Happy Valentine’s Day from Lulu. Send a conversation heart to your fellow literature lovers.
For Valentine’s this year, I wanted to cover something different than your standard lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day gift ideas because let’s face it, for some of us, V-Day ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. As I was sifting through the millions of books on Lulu, I came across this little gem:
Better Luck Next Year
by Vicky Harris
Written for all the “love-scrooges” out there, this book is chock-full of hilarious takes on Valentine’s day coupons like: “Rub your own feet, they stink,” and brutally honest quips like: “You’re funnier when your drunk.” Tapping into the twisted humor that most of us think, but are too afraid to say out loud, this book is sure to make anyone, single or no, crack a smile. The mini-book comes in a set of three, so they are perfect for handing out as gag gifts, or for leaving on an ex’s doorstep. Enjoy, and happy “Extortion,” I mean Valentine’s Day!
This year, my grandmother turned 75 and before Christmas, my whole family was exchanging emails back and forth trying to think of a gift we could give her that would really show her how special she has been to us all these years.
My mom suggested we make a list of my grandmother’s sayings and print them out for her. My aunt suggested we take a family photo and put it in a nice frame. My uncle suggested we write a card that tells her what she’s taught us.
These were all nice thoughts, but I wanted to go big. I suggested we take everyone’s ideas and combine them into a Lulu photo book to present to her at Christmas.
At first, my family was a little hesitant because not all of them are super tech savvy or organized. But I set up a Lulu account that we could all share, picked a theme I thought my grandma would like, I made the cover and the first few pages. I even added in captions of my grandma’s sayings like “lord love a duck” (no I don’t know what that means either).
Once my family saw how quick I was able to do this, they gave it a shot. They were amazed that they could just drag and drop pictures into the book from their Facebook accounts and easily write a heart felt message right on the page. After no time, the book was done and we had our special gift for Christmas. My grandmother absolutely loved it, but the best part was we all made it together.
It was great to see and read all those memories that my family had saved all these years, many of which I had forgotten. Hopefully this post has given you some ideas that are sure to spread joy to your loved ones for next year. And we’d love to hear about any remarkable holiday gifts that you’ve made in the comments below. Happy holidays!
Today, Lulu author Jamie Reidy is getting to see one of the biggest dreams any author can have come true. His autobiography, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, has been made into a movie, Love & Other Drugs, starring breakout actors Jake Gyllenhall and Anne Hathaway.
If you ask Reidy if he ever expected this level of success, he’ll chuckle and smugly say: “Well, yeah.”
While Reidy jokingly admits to being somewhat of an egomaniac, he believes that any author who has gone so far as to have their work published should be thinking about their potential and at least have an idea of their long term goals for their work. Otherwise, it’s a self-defeating process.
“If you’re determined to be an author, you obviously have a story to tell and characters to share” says Reidy. “It doesn’t make sense if you’re not ready to go to all lengths to make something happen with them.”
Even with Reidy’s newfound success, his follow-up book, Bachelor 101: Cooking + Cleaning = Closing, available on Lulu, was still rejected by traditional means.
“The industry is scared to take a chance right now” says Reidy. “Luckily, tech like Lulu lets me sell my work anyway and I can get on with my writing.”
Reidy is particularly fond of Lulu’s formatting services and the freedom of not having to go back and forth between editors, which can become very expensive and time consuming.
“With Lulu, $400 for formatting was a deal – I know I got my money’s worth,” Reidy says.
Be sure to pick up a copy of both of Reidy’s books in the Lulu Marketplace and head to your local theater to see Love & Other Drugs, opening today. And for those aspiring authors out there, Reidy has a few last sarcastic words of advice: “No matter how good it is, you cannot count on your friends to buy your book.”
We all have loads of digital images, but how many of you have taken that extra step to take them back a generation and make a book? You probably know by now that you can make a fantastic photo book with Lulu. It’s simple, fun and you end up with a beautiful keepsake for yourself, your family and your friends. Whether you’ve got loads of wedding photos, shots from your vacation last summer, or designs for your professional portfolio — the options are endless.
What you might not know is that Lulu now offers photo books in extra large sizes. We have 12″ x 12″ square and 13″ x 11″ landscape books with premium paper and gorgeous matte covers. Of course we think they’re great, but seriously, they are GREAT. The larger sizes have a majestic feel and harken back to days when people actually had photos printed and took the time to paste them into albums. But you’re not pasting, you’re dragging and dropping. With these books, you can create a seriously professional project with minimal effort on your part. We have plenty of themes and fonts to choose from to give your book the personal touch you desire.
In fact, these large size books aren’t just in the Lulu Studio. If you want a bit more creative liberty, you can design your own book and upload the PDF into the Lulu Wizard, while still taking advantage of premium paper and the classy matte hardcover option.
With the holidays just around the corner, this is actually the perfect time to start a photo book project and still have plenty of time to tweak your text and add that extra bit of finesse to your photos. The only real decision is whether you flex your creative muscles and upload your own custom created PDF or take advantage of specially designed themes in the Lulu Studio™.
Thanksgiving is a holiday of family and friends and of remembering what is important in your life. If your family is like mine, what is most important on Thanksgiving is food. Lots and lots of food.
Thanksgiving is the only time of year that some of my favorite family recipes make an appearance at the table, and all of those dishes are tied to strong memories. As my family has gotten older and the kids have moved all over the country, I worried that some of the recipes would be lost. The obvious solution was to write a cookbook.
I made my cookbook a few years ago by just uploading a word file and cover. Simple! Once I had my files ready, it only took a few minutes to publish and I had the perfect Christmas gift for my entire family.
All those delectable recipes have now been saved in my book The Midwest Meets the South. Though grandma absolutely refused to let me print her famous yeast roll recipe in a book, so some secrets remain just that.
With the Lulu Studio it is now easier than ever to turn your Thanksgiving feast into more than a picked-over turkey carcass and memories. Just choose your binding, type in your recipes, add photos and publish your book. Easy as pie (which you should definitely include a recipe for in the cookbook). You can get started here.
If you add family photos and the stories behind your meals, this simple cookbook can become a keepsake for generations.
Lulu Studio will be my first choice, when I make a second edition. (Grandma, I will get that yeast roll recipe one day!)
Happy eating everyone!
Email your friends and colleagues:
Email is a great way to get the word out on your book, and who better to support you than those you already know. Explain why you wrote the book and what it is about. Be sure to include a link to your book on Lulu so they can click through and make a purchase. You can use your personal email provider or use the handy email button included on every Lulu product page.
Lastly, ask the people on your list to forward the email on to their friends and colleagues. Think of it this way – if you send an email to 100 friends, family and colleagues, and half of them send it on to another 10 people, you will reach 600 people – quick and cheap. Just take care to be respectful and don’t spam people with your book with too many emails. That can be a pretty quick turn off.
Contact your local newspaper:
Local journalists are always looking for new and interesting things to report on, so help them out by approaching them with your story. Onlinenewspapers.com serves as a directory for newspapers worldwide. Just select your state or country to find local newspapers in your area. Here are some tips on how to increases the odds of being featured:
Outreach like this can go a long way in gaining important exposure for your book. So, don’t be shy – get the word out!