit of a makeover. While aside from appearance, not a whole lot has changed, we think you’ll find the new layout much more appealing and user-friendly.

 

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Additional release notes and other fixes have also been posted here in the forums.

-Adam