Articles tagged "services"

Life After NaNoWriMo

We’re well into December, and it’s almost the end of the year, but let’s take a minute to talk about last month. How did you spend your November? Maybe getting ready for the change in seasons or braving crowds to get a head start on holiday shopping? If you participated in NaNoWriMo you can add “writing an entire novel” to that list. Fifty thousand words in thirty days is no small feat so first things first: congratulations! Now that you’ve got everything all typed up and had some time to go over it, the most important question is…what’s next? You wrote your book in record time, so why not publish it just as quickly? Lulu has the professional publishing services to put a little shine on things and get your work ready for the world.

Cover Design


They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but let’s be honest, a nice cover goes a long way and can hook a customer before the first page is even turned.

Help: Vote for Lulu!

What’s your M.O.? Our very own Sarah Gilbert was featured on M.O. this week. She talks about some of the most meaningful books she’s worked on during her time here at Lulu. She also talks about seeing the rise of eBooks firsthand and what “a day in the life” of a Lulu is like. Help us vote Sarah’s interview up to the top. Just click on the badge above to read the interview and vote for Sarah!

How to Make an eBook Anyone Can Read with ePub

Blog Update: Before you read, check out our handy new eBook landing page for the latest tips to help you publish your eBook today.



In a recent post I talked about how all of you would-be eBook authors should know your file formats, or at least be somewhat familiar with the most commonly used ones.  As an author, you want to make your work as accessible as possible, which means making your content able to be read on as many devices as you can.  Since it is Read an eBook Week, and Lulu is giving away three Apple iPads, I thought it might be useful to provide a how-to tutorial for the most universal eBook format: ePub.

Many new authors might make the mistake of thinking that if they have a portable document format (PDF) of their book it means that it can be read on an e-reader or other mobile device.  While in many cases the PDF can be opened, the text is far too small because it is a static or unchangeable image.  ePub makes it so your text is resized to fit the screen of any given device.  Since the text in ePub format can be changed in terms of size, font and color, reading an ePub book becomes a much more personal experience for the reader.  Sounds great right?  But how do you make an ePub book?

You really have three options:  let Lulu do the work for you with our conversion services, use a conversion program like (Adobe InDesign, eCub, Calibre, Google ePub Toolkit, etc.), or you can do-it-yourself.  If you decide to do-it-yourself, I’ve added some great directions I found over at jedisaber.com.


What You’ll Need:

* A text editor (like Text Edit or Notepad) that can edit text files, HTML, and XML.
* A program that can create .zip files (which should be built into OS X or Windows).

Confessions of a Lulu Services Team Member


I confess. It excites me to read brilliant content from our creators. I also confess I see content with potential that lacks basic principles of composition.

The Editing Month festivities at Lulu last month challenged me to consider how one might break habitual bad writing habits and make significant changes to please the reader. I literally dusted off my grandmother’s copy of Strunk’s The Elements of Style in hopes of finding a few elements that would change any manuscript.

From William Strunk, Jr.’s The Elements of Style III. Elementary Principles of Composition:

  • Use the active voice: The active voice is more direct and vigorous than the passive. I shall always remember my first visit to Boston is much better than My first visit to Boston will always be remembered by me.
  • Put statements in positive form: Make definite assertions. Avoid tame, colorless, hesitating, non-committal language. Use the word “not” as a means of denial or in antithesis, never as a means of evasion. For example, rather than He was not very often on time one could use He usually came late.
  • Omit needless words: Read your manuscript and see how many times you see the fact that and try to replace it with since, because, though or although. Another example is “there is no doubt but that” could simply be “no doubt.”

Too often I meet authors whose excitement of a speedy book launch diminishes the importance of a thorough pre-publishing scrub. One passionate author related the book launch to taking a child to school on the first day of kindergarten. Just as parents send kids equipped with backpacks and lunch boxes, your book should be as equipped with a proper edit. Correctness is contagious.

A professional editor can review your manuscript to determine which elements could make your book an easier and more enjoyable read. Our publishing packages provide the Editorial Quality Review as well as Formatting and Cover design. Buying services in June automatically enters you to win one of two new HP Mini laptops. Plus, use the coupon SVCWIN and we’ll take 15% off any package (maximum discount $1,425).  Offer expires 6/30/2011.

*No purchase necessary. Enter coupon code SVCWIN at checkout and receive 15% off any service package or simply publish a work through Lulu.com. The maximum savings for this offer is $100. Sorry, but this offer cannot be applied to previous orders. You can only use this code once per account, and unfortunately you can’t use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. This great offer expires on July 8, 2011 at 11:59 PM, so don’t miss out! While very unlikely, we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so. Shipping destinations must be within the United States.

Everybody Needs an Editor

Happy Editing Month, everyone. Didn’t know May was Editing Month? Well it is, because Lulu says it is! And we all have our virtual red pens poised and ready to edit some great books!

“I was an English major, so I don’t need editing.” “My professor already edited it.” “My mother was a teacher for 27 years; she can proofread it.”

We here at Lulu have heard every rationalization authors have for not investing in professional copy editing. It’s completely understandable—editing can be costly, especially if you have a very long manuscript. And for some, it may seem preposterous to pay someone else to do what your professor or a relative has already done.

