Articles tagged "How do I publish my book?"

Does Your Cover Design Deserve an Award?

There are countless individuals who never question the value of physical books. In fact, the importance of the printed book, as a physical object, as a cherished possession, as a work of art, has increased in the eyes of the public. Over the centuries, the staying power of printed books is surprising, even as new technologies emerged to woo (and distract) the masses.

Entering its thirty-first year, the New York Book Show continues to recognize the best in book design, production, and manufacturing. Hundreds of books are submitted each year, their content spanning everything from academic topics to picture books to prize-winning fiction and nonfiction for all age groups. Every aspect of submitted books—from artwork to paper quality, from binding to special features, and more—are taken into consideration to determine which books exhibit true artistry, craftsmanship, and an understanding of the printed book’s potential.

Another recent evolution within the publishing industry is the proliferation of self-publishing. While there may be some who denigrate this avenue as “vanity publishing,” the truth is that self-publishing has become an undeniable part of the publishing industry and has brought forth many fantastic works that may not have otherwise been able to find their audiences.

Authors, designers, printers, service providers, and freelancers have benefited from self-publishing—not to mention countless readers. All of this is why The New York Book Show is thrilled to include a contest category for best self-published covers. This category recognizes the best in cover design for self-published books that appear in print and electronic format. Books in this category will be judged solely on cover design.

Submissions are currently open through Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Books originally published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 in eBook format, print format, or both are eligible across all genres and all ages. All winning covers will be displayed during the book show in October and appear in our print catalog honoring winning titles across all categories (visit www.newyorkbookshow.com/portfolio/self-published-covers to view last year’s Self-Published Cover Design winners).

All self-published titles will be judged on cover design only. Entry is accepted via the website, www.newyorkbookshow.com. PDFs of front covers are required at time of submission, uploaded using the online submissions form.

The book show itself will be held Thursday, October 12, 2017 at Battery Gardens in New York City (tickets available for purchase in September). All winning titles will be on display to review, handle, and fall in love with in a free-form, social forum that encourages mingling among the hundreds of book lovers in attendance. Dinner, dessert, and an open bar will be provided. It is a truly uplifting celebration of the wisdom, innovation, and ambition behind the book as a physical object.

To learn more about the New York Book Show, hosted by the Book Industry Guild of New York, please visit www.newyorkbookshow.com or The Book Industry Guild of New York.

Author Sylvia Inks: Publishing Project Planning

Last week, author Sylvia Inks dropped by the Lulu office to talk about her experience writing and self-publishing her book “Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur: Blueprint for Building a Solid Profitable Business.”

Her book includes 21 tips for financial success, but today we discussed author success and the need for a publishing project plan.  Sylvia strongly recommends a plan that includes all the tasks you need to complete your book from writing it to the launch.

We wish to thank Sylvia for her time and expertise. If you wish to learn more, checkout our Facebook page. Sylvia and Grant had a detailed and wide-ranging live interview as part of our Facebook Live series.

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Write to Write. Edit to Perfect. Format to Publish.

Writing your story, whether it’s a work of the wildest fiction, historic non-fiction or an educational text, is a tremendous investment of time and energy. Just compiling and organizing your thoughts, carefully linking together words and phrases, and fastidiously editing for clarity and purpose—are time consuming and difficult.

Think about it like this: if you’re a novelist and you write 1000 words a day, it will take you 100 days to write an average sized novel. 100 days just writing! Add to that the planning and story development, editing, copy-editing, revising, re-revising…you could be looking at a year or more just writing your book!

Then, after all that effort, you still have to get your manuscript ready for publication!

There are numerous articles on the web advising writers to keep writing and to be disciplined and consistent in their work habits. Even more articles can be found on crafting brilliant sentences and compelling characters, but what you won’t readily find are simple tips on how to write your book if you plan to self publish – i.e. doing all the work yourself.

Let me share with you one simple trick: don’t worry about formatting while you’re writing. Just write. No matter your process, you will always end up going back through your file to prepare it for publishing. Therefore, just ignore the niceties of formatting and stay focused on the writing.

