Fast & Fascinating!


“All positive change in the world comes from our ideas of what we believe is possible.” ~ Alexandra Jamieson

Over the past few months, I have done some public speaking about order fulfillment for independent publishers and also about the independent publishing industry in general. One of the questions that I have posed to my audience is “Can you imagine that a manuscript can be downloaded from a digital file, printed, pages trimmed, bound and covered with a custom-designed book cover, all within 15 minutes time?”  All eyes meet mine with a look of disbelief!

Well, it is true, folks! Learn about the Expresso Book Machine! No longer do you have to print 20,000 copies of a book at at time, have them sit around in warehouses waiting to be sold and pay for excessive warehousing fees. Books can now be printed in small batches and be reprinted as they are sold. The Expresso Book Machine is evidence that there is a revolution taking place in the publishing industry, specifically the independent publishing industry. For more information, please visit

The independent publishing industry has taken responsibility in their approach to a green economy. By printing only what will sell, a whole lot of trees will be spared and dollars can be spent on publishing and marketing rather than unnecessary warehousing. Makes green sense, doesn’t it?

Furthermore, people without big name visibility as writers, but with great stories to tell, now have a chance at becoming publishers! As I have spoken with groups over the past months, it has been interesting to see the eyes of disbelief turn to eyes of excitement! Almost everyone has a story to tell, educational information to share,  inspiring thoughts or a wish to entertain – what do you have  under your hat?

To begin your journey into the world of independent publishing, start with a few minutes of education about the Expresso Book Machine, documented in this short, 2-3 minute, independently published film. The independent publishing industry is growing and fulfilling the dreams of many “want to be published,” who through traditional publishing would not ordinarily have a chance. It is exciting – now readers get to decide whether a book is any good, and not editors!

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!

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 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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In the Drivers Seat

“Our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney

I had an ephiphany this morning, right when I was in the shower brainstorming what today’s blog would be. Suddenly, the thought came to me that as bloggers, we are all given a clean slate each day to write what we want. We only have to pitch an idea to ourselves!

Contrary to writers who are submitting manuscripts to traditional publishing houses, there is not an editor deciding whether your work is right for the publishing house. Getting in line behind all those other recently submitted manuscripts can be a long wait in itself. With traditional publishing, a manuscript can take years to become a book. Often a manuscript has to be submitted to many publishing houses before you get a nibble of interest from an editor.

A comparison can be made between life and independent publishing. We get to write our own story in life, too! The outcome is determined by the choices we make, our determination, the vision we have for ourselves and whether or not we will let others stand in the way of our goals.

Perhaps in this New Year, you will have  a revelation, too. If you genuinely believe in your manuscript yet have been frustrated in finding a traditional publisher interested in buying the rights, perhaps it is time to take your future, as a writer, into your own hands.  Short run printing, print on demand and The Expresso Book  Machine  now make it possible to have your book on the market in very short order and your book can become available globally through the power of e-commerce.  What are you waiting for?

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A Smile on a Face

“We can not do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.” ~  Mother Teresa

Things are beginning to look like Christmas here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The town is bedecked with lights, Mt. Werner has gotten some new fallen snow, the hustle and bustle of holiday events has begun.

It has been some time since I have bought toys for “little ones.” Last week, I had a wonderful time picking out a few special gifts for children in two families. Our club, the Yampa Valley University Women, had partnered with the United Way and committed to fulfilling Christmas Wish List needs for two “adopted” families.

As I searched for a few perfect gifts for the “adopted” children on my list, a sense of nostalgia began to set in. I began to remember how special bedtime was for my son during the Christmas holidays. On his bookshelves sat a number of seasonal books that we saved all year long for Christmas reading. We couldn’t wait to revisit them year after year. Some of his favorites included:

  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • The Night Before Xmas (pop-up version) by Clement Clarke Moore
  • The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
  • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
  • Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

The images in the Jan Brett books were so bright, clear and fun to look at. Although it made me cry year after year, no book was more special than The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. It’s message is beautiful, and it reminds us all that the simple things in life can bring out the best.  Old family friends gave this book, and many other holiday books to our son. Each Christmas, we always remembered the thoughtfulness that came from The Miller family in picking out and giving very special books to my son.

Many bookstores, such as The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont have “Christmas Book Angel” programs, to provide books for needy children. While you are doing your holiday shopping, buy a holiday book for a child you know, so they will have a book they can read Christmas after Christmas.

It’s time to make Christmas!!!

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