In a recent blog post, we predicted that Dec. 26th would be one of the highest traffic days for new readers buying eBooks. We crunched the numbers and are happy to report that indeed, the day after Christmas – when millions of folks were playing with their shiny new e-readers and tablets – eBook downloads doubled, then spiked again Dec. 29th. Take a look:
With that, we’re pleased to announce the winner of Download Day and $100 off their new Lulu purchase :
Buddy World Books
by Paul Woodward
Paul used the free sample method for generating buzz for his works and climb to the top of the bestseller list. You can learn how to use this method for your own works by checking out our recent post on Making More Off Your eBooks by Selling Them for Free.
Runner-up with their Lulu Short Story Contest submission:
The Littlest Ninja
by Criscelle Henderson and Micah Bonnell
These two authors submitted this work back in November for the Lulu Short Story Contest. It just goes to show you how some promotion can help spike your visibility, no matter how recently you’ve published. Way to go you two.
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 a month it has been.
As NaNoWriMo and the Lulu Short Story Contest come to a close – we’ve been thrilled by the hundreds and hundreds of responses we’ve gotten from authors of all ages and genres who couldn’t resist the chance to share their creativity and who found out just how easy it can be to publish an eBook.
We’re not done yet though. The official cutoff date for the contest is Dec. 1st, so there is still time to submit a story of your own and enter to win $1000, a NOOK™, free publicity, and a professional review of your story in Shelf Unbound Magazine.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions too. Mainly from authors who just want to be sure they have entered their story correctly. Remember, once you’ve published your short story as an eBook with our EPUB Converter, to copy and paste your story’s web address on our Survey Monkey form. Once you click submit on Survey Monkey, you’ll be taken to a “thank you” page with a 20% off coupon on it – good for your next purchase on Lulu. We may need to tweak your submission too in order to get it to pass the validation requirements set by retailers like the iBookstoreSM. You still keep the copyright though and we will only change the formatting – not the content itself.
Once Dec. 1st hits, we’ll gather all contest submissions and our panel of judges will fire up the coffee pots, pull out the reading glasses, and get to work reading all your remarkable entries. We’ll announce the first, second, and third place winners mid-December.
So keep that creativity coming – you still have till Thursday. You can do 600 words in no time!
In recent weeks, we’ve made some pretty big announcements about eBooks: an industry best 90/10 revenue split, distribution to Barnes & Noble’s NOOK, a handy new Word to EPUB Converter, and a new Manage Distribution page that lets you opt-in and opt-out of retail channels with the click of a button.
We’re on such a roll, why stop now? The opportunities eBooks bring to reach new readers is so great, we just keep looking for ways to enhance our e-offerings even more.
Today, we’re happy to announce another eBook feature to give you more selling flexibility over your digital works: Free pricing. eBook authors can now distribute and sell their eBooks in the iBookstore with a price tag of $0.00.
Right about now I’m sure you’re asking: “How will being able to sell my eBooks for free get me more sales?” Well, the answer is simple: Everyone loves free. Heck, we’ve built a business off the principle with our free publishing solutions.
So far we’ve seen authors use free pricing in a number of clever ways to better market their works:
So there you have it, you’re now free to play around with your pricing however you want to better reach your readers. To learn more, or to start your own eBook with just a few clicks of a button, visit our eBook publishing page.
If you haven’t discovered it yet, check out our new Word to EPUB Converter on the eBook publishing page. This is our fastest, most streamlined way yet for you to create an eBook from your manuscript and send it out into the world. Go ahead and play around with it– you can have an eBook for sale in an hour!
The EPUB Converter is a powerful tool, and with great power comes great responsibility– so we’ve written an eBook Creator Guide to help you format your Word DOC into the best shape for conversion. Why should you bother? Think of it as getting your book ready for a race. Sometimes a runner can win after barely training. But most times even the greatest athletes will collapse on the track unless they’ve prepared for the event. (Or, in your case, create an eBook that can’t be sent to distribution channels.) While our wizard isn’t as demanding as a race, a little preparation never hurt anyone, or any book.
One essential retail distribution requirement (which takes little prep work) is to have a working Table of Contents. This Table of Contents is not the same as a print book, but a file inside your EPUB called the NCX. (That’s the Navigation Control file for XML, for technical folks.) The NCX contains links to the sections or chapters of your eBook, which makes for easy navigation between one part to another. It appears on e-readers as a vertical list of links.
A very common problem is an NCX that has only one link named “untitled”. When this happens, your eBook needs to be styled with headings that point out its sections or chapters. Letting the wizard know you need an NCX link isn’t hard: just format the name of each section in your Word DOC as style “Heading 1”. (You can do this through the “Styles” options, listed in the Word tab “Home”.) Then, you can change this style’s settings (font, size, etc.) to reflect the styling of your book. If you want to create subsections, use “Heading 2” and “Heading 3”.
NCX links that aren’t correct are another problem; for example, a phrase in your manuscript becomes a link in your eBook. This means that parts of your book other than chapter headings are styled as “Heading 1”, etc. Weeding these out is as easy as styling them back to “Normal”. And if you’d like more information on NCXs, our Connect page can help you out.
Of course, always check your EPUB in an e-reader like Adobe Digital Editions to make sure it appears the way you want it to, and it follows the retail distribution guidelines.
Today is a big day.
Today, Lulu officially launched the Lulu EPUB Converter and eBook Creator Guide – thus helping to simplify the complex process of turning your brilliant work from popular word processing formats, such as a Word document, into sellable EPUBs, the most widely adopted format used by eReaders – absolutely free.
So how is it different?
The Lulu EPUB Converter is unique in that it not only converts but also automatically fixes many pesky errors including accepted fonts and extra spacing. This is the highest level of automation available anywhere.
What does this mean for you?
For you, oh faithful Lulu creator, this means getting your work into popular eBook retail channels is easier and just in time to give you an edge this holiday season and sell your remarkable works electronically while earning more on eBooks than anywhere else with our new industry-best 90/10 revenue split (limited time offer through January 31, 2012).
As part of this initiative, Lulu has secured partnerships with Apple and Barnes and Noble so you can sell your works to millions of readers on devices like the iPad® and NOOK™, not to mention in print on Amazon.com and the Lulu Marketplace. We’ve even added a new Manage Distribution page that lets you opt-in and opt-out of retail channels for all your titles with the click of a button.
With our step-by-step eBook Creator Guide, you can be sure your customers are getting the most robust experience reading your work too. All of these new tools, resources, and features can be found on Lulu’s new eBook Landing page – your source for all things eBooks.
Don’t forget to explore all your print book options too, and publish the way you, and your readers, want this holiday.