Don’t play with fonts. Don’t add a header or footer. Definitely don’t worry about page numbering. Forget about the front matter and the images. Just write and get all the words in place.

When that’s complete and everything is proofed and edited, you can start thinking about formatting. When you are ready, we have resources for you:

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We have hundreds of articles and videos in our Knowledge Base to guide you through all aspects of preparing your work for publication and distribution.

Steps to format your book for publication:

  1. Write your book
  2. Set the page size, margins, and select a font size for the main text.
  3. Insert and position your images, making sure they are sized correctly with resolution set to 300 dpi
  4. Add the front matter – title page, copyright page, dedication, etc.
  5. Set section and page breaks. Remember odd pages are on the right and even on the left, so add blank pages accordingly to ensure new chapters begin on odd numbered pages.
  6. Add headers and footers. Carefully review them, as each section will have unique header and footer properties
  7. Add the table of contents
  8. Review the file for final improvements

 

Once you complete the formatting, export a PDF from your preferred word processor and upload the file to your Lulu project!

Congratulations!

You are one step closer to realizing your dream of being a published author!


About Paul@Lulu

Paul is coming up on his second year anniversary working on the Lulu customer support team. He currently spends his days helping customers maneuver through the publishing wizard, order their books, and transition from author to publisher. When he can escape his desk at Lulu, he likes to write short stories, read, and play with his cat.

Paul is also the author of Dirty Words: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the F-Bomb.

Author CL Bennett: Why Choose Indie Publishing?

Today we welcome back CL Bennett, Author of Bugglepuffs and the Magic Key to discuss her choice to self-publish.

Why did you choose self-publishing over a traditional publisher?

It took me six months to write the first book and when I got to the end of my scribbled pages, I sat there with an enormous pile of papers and wondered what do I do next? I still had a long way to go developing the characters, bringing them to life through illustrations and putting the series together from hundreds of muddled up pages, so I decided to work with an indie-publishing company to bring the Bugglepuffs and the Magic Key to life.

Did you enjoy the process?

Publishing a book is very hard work and I now hold great respect for traditional publishing houses and the process a book goes through from manuscript to finished book on a shop’s shelf. I naively thought it would be easy – not! To create twenty-four illustrations for the book I had to go into exquisite detail to animate the Bugglepuff characters. My husband and I managed to miss out on this fun, but my children very kindly dressed up as the Bugglepuff children – with their own pets from the book and acted out Bugglepuff poses until I got the right photos for the first illustrations!

There was a lot of chaos, chasing chickens around the garden and getting our pig to carry a basket without eating it, but it was tremendously entertaining. I sketched out some basic illustrations and sent them off to the illustrators. When I got the first email saying the first few illustrations were ready to view I was so deliriously excited I nearly cried, in fact I think I did. The illustrator at Lulu captured my family and their personalities. I chose black and white sketches for the interior because I love the simplicity of them and they’re so deliciously crisp and timeless.

The editing process was long, complicated and sometimes frustrating, but I was well supported throughout by Lulu Publishing. It took eight months from August 2013 to April 2014 to complete, but I knew it was all worth it when I finally got to hold the first copy of ‘Bugglepuffs and the Magic Key’ on the 10th April 2014 – my animated family was in print – yippee!

As an author is your job done when you finish writing the book?

Goodness me no. There is a slight breather when you feel complete holding the first copy of your first book. A sparkle of pride and something inside shouts, “YES!”, but then the hard work starts. Some writers write for the sheer personal pleasure, but if you want to reach a wide audience you must look at the age and interests of the readers you’re targeting. Make sure you’re up to speed with your social media and marketing skills or have an indie-publisher like Lulu on hand to give you guidance. Share the book in the local community and shops. I have found there is now less bias in the retail world against self-published books. Also, online booksellers, including Lulu’s own online shop, are very fast to deliver your books whether you live in China, Europe or the US.

