Validating Quality Writers

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The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. ~ Confucious

CIPA is one of the most active and top independent publishing associations in the country, and they have worked hard to gain their admired reputation. The Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association’s educational programs afforded me the opportunity to learn so much about the parts of the publishing process that I wasn’t well-versed in while writing my memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfillment in the Unexpected. It is soon to be released.

Writers write for all kinds of reasons – to inspire, influence and educate others. Aside from strong book sales, book awards validate that an authors work is worthy of respect and notice.

I encourage my clients to seek book awards whenever possible. A prestigious EVVY award from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association goes along way in recognizing an author for their excellence.

It is a very special year for the Colorado Independent Publishers. The EVVY book award contest is in it’s 20th year. It’s grown to include submissions from authors in countries that are far removed from the United  States. Last year contestants came from Dubai and Russia!

2014 CIPA awards    You need not be a CIPA member anymore to enter the contest, the submission guidelines have    changed. Here is what just one award winner, Teresa Funke, has to say about the contest. “I’ve been the lucky recipient of five CIPA EVVY awards over the last eleven years for my novel, my short story collection, and two of my children’s books. Why do I continue to enter the contest? Because CIPA is doing something very important with these awards . . . they are recognizing and honoring high-qualify self-published books of all genres and bringing credibility to the efforts we make as independent authors. CIPA was providing positive attention to our books long before many credible sources would even consider looking at self-published authors. Each year, my competition in the contest has grown stronger and more impressive, proof that we, as an industry, are moving forward. I’m proud to be a CIPA EVVY winner not just because it means that my books are good, but also because it puts quality indie books on a par with those that are traditionally published.  And, frankly, it’s fun once in a while to get dressed up and go celebrate our achievements with fellow authors who have worked just as hard as we have!” 

Here is a link to the website so you can read about the submission guidelines, the fees and the various deadlines. http://www.cipacatalog.com/pages/CIPA-EVVY-Awards.

Heads up! The submission deadline is May 17! Join in and don’t miss out!

See you on Monday on All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com,

EVVY Book Awards: A Big Year

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“I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.” ~ Jonas Salk

2014 CIPA awardsThis is a big year for the EVVY Book Awards presented by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. It is a special event because it is the 20th year of the contest, and it has grown more prestigious than ever. After all, CIPA is one of the largest and most active independent publishing associations in the country.

The word of the contest is spreading and last year submissions came from all over the country, and for that matter as far away as Dubai! You no longer have to be a CIPA member to enter and win! However, there are great benefits to being a CIPA member including their educational opportunities to learn more about what it takes to becoming an award-winning author! Their monthly educational presentations cover all facets of the publishing process including selling in the marketplace.

Here is a link that will provide you with all you need to know about submitting your publication to the 20th annual CIPA EVVY book awards!  http://www.cipacatalog.com/pages/CIPA-EVVY-Awards.

Some key deadline dates to mark on your calendar:

  • February  1, 2014 submissions begin
  • May 17, 2014 Last day to receive entries
  • July 26, 2014 Finalists announced
  • August 23, 2014 Awards Ceremony – The big night!

You can’t win if you don’t submit! Here’s your chance to become an award-winning author of an award-winning book!

Hope to see YOU at the EVVY awards in August. Good luck to all who submit.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Join in, Neighbors

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In most vital organizations, there is a common bond of interdependence, mutual interest, interlocking contributions, and simple joy.” —Max DePree

neighborhoodA few years ago I started a networking group called We Write Steamboat. The mission of the group is to provide support for independent publishers and to foster independent publishing success. This week we reached a new landmark. We now have 51 members.

I  live in a community where arts and literacy is highly  valued.  The Bud Werner Memorial Library, is a stellar resource in town. Artists  in this rural community find support from several organizations here including the Steamboat Arts Council and the Steamboat Writers Group which serves a great purpose of helping authors to develop their writing through very valuable critique.

Members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (aka CIPA) www.cipacatalog.com in Denver is also very beneficial in terms of educating and connecting writers with freelance professionals in all parts of the publishing process.

It never ceases to amaze me what a diverse group of writers there are throughout the State of Colorado, and it’s always a fulfilling to see our We Write Steamboat members’ projects come to fruition. Over the next few weeks, several Steamboat Springs authors will be featured on radio talk shows and television. I will be  blogging about our We Write Steamboat members who will be in the media spotlight so the public can learn more about their publications, their careers and their interests.

bookWe Write Steamboat will also be offering a new writers’ series called “So, You Want to Write a Book? beginning in February 2014. Next week on All Things Fulfilling, I will be posting more information on this educational opportunity for those who are considering writing a book or for those who are already in the process and want to know more about taking a rough manuscript to a polished, saleable and marketable independent publication.

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

Author Spotlight: E.P. Lyn

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Book for Reluctant Teen Readers

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The secret of education is respecting the pupil. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Experienced writer Linda Collison knows something about relating to the hearts and minds of young adults when creating a good story. She made her first big break as an author in 2006 when her first novel Star-Crossed, published by Alfred A Knopf was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the best Books for Teen readers in 2007. Her coming of age story With a Little Luck won the Grand Prize at the Maui Writers Conference in 1996.

