Articles tagged "Holiday"

Grandparents in Revolt & The Lulu Contest to Give ’em What They Want

If you’re a mom or dad, you answer to a lot of different bosses — chief among them, the grandparents. And that group often isn’t shy about sharing suggestions and directives.

In a new national poll commissioned by Lulu, 96 percent of grandparents told us that family togetherness makes for happy holidays, and 90 percent said that they long for more time with their grandkids. But with families scattered every which way and gas prices high, is togetherness too much to ask for?

To avert a national crisis, Lulu launches our first ever Family Photos for the Holidays contest. Even if you can’t be together in person, you can still get face time through photos.

Download Day is Coming. Create an eBook, Win a Barnes and Noble NOOK

eBooks are the hot topic these days and with good reason.  Industry analysts are estimating 24.5 million lucky folks will be unwrapping shiny new e-readers this holiday season, which is expected to double overall eBook sales over last year’s whopping $263 million.

eBooks provide both a speed to market and potential for a higher revenue share that are just too beneficial to ignore. With Lulu’s direct-live status an author can create an eBook and have it available for sale almost immediately and keep up to 90% of the profit.  Each day, we see more and more traditionally published authors like Stephen Stark and Kevin Powell self-publish eBooks of their own.

“Suddenly all these people are publishing their content on their own because they don’t feel they’ll get the same money or value elsewhere and they are right,” says Stark.  “We’ve reached a point where authors can make a much higher royalty by self-publishing and are free to experiment in ways big publishers can’t.”

It’s true; eBooks provide opportunities to reach huge numbers of new readers, and we want to make sure all of our authors are set to take full advantage of those opportunities.  So this year, we’re proclaiming December 26th the first annual Download Day.

Much like Black Friday in November, the day after Christmas is the highest traffic shopping day for people buying eBooks.  Think about it, you just got this cool new gadget; you’re gonna want to play with it and start filling it up with apps, games, and…(say it with me) eBooks!  Will your work be one of them?  It should be.

To sweeten the deal, we’ll give the Lulu author who sells the most eBooks on December 26th, 2011 (even if you’re selling for free) a brand new Barnes and Noble NOOK, and a $100 off coupon – good for anything on Lulu.  Hit up your friends, your family, heck, even your mailman, and send them a link to your eBook.  The bonus here is with more sales, you’ll gain more visibility for you and your work by moving up in bestseller lists in places like the iBookstore℠ and NOOK Bookstore™ so even more readers will discover your titles.

Want to create an eBook but don’t know where to start?  Fret not, would-be digital author, with our Word to EPUB Converter, you can upload .doc, .docx, .txt, and .rtf files and have them made into an EPUB within about two – five minutes.  You can also visit our eBook landing page for more information – your source for all things in eBook publishing.

Once you’ve published, be sure to read our helpful eBook marketing blogs for tips on how to create an eBook and make sure all these new eBook reading customers will see yours.  You might learn something you didn’t think of – like how selling your eBook for free can actually make you more money.  Pretty soon, you’ll have readers all over the world flipping the digital pages of your remarkable work.

Happy Download Day!

 

The iBookstore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The winner of Download Day will be notified in mid-January 2012.  Contest is open to all Lulu authors that have titles available in EPUB format.  Total sales will be calculated from lulu.com and our distribution partners.

What Do St. Valentine and Book Publicity Have in Common?

In a nutshell they are both misunderstood. Poor St. Valentine–there is actually no historical evidence that his sentiments were intentionally romantic. It is reported that he healed the blind daughter of his jailor and then wrote her a note signed: “From Your Valentine.” That was his name after all; how else would he have signed it?

Just like the St. Valentine story, perceptions of the best way to promote your book are not always true. You might want to dump the idea of promoting your book and start courting the notion of promoting yourself. Let’s remember whose idea the book was: yours!

You are the best publicity tool, not the book.

It was never the Valentine’s Day card that did it for me; it was the message in the card that made me smile thinking of the sender. For fun, let’s say your book is the card and its contents are the message. The most compelling part of that idea is the author behind it, you. Think about the last few books you’ve loved. You should be able to tell me something about the authors: their history, credentials, education. Those are the things your readers will need to absorb to make the same connection with you. Once that connection is bridged, you might have a relationship that surpasses a first date, your readers will know you as the expert on the topic or a leading resource in your genre.

How does this happen? For example, if you’re an expert on ancient Rome, and have written a book about Roman saints, now would be a great time to be promoting your expertise. Think of all the newspapers, magazines, and TV shows that want to talk about the origin of Valentine’s Day! You could be their go-to person to explain the myths and little-known facts about poor misunderstood St. Valentine.

We’ll never know if St. Valentine’s intentions of romance in his note were real or not. What IS real, however, is the impact that a great publicity campaign can have on your book sales!

