Articles tagged "Lulu"

Driving Online Traffic and Book Sales

In previous articles we have discussed the two the key components of marketing your book (knowing your audience and knowing your book). Now we can talk about how to drive sales through the use of marketing tactics, which is a fancy way of saying that people need to be able to find you and your book on the internet.

We asked 4000 of our bestselling authors about their most effective methods of reaching their audience and encouraging book purchases.

Lulu-Marketing-Your-Book-For-Holiday-Sales_pdf

These authors credited their website with the lion’s share of their sales. When you combine the website-related responses with “email list” and “search engines,” you see that almost half of an author’s traffic and sells can be credited to their website(s).

To further highlight this finding, think about your own behavior. What’s the first thing you do online when you want to learn, do, or purchase something? You search for it. Then you browse the websites listed on the search results page. If you’ve ever searched for a company, person or event online and been unable to find any information, you probably gave up or got distracted by other things. From your own experience it is easy to see that the harder you are to find, the less likely you are to sell your books. Hence the importance of having a website to market your books.

In addition to websites, authors also mentioned social media as a tool for generating sales. Of all the available social media marketing techniques, having a Facebook page was overwhelmingly the most often cited way to sell books. We saw similar results earlier in our discussion of distribution strategies.

Action items

  1. Create a website for your book using a simple tool like WordPress.com.
  2. Make it easy for people to sign up for your mailing list with a free service like Mailchimp.com.
  3. Create a Facebook page dedicated to your books: https://www.facebook.com/about/pages.
  4. Write regular blog posts for your website and when possible on other sites as a guest poster.
  5. Find events where you can speak or share your knowledge with an audience interested in your topic.
  6. Improve the visibility of your website, either through advertising or search engine optimization.
  7. Send free promotional copies of your book to influential people, such as bloggers in your niche or book reviewers.

Key takeaway

Bestselling independent authors employ a mix of tactics to promote themselves and their work.

Make More Money: Include Lulu Discounts in Your Email Marketing

Summer Reading

What’s missing from this picture? Your book, of course.

Sizzling Summer Savings!
The Hottest Deals of the Season!
Best Book Ever Written, Get It Now and Save!

The words you choose to promote your books and new releases are all yours, but you should also be taking advantage of Lulu.com’s weekly sales and special offers. To help you with your marketing, our site discounts are now being offered for up to one week making it easier than ever to share them with your readers.

Why should you be using email promotion? For starters, email marketing works. Social media may seem like the savvier approach, but email is roughly six times more effective at bringing in new buyers than Facebook and Twitter. Email also gives you a great platform for sharing special offers and introducing new books, without your carefully crafted message getting lost in the endless scroll of tweets, status updates, and ever-changing social media display algorithms.

 

Here’s a sample email template you can adapt for your use:

Email Subject Line:
Save XX% on the Summer’s Hottest Book: <insert book title>

Email Body:
Be the first of your friends to read the book everyone will soon be talking about. <Placeholder for title and one line / elevator pitch book description>

Order today from Lulu.com and save <discount> with coupon code <insert Code here> thru <expiration date>.

To place your order, simply click this link: <Placeholder for link to book>, then click Add to Cart and apply the code at checkout.

This discount is for a limited time, so don’t wait.

Order today and save!

<Link to book>
<Author name>

**Don’t forget, coupon codes are case-sensitive.

 

See? Simple. You highlight the current savings, briefly describe the book, and provide easy instructions. It’s low-pressure, informative and brief. You can even provide a link right to your book’s product page and save your readers from searching. If you have multiple titles, include a link to your Author Spotlight page to encourage shoppers to browse your catalog. Everyone wins when your readers shop in the Lulu bookstore. They save money and you earn higher revenues.

Though we are currently in the middle of the summer reading season, this strategy works year-round. At Lulu.com, we’re always looking for ways to help you promote and sell your books. Whenever we have a sale — seasonal or otherwise — send out an email blast letting everyone know. After all, it’s always the season for reading!

Current discounts, coupon codes, and expiration dates are always listed on the Lulu home page: www.lulu.com/home

Additional References:

Make More Money by Selling on Lulu

Publish More, Sell More

The Art of the Short Description

Developing Your Distribution Strategy

 

Lulu Poet wonders, “What took me so long?”

Guest_Blogger_Narrow

I have loved poetry for so long and I have loved wordplay perhaps since I learned to read. I should never have stopped writing when I did, but life happens, often when you are making other plans. My career in the banking industry has been exciting and rewarding, but my life has been surprisingly enriched by the satisfaction of being a published author. Nothing is as heart-warming as getting positive feedback from readers, and perhaps the best part of this experience for me is seeing people who connect with a poem or two from my book go out of their way to recommend the book and my poems to their friends. That is the equivalent of a generous performance bonus in the banking industry. No kidding!

