SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adine Deford, Cynthia Dunlop, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Lulu Inspires Creativity and Imagination With New Publishing Tools to Inspire Young Authors and Comic Book Artists

Teams With New York Times Best-Selling Comic Book Artist Ryan Benjamin to Launch MyKidsComic.com

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwired - November 21, 2013) -  Lulu, the pioneer in independent publishing, today announced the launch of new product offerings designed to encourage reading and writing in children. These two solutions, My Comic Book and Illustory A+, provide the online and offline tools young authors need to easily create and illustrate their stories, and share their comic book or hardcover book with friends and family. My Comic Book and Illustory A+ offer professionally printed and typeset comic books and hardcover books, and have already helped more than 700,000 children realize their creative potential and become published authors.

"Illustory A+ and My Comic Book allow us to extend to all authors, regardless of their age, the opportunity to publish a book," said Shawn Barber, vice president product management at Lulu. "Encouraging children to create their own story and nurturing their natural love of storytelling, Illustory A+ and My Comic Book instill kids with a sense of pride, self-confidence and accomplishment."

In conjunction with this announcement, Lulu today launched MyKidsComic.com. Open to all customers who purchase My Comic Book during the holiday season, the contest will award one child with the opportunity to see their character brought to life by Ryan Benjamin, a professional artist who has drawn for Dark Horse, DC Comics, Image and Marvel. The winner of the contest will receive a full-color poster of their character autographed by Benjamin, and the child along with their family will be VIPs at a comic book event to meet Benjamin.

"I'm excited to be a part of a contest that encourages children with the same desire to create characters and have them act out a story," said Benjamin. "I look forward to reimagining the winning character in a way that's true to the child's creativity."

A child's parent can enter the contest by taking a picture of their child's comic book character and uploading it at MyKidsComic.com. Entrants can share their drawing via Facebook and encourage family and friends to vote on their favorite character. The winning character will be determined by combining the number of votes a character receives and scores from a panel of judges. Entries will be accepted at MyKidsComic.com until midnight on January 15, 2014, and the winner will be announced on February 3, 2014.

To learn more about the contest, purchase My Comic Book and to enter your child's comic book character, visit www.mykidscomic.com.

About Lulu

Since 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 or eBooks for free, then sell them around the world via multiple channels, all at Lulu.com. 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. Lulu is also the innovative engine that powers Picture.com.

About Ryan Benjamin

New York Times best-selling comic book artist Ryan Benjamin has worked on comic books and movies, including Batman Beyond, Star Wars, Xmen, Grifter and the television show "Ultimate Spiderman." He also authors the animated motion comic book, Pancratia, which you can read more about on his website RyanBenjamin.com.

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