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 .

 

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Book Marketing Savvy

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“….from the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.” ~ Gordon B Hinckley

On Tuesday I joined a book club of women from Dorchester County Maryland for lunch. It was the second time I have been among the group, and talk naturally flowed to who is reading what, favorite authors, book lists and other common subjects among book lovers.

One member of the group mentioned she was headed to Boonsboro, Maryland to the historic Inn that is the subject of Nora Roberts recently published Boonsboro trilogy. Roberts has capitalized on capturing the hearts of her readers not only through her books, but by giving her fans an opportunity to visit and relax in the setting of some of her stories. In my opinion, it is a great example of using creative book marketing savvy and smart business.

boonsboro innObviously her investment in the old stone property, the Boonsboro Inn, on the corner of North  Main Street and Potomac, and in the town, itself, has been made possible by her success as a very prolific writer. She has approximately 200 titles to her credit, and some of her novels have been adapted for film. www.noraroberts.com.

The Boonsboro Inn aims to provide a fulfilling vacation travel experience with a literature experience. The assistant innkeeper, Patti, worked at Turn the Page Bookstore for four years. Obviously a booklover and well-read person, I am sure she is well-versed in providing the guests with plenty of background about the Montgomery brothers, the clan featured in The Next Always (Book 1), The Last Boyfriend (Book 2) and the final book of the trilogy, The Perfect Hope. To read more about the Boonsboro trilogy,Click here..

To learn more about the Boonsboro bed and breakfast experience, the amenities offered and the renovation of the historic property, please visit the website. http://bit.ly/19GwZhM.

According to hospitality surveys, more and more people are looking for unique vacations. If you have had a satisfying vacation in a literature hotel or inn, please share your experience with booklovers and writers who frequent www.allthingsfulfilling.com. Click on comment below and tell us all about it.

Reflections on the Writing Process

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Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien

This morning as I open this blank Word document, I think of the adage that “every person has a story to tell.” A white page gives us a space to create, a place to give birth to a beginning and an ending. Our imaginations can compose a fictional tale without a bit of truth or we can recount a factual story with unswerving loyalty or create a composite, with a bit of both.  Even with writing a narrative that is one hundred percent true, there is choice in the words we use and the voice we use to tell it. What an opportunity! That’s the beauty of writing.

If you are a person who has a story that needs to be told, I urge you to begin writing. If you need support, look for a local writers group in your area, or take a writing class at a local college or on-line. Networking with other authors and attending writer’s conferences or seminars also is helpful throughout the process. Unbiased feedback, from others can be invaluable because it is difficult to critique your own work.

You will be surprised how a tale will begin to take shape all by itself, if you allow it. You’ll learn all kinds of things you never knew about yourself or your characters in the process. Writing is a beautiful exercise in self-discovery and perhaps discovery about others.

Enjoy creating. It will be reflected in your work.

beginnings and endings

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Treasures in Corners

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“Schools and libraries are the twin cornerstones of a civilized society.” ~ Nicholas Meyer

Bud werner libraryI have a very bad habit. As soon as I walk into our local library, the newly released books are front and center. Of course, I’m always anxious to see what’s hot off the press. The section begins with fiction first, and usually, I need not be enticed to venture any further. I find several books of interest and head over to the self-check out counter.

The other day when I was talking to my mother on the telephone, she mentioned she was reading Maya Angelou’s book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and she asked “have you read it?”

“No,” I said, “I haven’t. I ought to get it.” On Sunday I went in search of the book at the library. Not allowing myself any dalliances with the newly-released section, I ignored it and went directly to the computer to look for the title in the catalog, and learned it was in the biography section. “Where’s that?” I thought.

I found it, in one of the far off corners of the library, where I need to venture more often. There was Angelou’s book on the shelf, and another I have been looking for.Cathie Beck’s memoir Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship was sitting on the same shelf as Angelou’s.

A few years ago, I made the acquaintance of Colorado author Cathie Back, through independent publishing circles. Beck’s success was the subject of my blog Using Stepping Stones, some time ago. If you missed it, here is the link. http://bit.ly/ZjfwHz.