To be a successful and happy writer you must have a passion for writing, marketing and understand that it takes time and patience to get people to turn the pages of your books. But if you believe in your book’s worth, then so may many other readers – good luck!


The newest Bugglepuff adventure

About the Author

CL Bennett has sold 1000’s of books online, been on UK book tours, started Bugglepuff ‘fun days’ in 100’s of schools and libraries around the country, made audio recordings of her books with actor Brian Blessed OBE and won children’s books awards in both the USA and Europe. Her books are available for purchase in the Lulu bookstore.

Over the coming weeks, Bennet will share insights and tips on writing and self-publishing. If you have specific questions for her, please post them in the comments section.


Calling All Lulu Authors

Do you have a story to tell about realizing your dream as a writer? Do you have self-publishing knowledge or expertise to share with other authors? Want to expand your digital reach?

If so, we are looking for authors like you to share your story with our blog audience. Email your story pitch to blog@lulu.com. Include a brief biography and a link to your published work. We will do the rest.

Guidelines for guest posting.

Meet CL Bennett: Award-Winning Lulu Author

As 2017 kicks off Lulu is delighted to welcome C.L. Bennett, the international award-winning children’s author of the ‘Bugglepuff’ series. Taking a few minutes from her hectic writing and travel schedule, CL spoke to us about the magical world of the Bugglepuff series.

Hi CL ! Would you mind telling us about the Bugglepuff series?

Jungle bedrooms, pirate treasure maps, a chocolate bath, little people with flying boots, a crazy parrot and a Magic Key can all be found in the first of a series of books about the Bugglepuff family.

Captain Bugglepuff, his mad wife Delirious and their four rascally children Anemone, Compass, Rocky and Seasea live a haphazard day-to-day family life in a little English fishing port in Devon, until the arrival of a mysterious crisp white letter in the mail. After the arrival of this letter, nothing in the Bugglepuff’s lives will ever be the same again.

It takes the Bugglepuff family to a new home by an enchanted creek  leading to a fantastical adventure in a world of magic where dreams can come true. But the family must be careful. Temptations takes the Bugglepuff children and their extraordinary animals on a series of dangerous quests for which the price of failure will break the family apart and the world as we know it!

Why did you start to write?

My family was the inspiration behind my book Bugglepuffs and the Magic Key and newly published through Lulu, Bugglepuffs and the Magic Quest – PART 1. My four hilarious children’s day-to-day dramas growing up gave me so many scrumptious stories, that after several years and a lot of persuasion from friends and family I felt it was time to put pen to paper and bring them to life in an animated adventure.

It’s the drama and excitement I can create as an author putting my family into the world of the Bugglepuffs, which is an absolute joy and delight. What will they do next? Who will play the lead role? Sometimes if one of my children does something naughty at home I make them do something terribly silly in the book to make me laugh!

What inspired you to write a children’s book in particular?

The natural choice was to write a children’s book that my own children could read for six to eleven-year-old boys and girls. But I think the whole family enjoy the series and can laugh at the Bugglepuff family’s daily chaos and escaping to a new life full of magic and wonder! I wanted to write books to create tremendous worldwide fun and to send sparkles into the imaginations of children. If I can achieve a sprinkling of this, that would be gloriously special!

Where did the tremendous word ‘Bugglepuffs’ come from?

I was traveling home from school with the children last spring and I said to them, “Well if I’m going to write a book, I need a name for the family. Our surname is Bennett so I think it should start with a B.” “a B,” they all said then ‘splat’ a bug hit our windscreen. ‘Bug,’ shouted my youngest son, they all laughed, followed by my oldest daughter replying, ‘Buggle’ and then my youngest daughter roared with giggles and screamed, “puff, puff puff.” At that moment, I nearly went into the hedge as I realised the animated family name had been born. That was the start of the ‘Bugglepuffs.

We hear that the character ‘Delirious Bugglepuff’ is based on yourself? What is the silliest thing that has ever happened to you?

