News

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.

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.

 

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.

 

Nigel Lee, Lulu CEO: Passion, Partners, Publishing and Profits

Two years ago we cheered in* Nigel Lee as a new team member in our Raleigh office. We welcomed him as Head of International Business – now he’s Lulu’s CEO.

Nigel came to us with a background in international banking focusing on risk, finance, and regulatory issues. Since then, he’s learned quite a bit about the publishing industry as well as the passion that drives Lulu authors.

Last November we took a break from packing for our upcoming move to chat about his time with Lulu and the publishing industry in general.

Publishing really hasn’t changed much since Shakespeare’s time. At its essence publishing is still write, print and sell. Today, there are just a lot more people making a profit from an author’s effort resulting in the creator receiving a smaller and smaller piece of the pie.

That’s why we need Lulu.
Lulu rewards creators, not shareholders.

 

*If you are wondering what is meant by “cheer in,” this is how we welcomed new employees at our previous location. Nigel is the one in the jacket – loving it.

2 Years at the Helm: Lulu CEO Nigel Lee

Two years ago we welcomed a new team member, Nigel Lee to our Raleigh offices as our new head of international business. When I pulled up at his hotel in my MINI Cooper that first day to give him a ride to work, I had no idea he would eventually become our CEO.

Last November as we were packing and preparing to move into our new offices, I had a chance to sit and chat with Nigel about his time with Lulu and what he’s learned about publishing in the past year.

Do people really care where their stuff comes from?

Members of the Lulu team recently attended the 12th annual Sustainable Business and Social Impact Conference (SBSI) sponsored by Duke University.  Lulu COO, Kathy Hensgen participated in a panel discussion titled “Responsible Consumption and Production – Do People Really Care Where Their Stuff Comes From?”

Katie Kross, the Managing Director of Duke University’s Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE), led the conversation with representatives from Walmart, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Burt’s Bees, and Lulu. Each participant provided a unique perspective on their social and environmental impacts.

As part of the discussion, Hensgen explained that Lulu’s path to sustainability began in 2002 following Bob Young’s experience publishing traditionally. When all was said and done, he did all the work, got paid the least, and ended up with a garage full of books his contract required him to purchase as stock. In response, Young launched Lulu, a DIY print-on-demand publisher. The print-on-demand model removes the burden of maintaining a book inventory allowing authors and institutions to print only the books they need at any given time. He later learned that nearly 40% of all traditionally published print books do not sell and are eventually returned for pulping and recycling.  So not only did his print-on-demand model benefit authors, it also benefited the environment by preserving our natural resources.

Contributing to Lulu’s sustainability initiative, our global print partners are contractually obligated to manufacture books with a 0.5% defect rate or lower. This not only ensures high quality books, but also reduces waste by eliminating rework and reprints. Lulu books are printed on paper that is Forest Stewardship Council certified meaning suppliers must follow good harvesting practices.

Panel participants. Kathy Hensgen is seated on the far right.

 

Following the completion of our B Corp certification, Lulu remains committed to a path of continuous improvement with a strong focus on the environment. In addition to our sustainable business practices, Lulu recently relocated to an energy-efficient building, uses eco-friendly office products, has implemented robust recycling programs (including composting). We are now also purchasing renewable energy credits and working with our supply chain to improve their environmental impact.

We think people do actually care where their products come from. Sustainability is not always easy, but we believe that even small steps and improvements make a big impact over time. In all we do, our goal is to be better than yesterday, everyday.

Lulu Speaker Series: Marketing Specialist Diana M. Needham

In February we introduced a new web series featuring publishing and marketing experts. We kicked off the series by welcoming Diana M. Needham, a local book marketing consultant, to the Lulu office to share her journey on becoming an author. She also shared some great tips on “Getting Started Writing a Book.”

As a book marketing consultant, Needham first asks her clients five questions. “It all starts with your big why. Why are you writing this book? What is it that is inside of you that is compelling you to get this message out? When you can be really clear about your ‘big why,’ you can continue the momentum and actually get the book finished.”

Learn more by clicking below for excerpts from the live interview.


About Diana M. Needham

Needham is the author of The Authority Mindset: Proven Principles For Establishing Yourself as an Expert in Any Industry and chairs the local chapter of the Non Fiction Authors Association in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill NC area


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Please share your feedback in the comments below.  Would you like to see us feature more of these types of videos? Are they helpful and inspirational with your own book project? What topics would you like for us to include in upcoming interviews?

 

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