Lulu’s Holiday Gift Guide: Books for Good

The days immediately following Thanksgiving are well-known for their wild shopping sprees. Retailers pour on the discounts and consumer flock to stores at all hours of the night to be first in line for great deals.

This phenomenon has grown from a single day (dubbed Black Friday) to include the weekend (Small Business Saturday) and even the following week (Cyber Monday). All of this marketing and branding got some savvy folks thinking about how they could use the shopping frenzy to do good.

Continue reading “Lulu’s Holiday Gift Guide: Books for Good”

Lulu’s Holiday Gift Guide: Graphic Novels

The holiday shopping intensifies!

Graphic Novels have long been an under-represented form of publishing and creativity. Partly due to niche markets and partly to the cost of creating high-quality, color books, Graphic Novel creators have long struggled to make their work readily available.

Self-publishing changes all that. We’re here today with a selection of some awesome graphic novels self-published and available on the Lulu bookstore.

And as an added bonus, we’ll feature a few of our favorite Zines as well: short, independently created and published magazines.

First, we have some of our favorite Graphic Novels:

Seen and Unseen

By Sarah Dahlinger

It’s a historical fiction set deep in the Panamanian rain forest. Follow Sam Hildebrand, an ichthyologist, during his harrowing adventure through mud and magic, as he tries to complete the 1911 Smithsonian Biological survey.

***
rated PG-13

-animals kill people
– indigenous nudity on female monkey-like forest creatures in one drawing
– there is nothing sexual in this book at all. It’s like Treasure Island.

MISFILE – Book 1

By Chris Hazelton

In one little corner of the universe, there’s nothing more irritating than a misfile…

The Do-Jahng #1

By Jon D. Sloan

“The Do-Jahng” is a comic about the trials and tribulations of Tae Kwon Do Master Jim Parker and his students as they live and work in the town of Dukesville. This series focuses on their lives both in and out of the do-jahng (training hall), dealing with every day life as well as ever-present threats from various ninja clans!

This first issue finds our friends pondering a new assignment that Master Parker has given them. They must work on a very introspective paper while dealing with a new arrival to Dukesville, AND their do-jahng!

Pep Squad

By Iran Johnson

The villainous ‘Evil Mind’ desires to conquer Chill Town (the coolest place on the planet) after being deemed “uncool” and “whack”. Exiled for his “ill” behavior, Evil Mind struggles to think of a plan to achieve his goal. However, a freakish accident has left him–incurably stupid. Eventually, he sends his ‘hooligans’ out to do his ‘dirty’ work–but there are four little heroes that are determined to protect their beloved city from Evil Mind’s whack-ness!

Beard for Dummies

By Janne Karlsson

Everything you´ll ever need to know about BEARD as seen through the bizarre eyes of Swedish artist/cartoonist Janne Karlsson.

Vegan Sidekick Volume 4

By Richard Watts

Are your friends and family conflicted about whether they should stab animals in the neck constantly every day all the time constantly? Do they react to your non-violence as though you are some spilt hummus on the carpet and they don’t know what kind of stain you will leave? Have you had the same conversation 18 quintillion times this morning about how killing innocent victims is really a personal preference? Then maybe you could do with this book in your life. Alternatively, just go to one of Vegan Sidekick’s social media pages and read the comics for free lol no need to buy anything, what kind of advertising even is this?

Bagel Soup – Stirring the Pot

By David Koesters

Bagel Soup comics (originally published at bagelsoup.com) are an eclectic mix of social commentary, sight gags, horrible puns, and the occasional peek at genuine cleverness. With chapters ranging from Depressants, Religion, Relationshipping, Sex, and, aptly, Animals, Food, Fists, Balls, and Butts, this collection has something for everyone to laugh and be mildly offended over. It’s cute, cutting, groaning, clever, and consistently inconsistently. Author David Koesters is a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska where he lives in a decrepit house, is an officer of the United States Army, has a law degree for some reason, and bleeds ketchup. After surviving a long battle with sense of humor cancer, Koesters’ Bagel Soup sprung out of the ashes of bad cooking to become something whereby he figured he could do the least damage to society. (I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a laughing?) Though he’ll be the first to say he can’t draw, you may agree, Bagel Soup is good for wasting your time and provides healthy eye laughter. Enjoy.


If you’re more of a Magazine person, check these Zines. They’re all loaded with great content sure to please anyone on your holiday shopping list:


 

Self Care Zine: Food

By Rachelle Abellar

This issue of the Self Care Zine is 56 pages of comics, illustrations, recipes, personal stories, tips, and resources all related to how we use food as self care.

