Last Minute Gifts: No Wrapping Required

Miss someone on your shopping list?
Did someone get promoted from naughty to nice?
Worried your order won’t arrive in time?
A little late finishing up your book or calendar?

We’ve got you covered. From now through December 26th you can order your books and calendars from Lulu, then print out the gift receipt to include with a holiday greeting card or to slip into someone’s stocking when they aren’t looking. While you are celebrating, we will print and ship your selections to the addresses you enter.

All you have to do is place your order, enter the shipping address during checkout and print your gift receipt. The receipt is personalized to include the title and cover of the book or calendar you ordered.

Gift receipts take up hardly any room in your luggage and there’s no wrapping required. So, don’t show up empty-handed. There’s still time to give a gift of knowledge from our huge library of independently published books or give a gift of time selected from 1000’s of original calendars.

 

A Christmas Wish: Make It Memorable

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Glenn@Lulu: Content Marketing Manager

When I look back at the Christmas holidays throughout my life – I see a progression from childhood excitement, to teenage apathy, to young adult enthusiasm, to my current midlife contentment. I did not grow up in a particularly religious home. As such, in my childhood Christmas was a secular, American celebration complete with trees, decorations, cooking, baking, and an abundance of gifts from Santa.

In my post-Santa adulthood, the holidays have come to be a time to reconnect with family I see only during holidays, weddings or funerals. More recently the holidays have become a time to share food and drink with dear friends, a time to reach out to friends in far away places, and a time to remember those no longer among us who made the holidays memorable with their smiles, their hugs and their love.

I have to admit, even now clinging to the last days of my 53rd year, when I drive by a home that brightens the night with twinkling lights and decorations, both tacky and tasteful, I flash back to that excited Christmas morning feeling of eager anticipation. There is something special about this time of year, even for those of us who have chosen different spiritual paths.

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My home, mixed traditions

So, no matter how you choose to celebrate, whether with the family into which you were born or the family you have created for yourself along the way, I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a wonderful Winter Solstice, a satiating Saturnalia, a fun-filled Festivus, a Kwanzaa full of love, Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year.

Regardless of your tradition, make it memorable because in the end, our memories are all we get to take with us.

Peace and Love
Glenn@Lulu

 

 

The Season of Discounts: Save on Stuff You Want

on-sale-nowThis time of year, you can’t close your eyes and throw a rock without hitting a discount. Everything is on sale;  you can buy one item at full price and get the other free, or save from an additional markdown taken at checkout, not to mention the ever popular year-end inventory closeout sales.

As we get closer to the holidays, bargain shopping becomes a sport.  Our favorite stores have less to choose from, but if you are super small, super tall, or super persistent you can get the best deals of the year as retailers make room for next year’s new things.

On the other hand, when you shop at Lulu, you never have to worry about the book or calendar you want being sold out. When you place your order, your books and calendars are printed just for you and shipped hot off the press. Yes, it takes a few days to print and ship your order, but when you buy from Lulu, an independent author profits rather than a corporate publisher or huge online retailer.

And chances are, there will also be a discount available so check your email before ordering.

Support the arts.

Make an author happy.

 

Writer’s Journal: Capture Lightning

journalingLook around your favorite coffee house and it’s likely you’ll see an earnest young person huddled over a notebook, diligently scribbling away. Have you ever wondered what they are writing? Are they simply focused on homework, keeping a food diary, or creating a shopping list? Are they capturing the thrill of new love or committing to words the sadness of romance’s end? Perhaps they just had a “Eureka!” moment about a character or plot twist for a story or novel they are writing.

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A page from Kurt Cobain’s journal

While we all have our favored methods for composing, we also often struggle with keeping our ideas and the details about our numerous characters and locations straight in our minds – not to mention the intricate plot details that keep our story logically moving forward. How many times a day do we have that “Eureka!” moment only to lose the thought a few minutes (or sentences) later? Instead of losing the sparks of brilliance, we should learn from the coffee house journalists and capture these fresh thoughts in our writer’s journal.

All writers should have a writer’s journal close at hand. You never know when inspiration will strike or you will hear a catchy turn of phrase you wish to remember or you witness a situation you can re-purpose. Your journal may consist of a binder filled with thoughts recorded on bits of paper, a meticulously maintained bound notebook, or your favorite electronic device. It may be highly organized by characters, scenes, and plot elements or it may be a stream of consciousness jumble of ideas. Your journaling method is as personal as your writing process.

 

Guided Authors Journal (A5, coil bound)

Guided Author’s Journal (A5, coil bound)

If you have a story bouncing around in your head, if you are constantly thinking about writing a book, or you are already deep into your writing, we have a writing journal you (or your favorite writer) may find useful. It’s small enough to tuck into your purse or backpack, is divided into sections to record details about character, plot, and scene development, includes goal tracking to keep you on track, and helpful information about publishing and cover design as well as a special surprise, but I don’t want to ruin it.

Whether you choose to get a Lulu journal or create one more suited to your process, be sure to keep it handy. You never know when lightning will strike. Be ready to capture it.

2016 Gift Ideas

Lulu Jr Book-making Kits

Family Cookbooks

Custom Coloring Books

Memory Books

Holiday Wishes from Lulu: Sharing the Romance of the Season

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There’s no time of the year that’s more exciting, more energizing or more demanding than the holidays in the Lulu office. Our parking lot fills up earlier in the morning than usual, our snacks are consumed at a more rapid pace to fuel us through the day and everyone seems to walk just a little faster through the office.

Erika Brooks: V.P. of Marketing

Erika Brooks: V.P. of Marketing

And, it’s my favorite time of year.

