News

2018 Tax Announcement

1 min read

Hey everyone!

I know the holidays are around the corner and the last thing you want to think about right now is tax season but…

I just want to give a quick reminder to everyone that tax season, no matter how much we might want it never to come, will inevitably roll around.

If you’ve earned money from book sales in 2017 (which is awesome by the way!) you may receive a 1099 (in the US) or a 1042 (non-US) from Lulu in early 2018. Not all revenue earned is taxable, so not everyone will receive a form.

We have to prepare and send these forms by January 31st for 1099s and March 31st for 1042s, so we’re working on preparing them even now!

Sending out these necessary tax forms means we have to have your most up to date and accurate address on file. Every year, we get thousands of these forms back to us. It costs a lot in stamps and potentially makes it harder for you to do your taxes!

So, we’re asking all of our users to log in and check their Payment Contact (found on the left sidebar of your My Projects page) and update the information if needed.

If you’ve filed a W-9 or W-8BEN to adjust your withholding, you’ll need to resubmit the form. You’ll find links to do this on your Payment Contact’s edit page as well.

Here’s a couple of screen grabs with more detailed instructions:

1. Finding your Payment Contact

2. Editing your Payment Contact

For more detailed information about taxes and the forms you can use to tell us how to handle taxable income you earn with Lulu, please visit our Knowledge Base.

Book Printing Simplified: Lulu Print API

5 min read

Lulu is proud to announce the release of our Print API, the first of several API connections we plan to offer the publishing and developer communities.

What exactly does this mean for you?

I’m glad you asked! Are you a publisher, a developer, an entrepreneur, or a business owner? Are you a web-savvy author with your own website who would like to sell directly to your readers? If you fall into any of these categories, the Lulu Print API will allow you to take advantage of our print network directly.

Let’s take a closer look at the Lulu Print API and how this new service might work for you or somebody you know.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the technical aspects of APIs for software, you’ve almost certainly encountered them online without realizing. The acronym API stands for “Application Programming Interface.” Most basically, API is code that allows two unique pieces of software to talk to each other. This, in and of itself, is pretty simple. I say this as someone with only the most rudimentary understanding of coding.

Continue Reading »

B-Corp: Resolution Renewals

2 min read
Happy belated Second Half of the Year Day!

For many of us, we began the year by setting a resolution or two. Back in January I thought 2017 would be the year I’d finally train myself to stop squeezing toothpaste from the middle of the tube. Alas, it hasn’t happened…yet.

July 1st is the 182nd day of the year. Believe it or not, we are halfway through 2017.

There’s still time to embrace change and make 2017 a year of improvement.

No, this isn’t a public service announcement about eating more green things, cutting impulse purchases, or committing to a robust writing schedule. (Although, we do have tips for keeping your 2017 writing resolutions.

Instead, we’d like to share the tool Lulu uses to keep our company mission-oriented and considerate of all Lulu stakeholders – our employees, suppliers, community, environment, and our content creators and readers!

The B Corp Impact Assessment is a free online tool anyone can use to measure their company’s social and environmental performance. The tool was created by B Lab, a nonprofit that certifies all B Corps. The Impact Assessment analyzes the entirety of a business with a focus on the Environment, Workers, Customers, Community, and Governance. The tool even adapts to the specifics of your particular industry, number of employees, and location.

For example, Lulu’s assessment as an online publishing company looks very different from the ice cream extraordinaire, Ben & Jerry’s; or Forrest Firm’s, an agency providing corporate legal services in Winston Salem, NC. Businesses that produce physical goods generally have a greater affect on their environment. The Impact Assessment takes this into consideration and will ask more environmental questions and give greater weight to this category.

The assessment awards points for positive actions and gives businesses a way to measure what matters **trademark symbol here** Anyone can market their company as “green” or “eco-friendly,” but not every business has the metrics and data to prove it.

To become a certified B Corp, businesses must reach a minimum of 80 points out of 200 on the Impact Assessment.

More importantly, the Impact Assessment includes suggested improvements and examples of best practices. For instance, Lulu does a terrific job with our workplace flexibility. All employees are expected to be in the office from core hours 10am – 4pm, but start and end times are largely determined by individual Lulu employees. However, there is still room for Lulu to improve our sustainability. While we do compost, recycle, and monitor our utilities, we have not yet set goals to reduce our energy use or waste. That’s where the B Corp Impact Assessment is particularly helpful. It provides numerous examples of how to accomplish those goals.

 

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Lulu certified with 80 points and continues to improve our score. We’re participating in the B Corp Inclusion Challenge, training all Lulu employees to be environmental stewards, and improving our community outreach.

You can see our Impact Assessment score here: https://www.bcorporation.net/community/lulu-press-inc

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Remember, you don’t have to commit to official B Corp certification to use the Impact Assessment. It’s free and open to anyone that wants to improve their business.


 

Sheridan Howie is Coordinator of Sustainability and Outreach here at Lulu. She describes herself as a friend to all cats everywhere, a clog aficionado, and an art maker.

Check our Sheridan’s featured blog, Better than Yesterday, for more environmental and socially friendly efforts Lulu and our community are making.

Peas Be With You

2 min read

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.

Peas1

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/

Lulu has a Can-Do Attitude 

2 min read

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

1 min read

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

1 min read

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