Articles by Jonathan

The Skeleton Goes Next to the Table: An Author Success Story

This post is one in a series featuring Lulu author success. To share your own story, email us at pr@lulu.com.

Lynne and Shawn Mitchell turned their passion into a book — and profit.

For most, purchasing a dream house is a once in a lifetime moment. Picking out the right colors, furniture and garden help make a new house a home.

For others, how to arrange the coffin and cobwebs so they match the skeletons strategically placed throughout the foyer is an equally important choice. Thankfully for those ghoul enthusiasts, the husband and wife duo of Lynne and Shawn Mitchell have scared up the definitive guide for haunting your own house.

How to Haunt Your House is the essential guide for Halloween enthusiasts, home haunters and anyone who loves to create handmade props or special effects,” says Lynne. “We got the idea for this illustrated step-by-step decorating guide from putting together our own home haunt we like to call ‘The Mitchell Cemetery’…Oh, and we both grew up in real haunted houses!”

An encyclopedic knowledge of horror films, a love of creating movie quality decorations and an overwhelming desire to scare led these novice writers to create How to Haunt Your House.

In the first year of publication, they sold more than 1,000 copies. Demand has been so strong, in fact, this year they followed up with How to Haunt Your House, Book Two. Lynne reports that sales are off to a stellar start.

The Future of the Book

One of our designers sent around a link to this video this morning. It was put together by IDEO, the global design firm, and shows the possibilities it envisions for the book. Some interesting ideas. Let us know what you think!

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

Books About a Baseball Legend

Word this morning is that George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees baseball club, has died at age 80. Steinbrenner was a polarizing figure in the world of baseball, and sports in general. But love him or hate him, no one can deny his influence on professional athletics and in building a championship franchise.

Several books in the Lulu catalog chronicle Steinbrenner’s life and team. There’s Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball written by award-winning sportswriter Bill Madden. It “traces Steinbrenner from his early days in Cleveland and through his years as a shipping magnate, a Nixon fundraiser, and a champion horse breeder to the fateful moment when he bought the Yankees, even though his father disparaged Steinbrenner’s desire to own a professional sports team as a ‘hobby.’ ”

The Pride and the Pressure, by New York Post writer Michael Morrissey, goes behind the scenes of the 2006 season, which the Yankees began with baseball’s highest payroll and huge expectations. The book shows “what really goes on behind the hype, the media glare and the roar of fans,” starting at the top with Steinbrenner.

And the Microstory winner is…

A TEST by Shayla Hawkins

On April 1, John Edgar Wideman invited aspiring writers everywhere to submit their own microstory for possible inclusion in future copies of Briefs. It was a unique way for this literary master to connect with his readers.

The competition was fierce, submissions plenty and the talent overwhelming. But the time has come to announce the winner of The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest.

We are pleased to say that Shayla Hawkins’ microstory “A Test” was chosen to be  included in a special edition of Briefs. She will also receive a complimentary signed copy of the book from Wideman. “A Test” is about how even the smallest actions of our mundane daily lives are actually tests that we all pass or fail .

A heart-felt congratulations to Shayla Hawkins and special thanks to all the very talented writers who submitted their microstories.

Wideman Contest Winner to be Named Tuesday

John Edgar WidemanOne thing we’ve learned from the Wideman flash fiction contest: There are many talented writers out there. We’re thrilled to have received a large number of entries for the contest. But that volume of quality work combined with Mr. Wideman’s travel schedule have caused a bit of a delay in announcing a winner.

Check back Tuesday when we will reveal the winning entry. Good luck!

Some names you know on the iPad

WidemanSampleBookshelfThe iPad hit shelves over the weekend and is already sending ripples through the book world. On the first day, Apple says customers downloaded more than 250,000 eBooks — it calls them iBooks — in its iBookstore.

Some familiar titles appearing on iPad’s virtual bookshelves are Lulu’s very own: PhotoSecrets 101 Tips for Travel Photographers, Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application, Briefs, and Memories of the Future.

WidemanMemoriesOfTheFuture

A few Lulus purchased iPads. Here are a couple screen shots of Briefs and Memories of the Future.

To get on the iBookstore yourself, here are the details.

The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest

John Edgar WidemanWith his latest book, Briefs: Stories for the Palm of the Mind, two-time Faulkner award-winning author John Edgar Wideman has broken with tradition to partner with Lulu for greater control over the publishing process and a more direct connection with readers.

Briefs is a masterful collage of “microstories” that challenges assumptions about the genre. With a variety of voices, characters and compass points, Wideman unveils a unique structure—hip-hop Zen—where each story provides a single breath, to be caught, held, shared and savored.

Now Wideman is taking publishing innovation with Lulu one step further. With The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest, he’s inviting aspiring writers everywhere to submit their own microstory for possible inclusion in future copies of Briefs. What better way for a literary master to connect with readers than to share space with them in his latest book?

Here are the details: You can learn about Wideman’s storytelling style by getting a copy of Briefs and reading his introduction to microfiction. Then, starting today, submit your own microstory (up to 600 words) to pr@lulu.com. The submission period ends May 1. Anyone can enter. Just summon your creativity and show us your literary prowess in microstory form.

After the contest, Wideman will choose his favorite story. The winning entry will be announced on the Lulu Blog May 14 and include in a special edition of Briefs. The winner will also receive a complimentary signed copy of the book from Wideman.

Have a story to tell? Let us hear your voice and enter the The John Edgar Wideman Microstory Contest for a chance to be published alongside a literary giant.