View Full Version : Schedule, and Working with Lulu

09-24-2005, 01:25 PM
I'll keep you updated here on my talks with Lulu. The communications manager was very enthusiastic and is talking to the financial manager and the president of the company to see how they can help us.

I studied their site and instructions more closely tonight (and I still have a bit to go), but we've run into a few snags...

First, I thought we just needed to pay the $35 for the ISBN, which a kindly donor has already contributed. On closer inspection, it looks like what we actually need is the Global Distribution Service, which costs $150. Here are the details:


It looks like we won't be in Ingram's database unless we purchase that service. I've just written to Lulu to see if they'll waive the rest of that fee; we'll see what they say.

The other snag is in timing. Let's say the book is complete and ready to go on October 10th. I figured I could upload it and it would be available almost immediately. Well, that's half-true-- it'll be available from Lulu's site almost immediately, but it can take up to 6 weeks for it to appear on Amazon and BN.com and in bookstores' databases. So if we get a big publicity push going in mid-October, it could be wasted if the book isn't actually listed as available in bookstores' databases and on the major online stores until the end of November.

I'm going to talk to Lulu and find out how they can help us to possibly speed up the process. This is part of the reason I've been afraid to announce an official release date, though-- there's always something. ;)

IF we can't speed up the process, it looks like the schedule will look something like this:

Sept. 24 - I'll finalize back cover copy.

Sept. 25 - Cover artist will turn in his revised front cover. Last call for edits. (I'm just waiting for 2 or 3 pieces at this point.) I'll finalize intro and acknowledgments.

Sept. 26 - Copyediting starts. If the cover is final, people can work on the poster, flyer, brochure, etc. Dawno can work on a button/banner. Work on press release, website copy, etc.

Oct. 1 - Proofreading.

Oct. 3 - Layout/formatting.

Oct. 5 - I'll send a copy of the final manuscript (in either Word or PDF format) to all the writers. Writers are asked to check their work closely and make sure there are no typos, their names are spelled right, bios are in place, etc., and approve any edits we may have made.

Oct. 8 - Last-minute tweaks and corrections based on writers' feedback.

Oct. 10 - Turn in the final manuscript, cover, and book description to Lulu.

Oct. 15-17 - I should receive a review copy, which I'll read immediately and approve (assuming everything looks good).

Here's Lulu's explanation of what happens after that:

"Your book is updated in Books In Print on the Wednesday after you purchase a distribution service. However, your book is considered 'pending' for about two weeks. During this pending process, your book is checked against the Books In Print database to make sure there are no errors or duplications. This is all to protect you, to make sure your book is accurately listed and totally unique. After two or three weeks, the pending process will be over and you can look up your book.

"Most bookstores update their database with new additions to Books In Print once a month. Although you should be able to see your book in Books In Print after two weeks, it may take six weeks or longer to see your book listed in bookstores. This is not the same as being included in an online bookseller's inventory.

"Your book is updated in Ingram's database within two days after you have approved your book for Global Distribution. However, because listings to the database are recorded monthly, your book is considered 'pending' for up to 30 days.
"Your book will be listed with major online booksellers within the next six weeks."

From what I understand, though, we can order it directly from Lulu right after I approve the review copy.

09-24-2005, 03:30 PM
Jenna - I've finally found a way to dovetail with your schedule - just get up at 5:30! :)

Wow - that's a lot to try and understand. I hope you're not feeling too overwhelmed as in - this is way more than I realized I was getting into! We'll keep you afloat and paddle for ya. Just saw to where and when.

I don't know if you've used Lulu yourself before but maybe you could check in with some AW members or others you know who have and see what their experience has been, if any, with some of these timing and distribution things.

Also - I'd be happy to make a partial donation toward the Global Distribution cost.

09-24-2005, 03:36 PM
Can we get a copy of the front cover after approval? I can throw a couple of things on my site, but it's not really designed to take standard sized buttons, so I'll need to generate a couple of ads that will fit into my template.

(I'll be making up a vertical banner advert, and a front page block - I don't know if anyone else uses my dimensions, but anyone who wants to grab a copy is welcome to come grab - I'll post the URLs in the main thread)

09-24-2005, 03:48 PM
Make that one question... the other was a bad idea.

Would it help if sometime Monday if someone were to go to Ingram and talk to them about it?

I'm a very short drive away. I don't know the exact address but that's why somebody made Yellow Pages and Mapquest.

09-24-2005, 06:45 PM
Jenna's call of course, but I like that idea, Moondancer.

