Rewards of the Business

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Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains — God composes, why shouldn’t we? ~Terri Guillemets

Good news came to a group of independent publishers last weekend at the annual EVVY book awards sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. All four of our We Write Steamboat members who were finalists came away with an award. They are as follows:

Major General Louis W Prentiss, Jr. for his book Memories of a Life in the Army (military category)

Lou Prentiss Book

Erik Landvik for Uncluttered Faith (spirituality/religion)

Eric Landvik

Jane Stein, author & Pam Duckworth, illustrator for Dear Class: Traveling Around the World with Mrs. J (juvenile non-fiction) and interior design/layout in the technical awards.

Dear Class

Merit Clark’s Killing Streak in the fiction/mystery & detective category and also 3rd place for cover design.

Steamboat author Merit Clark killing-streak-clark-2500px

That’s the good news on this Thirsty Thursday from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In the coming weeks more EVVY award winners will be featured on All Things Fulfilling. Stay tuned!

This blog is brought to you by 2014 EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Book Covers and Fonts

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Like all forms of design, visual design is about problem solving…~ Bob Baxley

So, an author friend of mine is getting ready to have her next release published. Last week, she posted images of several cover designs that she is considering. I let my opinion be known only because she asked for some feedback and I understand the value of feedback with regard to publishing.

It got me to thinking of the cover design of my 2nd publication, Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul. I decided that it was time to make a change to the cover. I love the cover image but the font of the title has been problematic in a digital format. I didn’t foresee the kinds of problems I am having with it. For the title I had chosen a font that is in script. Esthetically it looked good with the cover image but it was not a good decision on my part because it is not very readable digitally.

So there has been a slight revision to the appearance of the e-book cover of Short Stories: Lessons in Heart & Soul. Here is a before and after.

Below – Initial Font Used in Title on Cover Design

Lessons of Heart V4 Cover

Below: Revised for Better Readability of Title in Small-form Digital Formats

V5 Cover revised font 4 15 15

You’ve gotta love e-books, it’s so easy to make changes. Download a new version of a cover or revised text and you are all set. Not much more than a click of a mouse and very little expense.

Chalk up this necessary revision to lessons learned in digital publishing! Since e-books are still undergoing tweeks in development I’m not the first to encounter this problem. Here is a good article about e-books and fonts. 

See you back here tomorrow. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Keeping the Child Inside Me

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 “The soul is healed by being with children.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky 1821 – 1881

If you are a mom with an adult child you will understand what I am talking about. Frequently I see an image, a word, another child’s actions, a book or a song that reminds me of when my son was little. It fills me up! There is no telling what will set off my flashbacks, but I am grateful that the memories keep coming back.

fairy talesThe other day, I saw this image and thought of all the books my son and I read together during his growing up years. He devoured books of any kind as quickly as the food I put on his plate. To him, it was all good, every kind of food and all books. Greek mythology and Indian lore were some of his favorites.

“Read me a VERY tale tonight, Mom, please!” he used to say. That was an instance where I never bothered to correct him. A VERY tale, I thought worked quite well to describe what was inside the book cover of “a children’s story about magical and imaginary beings and lands.”

Just sayin’……..kids, “they be so very dear!”

hold onto whatever keeps you warm inside

If you love kids and books, check out this TED talk about the entertaining world of books brought to you by Greystroke Creative.

http://www.greystrokecreative.com/greystroke-theatre.html.

This blog is brought you by Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, an anthology of stories, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt. Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is available in the award-winning audio book, paperback and e-book.

 

Mr. Twains Angels

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I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it’s never happened yet. ~ Mark Twain’s Autobiography

twain_bedDid you know Mark Twain slept in his bed backwards? According to an article in Yankee Magazine by Amie Seavey, she says it’s so. It is an unexpected and little known fact of the fabled author’s life.http://www.yankeemagazine.com/article/new-england-101/mark-twain-bed

He slept with his pillows at the foot of the bed so he could see the guardian angels that decorated his headboard. The carved angels on the dark walnut bed he and his wife purchased in Venice for $200 ($4600 in todays market), spanned across the headboard and atop each post. He said he liked to sleep in the bed backwards to “see what he had paid for.” The bed was, according to Mr. Twain”the most comfortable bedstead that ever was and enough space in it for a family.”

Clement’s bed, which was left to his daughter Clara was given to the Mark Twain Memorial and Library in 1940. The Hartford, Connecticut museum http://www.marktwainhouse.org has the bed as a showpiece for Twain enthusiasts.

Sweet dreams, Mr. Twain. We will always remember the important contributions you made to this world with your fulfilling words about life.
twain on life

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the award-winning audio book, paperback or e-book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/141aW6S.

Intuition and Writing

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Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next ~ Jonas Salk

A couple of weeks ago I gave an author talk  and book reading to the Bayshore Bookies in Dorchester County, Maryland. One of the book club members asked  “What’s next? Will you be doing any more writing?” Yes.

