Articles tagged "faster"

Lulu’s Free Book Event is Back!

Need incentive to help you finish up your latest book?  How about if it’s on the house?

That’s right, between June 14 and July 31, 2011, Lulu is providing all authors with a free copy of any newly published book.  To get started, just visit lulu.com/publish.

Already published a book? Well, we’ve got you covered too.  Here are some ideas we’ve come up with for you to take advantage of this offer too.

  • Create a hardcover version of your book – If you haven’t done so already, it’s never too late to turn your paperback book into a hardcover or vice-versa. The process is simple, and if we don’t already offer a hardcover size of your paperback, you can always reformat it for the new version.
  • Make a special version of your book. For example, you could add photos or illustrations to the book that help highlight the chapters.  Or, you could take a note from author Cory Doctorow, who recently published his book With a Little Help with four different cover illustrations.
  • Challenge yourself. Who says you can’t finish a whole new book by July 31st?  I don’t know about you, but I do my best work when it’s crunch time and a deadline is fast approaching. Your reward is a free copy of your brand new book. You can do it!
  • Collaborate with a friend on a book. You can either write something new together or work on finishing up a book one of you has already started. Either way you get to create something together!

Just remember, this promotion is for newly published or newly formatted books and does not apply to book revisions.  Whatever you decide, we want to help. So get started!

Terms and Conditions:
Promotion runs from 6/14 – 7/31. Creators are eligible for a free proof copy of a newly published work at
www.lulu.com up to a value of $25. Photo books, calendars, and eBooks are not eligible for this offer. Shipping is not included in the offer. Creator will receive a coupon code by email once the new work is published.

 

Lulu.com: Publishing for the Future

 

The only way to predict the future is to invent it.

Only seven short years ago Lulu launched what was one of the very first, if not the first, self-publishing sites on the Internet.   Since then, we’ve served millions of authors by helping sell tens of millions of their books.

But what was a great idea then is only a good idea today.  Our success has spawned a myriad of imitators some of whom, I am forced to admit, are almost as good at what we do as we are.   Competition is the least of our concerns.  The bigger trend we are embracing to better serve our customers is, of course, the explosion of eBook readers and digital marketplaces, which are changing the very nature of what a book is.

As you no doubt expect, we’ve been working hard to re-invent Lulu to offer features our competitors have yet to even dream about.   We are moving from a concept of self-publishing to one of open-publishing.   In very broad terms self-publishing is what it sounds like:  we give you the tools and you get to publish your book yourself.    The concept of open-publishing is one where we give you the platform and you are empowered to innovate the tools and solutions that best fit your needs and help you sell more books.  The Lulu platform will be of particular benefit to a new generation of publishers who can create new tools to help authors reach more readers, monetize out-of-print or back-catalogued titles, and grow their customer-base.  We will have several more major announcements coming throughout this year, the first being our exciting new Open Publishing APIs (Application Programming Interface), recently made available to the public.

With our APIs, which you can download and play with over at developer.lulu.com, Lulu is helping a new generation of creators profit by enabling them to bring their knowledge and expertise to their customers more easily than ever before. For those of you who don’t know, an API is like a Lego® block that makes a website or application work. And with Lulu APIs, authors, publishers, businesses, and developers alike, are able to create a new breed of web applications, powered by Lulu, and marketed under their own brand names – absolutely free.

So far, we’ve been blown away by the creativity and innovation we’ve seen in the sites and applications people have come up with. Some of our favorite examples are twournal.com, that lets turn your tweets into a book, and beforeigrewup.com, where you can capture your children’s life into a book and seamlessly share it with friends and family. Since its launch in late 2010, developer.lulu.com has grown to 150 registered developers, 45 applications and is live on 10 sites.

By releasing all of the great features found on Lulu.com such as document conversion, order fulfillment, and ecommerce through a series of APIs, Lulu is redefining the future for all publishers and providing our creators with even more freedom.  Now a new generation of publisher can now offer unique and innovative publishing services to their authors and the audiences those authors serve by using Lulu’s global print and retail networks, our commerce engine that can calculate royalties in a range of currencies all in real time, and our publishing tools that can help those authors turn their ideas into valuable books.

To learn more, or to tell your techie friends about it without having to learn more, visit:  developer.lulu.com

Cheers,

Bob

Confessions of a Lulu Services Team Member


I confess. It excites me to read brilliant content from our creators. I also confess I see content with potential that lacks basic principles of composition.

The Editing Month festivities at Lulu last month challenged me to consider how one might break habitual bad writing habits and make significant changes to please the reader. I literally dusted off my grandmother’s copy of Strunk’s The Elements of Style in hopes of finding a few elements that would change any manuscript.

