Author Spotlight Pages: New And Improved

Author Spotlight Updates Blog Graphic

Back in April of 2020, we launched our major site update. At the time, a few longstanding features of the Lulu Bookstore weren’t included. Over the previous months, we have been adding these features back (and improving on most of them!). Today, we’re happy to say Author Spotlights have returned!

What Is An Author Spotlight?

The old Author Spotlight was a unique page for your Lulu account—featuring your books plus information like links to your social media, website, and more. These old Spotlight pages offered a fair amount of customization, but there were limitations too.

Most significantly, the old Spotlights listed your books in the order of most recently revised. Meaning it was difficult to maintain organization. And we let you add custom HTML to some areas of the page (notably for adding a YouTube video), resulting in a number of Spotlights with broken code that simply wouldn’t load. 

Our old Spotlights had some problems.

When we looked at solving them, we ran into numerous technical concerns. So we decided to just start over. 

Today’s Author Spotlight is still a page dedicated to sharing more about you and your books. It’s the perfect way to organize your books and gives your readers a place to find everything you’ve published. 

Let’s take a little closer look at our new Author Spotlights.

Promote Your Work

Your Author Spotlight is listed under ‘Promote Your Projects’. If you created a Spotlight on our old site, you should see information about Unpublishing or Revising your Spotlight.

Note that Unpublish will delete the Spotlight and you’ll have to create it again.

If you haven’t created a Spotlight before, you’ll see this:

Promote My Projects - Create an author spotlight

Click the button and get started creating your Spotlight!

Author Spotlight Features

As of today, our Author Spotlights are pretty simple. We want to keep the focus on you and your publications. So we didn’t add a lot of bells and whistles to the page. 

Here’s the first half of the information you’ll be able to enter:

Create a Spotlight - First Screen

The first thing you’ll do is name your Spotlight. I suggest your author name or if you’re a publisher, the name of your imprint. Please note that this does not have to match your account information; use a pen name or company name if you’d like!

The description should give us a brief overview of you, your work, and anything we should know about you. Note that the description is text only; no HTML or hyperlinks.

Finally, upload a graphic! You can use a headshot or a logo for your publishing company. This image will appear in a circle to the left of your Spotlight Name and Description, so be sure to use something that will fit well.

There’s no size restriction for this image but you do want to use a square image. As you’ll see in my example below where I use a rectangular image, the result will distort if your uploaded image isn’t (roughly) a square. For the dimensions, I recommend around 612 x 612 px to ensure your image doesn’t slow load times and still looks clear and crisp. 

Create a Spotlight - Second Screen

The second half is where you list your website URL and social handles, as well as selecting a default view for your projects. You can sort them by date published and price. 

Author Spotlights In Action

Once you’ve added all your information and click ‘Save & Publish’ you’ll see the details you entered, along with some options.

Spotlight created, details view and edit options

I used a big, rectangular image and as you can see, it became very distorted. Everything else is a rundown of your other entries, including the description and social links. I’ve got the option to Unpublish (which deletes the Spotlight), Revise, or Copy the link.

Here’s my Spotlight, made just for this example:

Nothing special and you can very much see how my image was distorted (because I used a rectangular image sized at 1900 x 1050 px).

Here’s a comparison using the same image cropped to 1050 x 1050 px.

Spotlight-Bad Image

Author Spotlights In The Wild

Let’s go find an Author Spotlight in the wild! I’m going to use Lynette Greenfield’s spotlight because I know she’s already updated it. Here’s the link to see her Spotlight.

And here’s a quick GIF to help you find an author’s Spotlight from a book’s details page:

As you can see, the Spotlight includes all the elements we already covered and lists the author’s catalog of books for you to browse. And, in case you missed it, Lynette shared a little about her publishing journey with us earlier this week. 

Spotlight Improvements

The Author Spotlights of today are just the first step in our improved spotlight pages. Over time we’ll release new features and options for you to sort your books, highlight specific titles, and more.

Be sure to create (or revise) your Spotlight today so readers can find you and your books on the Lulu Bookstore!

And if you notice a feature you’d really like to see, let us know!

Paul H, Content Marketing Manager

Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.

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Hi there. THanks so much for all this info. I am a first-time publisher on Lulu. I am confused about what to include in the Meta-Data section on the Author Spotlight page. Could someone help me?

I agree. I have multiple editions of my new novel and it’s hard to tell the difference between editions!

Hello. Could you please add the “Mailbox” feature to my Author Spotlight for contact feedback. Thank you in advance.

I would like for it to show publication type (hardback, paperback, ebook), as I have published each book in every format. Maybe even filtering by type, so that ebook readers won’t have to scroll past the paper books!

Please add the ability to sort publications by TITLE. I have several publications which are multi-volumes. Sorting by TITLE would then group all the books together as ABS-Vol-1, ABC-Vol-2, ABC-Vol-3, etc.
Currently, sorting by publish date does not put them in proper order when some volumes are revised.
Thanks for the consideration.

I’m really looking forward to the Spotlight Rows Aligning top and bottom when the title is more than 20 letters long to make it look organized. Maybe with a slight redesign using … tables? ellipsis? Then I’ll be so happy to direct customers to this Spotlight purchase books. What do you think?

I have the same problem, but not yet solved : It is not clear when I set it up what would be the link to the spotlight page. Is it possible to send me the link.Thanks in advance.

PS: I don’t have website by now. It’s in construction

Paul: It’s not obvious to me WHICH of my many current projects would appear on the Spotlight page. Hopefully it would ONLY be those that are Published and with “General Access” (and NOT those that are in Draft status or are published with Private Access or Direct Access). So would you please confirm exactly which categories of Project are programmed to appear on the Spotlight page. Thank you.

How about allowing simple HTML in the description? Certainly should be allowed, and various font changes would be very nice.

I’d like to know how to better promote my book, The Man on the Spectrum’s Journey, by Ken H Daniels. I am willing to post my photo.

Glad Author spotlight is back. The link pasted into newsletters, facebook, and so forth worked well for me in the past. I appreciate the effectiveness of less features on the improved Lulu site. I’ll work on my Author site, and I’ll alert our publishing firm’s PR folk of this option

It would be nice to customize the order of our books instead of the four options of pub date (descending or ascending) or price (descending or ascending). Revised books take on the revision date but may not be the latest book published although leading the shopper to believe it is that last book published. Actually, I’d prefer to keep the original published data on my books instead of the revision date.

How do i transfer current spotlight files to new spotlight?

We used to have a bookstore name and it would be good to bring it back. I also think you to let us have a choice to arrange the order of the books ourselves.

I’m very glad to see this feature back. Go, Lulu!
Two comments:

1. It was not clear when I set it up what would be the link to the spotlight page. I managed to guess what the link is by imitating your “wild” example. I could not find a link from a book’s entry in the project list or in the shopping cart to the spotlight.

2. It would suit me better (as a publisher) if I could suppress some titles shown on the spotlight from time to time, so as to highlight others.

Hi. Can you add advertising feature, please! So, we can advertise our books in a chosen category for readers. We can pay a fee to you. This will save us a lot of time. I like Lulu too much and I want to advertise my books on your website.

Are there any plans to bring back the customisable previews for projects, please?
I’d just got the hang of those before they disappeared.
They were very useful for showing contents pages of non-fiction titles, as well as a few sample pages.

I discovered the new Author Spotlight several days ago and enjoyed using the new features. Much of my old info was outdated so this is a real plus! I managed to post an oval photo by “squishing” the aspect ratio of the uploaded image and it came out fine. Thanks for all the improvements! Lulu is the best!

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