About Us

About Lapis Lucera

"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking."–Haruki Murakami

Lapis Lucera is an idea production company. We help authors (of books, apps, and software) share their gifts and get their creations out into the world! Like so many other good things, Lapis Lucera got started by accident. When we started writing books ourselves, we found that:

  • We didn't like the "old story" publishing model, where most (or all) of the author's creative rights to their own work are taken away - at the same time that his or her unique voice is suppressed by the editorial process.
  • We didn't like how publishing agents get to determine whether a book is "good enough" to be published. The market driven approach is not always helpful.
  • Tools for self-publishing are abundant, but the learning curve can be steep... and when you're writing a book, it can be overwhelming to have to think about typesetting, creating an index, and other "bookkeeping" tasks!
  • We enjoyed the whole process of taking a book from idea to delivery...
  • And then friends and colleagues started asking for our help!

We decided to do it... to share our experience, time, and talent with other creators and thought leaders, and facilitate the publishing process. Here's how working with us works:

  • You have an idea that we like (that is, it's a book we personally want to read OR an app we personally want to use... which makes the whole publishing process much more interesting). Alternatively, we have a personal connection with YOU and want to help you achieve your goal of publishing.
  • You write the book or the software (we can help you brainstorm and organize your ideas throughout the process; if your idea is amazing, we can even provide you with ghostwriters)
  • We find one or two people to edit your work, and you make revisions if needed
  • We construct a camera-ready manuscript with index
  • We get your book on Amazon (print and Kindle format, if possible)
  • We produce an eBook and set up automated online delivery to customers
  • We all market the book together any way we can
  • You retain all copyright and creative rights to your work and derivative works
  • And finally, as your products sell, all contributors share in the royalties. (The author's cut usually ends up being about 25% of list price... an amazing number which is made possible by our low, low overhead.)

There are no advances and no stressful production calendars. There are no fees beyond obtaining an ISBN and barcode on your behalf. There is no complex hierarchy of managers and highly specialized publishing professionals: just people who love writing, editing, and producing, who want to participate in creating something and share in the revenue down the road. (If we find during the process that we can't help you, or we're not enjoying working with each other, we'll let you know and we'll go our separate ways... and we won't steal your work.)

Right now, we're primarily focused on producing titles in the "informal non-fiction" genre - including textbooks that are effective, fun to read, and affordable for college students. Projects currently in progress span a wide range of subjects, including math, data science, astrology, urban development, yoga, and agriculture.

Nicole and Morgan giving a talk at Center Camp, Burning Man 2014

Nicole and Morgan giving a talk at Center Camp, Burning Man 2014

We also publish other things like mobile apps, or software from time to time. Lapis Lucera is our vehicles for getting cool stuff out into the world, so don't be surprised to see any and every kind of thing here as our interests evolve.


Lapis Lucera is committed to excellence in informal non-fiction:

  1. Quality
    Our books and textbooks are interesting and well-written... because they are the books that WE want to have on our shelves, or in our bookbags.
  2. Fun
    Learning should be fun! You probably won't find a textbook from us that doesn't make you laugh (or at least smile!) frequently as you read it.
  3. Degrowth
    Students regularly spend $150-200 on each textbook, then try to sell it at the end of the semester for half of what they spent (if they're lucky). We think this is terrible. We aim for low prices and relevant material that they won't want to sell back.


Lapis Lucera was founded by Nicole Radziwill and Morgan Benton, co-founders of the Burning Mind Project. Currently, they are professors in James Madison University's Integrated Science and Technology Department.