Articles tagged "make a book"

Which Distribution Channels are Right for You?

Lulu offers so many great options for getting your book out in the world, how do you know which ones are right for you?

With both print and eBook distribution, you have the option of selling on Lulu only or through one of Lulu’s retail partners. It is important to note that our partners do have certain requirements for distribution. If your book does not meet these requirements, you can still sell it on the Lulu Marketplace. Selling on Lulu is a great option if you have a specialized market that you can send right to Lulu.  Lulu-only distribution is perfect for projects like school fundraisers, church cookbooks, family genealogies, etc.  Lulu only distribution also works if you’re just starting out and getting a feel for how to market and sell your book.

Print books can also be sold through two additional channels using extendedREACH, which is a free service, or GlobalREACH at a cost of $75. ExtendedREACH gets your book on Amazon.com only, whereas GlobalREACH will get your book on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and in Ingram’s database.

ExtendedREACH is free, so if your book meets all distribution requirements  – go for it! It will get your book in an additional location for some extra visibility.

GlobalREACH may be a little extra, but it’s worth every penny. With a listing in Ingram’s database, bookstores will be able to order the book if it is requested. If you have an eBook version of your book, you can have both your print and eBook version listed on barnesandnoble.com.

Through our eBook distribution channels, you can distribute to Lulu, the iBookstore (SM), and Barnes and Noble’s NOOK.  Both of these channels are excellent places for your eBook to be seen – and read! Learn more by visiting our new eBook landing page.

Author Success Story: “Age of the Indie Author”

Author Greg Prato is a rockstar of journalism, having written articles and reviews for such publications as All Music Guide, Classic Rock Magazine, and Rolling Stone. When the time came for Prato to take his passion for music and writing beyond one-off articles and into the pages of a book, he thought he’d be a shoe-in. Turns out, even as an accomplished journalist, Prato had just as much trouble publishing traditionally as the next guy.

“In my experience, traditional publishers only listen to people with agents,” Prato says. “I’ve been writing for over 13 years, and Lulu was the only company to offer me any options.”

Author Greg Prato

Prato is a shining example of how Lulu empowers authors to profit from their unique knowledge and ideas. His first work, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other, published through Lulu in 2008, is one of the only books available that chronicles the tragic death of Shannon Hoon – frontman for popular 90’s band Blind Melon. The book acts as an oral history of Hoon’s life,  collecting original interviews from over 100 people close to the band.


“I wanted to make my book different” says Prato. “I tried to get more than just one perspective in there because conflict and criticism are key to making an interesting story.”

Prato brought his work to Lulu after being rejected time and time again by traditional publishers and agents, despite his ties to writing. He hired a publicist and was able to build a following by marketing his work and doing a circuit of radio interviews. A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other has gone on to sell thousands of copies.

“This is the age of the indie author” Prato says. “Lulu makes it easy for those with the urge to create because there is no approval process and no worries. Lulu gives the power back to the author and the author gets to make a good chunk of the cash, the way it should be.”

Prato certainly has the urge to create too, having completed six books with three more on the way. In his book, No Schlock…Just Rock!, Prato compiles five years worth of his magazine articles, including the three that ultimately pushed him to writing books. Each work revolves around his expertise on the music industry and offers an in-depth look into bands like Kiss and Deep Purple, and the rise of MTV.

“All my books are things I wanted to read about, but that didn’t exist yet.” says Prato. “It just goes to show you that you have to stick to your guns. If I’d listened to other people, I’d never written a single book.”

Check out Prato’s storefront and all of his remarkable works on Lulu and be on the look out for his upcoming releases.

Getting Your Book on a Retail Shelf

Sometimes there is nothing more gratifying for an author than to walk into their neighborhood bookstore and see their own blood, sweat, and tears resting on the shelf. While there is no guarantee that your book will appear in “brick and mortar” bookstores, these tips and suggestions will certainly put your book on the right track for consideration.

ISBN

First things first, your book needs an ISBN. Whether you decide to register for one on your own through an ISBN agency such as Bowker (http://www.bowker.com/) or opt for a free Lulu-owned ISBN, this number will be the key identifier for your book and is also a requirement for the next tip.

globalREACH Distribution

globalReach distribution is essential for any author looking to increase their readership in stores because it enables your book to be available through the wholesaler, Ingram Book Company, which is the preferred go-between of most big-name retailers.

Go Local

Try visiting your local, independent bookstore (like Quail Ridge Books here in Raleigh) to see if there would be any interest in carrying your book. Typically, these retailers feel more open to supporting the work of homegrown authors. It may even sweeten the deal if you already have buyers lined up.

If you’ve tried and tried and still haven’t made the leap into bookstores, don’t feel discouraged. According to Book Industry Study Group, less than 40% of books are purchased in actual stores versus online. And the Lulu Marketplace is home to over 2.5 million unique visitors – that’s a lot of folks just itching to discover your remarkable work.

Supersize Your Memories

We all have loads of digital images, but how many of you have taken that extra step to take them back a generation and make a book? You probably know by now that you can make a fantastic photo book with Lulu. It’s simple, fun and you end up with a beautiful keepsake for yourself, your family and your friends. Whether you’ve got loads of wedding photos, shots from your vacation last summer, or designs for your professional portfolio — the options are endless.

What you might not know is that Lulu now offers photo books in extra large sizes. We have 12″ x 12″ square and 13″ x 11″ landscape books with premium paper and gorgeous matte covers. Of course we think they’re great, but seriously, they are GREAT. The larger sizes have a majestic feel and harken back to days when people actually had photos printed and took the time to paste them into albums. But you’re not pasting, you’re dragging and dropping. With these books, you can create a seriously professional project with minimal effort on your part. We have plenty of themes and fonts to choose from to give your book the personal touch you desire.

