Nigel Lee: Press Reset for Disruption

Lulu was developed and launched in 2002 from an office in Morrisville, NC.  A few years later, we relocated to building that was formerly a tractor dealership near NC State University in Raleigh.

In 2016, we moved back to Morrisville where it all started in the Research Triangle Park. While packing for the move, we asked Nigel Lee, Lulu CEO about the new building and the significance of the change in location.

Lee believes the new location will give Lulu a new perspective on how we approach our core mission; enabling people around the world to tell their stories and share their knowledge.

He says, Lulu “set out in 2002 to disrupt the publishing industry and in doing so, we became a publisher.  After 10 years, you are going to have forgotten that you were meant to be disrupting, because you’ve become the thing you were disrupting.” With our move to the Research Triangle Park, Lulu is “pressing reset a little bit and we are now in restart-up mode. We need to be more innovative for our customers’ sake and for the sake of our new initiatives.”

The move may represent a return to our roots and innovation is underway, but we still miss the coffee shop across the street.

 

Does Your Cover Design Deserve an Award?

There are countless individuals who never question the value of physical books. In fact, the importance of the printed book, as a physical object, as a cherished possession, as a work of art, has increased in the eyes of the public. Over the centuries, the staying power of printed books is surprising, even as new technologies emerged to woo (and distract) the masses.

Entering its thirty-first year, the New York Book Show continues to recognize the best in book design, production, and manufacturing. Hundreds of books are submitted each year, their content spanning everything from academic topics to picture books to prize-winning fiction and nonfiction for all age groups. Every aspect of submitted books—from artwork to paper quality, from binding to special features, and more—are taken into consideration to determine which books exhibit true artistry, craftsmanship, and an understanding of the printed book’s potential.

Another recent evolution within the publishing industry is the proliferation of self-publishing. While there may be some who denigrate this avenue as “vanity publishing,” the truth is that self-publishing has become an undeniable part of the publishing industry and has brought forth many fantastic works that may not have otherwise been able to find their audiences.

Authors, designers, printers, service providers, and freelancers have benefited from self-publishing—not to mention countless readers. All of this is why The New York Book Show is thrilled to include a contest category for best self-published covers. This category recognizes the best in cover design for self-published books that appear in print and electronic format. Books in this category will be judged solely on cover design.

Submissions are currently open through Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Books originally published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 in eBook format, print format, or both are eligible across all genres and all ages. All winning covers will be displayed during the book show in October and appear in our print catalog honoring winning titles across all categories (visit www.newyorkbookshow.com/portfolio/self-published-covers to view last year’s Self-Published Cover Design winners).

All self-published titles will be judged on cover design only. Entry is accepted via the website, www.newyorkbookshow.com. PDFs of front covers are required at time of submission, uploaded using the online submissions form.

The book show itself will be held Thursday, October 12, 2017 at Battery Gardens in New York City (tickets available for purchase in September). All winning titles will be on display to review, handle, and fall in love with in a free-form, social forum that encourages mingling among the hundreds of book lovers in attendance. Dinner, dessert, and an open bar will be provided. It is a truly uplifting celebration of the wisdom, innovation, and ambition behind the book as a physical object.

To learn more about the New York Book Show, hosted by the Book Industry Guild of New York, please visit www.newyorkbookshow.com or The Book Industry Guild of New York.

Author Sylvia Inks: Publishing Project Planning

Last week, author Sylvia Inks dropped by the Lulu office to talk about her experience writing and self-publishing her book “Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur: Blueprint for Building a Solid Profitable Business.”

Her book includes 21 tips for financial success, but today we discussed author success and the need for a publishing project plan.  Sylvia strongly recommends a plan that includes all the tasks you need to complete your book from writing it to the launch.

We wish to thank Sylvia for her time and expertise. If you wish to learn more, checkout our Facebook page. Sylvia and Grant had a detailed and wide-ranging live interview as part of our Facebook Live series.

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Your First Wedding Anniversary: The Gift of Paper

An anniversary is a special milestone in any relationship, but your first wedding anniversary is often one of the most memorable. Your first year as a married couple will become the first chapters in the story of your life together. It is often filled with firsts and other momentous occasions and should be celebrated in a way that highlights all you accomplished.

Traditionally, the first anniversary is called the paper anniversary. No one is quite sure of the symbolism, but there are several theories:

Paper:

– Represents the blank page
– Reminds us of the fragile and modest beginnings of marriage
– Symbolizes writing your future together
– Symbolizes the true interweaving of your lives
– Is a reminder of natural growth

Your first wedding anniversary is a good time to look back on the past year and your time together. One way to do this is to reflect on your love story and create something that captures you and your relationship. If you wish to abide by the traditional paper anniversary gift, consider committing your story to words and pictures and create a lovely book.

Writing a book may sound a bit laborious for many of people. If you are not someone who enjoys writing or feel you wouldn’t do your story justice, you can always commission an author to write it for you. You can find truly talented freelance writers online who specialize in these kinds of projects, to artfully construct a story based on your most important memories. When choosing a writer, it is important to pick someone who can capture your tone and personality to bring your story to life.

