The holidays are fast approaching. And I’m sure everyone has their shopping planned and ready for this year, right? Right?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a bunch of cool ideas about gifts, but you’re going to wait too long and end up buying things off the Internet for people.

That’s cool, though why not buy them something a little…different?

I know everyone loves shiny electronics and wool socks (thanks, mom), but you’re a unique, crafty person. And so are your friends and family. You want to be sure the people in your life get gifts as unique as they are.

We got you covered there. Check out Lulu’s Holiday Gif Gift Guide.

Our authors make some of the most amazing and unique gifts. And they do it themselves; writing, planning, designing, and publishing their own way.

To highlight just how awesome these books are, we’ve put together this fun gift guide, full of holiday Gifs to entertain you!

Today I’m going to highlight the segments of our guide and my favorite book from each. Remember, the books we love are all for sale on the Lulu Bookstore, but you can always just write your own book and make this a real DIY Christmas!

Calendars

https://calendar.lulu.com

Self-publishing always gets a boost around the holiday’s thanks to calendars. They’re easy to make, low cost, and allow you to give an awesome gift the recipient is almost sure to make use of. Who doesn’t need a calendar?

Lulu makes it really easy with a web-based program that allows you to pick a layout and add your images without having to perform a lot of formatting. It’s 2017, this should be easy, right?

Just to make sure it is easy, we’ve added a PDF guide you can grab from the Calendar’s page to walk you through the entire process.

Publish your own calendar

For me, I am a little biased about my favorite calendar this year.

The Dogs of Lulu

The Dogs of Lulu is a collection of employee’s pets with all the proceeds going to charity. And on the cover, you get the dog smile from my own dog Freya. So yeah, I can’t really compare this one to our other calendars, this is the one that will be hanging on the wall over my computer next year.

But if you’re not into dog calendars, we’ve got a variety of awesome ones – from our Contest winners to our numerous photographers and artists, you know you’ll need a calendar next year, so why not have a beautiful, custom made one direct from the creator?

Cookbooks

https://cookbooks.lulu.com

This one is really cool, partly because we didn’t highlight cookbooks as much in the past years, and also because, well, I just love food.

Before I dive into the cookbook page, I want to remind everyone to look over at our Contest page and if you’ve got a recipe, grab that template and send it in!

Okay, so the holidays always mean lots of good food. From family meals to sweets, the holidays are punctuated by the meals we share. Why not give the cook in your family a memorable gift by compiling their favorite recipes into a cookbook? Our templates make it easy to craft a cookbook with a clean, consistent layout.

So grab your recipes, download the template, and start cooking up a cookbook! [Templates available on the Contest Page or Cookbook home page]

For some inspiration, I have to go with the Lulu favorite, The Grits & Groceries Cookbook:

The Grits & Groceries Cookbook

Easy to make, wholesome recipes for that good southern style cooking. Grits & Groceries is especially cool because the book has over 200 recipes, all from their restaurant’s home-cooking style chefs. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Photobooks

https://photobooks.lulu.com/

Photobooks are the perfect gift if you’re an artist, graphic designer, photographer, or gatherer of family history. A picture is worth a thousand words they say, and a whole book of pictures can tell a story.

Our Photobook page features a how-to guide similar to our Calendar guide. The tool on our site for photobooks is similar, though it offers a few additional features—photobooks have a little more room for customization than a calendar.

If you’re thinking of making a photo book as a gift this year, definitely head over to our Photobook page and download the guide. It walks you through the process and lays out the basics of creating a photo book that will do your images justice.

From our guide this year, I have to call out Lost and Found:

LOST AND FOUND

An oversized coffee table style book loaded with advertising and murals from all over the USA, this book is just incredible to behold.

Check out all of our photobooks in our bookstore or make your own for a flashy, beautiful gift to cherish for years to come!

Unique Books

https://uniquebooks.lulu.com/

Finally, we have a sampling of some of the most interesting, unique, and just plain fun books in our bookstore. Hand-picked by our staff members, these books offer a great example of the variety and possibilities Lulu offers. The possibilities extend only as far as your imagination.

For example, my personal favorite on this list is David Thorne’s I’ll Go Home Then, It’s Warm and Has Chairs.

I’ll Go Home Then, It’s Warm and Has Chairs

Mr. Thorne’s wit and sarcasm bring everyday moments to a fresh light. It’s hard not to chuckle as one reads through his adventures. But that’s just me. I promise you can find the kind of unique book you’re after in our bookstore. There’s just so many books, from so many authors, each with their own perspectives.

So that’s our gift guide. Check it out, make this a really unique, do it yourself style holiday. Get creative, share your story, and make a gift of your uniqueness so your friends and family remember for years to come.


NaNoWriMo Update

As of this posting, we’re on day six of November, so NaNoWriMo is in full swing!

Despite a rather busy weekend for me, I made some serious time Saturday afternoon to get words out. I had a great session, making up for a little slippage on Friday. Here’s my current progress (note that today shows no progress because I haven’t written anything yet today):

If you ignore the stagnant count for today and assume I’ll hit my 1700 words tonight, I’ll break 10,000 today. That’s pretty good progress to start the month, though as anyone who has done NaNoWriMo in the past can attest, starting is rarely the hardest part. I’ll check in again next Monday with another update.