Articles tagged "free"

From the Vault: How Previews May Help You Sell

Picture 10A while back, I explained why previews and reviews are crucial to sales. Seeing as more and more people are publishing every day, I thought it would be helpful to share this post again. Please enjoy this post “From the Vault.”

I tend to come across a lot of material on the site because of my job. Sometimes, it’s because I’m looking for something to buy for content to highlight. Regardless of the reason, I am often surprised by how many books lack a preview. According to Chris Anderson, author of the “Long Tail,” on average, 500 copies of a book are sold per year. For a self-published author, selling 500 copies in a year is considered a huge success, but how do you get 500 people to buy your book when most of them haven’t ever heard of you? The simple answer is to let them read it.

If I have never heard of a writer before, three things help me decide to take a chance on a book. First, does the summary grab me? If a book has a good description and it sounds interesting, I will take a closer look at it. I can’t tell you how many books I come across with descriptions that don’t tell me enough about what the book is about. So, that’s step 1 – think about your description and try to tell people what your book (or CD or whatever) is about, why they should give it a shot. Show it to people you trust to give you constructive criticism and get their advice. Remember, if you don’t draw people in, they probably won’t take a chance on your book.

Lulu University Classes

Lulu empowers creators with the tools needed for success. Our FREE Lulu University webinars will provide you with the knowledge and know-how to get the most out of your work. Lulu University is a series of free webinars. You can register for each class by adding the free service to your shopping cart and checking out.

You will be emailed with instructions on attending this free Lulu University webinar from lulu@amarketingexpert.com a few days prior to the webinar you’ve selected. Webinars are held at 7pm EST/4pm PST and require computer access. Following each class, all webinars will be available for viewing via the link mentioned below.

Be sure to sign up a few days before the event by clicking on the link provided for each webinar. See you in class!

Two Upcoming Lulu U Classes

StudyingMore and more people are attending our FREE Lulu University classes. These classes are empowering our creators and helping them get the results needed to get their remarkable works noticed. Next week we have TWO great Lulu University classes that you don’t want to miss.

Our next class on May 3rd at 7PM EST, Build a Great Web Site, covers the key elements to creating a successful web site. This class will teach you simple tricks and effective strategies to help you understand how a terrific site needs to look. You’ll also learn about keywords and how to find the right ones for your needs. Site layout and the secrets to selling books on your site will also be covered as well as some simple steps to creating a web site or hiring someone to do it for you.

On May 5th at 7PM EST be sure to attend the very special Lulu U class, How to Crack the New York Times Bestseller List. Get the scoop on how to get your book bestseller ready and get noticed!

To take advantage of these FREE classes, be sure to sign up by adding the service to your cart. You will be emailed with instructions on attending this Lulu University webinar from lulu@amarketingexpert.com a few days prior. Webinars are held at 7pm EST and require computer and phone access. All webinars will be available online afterward for viewing.

What's Your Lulu Find?

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To celebrate our newly expanded open marketplace, we’re giving away a book a day to one lucky follower! From April 16 -21, follow Lulu on Twitter and tweet us your favorite Lulu find (make sure to use #LuluFind in your tweet). You could be the lucky daily winner of a $20 coupon for your favorite Lulu find!

Free iPad with any All-Inclusive Pack Purchase

FreeiPadReady to publish your next book? Let us help. Lulu’s all-Inclusive Publishing Packages are fantastic for getting the professional pre-publishing services your book deserves. Our publishing experts will make your title bookstore-ready and, for a limited time, we’ll help you celebrate the momentous occasion with a free iPad!

That’s right, we will give you a Free iPad with the purchase of any All-Inclusive Package between now and April 10, 2010. Choose from three options —  3 Star, 5 Star or  7 Star — all carefully crafted to meet the varying needs of our authors.

You’ll work with the industry’s best — a publishing consultant to guide you through the process, professional designers to create your cover and format your manuscript, and our team of editors to fine-tune your work.  Throw in 125 books to get you through your first book signing, and you’ll be inspired to write your next bestseller.

Giving It Away – How Previews May Help You Sell

I tend to come across a lot of material on the site because of my job. Sometimes, it’s because I’m looking for something to buy, other times I am checking out whether it’s in violation of our membership agreement, and still others I am looking for content to highlight. Regardless of the reason, I am often surprised by how much of it lacks a preview. According to Chris Anderson, author of the “Long Tail”, on average, 500 copies of a book are sold per year. For a self-published author, selling 500 copies in a year is considered a huge success, but how do you get 500 people to buy your book when most of them haven’t ever heard of you? The simple answer is to let them read it.

If I have never heard of a writer before, and I’m in a bookstore, three things that make me decide to take a chance on a book. First, does the summary grab me? If a book has a good description and it sounds interesting, I will take a closer look at it. I can’t tell you how many books I come across with descriptions that don’t tell me enough about what it’s about, because it’s a lot. So, that’s step 1, think about your description, and try to tell people what your book (or CD or whatever) is about, and why they should give it a shot. Show it to people you trust to give you constructive criticism, and get their advice. Remember, if you don’t draw people in, they probably won’t take a risk and pay for your book.

The second thing I look for is who is recommending the book to me. If I see an author I recognize (and like) telling me they like the book, then I am more likely to pick it up. Since self-published authors can’t always get someone well known in their genre of choice to recommend their book, it helps to have people who are willing to give thoughtful and honest reviews of your work regardless. If it looks like your mom is the only person who reviewed it and loved it, I hate to say it, but I’m probably not going to buy it (unless your mother is Haven Kimmel or another woman whose writing I enjoy).

The final thing that will convince me to purchase a copy of a book I’ve never heard of before is being able to read the book, or at least part of it. I cannot stress how important this is. Barnes & Noble will let me sit in their cafe, read a book while drinking some Starbucks and never blink. They do this because they know that A) I will buy their overpriced snacks (and I will), and B) because they know I am more likely to buy something if I can read some of it first. They also know, I am unlikely to read an entire book in the store and then put it back on the shelf. So, they let me sit down, get comfortable and read, hoping I will like what it and buy it. The same thing applies to selling books, cds, and anything else online. People are unlikely to read an entire book online, and even if they do, if they like the book, they are probably willing to pay $15 to own a copy. On the other hand, if you don’t have a preview, no one knows how good your book is, and they aren’t as likely to give it a try.

This is why we advocate offering a preview. You don’t have to put the whole book or album up for people to read/listen to, just put up what you are comfortable with, and you think will help convince strangers and loved ones that they want to read, and/or listen to the whole thing. I can’t guarantee that you’ll sell 500 copies, but I can guarantee you’re more likely to sell copies if you let people try it first.

Nick Popio