Posts Tagged ‘Success’

ANNOUNCING–Unified Assistance for Self-Publishers

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

I’m proud to announce the beginnings of a new movement toward achieving credibility and respect for self-publishing authors.



The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors

We, the members of The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors, witnessing a decline in publishing opportunities, the rapidly changing habits of the book buying public, and the unwieldiness of the traditional publishing industry, are seizing control of our own destinies and banding together for the purpose of increasing our credibility, respect, and profitability. We are not expecting or demanding that anyone else have as much faith in our work as we do, therefore, we will not shy away from the challenges and costs of self-publishing including production, marketing, and distribution, but:

  1. We abhor prejudicial rejections. Self-publishers are never too old, too new, too unproven, too innovative, or too risky. We refuse to be disrespected, dismissed, or ignored. Our success or failure is determined by our own efforts, and the marketability of our work.
  2. We understand that traditional publishers seek manuscripts with high potential mass audience appeal, but we know that reasonable profits can be achieved even in limited markets. Money isn’t necessarily the only goal, sometimes the appreciation and gratitude of our readers is its own reward.
  3. We may be small individually, but by banding together we will have access to the finest minds in book production, public relations, marketing, etc. The finished work should reflect our highest dreams and aspirations and stand proudly with the best the publishing industry has to offer. We refuse to ever be ashamed of our products because of shoddy, or low quality workmanship.
  4. We insist that those who are recommended to assist us in our endeavors are trustworthy, competent, of have the highest standards of integrity. We reserve the right to accept or reject a recommendation from the association because we are first and foremost independent business people and will keep our own council.

Like The Little Red Hen in the children’s story:

a) We will prepare the ground by learning all we can about self publishing, marketing, and distribution.

b) We will sow the seed by using every means available to establish credibility for our own work and increase respect for self-publishing.

c) We will water and fertilize by blogging, using press releases, doing book signings, appearing on television and radio, and all manner of self-promotional activity. By our efforts we achieve success and inspire others to do the same.

d) We will thin and weed concentrating our efforts on successful methods and discarding those less productive.

e) We will harvest our crop using proper accounting and other business means to create  firm bases of operations.

f) We will employ the miller no matter how competent and capable we are, there are some steps we cannot do by ourselves. We recognize these steps and rather than botch the job, are willing to hire professionals with the talents, knowledge and abilities we need to supplement our efforts.

g) We will make the bread through our individual efforts we will print, publish, and sell our books, choosing the avenues and manner of distribution, and standing behind our work until our audience finds us. We have no respect for the practice of floating new books for only 30 days, then pulling them from the shelves. We will work our titles for as long as we are willing and able.

h) We will eat the bread and happily enjoy a much greater profit on each book sell than we would have earned with just royalties alone.

i) We will save some seed from every crop to plant, and harvest again because we are writers and writers need to be read.

Therefore, The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors is formed for the purposes of:

  1. assisting authors/members by offering all or part of the following services as requested: to professionally prepare their works for printing or electronic production, to manage the production process including finding the least expensive methods, to provide marketing assistance from instruction to implementation, to developing business plans, and any other services needed to assist authors to achieve their personal and business goals.
  2. offering courses and learning opportunities to instruct authors in self-reliance by every means from recommending books, to on-line courses, to personal coaching.
  3. giving author support, The Red Hen intends to establish quality and professional standards to provide author/members the peace-of-mind of knowing that recommended sources bearing The Red Hen seal have earned the respect and backing of the organization.
  4. helping members  rise to meet high standards for business ethics and quality levels. Only those who are worthy will be given the right to use The Red Hen seal in their marketing efforts.
  5. furthermore, The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors will actively represent the collected authors and promote its members in any, and every way possible, from marketing opportunities to the lobbying for fair and equal treatment under the laws. We affirm that self-publishers rights  will not be diminished.


Is it Off with Your Head, or Here’s the Boot?

Monday, June 1st, 2009


In this economy everyone is vulnerable. Companies have to cut back and who gets cut first? Those they can do without. Are you invaluable, or removable?

What is your job? Are you a sales rep, in customer service, a manager, or an executive ? Those of us, and that’s everybody, who has to survive this struggling economy will have to make some changes. Companies cannot afford to keep anyone on the payroll who slows it down. It is the job of everyone to pitch in and make the company they work for a success or go find other work. If that is your strategy–finding another job–lot’s of\'re fired Pictures, Images and Photos

What if there was a self-improvement program that costs around fifty bucks a year, meets at convenient times, and is guaranteed to improve your confidence, your organizational ability, and make you more persuasive? You might think I’m not telling the truth. But I am. Toastmasters can do all of this and more. Later on in this blog I’ll give you information on how to contact them.

Toastmasters, for those who don’t know, is a club dedicated to providing education and a safe weekly forum for members to practice public speaking skills. You may have noticed that I used the word safe, why? Studies and surveys disagree with what constitutes man’s greatest fears, but all agree that speaking in front of a group ranks very high. Most would rather face a venomous snake than give a speech before a large audience.

We are taught in our Toastmasters clubs to be careful in our evaluations. The preferred method of evaluating a speech is what they call the sandwich. A suggestion for improvement is sandwiched between two compliments. It could go something like this, “You established excellent eye contact with the audience. Your voice, however was a little flat. Try to include more vocal variety. I noticed that your hand gestures perfectly punctuated your points. You are very good with your hands.” Did you see how that worked? First there was a compliment, excellent eye contact, followed by a suggestion for improvement more vocal variety, and then another compliment very good with hands. This method helps the club member to improve without beating them over the head with a gavel. It is safe.

Why do I even bring up public speaking in a blog about printing? It is because we are facing historical changes in the business of printing. I believe that those who can most clearly communicate with their customers, their employees, the community, and the industry will be the ones who rise to the top when all this shuffling is over.

I’ve written about Toastmasters in previous blogs:

  1.  Real Leaders are Hard to Find
  2. What Have You Got to Lose–Your Fear?

I’ll probably write about the organization more. If you need additional information you can check the Toastmasters International website, by clicking on this link or going to my sidebar and finding it under the heading Blogroll. Either way I encourage you to check it out. By-the-way, Toastmasters isn’t just a United States club, it truly is world wide. Once you are on the website you can enter your location to find out if there is a club near you. You’d be surprised, unless you are in a very remote location, there will probably be a club by you.

Why all the folderal about Toastmasters? There are many educational and training programs out there that require thousands of dollars and a big time commitment. Toastmasters, at least in my club, which meets for breakfast, comes to $1.65 per week, plus the cost of your breakfast. To my knowledge, a better buy dosen’t exist. You see, you not only learn to speak better, but you become a more confident person. I’ve seen new members come into our meetings so frightened that they shake. Their first speech is called the Ice-Breaker and is their opportunity to introduce themselves to the group. After that there are nine speeches they must prepare and give before they achieve the designation of CC (Competent Communicator). Here is where it gets interesting for me. Around the middle of the manual, say speeches four to six, something happens. It’s like the chicken breaking out of the shell. It is a magical moment to see someone who a few weeks before was inaudible, inarticulate, and scared, now stand tall, speak clearly and find their confidence.

Again the point of this being you need to make yourself a better employee and leader if you are to survive the changes in the printing business and the economy. In tough times companies, if they can, keep their best employees and jettison the rest. Make yourself fire proof.

When I became a broker I dreamed I could serve customers best by hand-carrying their jobs to a printer who was the best fit, instead of attempting to bend the job to fit the printer where I was employed.

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