A Look Ahead: Lulu in 2018

Happy new year!

2017 was a pretty awesome year here at Lulu. And we’re aiming to make 2018 even more awesome.

How are we going to manage that?

Well, we’ve got some things up our sleeve. Last week I talked a little about how our platform has developed over the last year. 2018 is going to be another year of technological innovation and growth for Lulu.

New Year, New Look!

The first thing you might notice is a new look for the blog. We’ve updated the theme we use. Our old one was, well, old. So we switched to the widely popular Baskerville theme.

I’d love to hear feedback on how the blog looks, so please drop a line in the comments! While we like this theme, it does have some limitations and differences from our old one. If there are features you miss (or new ones you’d like to see!) let us know and we’ll work that into our plan going forward.

Resolution Time!

Yeah, yeah. New year, new year’s resolutions. We all do it. Eat healthier. Exercise more. Take up a new hobby.
Lulu has a resolution this year. In fact, it’s the same resolution we have every year. To provide the best free tools for self-publishing, to print the highest quality print on demand books in the industry, and to give everyone the opportunity to tell their story.

I know, nothing groundbreaking. In fact, it may even be a bit clichéd. I don’t mind. Because Lulu’s mission has always been a driving force behind our growth and development.

Publishing – Past, Present, and Future

Pew Research Book Habits study
Pew Research book preferences

The publishing industry is in flux. Traditional publishers are quickly adopting new models. Think about how many printed materials have vanished from our lives in the last two decades. Maps. Cookbooks. Phone books. Our smartphone supplanted all these materials with its ease of use and high mobility.

And yet books have been somewhat resistant to the wave of change technology brings. Certainly, some types of books have seen their necessity wan, such as Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. The appeal of the digital form is too great for books in such constant states of change.

But for other forms, like novels, manuals, and textbooks, the relevance of print is as strong as ever. Unlike many predictions, ebooks did not overtake print. In 2016, Pew Research conducted a survey on the trends in reading habits – the information they gathered is enlightening:

Not only do more readers prefer reading in print, but only a slim margin (6%) of respondents also admit to only using digital.

What this means to us is that printing is alive and well! Of course, we’ve always known that, as we watched our number of books printed per year steadily grow. What the data does not mean is that the traditionally accepted means of printing can’t change.

In the early 2000s, publishing experienced what many dubbed “Publishing 2.0,” a shift toward digital and electronic means of content distribution. This was the self-publishing revolution.

Well, that revolution is still in full swing. This year and in the years to come, Lulu will be leading the charge toward more and better means of accessing, creating, and distributing your content.

Content, Content, Content!

Alright, I won’t beat the point to death. Lulu is all about innovation in 2018. That’s our goal and direction.

But underlying that is our commitment to content. Not just providing writers of all stripes a means to publish and distribute their content, but in being a company rich in our own content.

For us, this takes the form a continual dedication to participate in writing communities. Look for us out in the world at conferences and events all over the US this year, from coast to coast.

It also means doing what matters right here in our own backyard. We’ll continue to volunteer our time and energy for local organizations and groups—thanks in large part to Lulu’s commitment to providing employees paid time off for volunteering.

Finally, it means offering our users the best publishing and distribution tools and information out there. We’re as committed as ever to providing you the means to publish your way, to print your book, and to do so for the most reasonable prices.

2018…

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

…is going to be a crazy year. From all of us here at Lulu, we wish you a happy new year and invite you to join us on this adventure in publishing. Don’t just watch the evolution of self-publishing; become part of it!

12 thoughts on “A Look Ahead: Lulu in 2018”

  1. I love the feel of paper and books I love in my hand. I also love the feel of a library with the magic and smell of a new book… digital is convenient but can replace this feeling…

  2. love the feel of paper and books I love in my hand. I also love the feel of a library with the magic and smell of a new book… digital is convenient but CANNOT replace this feeling…
    This is the correction to my previous statement

  3. Shoot, I still use printed maps and cookbooks. And I don’t even own a smart phone! 🙂
    And, admittedly, I have never bought an ebook in my life (thought I read the free ones from Project Gutenberg).

    1. Hi Stephen,
      You bring up a good point that I didn’t touch on – all of those formats that are less popular are NOT dead and gone. They simply have a smaller and more concentrated niche than in days past.
      I intend to dig into how authors with cookbooks and the like still have a place in the market despite our modern-day reliance on technology. In fact, with the market shrinking, it actually makes it easier for folks who specialize in cookbooks or similarly focused types of books to find and engage would be readers.

  4. You can’t curl up with a good ebook. You don’t have to plug in a real book, and it never goes offline. Ever.

  5. Pingback: It starts with a vision. My book is doing well!! | Undefined

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