Strength Comes with Setbacks

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The beautiful thing about setbacks is they introduce us to our strengths.” ~ Robin Sharma

A large population of the  American people were thrown into an unexpected financial “dither” when the economy came to a nearly screeching halt some eight years ago or so. “The crash” forced the American people to look at sustainability in different industries. Economists and “the think tank” has been studying how to creatively deal with a whole new economy and how best to survive it ever since.

The publishing industry looked long and hard at environmental issues associated with books in print. More sustainable ways of publishing, such as e-books and print-on-demand have been developed. The way music and audio books is now distributed is also more sustainable. Downloading digital files rather than shipping product has brought new ways of doing business to the industry.

Thankfully hardback and paperback books have not completely disappeared from the planet. I like reading from a paperback book as much as my neighbor. But with print-on-demand, huge warehouses full of large inventories of  books have been reduced, as have the numbers of books being discarded in landfills. Thats good news!

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life is a great read for those who doubt that living with less is the key to happiness. The book may help you to adjust your thinking and put balance back in your life.


As the economy rebounds, it will be interesting to see whether the American citizens will return to their old ways of being or whether a true “renaissance” has taken place. Have people fully realized that in order to live a fulfilling life, we can do it with less stuff? Will we continue to put our energies into finding sustainable ways of doing business? If so, there were great gifts in the downturn of the economy.

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


Creative Memory

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A memoir takes some particular threads, some incidents, some experience form a person’s life and gives an account of it. ~ Richard Hell

Yesterday’s blog was all about using images, songs, adages, movies to elicit memories of times gone-by to help write life stories.They  all serve as great writing prompts.

saddle shoe polish

When I saw the image of this widely-used household item from my childhood it triggered powerful memories. Below are the words that I associated with this picture. The words became basis for writing the preface to my memoir.

Once I recorded my thoughts it was easy to compose the preface to the book. Then my words became complete sentences and a little organizing to make sure the writing became a well- developed composition that conveyed what I wanted to share with my readers.

Here are the free association words that immediately came to mind when I saw the image:


  • First day of school
  • lunchbox
  • socks with wrinkles
  • foreign speaking doctor
  • bus stop
  • saddle shoes
  • odd odor
  • six years old
  • my mother
  • fear and anxiety

If you want to write your life story but are stumped and having a hard time getting started, dig out some old pictures from the past and see what happens. Here is a great article about the power of creative memory.

If you are interested in this thing called “independent publishing” there are many, many blog writings on All Things Fulfilling about the subject. Basically, I recorded my journey as I went through my own publishing process. On the right-hand side of this page, you can search by category – enter words such as independent publishing, writing, memoir, marketing independent publications, e-book publishing, writers, creativity.

That is all I’ve got for today! This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For -information on her  book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected which won 2 EVVY book awards, please visit this link.

Important First Steps to Publishing


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. Please note the organization also offers downloadable webinars if you are too far to travel to their meetings.

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 The space where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Bay to Ocean Writers Conference


To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. —Joseph Chilton Pearce

Winter is a good time to hold a Writers Conference. It’s the time of year when people spend more time indoors reading and writing! Mark your calendar! 

bto logo tiny

What: The 17th annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference

When: February 22, 2014

Where:KentHumanitiesBuilding, ChesapeakeCollege, Wye Mills, Maryland 

How do I know if this conference is for me?

The mission of the non-profit organization that sponsors this one day conference is “to inform, encourage and inspire writers of all levels from beginners to published authors.”

More details, please. To see the list of 2013 presenters and their offerings please visit the website for the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference.

Please visit this link.

The line-up is jam-packed with fulfilling subjects for writers in every genre. Workshops range from the Craft of Writing, to Poetry, to Marketing and Using Social Media. You will have an opportunity for one on one manuscript review, there will be agents available. 

If independent publishing and e-book publishing (digital/electronic publishing) strikes your fancy, sign up now. There will be  independent publishing industry experts on hand to educate you on this growing trend of publishing, which now represents more than 50% of all publishing revenue.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to publish. We all have our own preferences and ways of doing things. In this day and age, publishing can be whatever your heart desires!

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A “Tweek” to a Word Brings Response

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On Tuesday we had the first meeting of the year for our meet-up group, We Write Steamboat (formerly SHe Writes Steamboat). A decision was made at the end of last year to change the name of our group to encourage more male authors/publishers to participate in this monthly networking opportunity for independent publishers in Steamboat and Routt County, Colorado. 

Guess what? A little “tweek” to a word, brought more male writers to the group. They outnumbered the women, this month. Although we have had male independent publishers attend since the inception of the group, almost two years ago, our goal for the year is to welcome even more. 

EreaderprintThe town of Steamboat Springs and the surrounding Routt County has many writers who are drawn to this area for its inspiring landscape, recreational opportunity and an alternative lifestyle. Creativity, artistry and innovation in this town draw many location neutral businesses. With the development of digital technology, business for some people can be accomplished from anywhere. Living in an urban hub like New York, because you are a publisher, is no longer necessary with the ability to send files and images electronically. The new option of e-book publishing requires no shipping or printing companies.

Feel free to look at the files for our authors we have set up on our We Write Steamboat Facebook page. Check out the diversity of subjects, we Steamboat independent publishers have written about. Our group has award-winning authors with award winning books; some have books in print and others have e-book publications. Some are available in several formats. 

It is going to be a good year for our group, I can just feel it. We Write Steamboat has more publications that are in various stages of production that will be added to the files on Facebook as they are completed.

