Fostering Joy Through Publishing

1 Comment

We can not accomplish all we need to without working together.” ~ Bill Richardson

I wish you could really know the joy I am feeling right now. Last week I found out that four authors in our We Write Steamboat networking group are finalists for five awards in the annual EVVY book contest sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

The group was formed in 2011 with a mission of “fostering independent publishing success.” Since then Steamboat authors have been well-represented each year as finalists and award winners. As the founder of the group, I couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished in bringing recognition to this community of writers.

Here is the list of Steamboat’s 2015 EVVY award finalists.

celebrate the author

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

Lou Prentiss Book

Merit Clark’s Killing Streak in the fiction/mystery & detective category and also finalist for cover design

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

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)

Dear Class

What a gift it has been to live and work among a community of independent publishers. I must also give recognition to the Steamboat Writers Group. Their expertise and knowledge with regards to critiquing works in progress is very valuable and that is why for thirty-plus years the group has held together.

It’s a joyful time for all of the independent publishers who are finalists in the EVVY competition. Good luck to everyone! All Things Fulfilling will be posting more information about the 2015 EVVY award-winning authors in coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow I will be featuring an artist whose life calling has gone from farm boy in Virginia to dentist to author/independent publisher and internationally acclaimed scultpure artist. Now there’s a story!

This blog is brought to you by two time  2014 EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Letter to the Editor

Leave a comment

Have you ever written a letter to an editor of a monthly circular or a newspaper? Some people become regular contributors to magazines or “rag sheets” by writing letters to editors. This usually occurs when a publication features articles that an individual feels passionate about.
Colorado Country Life Mag cover March 2015I recently wrote a letter to the Editor of Colorado Country Life Magazine, published by the Yampa Valley Electric Association. The YVEA is “a business owned by the people it serves.” It is a not-for-profit cooperative providing energy and power resources. The YVEA lights up many parts of Colorado.

What prompted my communication to the magazine was my heartfelt thrill at seeing in their November 2014  magazine an article about “The Love of Books.” In this article they shared information about a few Colorado authors.

When an author puts their heart and soul into writing yet their books don’t land on the top seller lists sometimes getting recognition in the media beyond social media and websites can be challenging. I wanted to let the editor know how nice it was to open the magazine and learn about books that are not on NY Times best seller lists, but still very worthy of reading.

Thank you, YVEA for posting my letter to the editor in the Colorado Country Life Magazine. I do appreciate it and I hope you will continue to feature authors and books penned here in Colorado by independent publishers.

I encourage anyone who has positive thoughts about their love of books or reading, to please post your comments on All Things Fulfilling. Hearing from readers is a good thing because “we are what we think. All that we are that arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”

Letter to editor rotated CO country life

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Validating Quality Writers

Leave a comment

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,

Important First Steps to Publishing

2 Comments

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

Leave a comment

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 .

 

Uniting People and An Artist

3 Comments

“In my opinion, the cornerstone of our country is free press – that’s the cornerstone.” ~ Milos Forman

I find it interesting, but not particularly surprising, that the NormanRockwellMuseum has been holding swearing in ceremonies for new U.S. Citizens. “At an art museum?” Some of you might be questioning.

norman-rockwell-golden-rule-do-unto-others-april-1-1961Think about Rockwell’s painting, The Golden Rule. In this image Rockwell captures people of all different faiths and nationalities, who have come to the United States seeking a better way of life. In my opinion, a swearing in ceremony among paintings that depict iconic American life is a good fit.

Personally, I hope that the original painting of The Golden Rule is front and center, next to the American flag, in the area where our newest U.S. citizens pledge their allegiance to our country. The image is a good reminder that if you work hard and conduct yourself with integrity and honesty, you can reap the benefits of our prosperous nation. But you must treat others as you want to be treated yourself – with respect and dignity. Our nation’s pioneers founded the country on these principles, and we should not be a nation of “handouts.”

If you would like to read more about the swearing in ceremonies at the NormanRockwellMuseum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, read this article.  http://bit.ly/1dVvgbO. And if you would like to order a giclee print of The Golden Rule, please visit www.art.com.  

I am proud to be an American citizen living in a country where independent thoughts, words and views can be aired on sites such as this. But, again, we must respect each others opinions and values because  “we are one nation under God” and there is “liberty and justice for all.”  We live in a place where the laws of he land must be abided by.

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling This blog brought to you by ww.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com .

Booksellers Dream Wedding

Leave a comment

Dreams are illustrations….from the book your soul is writing about you.”

 ~ Marsha Norman

The best thing about planning any wedding is designing a day that is uniquely designed to reflect the tastes of bride and groom.

Last Saturday, The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont http://www.northshire.com/  closed early for a private party. The store hosted the wedding of Sarah, one of their booksellers.

The event was everything fulfilling that a bibliophile could dream of. Even the bride’s bouquet was made from book pages and I’ll bet she tossed the paper posies from the commanding iron staircase that is the outstanding architectural feature in the store.

bridal bouquet with book pages

northshire bookstore stairs

I hope “Miss America of the Independent Publishing Industry,” the Expresso Book Machine, gave up her famed status for the day and let the bride be the star. I don’t want the  EBM to feel downgraded or upstaged, so I’ll give her a repeat feature of the blog I wrote about her early last summer. Click on this link to read more. http://bit.ly/10RIonQ.

Rumor has it that one of the wedding gifts was a handmade quilt with titles and cover images of the bride and grooms very favorite books. Imagine the pressure of having to decide which publication should be included and which will be left out. Avid readers have a long list of favorites, and I am sure there were too many books and too little space on the quilt’s surface.

I wonder if the couple first encountered each other between the shelves of the book store? Do you think they had custom written wedding vows that included a little poetry? Ahhh..the beauty of a relationship where two people come together with the common interests….and the advantages of owning an independent bookstore. “Nothing is set in stone,” as it is etched on the pavement leading into the Northshire Bookstore. That means you can do anything you please including closing early to host a booksellers dream wedding.

To learn more about this event, please visit the Facebook page of the Northshire Bookstore. http://on.fb.me/1cZVDKU

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.