Articles tagged "share"

What to Do with All Those Holiday Photos

This year, my grandmother turned 75 and before Christmas, my whole family was exchanging emails back and forth trying to think of a gift we could give her that would really show her how special she has been to us all these years.

My mom suggested we make a list of my grandmother’s sayings and print them out for her. My aunt suggested we take a family photo and put it in a nice frame. My uncle suggested we write a card that tells her what she’s taught us.

These were all nice thoughts, but I wanted to go big. I suggested we take everyone’s ideas and combine them into a Lulu photo book to present to her at Christmas.

At first, my family was a little hesitant because not all of them are super tech savvy or organized. But I set up a Lulu account that we could all share, picked a theme I thought my grandma would like, I made the cover and the first few pages. I even added in captions of my grandma’s sayings like “lord love a duck” (no I don’t know what that means either).

Once my family saw how quick I was able to do this, they gave it a shot. They were amazed that they could just drag and drop pictures into the book from their Facebook accounts and easily write a heart felt message right on the page. After no time, the book was done and we had our special gift for Christmas. My grandmother absolutely loved it, but the best part was we all made it together.

It was great to see and read all those memories that my family had saved all these years, many of which I had forgotten. Hopefully this post has given you some ideas that are sure to spread joy to your loved ones for next year. And we’d love to hear about any remarkable holiday gifts that you’ve made in the comments below. Happy holidays!

Improving Your Experience

It’s fair to assume you’re reading this blog on a computer, but have you ever stopped to think about the steps you took to get here, or if it was easy or not? As the head of User Interface & Experience at Lulu, it’s my job to think about these kinds of processes and design an experience incorporating myriad requirements and constraints while improving the way you interact with Lulu. The only good way to do this is to focus on you, our customers, and how you use Lulu everyday.

For example, when a car manufacturer wants to design a better dashboard, they need to watch people drive. When a cookware manufacturer wants to design a better saucepan, they watch people cook. And when Lulu wants to design a better interface, we need to watch how you interact with our site. If I pull design decisions out of thin air, then I’ve done a poor job – design is driven by data. To get that data, we need your participation. In the UX business, we call this “User Testing,” but I’ve never liked that phrase – you are not the ones being tested, you are the testers and the results of your testing drives the design of new features, new products, and improvements on Lulu.com.

With that in mind, we’ve designed a simple activity to give us some fundamental data we’ll use to enhance the publishing experience for you and other creators just like you. It’ll only take a few minutes and the information you provide will help us to help you become even more successful.

Participate in our study: https://lulu.optimalworkshop.com/optimalsort/wr_ut_ia_1a?i=lb

Be the Favorite Child This Holiday Season

Becoming the favorite child this holiday is easy!  Here are five great gift ideas that show how much you care, or at least how much more thoughtful you are than your siblings.

Calendar:

Create a family calendar with pictures from the last year.  You can even include special dates, like birthdays, anniversaries and graduations, to keep the focus on what’s most important throughout the whole year.

Family Cookbook:

Compiling a cookbook of all your family’s favorite recipes is a sure way to make mom and grandma proud.  Plus, you get the benefit of having that amazing pumpkin pie recipe right at your fingertips year-round.

Photobook:

One of the easiest ways to thrill the whole family is making a photobook.  It can have pictures from the whole year, or just from a specific vacation or event.  Either way, it will be a great memento for years, and an excellent conversation starter for the family after you have already discussed the food and weather.

Family Yearbook:

Think yearbooks are just for school?  Not with the power of personalization that Lulu offers!  You can make a family yearbook and include pictures from every major event, dedicate a page to each family member, and include fun facts or stats.

Family History:

Writing a family history is the ultimate in “favorite child” gifts!  Published as a book on Lulu, you can capture the generations of your family by writing your family tree, favorite family stories, pictures, and special memories.

Cyber Monday is Back

Cyber Monday, the first weekday after Thanksgiving, is considered the busiest online shopping day of the year. To mark the occasion and do our part to save you a little time and money, we’ve put together these special offers good for today only.

25% off any order
Save up to $185.
Coupon code:
CYBER25

30% off $750 or more
Save up to $750.
Coupon code:
CYBER30

Coupons cannot be applied to  taxes or shipping and handling charges or previous orders.  Only one valid promotional code may be used per account.  Orders must be in U.S.  Dollar currency. Offer ends today 11/29/09 at 11:59 PM PST.

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™.

How To Get Your Book Into Libraries

A question that keeps popping up around the Lulu community is “How do I get my book(s) into a library?” Libraries can provide a great way to reach new readers that, otherwise, may not find out about your books. There are a lot of perks to getting your work into the library system. You don’t really have to worry about maintaining inventory or making a huge sales pitch because libraries are in it to share knowledge and help educate people. Many libraries even highlight local authors or will host regular book events like fundraisers that accept donated books. That doesn’t mean that some of the same marketing rules don’t apply when approaching a library however. And there are a lot of misconceptions about the best ways to go about getting a library’s attention.

Quality – Give Them Something to Work With:

A quickly diminishing stereotype of self-published books is that they are of poor quality. Lulu works to erase all of the preconceptions about self-published titles and helps authors create quality products that can sit on a shelf next to any best-seller. As long as an author takes his or her time to create a professional book that is formatted and edited well, then there is no reason a Lulu book can’t make it into a library.

It is important to note that some libraries do prefer certain bindings and can be reluctant to stock others like comb bound and saddle stitched (stapled) books. If you’re thinking about pursuing library distribution, it might be a good idea to call ahead to see what their requirements for submittal are.