Collison’s latest novel, Looking for Read Feather, was published by Fiction House, Ltd. Although written for teenagers, the book is for anyone who has a youthful spirit and can remember what it is like to feel invincible and determined to seek one’s own path toward personal fulfillment.

 looking for redfeatherLooking for Red Feather is about the three teenagers who take to the road for different reasons. Yet the truths they discover in their travels will make you want to pack your bags and take to the highway across country with your friends on a whim. The author’s dialogue is so authentic to the feelings that come with the age she writes about. Collison also accurately relates throughout the story the difference in culture between East and West attitudes because she’s lived in both parts of the United States. Like myself, Collison is a Baltimore native. However, she migrated west when she was 24 years of age.Click for info & ordering

This book is highly recommended for adolescents who are at the age where they are becoming reluctant readers. I’m confident that Collison’s well-crafted tale will grab your teens attention and hold them until the end of the story.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow, I will give you a little more insight into my memoir.Click for info & ordering This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Thoughtful Thursday: Opening Up Discussion

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trevor boehm quote

Happy Thoughtful Thursday! Today, I would like to share an interview that I had with Ali Boehm earlier in the week. She owns an award-winning healing business called “Kneading Hands” Massage. She is also the driving force behind a book, authored by her brother, Trevor.  The Boehm family published “Louie’s Saxophone” to help people struggling with mental illness.

Here is our interview:

Sue: Today is the first of many Thoughtful Thursdays to come on All Things Fulfilling. I continue to be inspired by your family’s story. The loss of your brother has been turned into a positive mission.  More than a year ago, I featured your brother Trevor’s award-winning book “Louie’s Saxophone” on All Things Fulfilling and I would like to feature it once more. http://bit.ly/1auIRSD

In a few weeks you will be participating in an event at Bermis Hall at Colorado College sponsored by the National Alliance of Mental Health. You will be sharing “Louie’s Saxophone” which has the potential to help many people. Tell me  more about the event.

Ali: On November 14th (at 6:30 pm) in Colorado Springs, CO I will be a speaking out, sharing our family’s experience at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It will be an evening of story and song called Silence No More. People will also be reading poetry and expressing themselves through the power of dance. Kathy Brandt and Max Maddox will also be sharing their book “Walks on the Margins: A Story of Bipolar Disease.”

Sue: What will you will be specifically speaking about?

Ali: This time when I speak at the NAMI event, and now that more time has passed since the loss of my brother, I will be reflecting on what I think Trevor would be doing if he was still here with us.

Sue: Tell me what purpose you feel Louie’s Saxophone plays in helping people with mental illness?

Ali: That no one is alone. The book, in a gentle way, opens a door to talk about a sensitive subject matter. I believe that my brother’s struggles began at age 8, and a children’s book becomes a family place for education at a very young age.

Sue: What has your family learned about the power of books to change lives by  publishing Louie’s Saxophone?

Ali: People believe in the written word.  A book creates a space for reflection and gives power to legitimize the healing process. Initially we thought we’d do a pamphlet, but a book has more credibility.

 Sue: How does it make you feel to know that you are helping others by sharing the story Trevor left behind?

Ali: Humbled. The book is powerful and it puts me in a position that facilitates discussion. I do not have all the answers, and sometimes that is scary. But I can provide and find resources.

Ali: Where should people who are struggling go to seek help? Can you give me a few resources?

Sue: Ali, It’s been a good day if by publishing this interview on-line if we can help even a single person to know that they are not alone and they can open up about their own depression or sadness. Best to you with the NAMI event, I am so proud that you are part of We Write Steamboat networking group for independent publishers . You are sharing an important story.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Publishing Message Of Importance

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 It is good to rub, and polish our brain against that of others. ~Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

This morning I’d like to send a shout out to two smart cookies –  Joyce Miller of Integrated Writers Services, LLC and to Jon R Tandler of Ryley Carlock and Applewhite for sharing their knowledge of copyright issues with the Colorado Independent Publishers Association members and guests. On Saturday, I came away feeling better informed. However, I am more convinced than ever that it is a good thing there are experts who can navigate the copyright laws for their publishing clients’ protection. Laws change, evolve, and are also constantly developing as we transition into world that is ever more reliant on digital media.  Here is a link to a very important resource for anyone in the creative field on copyright issues. http://amzn.to/19Uh3a0

 thank-you

 Image source – http://funlava.com/thank-you-quotes/

Now to a different subject but still within the realm of publishing – this year, the Colorado Independent Publishers Association has begun “focused forums” as part of their commitment to educating authors and publishers. These are great opportunities to hone in on a specific topic and learn from experienced publishing experts. Until the first of the year, these sessions are free for CIPA Members and non-members alike. Beginning in January there will be a charge to non-members of $25. It is necessary to pre-register on-line at www.cipacatalog.com  because space is limited.  See more specifics on the CIPA website.

