Headed Between the Covers


“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ St. Augustine

 I am ready for a little traveling. Where am I headed? To Between the Covers Bookstore. http://bit.ly/NaKzRg. Where is that? In a “box canyon” in a place called Telluride, Colorado; where the mountains soar to altitudes of almost 13,000. According to Wikipedia, “a box canyon is a small ravine or canyon with steep walls on three sides, allowing access and egress only through the mouth of the canyon.” The bookstore co-owner is like me, a Baltimore transplant, who has ended up in the West. 

I suspect at certain times of the year, when large shipments of publications are delivered, Between the Covers Bookstore, feels as if it is a box canyon, until all the books are shelved. There is a certain book that I will be searching for at this bookstore that would come in handy on days when I struggle to put down my digital devices and stop working. This two minute video, shot last February, gives a quick glimpse into the book I am looking for.  http://vimeo.com/37703165.  

The video is courtesy of film editor, visual effects artist, independent filmmaker Marc R. Leonard. http://marcrleonard.com/editing.  Thank you, Marc, for a little insight into Telluride in the other season, winter.

Telluride is, from what I understand, a neat little “artistic town” and very scenic! It is home of the Telluride Film Festival.  http://www.telluridefilmfestival.org/

Our trip to Telluride will be timely. My husband and I will watch our son run in his first half-marathon, which goes over Imogene Pass – seventeen miles of climbing and running, traveling from 8,000 ft in altitude to 13,000. The boy has energy, I tell you! It’s time to play catch up and see what else he has been doing.

Come on back next week. On Film Friday, we will be featuring a new Disney movie that both adults and children, who enjoy Celtic legend, may enjoy seeing. Have a good weekend, everybody.

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Regard for the Book


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 a Fulfilling Trip

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We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.” ~ Bill Hicks

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing author, screenwriter, performing artist, journalist and songwriter Mara Purl about her book “What the Heart Knows.”  Her hardcover is slated for release on September 27, 2011, about a week from now. 

For each blogger who was a part of Mara’s month-long virtual book tour, she reciprocated by blogging back about each blogger’s site and it’s focus. As a blog writer, I know the intense work that that takes! “Bringing my customers to the world. Bringing the world to my customers” is the blog site theme that Mara Purl has associated with our company blog site, All Things Fulfilling. She hit the mark – that is the aim of our company, Cornerstone Fulfillment Service, LLC! To read the entire text, please visit http://bit.ly/okpGOL

I would be presumptuous if I thought that Mara’s quote applies only to a company that specializes in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. From my perspective, the goal of every author and blog writer in the literary world is to bring your customers (your readers) to the cosmos that you, the writer, created. By effectively communicating a valuable or entertaining message through the medium of a book, film or music, you might bring your customer to a universe of women’s fiction or into a puzzling story of mystery; to the work of a non-profit through an independently published film; or perhaps to the lyrics of powerful and emotive music.

Secondarily, the objective when publishing a book or producing a film or music is to reach customers all over the world. That is now entirely possible and probable all through the power of  internet  selling and e-marketing! 

After years of evolution and revolution, the independent publishing universe is now a force to be reckoned with. Take a quick trip to the new world of publishing through this link http://bit.ly/oIkV2g. You will begin to understand what an historical time it is in the publishing world. The world of books no longer revolves around five or six giant publishing houses. It is an exciting and dynamic era in media.

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

Objectives and Goals in Indie Publishing

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Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” ~ Brian Tracy

Last week, our SHe Writes Steamboat meet-up  group hosted the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipacatalog.com for an event at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. The afternoon sessions were educational in nature and the President of the organization talked about various options in publishing and also the costs of independent publishing. 

Over the weekend I reflected on what was presented and truly, there are so many variables that it is difficult to answer this question of what independent publishing costs without knowing which options best fits a persons needs. The presentation reinforced the importance of researching all the options, and also the importance of identifying your goals and objectives in independent publishing. Are you independently publishing a book for:  

    • a personal project – for family and friends only (such as a family memoir)?
    •  advancing your career and for gaining  recognition in a field?
    •  becoming a professional speaker and for using your book as a resource in your speaking engagements?
    • starting a small or medium sized independent publishing company?

