New Approaches to Marketing

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confused about marketingpngOk…so, I know what you are thinking “The year is more than half-way over. You had made a pact with yourself that 2013 will be the year that your independent business will make some transitions in the way things are being done especially, when it comes to marketing and promotion. But you are not sure where to start.”

Business marketing has indeed changed. Print ads are risky – it is too hard to hit your target market. Mass mailing campaigns are expensive, postage is outrageous and print publications are disappearing. With the cost of gasoline, and heavy traffic, cold calling is no longer economical and meeting people the old fashioned way, has nearly gone by the wayside, too. The traditional sales mindset approach has been replaced with social media communications.

There is no reason for a business to be invisible in this digital age of communication. Sometimes all it takes is basic education to gain an understanding of how to use today’s marketing tools effectively. As Sir Francis Bacon once said,  “Knowledge is power.”  There is no need to remain in a state of confusion, action always brings a sense of fulfillment.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A Company Specializing in e-Commerce and e-Marketing for Independent Publishers. Do return tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from All Things Fulfilling.

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Living and Learning

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“Writing and learning and thinking are the same process.” ~ William Zinsser

I had a lovely afternoon on Friday with a woman who fully embraces the concept of “life long learner.” I met her two years ago at a retreat sponsored by the United Methodist Women. Right away I was inspired by the interesting contributions she was making to our group discussions and wanted to know more about her. I’ve since learned she is an artist and a writer who is still avidly interested in the world and learning at eighty-three years of age. So young at heart, she still is in command of her own life. She swims at our local hot springs pool, volunteers weeding gardens and has a fulfilling spiritual life.

Last week, it was fun to finally see her contemporary paintings and discuss the thought process that she put into each composition. She interestingly explained the symbolism she incorporated into each of her paintings and how it related to where she was along her life path when she created them.

I took along an independently published art DVD to share with her that I knew she’d appreciate, a portrait painting demonstration, called “The Captain’s Portrait” by master painter Richard Schmid
 http://bit.ly/103RYtr. For me watching it brought back wonderful memories of 2001. I was in the audience the day the video was filmed and was attending my first live painting demonstration of a world-renown artist.

elderly paintingFrom our back and forth exchange of discussion as we watched the film together, it was evident that this woman has been a life-long art student. Although her works of art may not hang in top galleries throughout the country, she has won “Best in Show” awards. She seems to have a wonderful grasp of the concepts that were discussed in the film such as shape, form, values of light and dark, line, textures and color harmony. I shouldn’t be surprised, from the moment I met her she seemed very astute.

Just before we parted company , she told me how she has a void in her heart. Some years ago, the group of local painters who used to gather regularly at the Steamboat “Art Depot” and paint together, disbanded. She said “its much harder these days to find motivation to paint, and she misses the camaraderie greatly.”

I was reminded, once again, why art matters to young and old alike and to myself! This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

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.

Searching for Creative Outlets?

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“Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has a particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.” ~ Bill Cosby 

Ever thought you’d like to explore painting but never had the gumption or confidence to try it? Or have you hesitated because you don’t want to invest in all the “gear” that comes with it, in case it ends up not really being your thing? No way to know if you will like it, unless you give it a whirl. 

What is becoming a new concept in entertainment, creativity and socializing in other places has now arrived in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Splatz Canvas and Wine is an imaginative business that provides opportunity for people to stop in and dabble. People may not have aspirations of becoming the next Picasso or Monet, but it gives them the chance to have fun with a group of friends exploring a new hobby together. 

paint partySplatz Canvas and Wine provides the instructor, the canvas, paint, easels and all the other art supplies needed to create a painting that is uniquely yours. Organize a girls night out party, birthday parties for children or adults, corporate parties or enjoy a different kind of date night at Splatz. The older set (over 21 years of age) can order up a glass of wine and along with munchies. 

There are millions of people worldwide, who find personal fulfillment in painting and other art either as a hobby or as a career. Splatz Canvas and Wine provides a space to discover what people find so satisfying in creating images to hang on the wall. 

Now you can create, socialize and paint at Splatz Canvas and Wine in the ‘Boat!

Visit us tomorrow on 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.

Help for Individual and Societal Problem

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If you have knowledge, let others light their candles with it.” – Margret Fuller

Last winter, on All Things Fulfilling, we put the spotlight on a multi-award winning book called Mission Possible: A Missionary Doctor’s Journey of Healing by Dr. Dawn V Obrecht.  