The Sublime Zine issue three

By The Sublime Zine

Sublime aesthetic magazine has one simple purpose, to inform freely and honestly the world of the wondrous culture and art born every minute.

 

Unusual Bath zine

By Stefan Alexander

Unusual Bath is a self-published comic zine.

The story based on a bather enjoying his relaxing bath until he experiences a unusual adventure while in his bathtub which takes him to different fantasy worlds.

 

 

And of course you can find plenty of other Graphic Novels and Zines on our bookstore:

Graphic Novels & Zines on the Lulu Bookstore

Lulu’s Holiday Gift Guide: Travel & Adventure

The holiday season usually means a bit of traveling. Visiting friends and family, using those last few vacation days before they expire, or just going somewhere warm when the weather starts to turn.

Lulu authors know a thing or two about travel.

These books make great gifts – loaded with surprising and astounding stories. Just have a look!

98 Days Of Wind

By Ras & Kathy Vaughan

On March 4th, 2017, Team UltraPedestrian set out to do that which had never before been done: a double thru-hike of the Grand Enchantment Trail. Through this collection of trail dispatches, video transcripts, journal excerpts, and short narratives their journey unfolds in a rapid-fire staccato stream-of-consciousness. Join Ras and Kathy while they push their minds, bodies, and relationship to the limits and beyond as they struggle to endure 98 Days of Wind.

In the Driver’s Seat: An American Road Trip

By Dan Murphy

Dan Murphy set about to reach all fifty states. On his journey, he drove across the USA and navigated mountains, desert, rivers, valleys and lived to tell about it, barely. This epic adventure is series of road trips that will make you laugh, cry, and ponder the meaning of life. You’ll want to get on the road as soon as you finish reading about his adventures.

This is the only available edition with full-color photos.

My United States Travel Journal

By Carolyne Cole

The ultimate travel companion for kids traveling within the United States.

A travel journal for roadschoolers, world schoolers and kids taking extended holidays.

Packed with an exciting variety of pages to record your adventures and stimulate travel inspired learning.

Lake Huron to Lake George

By Albert Freihofer

Travel diary with many photographs of a row of 697 miles in an Adirondack Guideboat.

 

Backpack Cooking

By Chris Miller

This guide will help you prepare simple, cheap and delicious meals, each loaded with the calories your body needs to make it to your next resupply, and specifically designed for easy preparation with readily accessible ingredients.

These aren’t complicated recipes requiring a multitude of ingredients or excessive pots and pans — things no thru hiker would have room for in their pack. In fact, most recipes and meal ideas can be prepared in a single cup or pot, even a freezer bag or thermos if you choose!

MARATHON TOURISM DOWN UNDER

By Jim Manford

As part of a long-standing ambition to complete the Australian 100 Marathon Club’s ‘Anzac Sweep'(a marathon in all States and Territories in Australia plus the North and South Islands of New Zealand)Jim has taken a close look at the marathons available in each location. As always, his meticulously researched accounts, written from the perspective of a dedicated Marathon Tourist, are sure to appeal to all those who enjoy combining their love of running with a love of travel. This is the 9th book in Jim’s ‘Marathon Tourism’ series.

The Ride of Your Life

By Michael Fridgen

From the magical colossus of Disney to the charming quaintness of Tivoli Gardens, theme parks are as established as schools and hospitals.

Theme parks have become dynamic destinations where people test their courage and learn to have fun in safe environments. Theme parks are also economic catalysts that offer employment, as they require a supporting structure of roads, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Most importantly, they give us a place to celebrate life’s milestones.

America, Can I Have Your Autograph?

By Aida Frey & Dana Dorfman

You might think Junior Ranger Aida Frey is an ordinary girl from Chicago, but you’d be wrong.

Aida takes you into caves, to old battlefields, and to the stuff of legends. She sweeps through the passages of time, throwing baseballs on a famous cornfield, climbing mountains, and exploring nature’s nooks and crannies.

So release the balloons, throw the confetti, and set out on a series of never-ending adventures with America, Can I Have Your Autograph?

The Festivalist Guide to the Oktoberfest in Germany

By The Festivalist

The Festivalist Guide to the Oktoberfest in Germany is EVERYTHING you need to know about THE Oktoberfest in München, the BIGGEST festival in the world. Something you MUST visit once, read this guide to know what to dress, where to go and how to behave to have an AMAZING experience.

