Articles tagged "self-publish"

Meet CL Bennett: Award-Winning Author and Guest Blogger

As 2017 kicks off Lulu is delighted to welcome guest blogger C.L. Bennett, the international award-winning children’s author of the ‘Bugglepuff’ series. Taking a few minutes from her hectic writing and travel schedule, CL spoke to us about the magical world of the Bugglepuff series.

Hi CL ! Would you mind telling us about the Bugglepuff series?

Jungle bedrooms, pirate treasure maps, a chocolate bath, little people with flying boots, a crazy parrot and a Magic Key can all be found in the first of a series of books about the Bugglepuff family.

Captain Bugglepuff, his mad wife Delirious and their four rascally children Anemone, Compass, Rocky and Seasea live a haphazard day-to-day family life in a little English fishing port in Devon, until the arrival of a mysterious crisp white letter in the mail. After the arrival of this letter, nothing in the Bugglepuff’s lives will ever be the same again.

It takes the Bugglepuff family to a new home by an enchanted creek  leading to a fantastical adventure in a world of magic where dreams can come true. But the family must be careful. Temptations takes the Bugglepuff children and their extraordinary animals on a series of dangerous quests for which the price of failure will break the family apart and the world as we know it!

Why did you start to write?

My family was the inspiration behind my book Bugglepuffs and the Magic Key and newly published through Lulu, Bugglepuffs and the Magic Quest – PART 1. My four hilarious children’s day-to-day dramas growing up gave me so many scrumptious stories, that after several years and a lot of persuasion from friends and family I felt it was time to put pen to paper and bring them to life in an animated adventure.

It’s the drama and excitement I can create as an author putting my family into the world of the Bugglepuffs, which is an absolute joy and delight. What will they do next? Who will play the lead role? Sometimes if one of my children does something naughty at home I make them do something terribly silly in the book to make me laugh!

What inspired you to write a children’s book in particular?

The natural choice was to write a children’s book that my own children could read for six to eleven-year-old boys and girls. But I think the whole family enjoy the series and can laugh at the Bugglepuff family’s daily chaos and escaping to a new life full of magic and wonder! I wanted to write books to create tremendous worldwide fun and to send sparkles into the imaginations of children. If I can achieve a sprinkling of this, that would be gloriously special!

Where did the tremendous word ‘Bugglepuffs’ come from?

I was traveling home from school with the children last spring and I said to them, “Well if I’m going to write a book, I need a name for the family. Our surname is Bennett so I think it should start with a B.” “a B,” they all said then ‘splat’ a bug hit our windscreen. ‘Bug,’ shouted my youngest son, they all laughed, followed by my oldest daughter replying, ‘Buggle’ and then my youngest daughter roared with giggles and screamed, “puff, puff puff.” At that moment, I nearly went into the hedge as I realised the animated family name had been born. That was the start of the ‘Bugglepuffs.

We hear that the character ‘Delirious Bugglepuff’ is based on yourself? What is the silliest thing that has ever happened to you?

Well there are many silly moments but I guess probably the funniest was when my kids were very young. I was very tired with sleepless nights and crying babies and I was ferociously late for school. I’d been folding the washing and then raced out the door with pram in tow and whizzed up to school. I got to school with five minutes to spare in a frazzled state, but happy I’d made it on time. Suddenly I heard a laugh, followed by another laugh and another and I didn’t know what my friends were pointing at. I looked around then realised they were pointing at me, at my hair. In my rush to get to school I had left a fresh pair of twizzled up knickers in my hair. It was my most deliriously silly moment as a mum to date, but one I’ll always happily remember and giggle about!

What makes creative writing so exciting for you and what else inspires you?

Oh, where to begin with this one? Creative writing is like having a canvas in front of me and putting hundreds of colours together through writing. My pen is like a paint brush. I want every child and every adult to see, touch, hear, smell and taste the magical world of the Bugglepuffs and travel excitedly on the adventure series with me.

