Any plans to improve the Author Spotlight page?

Hi all,

 

I've searched through the forums and can only find a thread about the problems with the Author Spotlight page that is very old.

 

Just wondering if there are any plans to address some of the problems with the current Spotlight?

For example, how to place books on the page in a logical sequence, rather than just the two (meaningless) options of 'relevance' - whatever that means, or 'publication date', which throws the books into a nonlogical order. Ideally I would like to place my books in the order I like, so I can keep a series together, and have print and ebook versions side by side.

Currently I am embarassed to point anyone to my Spotlight page....

 

Any comments?

 

Regards,

 

Sympol

Comments

  • Hi all,

     

    I've searched through the forums and can only find a thread about the problems with the Author Spotlight page that is very old.

     

    It used to get mentioned a lot, but there was once many more people using the forums to mention things. This incarnation is an 'improvement' from a previous one that was in fact better, but still annoying to use. We were asked our opinions and for suggestions first, but were ignored.

     

    Just wondering if there are any plans to address some of the problems with the current Spotlight?

     

    I doubt it. Lulu promise such things but they rarely happen, and if something does it's perhaps once every five years. Lulu is not really a book shop, it's a self-publishing site which just happens to allow people to also sell books they have created on it on the auto-generated Spotlights. The main asset is the Free ISBNs and Distribution to many many other and well-known book retail sites.

     

    For example, how to place books on the page in a logical sequence, rather than just the two (meaningless) options of 'relevance'

     

    - whatever that means, or 'publication date', which throws the books into a nonlogical order.

     

    There are all the categories down the left hand side also for those simply searching the site. I am just looking at Amazon and the only other options there are price High to Low but the others are the same as on Lulu.

     

    Ideally I would like to place my books in the order I like, so I can keep a series together, and have print and ebook versions side by side.

     

    That's is a good idea and often suggested.

     

    Currently I am embarassed to point anyone to my Spotlight page....

     

    Don't then  :-)   like so many of us do, create your own website, or if you have ISBNs (also) point people towards one of the many retail sites Lulu places us on. Take  look at my website.

  • Thanks Kevin,

     

    It sounds as I suspected that the Lulu Author Spotlight is a liability rather than an asset.

     

    I have my own website and have removed links to my Lulu spotlight - and am replacing them with links to various retail outlets such as my Amazon Author Central page. There are problems there as well:

    I have such sites at Amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, etc. so I need to put multiple links - it would be nice if Amazon could consolidate their international sites Smiley Happy

    The sort options at Amazon are also limited and do not allow for placing books in a series together either.

     

    Thanks for your feedback

     

    Regards, Sympol

     

     

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    I am satisfied with my spotlight. If someone can't find one of by books in it, then they can't be very intelligent, can they?

  • Potetjp

     

    If it were all about intelligence there would be no need for advertising.
    We would all look up the information required and base our purchasing habits
    on the research we had done. You, and I, have been academically trained to
    be independent thinkers but the world just does not work this way. There is
    a reason why you see ads on billboards as you move about any city. Ads sell.
    We rely on the pull factor to engage with the world. However, many people
    are influenced by the push factor. One size does not fit all.

    The OP, therefore, has a legitimate desire to arrange their Spotlight the way
    that best suits their needs.

  • Thanks Kevin,

     

    It sounds as I suspected that the Lulu Author Spotlight is a liability rather than an asset.

     

    I would not go that far, it is free and you need do nothing to create it.

     

    I have my own website and have removed links to my Lulu spotlight -

     

    Books often cost less from Lulu Spotlights, but postage often costs more.

     

    and am replacing them with links to various retail outlets such as my Amazon Author Central page.

     

    That's not really a retail page, AAC is a control console for your content there.

     

     There are problems there as well:

    I have such sites at Amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, etc. so I need to put multiple links - it would be nice if Amazon could consolidate their international sites Smiley Happy

     

    Why does it matter? People can select which country they are in and eventually your content will be on every Amazon site.

     

    http://www.amazon.co.jp/Circus-Pocketbook-Kevin-Lomas/dp/1447718852/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1456013307&sr=8-22&keywords=kevin+lomas

     

    The sort options at Amazon are also limited and do not allow for placing books in a series together either.

