Lulu Lens – What statistics about your book or account would be helpful for you?

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As many of you are aware, we’ve temporarily removed the hit counter from our product pages. We recently discovered it had introduced a security vulnerability on our site, and are working hard to fix and bring back this popular tool. We would also like to offer other innovative and effective ways to help you analyze the effectiveness of your marketing, generate more traffic, and sell more books. As such, we want to hear from you.

What statistics about your book or account would be helpful for you?

What tools would best help you improve marketing impact?

Let us know what you’d be interested in seeing, and we’ll see what we can do!

21 thoughts on “Lulu Lens – What statistics about your book or account would be helpful for you?”

  1. Hi, Nick,
    Great topic for a post! Thanks for soliciting our input.
    I have a blog on WordPress, and WordPress uses a number of tools that help me determine where traffic originates and which of my posts and links are generating the most interest. Among those tools is one that tracks referring web sites — i.e., it shows the URLs of sites where people found my blog (and the number of times each day someone clicked a link to my blog on one of those sites). There’s also a tool that displays the search terms people used that brought them to my blog. Very handy.
    In addition, although I’m not certain of its utility, it might be interesting to see the sales rank of my book. (That function hasn’t worked since I joined Lulu earlier this year.)
    And, of course, the hit counter was invaluable.
    You might take a look at WordPress and see which other stats they track — and how they do it. Really helpful stuff.
    Author, “Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007”
    Author/Photographer, “Lyon, France 2010” calendar

  2. I hope the hit counter can be restored soon. It was really handy! However, there may be privacy issues in giving more information as to where the hits came from…
    I also would like longer than 42 characters on hardcover spines (though I understand this is beyond lulu’s control) and a way to review the spine with everything else before publication.

  3. Ian,
    I don’t think displaying “referrers” — the way that WordPress does it — should raise privacy concerns. Essentially it shows the originating site (in my case, for example, WordPerfect Universe or Woody’s Lounge, as well as my own web site, among others). It doesn’t reveal anything about the individual who clicked a link to get to my blog.
    Knowing how someone found the blog gives me very useful information about my marketing campaigns. I think the same would be true with respect to our Lulu publications.

  4. Hey new to Lulu
    finishing up on a children book, can take any suggestions far as illustrations. Just trying to get it finished to start my new novel. Got any hits?

  5. Yes. Please bring back the hit counter.
    Would also like to see a hit counter (public or private) on my storefront.
    I’m not aware the sign up process for newcomers when buying a book is any more complicated than eg Amazon. But it has been suggested it is too lengthy and puts people off. Tracking how often books are added to basket but the buyer quits during sign up would answer doubts.
    Is there a way to speed through the process for customers already registered with eg PayPal? Eg they enter PP e-mail address and delivery address is fetched from PP so they don’t have to type it all in?
    YouTube displays detailed tracking of where all hits come from so presumably there are no privacy issues. All such info helps in marketing efforts so it would be much appreciated.

  6. Pie charts telling us where, when and how our customers buy would be helpful. This way we could better understand trends as well. Though I am not going to write anything just because of a “Vampire” or “Fantasy” Trend but like Amazon a (Also Bought) feature would be nice.

  7. I would like to be able to keep track of how many times a ‘free download’ has in fact been downloaded.
    It is rather annoying that I can’t keep track of how many people got my book without charging them for it.

  8. How about authors getting email notices of coupon codes? I sell a LOT more calendars on coupon code days. I post the codes on my Facebook page and bingo! I get orders!

  9. Thanks for the feedback everyone!
    You should already be able to check those stats, but it’s a little difficult to find. Log into your account and go to “More Details” under My Sales & Revenue Summary. From there, click on All-Time Revenue Summary and then Total Zero Creator Revenues. You should see a column that says downloads and a number next to each project you have published that allows for free downloads. The number is the number of times your project has been downloaded for free.

  10. A helpful statistic would be how many books I’ve sold through Amazon.
    I contacted Lulu to find out… who suggested I contact Amazon. Then I contacted Amazon to find out… who suggested I contact Lulu.
    It’s not very clear.

  11. I have two ideas actually. First, instead of a lengthy list detailing each individual sale, have a bar or line graph that shows the sales (both quantity and creator revenue although these could be separate graphs) over the periods of 1 day (based hourly – 24 bars), 1 week (based on 6-hour spans – 28 bars), 1 month (based on 1-day spans – 31 bars maximum), 3 months (based on 1-day spans – 92 bars maximum), 1 year (based on 1 week spans – 53 bars maximum), and “all time” (based on 1 month spans – no maximum). It should be easy enough to write a javascript to set the width of each bar to the correct length (I can provide the algorithm (in C which closely mimics javascript)).
    The hit counter is still a good one, but then again, combine this with that of the graphs (this would have to be a separate graph because 10,000 hits would easily overshadow a $700 creator revenue or 200 buys). Showing the actual figures (in a table) would also be helpful.
    The layout, as I’m seeing it, should involve 3 groups of buttons. The top group has the various projects listed with an “all projects” button. The middle group has “sales”, “revenue”, and “hits”. The bottom has “1 day”, “1 week”, “1 month”, “3 months”, “1 year”, and “all time”. One button from each group needs to be active. Let’s say “all projects”, “sales”, and “1 month” were active (which should be a good default). The graph shown would show all sales for all projects for each day in the past 31 days. It seems like a lot, but with if and else statements, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

  12. Priscilla Perez

    I hope it comes back soon. I really liked it alot and it was real helpful, too. When is it coming back?

  13. The hit counter has been gone for almost half a year by now; I have asked time and time again when it will be back, for the last few months also at Lulu’s Facebook side, but I never get an answer. Doesn’t Lulu take such questions seriously any more?

  14. First and foremost, make bringing back the hit counts your top priority. This key piece of information is how I measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign and better decide where and how to spend my marketing dollars. Without this information, I’m throwing darts into the dark.

  15. I agree with other Aaron’s post exactly. My book is non-profit, so It’d be great to be able to see how many times people download a free copy. Just to know that my hard work was put to good use 🙂

  16. I am very keen–not only as an industry columnist but as a Lulu author–to get monthly published statistics on eBook downloads, i.e. “April 2010 there were X number of Lulu eBooks downloaded”. Not for one title, either but more the collective eBooks downloaded on Lulu.
    That would be the most helpful of information, not only for general statistical purposes but for future marketing plans and for folks wondering whether or not to get into the eBook market at all. Thank you.

  17. For me the biggest thing is seeing the number of downloads, rather than the page hits. Also I find I actually “sell” very few of my books, and it’s my free downloads that are popular, so seeing some stats on those is key to understanding the degree to which I’m reaching an audience or not. I understand Lulu is a free service and basically I’m getting something for nothing here, and I am grateful, but as an indy author who’s realistic about his likely “print” sales, it’s e-book download stats that are important and which attract me to using the service.
    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  18. The “hit ” count is a valuable tool for authors……I recommend that you continue to post this information…..
    Explain how in detail that this service compromises security???????????????

  19. The freedom to access the HTML of your page, adapt and update to the mode that suits your own work. While the hit counter may be a risk for Lulu, it could be attached by the user at their own risk. Along with other widgets of choice. Many are already doing this and more would follow if they understood the means to access the store.

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