Letter from an Italian author

Dear Lulu.com staff,

I’m an Italian author and I’ve always supported the wonderful philosophy of Lulu.com, about the great opportunity of the self publishing.
I hope that this message will not read as a formal protest, because this is, instead, a support request.
I trust in Lulu.com. I have already published two large books with Lulu.com and I have still too many books that are waiting to be published... and I want publish them with Lulu.com.

Some weeks ago, without explanations and without forewarning, the Italian group of Lulu.com staff has been disassembled. In their place, a new contact has been offered us.
She has proved her great kindness, her honest desire to help us, to help the Italian market of Lulu.com.
But she has been alone in this job, and although Italy is a small reality in comparison with the bigger English, French or Spanish markets, we don’t deserve to be neglected.
With all due respect for this exquisite presence, all Italian users can notice that:
- the Italian Lulu.com official homepage shows the same titles for forgetful times;
- the Italian Lulu.com official forum is going to be certain neglect by users, who are tired to be alone with their doubts and suggestions;
- the Italian Lulu.com official blog hasn’t been update since August 21st, 2009.
I love self publishing and, again, I trust in Lulu.com. To promote Lulu.com, for example, I've created a dedicated unofficial social network on Ning (http://luluitalia.ning.com/) and, each day, I'm fighting against the prejudice about self publishing in many other networks (as Anobii or various forums). And just because I trust in Lulu.com, I’m not angry about these problems, but sad...

Are there any possibilities to support the Italian market just a little more? Some small things could help us a lot. And, after all, if Lulu.com authors could reach great outcomes, also Lulu.com will reach those outcomes.
Please, support us. Support the Italian market of Lulu.com.
We trust in you.

Yours sincerely,

Sean

Commenti

  • I joined a few groups on here and nothing ever happens within them. Nothing at all. As to the blogs etc, are they not more or less all the same? but just automatically translated according to what country/currency you are set at? (I know if I have it set on my country (England) the home page is different with different offers and books listed etc, I would assume it is the same for any other country as well?) The other thing is, how many use something? If it is a few then lulu will not bother with it. It is hard enough to get them to reply to Helpmail, never mind to do other things!
  • Hi Kevin, Smiley Felice

    thanks for your opinion!

    You wrote:

    "Kevin Lomas" wrote:

    I joined a few groups on here and nothing ever happens within them. Nothing at all.

    --


    But I hadn't talked about groups... Smiley Felice
    All groups are managed by users... and not by Lulu.com.
    I had talked about the official italian Lulu.com homepage (http://www.lulu.com/it), blog (http://lulublog.it/), forum (http://www.lulu.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=421) and, also, newsletter (http://archives.subscribermail.com/msg/90ff77fba6334d7d88c5e5ce4695fe78.htm)...
    All of them, unfortunately, were been abandoned for month by Lulu.com staff, as a result of the disassemble of the former italian staff group.

    These things could be considered as minor problems, but they are, actually, the main shop window of Lulu.com.
    In Italy, unfortunately, there is too prejudice in front of self publishing and Lulu.com, which is considered as a ghetto for unqualified authors. So it is already difficult for an author to take the confidence of his readers, without the need of a further obstacle in his way as this small things. Smiley Triste

    However thanks for your opinion again...

    Bye...

    Sean
  • "Sean MacMalcom" wrote:

    In Italy, unfortunately, there is too prejudice in front of self publishing and Lulu.com, which is considered as a ghetto for unqualified authors. So it is already difficult for an author to take the confidence of his readers, without the need of a further obstacle in his way as this small things. Smiley Triste

    --
    Hi Sean,
    you're probably right with the "ghetto" label, sad as it is. Let's face it: there are in fact a lot of unqualified authors/self publishers. If you want to get away from that image, you have to do a lot of footwork yourself. Get a separate website, perhaps a blog, too, and market your books there. Make clear to your readers that you are an independent publisher using Lulu just as a service for printing and shipping. Check out Julie Dawson's free guides if you want to know more.
    Cheers
    Valerie
  • Hi Valerie,

    Thanks for your post and your suggestions.

