Articles tagged "Lulu.com"

What Are You Thankful For?

I’ll keep this short and sweet so that you can get back to your family, food and festivities. We’re asking a simple, but important question: WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?

In five sentences, answer this question in the comments below for the chance to win $100 to spend at Lulu.com. A team of Lulu judges will select our favorite entry and award the winner at our sole discretion. We will accept entries until 11:59 pm EST on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. We will announce the winner on our blog by 6 pm EST on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012.

We hope you will enjoy writing your entry and reflecting what you are thankful for. For what it counts, we are incredibly thankful for you, the creators of the world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Author Interview: Troy M. Cusson

What are your books about & what message are you trying to share through your children’s books?
Dawn The Deer & Dawn The Deer Enjoys The Fall are glimpses into what a quiet, peaceful little doe experiences in her day in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY. Colors, creatures, sights, sounds and smells are all around her, and she stops to enjoy them all. If I could convey any message with my children’s books it would be to do as our friend Dawn does: to stop, if only for a moment, and enjoy your day. Take in all the wonderful things around you. The way the sky looks at the moment the sun hits the horizon during a sunset, the way wet leaves smell on a wooded trail in October, the crunch of fresh fallen snow under your feet in the winter. There is so much to enjoy in every new day.

What inspired you to write?
I guess you could say it was Dawn herself. Everyday my family and I would see her out and about in our neighborhood and on one particularly beautiful July morning, while enjoying a cup of coffee on my porch with my wife, I said,”Ya know, that deer is around so much we should probably name her.” My wife then said, “I’ve been calling her Dawn as I always see her around in the morning.” I said, “Dawn The Deer, that sounds like a perfect name for a children’s book!” After a few more minutes of watching her it hit me, . . . I could write a children’s book about all of the things that Dawn sees or does in any given summer day. From there, the story pretty much wrote itself as I just put to rhyme all that I saw her experiencing. The birds, the squirrels, the children playing nearby, the ravens, all of them were going about their day and Dawn was taking it all in.


What have been the challenges you’ve faced with writing / self-publishing?
My first challenge was finding the right artist to illustrate my stories. In an effort to keep it simple I tried modifying photos I had taken in PhotoShop but was not able to get them dialed in. I asked a friend who had done some cartoons in the past if he would be interested but he wasn’t able to get me what I wanted either. It was then I thought about approaching the art department at the college I work at to see if maybe there was a student who was proficient in watercolor artwork who needed a project to work on for classwork. The director of our art department put me in contact with Crystal Cochell,

Author Success Story: Robert Marckini

When Robert Marckini was diagnosed with prostate cancer 12 years ago, his life came to a stop. He was devastated, but also motivated — to find the best care. Robert quickly ruled out surgery after seeing what it did to his brother, who’d been diagnosed with the disease years earlier. So he started looking into other options, such as external beam radiation, internal radiation, cryosurgery, and active surveillance. He read everything he could find on the Internet and in libraries, interviewed a number of doctors representing each treatment modality, and spoke to dozens of patients. With all this information, Robert felt a duty to help others make their best choice. Thus his book You Can Beat Prostate Cancer was conceived.

As many independently published authors can attest, once the manuscript was done, they turned toward traditional publishing but found mostly rejections and closed doors. Robert had the same experience. As he explains:

“When I approached publishers, they told me I needed an agent. When I approached agents, they told me I needed to have been published before. The decision to self publish was easy.”

Now You Can Beat Prostate Cancer is available on Amazon, Lulu, Ebay, and B&N.com.

Although Robert doesn’t have a social media platform, he still managed to spread the word by mentioning the book’s publication in his monthly newsletter. Started in 2001, it runs between 18 to 22 pages and covers prostate cancer prevention, detection, treatment and proton therapy. Currently his newsletter goes to 6,200 members and 1,000 additional readers.

Robert also encouraged both practitioners and patients to review his book on various retailer’s websites. His nudging definitely paid off — he’s garnered over 100 reviews on his Amazon page (a “must read for all men” says one customer) and close to 30 (“If you should buy one book about prostate cancer – this is the one,” says a reader) on Lulu. That said, explains Robert, his strategy mostly relied upon the strength of the product.

