What is Lulu?

One of the most common questions we get at trade shows and events is “What, exactly, is Lulu?”

For us, that’s a bit of an odd question. But we eat, sleep, and breath Lulu, so answering the seems obvious to us – We’re your free to use, self-publishing solution!

But new users, making their first forays into the publishing world may not fully understand how self-publishing works, and the many benefits of using Lulu as your publisher and printer.

So with that in mind, our top-notch videographer put together a short video explaining how self-publishing with Lulu works:


For more detailed information, see our extensive Knowledge Base

You can also see our entire video catalog online

If you’re ready to get started, head on over to our Create Page!

Peas Be With You

You may not think of books and compost as the most obvious friends, but when it comes to Lulu and CompostNow, we have a lot more in common than you’d first guess. Our organizations are passionate about sustainability, building community, and always looking for reasons to play in the dirt!

Earlier this year, Lulu partnered with CompostNow to provide composting bins in our Morrisville, NC office. Thanks to that effort, we have diverted approximately 267 lbs of food scraps since Feb. 2017.

Lulu’s scraps will produce 67 lbs of rich compost, and avoid releasing 35 lbs of methane at the landfill.1 That’s enough to offset 1,517 miles driven by a car, or like parking it for 5.2 weeks.2 Even better, the compost can grow 27 tomato plants, yielding 135 delicious tomatoes.

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Earlier this week, we teamed up to meet in the Alliance Medical Ministry’s community garden- an organization that provides healthcare services to uninsured Wake County residents, one of the recipients of compost from CompostNow. We were pretty excited to close the loop and see what good our veggie scraps were up to.

Some may remember Lulu’s volunteer day with Alliance Medical Ministry last July- a productive day described as “roasty toasty”. https://betterthanyesterday.lulu.com/2016/07/19/blog-post-title-2/

Once our group arrived, Alliance’s Garden & Wellness Program Coordinator, Jesse Crouch, lead us through the garden.

We toured each bed and were encouraged along the way to eat various flowers and leaves. “Try it! It’s good!” Jesse exclaimed with an extended hand full of tiny flowers. “These are collard green flowers. That’s an arugula that’s gone to seed. You can still eat it. Those pink flowers are… something you can eat, but I can’t remember what it’s called.” Some of us were a little skeptical, but most gladly put freshly-picked greenery in our mouths.

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Jesse also taught us how to carefully transplant delicate, baby plants. We first mixed up a garden bed with compost and dirt. Then, we made a little well in the dirt to help water run towards the plant. Next, we opened a small hole for the plant, covered it with dirt, and whispered sweet nothings to ensure plant happiness.

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Here’s a QA Engineer, Andrea, in the zone as she pulls weeds from the onion and garlic beds

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Below is a tiny okra plant transplanted by one of our QA Engineers, Matt. It can’t be confirmed, but I’m pretty sure he later gave the okra the tiniest high-five and whispered “You got this!”

 

The Alliance garden also has two new beehives! We weren’t able to get up close and personal, but we did watch from a distance as the tiny bees fluttered to and fro with pollen covered bodies.

To help out the bee friends, we pulled bunches of weeds from their pollinator flower garden. You’re welcome, bees.

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To learn more about Alliance Medical Ministry, check out: http://www.alliancemedicalministry.org/

They’re hosting a Farm to Table fundraiser dinner that is sure to be amazing. You may get to eat the veggies we tended to on our volunteer garden day!

CompostNow services the Morrisville, NC Lulu office. We toss our food scraps and they pick them up every Friday to begin the decomposing process and make that beautiful, dark compost. Easy peasy.

Residents of the Triangle and surrounding area can learn more about CompostNow and get a free two-week trial: https://compostnow.org/offer/lulu/

2017 Lulu E-Games at NC State University

Since 2014, Lulu has proudly sponsored North Carolina State University’s E-Games competition. The event is part of the college’s Entrepreneurship Initiative and this year featured 192 entrants in six categories.

The E-Games are one part of NC State University’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, a program of events, challenges, and fellowships designed to focus and encourage the big thinkers of tomorrow. The Initiative also hosts a blog with news and updates about their participants, the state of innovation, and other relevant news for entrepreneurs and students.

This years event featured the largest entrant pool to date, and pitted the teams in two rounds of competition, with a total prize pool over $100,000. The competition ran through the spring semester, and on Thursday April 20th, the winners in each category were selected.

