Two Rules for On-Line Selling

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“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” ~ Anthony Robbins

Let’s face it, many authors love the creative process and would rather write than self-promote. From consulting with independent publishing clients, I’ve concluded that the #l reason independent publishers do not succeed is lack of consistent marketing efforts – it takes real commitment.

  • Rule #1: If you are selling your book over the internet, you must be marketing over the internet consistently.
  • Rule #2:  A strong web presence is necessary so your product is visible to potential buyers.

strategy and implementationThere are writers and there are marketers, and not everyone is both. Be honest with yourself. Determine if you capable of both. If you are not sure, that’s where a company that specializes in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers comes in handy. They can educate you about what it really takes to successfully promote and market your book over the internet and whether your technology skills are up to it.

Remember, writing a book, or producing music or film, is just the beginning of the independent publishing business. Marketing strategy is as equally important to becoming a successful publisher of media content.

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

Preparing for Blog Tour Storm

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“Life…it consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.” ~ Mark Twain 

Good Morning! I am preparing for tomorrow’s blog – a special interview with best selling author Mara Purl. Many of you may remember our blogs about What the Heart Knows, book one of the Milford-Haven series . We are so excited that Mara’s promotions company contacted us a few weeks ago to request that All Things Fulfilling be part of her blog tour again for her 2nd book Where the Heart Lives. An astounding 17 million readers followed All Things Fulfilling and the other blogs that participated in the blog tour for book one. 

If you missed out, here are links to our previous blogs about Mara Purl as a published author of her Milford Haven series.

 Portrait of a Consummate Artist
https://allthingsfulfilling.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/portrait-of-a-consummate-artist/

Part I
Speaking the Language of Books
https://allthingsfulfilling.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/speaking-the-language-of-books/ 

Part II
Speaking the Language of Head and Heart
https://allthingsfulfilling.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/speaking-the-language-of-heart-and-art/
Extra Bonus
Getting Drawn In – Reading “ Hummer” on Kindle for PC
https://allthingsfulfilling.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/getting-drawn-in/ 

Mara’s book one What the Heart Knows  is an Amazon best-seller (ranked #5) and a finalist for the Book of the Year Award. Her prequel short story When Hummers Dream (also a best seller) was nominated for the Global e-book award. 

Please return tomorrow. Mara is guaranteed to have some interesting things to say about book two Where the Heart Lives. As a former soap opera actress who played the part of Darla Cook, R.N. on Days of Our Lives, Mara is well versed in telling and writing award-winning stories that reach hearts of her readers.

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

What is Your Focus?

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“Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate profits.” –- Edward de Bono, creativity writer

Back in February, as author of  All Things Fulfilling, I was featured on Ann Kochenberger’s “Out of Focus Again” website.  http://bit.ly/IpusLy.

Ann said this about my blog site “Her articles vary in subject matter so you never know what each day will bring.” I like that! She got it right. My primary focus is all things independent publishing. But art and inspiration tops the list, too. In fact, sometimes those subjects consume me. When you consider it, all are linked in with  creativity – independent words, views and thought.

Many published authors shy away blogging and from social media marketing, in my opinion, a big mistake! Fewer and fewer companies and individuals are using direct mail and print advertising to promote their products and services to potential buyers.  E- Marketing provides opportunity for reaching large communities of people who are interested in the same thing you are – your product or service. Isn’t  that the objective,  if you want to sell your independent publications?

What many independent publishers do not realize is that blogging and social media marketing is fun – an opportunity to use your creativity. Although it may seem like  there is an “out of focus again” variety of subjects that are on this website, believe me when I tell you, there is a method behind my madness. In fact, I am astonished at the number of followers from all over the world that have an interest in All Things Fulfilling. Thank you readers, for that!

So, I will continue to share my passion for independent publishing, art and inspiration. Sometimes in my blogging,  I even manage to surprise myself. When that happens, I really feel as if I have hit the marc!