In fact, these large size books aren’t just in the Lulu Studio. If you want a bit more creative liberty, you can design your own book and upload the PDF into the Lulu Wizard, while still taking advantage of premium paper and the classy matte hardcover option.

With the holidays just around the corner,  this is actually the perfect time to start a photo book project and still have plenty of time to tweak your text and add that extra bit of finesse to your photos. The only real decision is whether you flex your creative muscles and upload your own custom created PDF or take advantage of specially designed themes in the Lulu Studio™.

Celebrate NaNoWriMo with Lulu

We’re obviously big fans of books here at Lulu and that makes November one of our favorite months. Why? Because it’s National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo.

For eleven years NaNoWriMo has brought together thousands of aspiring authors who share a passion for writing and creativity. Each November, more and more authors join in and take a no holds barred approach to pumping out a 50,000 word book in just 30 days. With such a limited time-frame for making a remarkable work, writers often surprise themselves with what they can accomplish and what creative ideas they can come up with – music to the folks at Lulu’s ears.

Some of us Lulus are even getting involved in the action. I am using this year’s NaNoWriMo to overcome a three-year case of writer’s block. Well, at least I’m trying to overcome a three-year case of writer’s block. So far I’ve spent several days staring at a blank screen hoping to channel Neruda, Hemmingway, Frost or Fitzgerald and then distracting myself with exciting things like laundry and grocery shopping.

Writing is much harder than anyone gives us literary types credit for, and I admire all of you Lulu creators for being able to have the self-discipline to write something and the confidence to put it out in the world.

NaNoWriMo is all about getting motivated. Any book written in 30 days probably won’t be a work of genius, but writing 50,000 words in one month is going to force you to write and take risks. You can edit, take out weak characters, and add sub-plots later. For now, just get writing!

My favorite high school English teacher told me once that writing is easy. You just write about yourself with the life you’ve always wanted. Change your name, give yourself an apartment in Paris and a love interest who got away. Find inspiration in everything and use the mannerisms of interesting strangers to write new characters. Combine it with the search for home, and you’ve got yourself a bestseller.

So, let’s do this together! We’ve got three weeks to write a book. It may not be your most remarkable work, but then again, maybe it will be. You don’t know till you try. And when you’re all done, I encourage you to publish your books on Lulu. What have you got to lose?

Feel free to add your NaNoWriMo experiences in the comments section below. We’d love to hear what you’re working on or any tips for NaNoWriMo survival and getting motivated?  Come on NaNoWriMo veterans, I know you’re out there.

How to Use the New Author Discount Manager

One of the features Lulu authors most frequently ask for is the ability to offer books at a discounted price.  Lulu has listened, and today we have released the new Lulu Discount Manager. Now our authors are free to take a percentage off the list price of their books in the Lulu Marketplace. It is a great way to gain new readers for your works and reward your loyal fans. And with the holiday season just around the corner, now is the perfect time to offer your readers a special deal. I’m sure you’re anxious to start using this great new feature, so here are some tips for how you can easily start setting discounts for your works with the new Lulu Discount Manager.

Getting the Most Out of Your Lulu Service

What do weddings, camping trips, and Lulu services have in common? They all go much smoother if you are well prepared. Here are a few quick tips for making the most out of your publishing pack experience.

1. Know what you’re buying.

Services are a big investment of time and money into your book, so you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re buying. If you have a question about what services are for you or what a particular service entails, just ask! We have a whole team dedicated to helping you find the right service for your needs and they’ll be happy to work with you to answer any questions you may have before purchasing.

2. Have your manuscript and cover files ready to go.

The publishing process can go quickly and easily if you’ve got everything ready.  If you’re going right to formatting, make sure your manuscript has been edited already.  If you have book reviews for your back cover, have them back before starting on the design. Taking the extra time and doing the right prep work beforehand will make all the difference in getting a quality product out quickly.

Banned Books Week

Celebrate Your Freedom to Read!

Every year hundreds of books are threatened with removal from schools and libraries across the country. Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom has recorded more than 11,000 book challenges, including 460 in 2009.

Even though most of these challenges are made with the best of intentions (protecting people or children from difficult ideas), banning books prevents the freedom to choose and express opinions. Challenged books range from Mother Goose stories and the Harry Potter series to classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The ALA’s annual Banned Books Week is going on this Sept. 25 – Oct. 2. Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has served as a reminder that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view.

How to Market Your Book:Blog #1

You’ve done it – you’re a published author! Now it’s time to start reaping the benefits of all your long hours of work.

Who couldn’t use a few ideas on how to sell more books and expand readership? In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing tips, resources and ideas designed to help you sell more books…without having to quit your day job!

Check out these two tips – try to do one of them by the end of the weekend.

Tip 1: Ratings and Reviews

Believe it or not, user ratings and reviews are powerful marketing tools. These 3rd party views of your book will influence other potential readers whether or not your book is right for them. Think of it as word-of-mouth endorsements for your book. How many times have been told by someone “you’ve got to read this book!” Adding ratings and reviews to your book page will send potential readers the same message.

Tip 2: Email Signature

How many emails do you write on a typical day? How many in a week? A month? Your email signature is a great way to promote your book to as wide of an audience as possible…without really trying. All it takes is a few minutes to set up your email signature, include a link to your book, and you’re all set. Try something subtle like “Check out my new book” with a link to your book. For a stronger approach, consider taking a 10-word excerpt from one of your reviews, then link to your book.

The Future of the Book

One of our designers sent around a link to this video this morning. It was put together by IDEO, the global design firm, and shows the possibilities it envisions for the book. Some interesting ideas. Let us know what you think!

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.