Follow-up question: What are you going to write?
Not sure yet, I’ve got lots of ideas stewing, a few characters “fleshed out”  and a lot of content already written. Now that the story I had been waiting to tell my whole life has been accomplished, my intuition will lead me to my next project and what form of literature I’ll use to tell it.

If you are a regular reader of All Things Fulfilling  you’ve probably noticed from my compulsion to blog so frequently finding things to write about is not a problem.

Finding a way to turn the brain off, is more the challenge. Any suggestions? Please don’t say go for a walk.

Einstein-Intuitive-1024x819

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information about her memoir,  Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.  Available an EVVY award-winning audio book, paperback and e-book.

 

2014 Harvest Book Reading Competition

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Press Release

October 28, 2014

Steamboat Springs, CO

Sue Batton Leonard, EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is a finalist in the 2014 Harvest Book Reading Competition which will be broadcast via blog radio on Saturday,  November 8th, 2014.

Manaspirits, Inc. an Arizona-based non-profit, philanthrophic organization is sponsoring the book reading. The mission of the organization is to “help to feed the hungry while feeding a community’s literary passion.” The participants look forward to having “the program listeners leave with an enduring bond with the authors and their messages while helping neighbors in need.” The event will be “modeled after East Coast public literary events and book readings.”

Sue Batton Leonard is a finalist and her book is published by http://www.bookcrafters.net,  titled Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is a story of multi-cultural love, faith, healing and life lessons.

Sue Batton Leonard is also founder of We Write Steamboat, a networking group for independent publishers whose mission is to foster independent publishing success. Two other EVVY award-winning authors from Steamboat, Dr. Dawn V. Obrecht and Debbie Zoub, MSW are finalists for their publications.

To listen in, tune into the nationally broadcast blog radio show through this link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/richerlife/2014/11/08/2014-harvest-book-reading. The show will be live on Saturday, November 8th at 1pm Eastern Standard Time, 12:00 pm (noon) in Central time zone, 11am Mountain Time and 10am Pacific. The award-winning authors will be announced during the airing. To call in to the show during the broadcast to speak to the host dial 347-838-8578.

_Harvest_Book_Reading_Logo

 

Fulfilling Results: Indie Publishing

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Thank you

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” ~William A. Ward, author of Mountains of Faith

Today I’d like to recognize some very key people and organizations who helped me with various parts of publishing my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Although I am well versed in most steps of independent publishing, there are parts of the writing and publishing process that I relied on having other professionals to steer and assist me. Their support services were invaluable in getting the project finished.

 

Thanks to the following:

  • Steamboat Writers Group for valuable critique and feedback.
  • Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) for education and support resources. Also for the friendships and business associates I have made through this outstanding organization.
  • We Write Steamboat members for their encouragement, support, feedback and most of all, friendships!
  • Pre-publication readers – you know who you are, thank you for your book testimonials!
  • Professional services in the Media Lab at Colorado Mountain College
  • Lindsey Royce at Colorado Mountain College for a great writing class to stir my creativity.
  • Jan McDaniel for final editing services. The final editing of dialogue was very tedious!
  • Joe McDaniel for photo restoration work
  • Joe & Jan McDaniel at bookcrafters.net for publishing my book affordably, in a timely manner and for  following  my unique publishing requests. You were delightful to work with.
  • Patti Asbury for helping me to grow professionally through public speaking
  • Karen McLane and Postnet for graphic design and printing services
  • Sound technician Brian Dow for help with audio book production
  • Terry Leonard – photography and assistance with marketing materials and book events.
  • Audio book producer –   http://www.marcrleonard.com  (aka “The Technical Dude”)
  • Technology and website support – Marc R Leonard
  • Terry Leonard and Marc R Leonard for cheering, emotional support and encouragement.
  • JDB Technology – help with computer “issues”
  • Gail Nelson – e-book designer and e-book formatting services
  • United Methodist Church for spiritual guidance and support. The United Methodist Women for hosting my wonderful book launch “party.”
  • To ALL fellow authors who networked, shared their experiences and advice.
  • All book buyers!

If there is anyone I have inadvertently left out, I apologize. Trying to remember everyone is difficult. My path has crossed with so many people throughout this four year  journey of independently publishing Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Thanks to everyone who gave me an encouraging word!

This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, please visit this link. http://amzn.to/1t7f6Ec

Book Award Results!

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Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.” ~Alexander Pope

“Sue,” my sister said, peaking out of our guest room door yesterday morning, “what are you doing up at this hour?”

I was sitting on the sofa with the computer on my lap. “It’s 4:30 in the morning. I thought we had agreed that you’d wake me at 5:30 to leave by 6:00 am to go to the Denver airport. Go back to bed!” my sister said, not too pleased that she had been awoken when she heard the teapot whistling.