Triumph Across The USA

By Andrew Hayward Smith

“Triumph Across The USA” documents a 14,000-mile solo motorcycle tour in 61 days. This book captures the people and the natural majesty of the United States through an introspective soul and camera lens. “Triumph Across the USA” takes the reader to well-known and lesser-known highlights across 27 States. Travel guide, journal extracts and useful information on all of the places visited, full color photography throughout, and Facebook commentary included. 325 pages, full color.


Of course you know there are more books to fuel your wanderlust. Just have a look at our collection on the Lulu Bookstore:

Travel & Adventure Books on the Lulu Bookstore.


Check out our full Holiday Gift Guide for even more inspiration.

Lulu’s Holiday Gift Guide: Calendars

The holidays are fast approaching and with them comes a lot of holiday gift buying. If you’re anything like me, you like to give everyone on your list a book. Right?

Seriously, I’ve been giving books as gifts for years now and everyone in my family loves it. Or at least they say they love it.

The trick is finding the right book for each person on your shopping list. Luck for you, Lulu is back with our Holiday Gift Guide for 2018!

Continue reading “Lulu’s Holiday Gift Guide: Calendars”

How to Rock Your Author Website

 

I bet you hear this a lot: “Authors need an author website.” It’s one of the more common and oft-repeated lines coming from every book marketing and publishing industry expert. Website, website, website. You HAVE to have one.

If you’re hoping I might offer a different opinion, you’re sadly out of luck. If you’re a self-published author and you want to drive sales of your book, you really need an author website. No way around it.

Instead of lamenting the hassle of building and maintaining a web presence, I’m offering some advice and best practices for building your website.

Continue reading “How to Rock Your Author Website”

Author Interview: Hannah Russell and the Magic of Little Alf

Self-publishing attracts a wide and diverse range of writers. Like, staggeringly wide and diverse. You know why. Because we all have stories to tell, wisdom to impart, and a desire – almost a need – to share those stories.

Today we’re going to hear from just such an author: Hannah Russell, the author of The magical adventure of Little Alf. Her stories are geared toward younger readers, but show how anyone can take their ideas and their imagination and turn that into a story. Read on to learn a little more about Hannah’s unique author journey.

What do you do when you are not writing about Alf? 

Haha, funny questions, if I’m not writing about Alf I am usually thinking about Alfie and what he is up too, we are never usually that far apart. But in my spare time, I love reading, I think this is a common hobby in authors we are either writing or reading. I love all books literally I will read anything. I also love visiting quaint and quirky shops in the UK especially books shops there is something about them that is just so magical. And if I am not doing any of the above you will find me with my pets. I have 13 pets so I’m usually chasing one of them around the house or garden… they always create such mischief…

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

Hmm well, my name is Hannah Louise Russell, I am 20 years old and live in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. I live near a small market town called ‘Leyburn’ which is in the heart of Wensleydale. I have 13 pets all different shapes and sizes, I have 4 guinea pigs, 4 horses, 2 rabbits, 2 dogs and 1 robo hamster, who keep me on my toes. I love hot chocolate and drink at least two cups a day through the winter months and I love all things animal related! I’m usually in my office at home writing which has a small window where I can watch my horses in the fields.

Tell us a little bit about Little Alf

Where do I begin?! Little Alf is my little bundle of cheekiness. He is a miniature Shetland pony who stands at just 28 inches high due to him having dwarfism. He is 5 years old and is always playing in the field. Alfie has a best friend who is another miniature Shetland called Pepper.

How did the two of you come together?

Back in 2012 I heard about a miniature Shetland looking for a home, due to him having dwarfism his previous owner could not keep him and as soon as a saw him I fell in love, he was a hairy mess and looked like he belonged to a hippie rock band. Alfie came to live with me at a point in my life where I needed a new focus, I was 16 years old and had just found out that I had fractured my vertebras in my back and was likely never to ride again… He came to me at the ‘right time’ and completely turned my life upside down in the best possible way and gave me a new focus. I’ve never looked back since and couldn’t imagine life without him.

What made you decide to share your life with Alfie with the world?

I felt like I had a story to tell which could inspire so many, I was so stressed doing my A levels at college so ended up ‘dropping out’ which wasn’t very common although my family were really supportive. I felt with my story I could share it with other individuals. I’m a big believer in ‘Do what makes you happy’ and felt like my story could reflect that. I also wanted to share Alf’s story and his cheeky adventures and raise awareness about animals and pets in general. All of my animals are rescues and life for pets who aren’t considered ‘perfect’ can be unpredictable. In my book, you can read about all my daily activities with my pets and what extra care they need!

