Lulu Developer Blog
This is our first post about the new Lulu APIs so I thought I would start by explaining who I am, what we are doing, and what you can expect to find in this blog in the weeks ahead.
Firstly, I am Ryan Bloom, the Senior Director of Engineering for Lulu. I am a developer at heart and still hack on code when I have the time. Years ago, I was involved in the Apache HTTPd server, version 2.0 and the Apache Portable Run-time, which led me to write and publish my book, "The Apache Server 2.0: The Complete Reference." That book is one of the primary reasons that I am at Lulu now.
Writing a book is hard, and getting a publisher to accept your book can be even harder. Anything that can make the writing and publishing process easier means that knowledge is more readily available. Even better, with a site like Lulu, fixing errata and making revisions is significantly easier. When my book was released, I had people send me small errors that I couldn't fix. For a while, I kept a list on my web site, but it was never satisfying for me. With Lulu, I could have easily fixed the errors for free and made the the experience better for the next reader.
Lulu is made up of a group of mild-mannered folks in Raleigh, North Carolina looking to do nothing short of making the world a better place. Our goal is to give anyone the means to share their voice and ideas through a platform that provides all the tools and resources to become a successfully published author. Creators are in complete creative control, while Lulu handles the minutia of royalty payments, fulfillment, and distribution. Our APIs are setup to allow developers (you) to help write these tools, both for your own success, and for the success of your clients.
Right now, we are focusing on releasing application building blocks through our API. Future APIs will also expose data too, but the first thing people want to do with our platform is take action, so initially we’ll be covering book and cover creation, and book publishing. With these tools, you can take any manuscript and create a book that can be delivered to somebody's front door within a few days.
The best feeling about this is that it is working. We already have developers creating applications that make real physical books and e-books that are available for sale. And we are only going to get more and better APIs.
In the coming weeks and months, this blog will provide first hand information on what Lulu is doing that is unique and cool, as well as how you can use our APIs to further your projects – like getting your books into the iBookstore. I will also highlight what Lulu is doing with the developer portal and which APIs you should definitely be watching, such as the the developer reporting API we rolled out yesterday (details in the next post).
Lastly, but most importantly, this blog is your opportunity to talk back to us. So please feel free to offer suggestions, join in the conversation, or start one of your own.