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

Engage in Results Based Marketing

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Being entirely honest with oneself is good exercise.” ~ Sigmund Freud

I’ve never thought that I have an addictive personality – could care less about chocolate, drugs have never been my thing and I tend to avoid big blasts of caffeine. A morning and afternoon cup of honey-laced tea is for me. Don’t even mingle with a just few sips of alcohol. It puts me off my feet. I’m not fitness-crazed; only the recommended daily walk.  Yet I have developed a co-dependency, there is no doubt!

Addictive personality traits help people deal with life, and in my case, addiction to social media brings gratification to the heart of the business. The substance behind the addiction of internet marketing is communication. How can anyone isolate themselves and not do business without engaging in social media? It does not work. Fact of the matter is, and I am not just trying to rationalize, in this day and age does anyone have a better choice?

All Things Fulfilling is my enabler. The blog connects me with other folks who live, breathe and talk independent publishing and find fulfillment in the creative arts.  My addiction to blogging is fueled by results.

This is one addiction worth hanging on to. If you are an independent business owner of any kind (including those who work in the creative arts) who is getting few positive results from  old fashioned marketing tactics, such as in-print ads and direct mailings, there is help available. Remember, we are now in the digital age.

Contact a company that specializes in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. Learn about the new dimension in advertising and promotion that is far reaching and relatively low cost. It is worth getting hooked ..

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

Explore a Future with Positive Growth

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What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Today, on All Things Fulfilling, we are going to turn our attention back to the very reason some readers return to this website time and time again.

The publishing industry is increasingly changing and we use this space to keep our readers up to date about new developments in independent publishing. Now at a time where independent publishing represents more than 50% of all publishing revenue, every day someone new decides to tell their story through the written word. No longer do you have to have an agent or a letter of acceptance from a publishing house in order to move forward with publishing a book. Anyone can be an independent publisher and sell their books, films or music through e-commerce and learn to promote it through e-marketing. For best results, however, some education is needed to learn how to become visible and effectively reach potential book buyers through the internet. 

 The Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA )is a great resource, and especially for beginning independent publishers. There are valuable downloadable webinars available that will provide you with a basic introduction to the industry and help you along the way. The webinars are affordable and will help you explore and navigate your way through the independent publishing process. To start you along the journey, take an 18 minute tour of “On the Fast Track: The Independent Publishing Industry.”  http://bit.ly/oIkV2g

Before you jump in with your publishing project, my advice would be to learn what you can through downloadable webinars, join an independent book publishers association in your State of residence and attend independent publishing conferences.

Here in Colorado, the Colorado Independent Publishers Association is at the forefront of developing a fulfilling relationship with libraries for e-book selling. Learn about this partnership, through this article http://bit.ly/dNEX6N.  

Check back with us tomorrow, and we will bring you more independent thoughts, words and views about an industry that is fulfilling the needs of many people who want to be visible through their written words.

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

Bringing Behind the Scenes Looks

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Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” ~ Gail Devers 

What do you get when you put together art, religion, crisis, history and architecture together? The basis for a great televised mini-series, of Ken Follett’s novel Pillars of the Earth, adapted for film. 

Tonight and tomorrow (12/2 and 12/3/11) , on the Channel known for bringing outstanding behind the scenes Specials about films to viewers everywhere, a look at the making of the Pillars of the Earth  mini-series will be featured! Don’t miss out. 

For broadcast times and channels, please visit the website of Reelz Channel. Here you go, I will hook you up! http://bit.ly/rYU4km

Congratulations go out to the crew that brings these Weekly Specials to broadcast on a regular basis! I am proud to say, our favorite filmmaker is part of the team, as lead editor. Way to go Marc! A Shout Out to you and the others dedicated at  Reelz to bringing outstanding productions to the viewers. For more information on the visual effects and film editing work of Marc R Leonard, please visit http://bit.ly/tWdLnk.

Have a great weekend everyone! I will be back on Monday with more independent words, thoughts and views on www.AllThingsFulfilling.com.

Book Selling Opportunities

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“You don’t get harmony when everybody
sings the same note
.” ~Doug Floyd

There is a misconception that once an author finishes his book, the work is done. In truth, the work has just begun. Promotion and
marketing is even more important than the writing of the narrative, if an author is to successfully sell. Even in the traditional publishing world, authors are more often being called into action to fulfill the duties of promoting and marketing their own book.