Doc Dawn’s second publication was recently published by Richer Press. It focuses on her field of specialty, addiction medicine. From the Edge of the Cliff: Understanding the Two Phases of Recovery and Becoming the Person You’re Meant to Be addresses the author’s personal account of “coming clean” and her own successful recovery of 28 years. “Doc ” Dawn willingly opens up her life to help others who face the pervasive problem of drugs and alcohol in today’s society. Addiction is not specific to any one community, socio-economic group, or any other specific segment of the population; addiction is an equal-opportunity disease. Most people are somehow touched by an addiction, if not personally then tangentially, perhaps at work or in a relative or neighbor.  People in places everywhere struggle or know someone who struggles with overuse and unhealthy reliance on drugs and alcohol.

Education about the two phases of recovery and the quality of life that comes with putting addiction behind is an enormous part of the information available in this publication. Learn how abstaining from the use of “legal drugs” prescribed by physicians can be the key to avoiding triggering relapses.

The author uses her expertise as a board certified Medical Addictionist, and her own experience, and approaches the subject in this book in a voice that is non-clinical in nature. It is effective in reaching those who struggle to admit there is a problem in their life. From the Edge of the Cliff is also a helpful resource for those who wish to reach out to a family member or friend who is struggling with any kind of addiction.

To read more about Doc Dawn’s publications,Click on this link

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

Quality Control in Order Fulfillment

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Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for.” ~ Peter F. Drucker

If you have ever stepped inside the doors of an order fulfillment center, you know there is a lot of inventory being moved around. It is the nature of the industry. If you are an independent publisher who plans on outsourcing your order fulfillment, there are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of having your product damaged in a warehouse environment and increase the odds of your customer receiving your book, dvd or cd in good condition.

  • Request a sample of the packaging, from the fulfillment house, that will be used to ship your book, cd or DVD. Does it pass your “crush test?”
  • Shrink wrap your publications; further safeguarding the product from getting beat up and bent up – especially important for paperback books.
  • Visit the fulfillment house, if at all possible; take tour. Check for cleanliness and order.
  • Every so often, have friends or family order your publication and take note of the exterior packaging. Does it meet with the standards and speed of delivery you agreed upon and are paying for? Does the exterior packaging hold the “goods” securely in place during shipping?

Shrink wrapping may not be necessary for books that will be sold by a wholesale book distributor, in case lots. However, for orders that will be fulfilled individually, shrink wrapping is a great way to protect the edges and corners from being damaged, as it moves through the channels of the warehouse.

Any respectable fulfillment company should give potential clients a tour of their facility and provide you with a sample of the packaging they use, if you ask. A reputable company understands that a lot of time and money has been put into producing and publishing your product, and you are trying to protect your investment.

As an independent publisher offering a quality product, do you what you can on your end to help reduce the likelihood there could be some damage to your stock.

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

Regard for the Book

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Acceptance of prevailing standards often means we have no standards of our own. – Jean Toomer

Snakes, fingernails scraped across a chalk board and bedbugs are just a few things that make people cringe. What makes me cringe? Books being transported, in tote bags, to book selling events and ill-fitting cartons, which allow books to slide.

Last week, over the internet, on an on-line forum for independent publishers, a person posed a question “Should books be shrink wrapped or not?”

“ Yes…..yes…,” I said “it is worth the extra expense!”

A pet peeve for me is seeing paperback books and hard-covered books with dust jackets being sold with dog-eared corners and pages, when the buyer is expecting brand new.  Independent publishers, it has become even more important to sell your publications at book events in pristine condition. If someone wants to buy a used book, they will go to a place like Amazon or a bookstore that sells used books and pay less than top price.

If you are selling your book at top price, have your books shrink wrapped, so your buyer is guaranteed the purchase of a brand new book. Don’t want to go to the extra expense, you say? If you are handing your own order fulfillment, consider doing the shrink wrapping yourself. Here is a resource for  supplies. http://bit.ly/GHz3WX.

Respect the product you have lovingly created, respect your customer and the money they are spending for a new publication and respect yourself as a top quality independent publisher. It is as simple as that.

Return tomorrow for a tip or two on how to select an order fulfillment company that respects your publications, too.

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

Take Charge in 2012

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Have you  made your New Year’s Resolution yet? I have and it was easy, too.

I’ll write it and it will consist of eight words. 

“IT IS GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR!”  

Now, it is up to me to begin fulfilling it!  I’ve got to get on with it. Time’s a wastin’!

 Cheers!  All the Best in 2012!

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