Articles tagged "easy"

How to Make an eBook Anyone Can Read with ePub

Blog Update: Before you read, check out our handy new eBook landing page for the latest tips to help you publish your eBook today.



In a recent post I talked about how all of you would-be eBook authors should know your file formats, or at least be somewhat familiar with the most commonly used ones.  As an author, you want to make your work as accessible as possible, which means making your content able to be read on as many devices as you can.  Since it is Read an eBook Week, and Lulu is giving away three Apple iPads, I thought it might be useful to provide a how-to tutorial for the most universal eBook format: ePub.

Many new authors might make the mistake of thinking that if they have a portable document format (PDF) of their book it means that it can be read on an e-reader or other mobile device.  While in many cases the PDF can be opened, the text is far too small because it is a static or unchangeable image.  ePub makes it so your text is resized to fit the screen of any given device.  Since the text in ePub format can be changed in terms of size, font and color, reading an ePub book becomes a much more personal experience for the reader.  Sounds great right?  But how do you make an ePub book?

You really have three options:  let Lulu do the work for you with our conversion services, use a conversion program like (Adobe InDesign, eCub, Calibre, Google ePub Toolkit, etc.), or you can do-it-yourself.  If you decide to do-it-yourself, I’ve added some great directions I found over at jedisaber.com.


What You’ll Need:

* A text editor (like Text Edit or Notepad) that can edit text files, HTML, and XML.
* A program that can create .zip files (which should be built into OS X or Windows).

Using Your Book as a Business Card

Thanks to the Internet, the world is getting smaller everyday.  People are more connected now than ever, which means there is more competition to stand out than ever.  In a CNN article titled Why Just Being Good at Your Job is Not Good Enough, journalist Mark Tutton talks about how getting lost in this ocean of noise can even have a direct impact on your career.  With so many people so readily available, proving your relevancy may seem next to hopeless.  But it’s not.

Right now, at this very second, you have at your fingertips all the tools and resources you need to do anything. Really.  We live in an age where you can just wake up one morning and decide to cut an album, make a movie, or publish a book and can unleash your remarkable ideas upon the world in an instant.  Gone are the days where you had to maneuver around the various barriers into these industries.  Now, you just have to have some motivation and know where to start. You’re reading this blog too, so you’re already looking in the right places.

Building a successful career begins with knowing your worth.  Lulu is centered around the idea that everyone is an expert in something – no matter if you’re a model train builder, a prized physicist, a world-class chef, or a dedicated couch potato.  Your unique knowledge and experiences are what make you, you, and what better way to share that knowledge and expertise than through a published book?

“Writing a book…instantly establishes your credibility to potential customers and employers” Dan Schwabel, author of Me 2.0, told Tutton.  “You can self proclaim you’re an expert in your field all day long but the book is…your calling card.”

Whether you’re going for a job interview, meeting colleagues at a conference, or working on a big partnership, imagine how much more memorable you’d be when everyone else puts their cards on the table and you sit down your book. Or think about the lasting impression you’d leave if you said:  “Oh, you can find me in the iBookstore and on Amazon.”

“If you look at two resumes and they look the same, but one person wrote a book on the topic you’re interviewing for, you’re going to show more interest in that person,” Schwabel tells Tutton.  “Whether it’s a blog, an eBook or a published book, you’ve got to have something now, and a book has the most credibility.”

To Schwabel’s point, if writing and publishing a book seems overwhelming right now, try starting a blog or anything else that gets your name and your content out there.  You’re building a brand for yourself though, so remember to treat yourself like a business and be respectful of anyone you’re reaching out to.  For more help on marketing your work once you’ve gotten it out there, check out this recent post.

 

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.

From the Vault: What Makes a Good Press Release? How to get the word out in 5 steps

Press ReleaseMarketing your work can seem more challenging than actually finishing it, but that’s just because you might not know where to start. A while back, Lauren Parker wrote a great post about creating a press in 5 Steps. With all the recent requests for guidance about self-marketing your work, I thought it would be a great time to highlight Lauren Parkers‘s helpful post. I’m certain that her advice will help you get the word out and get your book the attention it deserves. Enjoy!

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In the world of blogs, tweets and social networking, creating buzz around your book is easier than ever. But how do you reach reporters from traditional media? The traditional press release is still a great way to let people know of your newest book project.

Wait! How do I achieve fame and fortune with a traditional press release you ask. We can’t guarantee fame and fortune but with these five steps and a little elbow grease, you will be well on your way.

Try these steps when putting together your next release:

Focus: eBooks

You may have noticed that eBooks are quickly becoming a very popular option for readers. They offer instant gratification and can conveniently be read on portable eReaders, computers, and in some cases, even on your smart phone. eBooks are a great option for authors too, sometimes even allowing for higher royalties. Some authors even use eBooks to market their print books by providing a free sample of their work – a great technique sure to get new readers hooked.

One of the reasons I love Lulu eBooks so much is the content. Without a doubt, we have a unique selection that can’t be found anywhere else. Below, I’ve chosen a few that caught my interest. Take a look at my top eBook pics for the week!

Fight On! #7 Fall 2009 PDF VersionFight On! #7 Fall 2009

Deep under the misty mountains, the proudest and toughest keep Fighting On! Join us in those days of blood and plunder by picking up a copy of issue 7, dedicated to M.A.R. Barker and featuring EIGHT adventures, tables, settings, reviews, encounters, monsters, spells, magic items, new classes, non-canonical expansions to Empire of the Petal Throne, and much, much more!


The Crochet Dude's Flying AfghanThe Crochet Dude’s Flying Afghan!

Download version – As seen in the Accord Crochet Pattern-a-Day Calendar, here are all the patterns you’ll need to create this sampler afghan by The Crochet Dude. In no time you will have a wonderful gift (perhaps for yourself).

Included are the instructions for twelve large squares and sixteen small squares. Mix and match to create your own layout! Oh, and you also receive the Dudessembly instructions to put it all together!

Publish an ePub. Win an iPad

iPadContest_BlogBannerThe time to get in on the gold rush for ePub books has never been better.  From now until March 22, 2010, simply publish an ePub version of your book, and you’ll be automatically eligible to win one of three Apple iPads.  Yep, that’s right – just create an ePub book and you could score a brand new iPad…on us.

Ready to join the ePub boom?

Lulu now offers ePub conversion services to take your book into the future.  Get your book ready for the iPad, Sony Reader and other electronic devises with our ePub conversion service.  We offer three service packs depending on the number of pages  in your manuscript.

Our ePub service includes the following:

  1. Tagging and linking of the Table of Content (TOC)
  2. Proofing of the illustrations to make sure they’re resized properly
  3. Removal of the original page numbers and page headers (to prevent them from appearing in the middle of the page)
  4. Re-flowing of the text by chapter and re-pagination of the entire book