Lulu Lens – How Can We Help Your Book Stand Out?

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Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about getting your book out there. With tools like weRead and our efforts to get you into new distribution channels, your period romantic comedy can be easily found alongside “Pride and Prejudice”, and your self-help book can be found with “The Secret”.

Last week we asked you, “Where would you like to distribute your products?” Many of you told us that you wanted to be able to find your book in a brick & mortar store, and we are listening to you. We’re looking at a variety of ways to help you realize your dreams, and for your book to be found in as many places as possible. However, this begs the question of once your book gets there, how can Lulu help your book standout?

Whether it’s on the Lulu site, Amazon, or even in a brick & mortar store, people need to be able to find your work and be interested enough to purchase it.

How can we help you?

We may not be able to do everything you suggest, but we will be listening to you and taking your feedback into account as we implement new and better ways to help you succeed, which is always our priority.

14 thoughts on “Lulu Lens – How Can We Help Your Book Stand Out?”

  1. Sarah,
    I would definitely like to see that happen, but if your book gets on the shelf, what can we do to help it stand out?
    Thanks,
    Nick

  2. Standing out on the shelf is a difficult thing to do. Obviously a good portion of standing out at retail is in having a cover that will attract attention, and that is mostly up to the individual authors themselves. Getting our books into brick and mortar is a great first step, but assuring they are listed within the right genre is even more important. A retailer that that carries Lulu books might not be inclined to list them within a genre, but instead under an “Independent Author” section. The average person sees the word “Independent” and assumes low quality.
    When(if) my books hits brick and mortar, I want it right next to other fantasy novels. It would be great to have a featured end cap in the fantasy section, but that might be an outlandish hope.
    Perhaps some more cover options might help as well. Foiled lettering? Raised print? I hate to say it, but a lot of people judge books on the cover they wear.
    What about a per-genre award system sponsored by Lulu? Authors may submit their finished novels for review, and Lulu reviews entrants, picking their favorites in each of the genres they print, and gives the top selections a special badge on the cover (somewhere out of the way, but noticeable). A book that says, “Winner of the Lulu Fantasy Award” is more appealing for having that small spot light. It’s like a voice whispering to the reader, “This is good stuff. You should buy it.” Plus, it gives Lulu another way to recognize its own community of writers.

  3. One way to make Lulu.com books stand out at a brick-and-mortar store is with one of those free-standing corrugated cardboard stands devoted to just Lulu.com books.
    Unfortunately, conventional wisdom says that self-published books were not good enough for conventional publishing, so they must be junk lit. Unless more reviewers review self-published books favorably, and more authors explore more options to get involved in their book’s promotion, there is no way anyone’s book can stand out.
    If traditional publishers want authors to do more publicizing of their works, then we are being unfair to Lulu.com to insist they work harder to promote our books for free. No one will be as passionate as you with your book.
    Remember that anything Lulu.com does to promote its books will place your book among thousands of other Lulu.com books, and we will be right back where we started. Promotion is the author’s responsibility, not Lulu’s.

  4. Heath,
    Those are some great ideas. I particularly like the book awards.
    Steve,
    Good points. I like the cardboard stand idea as well, and I wonder what it would be like if we could combine your idea with Heath’s? There could be displays in each genre with Lulu books in them. That may just be a dream for now, but it’s a great thought. I for one would love to be able to easily find independent books when I walk into a brick & mortar store.

  5. I can’t make my book stand out until I get it published. This is quite difficult, though. I want to make a hardback book with color interior. Lulu’s website says this can be down and gives me all the information I need in order to do it properly and even tells me exactly how much it will cost. Greta! Except, it doesn’t work. The publishing wizard will not let me choose a color interior. It defaults to B&W and the color option is greyed out. No combination of hardcover type or book size will ungrey the color option. All e-mails to Lulu are answered by the same form letter telling me to check out the help pages. There is no item in the help pages to address a non-working option. And there is no way, that I have found, to actually get a person to hear/read my problem and offer a solution. The solution may be “sorry we don’t do color anymore and we just haven’t gotten around to changing the website.” I can buy that… if I got the answer. Anyway, if I every do find a POD provider that will do a hardback book with color interior, I’ll be back for advice on making my book stand out.
    Thanks.

  6. Just spent far too long in two airports the last two days so I had lots of time to look through the bookstores. Some books/authors had some small (perhaps 8 x 10 inch) posters around. Perhaps the authors could pay a small fee to get a poster printed up that accompanies any book order.
    The cardboard stand idea was used by another publisher as well. Having a Lulu stand may be very effective.
    I think the best way to get the book noticed is to give the authors the tools to make the books look as professional as possible. Like Heath was saying, the raised print and foiled lettering would help.
    Just some random thoughts from wandering around the stores: some books and magazines offer CD/DVDs that accompany the book, that may help. Maybe not. 🙂

  7. Thanks Nick!
    I read Derwin’s reply, and it made me think… The idea behind adding a CD/DVD to a book is an interesting one, but that raises the question of what sort of content to distribute on the disc. How about including a copy of the e-book, and maybe cover concept art and such? Of course, this is getting a bit ahead of the game here, but it’s an interesting thought.
    What about audio books? I would love it if Lulu offered a way to get books recorded into audio format. I’ve tried making my own recording, but I don’t have the kind of voice, or the talent, necessary to make a good product.
    An audio book would be a great thing to put on CD and offer with the book. Plus, once the initial cost of the recording is finished, the data itself is incredibly cheap to reproduce. Offering that with the print version is the kind of value that would make people take a second look at an independent novel.

  8. Well To make it stand out, I don’t think it’s up to you guys, but to us. Each person is different in there own way and look at things different, I will see the tree and you will see the seed falling from the tree. We must be as creative as possible, all you have to do is get our books out their to catch the people’s eye. I would really appreciate that

  9. Re presentation. Although the books look great when they arrive, the covers do not seem to be the same quality as other paperbacks. After a short while they start to curl up. Can you explain why this is? To the guy who wants his book in hardback and colour interior, does he realise what this will cost? If he is prepared to pay, fair enough, but it will probably be unmarketable because too highly priced.

  10. Hi Nick: I received the personal reply regarding my REVENUE question. I appreciate the fact that there is a live person on the other end of this computerized process. I’m still working on current projects but would also like to know about ISPN If this is a free service I’m still not sure how and where to get one. Please respond again to karpax@msn.com. Again, thanks.

  11. Perhaps just creating a sections for new authors within a certain time frame. Like: “New Authors in Comics, or Art, or Biology”, you know. And if the author through lulu.com begins marketing, reasonably priced advertising through google is always good; whether it be on certain sites or just by search engine.
    I think a month of free advertising would be nice.

  12. I have just completed a book “On The Other Side.” It is a true story of World War 2, Germany. I am looking for a top notch publisher but feel uncomfortable doing business on line.
    I there any way that I could personally speak with one of your representatives. I would be happy to visit you in Raleigh.
    Please let me know if this is possible.
    Thank you!
    MS

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