From William Strunk, Jr.’s The Elements of Style III. Elementary Principles of Composition:

  • Use the active voice: The active voice is more direct and vigorous than the passive. I shall always remember my first visit to Boston is much better than My first visit to Boston will always be remembered by me.
  • Put statements in positive form: Make definite assertions. Avoid tame, colorless, hesitating, non-committal language. Use the word “not” as a means of denial or in antithesis, never as a means of evasion. For example, rather than He was not very often on time one could use He usually came late.
  • Omit needless words: Read your manuscript and see how many times you see the fact that and try to replace it with since, because, though or although. Another example is “there is no doubt but that” could simply be “no doubt.”

Too often I meet authors whose excitement of a speedy book launch diminishes the importance of a thorough pre-publishing scrub. One passionate author related the book launch to taking a child to school on the first day of kindergarten. Just as parents send kids equipped with backpacks and lunch boxes, your book should be as equipped with a proper edit. Correctness is contagious.

A professional editor can review your manuscript to determine which elements could make your book an easier and more enjoyable read. Our publishing packages provide the Editorial Quality Review as well as Formatting and Cover design. Buying services in June automatically enters you to win one of two new HP Mini laptops. Plus, use the coupon SVCWIN and we’ll take 15% off any package (maximum discount $1,425).  Offer expires 6/30/2011.

*No purchase necessary. Enter coupon code SVCWIN at checkout and receive 15% off any service package or simply publish a work through Lulu.com. The maximum savings for this offer is $100. Sorry, but this offer cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use this code once per account, and unfortunately you can’t use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer expires on July 8, 2011 at 11:59 PM, so don’t miss out! While very unlikely, we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so. Shipping destinations must be within the United States.

Everybody Needs an Editor

Happy Editing Month, everyone. Didn’t know May was Editing Month? Well it is, because Lulu says it is! And we all have our virtual red pens poised and ready to edit some great books!

“I was an English major, so I don’t need editing.” “My professor already edited it.” “My mother was a teacher for 27 years; she can proofread it.”

We here at Lulu have heard every rationalization authors have for not investing in professional copy editing. It’s completely understandable—editing can be costly, especially if you have a very long manuscript. And for some, it may seem preposterous to pay someone else to do what your professor or a relative has already done.

So why should you consider a professional copy edit?

First, remember that, while it is great that you have friends or family that will closely read your book (trust me, not everyone is that lucky!), more than likely, these people are not editors by trade. A teacher is not an editor. An English major, while he or she may have a better grasp on the English language than most, probably isn’t up-to-date on the changing style rules. (The Chicago Manual of Style is on its 16th edition—which edition is that dusty copy of yours?) Not to mention, your friend knows how hard you’ve worked on your book and may be afraid to tell you that your dialogue is dry and unrealistic, or that Chapters 9 through 14 go off on a tangent they didn’t understand. An editor doesn’t know you from Adam, and isn’t concerned with hurting your feelings—they want your book to be as good as it possibly can be.

Second, a proofread is not a copy edit. What your friends are probably doing for you is checking for typos and grammar mistakes. While these are, of course, very important, they only scratch the surface of what a true editor looks at in a manuscript. A professional editor is also looking at syntax, word choice, organization, plot and character development, text flow, inconsistencies in tense, among other issues.

Third, consider the value that a copy edit will add to your book. You wouldn’t go out the door without looking in the mirror to make sure your shirt is buttoned correctly, right? Now imagine if you had a stylist from Vogue stopping you at the door each morning to tell you if your shoes are inappropriate for the interview/wedding/wrestling match you’re headed to. That’s what editing does for your book. It adds credibility—you obviously think so much of your book, and of the information you are relaying, that you won’t settle with only one pair of eyes going over it. Yes, the cost of editing might be higher than what you’d planned to spend on the whole pre-publishing process, but it’s really an investment in your book’s future.  You’ve worked on this book for months, or maybe years—you certainly don’t want your reviews to start, “Great message overall, but couldn’t get past the glaring typos and strange sentence structure.”

How can Lulu help with editing?

An Editorial Quality Review is a great place to start. This service is included in our three main Pre-Publishing Packages, and is also available on its own. This review not only provides helpful feedback that you might use in your own revisions, but also recommends one of our three levels of copy editing. And to celebrate Editing Month, we are offering the Editorial Quality Review itself, normally $199, for $149, plus 15% off the price of whichever copy edit we suggest. And if you decide to take that polished manuscript all the way to the finish line with one our publishing packages, we’ll reduce the cost of the Review from the package price. To get started, just click “Add to Cart” here.  This promotion, along with Editing Month festivities, will end on June 1, 2011.

Fun Ways to Improve Your Next Book Pt. 2

Last week, we posted some new ways to help you make your next work even more remarkable. Below are two more tips to help inspire you to put pen to paper or start hammering away on your keyboard.