The winners of the 2017 E-Games for each category are:

  • New Venture: ViemetricsThe Viemetrics team developed a low-cost, portable spirometer that can potentially predict asthma attacks.
  • Design & Prototype: ViemetricsThe Viemetrics team developed a low-cost, portable spirometer that can potentially predict asthma attacks.
  • Social Impact: ViemetricsThe Viemetrics team developed a low-cost, portable spirometer that can potentially predict asthma attacks.
  • Arts Venture: AtaristiciansA venture aimed at combining video games with artificial intelligence research and statistical teaching.
  • Built on the Cloud: RipeNowA platform that connects restaurants with crowd-sourced produce from local farms.
  • Daugherty Endowment: Lumeova Developing an ultra-fast wireless communication product to speed up mobile connectivity speeds by 10X.

As you can see, Viemetrics and their innovative take on the Spirometer stole the show, but that didn’t put a damper on the other exciting ventures and designs all the finalist teams presented. These included the Rhythcor team, winner of the Crowd Favorite award, with their heart attack detection clothing (PulseAware), designed specifically for firefighters, but applicable to a wide range of at risk groups. And Re-Cycle, designers of a cost efficient and highly scalable bike-share system to ease congestion in dense urban areas.  Or Kast Clothing, a data driven maker of jeans using measurement-capture technology to make affordable, custom fitted clothing.

Team Lulu representatives at the E-Games with the NCSU Wolf Mascots

 

The wide range of ideas and initiatives presented by the entrants showcases the role innovation plays in shaping the future. Lulu avidly supports the growth and dissemination of forward thinking ideas, and the E-Games are a perfect way to encourage young designers and entrepreneurs. This is the way into the ever growing knowledge economy, and Lulu stands beside all the thinkers and storytellers on the cusp of shaping our future.

“Lulu is honored to participate in this amazing event that recognizes future entrepreneurs and leaders in the community and business world. We thank the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative for hosting such a superb event. Congratulations to the winners and all the entrants.”
 – Kathy Hensgen, Lulu Chief Operating Officer

Another successful year of promoting and highlighting up and coming entrepreneurs, and Lulu continues to look to the future through these initiatives. We hope next year to see an even bigger crowd with even more innovative and exciting ideas!

Blogging Your Way to Success

Earlier this month we posted a blog with some advice about Facebook’s potential as a marketing tool. And make no mistake, Facebook will be your best friend when it comes to marketing your book. But Facebook only works if you have a continual stream of content to offer. Yes you can (and should) share coupons and the store links to your book from Lulu. And yes you can share a variety of industry news relevant to you and other authors like you.

That’s not enough though. Your readers and potential readers need to have an investment in you as a person. They need to get to know you and your work before they will open their wallets and buy your book.

A Blog is the perfect means to do this (and much more in the long term). An Author Blog is a direct link to you, a way to advertise, advocate for, and create a connection to your work. The people who follow your social media presence need a reason to come back to you. This is how you build a following, and how that following then goes to work for you by drawing in their friends to your network.

Best of all, blogs are easy to do. You can find a wealth of free blogging sites across the web, such as WordPress, Weebly, or Blogger. These platforms allow you to quickly and easily create and maintain a blog.

Now all you need to do is start adding content. Here’s some ideas for posting:

  1. Look at what’s trending on Twitter (by hashtag), Instagram, or Facebook and write an opinion piece about the topic at hand. Remember to use your researching skills to back up your argument. Anything that ties back to the topics your book(s) focus on are a plus.
  2. Come up with a weekly feature. For example, maybe every Wednesday you interview an author about writing or his/her process. Or on Tuesdays you post a photo of your work area and write about your progress. Whatever it is, be consistent.
  3. What have you read recently that you loved or hated? What is your favorite book of all time? Why do you prefer one specific genre over another? Or do you no longer read at all, and why?
  4. What challenges or fears have you faced in life and overcome? Inspirational writing is always popular.
  5. Make a top 10 list. From nail colors to the best advice on book cover concepts; do your research and show off what you’ve found. Again, if you can tie this back to the content of your book(s), all the better.
  6. As writers, we love words, but appreciate the other fine arts, too. Don’t shy away from putting up a video you found on YouTube or a photo of your favorite coffee shop, carnival ride, or pet. These small glimpses into your life will be appreciated by your readers.
  7. What do you want to accomplish over the next year and how will you get there? Tell your readers so they can root for you. And remember to talk about your progress now and again.
  8. Still not inspired? Check out these interactive prompts that will get your mind churning.

Providing a consistent stream of content, even small pieces, gives you fodder for social media sharing, allowing you to continually grow your presence.

Every blog follow, every Facebook like, is a potential reader. And each reader can then tell their friends and family, expanding your network and making your book more and more successful!

