Star of the Publishing World

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In I walked, last week, to the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont and I was greeted by “Miss America of the Independent Publishing Industry.” That’s my tag line for her, but, she’s better known as the Expresso Book Machine. At one time there were only five “clones” of her in the world, but no longer. Her appearance on the scene has led to the growth of a new generation of publishing, and print-on-demand has a bright future. She was in action, performing her art of downloading, binding and printing a book right there in front of people, on stage, at the entrance to one of the top independent bookstores in the country, according to Publisher Weekly Magazine.

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I’d gone to the bookstore to meet with an author, who was somewhat jet lagged after being in Bali with Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series.Click for info & ordering Chicken Soup For the Soul Series . She had arrived home from her travels late, the previous evening. Keep your eye on All Things Fulfilling in the coming weeks because her book, which we will be featuring, is all about success in life and business. Many of the strategies she offers are valuable to independent publishers.

Earlier in the week, I also met with a leader who is beginning to write her story. She hopes to publish independently. Her “dream” has led her to helping people around the globe to know that they matter. I look forward to seeing her publishing project evolve and come to fruition.

I also visited with numerous old friends in Vermont, and oddly each is one seizing new opportunities and starting down new paths, for very different reasons. We talked about baby boomers retiring,  life, change and where it leads us. Our conversations reminded me of what C.S. Lewis once said “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

IMAG0345Etched in stone, outside the Northshire Bookstore, http://www.northshire.com/ Manchester, Vermont

Here are pictures of other familiar places I stopped by in my travels:

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Weston Playhouse, Weston, VT http://www.westonplayhouse.org/ where I volunteered for more than 25 years.Saw many outstanding theatre productions.

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Can’t go to Vermont without a stop by the Vermont Country Store. http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/. I ran into my office assistant who worked with me when I was an insurance agent and branch manager for Finn & Stone, Inc. many years ago.

Return tomorrow to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com as I highlight a city, in Rhode Island, that is being revitalized by a group of shakers and movers who are capitalizing on the city’s art, history, architecture and universities. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Update on the Expresso Book Machine

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Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form.” ~ Watts Humprey

It’s been a while since I’ve shared the latest news about the Expresso Book Machine, which has been in the development stage over the past years. Some four years ago, I had the opportunity to see the Expresso Book Machine, in action, at the Northshire Book Store in Manchester,Vermont. At the time there were only five such machines in the world including one in the UK, Canada, New Orleans and in   Egypt.

All within a fifteen to twenty minute period, the machine downloads PDF files of a manuscript, prints the book and the cover, binds the book and trims the pages, producing a perfect bound paperback just like that. It also has the capability of printing a book in many languages.

Today, in collaboration with Xerox, it is projected that by the end of this year, more than 150 Expresso Book Machines will be in bookstores, at universities and libraries worldwide.

This means of production will help to reduce waste by printing books on an “as needed basis;” reducing returns and inventory space; ultimately resulting in higher margins for publishers. Books that are out of print, can also be located and reprinted as per customer requests.

It is an exciting development in many respects, for  publishers and for brick and mortar stores. To read the full article on the latest news on the print-on-demand scene of publishing, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/mCgyBC.

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Books Made to Order

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Economy is the method by which we prepare today to afford the improvements of tomorrow.” ~ Calvin Coolidge 

Approximately 4 or 5 years ago, I was introduced to the EBM– the Expresso Book Machine. As I stood in front of the machine, I was amazed to watch it’s speed in downloading PDF files, collating, printing, binding, trimming pages and covering a book all within 15 – 20 minutes time. Not only that, the machine had the ability to print a book in many different languages. 

When I saw the EBM in action, it was still in the testing phase. The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester,Vermont http://bit.ly/qSD5Ib was the first retail store to acquire this print-on-demand book machine and, in fact at the time, it was only available in 5 other locations in world. 

Imagine that!  A paperbound book, made to order, in a language of your choice is now as easy as 1 -2 – 3! This option in book printing is good for publications of 200 pages or less and for very low print runs. For instance: if you need a paperbound copy of a book out of print, often it can be located through digital catalogs and printed just for you! It is also a good choice when it comes to printing a few copies of family memoirs or poetry collections. 

Test trials must have gone well! In less then a half dozen years, there are now 50 Expresso Book Machines located in public libraries, retail bookstores and University Libraries. For more information on the EBM, please visit http://bit.ly/hSAIe2

There can be drawbacks to print-on-demand, however. The costs of using print-on- demand can be more expensive if you are printing in larger quantities. Now many book printing companies will print less than mega quantities. Times have changed in the book manufacturing world. 

Weigh your choices very carefully. If this is your first attempt at self publishing or as a first time independent publisher, sometimes it is better to test your market first. Ordering through print-on-demand will allow you to establish how quickly the book is selling. Overprinting could result in high inventory storage fees. Save  dollars by making wise choices when you print your books.

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Fast & Fascinating!