Are you surprised with how popular Little Alf has become?

Yes, 100%! When I was 17 years old (2 years ago) I was just a girl writing about my pony, and now his fan based is completely crazy. It’s been hard work over the past 3 years, it’s not that easy being an author but this year with his memoir been published I’ve felt incredibly proud of what we have both achieved together it’s all still very overwhelming! Alfie even gets fan mail which is so adorable we get the best drawings and presents sent to him!

What made you want to write a book about Alfie’s adventures?

Alfie! Alfie is my inspiration he always has been, he’s full of life and mischief and he’s just the perfect character for a story, he’s always up to no good but that’s what makes him him!

Have you always enjoyed writing?

No, not all! I hated writing and English at school I was more of a maths and number type of girl. I never imagined one day I would be a writer and author. I loved reading through school and also liked writing stories but did not enjoy anything to do with English literature or language. I’m actually a terrible speller and really struggled with writing through schools. Once I left college and Alfie came to live I started writing a blog about him and loved it… then a few months later his first children’s book was published.

How did you come across Lulu?

Word of mouth actually! I knew of a local author who lived nearby and my mum went and knocked on his door actually which was very nice of her, I was so shy at the time! He invited us in and told us all about LULU and how to use to the online site. I have kept in touch with him ever since and he is a big supporter of the Little Alf books.

How did it feel to publish your first book with Lulu? What was it like when you got it in the post? 

Amazing! I felt so proud of my first ever book, I remember holding in my hands and just been so proud and overwhelmed… Who knew back then that one day Alf would have his own empire.

What kind of impact do hope your books will have on the children that read them? 

My children’s books have lots of magic and adventure, I hope it gives them a sense of adventure when they read the books and makes them believe in the magic…! I visit schools quite regularly for talks and it’s always lovely to hear what children think of your books!

Can you tell us a little bit about the awards the books have received?

I currently have 5 awards sat on my shelf at home which have been for the books, which is very overwhelming! When I was 17 years old I was nominated for a local award close to home it was ‘5* book review’ it’s quite a big award for authors in Yorkshire, one of Alfie’s fans had nominated his Christmas book and very surprisingly we won. I remember being told the news I think I just sat in my office and cried it meant too much. Then after that, we received an author award for inspiring children with the stories. And in 2016 me and Alf where shortlisted ‘young entrepreneur of the year’ for the whole of the UK, where we came runner up! This year me and Alfie got a very special award from HRH ‘Princess Anne’ which was unbelievable, that was for the Little Alf children’s books and helping raise awareness for the Riding for Disabled Association – It’s been quite a whirlwind the past few years.

Has writing these books provided you with opportunities that you would not have expected?

Yes! I would have never imagined getting an award of meeting Princess Anne one day! I’ve had the most exciting year this year, I’ve met some Olympic horse riders and been to huge events book signing, it’s been crazy.

What advice would you give to others out there that may be interested in writing a book, but are afraid to give it a chance?

Go for it and believe in yourself. Everyone has a story inside of them it’s just whether you wish for it to come out. Make some notes, start writing and go for it! It’ll be the best thing you ever do, whether you write a chapter every night or on weekends just start writing! Believing in yourself is a huge aspect in life, it’s something I never did until now, it’s hard I must admit as sometimes you take 1 step forward and 2 back but you’ll get there. Hard work does pay off and it’s really worth it!

What’s next for Hannah and Little Alf?

Who knows! Even I don’t really know, this year I opened up the first ‘Little Alf’ shop in Leyburn Market Town. It’s really small but perfect for me and the Little Alf products. I would love to open up more shops across the UK. I have a few exciting campaign I’m working on for 2018 for charity and one campaign for a feed brand which is very exciting! Next Spring I’ll be publishing the next children’s book so at the moment my office is covered in sticky notes and coffee mugs. Other than that I’m not sure I just love spending time with Alf!


Hannah Russell is the Author of the Little Alf adventure series, her first book ‘The magical adventure of Little Alf – the discovery of the wild pony’ was published when Hannah was just 17 years old.
The Little Alf books are based on Little Alf, who is Hannah’s miniature Shetland pony who stands at just 28 inches high. Hannah had the idea to write books about Alfie due to his huge cheeky personality!

Check out her Author Spotlight for all of Little Alf’s Adventures!

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