Thanks for joining me on the 2012 MARA-thon! This includes a national blog tour, as well as a physical book tour through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. During the entire MARA-thon, please be sure to download your FREE prequel short story, When Whales Watch at www.MaraPurl.com/downloads. As of January 1, you’ll be able to find purchase links for all e-readers at http://marapurl.com/books/when-whales-watch.
This is posted from the road during my All-Indie-Bookstore book tour titled MAPPING THE JOURNEY OF YOUR HEART. Revisit the entire tour at any time by visiting www.MaraPurl.com/calendar where you’ll see event details, links to the bookstores, and soon, photo archives. To thank my blog hosts, I created the Double Blog Tour which includes “blog-backs” like this one. The Blog Tour will be archived at http://marapurl.com/fall-blog-tour-schedule.
Fulfillment is a special word in almost every field, but in the book industry it means something so tangible and so important that you might say it’s the cornerstone of the industry. It’s when the book you’ve ordered arrives. Now the anticipation pays off, and the brand new book is in your hands.
Sue Leonard founded her company, Cornerstone Fulfillment in 1998, and has successfully fulfilled orders for vendors and customers of books, music CDs and art ever since. When Sue and I talked about her core mission last year, I listened to her passion for her work. Then looked at her logo—a brilliant image that instantly shows what she does, a picture worth a thousand words. Still, being the word person that I am, I came up with a new slogan for Sue, one that articulates her logo and her mission: Bringing my customers to the world. Bringing the world to my customers.
That core mission now encompasses a whole new world of technology that goes well beyond the mailing of packages, but does indeed bring the world to her customers. Her range of client services includes blogging, social media, and a long list of specialized technologies that help companies reach their specific audiences.
I asked Sue what had changed or evolved since last year, and she immediately said she now has more clients who want assistance with internet marketing. “A lot of authors are moving into e-books,” she explained. “And what goes hand-in-hand with e-books are the evolving internet social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But then we’re adding the newer ones as well, like Stumbleupon and Tumblr. And we find blogging is very useful. The idea is to put together a whole package.”
I know, I know, for some folks hearing about how “important” it is to post to Facebook and LinkedIn, Tweet regularly, post visuals to Pinterest, keep up with the latest and greatest social media sites and then have a life is enough to make your head spin and your eyes glaze. If this is the case, Sue’s wonderful services might be your answer. She summed up the whole world of internet marketing very well by saying, “The more info that’s out there, the more visibility your book has.”
As we talked further, I found Sue and I are on the same page not only about how the external aspect of a book has to work, but also about the all-important inside of a book. “Authors have to find a unique voice,” she said, proving she understands the most important core aspect of writing. So, is there a difference between a manuscript and a book . . . between a text that satisfied its author, but has yet to be proven as a published work? “When it comes to a published book, it’s not so much what the book is about, but what it will do for the reader. I think a good author and/or publisher asks herself or himself, “How can I help fulfill what you’re looking for?” I agree whole-heartedly.
Now I want to share a definition of the word fulfillment: to carry into effect as an intention; to realize or manifest completely. Just one glance at Sue’s extensive, multi-faceted, eclectic and intriguing blog will demonstrate she actually practices the fulfillment she talks about. Fortunately for me, her lush generosity extended to my work during this blog tour, and she wrote about me not once, but in three separate posts. On October 29th, she wrote an intro, titled Preparing for Blog Tour Storm.
On the 30th, Sue posted the core of her blog mini-series about my work, “Living with Heart.” Sue’s thought-provoking questions led us into a dynamic discussion about life-choices based on head and heart. We used my new book as the springboard, and we delved into the deeper issues underlying the characters’ actions. The way she structured her questions really makes her whole blog a great framework for a book club discussion.
Then on the 31st, she’ll be posting “A Charming Idea.” This is the continuation of our conversation about serial fiction, and also about the jewelry charms I’ve been co-designing to coordinate with my novels. Each novel has a “dingbat” or symbol, and the bead-charms we’re creating match these icons.
Perhaps this is the very best part of the internet—that we can cross-connect ideas and network synergistically such that as both friends and strangers we assist each other in creating new possibilities. It’s the expansiveness and generosity practiced by a pro like Sue Leonard that bring fulfillment for both head and heart.
For more information on the evolving world of The Milford Haven Novels, visit my new website www.MaraPurl.com where you can subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on social media, enjoy photos and videos, discover more special offers and more.