    Indeed, I'm already involved in many activities to promote myself (Anobii, a lot of forums, and so on). But, indeed again, I have no hankering after popularity. Smiley Sorpresoops:
    My books are, actually, a revised edition of what every day I publish free on my site, tales that are been writing only for personal pleasure. If anyone would read my work, he or she could do it directly on my site. And all my earnings from Lulu.com are devolved to charity. Smiley Felice

    The reason of my letter isn't a request of help for myself.
    In Italy, we say: "Aiutati, che il ciel ti aiuta" ("Help yourself, and the Heaven helps you"). And so I do. With my site, with many promo videos on YouTube, with Anobii, Twitter and many social networks. Smiley Felice

    The reason of my letter is a request to help for every Italian author. And not a big help... just those small things that, in the past, were offer by Italian Lulu.com staff. Smiley Felice
    I'm trying to organize something as unofficial offer to Italian authors, a dedicated social network on Ning or a dedicated Twitter, but these things couldn't be enough without a official presence, a official updated homepage, a official recurring newsletter, a official blog.
    And where an Italian homepage, an Italian newsletter, an Italian blog exist, why don't use them? Smiley Felice

    I hope that my position and my interests are clear in this matter. Smiley Felice

    Maybe I'm a dreamer... but I watch to Lulu.com as the best publishing revolution after Johann Gutenberg and not only as a ghetto phenomenon.
    I trust in self publishing and, so, also many Italian authors...

    Thanks again for your suggestions...

    Cheers...

    Sean
  • Ciao Sean,
    ( that's very much like my own story... I published my stories on a one-chapter-per-day basis since 2006 (and still running), making 9 books so far. )

    I'd like to support (morally) your request to Lulu for better help to Italian authors.

    Cari saluti,
    Valerie di Germania
  • "Valerie J. Long" wrote:

    Ciao Sean,
    ( that's very much like my own story... I published my stories on a one-chapter-per-day basis since 2006 (and still running), making 9 books so far. )

    I'd like to support (morally) your request to Lulu for better help to Italian authors.

    Cari saluti,
    Valerie di Germania

    --


    Hallo Valerie,

    (I'm always glad to discover other people interested in feuilleton. I've begun on January 2008 and my tales are still going on! All my truly and best congratulations for your work... with the hope to can reach your result in future!)

    Besten Dank for your support. I appreciate it! Smiley Molto-felice Smiley Molto-felice

    Auf Wiedersehen...

    Sean
  • Ciao a tutti, questa è l'ennesima mail che invio e solo ora sono venuta a conoscenza dei problemi di Lulu in Italia. Sono molto delusa. Riporto la lettera spedita a Distritalia e che mai ha avuto risposta. Se qualcuno riesce a darmi qualche risposta ne sarò felice.

    Gentile Distritalia,
    vorrei ricevere alcuni chiarimenti in merito al libro “Qualcosa per cui vivere” da me pubblicato.
    Alcune persone lamentano di non riuscire a trovarlo presso delle librerie in zona di Napoli e Reggio Calabria. Gli è stato detto che il libro non è disponibile...
    Facendo una ricerca su internet ho notato che il libro risulta segnalato come “fuori catalogo” su webmaster.
    Potete chiarirmi le idee?
    Mi sto facendo molta pubblicità ed è assai deludente sapere che chi vuole acquistare il mio libro deve abbandonare l’idea.
    Oltretutto ho pagato per questa distribuzione e vorrei sapere i motivi del malfunzionamento. Saluti.

    Qualcosa per cui vivere – Carla Pisu
    ISBN 978-1-4092-3355-8
  • Domenico Capano: I propose to draw up a list of things we authors would like Lulu did. Reply to this topic each author may enter one or more things that seem necessary to be done to improve the service.

    1. I wish that a visitor from Lulu, if you intend to purchase a book, is not obliged to register on the website Lulu.com, this record is evidence that does away many potential buyers.

    Giulio Donato Broccoli

    I want many things and I've already written in other posts here on Lulu.
    I want to:

    1) A code / program for webmasters. The code inserted in your site should allow to advertise and then sell the books to Lulu with the same fee to the webmaster in case of sale. As we get a huge publicity.
    2) A card catalog in order to transform each author of Lulu in the seller.
    3) Collaboration between the authors of Lulu to protect ourselves against pirate copies, or agreement with the SIAE in order to protect us from Siae itself.
    4) Clarify as a bookseller, owner of a bookstore in town or country, can order the book to Ingram in case of purchase of the service of global distribution. Facilitation steps to order the book gain is specified for the bookseller.
    5) Count free downloads for users who make them, in order to have a clearer perception of the users who download a free book. E 'useless know that they have done a thousand downlaod If you have made all from the same user.
    6) In case of sale of e-books allow you to download up to three times after the first and not eternal as it is now. Just as things are a user, beyond the fact of riverdersi my e-book, I also falsifies the number of users who have made the downlod book. I cheat and leads me to wrong conclusions. For example I think that 1000 separate users have downloaded the book and yet is always the same.
    6) Lots of other things that do not say, because for our suggestions and improvements Lulu not pay.
    Best Regards


    Sean MacMalcom: For my part here are a couple of suggestions:

    1. (re) establish an "editorial" Italian, which certainly could have a U.S. contact as may be our Federation for the questions addressed to senior leadership, but see also involved homegrown figures, especially, can take care of the site and all realities related. The fact that the blog and the main window are abandoned, are not proposed promotions for authors and readers, as happens in the USA, which has failed the report "direct" which before was against Eleanor, Christine, etc., not is bringing no benefit, IMHO, but only greater hardship for all ... Lulu.com in the first place.

