Monthly Archives: October 2008

Halloween at Lulu

Nick and Carol of the Blog Team

There are times during our blog meetings where I get so excited about writing a post for a specific holiday or event that I will actually threaten to arm wrestle anyone who thinks about writing that day. I have come to the conclusion that I am pretty terrifying and that the rest of the blog team are a bunch of scared little sissy children who cry at the sight of me and my enormous “guns.” I threatened to arm wrestle anyone who tried to get in the way of my Halloween post, and as you can see I won that battle.

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday mostly because the promise of candy and utter silliness. This holiday is doubly fun when you work at Lulu (be jealous).  Lulu is fun on any given day, but mix that excitement with a Ghostbuster, angels, witches, Dr. Horrible, a Boxing Nun, and even the King himself – Elvis Presley all sitting in their cubes working, and you’ve got the magic of Lulu right there.

You can see some behind-the-scenes Halloween pictures here!

Happy Halloween from the Blog Team at Lulu.com

Using Facebook Fan Pages to Promote Your Book

How does having 1000 True Fans sound to you? Nick first posted about that self publishing strategy back in May, and then Dan, John, and Lauren followed up with different ways to use the internet to achieve that goal, whether you Gain an Audience Using Twitter, Use the Power of a Blog to Promote Your Work, or Take it to the Web with Tools for Online Marketing and Promotion.

Lulu is your one-stop DIY Halloween party planning advisor

All Soul’s Day, Samhain, Halloween, Protestant Reformation Day – they’re all a week away. Chances are, you’re either going to a party, hosting one or hiding in terror. Make whatever you’ve got coming up better with the following guides.

Do you have a costume yet? Do you dread geting caught between spending too much time and money, and wearing the lamest getup ever? You should read Easy & Creative Halloween Costume Ideas by Lisa Severson. This book will show you 60 painless ways to create memorable costumes for yourself, your kids or that lackadaisical loser who shows up at your house dressed as “Joe the Plumber.”

Serve memorably spooky snacks at your party by following the repulsive recipes in Kaye Hamm’s Kreepy Katering. This illustrated cookbook features 29 stomach-churning concoctions sure to enliven, I mean deaden, any party. My favorites are the Slimy Bat Wings (relax, they only look like bat meat), and the Rotten Apple Martini. Also worth taking a peek at is 13 Halloween Recipes from ThirteenForHalloween.com. Those Goblin Horns are making me hungry. Please remember that these depraved dishes are only visually arresting – we have the authors’ word that everything featured is very tasty regardless of appearance. Even Poop On A Cracker.

Put some horror in your house by taking cues from The Secrets of Disney’s Haunted Mansion by Jeff Baham. This 64-page compendium includes the original script and sheet music, a walk-through of the mansion, descriptions of the ghoulish props and loads of vintage artwork, adverts and blueprints. There’s even a blank Haunted Mansion death certificate that you can fill out with petrified party guests’ names.

Further frighten up your humble abode with pumpkin heads – both carved and knitted, spooky sounds, mummy dolls, and unbelievably adorable Jack O’Lantern crochet poppets.

Keep your party guests groaning in delight with jokes from Tony Iacoviello’s Blood Lines. Here’s an example: What does a vampire never order at a restaurant? A stake sandwich. There are 52 ridiculous pages of this balderdash. Another book that would be fun to have at your party is Professor Ichbonnsen’s Monster Month. It’s a spectacular who’s who of the monsters that are likely skulking your streets this season. And, finally, if your party gets to the point where a past life regression session or druid healing spell is necessary, it’s probably a good idea to have a copy of A reference guide to the Craft on hand.

With all this fine literature at your disposal, any chilling celebration is bound to be a smash hit.

Independent Research Concludes Comfort Foods Really Do Comfort!

Ok, I admit this economy has me freaked out. Every time I listen to the news or read the paper, the grim financial reports are inescapable. I find it increasingly difficult to keep my mind from wandering off to my shrinking 401(K) and toss and turn at night worrying about the future of this country. I think it’s a fair assumption that many people are stressed about the economy. The question is, what can we do to ease this stress?

I have conducted a few studies and my research concludes that comfort foods like chocolate brownies are the number one enemy of stress (did you know “stressed” spelled backwards is “desserts?”). Sure, I’ll admit that this research was conducted under some questionable circumstances. Ok you’ve got me, the subjects tested were my friends and family, but the results were unanimous!

Do your part and help uplift those poor, miserable souls around you – get in that kitchen and start baking! Thankfully, with a book like Joan Donogh’s “Now….you’re cooking! Comfort Food Classics” the task can be fun and easy. Joan is a humanitarian of the highest caliber, sharing her amazing comfort food classic recipes for pasta, coffee cake, bread, cookies and even candy. Yum!

Joan, you are an angel. I feel better already.

Taking it to the Web: Tools for online marketing and promotion

The Lulu “Mini-Storefront” widget and website banners are the unsung heroes for online marketing.  Last month we talked about how press releases are a great way to spread the word about your book.  With the Lulu widget and website banners, you can encourage people to buy your book wherever you are on the web.

The Lulu “Mini-Storefront” widget attracts visitors from your blog, MySpace page, Facebook profile or personal website to your Lulu content.  With the Mini-Storefront, your captive audience can view your book, read the description and – the best part – buy your book(!) all from the comforts of your website.
Let’s try the Facebook Widget – Here are a few tips to keep in mind when setting up your widget with your Facebook profile:

So You Think You Can Write a Book

Anthony S. Policastro is not just the Senior Business Analyst at Lulu.com, he is also an author. He was kind enough to take the time out of his day to write a great post on how to write and market your book using Lulu.com and other great tools.

The Jenkins Group , an independent publishing services company, says four out of five people they surveyed said they believe they have a book to write. Even fewer actually sit down and write a book and even fewer get published. Many established literary agencies in New York and elsewhere get upwards of 500 email and snail mail book queries a week and less than one percent of them are considered for representation.

So how do you get published with those odds?

Get Sound Financial Advice From Lulu Authors

With all this talk of bail-outs, recessions and slumping markets, I’m itching to yank my money out of the bank and throw it under the mattress. Ok…maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but I can’t help feeling a little antsy about my finances during these difficult times. And I know I’m not alone.

Luckily, I’m here to ease your tensions with a list of books from Lulu to help alleviate some of those money woes.

One of the most common financial problems experienced today is debt. If you find yourself in that boat, check out Janine Bolon’s book, Ditching Debt . This financial guide provides easy principles on how to deal with the debt you already have and how to prevent yourself from incurring more.

Also plaguing the minds of most working Americans today is retirement. In Secure Your Retirement , Lulu author John Mahaney shares his personal story of how, after his early retirement at age 41, he took his net worth from $40,000 to $1,000,000 in just ten years. (Seriously, where do I sign up?)


Of course, if you’re looking for a more lighthearted read, pick up The Girl’s Guide to Money Etiquette by Julianne Pekarthy and Heidi Farr. Jam-packed with hilarious anecdotes of when money and personal relationships collide, this money etiquette guide is sure to keep you advised and entertained.

So before you go into panic mode, pick up one of these great books and educate yourself!