     

    They are more or less the same on any retail site. Credit potential buyers with some sense. If they search for your name all your books will be displayed in the result and they can add whatever they want to the cart before they click Buy.

  •  

    If it were all about intelligence there would be no need for advertising.

     

    Which often hopes that people are not all that intelligent.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There%27s_a_sucker_born_every_minute  Smiley Very Happy The OP is not really about that though.


    We would all look up the information required and base our purchasing habits
    on the research we had done. You, and I, have been academically trained to
    be independent thinkers but the world just does not work this way. There is
    a reason why you see ads on billboards as you move about any city. Ads sell.
    We rely on the pull factor to engage with the world. However, many people
    are influenced by the push factor. One size does not fit all.

     

    Is that not more about getting people to visit sites? Not what is then on them.

    The OP, therefore, has a legitimate desire to arrange their Spotlight the way
    that best suits their needs.

     

    Indeed, but can one expect the same on every book site our books are listed on? No. The only answer is one's very own website. If you look at my book section it's not hard to find what one wants without any need to offer the order they are seen in.  http://www.kevinlomas.net/KEVIN-LOMAS-BOOKS.html   If they wish to go direct to some retailers for all my content on one page then there's also this  >>  http://www.kevinlomas.net/index.html

  • Sounds as if there's no real demand for changes to the Author Spolight setup. Ideally I would like to be able to control the layout, content etc. using HTML but that's not going to happen, but it is something that I can do on my own web site.

     

    I can of course direct readers to a specific book page on Lulu from my website, where I can apply discounts and readers can get a better price, without having to use the Author Spotlight page - which is what I've done.

     

    Incidentally, I did contact Amazon, specifically about removing an older edition of one of my books (previously published under a different ISBN by a publisher who has gone out of business several years ago. They replied

    'I understand your concerns regarding the Detail pages appearance on Amazon, and I'm sorry we'll be unable to remove the Detail page for My Adventure with Pirates: Advanced My Adventure (My Adventure Advanced) and My Adventure with the Loch Ness Monster(Hardcover) as you requested.

    As you may know, we offer customers the opportunity to locate out-of-print books through our Marketplace feature. It is our aim to list a wide selection of titles for our customers' reference and convenience, so it is not our practice to remove a listing even when it is out of print.

    We also cannot remove the book from your bibliography. To provide the best possible customer and reader experience, we include all titles and formats available on Amazon.com in your bibliography. This includes works both in- and out-of-print.'

     

    Seems a shame that an author cannot control the listing of deleted books. But that's not Lulu's problem Smiley Wink

     

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    danielblue a écrit :

    Potetjp

     [...]  The OP, therefore, has a legitimate desire to arrange their Spotlight the way
    that best suits their needs.


    Yes, all things considered,  I agree with you, although I suppose there might be technical problems if each author organised their spotlight as they please because, by default, it reflects the order of publications in their list of projects.

    On the other hand, if somone is not satisfied with the sportlight, they can always delete it.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    Sympol a écrit :

    AMAZON : "As you may know, we offer customers the opportunity to locate out-of-print books through our Marketplace feature. It is our aim to list a wide selection of titles for our customers' reference and convenience, so it is not our practice to remove a listing even when it is out of print. "

     


    Indeed, some obsolete editions of my books are still advertised by Amazon and others.

    Now, I have just thought of it - let's turn this facility to our advantage - why not add an assessment to each old edition that would direct potential readers to the latest one? 

  • That's a neat solution Smiley Happy

  • Sounds as if there's no real demand for changes to the Author Spolight setup.

     

    It's not cheap to re-write software so it will not be done unless a large percentage start to ask for changes, and I doubt they will, and it's Lulu's site anyway, not ours, so the suggestions will possibly be ignored anyway. I also doubt that those who come here just to buy harass Lulu about changing the site, and I bet buyers don't moan at Amazon either about how their site is laid out. Strangely, before the last revamp of the Spotlights (which were called something else) Lulu asked in the forum for suggestions, but when the new Spotlight was unveiled many of the old options had simply been removed!

     

    Ideally I would like to be able to control the layout, content etc. using HTML but that's not going to happen, but it is something that I can do on my own web site.

     

    Indeed.

     

    I can of course direct readers to a specific book page on Lulu from my website, where I can apply discounts and readers can get a better price, without having to use the Author Spotlight page - which is what I've done.

