Articles tagged "self-publish"

eBook Distribution: Understanding Your NCX or eBook Table of Contents

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Distribution Henry

As I perused  the Lulu mailbag this morning I was struck by the number of queries regarding NCX errors in eBook submissions. Some excerpts:

My eBook was recently rejected from retail distribution due to an NCX error. What does that mean? What do I do?

I Googled NCX and was directed to articles on sodium-calcium exchangers? Do I have to know chemistry to make an eBook?

Great questions that unfortunately come as no surprise. NCX errors are among the top three reasons independent eBook authors are rejected from retail distribution. Setting up a fully functional NCX requires some working knowledge of heading styles in MS Word—a feature that a lot of otherwise savvy writers ignore. But never fear, it’s not difficult. And once you’ve applied the proper styles to your document, Lulu’s Epub Converter will convert them into a fully functional NCX for you.

It’s exactly this simple:

  1. Apply Heading 1 style to the Title and to each line containing a Section name (copyright, prologue, etc.) or section (Part 1, Section II, etc.). Heading 1 style will always appear at the top of the next page.
  2. Apply Heading 2 style to each line containing a Chapter name or number
  3. Apply Heading 3 style to each line containing a sub chapter or subsection.
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Create an eBook from your MS Word document.

 

Still confused? Click here to dip into Lulu’s Knowledge Base and learn more about formatting these headings.

One more thing. I foresee tomorrow’s mailbag asking:

But why?

Do I really need an NCX?

What purpose does it serve?

 

 

So. In a nutshell:

NCX is short for Navigation Control file for XML. (XML is a set of rules for formatting that both humans and computers can read.) It’s that first word in NCX—Navigation—that reveals its purpose. Like a table of contents in a printed book, an NCX helps your readers navigate your work.

But unlike a traditional table of contents, an NCX can’t simply list page numbers. The text in your eBook is scalable (meaning, the size can be changed), and just tilting an iPad 90 degrees can completely change the layout of eBook pages and how many words fit on them. So the number of pages in your eBook is variable from one reader—and even one moment—to the next. A table of contents built on static page numbers is useless, even a little misleading. Navigation has to be connected to something other than page numbers.

Enter the NCX. It contains links to your chapters, sections, and subsections. It lets readers jump from place to place in your eBook without thumbing or scrolling endlessly. You want your readers to have a good experience. So do we, and so do our retail distribution partners. It’s why we collectively urge you to have a fully functional, fully-enjoyable eBook.

Need help with something else? No worries — here’s a link to our insanely thorough Knowledge Base.

Go forth and learn, then publish.

The Dead Are Rising

About the Author

Distribution Henry is a member of the Lulu eBook Quality Review team.

He is also a Lulu author.

You can view his work here: It’s Going to Be Okay. I Promise.

Lulu Author Referral Program

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Have you noticed anything new on the My Projects page lately?

Lulu is excited to announce a new author referral program. Indie authors can now earn extra money, in the form of Lulu credits, by simply inviting their friends, family, and fellow authors to tell their story by publishing with Lulu.

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Why Should I Refer My Friends?

When your friend accepts your invitation to publish with Lulu, they will receive a free copy of their newly published book. When they claim their free copy, you will get 10 units of your preferred currency ($ £ €) in credits to spend in the Lulu bookstore. How simple is that?

How Do I Send Invitations?

To get started, click the Refer-a- Friend button on the My Projects page. Enter your friends’ email addresses, type a friendly message of encouragement and click Send. That’s all there is to it.

Lulu Author Referral Form

Lulu Author Referral Form

 

How Do I Redeem My Lulu Bookstore Credits?

When your friends publish and claim their free first copy, you will receive a coupon code for $10, £10 or €10 that you can apply to your next purchase.

Invite your friends, family, classmates and students to publish with Lulu. Then sit back and wait for the credits to accumulate.

Get started today.