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“All positive change in the world comes from our ideas of what we believe is possible.” ~ Alexandra Jamieson

Over the past few months, I have done some public speaking about order fulfillment for independent publishers and also about the independent publishing industry in general. One of the questions that I have posed to my audience is “Can you imagine that a manuscript can be downloaded from a digital file, printed, pages trimmed, bound and covered with a custom-designed book cover, all within 15 minutes time?”  All eyes meet mine with a look of disbelief!

Well, it is true, folks! Learn about the Expresso Book Machine! No longer do you have to print 20,000 copies of a book at at time, have them sit around in warehouses waiting to be sold and pay for excessive warehousing fees. Books can now be printed in small batches and be reprinted as they are sold. The Expresso Book Machine is evidence that there is a revolution taking place in the publishing industry, specifically the independent publishing industry. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/NQWc.

The independent publishing industry has taken responsibility in their approach to a green economy. By printing only what will sell, a whole lot of trees will be spared and dollars can be spent on publishing and marketing rather than unnecessary warehousing. Makes green sense, doesn’t it?

Furthermore, people without big name visibility as writers, but with great stories to tell, now have a chance at becoming publishers! As I have spoken with groups over the past months, it has been interesting to see the eyes of disbelief turn to eyes of excitement! Almost everyone has a story to tell, educational information to share,  inspiring thoughts or a wish to entertain – what do you have  under your hat?

To begin your journey into the world of independent publishing, start with a few minutes of education about the Expresso Book Machine, documented in this short, 2-3 minute, independently published film. The independent publishing industry is growing and fulfilling the dreams of many “want to be published,” who through traditional publishing would not ordinarily have a chance. It is exciting – now readers get to decide whether a book is any good, and not editors!

I’ve Got to Crow!

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“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some months ago, someone came to me with a book of poetry that had been published by print on demand. The poet admitted that because the book was still in rough development, she only had three copies made to show to a few people who were supporting her efforts. She was still playing around with a few things such as back cover text. When she was satisfied, she would have a larger number printed. Ah, the benefits of print on demand and the Northshire Bookstore www.Northshire.com!

After much discussion regarding the back cover, she said “I have won a few poetry awards, but I have decided that I want the back cover text to tell what in my life inspired me to write these poems.” My response to that was “great, but you need to promote yourself as a poet by mentioning your poetry awards – we all have to crow about ourselves. Self promotion is such a necessary part of a writer’s success!”

As I reflect on our conversation, this morning, it has come to me how difficult it is to promote  ourselves as bloggers. Clearly, blog writing is not for self promotion.

In my blog writing during the holidays, I neglected to mention a competition – the Blog Off II hosted by www.communitymarketingblog.com. There were bloggers from six countries and it was a great educational experience for all! To give you a little insider information – I was one of the finalists.  Oops, I’ve slipped. Pardon me, I just had to have one quick moment in the sun!

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In the Drivers Seat

“Our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney

I had an ephiphany this morning, right when I was in the shower brainstorming what today’s blog would be. Suddenly, the thought came to me that as bloggers, we are all given a clean slate each day to write what we want. We only have to pitch an idea to ourselves!

Contrary to writers who are submitting manuscripts to traditional publishing houses, there is not an editor deciding whether your work is right for the publishing house. Getting in line behind all those other recently submitted manuscripts can be a long wait in itself. With traditional publishing, a manuscript can take years to become a book. Often a manuscript has to be submitted to many publishing houses before you get a nibble of interest from an editor.

A comparison can be made between life and independent publishing. We get to write our own story in life, too! The outcome is determined by the choices we make, our determination, the vision we have for ourselves and whether or not we will let others stand in the way of our goals.

Perhaps in this New Year, you will have  a revelation, too. If you genuinely believe in your manuscript yet have been frustrated in finding a traditional publisher interested in buying the rights, perhaps it is time to take your future, as a writer, into your own hands.  Short run printing, print on demand and The Expresso Book  Machine www.Northshire.com  now make it possible to have your book on the market in very short order and your book can become available globally through the power of e-commerce.  What are you waiting for?

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Best of Times for Indy Publishers

Richard Schmid and His Influence catalogcover

There is no doubt about it, independent publishers have never had it so good! The independent publishing scene is hot, hot, hot! Proof is in the statistics cited by seasoned publishing professionals.

Desktop publishing software has been developed so that it has become user friendly. The arrival of the Expresso Book Machine really has independent publishers smiling!

For those of you unfamiliar with the EBM (Expresso Book Machine), it has the capacity of downloading manuscripts from PDF format files, printing and delivering a perfect bound book within 10-15 minutes time. I kid you not! I have seen it first hand at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, VT.  www.Northshire.com

The Northshire Bookstore was the first retail store to obtain one of these print on demand book machines. Even now, few establishments have them.  A visit to the Northshire Bookstore to see this beast in action will be well worth your time. The Publishers Weekly Magazine has given the Northshire an award of distinction for “The Best Independent Bookstore.”

When you go, plan to spend a good part of the day exploring the nooks and crannies of the store. It is like a destination resort, unlike any other you have visited before. But, do me a favor, tell General Manager Chris Merrow that Sue Leonard from Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC says “hello!” And one more thing, please leave your kindle reader behind!

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