November 7th Lulu sponsored and attended the first annual Self-Publishing Book Expo (SPBE) at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers. While the event drew a modest crowd, SPBE offered a great chance for Lulu to speak with the community both one on one and through our various workshops and executive-led panels. All of the Lulu staff involved were proud to be a part of something that inspires creativity while informing authors of all their options. Even our CEO Bob Young made it out to the event to discuss Lulu’s exciting transition into open-publishing!
Lulu had a great presence at SPBE. We had a sizable booth space, and passed out reusable tote bags. At one point, people in the hotel lobby asked where they could get one of the “cool orange bags”. We had a contest and gave away some bose in-ear headphones and a Primer Publishing Pack. From 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, Lulu staff manned the booth to field questions, educate people on the Lulu process, and offer demonstrations. Nick and Harish gave a well-attended panel on how social networking will change self-publishing. I think everyone learned a lot from the experience on both ends.
For me, the event reinforced why I work at Lulu. At its core, Lulu is about sharing ideas and spreading knowledge. We understand that you’ve worked really hard to get your content out there and you want to get it in front of as many people as possible. Things like Lulu’s non-exclusivity and extensive distribution options are things that should go hand-in-hand with self-publishing. When I explained all the things we currently do and plan on doing to help make an author’s self-published book more visible, people’s jaws honestly dropped! It was a great feeling, and I look forward to more opportunities to interact with customers face-to-face.
We got some great ideas in New York while introducing people to the idea of open-publishing. Lulu hopes to continue to be a part of events like SPBE that give us the opportunity to just talk with people. If you have suggestions of events or community gatherings you think Lulu should be a part of, please don’t hesitate to send them in!