Gold Standards in Independent Publishing

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Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution. ~ William A Foster

Award-winning authors with award winning books! Today we continue highlighting authors who took away 2013 EVVY prizes from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) last month.

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Each of the aforementioned authors, as well as those who received second, third and merit awards from CIPA are setting high standards for all independent publishers. The Colorado Independent Publishers Association is working hard to ensure that top quality authors are reaping the rewards. The organization is putting into place high standards for judging criteria for book contests. Thank you, CIPA, for leading the way with your EVVY awards.

To read the full list of the 2013 EVVY award-wining books, please visit

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Celebrating the Publishing Process

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Today, I awake with very mixed feelings. Thrilled that the beginning of May is soon to arrive, it means, for me, escape from still snowy Colorado. In about two weeks I’ll be on my way out of here for some business dealings. The change of scenery and new things to blog about, from another perspective, will be refreshing. I’ll find plenty of inspiration along the way. I look forward to also visiting art galleries, museums, independent bookstores and other things that bring me fulfillment.

Yet, there is regret and sadness that duty calls me away at this time of year. For the first time since I arrived in Colorado four years ago, I will miss the EVVY book award night. Authors from We Write Steamboat who have submitted to the contest are hoping to be award-winners! It has been such a pleasure to connect, network and share information about the industry with We Write Steamboat members and with other people who share connections with me through the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. CIPA is a very resourceful group of professionals  who support, educate and provide services to help authors who have chosen to publish their books in a non-traditional way – on The Fast Track!

It ‘s hard to describe the pleasure that comes with writing a book. The process is a quite a learning experience.  To become an award-winning author, with an award-winning book, is very satisfying and you can see the JOY on the authors faces as they claim their prizes. Today, I’d like to say “Good Luck to all independent publishers who have submitted to the various book contests this spring.”  Tis the Season and I hope it’s jolly! Even if you don’t come home with an award, look for the rewards that you found in the process.

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Valuable Publishing Associations

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Technology has changed the way book publishing works, as it has changed everything else in the world of media.” ~ Bruce Jackson

On Saturday, I attended the monthly meeting of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA). One of the reasons I don’t mind driving the distance, is the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life who are publishing their stories. Their manuscripts are usually a reflection of their interests, their lives or their careers. Always diverse, always leaving me wanting to learn more about each person, I collect business cards throughout the day, so I can go home check out their author websites and see what they have written. 

The October meeting was “Get the Skinny on Book Awards.” There was time for networking and facilitated breakout sessions, fulfilling CIPA members requests for information on: 

  • Award-winning Editing
  • Award-winning Design
  • Guidelines used by CIPA for their annual EVVY Book Awards
  • Discussions about Social Media and other Marketing 

Christine Goff, a judge and organizer for the Colorado Book Awards was the guest speaker on Saturday. She spoke about book awards in general and it became clear to me as she spoke that the criteria for judging books is as she said “subjective,” depending on each contest. The aim should be to make the judging fair for all by having a set of standards in place to go by. 

Interestingly, Goff mentioned, there are only about 19 states that have State Book Award contests. The Colorado Independent Publishers Association is opening up their awards to non-members meaning more submissions, a higher level of competition and an increased need for qualified judges. A four hour workshop on book competition judging will be offered. 

Winning a book award gives a book distinction, indicating it is well-worth reading. There are many contests, and it is important that the contests that you, as an author, enter have been researched to make sure they are run legitimately.

I can not express enough, the value of joining publishing associations, at the national or state level, such as the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. Networking with other authors should be  at the top of your list.  Join a publishing association in your area or State today!

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Storymakers have Deadlines


A dream is a goal with a deadline” ~ Napoleon Hill  

Time is running out! Rocky Mountain Public Broadcast System’s (RMPBS) writing contest for sixth, seventh and eighth graders will be accepting submissions until October 12th. There is only one month left to wrap up those stories. Parents and teachers, encourage your students to  write and participate!

The winners will enjoy having lunch with local radio personality and Colorado authorDom Testa and finalists will also win prizes. Dom Testa is a pretty neat guy! I’ve had the pleasure of hearing him speak several times at the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA). His Big Brain Club supports creativity in students, making excelling as a student “cool.” For more information on this 50l(3) C foundation, please visit this link.

To obtain a copy of the rules of the Storymakers Contest and a submission application, please visit this link.

Good luck to all students and remember your child can not win if they do not participate!

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