    2. following on the proposed Domenico Capano also introduce forms of payment alternatives to credit cards, bank transfers or as a marker to increase the ability to gather the eventual score (in Italy, most people still see negative each connected speech credit cards).

    3. course, and repeatedly, to be able to reduce shipping prices, the main disincentive for any client.

    Help!
  • "Domenico Capano" wrote:


    Sean MacMalcom: For my part here are a couple of suggestions:

    1. (re) establish an "editorial" Italian, which certainly could have a U.S. contact as may be our Federation for the questions addressed to senior leadership, but see also involved homegrown figures, especially, can take care of the site and all realities related. The fact that the blog and the main window are abandoned, are not proposed promotions for authors and readers, as happens in the USA, which has failed the report "direct" which before was against Eleanor, Christine, etc., not is bringing no benefit, IMHO, but only greater hardship for all ... Lulu.com in the first place.

    2. following on the proposed Domenico Capano also introduce forms of payment alternatives to credit cards, bank transfers or as a marker to increase the ability to gather the eventual score (in Italy, most people still see negative each connected speech credit cards).

    3. course, and repeatedly, to be able to reduce shipping prices, the main disincentive for any client.

    --


    I'm sorry, Domenico, but this translation is incorrect.

    My suggestions were:
    1. to (re) establish an Italian staff. This staff could certainly have a U.S. contact, as "our" Federica, for the questions addressed to senior leadership, but it should also involve Italian people, who can manage the main site and all related matters. The abandoned blog and abandoned homepage, the absence of promotions for authors and readers as happens in the U.S.A., formerly managed by Eleonora, Cristina, etc., aren't offering benefits, IMHO, but only inconveniences for all... Lulu.com included.
    2. in addition to the suggestion by Domenico Capano, to introduce new methods of payment, alternative to credit cards, as the bank transfer or the "cash on delivery" (in Italy, there are a lot of people who don't appreciate payment with credit cards).
    3. of course, and rhetorically, to reduce shipping costs, the main disincentive for any client.

    (source: http://www.lulu.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=118325)

    Thanks for your attention...

    Sean
  • Dear Lulu.com staff,

    a new Year has begun, and no good news are coming for Italian market of Lulu.com.

    Unfortunately, in Italy, writers and readers feel always abandoned, without an official staff to help with Ticket or, simply, in the official forum.
    The blog is completely forgot. And no kind of auto-management could replace this enormous hole.

    Please... Please, support us. Support the Italian market of Lulu.com.
    We're not children of a lesser god...

    Yours sincerely,

    Sean
  • You want to have it distributed in Italy ...And you don't really know what is gonna be...

    I HAVE NOT BEEN PAYED FOR THE COPIES SOLD OF MY BOOK ROSALIA PER SEMPRE AND I CAN PROVE IT ...

    I do not believe that this is due to Lulu.com in particular: this is Italy, yes this is my country, where a normal citizen can be robbed without problem.

    My book has been at the top of the parade of italian narrative in big portal as dvd.it FOR MONTHS, but for Lulu.com I have just sold 15 copies not more!

    But to consider what Sean writes about self-publishing as a ghetto, I would like to tell him that I AM PROUD to have self-published my novel Rosalia per sempre, because I know that in my country there are many editors that publish trash-book just to do favours to powerful man or to receive money in change: this is the editorial market of my country. It doesnt' matter what and how you write but who you are...

    thank you for your kind attention
  • Tiziana,

    I think that everyone, who has published with Lulu.com, has to be considered proud about this decision.
    I trust in the philosophy of self-publishing. And just because I trust in Lulu.com, I would that Lulu.com could be accepted as a real source of contents by the readers, and not as a solution for bad writers.

    But, if it is true that we can't change the minds of the people, it is also true that we can improved Lulu.com.
    I'm not asking the moon... only just little things that could help writers and readers in the relation with Lulu.com.

    The absence of an italian staff is, infact, a bad point for every service... also for Lulu.com.

    This is in my humble opinion, obviously...

    Sean
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