    Determining your reasons for publishing will help you narrow down whether your project will be low-end budget (personal project) or whether it will involve a more substantial investment and commitment of resources. Also,  would an e-book suit your needs as a starting point? Consider that. 

Tomorrow we will be addressing more questions that you should ask yourself before starting the process of independent publishing. Do return!

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

Protect Your Investment

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Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing, layout, processes and procedures.” ~ Tom Peters 

Today’s blog has arisen out of a telephone call and question from someone last week. The subject is not exciting, sexy, news-worthy, but never-the-less provides needed information for anyone shipping books, cds or DVDs, especially in large quantities. 

The caller was getting ready to ship cartons of books, and noticed some certification details on her carton that said edge crush test. “What is that?” she asked. I went on to explain that it has to do with how much weight a filled carton can hold and how much weight a carton can withstand when it is stored stacked. 

Why is this important? It all comes down to protecting your investment. Cartons break down with time as they sit in warehouses due to environmental conditions (such as humidity) and they compact with the weight of other cartons sitting on top of them.  “Crush test” also pertains to whether a filled carton is strong enough to withstand being moved from place to place in shipping. 

For more information as to whether your products will effectively be protected  from being damaged in shipping,  please visit http://bit.ly/ihLB4St. You may also encounter terminology on cartons, such as on U-Line packaging, citing “bursting weight” test. This is even a more stringent method of testing and determining the strength of cartons. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/p35y1W

If you are handling your own order fulfillment and distribution of your independently published product, remember, a box is not a box is not a box. Whether you are shipping in small quantities or large, pay attention to the strength and quality of your packaging. Having products damaged during shipping by scrimping on this detail is a very costly mistake. 

When in doubt, take extra precaution and double box!

Have you ever noticed?

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“Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.” ~ Anonymous

Have you ever noticed that when you become friends with someone, the more you know about them – the more you want to know about them? Enter the world of e-marketing! Digital marketing is fulfilling this need for people wanting know everything about a person, place or thing prior to meeting them in person or engaging in business together.

If you are not well versed in this new-fangled way of marketing, it is confusing territory to enter into. There is without a doubt, consumer psychology behind this marketing tactic that needs to be understood in order for it to be used it effectively. After all, you want to turn people on and not off! For more information on how the psyche affects our thinking, please visit http://bit.ly/bPGCX0.

In case you have not noticed, we are living in times where privacy is difficult to find. There are arguments for and against this way of living. But, it has created a need for fans of independent publishers (such as writers, filmmakers and musicians) to want to know more about the people behind the words and images, and about people that make businesses tick.

Business owners, are you using this to your advantage? By becoming more visible, the opportunity for lead generation and sales of your products increases. Let the folks that understand the new consumer psychology behind this non-traditional way of marketing help you – look for a company that specializes in e-marketing for independent publishers.  They can help you plan for success in this strange new world of digital marketing.

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

Sleighbells…Are you Listening, Booksellers?


I decided to take a trip yesterday, through the powers of my intuition, into the fulfilling world of publishing! What my intuition told me is that some print shops all over America are busier at work this year. How can they not be? Non-traditional publishing grew a whooping 181% from 2008 to 2009, according to Bowker  http://bit.ly/cp3anL.The trend, my intuition tells me, has risen again this year. Wish I knew for sure. But, only Bowker will be able to tell me, after they have tallied their reports at the end of the year. It’s just one of those things! 

Do you know what this could mean for the holidays? Santa may have a lot more stops this year – picking up books at companies that offer POD (print on demand) and short run printing. My intuition tells me the machines are cranking. More than ever, people want books (and films, too) that inspire, educate, inform and amuse that are not run of the mill. 

When Santa makes his rounds, my intuition tells me the sleigh bells will be ringing a lot louder this year, in support for the non-traditional publishing industry. If the trend in independent publishing stayed on the up and up again in 2010, is it what may be  keeping the publishing industry afloat? 