For me, there’s a certain romance in the idea of someone opening a present and discovering a book filled with their grandparent’s love letters that had been kept safe for decades. Or, opening a calendar to discover it is filled with their favorite memories from the previous year. Or, an author opening a newly arrived shipment of hardcover copies of the book they’ve worked so hard to complete and dreamed of publishing.

This is my fourth holiday season at Lulu and every year is more exciting than the last. This year, you may have noticed that we’re sharing new ways to bring a feeling of celebration, nostalgia and pride to your doorstep. Whether it’s printing your book cover on a canvas, wearing a shirt that proudly announces your status as “Published Author,” or shipping you one of our new author journals, it is our goal to help you be more successful, however you define success.

At the end of the day, the people at Lulu are here because we are passionate about books. We have a deep understanding and admiration for authors who share information and experiences through the written word. Every day we are delighted to share in the experiences of new authors achieving their goal of publishing as well as the joy of readers discovering a new book and a new favorite author.

I’d like to extend very warm wishes to everyone who is shopping, writing and publishing on Lulu this holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we are happy you choose to share it with us.

 

Best Gifts 2016: From Your Child’s Imagination to Your Mailbox

illustoryjuniorLulu Jr. book-making kits include everything your child needs to write and illustrate his or her own story book or comic books, including templates, markers, and a getting started guide. Using the postage paid envelope included in the kit, parents send the handwritten and illustrated “manuscript” along with the “author’s” photo and biography, and in a few short weeks, a professionally printed and bound book arrives by post. Children are delighted when they receive the book they created in the mail, with their bio picture on the back cover and their name and book title printed on the spine.

“I ordered this kit for my granddaughter who is 8 years old. She wrote her book and we mailed it in. The day it arrived she so was so excited. She was doing the happy dance and saying she is an author!!”

Parents and grandparents love the kits to give as gifts. They can also use the kits to write books for their children. They also make great family projects for recording family trips, events and other memories.

“Since he can’t write yet, I’ve let him draw the pictures and tell me the story and I write out the words for him. We’re having so much fun together creating his book.”

According to the 2015 Toy Industry Association’s Trends, Lulu Jr. kits meet three of the top four areas considered by parents when shopping for toys:

  • The Maker Movement, where children build and create
  • Open-Ended Playtime, where creativity and resourcefulness are encouraged, and
  • “Smart” Play where academically focused toys develop cognitive and social skills.

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“This is such a great way to freeze time and remember your child’s precious writings and drawings. As a teacher, I love how this adorable kit promotes literacy even in the youngest kids.”

In the USA, Lulu Jr. kits are available in department stores, bookstores, toy stores and online at LuluJr.com and Amazon.com.

“Wait until you see the young author’s face when the original story they wrote and illustrated comes back in the mail as a real, 20-pg. full color, hardcover book! And look on the back cover. There’s your child in the “About the Author” feature.”

— Good Toy Guide 2015 Holiday Gift Catalog

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Lulu Jr. kits have received over 25 awards, such as Mom’s Choice Award, National Parenting Publications Awards, Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Award, SheKnows Parents’ Choice Awards, Creative Child Magazine Play of the Year Award, Academic’s Choice Brain Toy Award, National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and the Tillywig Toy Award Best Creative Fun.
Lulu Jr. is the children’s division of Lulu Press, the world’s first and premier online self-publishing company.

2016 Best Gifts: Family Cookbooks

turkey-feastFood sustains us both physically and spiritually. Food is not just fuel to keep the body going – it’s love, friendship, family, memory, comfort, home – it’s life.

Whether I am preparing something just for me, cooking for my partner, preparing a potluck dish to share or planning a dinner party, I often find myself solely focused on the experience of preparing the dishes. The act of cooking, the chopping, measuring, stirring, and simmering always takes me to my happy place. Then of course, there is the eating….

All cooks have our specialties, the recipes we’ve perfected through trial and error, the dishes people request us to bring to every event. My grandmother kept her recipes on index cards in a box above the stove, while in my kitchen, recipes are “organized” in a binder. Some of my favorite recipes are still on my grandmother’s index cards, others are handwritten by mom on note paper while others are printouts shared by hosts following a dinner party or recipes I’ve found online. It’s obvious which are my favorites, they are the recipes covered in notes with some ingredients being scratched out and others added. All are lovingly protected in plastic sleeves.

pecan-pieThis year, I’m combining my specialties with family favorites and printing an “official” family cookbook to give as Christmas gifts to extended family members. I’ve assembled recipes for our nostalgic favorites like mom’s pecan pie and Nanny’s “secret” turkey stuffing, plus our adult favorites like my sister’s eggnog and my brother’s chicken curry. Of course my “regionally famous” pimento cheese and championship chili recipes will be included among many others. To make it ours, I’m asking family members to contribute stories and anecdotes specific to the dishes and/or the holidays in which they were served.

What could be a better gift than all the tastes, smells and memories that span three generations?

As my nieces head off to college, move into their own homes and start their own families, I hope to one day visit and see dog-eared copies of this book annotated and bulging with the recipes they have discovered and perfected. Then I will know my work is complete.

vegetable-christmas-treeIf you want to create and print a family cookbook, Lulu can help you get started with our cookbook templates. No time to create your own? We’ve selected a few of our favorite cookbooks just in time for the festive holiday season.

Wishing you and your family the very best in 2016.

Other 2016 Gift Ideas

Gifts for Authors and Writers

Memory Books

Custom Journals

Personalized Coloring Books

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