Well there are many silly moments but I guess probably the funniest was when my kids were very young. I was very tired with sleepless nights and crying babies and I was ferociously late for school. I’d been folding the washing and then raced out the door with pram in tow and whizzed up to school. I got to school with five minutes to spare in a frazzled state, but happy I’d made it on time. Suddenly I heard a laugh, followed by another laugh and another and I didn’t know what my friends were pointing at. I looked around then realised they were pointing at me, at my hair. In my rush to get to school I had left a fresh pair of twizzled up knickers in my hair. It was my most deliriously silly moment as a mum to date, but one I’ll always happily remember and giggle about!

What makes creative writing so exciting for you and what else inspires you?

Oh, where to begin with this one? Creative writing is like having a canvas in front of me and putting hundreds of colours together through writing. My pen is like a paint brush. I want every child and every adult to see, touch, hear, smell and taste the magical world of the Bugglepuffs and travel excitedly on the adventure series with me.

Children are my inspiration and not in a corny way. They have the most sharp, unreserved minds and come out with such genuine and inspiring suggestions when you least expect it! This has led me to starting ‘Bugglepuff Fun Days’ in primary schools and it’s been like sitting in a bath of delicious ice cream! I love animating the children with creative writing, the joy of reading and the delights of dream bedrooms and chocolate doors. Taking their minds into a world of adventure is so much fun! For older children, I talk about my writing and publishing experiences so far, and in return the children ask me brilliant questions about what it’s like being an author and creating the Bugglepuffs. Fun is not enough of a word it should be ‘Fundeliciouslywonderfullystupendous!’


The newest Bugglepuff adventure!

About the Author

CL Bennett has sold 1000’s of books online, been on UK book tours, started Bugglepuff ‘fun days’ in 100’s of schools and libraries around the country, made audio recordings of her books with actor Brian Blessed OBE and won children’s books awards in both the USA and Europe. Her books are available for purchase in the Lulu bookstore.

Over the coming weeks, Bennet will share insights and tips on writing and self-publishing. If you have specific questions for her, please post them in the comments section.


Calling All Lulu Authors

Do you have a story to tell about realizing your dream as a writer? Do you have self-publishing knowledge or expertise to share with other authors? Want to expand your digital reach?

If so, we are looking for authors like you to share your story with our blog audience. Email your story pitch to PR@lulu.com. Include a brief biography and a link to your published work. We will do the rest.

Guidelines for guest posting.

And the Winner is….. “The 45 Presidents”

45_pres_lulu_cover_trump_isbn0_fixed_pdfWe have a winner. The 45th President of the United States of America is Donald J. Trump.

Within hours of the announcement, Blue Socks Media LLC published a new workbook “The 45 Presidents” using Lulu’s free online publishing tools. The workbook’s cover design features each president’s full color caricature – with the new president-elect’s front and center.

The 84 page, large format workbook not only includes facts and line drawings of each president, but also 39 additional fun learning activities such as fill-in-the blanks, First Lady matching, letter to the president and pages for coloring iconic images associated with the president such as the White House, Air Force One and Mt. Rushmore.

The book, written by Raggs creator Toni Steedman, is available exclusively in the Lulu bookstore thru Nov. 15. The book is targeted at elementary through middle school age children and will be the first learning resource to present all US presidents in one fun book.

By using Lulu’s free online publishing tools, authors have all they need to publish topically relevant books like The 45 Presidents and make them immediately available for purchase through the Lulu Bookstore, social media and personal websites.

Publish with Lulu and be ahead the wave – not chasing it.

 

ABOUT TONI STEEDMAN

A marketing and media entrepreneur for 25 years, Toni Steedman Zelickson heads Blue Socks Media LLC, which owns and controls the worldwide rights to the Emmy award-winning children’s musical TV series Raggs. Toni is also the creator of Raggs, named after her daughter’s imaginary dog. She      is available for appearances and interviews.                          

raggsABOUT RAGGS

Raggs  is the star of the Emmy award-winning Raggs TV series and is the lead singer of the “Raggs Band,” which includes his friends, Trilby, Pido, B.Max, and Razzles. Raggs is available for appearances, meet-and-greets, and dance-offs.

