Articles tagged "tech"

Lulu.com Backs BookLamp’s ‘Gamification’ Kickstarter Campaign

Company That’s Helped Millions Tell Their Stories Contributes $30,000 to Help Tech-y Generation Bond with Books

(Raleigh, NC/ Boise, ID) — Nov. 13, 2012 – Open publisher Lulu.com today announced it will pledge $30,000 to BookLamp’s “The Game of Books” kickstarter campaign, designed to bring the joys of reading to a new generation. The contribution amounts to almost a third of the campaign’s fundraising target, and Lulu hopes to encourage others to also support the innovative use of gaming and technology to promote reading.The public face of the massive Book Genome Project, BookLamp is building The Game of Books as an app, a digital card game, and a way to promote young adult reading in schools and libraries across the country. It combines elements of Foursquare with Xbox Live-style gamer achievements (such as badges) to encourage social reading.The blend of new tools and timeless thrills is exactly what attracted Lulu, a pioneer in self-publishing since 2002.“Lulu continues to look for ways to move the publishing industry in new directions,” says the company’s marketing chief Brian Matthews. “The means of finding new books today is relatively limited: the media, word of mouth and bookstores. The Game of Books and the Book Genome Project add an engaging new element. Gamification becomes a way to discover books you just might love and to connect with a new generation.”Matthews adds that while The Game of Books should spur more reading in the long run, in the short term he hopes book lovers of all kinds — from corporations to individuals — will help write a happy, successful ending to the Kickstarter campaign (closing Dec. 17).
For more information, please contact media@lulu.com.

Lulu Presents at the Mongo DB Conference in Atlanta

I do not speak engineer speak. Luckily, Lulu has a team of brilliant team of engineers who do speak that foreign language and speak it well. So well, in fact, that our Senior Engineering Manager Kevin Calcagno is presenting today at the Mongo DB Conference hosted by 10gen in Atlanta on his experience and expertise using the Mongo database system.

Mongo DB is a free, open source solution (to be more specific, an open source NoSQL database), which is part of the attraction for Lulu, since Lulu has always supported the concept of free, open source software. Lulu itself is open-source software that we make available for anyone to use for free. For more info on how to build your own publishing business using our APIs, read this: Expand Your Business With Custom Publishing Solutions. Our history with open source extends even farther back in time to when Lulu CEO Bob Young founded Red Hat.

Kevin has spoken at a Mongo event before, hosted at our Lulu headquarters here in Raleigh. For slides of his past presentation, look to farther: Why we decided NoSQL was right for us, How we came to choose MongoDB.

“When we hosted here, we had so many people attending that we had to start stealing chairs from people’s desks around the office to provide enough seating!

Kevin’s talk today will focus on the insights he can provide based on Lulu’s experience using Mongo DB. He plans to give his audience a sense of what prompted us to switch to Mongo, what the implementation process was like and what we tripped on along the way so that they don’t have to.

“Mongo is really freaking fast,” Kevin says. “Whereas our old system, since it had to pull together so many pieces of data, was comparatively slow. Fractions of seconds add up pretty quickly when you have the volume of traffic that we do.”

The Mongo DB Conference is a very technical conference, but highly recommended for those with the appropriate knowledge base. And, just a little nudge in the right direction, if you fit that description, Lulu encourages authors with technical expertise to publish their information, books, manuals and more through Lulu.com.

And if this tech speak is over your head, what is important for you to know as an author is that Lulu’s engineers are working hard every day to provide the best way to keep your valuable information and content safe, organized and easily accessible.

Lulu at Internet Summit 2010

The 2010 Internet Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina wrapped up yesterday, with Internet professionals and entrepreneurs from across the United States coming together to discuss topics such as mobile marketing and social ecommerce. Our very own Bob Young was a keynote panelist and featured speaker discussing the future of both the web and books – no doubt two very broad and engaging topics.

Bob’s featured talk was entitled “There is No Such Thing as a Book” – claiming that “whatever replaces the book on the Internet is not going to look like a book.” During Bob’s talk and as a fan of René Magritte, I couldn’t help but imagine someone somewhere in the world wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a Kindle or an iPad and the sentence “Ceci n’est pas une livre” (I’ll wait while you go Google Translate that).  Traditionally, we have all come to know and love books in their physical form, but now, “books” are hyper-mobile strings of binary code easily accessible and translatable on multiple devices. A modern-day book’s physical properties are seemingly confined only by the Wi-Fi signals that transmit them.

Bob argued that, “the device you are reading on is going to become more pleasurable,” as a plethora of textual enhancements like video and hypertext accompany the written word. The question for some, however, is whether all you need is a good story? Things like video, hyperlinks and an Internet connect may actually detract from a book’s narrative – diminishing the pleasure derived from an uninterrupted read. Personally, I think that in the future, some readers may intentionally choose to remain on one side of the digital divide, opting to read stories on books – not devices. But of course, that will remain a question of preference and choice, and if there is one thing the future of the web will include – it is choice.

For those of you who were unable to attend the event and enjoy all the interactivity that digital media has to offer, be sure to check out a recap of the lively discussions on Twitter #isum10.

We’d like to thank the organizers of the Internet Summit for putting on such an informative and well-organized event, and we look forward to seeing you again next year.

Reach More Readers, Sell More Books with Upgraded eBook Tool

Interesting read in the Wall Street Journal this morning:

People who buy e-readers tend to spend more time than ever with their nose in a book, preliminary research shows.

That’s great news for authors, because it shows that eBooks are creating ever more sales opportunities for their work. Here’s even better news: Lulu now makes it easier than ever to create eBooks and reach readers all over the world.

We’ve updated our eBook wizard so that you can instantly publish to both U.S. and international versions of the iBookstore, including the U.K., Germany, France and Canada. And we’re hard at work opening even more channels — our goal, in fact, is to create the most vibrant, multi-retail eBook publishing tool available.

Indeed, our revamped tool is designed so authors who upload eBooks today will automatically have them distributed to other regions, marketplaces and devices as they become available. That effectively makes Lulu a one-stop shop for eBook publishing. To quote one of my favorite infomercial personalities:  “Just set it, and forget it.”

Why do all this? Because more eBook channels lead to more sales. In the first three months of iBookstore distribution, Lulu authors sold more than 6,000 eBooks and earned more than $30,000 in revenue. In the first week of our new eBook publishing tool, Lulu authors have sold three times as many eBooks globally than they could in the U.S. alone.

Now, that’s something to get excited about.