The Inside Story

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“In all things, preserve integrity.” ~ Barbara Paley 

A few days ago, I talked with author Marl Purl regarding the changes that were made to the cover of her book “What the Heart Knows” to better match what was inside. This morning, I gained a whole new perspective to this conversation while I was out taking my early morning walk. 

I walked by three beautiful little girls standing on the street corner waiting for the bus. I stopped just for a moment to chit-chat with the girls. They told me it was the first day of school. I asked the girls how old they were and what grades they were “rising to.” They were ages 8, 9 and lO – stair step sisters. 

Call me old fashioned! But, does anyone think that a 10 year old little girl standing on the street corner waiting for the bus on the first day of school really needs to be made up with lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and rouge?  

As I began to walk toward home, I began to think about the analogy between the publishing process and a 10 year old wearing make-up. In my opinion, she was wearing a cover far too soon. At 10, she doesn’t even know what her own inside story is all about. The tale of her life had hardly begun to unfold, and she already had decided that she needed to cover up her natural beauty with something that may or may not match her final  internal constitution.  And shame on me, I have drawn my own conclusions based on the girl’s surface appearance before her full biography has even evolved. That’s not right – she is only 10 years old! http://bit.ly/22ZvMo.

This correlation does however, support the importance of having a cover that preserves and accurately portrays the integrity of the book. As an independent publisher, you have the final say in making sure the cover reflects the inside works. As a ” non-traditional publisher”,  you will be fulfilling the role of boss of your own book!

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

Life in Chapters

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Change your thoughts and you change your world. ~ Norman Vincent Peale (1898 – 1993) 

Three years ago, I made a phone call that was difficult to make. I called my twin sister to tell her that we would be moving from East Coast to the West. Once we resettled, we talked again and again, each time she’d continue to lament about the geographical distance that had grown even further between us. I told her, “I was actually grateful for the change because after much self-searching I decided I would take it as a sign that it was meant to be and I needed to embrace a new landscape in my life –  literally, personally, professionally and in spirit, too.”  

What helped me to adjust and accept change was I began to consider that the move was just the next chapter in my life. My life is a story of non-fiction, lived in stages, filled with realities of what I have learned from my childhood, teen and young adult years, through thirty years of marriage and through the most fulfilling years of my life – raising of a precious, most wanted child. 

Now, three years later into the next chapter of my life, I have found change that I was certain I would find.  The synchronicity between people, place and events all working within the growing and dynamic industry of independent publishing here in Colorado,  has taught me that entering into relationships with a spirit of openness to change, indeed brings about fulfilling metamorphosis. http://bit.ly/dNMMuR.

I have not yet, closed out this chapter of my life. What I have learned along the way is not to rebuff change, let it happen, evolve and good things will come along the way. 

When the next episode of my life comes, I will embrace it once again wholeheartedly knowing that there will be more lessons along the way and they will come in the form of  more wisdom, of that I am sure.

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Portrait of a Consummate Artist

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Romance and novel paint beauty in colors more charming than nature, and describe a happiness that humans never taste. How deceptive and destructive are those pictures of consummate bliss!” ~ Oliver Goldsmith 

Tomorrow, on All Things Fulfilling we will have the honor of interviewing author and actress Mara Purl. I met Mara several years ago when our company, Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC joined the Colorado Independent Publishers Association as a service vendor. www.cipabooks.org. Mara was President at the time. 

The Back Story:

Mara Purl has been fulfilling her life, through her multi-facetted career in the Arts. Her professional accomplishments as an award winning writer-producer-performer include:

  • Author of serial novels, set in her fictitious coastal town Milford- Haven. They are the basis for the first American radio drama ever licensed by the BBC. The series drew an audience of 4.5 million fans.
  • Actress on Days of Our Lives. Mara played the role of Darla Cook.
  • Journalist/staff writer for the Financial Times of London and the Associated Press.
  • Co-authored Act Right with Erin Gray. This book is frequently used by schools of performing arts as an educational tool.http://bit.ly/neZ5tJ
  • Founder of S.T.A.R. – Student Theatre And Radio – a program she has taught in the U.S, and abroad inJapan.
  • Mara Purl was named one of the twelve Women of the Year in 2002 by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women.
  • Musician for Teijo Ito’s CD Watermill. She is accomplished at playing the koto.
  • Mara grew up in Tokyo, Japan. She lives in Los Angeles and Colorado Springs, CO 

    Thursday (tomorrow) I look forward to sharing my interview with Mara and information on the hardcover release of her Milford-Haven book.  Not only will we be discussing books and publishing, we will also be discussing topics of common interest that faithful readers of this blog site have come to expect – such as integrating Art into one’s life for personal fulfillment. 

