The old cliche’, ‘There’s more than one way to skin a cat,’ has never been more true in publishing than it is today. (Never mind that I’ve always wondered why one would want to skin a cat in the first place – morbid)

But I digress. Today I am hosting 12 x 12 in 2012 author Elizabeth Dulemba, who has a story about a story (LULA’S BREW) she wrote years ago that is finally coming to life as a print book. It’s spooky (in keeping with the Halloween theme) how similar Elizabeth’s experience is to my own with A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS. I’m so delighted that her book will now be available in print for even more children to enjoy.

LULA’S BREW: Never Give Up

We always hear that line in book publishing, “Never give up.” But what does that look like when put into application? I’ll share the experience of publishing LULA’S BREW, because she most definitely fits the bill.

I started writing the story back in 2005. I created an entire book dummy and began to submit to publishers. My family and friends loved it, of course, but I received rejection after rejection – you know the story. Then in 2007 I entered one of the dummy illustrations into the competition, and won! The judge was a top New York Art Director and breathed some life back into my determination, but sadly, not into my story. LULA’S BREW went into a drawer.

Then in 2009 apps came along. I’ve come to trust my radar for new ideas and it was dinging like a fire alarm. I sought out a start-up app development company (they were all start-ups back then), pulled Lula out of a drawer and got to work. I had a feeling Lula was the right story for the app – she was short, funny, and most of the art was sketched out… but not colored. I had one month to fully render the entire story to have the app out in time for Halloween. Luckily, since the art would be small (72 dpi for a small screen) I was able to work quickly. I even did the voice recording in a mock-up sound studio in my developer’s living room. And we met the deadline!

Back then, LULA’S BREW was one of the first children’s book apps available for the iPhone, so she got fabulous exposure by being featured in the iTunes store for months, and on the popular blog “Moms with Apps.” When the iPad came out, I adapted her again and again she was out for Halloween. All said, Lula was downloaded over 10,000 times.

People obviously loved the story. One mother even sent me a photo of her daughter dressed up as Lula for Halloween! Her daughter loved LULA’S BREW so much, she wanted a copy in hardcover. But I couldn’t oblige her… yet.

Meanwhile, as the iTunes library crowded with more and more selections, Lula lost her spotlight. I thought of self-publishing, but that was a beastie I knew I didn’t want to take on.

Then recently in the July 2012 Shelf Awareness, I read an article about a small publisher out of California, Xist Publishing, who was turning ebooks into print books. What? Again, my radar went off and I emailed them. They flipped over LULA’S BREW and now she will be physically available for purchase in early October. (Pre-orders for signed copies can be made now through my local independent children’s bookstore, Little Shop of Stories – via phone at 404-373-6300.) Wahoo!

LULA’S BREW took a complicated, seven-year journey to get published, but I never gave up on her. If you can’t get in the front door, try a window, but keep trying. It’s worth it.

Want to win a copy of LULA’S BREW? Leave a comment anytime between now and midnight EST October 14th. I’ll draw a winner on the 15th.




Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Apps, Authors, Autumn, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Giveaway, Guest Blogging, Picture Books, Publishing, Storybook Apps · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. What a great story of determination and following your heart! Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth and Julie!

  2. I love the cover illustration. Looks like such fun! I’m so glad you listened to your intuition.
    Best wishes for all future success.

  3. Never give up indeed! Congrats on sticking with it and succeeding! 🙂

  4. Cool! I like the cover! 🙂 I hope the girl gets her book! 🙂

  5. How fun that this will be in print now. I remember seeing ads for the ebook a few years back. The illustrations are so adorable. What a great story of never giving up! 🙂

  6. Congratulations! That was a great little dose of morning inspiration. (And Julie, I’ve had this thought about your app/book many times!)
    Beth Thaler

  7. Wow! A great cover! And I now KNOW I’m not stupid. I have a book like this. I will NEVER give up! Keepin’ on. That’s my new motto. Wonderful post! Thanks Elizabeth and Julie!!!!!!!!! And Julie. You never gave up. 🙂 Now look at ya! What bodacious, positive, vibes flying around here today. Love it! *waving*

  8. Everyone says persistence pays off but it sure is nice to read concrete examples! So glad to read your story, Elizabeth.

  9. It’s stories like this that give aspiring authors the magic they need to keep going. Thanks Elizabeth for casting this little spell of encouragement on us today. – Damon Dean

  10. Thanks so much for hosting me Julie! And for everybody’s wonderful comments. So glad I can inspire you to keep at it! Hugs, e

  11. This is such a great story of writerly determination, foresight, and willingness to seize opportunities when they swoosh by. Thanks, Elizabeth, for sharing this with us. All the best to Lula as she continues her brewing in another medium!

  12. Gotta love a good story – esp. with a happy ending! Put my name in for this one please!

  13. You’ve got a good gut! I love this success story.

  14. What a fabulous story, and so encouraging. Thanks for sharing.

  15. This looks like a really cute book love to win a copy thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  16. That is SO awesome and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    wildbike @

  17. I remember seeing a review for Lula. I thought it sounded great. Love the cover.

  18. Persistence & patience for sure! Congratulations for Lula’s Brew! 🙂

  19. Wonderful!

  20. I think looks so cute!

  21. This looks like a cute book my nieces would just love thanks for a chance to win a copy

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  22. Very inspiring….I would love a signed copy…..

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