It is important that independent publishers think beyond book signing appearances at libraries and bookstores. Although those are appropriate venues for bookselling, there are many more opportunities that exist.

 Last weekend, I attended a fall food and wine festival at the Bethesda Co-op – A Natural Foods Market in Bethesda, Maryland. http://bit.ly/nDoCoB. My niece works there and she wanted me to see where she works. As I strolled through the outside tents of food and wine sampling the goods, I came across an author, Judith Welles, selling her book. It is a regional publication called “Cabin John: Legends and Life in an Uncommon   Place. www.judithwelles.com. The book is full of mystery and history of the area known as Cabin John, along the Potomac River. The Cabin John Citizens Association Foundation (a non-profit organization) published the book. www.cabinjohn.org.

I spent time with the author discussing the book and the marketing of it. The book is finding great success in selling in several local hardware stores. As we all know, men are attracted to hardware stores like magnets. Many men are also history buffs, thus the book is finding it’s way into the hands of men through a retail environment far different than a bookstore.

This brings me to the point of how necessary it is to think beyond the bookstore when researching bookselling opportunities. In fact, artists working all kinds of mediums, can promote their work by appearing in unlikely places.

I was also introduced to a lively band of six talented women called Wicked Jezabel. They were not in a nightclub, in a bar or on a traditional stage. They were on the roof of a structure, jamming away at the Natural Foods Market Fair. They are promoting their art in non-traditional ways. www.wickedjezabel.com.

Next time you think book selling opportunities are limited, take a good look around. Sometimes doing things in non-traditional ways draws attention – that is why the independent publishing industry of books, films and music is finding great success! The industry and the artists in it are fulfilling a need for independence away from the routine.

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

Speaking the Language of Books

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This morning I had the honor and privilege of interviewing the award-winning writer-producer-performer Mara Purl. For the back story of Mara’s professional career, please visit yesterday’s blog Portrait of a Consummate Artist. Mara is on a month long virtual book tour to promote What the Heart Knows” which will be released in hardcover next month.

The Interview: 

Sue: Mara, we met when my company, Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC  joined the Colorado Independent Publishers Association as a vendor member. You were President at the time. Can you tell us what you learned as an independent publisher that led you to a new publisher, Bellekeep Books?

Mara: Primarily, I have always been an author.  I had gotten an offer from the  London office of Random House books many years ago and because of very complex situations between an agreement with the BBC relating to my radio drama series and some changes that were going on with Random House I felt it was not a good time to engage in a contract with them.

So, I and five other authors and our teams independently published our books through Haven Books. It really began as a test marketing phase of the books and to get to know who our readers were. What I didn’t know was NY publisher Eric Kampmann was watching me. He was a very wise man.  He recognized the trend that began the implosion of the larger publishing companies and saw that good books were getting lost because they weren’t getting into the system. He founded Mid Point Trade Books , and has now roughly 400 imprints under his umbrella. He became a distribution arm for the independents, including my new publisher Bellekeep Books.

Sue: What did you learn from first independently publishing your books?

Mara: I learned after rejection that there were some publishing elements that were important and missing. Every field has some language and that was rapidly evolving. I always thought I was a fiction writer but really I was writing women’s fiction. Then I began studying displays at book shows and in bookstores. I learned that my book covers did not speak the language of the women’s fiction code. I learned about developing a vision for my brand and each decision I made for my books were art projects designed to make sure they fit the genre and they would catch the eye of the buyer of women’s fiction.

Although my new publisher Bellekeep Books did not require that I rewrite my book, I did go through “What the Heart Knows” with my editor and brought some story elements foreword which added 100 pages to the hardcover book. I also learned that the cover of my book, which was a line drawing, did not fit with the character of my protagonist, Miranda Jones, who was a painter. So the hardcover has a new cover design. Mary Helsaple, who has been my art research expert and is a nationally known artist, painted a watercolor cover for my book. I loved it! Now the cover design matches the integrity of the inside of the book.

Sue:  As you well know, independent publishing is continuing to grow and now represents over 50% of all publishing revenue. Where do you see the publishing industry going and how do e-books fit into your assessment of this new generation of publishing?