If you can’t wait for the “romance novel” version of your first year of marriage, try creating a memory book. You can combine your favorite pictures with your favorite stories to create a gift of paper that will be treasured long past your anniversary date.

Simply ask your partner to write about their five most memorable moments over the past year. Then take their words, add your five favorite memories, select pictures and use Lulu’s photo book templates to design your anniversary book. The end result will be a custom-made, unique and sentimental gift for your spouse.

Ultimately, your first wedding anniversary should be celebrated in a way you will remember forever. Creating a book about your journey as a couple is a thoughtful and lasting way to celebrate your love and look back on all that you’ve created – so far.


Inspiration, Collaborator, and Author Extraordinaire!

When I received Katie’s email, I was sure she had contacted the wrong Lulu.com. Why would someone from online jeweler Orla James be pitching an article for a self-publishing blog? However, when I read her pitch, I thought it was a brilliant idea. Thanks Katie!

Katie Jones loves to write, travel, practice yoga and read at every available moment! She adores living by the sea in Brighton UK with all of the creative opportunities that it brings.

Nigel Lee: Global Businesses Must Be Locally Relevant

Lulu CEO, Nigel Lee, lives in Brussels, leads a company headquartered on the East Coast of the USA, and travels the world seeking new partners and new markets to better serve authors around the world.

In today’s interview, we chat about Lee’s eight-hour commute and discuss how living outside of the USA affects his corporate leadership and vision for Lulu.

Lee believes companies can only be truly global when they address regional needs. “Internationalization of a business doesn’t just mean making it available in Hungarian, or in French or in Italian. It means understanding regional requirements, country-specific requirements. What do authors in Italy need? What does Italian book distribution look like? What are the bookstores in Italy?”

Lulu works to make the world a better place – one author, one story and one local regulation at a time.

 

Author Jay Nachlis: Write Your Rock Star Memoir

Last week, author Jay Nachlis dropped by the Lulu office to talk about his experience writing and self-publishing his memoir “Never Trust a Grown Man with a Ponytail: How a Regular Guy Lived a Rockstar Life.”

Our conversation covered several topics, including why he felt compelled to write a memoir at such a young age, creating an effective media kit, and self-publishing as the new normal for authors.  He also shared some great marketing ideas for fellow memoir writers.

Jay may think of himself as a “regular guy,” but he was personable, prepared, and professional. In other words, he was a rock star.

Write Your Rockstar Memoir

A very big thanks to Jay Nachlis for joining us in our Lulu Author Talks series on “How to Write Your Rockstar Memoir.” Please share your comments below and let us know what topics and guests you would like us to feature on future shows! #LuluLive #AuthorTalks

Posted by Lulu.com on Monday, March 6, 2017

 

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Books, Beans and B-Corps: Making New Eco Friends

Larry’s Beans: Where the magic happens

Eco wonder woman, a.k.a. Arwen from Lulu’s Customer Support team, and I traveled to Larry’s Beans to meet a fellow B Corp company, learn new sustainability tips, and frolic in caffeine happiness. We were aware of the Raleigh-based coffee roaster’s reputation as a sustainability superstar, so we were eager to learn more about their practices.

Within seconds of entering the building, we were welcomed with mugs of hot coffee and introduced to Daniel Tassitino, Communications Ambassador for Larry’s Beans. We began our tour at the end of the production process – the compost, recycling, and trash bins. While learning about their waste reduction initiative, we ran into the company’s namesake, president and founder, Larry Larson!

We got to say “hello” to the little wriggly ones.

Larry, with coffee cup in hand, shared his perspective on sustainability and the challenges of promoting a culture that values environmental responsibility. I asked him if there were any best practices he’d like to share.  He quickly explained that Larry’s Beans doesn’t have “best practices.” They just know what does and doesn’t work for their business. They’re still learning as they grow.

On their sustainability journey, the coffee roaster has accomplished some pretty great things including:

  • Ethical Coffee Sourcing: All Larry’s Beans coffee is Organic, Fair Trade, and Shade Grown.
  • Energy Efficient Facility: The facility utilizes composting, zone heating, natural daylight, solar panels, rainwater harvesting barrels, and more!
  • Biodiesel: The roaster is home to Raleigh’s only B100 fueling station
  • Worms: Larry’s Beans uses their compost, coffee grounds, and burlap coffee bags to house and feed their worm farm.

After our tour, we asked Daniel, “Do you want to be Lulu’s friend in sustainability and hold each other accountable?”

“YES!” he exclaimed to our delight.

We high fived then rumbled off into the sunset in the Larry’s Beans recycled veggie oil bus. Just kidding. Instead, we went to a conference room and began planning the next steps in our goal-setting partnership.

Veggie Oil Powered: Larry’s Beans Coffee Bus

Together, Lulu and Larry’s Beans will hold each other accountable in our efforts to achieve our sustainability goals. After all, what’s better than a good book and a cup of fine coffee – both from certified B Corps? Okay, maybe a cuddly cat on your lap, but not much else!

Take an online tour of the Larry’s Beans facilities.
Learn more about Larry’s Beans and their commitment to sustainability

 


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.

 

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