Beck’s book, like many other independent publications are finding their way into libraries, including e-books.  Frankly, who is surprised? Non-traditional publishing has turned a corner. According and to the Miami Herald, the traditional publishing industry has been “upended.” To read the full article about the growth of independent publishing, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/ZjfwHz .

There is so much of value in all libraries, and I was reminded on Sunday, that I need to search out every corner of the library. Good reads go beyond the fiction section.

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by another memoir writer, Sue Batton Leonard.

Spreading the Joy in Indie Publishing

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Joy isn’t in things, money or positions. It is IN us. And we need to bring it with us and SHARE it!” ~ Unknown 

Day Two of 2013!  My resolution this year is to do something a little different each month, to promote our growing population of independent publishers here in Routt County, Colorado. 

snowboarding tricksWhy? Because I believe greatly in each one of our We Write Steamboat, independent publishers. They are a creative and well-educated group of people, male and female. Many of them are award-winning authors with award-winning books! Each of them is a healer of mind, body and spirit! They have career knowledge in all sorts of fields. Our members include teachers, physicians, life consultants,a chef, holistic health consultants, experts on our natural environment,  just to name a few. All with valuable experience in life to write about. Our group also includes young people and retirees who like to spin yarns just for the fun of it! (Of course, they don’t object to selling their books, also!) 

In my opinion, all writers are helpers and healers of mind, body and spirit! After all, we publish books to educate, inspire others, entertain,and inform readers. Could there be better reasons? I don’t think so. In fact, writing is as therapeutic for the author as well as the reader. It gives us a way to share our thoughts, emotions, experiences and our imaginations. http://bit.ly/ZSk0Yc.

A networking group of independent publishers, She Writes Steamboat, that I began almost two years ago, has grown, and as of January 1, 2013 we have changed our name to We Write Steamboat. From the very first meeting, we have had male writers attend, and we don’t want them to feel slighted! We’ve welcomed them and have been delighted to have them part of the group from our inception.

We, independent publishers here in Ski Town, USA and Routt County, Colorado, come together and meet monthly. In a nutshell, because producing independent books, films and music is a win-win for the artist creating the work as well as for the audience who so enjoys it! Our mission is to provide networking opportunity and to promote success of independent publishing. Our affiliation with the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipabooks.com , also fosters our growth as award-winning writers and publishers.  

If you wish to learn more about starting up an independent publishing networking group in your area, contact me through this blog.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, a company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers!

Reading Life’s Signals

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Hear with your heart, see with your soul, be guided by a hand that you can not hold, and trust even if you can not see. That’s how faith must be.” ~ Unknown

Last week when I was interviewing Mara Purl, author of What the Heart Knows and  Where the Heart Lives we spoke about her recent keynote address for Go for the Red event, sponsored by the American Heart Association.

I asked her whether there was a connection between the message in her books and the subject of her keynote address. She said “she  took  the principles of Life Simple 7 http://bit.ly/RsCok9  that  are outlined in the American Heart Association’s brochures and literature. Then she made a correlation between a  literal interpretation of unclogging our lives by saying “we need to stop ignoring our intuition when it is telling us something.”  When our intuition tells us to change something, such as to stop smoking or get that cholesterol checked, Mara said “we need to listen.”

In Mara’s story “Where the Heart Lives,” the protagonist makes a geographical move, based on a “heart” decision. This decision has implications that changes her life and the focus of it. For more information on Mara Purl’s books, <a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=mara%20purl&linkCode=ur2&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Amara%20purl&tag=allthinfulf-20&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&linkId=JAPOA45PHI7EE76U”>Click here</a><img src=”https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=allthinfulf-20&l=ur2&o=1&#8243; width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />.

The events of Hurricane Sandy, reminds us of how life can turn on us at a moments notice, dealing  nasty,long lasting blows. Unfortunately, individuals sometimes forget to take the time to interpret signs and signals that tell us it is time to slow down and heed the warnings along the path of life.