Author: Yemi Adesanya

Lulu Poet: Yemi Adesanya

I cannot remember now precisely when I stopped writing or why. It must have been laziness or a dressed-up variant of it – telling myself I did not have enough time to read, to think, and to settle down and write. Those were during the days of my aborted attempt at learning Spanish, while writing professional accounting and IT certifications, getting married and thereafter settling down to family life.

How then did I find extra time to write close to hundred poems? Especially as time has remained adamantly stuck on only two dozen hours per day, one’s workload never stopped growing, and children have claimed some of the time as being rightfully theirs. I was pleasantly surprised at how much one could do with seemingly little time. I had a lot of fun writing and found that reaching for my phone and writing came more easily and naturally than I had expected. Once an idea gripped me like runner’s cramp, words started to line up one after another like soldier ants and there was no stopping the flow until a poem was born.

Technology helped too. Bits and pieces of time spent before meetings, waiting in the car for hubby, waiting for pizza at Dominos or lying down and praying for sleep, were spent writing or thinking of how to pen an idea that wouldn’t let go.

One by one, poems found company among their peers, and the rest of the journey was only a matter of following up with the next logical step.

For anyone aspiring to write, the first step is to start writing. Anything. A poem, a story, a newspaper article, anything to get your thoughts flowing. Then get others to read your work. I have a few reliable friends and my dependable brother, who read whatever I send them and provide thoughtful, useful and candid feedback. It is also very important to read a lot. Read extensively, read every day and write just as often. This will help your imagination, improve your lexicon and knowledge of various styles of storytelling.

I am particularly thankful for online self-publishing platforms, like Lulu.com. They made the final part of the journey smooth and almost effortless. Now that I know I can do this without putting life on hold, I don’t intend to stop, ever!


Musings of a Tangled Tongue

Musings of a Tangled Tongue

About the Author

Yemi Adesanya is the author of Musings of a Tangled Tongue, a collection of poems; an accountant and risk manager in Lagos, Nigeria where she lives with her husband and children.

She loves reading, writing computer programs, and playing Sudoku.


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.

 

Does Publishing More Books Result in More Sales?

There is another secret to selling lots of books: writing lots of books. We asked our best-selling authors how many books they had written. Here’s what they said:

Screenshot_7_22_16__3_46_PM

Nine out of ten best-selling authors have published more than one book. More than half have published ten or more books.

Writing lots of books in one niche has many benefits. For starters, you don’t have to relearn your audience. If you write non-fiction, you’ll also be able to re-use a lot of the research you did for previous books, incorporating new findings and comments into work. Lastly, having multiple books displays a level of subject matter expertise.

Action Item:

If you only have one book, map out how you can expand your catalog to meet your audience’s needs.

Key Takeaway

51% of best-selling authors have written 10 or more books.

Additional Resources:

What Authors Say Is Most Important for Sales

How to Pitch Your Book in 30 Seconds or Less

How to Get Your Book In Front of Your Audience

A Busy Queen Bee’s Journey to Self-Publishing Success

Guest_Blogger_Narrow

Claire-ProfilePic-2016

Author: Claire Boscq-Scott

On completing catering school I pursued a career in the hospitality industry, which required me to leave my beautiful France. I traveled quite a lot, working in both England and America. Sixteen years ago, I returned to the Channel Islands and settled in Jersey.

During my travels, I encountered and worked with incredible people. I learned so much and had so many ideas and stories I wanted to tell. Then I thought if I was to write a book, not only could I easily reference the information myself, but I could also share what I had learned with others.

Three people encouraged me to start the book: My business coach, who basically kicked me in the backside and said let go of your fear of failure, your fear of writing and get on with it. Second was my business consultant who told me if he could publish a book on Lulu.com, so could I. And lastly a friend who taught me some “techie” tips and tricks.

As I finished up the writing, I began working with a marketing agency to help with the book title, the cover illustrations and the synopsis. Since I wanted to sell the book, I knew all of this had to be done professionally. We looked at things such as catchy titles and bright covers that could be seen in the middle of 100’s of other books. Being French and writing in English, professional editing of the book was also a must. I was very lucky to have the support of an editor who had the task to read and edit 418 pages.

I also thought it would be a great idea to try to get celebrity endorsements. Again, I was very lucky to get recommendations from two customer service experts. Once this was done and pricing structures for the print and eBooks had been worked out, it was time to upload the final version of the manuscript. Then I pressed the publish button… it was a scary and thrilling experience. Incredibly, two days later, the books were delivered and I felt like a kid opening a Christmas present. Wow, the book was so big and so bright. It was such an amazing feeling to hold my very own book.

But the journey didn’t stop there, I visited local retailers and managed to get Thrive with the Hive on WHSmith’s and Waterstones’ shelves. The Chamber of Commerce and a local coffee shop also agreed to sell copies. You can now also find it at the Jersey Library. I have found that marketing is an on going effort that has be constantly managed with press releases, social media, radio and newspaper interviews.

