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:
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:
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.
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.
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: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/paulhobday5b2bce8d
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.
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.
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 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.