What a gift life is!  It is up to us as individuals to honor the life we have been given by taking good care of ourselves through healthy diets, regular exercise and by avoiding addictive behaviors – such as overindulging in food, alcohol, and other risky behaviors. Maintaining healthy personal relationships helps us to be mentally and spiritually fit.

Intuition research has been a growing field among nurses and other medical professionals.  It has been said that listening to our hearts and intuition, can help us to create better lifestyles for ourselves. Sometimes we learn the hard way, through devastating life events. We are all  guilty of not listening to our hearts at various points in our lives, I suppose. Here is an article that addresses some of the most recent findings concerning intuition research. http://lifesciencefoundation.org/inmain.html

What kind of listener you are? Head or heart?  Do you listen to what your heart is telling you?

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

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A Charming Idea, Mara Purl

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Today’s blog is part 2 of my interview with Mara Purl, author of the Milford-Haven series. The second book, Where the Heart Lives was the subject of yesterday’s blog. Please scroll down to read it.

Sue: Mara, I’d like to talk with you for a few minutes about books, in general, and what, if any, shift you have noticed among readers in recent years?

Mara: Readers know what they like to read, and with people being so busy these days, I think people are looking for more specific categories of books. Rather than just say, general fiction, they are looking types of fiction such as women’s fiction or family sagas or romance. My books are categorized in all three.

Authors are offering free sample chapters of e-books, prequels that are free, and 99 cent e-books which allows readers to venture into trying new genres and new authors they otherwise may have never discovered.  Short stories had been diminishing in the marketplace, and with the arrival of e-books, they are making a return. Serial story telling has also had a resurgence. 

Because of space constraints, in the past, booksellers have been hesitant to carry whole series of books; not wanting to take up too much space with just one author’s books. With e-books, there is not that concern of taking up too much shelf space. Thus, readers have the ability to read a whole series from beginning to end. Collecting and reading an entire series presents no constraints in storage in electronic (e-book) format.  

For fans of books that bring the reader through a chronology of generations, such as Louis L’Amour books, e-books can be very useful way to fulfill the readers desires to collect an entire series without having to find space to store them in their homes. 

Sue: I have noticed your wonderful newly redesigned website. There are all kinds of fun things for your readers on the site, including jewelry for fans of the Milford- Haven Books. Tell me what it has meant to you to follow the spirit of your character, Miranda Jones, and use your artistic expression to take your creativity in a new direction.

Mara:  Women love jewelry, and I have noticed that stories go along with jewelry that women wear. Women say, “oh, that necklace or bracelet was given to me by so and so, or it used to be my grandmothers, or I got that piece of jewelry when……” I thought that women may like to collect jewelry that will remind them of the Milford-Haven books they have read. As a talisman or reminder to listen to the heart. So, each book has a different shell “dingbat” (an ornament, character or spacer used in typesetting) and each will be available as a charm and can be collected for bracelets. The first book What the Heart Knows has a heart cockle shell “dingbat” in it, and then the 2nd book in the series Where the Heart Lives is a placuna shell, (called a windowpane oyster) which is a marine bivalve that is flat and translucent, in shape).  

Sue: Where can these charms and bracelets be purchased?  I will put a link to your newly designed website for our readers, and people can keep their eyes open for them as an upcoming product. Mara’s Blog site www.marapurlcom.  Link to Milford-Haven book charms on Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/marapurl/.

Mara: Yes, they are still in the development phase by a jeweler in Colorado Springs, but once available, they can be shipped anywhere in the world and if you go to my newly redesigned website, there is information.

Sue: Mara, I appreciate so much the opportunity to interview you again. I am so pleased at the success you are having with the Milford-Haven series. When will Bellekeep Books publish the third in the series When Hearts Keep Secrets be available? I look forward to reading the next book.

Mara: Look for When Hearts Keep Secrets in 2013. Probably in autumn of the year. Also, the e-book “When Whales Watch” the prequel to the second book  is available through Amazon.

For more information on all of Mara Purls’ publications,Click here

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