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Fonts Intensify the Experience, Spooky!

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Over the past months, discussions keep cropping up with people who are publishing their first e-books or are converting books-in-print to e-books.  This has led to the subject of fonts, and how some fonts just do not work well in  digital publishing. I am sure with time, a larger variety of typeface will become available for e-books. There is a lot more to come in the growth of the industry. That is both exciting and scary to many people. 

Have you ever noticed how a font can really make a difference in the ease of reading?

Times New Romans is said to be the best for “easy on the eye” because it is a “serif typeface.” It is the default font for programs such as Word. 

Here is a very insightful article about the purpose of fonts in writing. You will learn how to  fulfill and enhance your objectives for a piece of writing by inserting mood and atmosphere using  certain fonts.

Today I’d like to share some examples of what impact using different fonts has on words. You’ll think differently about the utility of typeface after you see what an effect it has on text. 

See what I mean? The spookiness of these words is intensified all because of the font that’s been used.


Happy belated Halloween, everybody, from my house to yours! Return tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from

Common Mistakes of e-Book Publishers


Mistakes are portals of discovery.” ~ James Joyce

There is an interesting article in about mistakes people make in e-book publishing. Putting forth quality e-books is very important to propelling the industry forward and changing stereo-typical opinions of the newest method in publishing.

Anymore, people are foregoing publishing books in-print and using electronic applications for putting their books into the marketplace. Sustainability factors and not wanting to have books sitting in warehouses and having to pay for the space, often factors into the equation when deciding to use an electronic publishing format. Not to mention profit margins.

According to Writer Magazine, there are 8 mistakes that are common among e-book publishers and they are as follows:

  • Poorly designed book covers – nothing says “open me, buy me” better than a well designed cover. It is as equally important in electronic publications.
  • Failing to spread the word – if you are selling over the internet, you MUST be marketing over the internet. That where you’ll find your potential book buyers.
  • Publishing too quickly. Take time to have your book edited. It is part of offering a quality publication.
  • Not being observant of what others e-book authors are doing. You can learn a lot by reading other’s e-books and picking up what a quality e-book looks like.
  • Non-fiction writers, just because you have published an e-book does not mean that research is no longer needed. That is errant thinking!
  • Limiting your options – there are many more e-book distributors than just through the Amazon channel.
  • Going it alone. Network with other independent publishers to see what they are doing – share advice, support each other, surround yourself with others you can learn from.
  • Impatience – many claim there is no money in e-book publishing before taking the time to utilize a full range of marketing tactics. It takes time and effort to build an audience!

If you are considering e-book publishing, go into it with some knowledge. Many libraries carry Writer Magazine, check out the article. Start out right by avoiding some common publishing mistakes people make in this new generation of publishing.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the for e-book, audio and paperback book information.

Updating Books: Electronic Publishing

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During these challenging economic times, there are many industries that are asking the question “What can we do to remain relevant, move with the times, survive and even grow?” I have no involvement in it, but I consider for example, how my family’s business that was established in 1902, in the building trades, is addressing these questions and finding viable answers.

A few weeks ago, I came across a book called “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.” The publication is a good resource for entrepreneurs and already established companies who are searching for clues during these volatile times. The book published in 1998,some nine or ten years prior to the beginning of this current recession, may not last if they do not update their vision for selling it. I’m taking the publisher of this book to task. It is not available in e-book format!

Could the publishers of “Built to Last” be reluctant to put much faith in electronic publishing? They’ve not moved with the times. Whether they are aware of it or not, publishing has gone through dramatic change over the past ten years, E-books and independent publishing has been the answer to sustainability.

Many books, previously available only in print, are now being offered in a new format of an electronic publication. Here are a few e-books that may open your eyes to doing business in this new era:

  • Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
  • Strengthen your Business in a Recession: Build a Stronger Business for Success
  • Visionary Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success 

Like I tell all our  independent publishing clients, “Business promotion is no longer just doing  grunt work  on  paper – electronic media and promotion is essential. In order to be visible,  digital content  on the internet is a must .  Authors, remember it is not just about writing the book, promotion and sales are a part of it. Independent publishing is a business. For more information on tht subject here is an article.

Are you an author, publisher or business person who has not stepped forward into the new era of promotion through e-commerce and e-marketing? A specialist in that field can help you with that!

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“Explosive Growth” says Bowker

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The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes 

We are breaking away from our Friday film routine today because finally, I have found what I have been looking for. The storehouse of all publishing statistics, Bowker, has finally released their numbers for the year 2010. And it is indeed fulfilling news! 

Traditional publishing grew a 5% last year, whereas, “non-traditional publishing” continued along its path of “explosive growth” says Bowker. There were 1,033,065 non- traditionally published books put out into the marketplace in 2009 and these figures more than doubled in 2010 to 2,776,260, thanks in part to the availability of print on demand. The majority of these non-traditional titles are sold and marketed over the internet and are about “micro-niche” subjects. One can safely say, people are looking for publications that are different and unique. To read the entire Bowker report, please go to

Although e-book sales are exceeding the sales of paperback books,, books in print are by no means a thing of the past. Many self-publishing authors and independent publishers (otherwise known as non-traditional publishers) opt for selling both print and e-books, so their presence is known in both digital markets and brick and mortar stores, libraries, colleges and other retail environments. 

So that’s the latest word folks, on this ever changing and fascinating world of publishing in this 21st century. We will see what next week brings.

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