Articles tagged "Celebrate"

Are You Ready For The Royal Wedding … Book?

Royal Wedding Book

As you know, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton is this Friday and excitement is reaching fever pitch. I just Googled “Royal Wedding” and there are over 48 million results. With all this anticipation, it may be hard to figure out how and where to get involved, but Lulu and one of our global API developers can help.

Ben Barnett, founder of before I grew up, recently launched the website Royal Wedding Book which utilizes Lulu’s Publication API. Everyone is free to commemorate the historical event by creating their own customizable Royal Wedding Book through the website http://royalweddingbook.co.uk. Users can also purchase a high quality hardcover album of the best user summited photos sent in via email, Facebook® and Twitter®.

Ben was also kind enough to chat with us over email to give Lulu authors and readers a sense of what things are like right now in London. From Champaign breakfasts, to neighbourhood street parties, to “bunting,” Ben gives us a preview of what we can expect of this highly anticipated event.

What is the atmosphere in London like right now? Do people have to work on Friday?

London is currently experiencing an early onset of Summer. I’m writing this in 75 degree heat which is already filling the parks around the Royal Wedding route with sunbathers, sightseers and some rather impressive amateur photographers already. This, combined with a just gone four day weekend for Easter, and an official bank holiday for the Royal Wedding in a couple of days has already set the mood for what looks to be an incredible day. All of us Londoners are off work on the day and will be celebrating with everything we’ve got.

I am sure that security is pretty tight. Can you get around the city easily?

The authorities are out in big numbers, which is great to see. We’re expecting at least 600,000 visitors from outside the UK alone, so it’s going to be busy. We are however experiencing a piece of history that most of us will only ever see once in our lifetime, and so the local councils in London have gone the extra mile to ensure public transport runs overtime, and there’ll also be tons of big screens all around the city so everyone gets to see what’s going on. I figure once you find a spot that gets you a good view, stay there, finding another good view won’t be easy.

Were you able to score an invite or do you know anyone personally who is going?

Personally I’m not going to be at the actual Wedding, but I’m friends with some of the officials and will be getting in to some of the areas close to all the action to get some up-close shots. I also figure that there’ll be more than enough press with access to more areas than even some of the guests will, so the idea isn’t to compete with that. What I’m trying to do is turn the camera the other way; let’s document the atmosphere, the crowds, the street parties and all the other things going on around the World to make a piece of history.

Where did you get the idea for Royal Wedding Book?

Being a Londoner and a Royalist myself, and having had some exciting discussions with you guys at Lulu, the very concept of being able to produce a stunning hardcover book with the People’s view of The Royal Wedding seemed truly unique and a fantastic way to celebrate, and more importantly, remember this momentous occasion.

Tell us a bit more about Royal neighbourhood street parties. Is that an ideal venue for collecting photos of the Royal Wedding atmosphere?

I’ve learn so much about this from speaking to people from all over the country. For those of us living in London, we’re all heading over to Green Park, near the top of The Mall to have a Champagne Breakfast and find a good spot to watch the events unfold. From reading the local newspapers, quite a few have already pitched their tents and settled in for the long haul since Monday morning. For people outside of London, I’ve heard about literally thousands of Royal Street Parties going on right up and down the country. People get dressed up and fly the flags (bunting), and follow the schedule of the day to the second … when Kate and William finally tie the knot, we throw the flowers!

What is the best way for Americans to get involved with the Royal Wedding celebrations?

I think this is one of the most exciting parts of the whole event. There’s never been a Royal Wedding with so much potential to reach such wide audiences, with so much information about what’s going on at that very moment. I want to soak up as much of that information as possible by us asking everyone out there for their photos and memories of the day. I’m pretty sure the Royal Family themselves would love to see the joy people are having right across America. I’ve also heard you guys are putting up big screens around several of the cities too and would love to see how you guys celebrate this historic “Royal British knee’s up!”

Click here for instructions on how to submit your photos to the Royal Wedding Book.

“…And You Look Like One Too.” Celebrate Lulu’s Birthday!

Close your eyes and make a wish, because today is Lulu’s birthday!

That’s right, Lulu is officially nine years old and we want you to help us celebrate.