Come on back tomorrow. Mara is guaranteed to have a lot to say of interest on this matter!

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

Cookin’ Up Artistic Creativity

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Chase your passion, not your pension” ~ Denis Waitley 

Our library, the Bud Werner Library, www.steamboatlibrary.org keeps this community of Steamboat, Colorado entertained almost weekly with a wide variety of interesting, thought provoking and sometimes just plain fun films. Many of them are independent films that have not yet hit major theatres, but are available to designated communities before hitting PBS stations. Last Wednesday evening I attended the screening of a film that had all the ingredients of: 

    • A large portion of sweetness
    • Dreams of success
    • Shattering moments of disappointment
    • Fantastic artistic creativity
    • Concoctions of phenomenal proportions 

“The Kings of Pastry ” is a documentary film about a competition inFrance that pastry chefs in many countries would give their best pizzelle pin to win! The intense stressful three day competition culminates in the “best of the best” taking home the cake of the prestigious M.O.F. Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Award (Best Craftsman of France). 

This film is a heart stopper in so many ways, and leaves viewers on the edge of their seats. The theme will resonate with anyone who pursues a creative passion in life, whether it is through culinary arts or not. To watch a trailer of this film or to order this film, please visit http://bit.ly/fVD4GN

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Begin the Buzz

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“Gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.”  ~ Liz Smith 

Have you ever noticed that we hear about movies from Hollywood, long before they hit the movie screens? Smart marketing tactics! 

Independent publishers, you can become stars too by beginning the buzz before, not after, your books arrive from the printers or before your cds and DVDs have been duplicated.

E-marketing is the very best way to get the word out in advance of the release of a product. You can begin spreading a broadcast of information, far and wide. Every independent publisher should begin creating a community of fans and followers prior to the book, music or film’s release. 

Not only that, you can begin taking pre-sales, too.  Years ago, wise early pioneers of independent publishing began accepting pre-orders by keeping advance sale lists of customers on legal pads before the product even arrived. Today’s pre-ordering can be made available on-line, through websites and shopping carts. 

Just think how satisfying it will be that once the publication arrives from the printer or from the cd/DVD duplication company, you can begin fulfilling orders immediately and ship the products right back out the door! With good planning and advance e-marketing you can begin realizing your ROI without delay! 

It’s never too early to start pollinating your market!  Need help? There are companies that specialize in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. 

This blog brought to you by http://www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

She Writes Home

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The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” ~ Anthony Robbins

 

The other day, I began to think about the consequences of the digital world with regard to personal communication. I think back to my college days of long ago – leaving my family and my high school friends behind. Long distance calling was not cheap, nor was it a daily or weekly occurrence, so I wrote a prodigious amount of handwritten letters to my friends and family, all about the fulfilling life I had rebuilt for myself  some 500 miles from home in the Green Mountains of Vermont. 

Sometimes I tried to be creative. I’d send my family and friends a token from Vermont. A pressed, dried wildflower or single frond of fern, tucked flatly in the envelope. I often walked to the college grounds, through the woods, from my off campus housing. I was always on the look-out for large treasured pieces of peeled birch bark to be used as an alternate source of stationary. Sustainability was not the buzz word back then, but, I did realize on some level that I was recycling and re-using a natural resource. 

Sending handwritten letters on beautiful stationary, envelopes sealed with stamped wax, have nearly gone by the wayside. Now with instantaneous digital communication, people reserve handwritten notes and cards for special occasions – Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Birthdays and Anniversaries. E-Cards have reduced the need for “Belated” cards because you can deliver electronic cards, PDQ! 

It has been a while since I have sent a heartfelt letter through the mail home. Next time I do, I’d like to enclose a sprig of prairie grass, sagebrush, New Mexico privet or maybe a small branch of Apache plume, will do. But I am reminded by the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins: 

“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long the weeds and the wilderness yet.”

On second thought, I think I’ll just send an e-card, that way I can design the page with any flower or plant that I want. http://bit.ly/q89tj7.

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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 http://bit.ly/mBW02G

Although e-book sales are exceeding the sales of paperback books, http://huff.to/5f6hAJ, 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.

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