When self-publishing was created, the idea was and still is, for authors to have more control over creative content and royalties. There was a need for transparency and a more open, general forum around what happens to writers work and where the limitations were. Companies like Lulu Publishing handed back the reins to writers like myself, effectively opening up the possibilities through knowledge sharing. When you think of publishing, you think of all the great novels written throughout history, right? Thanks to Lulu.com, the possibilities around publishing are broader than you may comprehend… and it’s not all about novels.
To begin to realize these possibilities, you need to understand that writing is more than just putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboards. Writing is a tool to exercise a message or an opinion. It is part of your higher self; a sixth sense which, for most writers, is how we communicate with the rest of the world. Our art is what moves us through existence and validates our voices. But stories are not the only vessel. Through whatever you enjoy doing, you can extend that craft in to a form of a book.
The world is filled with creatives who are too anxious to move in to view. Let a book BE YOUR LIGHT. Let your words stand the test of time. Allow your creative freedom to travel all across the world, across cultural divides and through generations. Everybody has a different definition of success, so YOUR version is as valid as the next person’s. Long after you’ve left this world, how will you be remembered? What will you leave behind? What can you offer those who look to you for guidance? Wheather you believe it or not, you ARE the most valuable person on earth. Why? Because it’s why you’re here. So, how will you allow history to remember you?
Here are some ideas to get you thinking…
Fashion Designing: Fashion designing requires pattern making, which can be scaled down/recalculated later on. Creating a book of your best designs is a way to showcase your work and keep a record for yourself and potential, future clients. There is an incredibly creative woman I once had the privilege of meeting in New York. Her name is Lesley Ware and she is a fashion powerhouse. An author alredy, her newest title is called Lesley Ware - Love Your Style. She is also involved in the Artware PopUp Movement in New York City. When I spoke with Lesley, she told me she was making books to help young people learn how to create their own clothes. Today, she is making a real difference in her community and her chosen field. She is a true role model!
Read more about Lesley Ware at - https://www.lesleyware.com
Photos via @creativecookie
Group Anthologies: You may not be ready to write a full novel, but you have a great short story. Maybe your friends do too! A group anthology or collection of work can easily be created in the Lulu.com website. Royalties can be split by percentage with one, easy-to-access, login for all contributors. Short stories are a really great way of introducing readers to a group of writers, who may even have writing different styles. At Limelight Publishing, we recently began working on a beautiful anthology of artwork with brief captions by a group of mothers. The stunning book captures where these women are in their lives at the moment and where they feel they should be. They talk of their dreams and as a mother myself, it is a book that moves me. This is a great idea when it comes to creating group books with age-old friends.
Guinness World Records: There are so many records to beat. Why not create a book about your journey, your training, your goals, your challenges to overcome, and indeed, your results – what a journey a legacy! If you make it, you may also get featured in the Annual Guinness World Records Official book too!
Photos in books. Not all authors write stories. Are you a photographer? As with Fashion Designing, this is a great way to showcase your photography, to keep or prepare for a pitch/meeting or presentation. If you are having a gallery showing, creating a book of your work on the night is a great gift for those who attended.
Family. Do you simply enjoy taking photos? Do you have family memories/a Family Tree, you’d like to catalogue? Many of us wish we knew more about our ancestry. Imagine having a book of information from your great, great, great, grandparents? With Lulu.com, books can always be edited too, so this idea is a brilliant way of passing on the knowledge to new family and even passing on the role of editing and adding information. A collection per family or one big book. The choice is yours because with lulu.com, YOU retain creative control.
Gifts. Creating a book as a gift is not as difficult as you may think. Again, to be an author, you don’t have to write a novel. Gifting someone a book about how special they are to you, with a few lines per page, is a lovely idea, especially for teenage kids who would rather be on screens than reading words on paper. Let them know how much you care by allowing them to open up any page and hear your loving words for them. This one is also a great way to pass on advice you may not have received in your own life.
Journals. Creating a journal is a great way to build on your relationship with your kids. By gifting them a personalised journal, you can help to encourage emotional confidence through writing. Journals can also be about travel or a journey taken.