I’m sure you’ve seen the banners around the site for 20% off any order (Coupon code: HAPPY) and for 25% off a bulk order of 500 books or more (Coupon code: BIRTHDAY), but while we were pulling out the party hats and putting up the streamers, we decided to extend the sale – just for our big day.

Lulu started back in 2002, after our CEO and Founder Bob Young experienced his own frustrations with publishing his book Under the Radar. Having founded open-source software company Red Hat in the past, Bob thought of ways he could apply to the open-source mentality to publishing, thus Lulu, and our our new model of open-publishing, was born.

Nine years later, we’ve helped over 1 million creators in over 200 countries and territories publish their works and gain equal footing in the industry.

So take a big breath and help us blow out our candles because it wouldn’t be a Lulu birthday without you – our remarkable customers.

Celebrate NaNoWriMo with Lulu

We’re obviously big fans of books here at Lulu and that makes November one of our favorite months. Why? Because it’s National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo.

For eleven years NaNoWriMo has brought together thousands of aspiring authors who share a passion for writing and creativity. Each November, more and more authors join in and take a no holds barred approach to pumping out a 50,000 word book in just 30 days. With such a limited time-frame for making a remarkable work, writers often surprise themselves with what they can accomplish and what creative ideas they can come up with – music to the folks at Lulu’s ears.

Some of us Lulus are even getting involved in the action. I am using this year’s NaNoWriMo to overcome a three-year case of writer’s block. Well, at least I’m trying to overcome a three-year case of writer’s block. So far I’ve spent several days staring at a blank screen hoping to channel Neruda, Hemmingway, Frost or Fitzgerald and then distracting myself with exciting things like laundry and grocery shopping.

Writing is much harder than anyone gives us literary types credit for, and I admire all of you Lulu creators for being able to have the self-discipline to write something and the confidence to put it out in the world.

NaNoWriMo is all about getting motivated. Any book written in 30 days probably won’t be a work of genius, but writing 50,000 words in one month is going to force you to write and take risks. You can edit, take out weak characters, and add sub-plots later. For now, just get writing!

My favorite high school English teacher told me once that writing is easy. You just write about yourself with the life you’ve always wanted. Change your name, give yourself an apartment in Paris and a love interest who got away. Find inspiration in everything and use the mannerisms of interesting strangers to write new characters. Combine it with the search for home, and you’ve got yourself a bestseller.

So, let’s do this together! We’ve got three weeks to write a book. It may not be your most remarkable work, but then again, maybe it will be. You don’t know till you try. And when you’re all done, I encourage you to publish your books on Lulu. What have you got to lose?

Feel free to add your NaNoWriMo experiences in the comments section below. We’d love to hear what you’re working on or any tips for NaNoWriMo survival and getting motivated?  Come on NaNoWriMo veterans, I know you’re out there.

Focus: Independence Day Books

Between grilling, watching fireworks, and visiting with family this weekend for the Fourth of July, I thought I recommend a few titles that are great reads to get you into the spirit of celebrating our nation’s independence.

Born on the Fourth of July

By Ron Kovic

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This classic, New York Times Bestseller details the author’s life story (portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Oliver Stone film of the same name) from a patriotic soldier in Vietnam, to his severe battlefield injury, to his role as the country’s most outspoken anti-Vietnam War advocate, spreading his message from his wheelchair. Ron Kovic served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. He was paralyzed from his chest down in combat in 1968 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. Kovic’s powerful and moving new introduction sets this classic antiwar story in a contemporary context.

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100 American Flags

By Kit Hinrichs

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This vibrant collection of 100 Stars and Stripes artifacts ranges from Civil War-era banners and Native American braided moccasins to an early 20th-century “friendship” kimono and original flag art by several of the world’s leading designers. Destined to captivate folk-art aficionados, history buffs, and collectors, this book provides a stunning visual history of America’s most treasured symbol. A timely, patriotic full-color book presenting 100 American flag artifacts from one of the world’s most eminent collectors, designer Kit Hinrichs.


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John Adams

By David McCullough

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In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot — “the colossus of independence,” as Thomas Jefferson called him — who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.