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Lulu Teams Up with NC State to Fund the World’s Next Big Idea

RALEIGH, NC – <October 4, 2016> – Lulu, the world’s leading independent publishing company, proudly announces a five-year extension of our partnership with North Carolina State University’s Entrepreneurship Initiative to fund the Lulu eGames through 2020.

“Lulu was founded by entrepreneur Bob Young to remove the barriers that prevented promising new authors from publishing and sharing their knowledge,” said Nigel Lee, Lulu CEO. “Our partnership with NC State is a natural extension of that mission. Who knows how these brilliant young minds, these knowledge entrepreneurs, will change the world when given the opportunity to share their ideas for new products and innovative solutions to real-world problems.”

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NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) is a campus-wide program empowering students to create meaningful change by turning ideas into action. Through entrepreneurial spaces like the EI Garage and Albright Entrepreneurs Village and programs like the

Lulu eGames Startup Competition, EI strives to serve as the hub for student entrepreneurship at NC State.

Last year’s Lulu eGames competition awarded more than $60,000 in cash prizes across five different categories, including the Daugherty Endowment Challenge for companies who have licensed NC State intellectual property and the B Corp Champions Challenge for students building new ventures that use business as a force for social and environmental change. Past winners include Undercover Colors, a startup developing nail products that change color in the presence of date rape drugs; Bee Downtown, a venture that earned one of only four IDEO-backed global fellowships for climate innovators; and Trakex, a company whose founders were selected to participate in the competitive Y Combinator Fellowship program.

“The Lulu eGames provides participants with the opportunity to gain real-world experience in entrepreneurship; build invaluable relationships regionally, nationally and globally; and receive cash awards to help their ventures move forward in a real way,” said Dr. Tom Miller, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship and McPherson Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering Entrepreneurship at NC State. “It’s a pleasure to continue this partnership with Lulu, a company that shares NC State’s commitment to cultivating entrepreneurship because of the tremendous impact it has on our world.”

As the eGames sponsor, Lulu will work with teams to develop and present product pitches and written descriptions to more effectively tell their stories and share their ideas with the world. Through our participation, Lulu hopes to further increase awareness and visibility of the eGames.

When asked about Lulu’s continuing relationship with NC State, Lee responded, “Lulu has always been dedicated to making the world a better place, one story at a time. By continuing our sponsorship of the Lulu eGames, we will add to this legacy one innovative idea, one life-changing product, and one entrepreneur at a time.”

For more information

NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative, please visit: https://ei.ncsu.edu/
Lulu eGames, please visit: https://ei.ncsu.edu/egames/
Lulu Press, please visit: www.lulu.com

About Lulu

image1Since 2002, Lulu has enabled authors in more than 225 countries and territories to self-publish nearly two million publications. Our industry-leading tools and global community help authors hone their craft and publish printed books and eBooks for free, then sell them in online bookstores around the world. At Lulu, authors are in control, owning the rights to their works, setting their own price and keeping up to 90 percent of their book profits.

Getting to Know Lulu CEO Nigel Lee

“This is a truly amazing team and a truly amazing company. When I look at Lulu, I believe that it’s time to stop referring to what we do as self-publishing. It’s really independent publishing for independent authors and creators. The real difference is in who reaps the reward for creating. At Lulu, creators benefit, not the corporation. We are on the right side of history and we are setting out to prove it.” – Nigel Lee

Nigel Head ShotNigel Lee, Lulu CEO recently spoke at the Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI) Management Conference in Wild Dunes, South Carolina. These excerpts are from a follow-up interview that appeared in ShelfLife, the Book Manufacturers’ Institute newsletter (Vol 11, Issue 2).

BMI:  Your team wants to make content creation and consumption a simpler and more rewarding experience for people around the world. Lulu.com is available in six languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Dutch. How did you so successfully get the word out about how Lulu.com could help writers and authors?

Nigel Lee: The key to the success of any business idea is that it has to solve a problem. Lulu.com solved a problem and was the first to bring the solution to a global audience. The problem was a simple one. It was traditionally very difficult to get a book published. Most publishers operated (and still do!) based on a profit censorship model. They  would only show interest in titles they felt would make them money. This resulted in millions of voices not being heard, millions of books not being published. Given the inherent costs of publishing, traditionally publishers would then take the lion’s share of all profits generated by a title.

Lulu.com reversed this model entirely. Lulu.com accepts all titles, within the boundaries of the law. The author retains all ownership and control and keeps up to 90% of all profits. Lulu.com proliferated this model via the Internet. Given the disruptive and much needed model Lulu.com offered and the fact that Lulu was first to market allowing authors to engage directly and simply with just a web browser, Lulu.com grew very quickly. Lulu continues to be successful based on the core principles of the original business idea.

Key to Lulu.com’s success is the continued ability to understand its customers and react accordingly. The launch of Glasstree Academic Publishing later this year is a clear example of listening to our customers and developing a business to serve their needs directly.

BMI: What role has your comfort with technology played in your professional success?

Lee: Technology is simply a tool, like a shovel or a fork. Using the latest tools available has been a constant in the evolution of our species and I’m born of a generation that is perfectly comfortable with the increased pace of such developments. My personal success has come from an ability to articulate the value of a technology to the audience who can benefit from it.

BMI: You are known for welcoming disruption and challenging the status quo. Why do you think this is necessary and important for businesses seeking transformation?