Mara: I notice that people are reading incessantly. As I travel, I see people reading hardcovers, on laptops, trade paper books, hard cover books and using e-readers. E-books are just another platform. People still love the tactile experience of holding a book. They are tracking book sale trends and surprisingly, those that like an e-book are treating them as a morsel for a real book. If they really liked it, they want to purchase not the paper back but the hardback version to keep on their bookshelves as part of their permanent collections.

Mara: People value time they can carve out for themselves and they use that valued time to read on all different kinds of platforms.

Sue:  Mara, many lives are changed through reading non-fiction, but many say that women’s fiction has the same ability to change lives. How do you go about getting messages across to women through a fictional narrative?

Mara:  Well…non-fiction is about facts and fiction is about truth. Through non-fiction you can’t access every nuance.  You can only record the facts. For example: If you are telling a story of violence –  facts are sometimes distasteful and you can use fiction as a lens to magnify theoretical cases and go inside the mind of the victim and perpetrator.

In the case of a positive issue of relationships – through fiction you can follow the development of a romantic attraction and the personalities involved. Through fiction writing you can present a picture for people to understand what is going on inside the story.

Read the rest of our in-depth interview with on Tuesday, August 23rd when Mara will be back on All Things Fulfilling to discuss her career and how she has incorporated her love for the Arts into her books. 

That is it till Monday, folks!

Mellifluous Monday

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Mellifluous: “Flows like honey, smooth and sweet.” Sounds like a very fulfilling way to live life and an apropos adjective to describe my week ahead. 

The first day of the business week – attending weekly Kiwanis meeting. Always worthwhile because it’s “an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, one child and one community at a time.” www.kiwanis.org

  • Tuesday – Meet-up at City Café in Steamboat Springs,Colorado at 4pm. Our third monthly meeting of SHe Writes Steamboat. Lots of independent publishing business to tend to this month. Susan Mead, MH will also be presenting her book “Take Back your Body.”
  • Wednesday – stay tuned to the back story of an author and actress who took the stage on The Days of our Lives.
  • Thursday – Come on back to All Things Fulfilling. We will be on a blog tour with an interview of an author and actress whose life converged with mine due to common interests.
  • A music banquet feast at the end of the week. On Friday night Grammy nominated artist Eliza Gilkyson, world-renowned, singer-songwriter  John Gorka (with 11 albums to his name)  and  Winner of Best Pop Album of the year for the Association of Independent Music, Lucy Kaplansky will join forces. Their band Red Horse will entertain at Strings in the Mountains www.stringsmusicfestival.com. I’ll be there to help people to their seats! 

    This summer is slipping away quickly. Kids will soon be back to school. Take advantage of the next few weeks by treating your children to a museum, the theatre, art or culture of your favorite kind. It will broaden your child’s life experience and you may just stir up their  life-long love for the Arts.

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

Brewing Up Customers Digitally

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Life is Change. Growth is optional. Choose Wisely.” ~ Unknown 

Today, we will take look at the demographics of the American population as it relates to embracing this new era of e-promotion, e-marketing and e-advertising in the 21st Century, specifically through blogging. Did you know? 

  • Bloggers are split close to 50/50 male and female
  • Only 7% of business-owners aged 51 and older are utilizing blogging
  • California, New York, Colorado and Texas are bullish on blogging
  • 53%  of all bloggers are in the 21-35 age group 

To read the full study on blogging, please visit http://bit.ly/9B83iO

More books are sold on the internet than any other product. http://bbc.in/p9aHJU. As independent publishing has grown in popularity, on-line selling and marketing has become the preferred method. E-commerce is fulfilling the needs of independent publishers who wish to sell outside of brick and mortar stores. 

Blogging helps to reach potential book buyers. It is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site and become more visible on the internet. In fact, studies reveal that businesses that have corporate blogs have an increase in traffic of 55% on their websites. It’s true! http://bit.ly/omr5IK. You can brew up new customers instantly! 

 If you are an independent publisher who is not sure whether you are using blogging effectively or not, help is available. Consult with a company that specializes in e-marketing for independent publishers.  

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