Articles tagged "free"

Should you just give it away?

What’s better than free?

It might seem irrational, but one of the best ways that authors have found to gain popularity and profitability for their eBooks has been to, well, give them away. Authors have found that dropping the price of their books to $0, at least for a short time, leads to dramatically better sales when they do raise the price.

[Recommended Reading: How Free Books Build Your Brand as an Author and Authority]

Speaking on The Self Publishing Podcast, independent author David Wright found that this type of promotion works, especially with writers who work in genre fiction. “Free downloads drive sales,” he said. “Especially with the serialized fiction model, where if our readers get our first episode for free, they want to read on, so they buy the next episode or the full season.”

[Recommended Reading: How To Serialize with Lulu]

Dropping the price of your eBook can help raise your sales rank and visibility, while, at the same time, promoting other books you’ve written. Of course, the lost revenue can sting a bit, but who knows if readers would have taken the plunge on your book if you hadn’t taken the cost-free promotional plunge?

But is a free promotion right for you? For serialized fiction, the answer is yes. Get readers hooked, and then get them to buy the rest of your series or your other titles. For experts and speakers, the answer is also yes. You want to spread your brand and name, and an eBook is even better than just giving out your card. Use your eBook mainly as a promotional tool — not a revenue stream.

Here’s who this promotion might not work for: writers of long, literary fiction who depend on sales to make up for some of the painstaking work that went into their novel. It might also not work for historians, who also put in a tremendous amount of time and energy and whose specialized knowledge has a place in the marketplace and should be able to find a readership despite its cost.

Either way — it always helpful to experiment with different marketing tools. Dropping your price to zero might feel weird, but the eventual reward could be huge. If it doesn’t work out anyway, it’s just as easy to start charging more for your book, and go back to the drawing (or writing) board.

Have you tried this technique? What was your experience?

Remarkable Find: A MOO Way to Market Your Book

How do self-published authors get the word out about their work? The same way other professionals get the word out about their businesses – through networking. This is why MOO recommends business cards for authors. In fact, MOO is so confident that your author cards will boost your book sales that they’re giving you your first pack FREE.

MOO allows people to design their own business cards, MiniCards, postcards, stickers and more. How is MOO different? They invented Printfinity, which allows you to have a different image on every single card in a pack. It’s a great way for you to show off your work. Here are some creative ways for authors to use MOO cards to market their work:

 “You can quote me on that.”

As an author, you are selling your ability to write. So, give people a taste of what they’re going to get. Reel them in! Pull choice quotes out of your work and use them on your cards – it’s bound to be a conversation starter.

News and reviews

If you’ve been reviewed (and obviously, only if it’s positive!), why not incorporate the design of your card to include a few of the best lines? The world of professional writing is competitive, so letting people know straight away the good things others have said about your work will help you stand out.

Collectables

Consider making your cards collectors’ items by featuring a different excerpt on each. This works particularly well for poets. When the poems are too long to print on a small card, consider using a QR code to link directly to the poem online.

This is also a great technique for cookbook authors, who can feature different recipes on each card with links to recommendations for what appetizers and drinks to pair with each dish.

Judge my book by its cover

As an author, you obviously value words. But the truth is, in a short period of time – the amount of time, say, that it takes to glance at a business card – most people respond very well to strong images. So if you’ve got a great book cover, why not use it as the front of your cards? Alternatively, you could use classic literary covers throughout the ages or design something that represents your reading taste.

Ready to start making your MOO card now? MOO is offering Lulu customers 100 free MiniCards (excluding shipping). Hurry – this offer is limited to the first 500 customers, one per customer.

Better Education Through Self-Publishing

Lulu Education

 

Apple obviously thinks that teachers could benefit from more self-publishing tools – and they’re right. Educators like Dr. Tony Kemerly, professor of biomechanics at High Point University and Lulu author, often find themselves spending countless hours every semester stapling worksheets together for students – a common problem for the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s recorded 1.7 million post-secondary teachers in the country.

More and more though, better choices are becoming available that give these teachers and professors greater control over the learning experiences they share with their students. The tools now exist to empower educators to publish their own content for free and ensure their students are receiving the most up-to-date classroom materials at an affordable price they set.  Teachers can publish a print book or eBook, offer supplementary materials, or make free revisions at anytime.  They’re then able to sell their works through retailers like the iBookstore(SM), Amazon.com, and the NOOK(TM) Bookstore – not just through student bookstores.  It is by removing the limitations that we’re better able to move knowledge from one generation to the next, so we can all benefit from these works.

Dr. Marianne Bradford, professor for the College of Management at North Carolina State University puts it best:

“Bookstore prices can be so high, and the textbooks used for my classes were so outdated,” says Dr. Bradford.  “I needed content geared towards my students.  Big publishers were interested, but did not seem to understand the market or the content.  The flexibility and control over my work I found when self-publishing let me create materials that suited my personality and style.”

Dr. Bradford’s book, Modern ERP:  Select, Implement & Use Today’s Advanced Business Systems, has gone on to rank in the top 100 of Lulu’s 1.1 million titles and is currently being translated for Korean audiences.  “I feel confident about my decision to go with Lulu and plan on a long working relationship,” Bradford adds.

For more information on academic publishing opportunities, visit Lulu’s education portal at www.lulu.com/education. And sound off in the comments below on clever ways you’ve used self-publishing to teach others.

 

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.

 

Win an HP Mini Laptop from Lulu

Ahh Summertime…The days are longer and the sun shines brighter, which means more time for family get togethers, pool parties and road trips.  We all capture these great moments with our digital cameras and smart phones, then we post our pics online to the envy of everyone.

But wouldn’t it be great to have a lasting reminder of how the Summer of 2011 began?  Now is the perfect time to get those photos out of your laptop and into a beautiful photo book or calendar.

From now until after the 4th of July holiday, not only will you be able to save 25% on any Lulu photo book or calendar order, but you’ll also be automatically entered to win 1 of 2 HP 5103 Mini Laptops!

Here’s how it works…

  1. Simply create and publish a photo book or calendar project between June 1 and June 30, 2011
  2. Purchase a copy of your beautiful photo book or calendar
  3. Save 25% off with code HPWIN305*
  4. You’ll be automatically entered to win 1 of 2 HP Mini Laptops
We’ll pick the winners on July 5, 2011 and notify each lucky person via email.  Oh yeah, the shipping of the laptop is on us too – all you need to do is sit back and enjoy your new toy.  Don’t feel like purchasing a photo book? You can also enter to win just by publishing a work through Lulu – absolutely free.

What’s an HP 5103 Mini Laptop? Funny you should ask – check them out here.

It’s really that simple.  Create, publish, buy and win.  Also be sure to find out how to win an HP laptop with the purchase of a Lulu service here.

So what are you waiting for?  There’s never been a better time to create a photo book or calendar with Lulu!

*No purchase necessary. Enter coupon code HPWIN305 at checkout and receive 25% off any photo book or calendar order or 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.

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.

How to Use the New Author Discount Manager

One of the features Lulu authors most frequently ask for is the ability to offer books at a discounted price.  Lulu has listened, and today we have released the new Lulu Discount Manager. Now our authors are free to take a percentage off the list price of their books in the Lulu Marketplace. It is a great way to gain new readers for your works and reward your loyal fans. And with the holiday season just around the corner, now is the perfect time to offer your readers a special deal. I’m sure you’re anxious to start using this great new feature, so here are some tips for how you can easily start setting discounts for your works with the new Lulu Discount Manager.