“I couldn’t wait any longer to check my email,” I said to my sister. “I want to see the results of the EVVY Book awards.” My twin sister was visiting from Maryland and we were spending our first birthday in more than 30 years together. Since family rates first in my book, I decided to give my twin sister the gift of not shortchanging her vacation by trekking into Denver for the EVVY book awards over the weekend. My publisher Joe McDaniel of http://www.bookcrafters.net had promised to email me after the book awards were over with the results.

“Did you win anything?” my sister asked, peaking over my shoulder, rubbing her sleepy eyes as she looked at my computer.

“Yep!” I said, as I read directly from Joe McDaniel’s email. ” Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was awarded 2nd prize in the Audio book category and Merit Award in the Anthology category.”  Of course, hugs followed.

“That’s so, so great, Sue, two prizes!” My sister said.

“I can’t believe it!” I replied, “I am so glad I decided to publish the story.” What started as recording  just a few childhood memories to send to my family somehow became a full-fledged anthology of published stories contending among 274 other entries in the 20th annual Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY book award contest!

Although I wrote the story, I’d like to say “Congratulations to my twin sister Jan, and the rest of my family too” because in part, it’s their life story too! My life and the tale would not be nearly as fulfilling without all of them in it.

And then, there’s the real star – Fanny. What a character. She left an indelible mark on my life and is leaving the same kind of impression on the readers’ hearts. The voice in this award-winning memoir holds the real treasure. But I am more confident than ever that if you prefer to read the paperback or e-book format, you’ll still enjoy the story!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Please return tomorrow. I will be posting some information about people who were very instrumental in helping me to publish a high quality publication, worthy of merit and two awards.  I wish to say thank you.

Eggs in the grass

Finally!  A birthday together after more than 30 years! (Jan on left, Sue on right).

quotes about life storiesThis blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on the memoir “Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,” please visit this link http://amzn.to/1tIG0PI

Memoirs: Never the Same Thing Twice

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I believe that the memoir is the novel of the 21st century; it’s an amazing form that we haven’t even begun to tap…we’re just getting started figuring out what the rules are.” ~ Susan Cheever

On Friday I wrote about chiggers, of all things! Just hearing the word “the chiggers”  set off memories of a significant time in my life. That’s what happens when we see an image, smell an odor, hear an adage or touch something that brings us back to the past.

For instance: Remember saying “ Ewwwww…..he’s got the cooties.” It was a 1950’s thing. My girlfriends and I used to say that in reference to boys we didn’t care for.

Now you might ask “how did we get from chiggers to cooties?” One memory led to another! And the mention of the cooties has led me to these thoughts:

cootie game

Uncle_Wiggly_Game

battleship

concentration

hands down

 

lets make a deal

Candyland

barbie game

cheyenne

In my opinion, the goal of memoir writing should be to stir memories which will  inspire others to write about their experiences in the game of  life. Because each persons perspective and experience is so different, memoirs will never lead to reading the same thing twice.

To read more about the art of memoir writing, follow this link. Books about Memoirs

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Click here for info & ordering Sue’s memoir

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Flowers Redux

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My dear girl, you must cultivate a taste for the finer things. Civilized pleasures give meaning to life.” 

― Barbara Taylor Bradford,  Being Elizabeth

Did you read yesterday’s blog about my childhood fiasco of trying to take my little brother on a road trip? If not, check it out.

Speaking of road trips – A few weeks ago, a friend and I took a journey from Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We gallery hopped, window shopped and had a tasty lunch. It was a wonderful and a much needed day away for both of us just before Easter.

Not only did my friend get to return to something familiar from her past, so did I. My book, Sue’s memoirGift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected had only been published shortly before and as I entered into a fanciful women’s  clothing shop, called Confetti Design http://www.confettidesign.net. I was nearly blown away when I saw their window dressing!

glenwood springs paper flowers dressThere she stood a shapely women, a manikin, dressed in a fitting Easter outfit all made from tissue paper flowers. I couldn’t believe my eyes! My memoir has a chapter entitled Paper Roses. which recounts my fulfilling experience of learning to make and sell paper flowers as a project in  junior Girl Scouts.

I had never seen an entire frock made out of tissue paper flowers. As you can see from this image, it was gorgeous and so was the women’s clothing shop. The store had a real vibrancy to it, every color in the spectrum was represented in their high quality and creatively decorated shop. The sales clerks in it could not have been more hospitable either.

I could have shopped til I dropped, but instead I behaved myself. I’m trying to be fiscally conservative so I can properly get the word out about my publication through a diverse marketing plan and that takes some bucks.

Some day soon, I will take Barbara Taylor Bradford’s advice and will return to Confetti Designs with cash in my pocket to splurge on something deserved and special just for ME – perhaps an accoutrement to an outfit for a book talk! From all appearances, the ladies in Confetti have an outstanding eye for style and design.  Maybe they will help me find just the right thing. I will be back!

IMAG1013

I want to remind everyone to shop around by visiting different blogs – it’s a great way to discover fascinating sites and topics through the world-wide-web. You never know what you might run into that may peak your interest. Looking for a fun fashion blog? Visit http://invisiblecrowne.blogspot.com/. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.