The next focused form will be November 5th and the subject will be publishing children’s books. CIPA members Benjamin Hummel, Nancy Mills and Julie Federico will be leading the discussion. Anyone who has ever dreamed of writing for children should sign-up – it is free education!

On November 11th, Karen Saunders of MacGraphics Services will be talking about branding. If you are an author who is planning on writing more than one book, brand development is very important and can help sell books. (Think Chicken Soup for the Soul Series).

That’s my message for today. Have a fulfilling week ahead. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com .

Important First Steps to Publishing

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It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in happiness of pursuit.” ~ Denis Waitley

The e-Book Extravaganza on Saturday sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) was well-worth attending. During one of the breaks, the President of CIPA, Dr. Patricia Ross came over to me and said “Sue, I’d like you to meet one of our new members.” Of course, the usual niceties followed.

I asked the new member if she was enjoying the morning, and she said “Yes, but I feel so uninformed! There is so little I know about independent publishing.” Dr. Ross told her not to be discouraged, and off the President went doing her job of hob-knobbing about the room.

CIPA 9 13 #1As the new member and I stood talking, I said to her, “You know, each and every person in this room started where you began today, knowing nothing. That is the reason you have joined this group -to get help, to learn, to network and become informed about your options.” There is a lot to learn and you have taken a very important first step. You have joined this group!”

“Yes,” the new member replied. “There seems to be plenty of knowledge to learn from in this group.”

Before the break was over and we went to sit in our respective seats, across the room from one another, I had one more thing I had to say. “In your free time, read anything you can get your hands on about the industry, and keep coming to this group. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.”

To learn more about the Colorado Independent Publishers Association, please visit this link. http://www.cipacatalog.com/join-cipa/. Please note the organization also offers downloadable webinars if you are too far to travel to their meetings.

http://www.cipacatalog.com/categories/CIPA-College-Downloads/

As I drove home, I began to ponder how many first steps I have taken since 1998, when the independent industry was in its infancy. They’ve all been in a quest to learn all I could about the industry and it led to becoming a business.  And the wonders and development of the independent publishing universe never cease to amaze me. I find it fascinating.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

e-Book Extravaganza

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Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. ~ Kofi Annan

cipa logoOn Saturday I made the very worthwhile three hour trek into Denver from Steamboat Springs, Colorado to attend Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) monthly meeting. The September agenda was an e-Book Extravaganza. Here are just a few things that were discussed throughout the day:

  • The e-book industry now represents 33% of book sales. How about that?
  • People like having a choice of formats, so offering books in print, as well as an e-book version is wise marketing.
  • There is still a viable market for books-in-print but there is a certain part of the reading population who are clamoring for e-books due to their convenience.
  • Surprisingly, people who are 55 years of age and over ARE BUYING e-books, contrary to what was expected. It is not just the young generation that are interested in the digital format.
  • We discussed pricing of e-books and how you can leverage your intellectual property.
  • E-books make it easy to offer samples, providing potential book buyers the  opportunity to see if they like an author they’ve never read before.
  • A big advantage to e-books – there is no printing involved, thus it removes the need for physical space of inventory.

If you are a writer who wants to get on The Fast Track to Independent Publishing, here is a short webinar that will introduce you to the basics. http://bit.ly/10cCp1Y. 

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, we will be discussing the next best step if you are a person who is considering independent publishing and you are in need of knowledge. I will tell you a quick but valuable story from this weekend.

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

 

Writing for the Young Adult Market

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Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. ~ Elmer G Letterman

Dom testaYesterday I left you hanging. I mentioned radio personality Dom Testa and his work with the Rocky Mountain PBS StoryMakers contest, but I didn’t say much about who he is as a writer.

Dom Testa has found success in reaching the hearts and minds of teenagers through his Galahad Series. Young adults are known to be reluctant readers and it’s no secret teens tend to be fickle, so it takes smarts as a writer to hold the attention of this age group and provide them with fulfilling reading.

Comets CurseTesta won international acclaim as an author when The Comet’s Curse, the first in the Galahad series, won the grand prize from Writer’s Digest Magazine and an EVVY award for the best Young Adult book. His readers wanted more, so books two and three, The Web of Titan and The Cassini Code followed. In a capsule, the story is about a group of teens who must leave home in order to save the planet. As within nearly every crowd, the characters include an athlete, a nosy meddler and the lovesick yearning for attention. To learn more about the characters in the story, please watch this You Tube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzJaL9Hi-HY.

The Mindbender books, also published by Testa help support the organization he founded The Big Brain Club. In an all new series, Cooper James Mysteries, Testa’s talents have been tested as a sleuth writer. You can follow his latest series on Facebook.

This author/public figure visits classrooms to talk about teen issues, education and attitudes and he also is a popular keynote speaker in corporate settings. For more information on all of Dom Testa’s publications or to book him as a speaker, please visit www.domtesta.com.

Please return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.