Coloring Books. Outline your family images, favourite places, or use your creativity to draw anything you like to reach any audience. There are endless possibilities. And, in the case of one of our wonderful Limelight authors, Demene Benjamin, we see a merge between the concept of coloring and journal, in True Colors.
Cookbooks. Do you love cooking? Why not create a book of your favourite secret recipes, to sell, or to simply pass on to future generations? Recipes are known to be the fabric of society. Often, cultures come together through food and diverse crossovers often make for fun and innovative new dishes. If you’re the type of person who loves sharing food creations online, this is a great option for you!
Music and Song Writing. Writing music is an artform within itself. As a poet and writer of stories, I know how hard it is to write lyrics and music. Being able to write music is an incredible gift and everyone is are looking to those who know how to do it for guidance. Music is a universal language, so these types of books can be far reaching and relate to a diverse range of readers/artists. Together with song writing, the ideas for books about writing and music, are endless.
Record keeping and Observations. The first thing that comes to mind is bird watching. How many of you have a hobby? How many of you have an interest that while may be part of a community, have a unique vision with it? This is your time to create a book that showcases your skills and art.
Collaborations. Think of this idea as building a house. To do this, you might need some of the following; an architect, a carpenter, a plumber, plasterer, electrician, gardener, painter, and maybe even a foreman. You can create a book based on work to showcase, or a how-to, or a single project-based book detailing all the obstacles that you all overcame. You could then include anyone else involved – estate agents, anyone hired for other work, and detail the entire process with great photos and a timeline. This idea can be adapted to any project.
Charity work. Books are not always about making money. In fact, for a lot of writers, there needs to be a level of understanding that success is still met without a single sale. It’s about feeling accomplished, helping others, and doing what you love. Charity work works the same way. Why not document the work you do to encourage and influence others to do the same? Remember, books on Lulu.com can remain private and not for sale, accessed only to be printed by you.
Teaching/Instruction Manuals. Mechanic, Tennis Instructor, School Teacher, IT Professional - all industries and any professions need skilled workers. You’ve been chosen for that role precisely because of those skills. And while you have spent the past years in that profession, you’ve become an expert at the role. You’ve also created your own unique way of working and problem solving. You can help others achieve their own success by writing what you know.
Lulu Publishing are your (friendly, innovative, transparent, and caring) support team, which means that there is still hard work to be done after you have written your book. Think of Lulu as a set of stairs. As you climb, you have to put in the hard work. You need to continue to work building your brand, which will increase exposure and ultimately sales. Lulu are the best way in which to ground your ideas, but your additional actions can take you on your own unique path.
You should still be working on;
Social Media Marketing and Brand Building (Vlogging and Blog posts). It is important to target the right audience and appeal to potential followers and buyers. Be honest, creative, and fun! Talk about what you know and love.
Networking. Always talk proudly about your achievements and never downplay compliments. You earned it!
Public Speaking. Take any opportunity to be a speaker at events, even if it’s unpaid. Building your reputation is key. There is nothing to fear when discussing your own work, milestones, challenges, and achievements. After all, you are the expert about you own work.
Print book to giveaway. Always have copies of you book with you to gift. This is the best kind of resume.
Don’t limit yourself. It is a misconception that you shouldn’t switch genres. With lulu.com you have all the tools you need to create a children’s book after a fiction novel, or a cookbook after a poetry title. Never limit your creative curiosity.
Make it easy. At lulu.com you have what is called a Spotlight page, where readers can see all your work in the one place. Use this as a landing platform for sales and links on social media. When they know where you are, they’re likely to revisit and refer others.
I repeat; The world is filled with creatives who are too anxious to move in to view. Let a book BE YOUR LIGHT. Let your words stand the test of time. Allow your creative freedom to travel all across the world, across cultural divides and through generations.
Everybody has a different definition of success, so YOUR version is as valid as the next person’s. Long after you’ve left this world, how will you be remembered? What will you leave behind? What can you offer those who look to you for guidance? Wheather you believe it or not, you are the most valuable person on earth. Why? Because THIS is why you’re here.