I wonder if we each could push our local bookstores to do a Books In Print update as soon as we know SOS is in there? I have no idea what's involved for them, but if it's not a matter of cost, just getting someone to spend a bit of time doing it, maybe they'd be willing.

Kim Gogo
09-24-2005, 06:53 PM
If it's $150 for the global distribution cost, with 100 writers, it's only a buck a pop. That being said, maybe not all are comfortable with sending money, even though, for the grand scheme of things, it's still for a worthwhile cause.

Jenna, if you ask people to commit to $2 each, perhaps we can cover for some who may not want to pay.

Just an idea.

Stories of Strength=SOS. That's so neat; I never even realized it. S.O.S. I'm so slow.


Robin Bayne
09-24-2005, 07:01 PM
Can we get a copy of the front cover after approvaal

Great idea--the sooner we get the cover the sooner we can put it on our sites and generate interest. :)

Ken Schneider
09-24-2005, 07:42 PM
I've already offered to donate money. I hate Paypal. They locked up my account and I can't get them to fix it. Arggg.

Jenna, give me an addy to send money to.

The P.O. box on your site?


09-24-2005, 07:43 PM
I'll pitch in a few bucks if you need it. Jenna, you prefer Paypal or check?

09-24-2005, 09:19 PM
Let's not pitch in any money ourselves just yet. We still have time. To be exact I'm 9.71 miles from Ingram. I have the address and a map now. Let me talk to them if it's okay with Jenna and see what we can get done through that route first.

One of the reasons I deleted that donations question is because someone pointed out to me that we don't want to look like we're buying our way into it. It would cast a pall on an otherwise wonderful and giving idea. So let's keep our giving to AW for AW and work on other avenues for financing.

09-25-2005, 12:07 AM
You people are awesome!

And guess what?

Lulu is waiving the rest of the fee...

and donating their profits as well.


(Lulu normally takes a 25% cut of the royalties, but in this case, they're going to donate it directly to the Red Cross to support our efforts.)

Steph, I think that would be awesome (visiting Ingram). How cool that you live so close!

For those who are offering to donate-- you're amazing-- probably the best use of that money would be to buy copies to send to the media and to bring to bookstores/libraries. If you want to donate a copy to your local library, that would be great. Maybe they'd let you put up a poster about the project or leave flyers on the desk, too.

More soon...

Ken Schneider
09-25-2005, 12:32 AM
Thank to Lulu, and Jenna.

Okay, I'll buy books to send out as review copies.


09-25-2005, 12:36 AM
Don't forget i have the first $300 covered if needed

09-25-2005, 01:45 AM
You people are awesome!

And guess what?

Lulu is waiving the rest of the fee...

and donating their profits as well.

That's very cool of them. That also means they're going to promote the heck out of it, I bet.

09-25-2005, 01:50 AM
Jenna, that's fabbo! Thank you, Lulu! http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/emoteHail.gif

09-25-2005, 02:13 AM
Definitely coming together. Thanks, Lulu! Thanks, Jenna! Thanks, everybody!

I've got my job for Monday *grin*.

09-25-2005, 02:57 AM
I love Lulu. We should give them a free ad space or something. :) They're a class act.

I promise I'll buy lots of them...

09-25-2005, 03:09 AM
I don't think we should give ad space because after all it will say who the 'publisher' is on the book itself, and it sort of removes the incentive of Lulu to help us promote it if they get their name thoroughly associated by default, doesn't it? We want them to hold the book prominently on their website, for example. We want them to find ways of announcing their own involvement - the more voices the more noise!

It also presents problems then in getting other corporate sponsors - why should we sponsor someone elses advertisement, they might say.

A generous thank you in the acknowledgements plus various mention in whatever press coverage we get (whenever the percentage profit donated gets discussed, their generous decision should be emphasised, for example) should be more than enough. IMHO

Edit: I've also thought of something else.. If they didn't say 'we'll do this if you print a huge ad for us' then it is unfair of us to give that impression to the general public. They've done this because (at least to the largest part, anyway) they wish to support the relief effort - and they didn't place stipulations of that kind on us so we don't want to make cynical people assume that they did.

Edit2: DOH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've just realised, you meant ad space at AbsoluteWrite website, no? sorry to be so silly and not realise sooner.

Ken Schneider
09-25-2005, 03:25 AM
LOL! abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz,

09-25-2005, 04:17 AM
Edit2: DOH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've just realised, you meant ad space at AbsoluteWrite website, no? sorry to be so silly and not realise sooner.

Yes, that's what I meant. However, if it's not a good idea, that's okay. Just wanted to mention it.