Press Release: Michael Mandiberg and Lulu Join for PrintWikipedia Berlin

Featured_Article_NarrowLulu Press and Artist Michael Mandiberg Print German Edition of Wikipedia for PrintWikipedia Exhibit in Berlin, Germany May 28 — July 2

Berlin, Germany — May 25, 2016 — Lulu.com, the first and largest self-publishing platform in the world, is pairing again with the American artist Michael Mandiberg to upload the 3406 volumes of German Wikipedia to create Mandiberg’s newest exhibition – PrintWikipedia: from Aachen to Zylinderduckpresse — to tell the story and show the incredible extent of Wikipedia in German.

Following the success of Mandiberg’s exhibition in New York City last summer, this latest installment will be exhibited at Berlin’s Import Projects. Over the course of 14 days, the entire collection of Wikipedia content in German will be uploaded to the publishing platform Lulu.com where the volumes will be produced using print-on-demand technology. The result will be a visual representation of the vastness of the Wikipedia collection and the expansiveness of human knowledge.

“Michael’s performance brings to life our mission of facilitating an open, shared knowledge community that provides everyone with equilateral access to the collective understanding of our world,” says Lulu CEO, Nigel Lee. “The richness of human knowledge and the ability to visualize the content created by experts, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts is a unique parallel to the work we do. Michael will bring the magic of collaborative information-sharing to life for all of us.”

Michael Mandiberg’s exhibit will be showcased continuously at Import Projects, Berlin from May 28 — July 2, with a special opening ceremony on Saturday, May 28, 6–9 PM. Additionally, as part of the Berlin Biennale’s opening week, Import Projects will host a special reception on June 2 from 5–7 PM featuring conversations with Michael Mandiberg, Alfredo Salazar-Caro and William Robertson, presenting the Digital Museum of Digital Art (DiMoDA) concurrent with the exhibition. An artist, theorist and Co-founder of Geocities Research Institute, Olia Lialina, will also join the artists on the theme of Virtually Physical: Institutions and Archival Processes.

“Seeing the work that the Wikipedia community has contributed being exhibited in one place brings a feeling of accomplishment and empowerment”, says Christoph Kepper, CEO of PediaPress, an online service that partners with Wikimedia Foundation and Lulu.com. PediaPress allows anyone to create customized books from Wikipedia content. “Over 3400 books, needed to capture the content that has been created by thousands of people, is a testament to the vast expertise within the German-speaking community.”

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More about the project: http://printwikipedia.lulu.com

International media from the PrintWikipedia New York event:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/this-is-what-looks-like-when-you-print-out-wikipedia/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/books/moving-wikipedia-from-computer-to-many-many-bookshelves.html

Helpful Hints for eBook Distribution: Revise!

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“Distribution Henry”

There are a lot of issues that can keep eBook submissions out of retail distribution channels. We regularly see a multitude of issues with capitalization, metadata, NCX files, and so forth. But the number one reason for rejection is The Dreaded Repeat Offender: A title is rejected for X. A day later it shows up with X still an issue. It’s rejected again. A day later it shows up again with X still an issue… you get the idea.

To be honest, we’re not always sure what’s happening with these submissions. Have the users tried to resolve the issue and missed the mark? Are they unsure what to do, so they’re just resubmitting and hoping the error fixes itself? It’s frustrating for everyone involved.

In hopes of reigning in the Repeat Offender, Lulu.com has a ridiculously robust Knowledge Base to walk you through virtually any problem you might have. And rejections—at least 99% of them—come with explanations of what’s wrong and links to an associated Knowledge Base article. These lined articles are a good place to start in resolving a problem, but if you’re still puzzled, contact our support team.

Many years ago, I taught creative writing. On the first day of class, I’d scrawl on the whiteboard in ginormous letters: REVISION IS NOT FAILURE. The same is true here. Revising your submission and giving it another go is the best—in fact, the only—way to get your book into distribution and in front of readers eager for your work.

Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. A hiccup in your metadata or formatting is easily fixed. You’ve written a book! That’s the hard part. Everything else is easy—and we’re always here to help.