The book has now been sold in 13 different countries and I am about to sign an agreement for Thrive with the Hive to be translated and published in Korea. All of this is just amazing!!

Now I see that my publishing journey is only just starting. My book is now my big business card and has inspired me to create a new online course: “Deliver Exceptional Customer Service.” I am also developing a speaking program to help businesses thrive by delivering buzz worthy customer service.

So, I tell you what, if I can do it, so can you… what are you waiting for??


Thrive with the Hive bookcover

About the Author

Originally from France, Claire Boscq-Scott has lived in Jersey, Channel Islands, since 2000. Capitalizing on her experience gained in the hospitality industry, she founded, The Busy Queen Bee in 2009. To learn more, visit her site at: www.thebusyqueenbee.com.

Thrive with the Hive is her very own view for delivering customer excellence. Her book focuses on 10 “buzzes” to deliver consistently exceptional customer service resulting in an unforgettable experience for every customer who walks through your doors.

Survey Says…. What Matters Most

We asked 4000 of our top selling authors about their marketing plans and what they think mattered most to their success. Here’s what they had to say:

Screenshot_7_12_16__10_59_AM

Screenshot_7_12_16__11_00_AM

Key Takeaways

Positioning your book and understanding your audience are key to success. Offering an attractive printed book as well as an eBook version online to generate word of mouth interest and validation via customer reviews should be your goal.

What Should You Do?

  • Prepare your book in eBook and print formats
  • Get a professionally designed cover for each format of your book
  • Focus on building reader reviews and incorporate them into your book cover, book description and website.

Additional Resources

eBook or “Real” Book: Which Should You Publish First?

Lulu Tip

If you ever need professional publishing services in a hurry, browse a list of our offerings here: http://lulu.com/services.

Inside Lulu: What the Interns Did This Summer

Intern Susan

2016 Summer Intern: Susan Z.

Summer Intern: Susan Z.

As an international student, I enjoy learning about different cultures and Lulu has employees from all over the world who support international markets. In the Lulu office you hear different languages spoken everyday. I also appreciate the company culture. One of the things I noticed on my first day at Lulu was the relaxing work atmosphere. Employees always have a smile on their face. I can tell they enjoy working here. They are like friends and family. Not to mention that at Lulu you will never get hungry because the kitchen is always full of “Lulu” snacks including my favorite granola bar, fresh fruits, and all the homemade treats people bring to share. At Lulu, it’s all about sharing.

During my internship I also learned how to step out of my comfort zone. What makes you a little uncomfortable at first is often an opportunity to learn a new skill. For example, I was a bit nervous when I learned I was to work on a project using WordPress. During the process, not only did I learn how to use the software, but also learned about CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). I was surprised to find that coding and CSS are things that interest me. As a Fashion and Textiles major , I never thought this would be an area in which I would have an interest, but with my supervisor’s encouragement, I am now taking online coding classes.

Although this internship has come to the end, I cannot thank Lulu enough for having brought me on board. It was great to be a part of the Lulu team. During my time here, I got to see how a company operates and learned how to handle multiple projects, work across several departments and manage my time effectively. I also got to participate in department meetings, workshops, team training and community volunteering.

I believe my experience at Lulu will be beneficial to my future career path. And, now I actually know the difference between an ISBN and an ISNI .

Intern Chris

2016 Summer Intern: Chris A.

2016 Summer Intern: Chris A.

When I interviewed with Lulu for an intern position, I was admittedly nervous. The main purpose of the internship was to assist Lulu in obtaining B Corp Certification. I was a supply chain major with an interest in sustainability, but not much experience with B Corp or sustainable business practices. I was a bit worried about how much would be expected of me and whether I was capable of meeting those lofty expectations.

Little did I know that there was absolutely no reason to be worried. Lulu is an awesome company. I was given my own desk and treated with the utmost respect the entire time I was here. I was not simply a lowly intern doing busy work that nobody else wanted to do. I was able to work on important projects that would have a notable effect on the business going forward. At one point, I pitched my project proposals to the Vice President and the CEO. It was truly an invaluable experience and one that I certainly would not have gotten at many other companies.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Lulu, which was very apparent even during my interview, is how great the people are. The company culture is almost unrivaled. It is a friendly and comfortable work environment filled with great people and a common goal; make the world a better place. I am truly, truly thankful for the opportunity to have worked at Lulu and I cannot thank everyone at Lulu enough for everything they have done for me.

Garden Volunteer

Chris (back left) and Susan (front right) volunteering at the Alliance Medical Ministry community garden.

 

Volunteer Garden

Susan (left) and Chris (right) on their volunteer day.

UA-30214-1