Lulu has a Can-Do Attitude 

Join Team Lulu on a tour of the Sonoco Reclamation Center to celebrate Earth Month and expand our knowledge of the waste stream!

On a crisp, Carolina blue Thursday, we embarked on a journey alongside our LaCroix cans, yogurt cups, and other recyclables. Our eco-excitement electrified the air. Or, it may have been the rumblings of trucks and giant machinery sorting paper from cardboard, glass, plastics, and metals.

Recycling Truck

For some of us, the thought of recycling and environmentalism may conjure images of crunchy folks in Birkenstocks asking if you have a minute for the environment as you nervously pick up your pace and avoid all eye contact.

However, there’s another aspect of recycling that many people don’t consider – JOBS!

The Sonoco Reclamation Center in Raleigh, NC processes around 350 tons per day in two 10-hour shifts, with 4 hours for cleaning. At the time of our tour, the Sonoco team was processing items at a rate of 11.9 tons per hour.

A recent article from The News & Observer pointed to statistics showing that recycling plastic bottles employs around 1,700 people in the Carolinas. Likewise, if each household recycled just two additional plastic bottles a week, we could create 300 brand-spankin’ new jobs.

Currently, 3 billion bottles, or about a third of all plastic bottles, are thrown away in North and South Carolina. We’re tossing out jobs left and right!

According to the Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council, we currently only produce 25% of the recycled plastic from bottles need to make new products. The other 75% is purchased from other states in the US and abroad. The more Carolinians recycle, the more we can cut costs, create jobs, and keep it local, y’all.

Recycling machine

That said, not all items are accepted by recycling centers. It’s important to keep in mind that plastic grocery bags should not be added to commingled recycling. Facilities like Sonoco are unable to process plastic bags, and when they find them among recycling, the bags end up in a landfill. Instead, consumers should bring back plastic grocery bags to grocers who can properly recycle the bags .

You can find a recycle location near you: http://www.abagslife.com/find-a-recycle-center/

Can’t remember which bin to toss your bottles, food scraps, and other trash? Lulu’s got your back! Download these free recycling and composting infographics.

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Check with your municipality to learn the specifics of what can and cannot be recycled.

Together, we can all be like Jake the trash truck and become recycling heroes.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/yvonne-osborne-and-scott-osborne/jake-the-happy-trash-truck/paperback/product-22765637.html

Go get ‘em, you recycling superstar!

Lulu Team Recycling

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article143301594.html#storylink=cpy

Your bottle means jobs: https://yourbottlemeansjobs.com/pledge/


About the Author

Sheridan is Lulu’s Coordinator of Sustainability and Outreach. She is also an author advocate, a friend to all cats everywhere, a clog aficionado, and an art maker.

Author Rick Solomon – Autism: The Potential Within

As a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician with twenty-five specializing in autism, Dr. Rick Solomon saw first hand parents with autistic children struggling to connect. He identified the importance of this connection, both for the parents and the child, and set about finding better ways to bridge this gap.

Developing his PLAY Project approach, Dr. Rick discovered that guided, conscientious play led to a more connected, whole family. Compelled to take the next step and share his knowledge with the world, Dr. Rick published his book, “Autism: The Potential Within.”

Recently, Dr. Rick was able to sit down with Lulu for our Author Talks series and share some of his insights, his observations, and what led him to publish his book.

 


 

Autism: The Potential Within:

Every parent wants to discover the potential within his or her child. For parents of children with autism, The PLAY Project can help.

Autism: The Potential Within describes the journey of Jacob Grant – a composite of all young children with autism – and his family as they learn The PLAY Project approach. The book follows Jacob along the path from early diagnosis until entry into kindergarten. Through a series of office visits, “Dr. Rick” empowers Jim and Julie Grant to be Jacob’s best play partners. He also guides them on how to use Jacob’s misbehavior – tantrums in public, sibling rivalry, picky eating and sleep problems – to help him learn appropriate behavior and social skills. Over time, Jacob moves from nonverbal to constantly talking, and from self-isolation to being warmly connected.

Based on scientific research and decades of practice, this guide provides parents and professionals with a new way of working and interacting with young children with autism.

Glasstree: The Evolution of Academic Publishing

Everything evolves – even academic publishing.
Glasstree is the next step in the evolution of publishing.

Launched by Lulu in 2016, Glasstree boasts the industry’s lowest publishing and processing fees for academics, researchers and educators to publish and distribute print, ebooks and Open Access content.

We believe the world benefits when knowledge is shared, access to it is democratized, and authors are equitably rewarded for their effort.

Take the next step.
Take control.
Publish and prosper with Glasstree Academic Publishing

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