3. Challenge your vocabulary at Knoword.org.

If you’re a word nerd like I am, you will quickly find yourself addicted to this vocabulary game. Unlike some games that have you match words and their meanings, this one gives you the definition and first letter, and you just fill in the word. It’s harder and faster paced than some others I’ve played. You can choose your level, and either Canadian or US dialect. This is really valuable for those studying for SAT and GRE exams, too.

4. Follow your favorite authors on Twitter.
If you’re a Twitter user, you’re probably following a number of celebrities–why not authors? Here are some of our favorite tweeting writers from a variety of genres. (Of course, the opinions expressed by these authors do not necessarily reflect those of Lulu, so tweet at your own risk!)

Science Fiction author Cory Doctorow @doctorow
Young Adult writer Adam Selzer
@adamselzer
Fiction writer Chuck Palahniuk
@chuckpalahniuk
Novelist and poet Margaret Atwood
@margaretatwood
Jon Winokour gives daily quotes from famous writers, as well as goings-on from the writing and publishing world.
@AdviceToWriters

If you’re not on Twitter, it’s free to sign up! Check out InkyGirl’s Writer’s Guide to Twitter.

Be sure to check back next week for even more tips.

Some of Our Favorite Book Covers

Lulu employees get just as excited about great cover designs as the author does. We enjoy huddling together over a computer screen to view the exciting covers that we see on a daily basis. Not only is it the enthusiasm our authors put into the detail of the cover but the outcome from what our designers can do that make a great cover.

Here are a few of our favorites. These were all created using our Premium Cover Service, which is included in our Masterpiece and Laureate publishing Packages:


Fun Ways to Improve Your Next Book Pt. 1

Okay, so you’ve published your first book on Lulu.com. Now what? Keep writing, that’s what! You want to keep exercising that writing muscle, and anyway, what’s cooler than saying you’re working on your second book? Here are some fun ways to get inspired and make your second even better than your first.

1. Join or start a writing group.
Sometimes, you are not your best motivator or your best critic. Finding or starting a writing group is not easy, but it can be very rewarding. Some groups are more like workshops, where everyone critiques one another’s writing, while others are organized simply to set aside time to write, and can be as basic as three or four people clustered around a coffee shop table with laptops, just writing. If you don’t have writer friends who want to join you, I suggest trying Meetup.com to find a group in your area. I found 34 groups within ten miles of the Lulu.com headquarters.

2. Organize your writing with Google Docs.
This free, multi-faceted tool is great for writers who are either constantly moving from home, to office, to laptop, to phone, or for multiple authors collaborating on one project. You create a document that’s stored online, and you and your collaborators can access it from any computer. As a fiction writer, I use this tool to keep track of my characters–each one gets his or her own page, with traits and personal thoughts–and also my personal to-do lists, since I work from three different computers over the course of a day. Be sure to check out
Google’s introduction to Google Docs.

Be sure to check back in next week for more tips in part 2.

Lulu to Create a New Standard in Publishing Commerce

At Lulu, we stop at nothing to help you bring your knowledge and ideas to your readers more easily than ever before.  For us the formula is simple:  the better the tools and resources that power Lulu, the quicker you can publish and sell your remarkable works. It’s rare, but when we find other companies that focus on ease of use for customers like we do, we get very excited. Just like we did when we partnered with eCommerce platform provider Elastic Path.


By working with Elastic Path, we’ll be able to add new capabilities such as registration-less checkout and customized sales campaigns that will benefit all of our customers whether you come to Lulu to buy or to sell.  In fact, our unique online community of 2.5 million customers, made up of great folks just like you, has been the primary inspiration behind this partnership as we work to provide creators with more freedom and buyers with more savings.

This new eCommerce strategy is just one more element of the open-publishing market that Lulu is building. Through our growing network of retail partners and open publication APIs, Lulu is empowering you to sell your works anywhere, anytime. Be on the look out for Lulu and Elastic Path at two upcoming events. Our CEO, Bob Young, will be presenting along with Elastic Path CSO, Cliff Conneighton, about the future of publishing at the World e-Reading Congress in London, May 9-11, and at Book Expo America in New York May 24-26.

The Telepathy Standard

Once upon a time, there was a clear distinction between author and publisher.  Despite everyone’s knowledge and expertise, not everyone had access to the tools and resources necessary to make content public. Publishing was a closed system. Now, thanks to the Internet and digital text, publishing is open and more and more opportunities are becoming available to creators, businesses, developers and publishers alike – everyday.

Today we live in a world where it’s possible for someone to share their ideas instantaneously across multiple devices and platforms – electronically or in print.

But what comes next?

Lulu Founder and CEO Bob Young shares his thoughts on that question in the The Telepathy Standard below as he highlights why telepathy is the gold standard by which authors transfer content to their readers and how we are getting closer to that standard everyday with advances in technology.

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.