Drum roll please… You asked and we delivered. Introducing Lulu Direct, Lulu’s newest book printing & fulfillment tool connecting your platform to Lulu’s global print-on-demand network. Lulu Direct is the only solution that enables authors to sell, print, and fulfill books directly from their website completely hands-free.
What does this mean? Translation please! People can buy books from your website, and the print job comes to Lulu for printing automatically. No going to the post office or placing an order from another platform. With Lulu Direct, you know who is buying your books, marketing opportunities to connect with your audience arise, you can white label the shipping inserts, and you earn more money since there isn’t a third party taking a cut. Lulu is essentially your fulfillment provider in the background, and your brand is all the customer sees.
Why Lulu Direct?
A few years ago we created an app for Shopify that connects your Shopify stores directly to Lulu’s print-on-demand network. It has been wildly successful, with thousands of installations by creators who want to sell from their own websites. Some examples are Joselyn Martinez and Kelly Oliver.
The benefits are numerous, and the direct-to-consumer trend isn’t going anywhere. Direct-to-consumer sales puts you in control of your brand, puts more money in your pocket, and provides access to the marketing gold of knowing your customers.
By Kelly Oliver
Ivy League student Jessica James isn’t thrilled to be back home in Montana. But her boring summer break becomes a nightmare when her cousin dies at the local sawmill.
Over the years, I’ve spoken to many authors interested in connecting their website to our global print network. Whether they were entertaining using our free, open-source API, which requires technical talent, or simply looking for a way to link a product page to their site, connecting print-on-demand to their website has been a frequent request. For those who want an easy option, one of the most common questions I receive is “Do you have a solution for WordPress/WooCommerce?” Big plans have been underway to answer this question with “Yes we do!”
I’ve not written a book (yet!), but I do love to write. I’ve consulted with many authors to develop marketing plans for their books, and I can say for sure that launching a book is a momentous occasion. A few authors, men and women, have compared it to birthing a baby. Lots of preparation, planning, excitement, hope, and energy focused on welcoming something into the world. With that said, for me, the excitement around launching Lulu Direct feels like launching a book.
Big moments along the way have led to our internal enthusiasm… When our videographer Ashley came up with the name Lulu Direct in a team meeting, or when I started to get feedback from authors testing out the beta version of Lulu Direct. My favorite is when I could answer the question about having a WordPress plug-in available to those anxiously waiting. Now we get to pass on that enthusiasm to you.
Over here at Lulu, we’re super excited to announce a major launch thanks to lots of hard work from our team. Products we create should always answer: What do creators REALLY need? The key is thinking from the outside-in, looking at what tools we can create to make your lives easier. I love working with the team at Lulu to launch a new product, but this one has been especially exciting.
Selling Books With WordPress and WooCommerce
You’ll see both of these terms used on our website. WordPress is the platform and WooCommerce is the WordPress plug-in for ecommerce, powering the cart checkout system.
In 2021, 62% of the top 100 fastest-growing companies in the US (Inc. 5000) use WordPress. WordPress powers 14.7% of the world’s top websites, including a plethora of governmental and academic platforms. 500+ sites are built each day using WordPress. WooCommerce powers 22% of the top 1 million ecommerce sites in the world. It’s been around since 2003, which means it’s older than Facebook and Twitter.
The Modern Woman Planner
The Modern Woman Planner® is designed to be light and easy to grab. So you can stay focused and on track even when you’re on the go!
And for some random trivia, I found while researching that made me love it more: All WordPress releases are named after Jazz artists. WordPress 1.0 was named after Miles Davis and WordPress 4.6 was named after Pepper Adams.
What’s Next for Lulu Direct?
We hear you! Lulu Direct won’t stop with WooCommerce and Shopify. We plan on adding more platforms to Lulu Direct in the near future. Which ones? We’ll shout it from the rooftops when they roll out, so stay tuned.
If you’re reading this and like the idea but don’t have a clue where to start, poke around on the WordPress (or Shopify) platform and you’ll see how easy it can be to create a website. Next, visit the Lulu Direct platform on Lulu.com and connect your WordPress or Shopify account to Lulu.
We’re Here to Support You
We’ve built the resources you’ll need to get started. If you have questions about anything in particular, we have a dedicated team here to support you. Lulu has been around since 2002, and we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. With the launch of Lulu Direct, we’ve reimagined indie publishing once more, and invite you to reinvent the way you sell books and grow your audience.
Read our Press Release for the official announcement.
Sarah is the Ecommerce Marketing Manager at Lulu. Her primary role is to educate and help those who would benefit from our direct-to-consumer tools. Sarah is passionate about helping authors and publishers find ways to connect with their audience. In previous roles, she led public relations campaigns for over 75 authors and coached many more in preparation for their book launches. When not in the office, you’ll likely find her in the bleachers at her boys’ baseball games or cheering on the UGA Bulldogs.