     

    Exactly. All the content on the Spotlights has their own address.  http://www.lulu.com/shop/kevin-lomas/just-a-couch/paperback/product-15736463.html

     

    Incidentally, I did contact Amazon, specifically about removing an older edition of one of my books (previously published under a different ISBN by a publisher who has gone out of business several years ago. They replied

    'I understand your concerns regarding the Detail pages appearance on Amazon, and I'm sorry we'll be unable to remove the Detail page for My Adventure with Pirates: Advanced My Adventure (My Adventure Advanced) and My Adventure with the Loch Ness Monster(Hardcover) as you requested.

    As you may know, we offer customers the opportunity to locate out-of-print books through our Marketplace feature. It is our aim to list a wide selection of titles for our customers' reference and convenience, so it is not our practice to remove a listing even when it is out of print.

    We also cannot remove the book from your bibliography. To provide the best possible customer and reader experience, we include all titles and formats available on Amazon.com in your bibliography. This includes works both in- and out-of-print.'

     

    Yes, I keep telling people here that, and I can see their point. Amazon exist to please their customers, not us. But one of my books I withdrew years ago has no longer any alternative places to buy a used one or whatever, from listed, so you would think they would remove that. But then again one day someone on Amazon may have a used one to sell and it will also be listed on that book no longer available page again.

     

    Seems a shame that an author cannot control the listing of deleted books. But that's not Lulu's problem Smiley Wink

     

    Indeed it's not, and when all said and done all the on-line retailers' sites are their's do to with how they please, in the same way they can charge what they please for our books.

  • Yes, all things considered,  I agree with you, although I suppose there might be technical problems if each author organised their spotlight as they please because, by default, it reflects the order of publications in their list of projects.

     

    It also lists any Revisions as a 'new' publication at the top, no matter how tiny the Revision was, complete with new publication date.

     

    On the other hand, if somone is not satisfied with the sportlight, they can always delete it.

     

    Indeed they can. But it's not really doing them any harm and each Spotlight shows up-to 10 books allowing buyers to click on the one they want to see More Details about. It's not as if the Spotlights only list one book at a time, unless a person only has one book of course.  Smiley LOL

  • Indeed, some obsolete editions of my books are still advertised by Amazon and others.

    Now, I have just thought of it - let's turn this facility to our advantage - why not add an assessment to each old edition that would direct potential readers to the latest one? 

     

    You mean us promote places selling our used out of print books? Why?

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    kevinlomas a écrit :

    each Spotlight shows up-to 10 books 


    You mean 10 books per page. Mine has 22 books on three pages.

    My latest publications are at the top of page 1. Very convenient. I certainly wouldn't want this to change.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    kevinlomas a écrit :

    Indeed, some obsolete editions of my books are still advertised by Amazon and others.

    Now, I have just thought of it - let's turn this facility to our advantage - why not add an assessment to each old edition that would direct potential readers to the latest one? 

     

    You mean us promote places selling our used out of print books? Why?


    ??? For instance, write "buy the updated edition, also available from Amazon" as a comment under the obsolete edition.

  • You mean 10 books per page.

     

    Indeed, if one has more than one page.

     

    Mine has 22 books on three pages.

     

    Mine also has three pages, as usual I was just using a general example.

     

    My latest publications are at the top of page 1. Very convenient. I certainly wouldn't want this to change.

     

    Yup, that also seems sensible to me.

  • ??? For instance, write "buy the updated edition, also available from Amazon" as a comment under the obsolete edition.

     

    Not the same principle, because it's not the same book.

  • potetjppotetjp Bibliophile

    I tried it yesterday, but failed because, apparently, one cannot post a comment on one's own book. I'll have to ask someone else.

  • Ah, I think I know what you mean now. Just update the Description to say things like that.

  • I am very disappointed to learn that I cannot change the order of my books on Spotlight. I want people to consider the hardbound copy first and then the softcover, if they want to conserve their money. Since they are not in this order, I think many may choose to consider the softbound version prior to the hardcover. I think I will only give out the direct link for the hardbound version. I won't make as much money from this, but I feel the hardbound is a much nicer book.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Indeed. They get listed in the order of publication or Revision.

     

    But it's one of the reasons a few of us have our own sites. Click my banner below to see one.

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