Articles tagged "talk"

eBooks and the Future of Publishing

Last Tuesday, Lulu attended the “Future of Book Publishing” roundtable at the New York Public Library, hosted by Kodak. Lulu’s own Paul M., along with Lulu author Melinda Roberts, were there to discuss the top technological and economic challenges facing the publishing industry today.

The panel provided a unique opportunity to gain first hand insights and perspectives from publishing insiders including authors, printers, and traditional publishers.

“One of the main topics was of course eBooks,” said Paul. “The convergence of e-sales and POD technology are exerting pressure on both ends of the supply chain. Everyone wants to know how this effects each industry stakeholder’s overall strategy.”

As customers continue to discover a myriad of new devices to purchase and read books with, eBooks are definitely worth keeping an eye on. What is perhaps more interesting is the fact that out of last December’s total eBook sales, many of the top sellers were self-published authors, according to research done by authors Derek Canyon and Robin Sullivan.

“Many of these authors don’t have a traditionally published book under their belt,” said Paul. “It’s not just people that are already famous, going out on their own and selling a bunch anymore. Some of them are Lulu authors and they are selling hundreds of thousands of copies.”

In the past, it could take upwards of 18 months before an author’s work would be available for sale. Now authors can easily create a book and have it out for sale in a matter of minutes, either electronically or in print. Either way, books are evolving to a point to where they aren’t made until they’re bought and paid for. The days where a publishing house had to guess how many books they thought an author would sell and then “print and pray” based off that estimate are numbered.

“Lulu is empowering people to create self-sustaining businesses with their print and electronic books,” Paul says. “Authors can sell their work in the format their customers prefer, and with our global print network, authors literally have the world at their fingertips.”

Visit the Kodak roundtable site to learn more about the event and the future of publishing. And be sure to keep checking lulu.com to see what exciting new ways we’re helping authors and publishers profit by enabling them to bring their knowledge and expertise to their customers more easily than ever before.

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

Yo-ho-ho! International Talk Like a Pirate Day Is Upon Us.

Avast, me hearties!  X marks the spot on your calendars for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLPD) this Sept. 19th.  It’s your annual opportunity to send your roommate to the galley to fetch more grog or to call your mother a bilge rat.**

ITLPD has gained quite a following in the 15 years since it was started by two

Lulu authors, Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers and John “Ol’Chumbucket” Baur.  What started as a game between a few friends has grown into an international phenomenon.  People look forward all year to the day when they can get away with dressing up in puffy shirts and bloomers while walking around all squinty-eyed and hunched over .  What is the secret to Summers and Baur’s success?  Obviously, everyone loves pirates and the chance to be creative.

Cap’n Slappy and Chumbucket also use savvy to keep their high-seas holiday afloat.  In addition to their website talklikeapirate.com, the duo have a series of books, like “The Maracaibo Caper and “The Sao Paolo Caper,” that’ll answer all your pirate jargon questions.

If you want to join the swashbuckling pirate ranks but don’t know where to start, Lulu can help. Check out these other great pirate inspired tales:

**I seriously do not recommend calling your mother a “bilge rat”.  This did not go well for me last year. Be warned!

Talking about the Lulu Community

talktalk

by PinkMoose

We’ve recently revealed our shiny new forums and support platform for all to see. Now, while we’re actively tweaking them and improving them to be the best based on your feedback, I’d like to highlight a few conversations you might be interested in.

Waiting Room Copies – Has Anyone tried This Yet? – This discussion is focused around a particularly creative approach to marketing your work. EelKat says “On the table along side the usual stacks of magazines was a book. On the Cover of the book was a large round sticker which read: ‘Waiting Room Copy – to Order Your Own Copy Please Go to www—–’”

Participants Wanted – Julie Dawson is requesting submissions to benefit Doctors Without Borders. Julie states, “As many of you know, each year I sponsor a charity writing contest.  I mentioned in a previous post that I was thinking about giving away an Amazon Kindle for the grand prize this year.  After reviewing everything, I have decided that we will definitely be doing this.”

So… where’s the line? – In this discussion, Elmore Hammes asks, “When do you call it “literature” – is it just when the book doesn’t fit firmly in a genre such as science fiction or romance? Or does it have to elevate to a higher level of writing to be deemed such?”

How do I make something available as a free download? – The title says it all!

So, head on over to the forums and get to know other Lulus!