Hope Jolly Old St. Nick, has a stash of inspirational stories set aside for me this year. Ah well… if they sell out before Santa arrives at my door, they can easily be reprinted! No longer does the publisher need to print by the 10’s of thousands. That’s the beauty of independent publishing!

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

Taking Inventory

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The best thing you’ve got going for you is individuality.” ~ Richard Thompson 

I decided to do something different today – take inventory – my own! After working with artists for many years, the words “right and left brain” have been flung around in my presence quite a bit. I have always assumed that I am what artists are NOT. Fulfilling the duties of what artists find to be tedious, difficult, frustrating and overwhelming has earned me kudos time and time again, so naturally I assumed my brain inventory included the things that theirs lacked. 

After taking inventory of how my brain processes information, my intuition has served me well. Intuition is one of the few right brain traits that I can claim as being what I am all about. Although, when my intuition does not lead me, I do tend to fall into my left brained way of thinking – logically and sequentially.

 My left brain inventory also includes being able to focus on details and being organized. I like making lists and am good at keeping track of time (until all mediums of e-marketing entered into my life!) Lately, I can feel an unfamiliar heaviness on the right side of the skull due to this new occurrence of letting time get away from me, as I utilize my e-marketing skills to assist others become visible in communities. 

My saving grace? In order to use e-marketing effectively, good writing skills and logical thinking are heavily called upon, which utilizes once again the strong, left side of my brain. Result – balance! 

Curious? Do you know how your brain processes information? Take the right brain /left brain quiz and find out! It can help you determine whether a career path will fit into your way of thinking too! http://bit.ly/cyztTe.

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Shelf Sitting

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Keep constantly in mind how many things you yourself have witnessed change.” ~ Marcus Aurelius 

Interesting! Lately I have been hearing more and more about something that I have suspected for a long time.  Bookstores are not the best places to sell books! I dislike even making this statement, because bookstores are my “safe haven.” A place to go when I want to relax, spend some quiet time and browse the vast selection of books until my heart is content. Almost all of us would say it is fulfilling to step into a bookstore. It is unadulterated bliss, as far as I am concerned. Rarely do I come out empty handed. It is hard to control my impulses in a bookstore.  

But, in terms of authors selling books, there are other ways. More specifically, by selling individual orders through e-commerce, and at other places besides the bookstore. Eliminated is the scenario of not knowing whether books, films and other media will be sold by a bookstore or they will be returned as unsold. 

The trend of internet buying is here to stay. If you are a writer who has not yet explored the possibilities of selling your book on line, what is stopping you? If you are not mired in contractual agreements with a publisher who has you locked into the traditional way of bookstore bookselling only, it may pay to look into a company that specializes in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. Don’t sit there not knowing how to move your books from basement, garages and attics into the marketplace. Be pro-active! http://bit.ly/bFnEGZ.


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Press On

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Action is the key to all foundational success”~ Pablo Picasso 

Just learned of two artists whose books are in the coffers of the printing press, right now. Without hang-ups or glitches in the process, the books will be ready for holiday selling.  Hopefully, advance promotion of the book has been done, so that potential buyers know the book is on it’s way to the marketplace, and it is soon to be available. I’ll bet the beautiful publications will fulfill some holiday dreams of artists all around the world. 

How about your independent publishing project? How is it coming? Hitch up your britches and get to work in finishing up those final details, so that you can have it ready in time for Christmas selling or by the start of the New Year. Success means starting off the New Year right!  

Are you facing challenges in the process?  If so, here are a few tips: –

  • Focus on what is easy first, get it done so you can concentrate on problem solving.
  • Reorganize for better work flow
  • Don’t avoid challenges – step into them and view them as part of the process rather than as “hang-ups”
  • If the problematic can be quickly and easily solved by someone else, hand over the task. It will free you to focus on the work you can handle and the parts you do best.
  • Seek the advice and counsel of professionals, for the steps of the publishing process that you are unsure of. 

Good luck, hang in there and focus – visualize your finished book. It will energize you along the way.

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