Story Woven with Nostalgic Images

2 Comments

Where were you during the Vietnam Era?

I just read the newly-released book Cottonwood; a satisfying read on many levels. Author Tom Dawson effectively crafts a story of two men who served together during one of our country’s most painful periods, the Vietnam era. The ties that bind them are their war experiences; they become life long buddies.

The author intertwines the culture of the ‘Nam era” into the storyline, which filled me with nostalgic images of my own, as a person whose adolescence came during the late nineteen sixties and seventies.  I could also relate, on a certain level, to some of the frustrations and attitudes that the main characters, Tom and Sam, carry about today’s technological era.

As a woman, I appreciated how through good dialogue, the author showed that the two comrades, Tom and Sam, communicate differently. The  truthfulness with which Dawson writes about the issue of men and aging was refreshing and honest. It is a story I didn’t anticipate liking but I really look forward to reading more from this author.

Dawson’s book is available through Amazon in soft cover and also as an e-book edition. To order this publication, please follow this link.Cottonwood

To read more about Tom Dawson, the author and war correspondent, follow this link. http://bit.ly/Ng0Srt. Don’t miss out on his blog and comic art, he calls “Pieces” on his website.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Collaboration Strengthens the Indies

Leave a comment

Individually, we are one drop. Together we are an ocean. ~ Ryunosuke Satoro 

Independent publishers in Steamboat and the surrounding Routt County have good reason to celebrate this month. Our meet-up group, SHe Writes Steamboat has grown to include 29 members. We are fulfilling networking opportunity for independent publishers and fostering independent publishing success. Some members are first time publishers, others have several titles under their belt and many are working on new books. The group has been in existence since June 2011. 

Last weekend we made a collaborative appearance at Holiday in the Rockies. This event was organized by the Steamboat Art Council. http://bit.ly/uJFXs7.   SHe Writes Steamboat is also pleased to announce that our individual member’s publications are being considered by book clubs affiliated with the Bud Werner Library for reading in 2012. 

If you are an independent publisher, male or female, in Routt County or in the surrounding counties looking for a meet-up group of this type, we invite you to join us at our monthly meetings. We meet every third Tuesday of the month from 4pm to 5:30pm. For more information on the group and where we meet, go to the SHe Writes Steamboat Facebook page and send us a message you would like to be included in this group. Here is the link http://on.fb.me/oOWKWm. You can also contact me, Sue Leonard of Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC, through SheWritesSteamboat@gmail.com

We look forward to learning more about you as an author, independent publisher and as a contributing member of this collaborative group!

Things that Sparkle

2 Comments

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. “

 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Tis the season for illumination. Today, on All Things Fulfilling I am going to focus on all things that shine. 

  • A clear star lit night
  • Tinsel on the tree
  • New parents and child experiencing their first Xmas together.
  • Icicles hanging from the eave of a roof
  • Lives spared by a Kiwanis and UNICEF Maternal and Neo-natal Tetanus vaccine
  • Polished silverware
  • Rudolph’s red rose
  • A gemstone given as a surprise gift
  • Glitter on a holiday card or an ornament
  • Candles on a tree, a mantel or on a festive holiday table
  • Snowflakes as they fall from the sky
  • A child’s face when they discover a book that draws them in
  • A beautiful painting, surrounded by golden frame
  • Crystal stemware
  • Someone who is passionate about the Art they create
  • Sequins on festive holiday clothing
  • Love discovered, love renewed in the spirit of Christmas
  • The face of the elderly or a veteran knowing and feeling that others really care
  • Twinkling white lights decorating a house
  • A lit lamp post standing sentinel for the arrival of holiday guests 

If you really want light up your own spirit this year, adopt a holiday family. Make some one else’s holiday shine by giving some gifts or fixing’s for a big holiday meal.Holiday buying this Christmas,  was especially fulfilling for me. I bought a few items for a set of twins who otherwise may not have had Christmas at all. More fun than the gifts given inside of the box, I created wrapping that really showed that I cared. When all is said and done, I think the packaging will be as treasured as much as the gifts inside! 

This year, buy one less gift for your own family, and give it to a family less fortunate and in need.  Here is a website that lists the top five Christmas charity projects. http://bit.ly/8ZBCef

Make your heart merry and illuminate the spirit of someone else this holiday season!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Book Selling Opportunities

Leave a comment

“You don’t get harmony when everybody
sings the same note
.” ~Doug Floyd

There is a misconception that once an author finishes his book, the work is done. In truth, the work has just begun. Promotion and
marketing is even more important than the writing of the narrative, if an author is to successfully sell. Even in the traditional publishing world, authors are more often being called into action to fulfill the duties of promoting and marketing their own book.

It is important that independent publishers think beyond book signing appearances at libraries and bookstores. Although those are appropriate venues for bookselling, there are many more opportunities that exist.