Children are my inspiration and not in a corny way. They have the most sharp, unreserved minds and come out with such genuine and inspiring suggestions when you least expect it! This has led me to starting ‘Bugglepuff Fun Days’ in primary schools and it’s been like sitting in a bath of delicious ice cream! I love animating the children with creative writing, the joy of reading and the delights of dream bedrooms and chocolate doors. Taking their minds into a world of adventure is so much fun! For older children, I talk about my writing and publishing experiences so far, and in return the children ask me brilliant questions about what it’s like being an author and creating the Bugglepuffs. Fun is not enough of a word it should be ‘Fundeliciouslywonderfullystupendous!’


The newest Bugglepuff adventure!

About the Author

CL Bennett has sold 1000’s of books online, been on UK book tours, started Bugglepuff ‘fun days’ in 100’s of schools and libraries around the country, made audio recordings of her books with actor Brian Blessed OBE and won children’s books awards in both the USA and Europe. Her books are available for purchase in the Lulu bookstore.

Over the coming weeks, Bennet will share insights and tips on writing and self-publishing. If you have specific questions for her, please post them in the comments section.


Calling All Lulu Authors

Do you have a story to tell about realizing your dream as a writer? Do you have self-publishing knowledge or expertise to share with other authors? Want to expand your digital reach?

If so, we are looking for authors like you to share your story with our blog audience. Email your story pitch to PR@lulu.com. Include a brief biography and a link to your published work. We will do the rest.

Guidelines for guest posting.

– See more at: http://www.lulu.com/blog/#sthash.2axuzr3w.dpuf

Keep that NaNoWriMo Inspiration Alive

Paul@Lulu

November has come and gone, but what are you planning to do with that manuscript you started for NaNoWriMo 2016?

For those who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a “competition, challenging writers to buckle down and write 50,000 words in a month. While that might seem ambitious (1667 words a day!), for many of us it’s the perfect motivation to start a new project, complete a book, or finish up an existing project.

The organization (http://nanowrimo.org/) specifically encourages writing a novel in a month. But they’ll also be the first to tell you; writing is writing, and it’s all good! The competition is self-driven. You challenge yourself to achieve your writing goals. Support and encouragement comes from other NaNo writers striving for the same goal. I know I’m a big procrastinator (“I’m not in the right mood to write,” “Its too nice outside to write,” “I’ll just watch an episode of my favorite TV show, then I’ll write”), so the goals, the support, the word sprints (timed writing sessions with smaller word goals), as well as the imposing progress chart help keep me on track.

Eleven months out of the year, I’m happy with 5,000 words in a week. That’s good progress to me. But come November, I crank that up to almost 12,000 a week. For me, its the time of year when I start the novel I’ll be working on for the coming year. In November I aim to create a stripped down, 50,000 word version of my complete story, or to write the first portion of the story. A couple of years ago, I was so happy with my NaNoWriMo piece, I left it as a novella topping out at 55,000 in the final draft!

However you use the motivation, the real point is to be motivated! NaNoWriMo lets you update your word count (I like to check mine daily) and see the progress. Now, if you look at my chart, you’ll see I didn’t hit my goal for the month, finishing more than 10,000 words short. I don’t let this slow me down though. Because the point is just to push out as many words as possible in a month.

And now, with the competition done, its time to print that book and have a look at it. I print my manuscripts as 8.5 x 11 Coil Bound Paperbacks (for around $10.00 you can get your 50,000 word Nano script printed and shipped from Lulu). Then I can review it, make notes, make changes, and move that story to completion.

Last year’s NaNo project is today a 120,ooo word novel, its been through two full revisions, and is going through the last round of reviews before it’s ready to be called complete! All because I challenged myself to hit that 50,000 word goal last November.

That can be you too! Nanowrimo is an awesome way to get started and Lulu is here to help you take that great start and turn it into a published novel!

Happy Holidays from Lulu!

Following our holiday potluck, we had a little fun with drones, mannequins and light sabers. The entire Lulu team wishes you the happiest of holidays, a very merry Christmas, and a most successful New Year.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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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