AbThe Dead Are Risingout the Author

Distribution Henry is a member of the Lulu eBook Quality Review team.

He is also a Lulu author.

You can view his work here: It’s Going to Be Okay. I Promise.

One Minute of Inspiration

Your life consists of many chapters. Each describing a portion of who you are. When put together, these chapters create your story. Since 2002, Lulu has helped nearly 1 million people tell their stories. The world is waiting to hear yours.

Released May 2, 2016

Lulu Print-on-Demand – How It Works. Why It’s Great.

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In 2002 Lulu made publishing available to everyone through the use of print-on-demand technology. Our free, online tools allow authors to publish and distribute their work to online bookstores around the world. There are no upfront costs for publishing, other than the purchase and approval of a proof copy, there are no inventory costs, and authors earn profits on every book sold.

When you place an order in the Lulu bookstore, we send the book’s digital file to an approved printer in our global network. Whenever possible, we choose a printer located closest to the book’s final shipping destination where it will be printed in 1-3 business days and ship directly from the printer – hot off the press. When your books ship, you will receive an email with shipping and tracking information.

Why does it matter?

Lulu’s printondemand production model eliminates the need to maintain a huge inventory of books. It also reduces the waste associated with traditional publishing in which approximately 40% off all printed books are returned to publishers for pulping. In 2009, an estimated 77 million unsold books were pulped in the UK alone*.

If one 10-inch (25 cm) diameter tree yields 30 books of 200 pages in length**, then in one year 2.5 million trees were turned into books no one in the UK wanted. This number is just for one country. Imagine the number of trees saved each year if all books were printed using Lulu’s print-on-demand business model.

*Daily Mail 30 December 2009

** South Florida Business Journal, 23 May, 2014

Rather watch the movie?

“What is Lulu?”
Where are my @#$% books?”

Order books from Lulu – Save More Trees – Get More Oxygen

Finding Myself Among The Wolves

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Book CoverRecently, I published my first novel Wolves of the Shadowlands with Lulu.com. Although it hasn’t been the most commercially successful piece of writing ever, the experience taught me a lot about writing and about myself.

I am 17-years old and a junior in high school.  I have been motivated to tell stories since the 4th grade. In elementary school, I would always be writing short narratives in my English journal. They were nothing fancy, complex, or necessarily logical. I was just a kid with a wild imagination.

Fortunately, that wild imagination evolved into something much more complicated and versatile through writing. Before I finished middle school, my drive to tell stories brought me into film making, a path I have been following ever since. But even then, telling cinematic stories was not enough to satisfy my imagination and to calm the myriad ideas bouncing around in my head. I had to do more.

It wasn’t until I tackled the incredible experience of writing a novel that ideas truly began to flow from my head. Before I began writing Wolves, my writing had always been written by me, for me. Now I was telling a story – a real story to a real audience. I locked myself in and began channeling my idea onto paper. An idea that, over the course of about a year and a half, became a story of friendship, understanding, sacrifice, and much more.

It wasn’t until I had completed the draft of Wolves and I was going back through the manuscript to edit and polish it, that I realized the story wasn’t just about a boy, a wolf, or forbidden friendships. Through the process of writing, I had interjected elements of my own personality and experiences that I have had in my own life into the characters themselves. When writing, I was so engaged in telling the story that when I took a step back and actually looked at it from a different perspective, I saw my own reflection in the words that had once only existed in the void of my mind.

Imagination is more than just problem-solution or beginning-middle-end. It’s making characters and events unfold in a universe of your own creation and, to varying extents, injecting your own experiences and personality into it. The hardest part to overcome is making the decision to lock yourself in for the ride.

May you all find happiness in telling your stories!

Headshot_M_Manyak_JPGAbout the Author

Matthew Manyak is a 17 year-old filmmaker, photographer, digital artist, and narrative author. Wolves of the Shadowlands is his first published novel. He currently pursues a career of creativity and imagination at a school of the arts in northern Florida.


 

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.

– See more at: http://www.lulu.com/blog/#sthash.ffP9myzv.dpuf