 Last weekend, I attended a fall food and wine festival at the Bethesda Co-op – A Natural Foods Market in Bethesda, Maryland. http://bit.ly/nDoCoB. My niece works there and she wanted me to see where she works. As I strolled through the outside tents of food and wine sampling the goods, I came across an author, Judith Welles, selling her book. It is a regional publication called “Cabin John: Legends and Life in an Uncommon   Place. www.judithwelles.com. The book is full of mystery and history of the area known as Cabin John, along the Potomac River. The Cabin John Citizens Association Foundation (a non-profit organization) published the book. www.cabinjohn.org.

I spent time with the author discussing the book and the marketing of it. The book is finding great success in selling in several local hardware stores. As we all know, men are attracted to hardware stores like magnets. Many men are also history buffs, thus the book is finding it’s way into the hands of men through a retail environment far different than a bookstore.

This brings me to the point of how necessary it is to think beyond the bookstore when researching bookselling opportunities. In fact, artists working all kinds of mediums, can promote their work by appearing in unlikely places.

I was also introduced to a lively band of six talented women called Wicked Jezabel. They were not in a nightclub, in a bar or on a traditional stage. They were on the roof of a structure, jamming away at the Natural Foods Market Fair. They are promoting their art in non-traditional ways. www.wickedjezabel.com.

Next time you think book selling opportunities are limited, take a good look around. Sometimes doing things in non-traditional ways draws attention – that is why the independent publishing industry of books, films and music is finding great success! The industry and the artists in it are fulfilling a need for independence away from the routine.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Doing Away with Restrictions on Library Lending

Leave a comment

If information and knowledge are central to democracy, they are the
conditions for development
.” ~ Kofi Annan

 

As much as we try to keep our readers in the loop with what is happening in the world of independent publishing, the fact of the matter is
the industry is changing so very rapidly that we can only do our best to share some of the information on this blogsite.

The Independent Publisher: The Voice of the Independent Publishing Industry is another great resource for finding out the most current  news of the industry on-line. It is a good site to book-mark and return to time and time again.

If you are looking for information about their four sponsored book award contests, The IPPY Awards, Moonbeam Awards, Axiom Business
Book Award Contest and Living Now Awards you will find it there.

In the current issue, there is an interesting article on the controversy revolving around library e-book lending and traditional publishing
houses. Harper Collins for one, controls lending of their e-books to a limited number of circulations per copy. These regulations mean availability of top selling books and other e-books is restricted, thus threatening access to information. To gain a better understanding of the restrictions many traditional publishing houses are placing on libraries, please visit http://bit.ly/qfc68w.

The Colorado Independent Publishers Association has signed an historic agreement with libraries in the State with regard to e-book lending. This contract could very well serve as a model for libraries in other States. It will also be fulfilling to the demands of library patrons to wish to
have unrestricted access to books that are heavily circulated. For more information on this agreement, visit http://bit.ly/eYPEix.

Thinking outside the box of the traditional publishing paradigm is what is driving the independent publishing industry to it’s success. There
is a newly released, downloadable webinar called On the Fast Track: The Independent Publishing Industry that will give you an overview of the new generation in publishing. Please follow this link. http://bit.ly/oIkV2g.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Along the Pathway of American History

1 Comment

“Art is anything people do with distinction.” ~ Louis Dudek  

Today we continue my stroll through Frederick, Maryland. This small city has been a cornerstone along the pathway of American history since it was founded by English and German settlers in 1745. It was home to the State’s first elected Governor and to Francis Scott Key, author of the national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. Many civil servants and other notables who shaped our country’s beginnings have traveled through and stopped in this town, located on the Mason-Dixon Line. 

As I continued further along the redbrick walkway lining Carroll Creek, I came upon the FauxSchool. http://bit.ly/q3BVUN.  Fulfilling evidence of the teachings of this school of trompe l’oiel painting were present on wall murals located throughout the city  bringing artistry to public places. 

 A short distance from the Faux School I entered the C. Burr Artz Library. http://bit.ly/pbsq6z.  Posters, flyers and literature were displayed pertaining to the One Maryland One Book Author Tour, which was underway. This year’s book for the statewide reading program for Marylanders is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie. This library is obviously a great resource to the community based on the activity that I saw inside it’s doors. 

I became fully aware of how deeply steeped in American history this town is as I walked by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. www.civilwarmed.org.  The medical artifacts that pioneered the way for modern medicine are on display. Compassion, courage and devotion of medical personnel during wartimes are honored throughout this museum. It is a tribute to those who heroically cared for and healed soldiers that were at the forefront of the destruction and death of the infamous battles of the Civil War period. 

There is much more to share about this town of Frederick, Maryland. http://bit.ly/DWXsf. It is a destination that encompasses art and culture, history and religion.Frederick has been indentified as one ofAmerica’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. I can understand why. 

Return next time to All Things Fulfilling, as I share a self-fulfilling attitude that I have noticed in the West, but had absorbed much less of on the East Coast region until I visited Frederick, Maryland.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService,com.

Outlook from the Look-Out

Leave a comment

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Andre Gide

Being an active, productive blogger means always being on the beat. Like any writer, new experiences and change of scenery helps bring new perspective to my work and to my readers. 

Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting many new faces and visiting new places as a way of sharing my universe of independent publishing with others. I consider myself an ambassador for the independent publishing industry and I will continue fulfilling my duties, as such, by spreading the word about this exciting industry in my sojourns. 

My blog postings will be less frequent for a few weeks. I invite our readers to return time and time again to All Things Fulfilling. This site has 700 blog writings in 389 categories. On the far right side of this page, the blog postings are searchable by category. Choose from the drop down menu, and enter my universe of independent thoughts, words and views from Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC.

There is also a new on-line portal into the independent publishing industry, made available by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Enter On The Fast Track: The Independent Publishing Industry, by visiting this link: http://bit.ly/oIkV2g

Over the past two years I have shed, for our readers, some valuable light on the dynamic and growing industry of independent publishing which now, represents more than 50% of all publishing revenue. That’s progress, innovation and creativity from many, many individuals hard at work! And it is a beacon of hope for those who have always wanted to tell their story, but felt until now, their voice would never be heard.

That’s the outlook from my universe of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Brewing Up Customers Digitally

2 Comments

Life is Change. Growth is optional. Choose Wisely.” ~ Unknown 

Today, we will take look at the demographics of the American population as it relates to embracing this new era of e-promotion, e-marketing and e-advertising in the 21st Century, specifically through blogging. Did you know? 

  • Bloggers are split close to 50/50 male and female
  • Only 7% of business-owners aged 51 and older are utilizing blogging
  • California, New York, Colorado and Texas are bullish on blogging
  • 53%  of all bloggers are in the 21-35 age group 

To read the full study on blogging, please visit http://bit.ly/9B83iO

More books are sold on the internet than any other product. http://bbc.in/p9aHJU. As independent publishing has grown in popularity, on-line selling and marketing has become the preferred method. E-commerce is fulfilling the needs of independent publishers who wish to sell outside of brick and mortar stores. 

Blogging helps to reach potential book buyers. It is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site and become more visible on the internet. In fact, studies reveal that businesses that have corporate blogs have an increase in traffic of 55% on their websites. It’s true! http://bit.ly/omr5IK. You can brew up new customers instantly! 

 If you are an independent publisher who is not sure whether you are using blogging effectively or not, help is available. Consult with a company that specializes in e-marketing for independent publishers.  

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Begin the Buzz

Leave a comment

“Gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.”  ~ Liz Smith 

Have you ever noticed that we hear about movies from Hollywood, long before they hit the movie screens? Smart marketing tactics! 

Independent publishers, you can become stars too by beginning the buzz before, not after, your books arrive from the printers or before your cds and DVDs have been duplicated.

E-marketing is the very best way to get the word out in advance of the release of a product. You can begin spreading a broadcast of information, far and wide. Every independent publisher should begin creating a community of fans and followers prior to the book, music or film’s release. 

Not only that, you can begin taking pre-sales, too.  Years ago, wise early pioneers of independent publishing began accepting pre-orders by keeping advance sale lists of customers on legal pads before the product even arrived. Today’s pre-ordering can be made available on-line, through websites and shopping carts. 

Just think how satisfying it will be that once the publication arrives from the printer or from the cd/DVD duplication company, you can begin fulfilling orders immediately and ship the products right back out the door! With good planning and advance e-marketing you can begin realizing your ROI without delay! 

It’s never too early to start pollinating your market!  Need help? There are companies that specialize in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. 

This blog brought to you by http://www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Character Analysis

Leave a comment

Everyone tries to define this thing called Character. It’s not hard. Character is doing whats right, when nobody is looking” ~Unknown

Yesterday’s blog Gardens Heaven Scent made me think back to a time some years ago when I would hold annual perennial plant swaps in my gardens in Vermont. I’d get out my best china and linen, make fancy finger foods and entertain with a beautiful garden party. I’d invite the gals over to nosh. Some would come dressed in their durable gardening clothes, and others would arrive in their floppy garden hats and finery, appropriate for a high-noon English tea.

What fun we used to have!  Ironically, many of the attendees were book enthusiasts, too. Sharing opinions and thoughts of “characters in the garden” came easily and it was all part of the fulfilling day. We’d discuss:

  • What the reaction of others was to the overall scene.
  • Which personalities had conflicts with their neighbors
  • How figures underwent change through seasons.
  • Which characters ran around spreading their seeds
  • Star performers vs. minor role players.
  • Which cast of characters maintained their uprightness no matter what
  • Weaknesses and strengths in bit players.
  • What elements contributed to the fate of individual players
  • Villains vs. heroes

Gardeners never run out of things to talk about. Swapping talk of the trade is as fulfilling as the act of gardening itself.

As I write this blog, I am about to head off to discuss another of my passions –  growing the garden of independent publishing. Our meet-up group She Writes Steamboat is helping others who want to grow books . We are having a garden party of sorts. Before I go, I’ll leave you with some food for thought. http://bit.ly/oIkV2g