So why should you consider a professional copy edit?

First, remember that, while it is great that you have friends or family that will closely read your book (trust me, not everyone is that lucky!), more than likely, these people are not editors by trade. A teacher is not an editor. An English major, while he or she may have a better grasp on the English language than most, probably isn’t up-to-date on the changing style rules. (The Chicago Manual of Style is on its 16th edition—which edition is that dusty copy of yours?) Not to mention, your friend knows how hard you’ve worked on your book and may be afraid to tell you that your dialogue is dry and unrealistic, or that Chapters 9 through 14 go off on a tangent they didn’t understand. An editor doesn’t know you from Adam, and isn’t concerned with hurting your feelings—they want your book to be as good as it possibly can be.

Second, a proofread is not a copy edit. What your friends are probably doing for you is checking for typos and grammar mistakes. While these are, of course, very important, they only scratch the surface of what a true editor looks at in a manuscript. A professional editor is also looking at syntax, word choice, organization, plot and character development, text flow, inconsistencies in tense, among other issues.

Third, consider the value that a copy edit will add to your book. You wouldn’t go out the door without looking in the mirror to make sure your shirt is buttoned correctly, right? Now imagine if you had a stylist from Vogue stopping you at the door each morning to tell you if your shoes are inappropriate for the interview/wedding/wrestling match you’re headed to. That’s what editing does for your book. It adds credibility—you obviously think so much of your book, and of the information you are relaying, that you won’t settle with only one pair of eyes going over it. Yes, the cost of editing might be higher than what you’d planned to spend on the whole pre-publishing process, but it’s really an investment in your book’s future.  You’ve worked on this book for months, or maybe years—you certainly don’t want your reviews to start, “Great message overall, but couldn’t get past the glaring typos and strange sentence structure.”

How can Lulu help with editing?

An Editorial Quality Review is a great place to start. This service is included in our three main Pre-Publishing Packages, and is also available on its own. This review not only provides helpful feedback that you might use in your own revisions, but also recommends one of our three levels of copy editing. And to celebrate Editing Month, we are offering the Editorial Quality Review itself, normally $199, for $149, plus 15% off the price of whichever copy edit we suggest. And if you decide to take that polished manuscript all the way to the finish line with one our publishing packages, we’ll reduce the cost of the Review from the package price. To get started, just click “Add to Cart” here.  This promotion, along with Editing Month festivities, will end on June 1, 2011.

Wallflowers: Get Familiar with Our Lesser-Known Services

They might not be the most popular services on the block, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be an invaluable step in the process of publishing your book! Get to know these services, and see if they might be a good fit for your project.

Ghostwriting: Ghostwriting services can start from any stage of the writing process. Maybe you are an expert in naval engineering, and have an idea for a book that will totally change the industry–but you’re too busy to sit down behind the computer, or just don’t have the writing skill to make a cohesive sentence. Maybe you’ve been working on your book for years, but you still don’t feel that it’s complete, and could use the talents of a co-author to help you finish. Maybe you have the bones of the book, but need some help in fleshing it out. Our ghostwriters can help! We have a talented team of writers with years of experience, who are eager to help you with your project. Learn more about Ghostwriting Services or get a Ghostwriting Consultation.

Transcription: Transcription services turn a printed manuscript into a digital Word document. Examples might include your grandfather’s memoirs, written on a typewriter and coil-bound at a copy center, or a book you published previously, that you want to reprint, but you only have the printed book. Once you have the Word document, you can then take the next steps of publishing, either formatting and designing it yourself, or using one of Lulu’s pre-publishing packages to help you with the work. Request a consultation and express your interest in transcription services.

Media List: The Media list will answer one really big question for you when it comes to Book Publicity: Who? In a world where more than 800 books are published daily, you’ll need to make a great first impression to the right audience. Our Media List Service will help you create a refined list of exactly who to contact. You’ll work with a publicist who will consult with you about your goals, possible publicity angles, media preferences and the best way to stir up interest in you and your book. In the end you’ll have a targeted media list of local, regional and national print (magazine and newspaper), broadcast (radio and television), and online (e-zines, blogs, websites) outlets in the US and Canada in Excel and mailing label formats; minimum of 500 targeted media contacts. One idea … Pair this with a Press Release Writing service and prepare for liftoff. Learn more.

Services, The Perfect Gift for an Author

Lulu offers a wide variety of services to help you, and your loved ones, sell more books.  For the creator who has everything, give the gift that keeps on giving! Our professional services team is here to help you give a memorable and meaningful gift.

For a new author

A good book starts with a strong foundation, and a strong foundation means a professional edit. With our editorial quality review service, you’ll be able to get your loved one the opinion of a professional editor.

For the kids in your life

Use our children’s imagination pack to publish a customized book for the little ones. Write a story for them about the day they were born, give them life advice, or publish a collection of their favorite artwork.

You can also work with them to write a story that you can publish using the pack.

It will be a treasured memory and a beloved book that they’ll hold on to forever.

For  a published Lulu author

Our ePub conversion service will help your loved one get his or her book in more places.  The ePub service will guarantee a ePub file that passes validation requirements.  With an ePub, your loved one’s book can be read on a large variety of eBook readers and may be eligible to be sent to the Apple iBookstore.