Lee: I prefer the term ‘breaking orthodoxy’ rather than disruption. Breaking orthodoxy is critical to building businesses that solve problems. You have to think about doing things in a different way, a better way. The bigger the problem, or the more exploitative the existing model, the greater your likelihood of being disruptive will be when breaking that orthodoxy

BMI: We very much admire Lulu Jr., the program that allows children to become published authors, encouraging creativity, strengthening literacy and building self-esteem. Tell us more about this initiative.

Lee: Lulu Junior is based on a simple premise that children learn most while writing and not while reading. Fostering creativity and writing in young children is a powerful way of growing their cognitive abilities across all disciplines. That we are able to provide ways in which to stimulate child development is just a very worthwhile thing to do.

BMI: Why is Lulu’s sponsorship and involvement in the Lulu eGames at North Carolina State University so important to you and your team? How do they promote entrepreneurship and innovation?

Lee: Lulu is an entrepreneurial company. Entrepreneurship is the life source of any economy and therefore society; however, the development of these skills is often overlooked in higher education. NC State is a very forward thinking university that recognized the value of developing entrepreneurial skills. Being part of this initiative gives Lulu the opportunity to contribute to society and promote entrepreneurship beyond the walls of its own organization. As a certified B-Corp company, we are deeply committed to doing everything we can to make the world a better place and this is a key part of that endeavor.

BMI: Speaking of innovation, if time and money were no object, what “invention” or change do you think could make the most difference for two of your passions – children and their opportunities for a quality education?

Lee: We need to see ourselves as a single society. To understand that the key to addressing all of our challenges and inequalities is the ability to act in unison. Technology is accelerating this evolution. The internet is making the world a smaller place everyday. We are no longer blind to the inequities of our society and the damage caused by tribal instincts for power and control and the fight over regional scarcity of resources. Every child has a right to basic human necessities; health, clean water, food, shelter, education and love. At a certain moment in time we will recognize that this is the key to our future as a race. The day we recognize it isn’t acceptable for more than 60 million children to have no schooling will be the day my dream starts to come true. This number has halved in the last 16 years, but will take an estimated 70 more years before the number is even close to zero. Technology has an incredibly important role to play, if companies are willing to play their part in making the world a better place.

Want to know more?

Follow Nigel on LinkedIn and Twitter (@blindfoldzebra)

Have a question for Nigel?

Is there something you would like to know about Lulu or Glasstree Academic Publishing?  Submit your questions to pr@lulu.com. Enter Question for Nigel in the subject line. Your question could be answered in a future article.

Lulu Leaps Ahead of Competitors with Release of Solar-Powered Books

FRI, APR 01, 2016 08:30 EST

Lulu, the first and largest independent publisher, today announced a breakthrough in reading technology, the solar-powered book.

Continue reading “Lulu Leaps Ahead of Competitors with Release of Solar-Powered Books”

The New York Times: Print Wikipedia Project Reaches Final Entry

TUE, JUL 14, 2015 09:51 EST

Print Wikipedia , an effort to envision all of English-language Wikipedia as an old-fashioned dead-tree reference set, reached its conclusion just before 10 p.m. on Sunday when a handful of people gathered at a Lower East Side art gallery to watch the last of 7,600 volumes upload to the print-on-demand Web site Lulu.com — exactly 24 days, 3 hours and 18 minutes after the process began.

Continue reading “The New York Times: Print Wikipedia Project Reaches Final Entry”

Artist Michael Mandiberg Presents Print Wikipedia in New York City

THU, JUN 25, 2015 09:00 EST

Mandiberg Transforms the World’s Largest Collection of Knowledge into Books for Print-On-Demand

Michael Mandiberg announced the unveiling of Print Wikipedia in the exhibition From Aaaaa! to ZZZap! , which runs June 18 to July 2, 2015 at Denny Gallery . Continue reading “Artist Michael Mandiberg Presents Print Wikipedia in New York City”

The New York Times: Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves

WED, JUN 17, 2015 10:16 EST

The Wikipedia entry for “quixoticism” runs only about 255 words. But if anyone could argue for a personal mention, it might be Michael Mandiberg .

Continue reading “The New York Times: Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves”

Artist Michael Mandiberg Spent 24 Days Turning Wikipedia into Books

TUE, JUL 14, 2015 09:49 EST

World’s Largest Body of Knowledge is Available as Print-On-Demand Books

In June, artist Michael Mandiberg unveiled Print Wikipedia in the exhibition From Aaaaa! to ZZZap! , which ran a total of 24 days, 3 hours and 18 minutes from June 18 to July 11, at Denny Gallery in New York City. Mandiberg wrote software that transformed the entirety of the English Wikipedia database into thousands of print ready PDFs, complete with covers.

Continue reading “Artist Michael Mandiberg Spent 24 Days Turning Wikipedia into Books”

European CEO: Authors of their own destiny: writers shun the ‘big five’ publishers

MON, JUN 01, 2015 21:42 EST

Digital books turned the industry upside down, but the revolution hasn’t stopped yet. There’s more change to come, and it could make traditional publishing houses tremble

Still reeling from the colossal impact that e-books have had on traditional publishing, the ‘big five’ (Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster), as well as the army of smaller firms that follow in their shadows, have taken another significant blow. Continue reading “European CEO: Authors of their own destiny: writers shun the ‘big five’ publishers”

Publishers Weekly: Best of Both Worlds

MON, MAY 18, 2015 09:43 EST

The line between traditional and self-publishing is blurring, and this is good news for authors willing to seize a new opportunity. That is one of the major themes of this year’s uPublishU at BookExpo America, the indie publishing show held at New York City’s Javits Center on Saturday, May 30.

Continue reading “Publishers Weekly: Best of Both Worlds”

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