National Read in the Bathtub Day

Wow, what a day! Right here in the middle of the week too. I could use a good soak in the tub and a good book just to relax and unwind a bit. How perfect too because it just so happens to be National Read in the Bathtub Day.

It may sound a little weird, but what better place to get caught up in the pages of your favorite book? It’s quiet and calm, just don’t take your e-reading device in there – paper books only!

If you’re struggling on just what book to pick, consider some of these recommendations from Lulu.com:

The Bath
by Terri Dougherty

Teach your kids the importance of staying clean with this fun children’s book about Tanya and her dog Rudy, who spend all day in the yard playing and planting flowers. Covered in dirt, they make a game of who can find the bath supplies first.

Bath
by Kirsten Elliott

Kirsten Elliott not only narrates the city of Bath’s story through the centuries but also brings it up to date, celebrating the modern city as a vibrant place attracting visitors from all over the world. The story is illustrated by Neill Menneer’s photographs.asd

Great Bath Ideas
by Betsy Speert

Gain some creative ideas for your bathroom, with this book that offers a complete guide to designing the bathroom of your dreams.

The Perfect Anti-Valentine’s Gift

For Valentine’s this year, I wanted to cover something different than your standard lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day gift ideas because let’s face it, for some of us, V-Day ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. As I was sifting through the millions of books on Lulu, I came across this little gem:

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Better Luck Next Year
by Vicky Harris

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Written for all the “love-scrooges” out there, this book is chock-full of hilarious takes on Valentine’s day coupons like: “Rub your own feet, they stink,” and brutally honest quips like: “You’re funnier when your drunk.” Tapping into the twisted humor that most of us think, but are too afraid to say out loud, this book is sure to make anyone, single or no, crack a smile. The mini-book comes in a set of three, so they are perfect for handing out as gag gifts, or for leaving on an ex’s doorstep. Enjoy, and happy “Extortion,” I mean Valentine’s Day!

What to Do with All Those Holiday Photos

This year, my grandmother turned 75 and before Christmas, my whole family was exchanging emails back and forth trying to think of a gift we could give her that would really show her how special she has been to us all these years.

My mom suggested we make a list of my grandmother’s sayings and print them out for her. My aunt suggested we take a family photo and put it in a nice frame. My uncle suggested we write a card that tells her what she’s taught us.

These were all nice thoughts, but I wanted to go big. I suggested we take everyone’s ideas and combine them into a Lulu photo book to present to her at Christmas.

At first, my family was a little hesitant because not all of them are super tech savvy or organized. But I set up a Lulu account that we could all share, picked a theme I thought my grandma would like, I made the cover and the first few pages. I even added in captions of my grandma’s sayings like “lord love a duck” (no I don’t know what that means either).

Once my family saw how quick I was able to do this, they gave it a shot. They were amazed that they could just drag and drop pictures into the book from their Facebook accounts and easily write a heart felt message right on the page. After no time, the book was done and we had our special gift for Christmas. My grandmother absolutely loved it, but the best part was we all made it together.

It was great to see and read all those memories that my family had saved all these years, many of which I had forgotten. Hopefully this post has given you some ideas that are sure to spread joy to your loved ones for next year. And we’d love to hear about any remarkable holiday gifts that you’ve made in the comments below. Happy holidays!

Great Gifts for Your Frenemy

You might be asking yourself “what the heck is a frenemy?” Basically, it’s one of your closest friends, who also happens to be one of your fiercest rivals. You know, someone you may have an unspoken competition with – like your exercise partner, or maybe even a relative that attended a rival school.

Frenemies are great. They keep you honest, keep you on your toes, and above all make you want to be better. Isn’t competition great?

So, what exactly do you get the frenemies on your gift list? Books of course! Here are few quick suggestions, all under 20 bucks…

Let’s start off with the exercise partner example. In this case, let’s talk about your golf buddy. Sure at the end of the round you compare scores, but there are so many side games played throughout the day. Next time your frenemy golf buddy declares the next tee a longest drive challenge, make them think about images in this book.

Of course there’s “your know-it-all” frenemy. You know, the one that seems to have an answer to everything from the future of the US space program, to the origins of the plastic things on the end of shoelaces. They have the world around them completely figured out. Or do they?

Here’s kind of a mean one – but remember the spirit of this is meant to be fun. Maybe you have a single frenemy. Someone who makes fun of your white picket fence life, complete with 2.5 kids and a practical, but awesome mini van. They brag about late nights out, and all the freedom a person could ask for. They’re single and loving it. But can they cook for one?

Not sure if some of your friends are really frenemies? We’ve got a book about that too. Buy a copy for yourself and start off 2011 with the upper hand!