“Most of the marketing happens by word of mouth from men and women who have read my book and found it helpful. Many have told me it changed their lives.”

He may not have ever thought he’d be an author but Robert Marckini sure is now — and for aspiring writers he has some advice:

“Don’t put off starting your book. Just sit down and start writing. It will come to you. Go over your drafts many, many times. Have trusted friends and pseudo-grammarians review your manuscript. Read Zinsser’s book, On Writing Well. It’s the best book I read on how to write a book.”

As for Robert, he’s already at work on a second edition that will include an index, information on the latest developments in prostate cancer detection and treatment, along with considerably more graphics.

New Products and Services in 2013

If you’ve ever wondered what we focus on at Lulu when we’re not helping creators tell their stories, the answer is: YOU, YOU, YOU.Yes, we’re obsessed. And for the last several months, we’ve been pouring over research on you, our customers, and what you want and need. We’re on a constant quest to best serve you in an era when there are so many exciting new ways to share your ideas and experiences.

As a result, we’re now laying the groundwork to develop and unveil new products and services in 2013.  Everything you’ve come to know and love about Lulu will remain. There’ll just be a whole lot more to know and love.

We can’t get into the details right now…but then, we’ve always loved a cliffhanger! Stay tuned, and keep creating.

Tis the Season: Your Photo Book Upgrade is On Us

At Lulu we’ve been working hard to ensure that we are always delivering the highest quality books at the best prices possible. So today we are proud to announce two new upgrades to our lineup of hardcover photo books in the US.

First, we have added white cloth head and foot-bands to our book blocks. Traditionally, headbands have been used to cover up the glue in the binding and as a nice finishing touch on books. We like that traditional touch of class that they add, which is why we’ve always used head and foot-bands on our non-photo book hardcovers. So we’re really excited to now be able to offer these on our photo book hardcovers as well.

Second, we’ve added textured endpaper to our hardcover photo books. We’ve chosen to use Neenah Classic Columns. This is a premium paper with a natural white shade that goes great with any color case. It is more opaque than our previous white endpaper and has a very nice linear finish that is subdued “just enough.” Not only will you be able to see the difference; you’ll feel it as well. We wanted to add a tactile element to the endpaper to separate it from the text block, and this sheet strikes the right balance. We hope you’ll love it just as much as we do.

These holiday upgrades are on us, so create your personalized photo book today to take advantage of the upgrade. They make great gifts for friends and family. When your book arrives, we’d love to see it, so share a picture of it with us on our Facebook page!

Stay tuned for more product improvements in the new year.

You may be a Lulu Author, but are you a Google Author?

If you’re reading this blog it’s likely you’re either already a published author or aspire to be one (and nobody can make that dream come true faster than Lulu!). But are you a Google Author?

What is a Google Author?

By now you’ve probably seen search results in Google that look like this:

google-authorship-rich-snippet

This is known as an “author rich snippet search result.” Google supplies a photo of the author of the content that the search result links to. In addition, this author usually gets a byline (which links to his or her Google profile), and a link to search results for more of that author’s content.

How do you get such a result? By participating in the Google Authorship program. I’ll explain how in a moment, but first let’s talk about the “why.”

Creativity Strikes! Interview with Children’s Writer Sandra Arthur

As the social media manager here at Lulu, I have the lucky task of monitoring our Facebook Page. I can’t tell you what a delight it is to communicate directly with so many of our authors and to get a chance to see the creative ways you all have to reach your readers. I’m constantly impressed. The other day I saw a post from an author named Sandra Arthur and wanted to share with you about an ingenious workshop she created to get kids excited about reading and to teach them about endangered orangutans and the rainforest of Borneo. She kindly agreed to an interview (shown below), so I hope you will enjoy getting to read a bit about one of your fellow Lulu authors.

Can you please share a few words about the Jungle Workshop you organized?

I ran a “Jungle Workshop” to provide a fun storytelling experience for children. I was lucky to get support from a local, independent bookshop/café/toy shop. I created a Rainforest Room with a tent and decorations.