For more information on Raggs, please visit www.raggs.com.

 

2016 B Corp Champions Retreat: Working Towards an Inclusive Economy

2016 B Corp Champions Retreat

2016 B Corp Champions Retreat

By: SheridanH@Lulu

Earlier this year, when we learned the 2016 B Corp Champions Retreat was scheduled to take place just down the road in Durham, North Carolina, the Lulu team went into overdrive, feverishly working to earn the 80 points required for certification. We were determined to attend the event and this past Summer we received our certification. Unfortunately for us, the planning committee decided to relocate the retreat in protest of North Carolina’s discriminatory law HB2.

So, instead of a 20 minute drive to Durham, we packed our bags for Philadelphia. Kathy Hensgen, Lulu SVP of Operations, and I flew to Philly to represent Team Lulu and the state of North Carolina as we know it – a community that may be imperfect, but is full of innovation, love, and determined to heal the hurt of HB2 and grow towards a more accepting society.

We made it. Sheridan and Kathy on retreat.

We made it. Sheridan and Kathy on retreat.

 

Because of HB2, I was worried Lulu would be treated like the embarrassing cousin nobody wants to sit next to at Thanksgiving. Instead, we were greeted with open arms and words of encouragement from other B Corps – exemplifying this year’s theme “Towards an Inclusive Economy.”

Here are some lessons we learned during the Retreat:

Business Can be Compassionate

We are not robots. Lulu is a business run by humans to help other humans create and share their content. We can use the humanity of our business to influence communities using a platform that reaches thousands of people each day.

Lulu may not directly cure diseases or end world hunger, but we can amplify the voices of our authors who take on these difficult issues. Whether it’s talking about issues of social justice or raising awareness about problems faced by our stakeholders, businesses should take a stance.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

So far, Lulu has scored 80 out of 200 points on the B Corp Impact Assessment.  That means there are at least 120 points of improvement remaining to tackle. We learned from other B Corporations the best way to guarantee continuous improvement is to create an internal team that holds members accountable.

This is not only a better way to get stuff done, but it also encourages employee engagement. Who doesn’t get fired up about their work when they know they are making the world a little better day by day?

Teamwork - How do we achiever our goals?

Teamwork – How do we achieve our goals?

Inclu$ivty & Diver$ity

We’d all like to say our work environments are inclusive and accepting.

However, if the workforce isn’t diverse, the business may be falling short of proactively reaching out to diverse candidates and using hiring practices like removing names from resumes and posting on a variety of job search engines.

If we wish to better serve our communities, businesses should seek diversity by recruiting employee from groups who are chronically under-employed such as domestic abuse survivors, veterans, returning citizens, and anyone who has been out of the workforce for a substantial period of time. The more perspectives available, the greater the chance we’ll have to resolve business questions and effectively serve our customers.

The best solutions come when everyone contributes.

The best solutions come when everyone contributes.

Telling the B Corp Story

At Lulu we haven’t been shy about our B Corp certification, but we haven’t climbed to the rooftop and shouted for the world to hear.

Authors and readers, we need your help. You are some of our most important stakeholders. The books you create and read with Lulu and our sustainable print-on-demand technology are crucial to our B Corp certification.  Choosing Lulu means that you are an advocate for environmental and social change. You believe in the power of for-profit businesses to do good.

So spread the word that you are part of this great B Corp family! You hang out with the likes of Lulu, Etsy, Dr. Bronner’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and many more. In fact, you probably have some awesome B Corps in your area.

We encourage you to reach out to those businesses and show that you’re in it to win it. The more momentum the B Corp movement gets, the faster we will achieve an inclusive economy.

 

Learn More About Our B Corp Journey

Lulu: Good for Authors, Good for the World

B Corp Update: Sooooo Close!

B Better Than Yesterday: Lulu Achieves B Corporation Certification

 

Better for Authors. Better for the World.

Better for Authors. Better for the World.

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