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.

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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.

 

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Postcards Facing Extinction?

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He who moves not forward, goes backward.” ~Johann Wolgang von Goethe

I tried, I really did, but there were no postcards to be had within a 20 mile radius. A few weeks ago I searched every convenience store, gas station and even inquired in local restaurants and marinas. Even on a remote island, where progress moves very slowly, postcards are like dinosaurs – they are non-existent. I had hoped to send some to my writer friends but, e-communication seems to have replaced most paper correspondence.

What with the price of gas, I couldn’t see traveling further than twenty miles just for a few postcards. So, for my author friends at the Steamboat Writers Group,http://steamboatwriters.com/ I’ll post my own image of my travels in this space and the message I would have written on a postcard if I’d had one.

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Visiting with writers groups in my travels – listening to works in progress. All things western traded for narratives about all things nautical. Fictional tales about authors bagging the big buck in the Rockies replaced with bragging about the big catch in the Atlantic. I still wait with baited breath for a true story. All things fulfilling and fun! See you soon.

The next greetings go out to my other pals at We Write Steamboat ,http://on.fb.me/1a8jQzO a networking group that I organized a few years ago. And also to the Colorado Independent Publishers Association. www.cipabooks.com.

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Hi Gang –

Wish you were here – great place for a meeting. Writing group conversations on East Coast are very familiar. Like the west, independent publishing, e-books, print-on-demand & how the industry has changed takes priority no matter where I travel. All things fulfilling and fun! Wish you were here.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A Company Specializing in e-Commerce & e-Marketing for Independent Publishers.

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.

Four Fulfilling Words

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“I am who I am because of the choices I made yesterday.” ~ Unknown

Four words with powerful meaning –

• I AM
• I CAN
• I WILL
• I DO

help define and fulfill our sense of self. These words took on even greater meaning when I began working in the independent publishing industry.

positiveThose simple words that have kept me on track. Every time I’ve faced a challenge, and thought  “I’m going to try to,” I’ve substituted it with one the four important self-fulfilling statements, and then taken the necessary action that is required to complete the task or challenge.

Used to be independent publishers had to go it alone, but things have changed in the publishing industry.  According to an article dated 11-11-12 in the Miami Herald, http://hrld.us/17bIrAH, Bowker (the storehouse of publishing statistics) says independent publishing “has nearly tripled, growing 287% since 2006 and 236,625 print and e-titles” were non-traditionally published in 2011 alone. Since then, the e-book industry has prospered further and print-on-demand publishing has grown also.

The stigma behind independent publishing of books, films and movies has nearly disappeared, as standards and technology for desktop publishing have improved. In this day and age, it is often difficult to distinguish between an independent and traditionally published book.

If you are considering an independent publishing project,  now there is help and support available. I am, I can, I will and I do help people understand the newest generation of publishing through the webinar On the Fast Track: The Independent Publishing  Industry http://bit.ly/10cCp1Y and through the  information provided on All Things Fulfilling. Join us regularly on this on-line site.

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

Art Installations from Recycled Books

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“If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.” ~Jacques Barzun 

Can you imagine how many books have been thrown in dumpsters and landfills over the years? More than I care to think about. 

Overprinting books means wasting money by having to pay rent for storage space. It also uses up natural resources – trees. 

Thanks to print-on-demand, and the development of electronic publishing (e-books), future generations will be much wiser in the way they produce books.

Last week the U.S.A. Today newspaper cited how for the first time ever, in 2011, e-book sales have exceeded hardcover sales – up 28% from the previous year. That is progress towards sustaining the environment and the publishing industry. To read the article, please visit this link. http://usat.ly/MhU10F

Digital publishing also means that updating books is economical and easy. To post new e-ditions you just download the new version through a computer. Gotta love it! 

What to do with all those books sitting in warehouses taking up space because the publisher has over-estimated sales and over-printed? 

Here is a creative solution:

 

Photo: A library information desk made out of recycled books. 

Artists, do you have other good ideas for large permanent art installations made out of outdated publications, that will spare landfills and dumpsters from receiving them? We would love to hear from you.

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

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.

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

 

 

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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