CreateSpace/KDP Transition

If your book is on Amazon, you may have received the notices this week from Create Space about their transition with KDP and how it affects your book(s). If you have not yet read those emails, please find them and read them.

If you have not yet received any emails from CreateSpace about your books, you WILL, eventually. They are rolling out these changes so as to not overload their transfer system (the roll-out is not necessarily working very well).

In short, the CreateSpace world is going away, and all of your books will be transferring to KDP Print. KDP is a division of Amazon, and a few things will be changing. It’s not bad . . . just different (and a bit confusing).

Needless to say, things have gotten a bit crazy in the independent publishing arena, and we are having sporadic issues uploading ANY files into their system this week. Every mother and her 3rd and 4th brothers are rushing onto their CreateSpace Dashboard, causing their entire system to shut down. Our “code phrase” has become “expect additional delays.”

A few things to keep in mind:

  • We are in-process of moving our own published books into the new system this week. This will allow us to personally walk through the experience and familiarize ourselves with any potential hiccups or shortcuts.
  • We will keep you apprised of the process in our weekly e-news, which typically posts on Wednesdays.
  • If you are an author/client of ours, and your book is currently in-process with us, we will automatically take care of this transfer for you.
  • WE ARE HERE IF YOU NEED HELP. If you are not a client, or do not currently have a book in-process with us, we can still help. If you decide you want to hire us to guide you through this new process, please reach out to Cathy.

Here is a link to the CreateSpace/KDP info page. 

Here are two very good articles which may help you keep up with all of the changes (both include input from Amy Collins, whom we will be interviewing during our September 27th webcast — register HERE):

We are here to keep you informed and to
help make this transition easier for you.

Go Fly a Kite.

You know that feeling . . . when a song gets stuck in your head in a perpetual loop?

I don’t even recall where I would have heard this song recently, but there it was . . . straight from Mary Poppins!

Oh, oh, oh!
Let’s go fly a K.I.T.E.
Up to the highest height
Let’s go fly a K.I.T.E. and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a K.I.T.E.!

It got me to thinking about WHY this song was playing so loudly in my head . . . AND what was I supposed to be learning from this song? Rather than letting it drive me crazy, how could I use this in a positive way?
I started playing around with the acronym, “K.I.T.E.” — as it pertains to one’s personal and/or business mission, vision, and brand — and came up with . . .
  • K = KNOWING. That inner feeling I get when I absolutely, positively KNOW I need/want to be doing “XYZ”.
  • I = INTENTION. When I set my INTENTION, based upon my KNOWING, I move into ACCEPTANCE and AGREEMENT. When I set my INTENTION to move in a particular direction, it causes all other worldly forces to respond in kind.
  • T = TRUST. This is a BIG ONE for me. It means I have to acknowledge my human-ness and learn to TRUST that a higher power is paving a path for me. My only job is to LET GO and follow the breadcrumbs . . .
  • E = EXCITEMENT! It took me several decades to figure out it’s OK to show a bit of positive EXCITEMENT. The Universe responds to EXCITEMENT in a good way. How else does it know what I want? EXCITEMENT becomes the fuel for navigating the path . . . the more excited I am about my goals and ambitions, the faster the process seems to go! EXCITEMENT also allows me to release the outcome and let the Universe handle the details.
The “K.I.T.E.” (brand) I “send soaring” today becomes the foundation for all my tomorrows.
YES! We help you Define, Design and Deliver YOUR “K.I.T.E.” (your brand)!
Our clients — primarily life coaches, therapists, consultants and professional service providers — are involved in the transformation of lives, communities and the planet. They trust us to help them build their brand (their K.I.T.E.) so they, too, can “send it soaring!”

At Davis Creative, we create brands and publish books which connect people, awaken humanity, and make a positive impact on the lives of the people they reach. Contact Cathy to learn more.

The Adventures of Sparklepants: Moving Day!

Congratulations to our author client, Stephanie Paasch, for completing her first book in the Sparklepants Series!

“Sparklepants: Moving Day” is a fun-packed children’s picture book featuring Ellie Marie, Sparklepants (a VERY SPECIAL puppy), her Mommy, Daddy, brother Remmington and sister Alyssa on their big moving day adventure. This is the first time that Ellie Marie and Sparklepants have ever moved! It is exciting and a little bit scary too.

“Sparklepants: Moving Day” is the story about the day Ellie Marie, her puppy Sparklepants, and the whole family moved from the only house she had known as home. They learn what a Realtor is and that moving is a real adventure! Ellie Marie also learns that anyplace can feel like home when you are surrounded by people and a super special puppy who love you!

Ellie Marie’s Mommy and Daddy both have a few surprises in store to make the move as easy as possible. The super cool new bedroom that Ellie Marie gets to share with Sparklepants, the beautiful back yard and a dream house help make the move a bit easier! The Adventures of Sparklepants series is perfect for you if you enjoy going on adventures, arts and crafts, learning new words, playing dress-up, having tea parties!

If you are in the St. Louis metro area, you can find Stephanie and “Sparklepants: Moving Day” at these events:

  • Saturday, August 25, 10am – 5pm, The Arts & Literary Fest, Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main Center, St. Charles, MO  63301. Come see local Authors (including Stephanie) at the St Charles County Arts & Literary Fest at the Foundry. Free event!! Daniel Tiger will be there!

  • Saturday, September 15 at 11am – 12pm, Paint a Puppy and Meet the Author! Naturally Designed, LLC Fired Arts and Canvas, 461 Main Street, Troy, MO 63379. Each RSVP will include an autographed paperback copy of “Sparklepants: Moving Day” and a puppy to paint! If you haven’t been in Naturally Designed yet, you are missing out! Perfect opportunity to support both a local business and a local author! Please call 636-775-9006 to RSVP. Seating is limited so reserve your space today!

Be watching for upcoming adventures with Ellie Marie and Sparklepants!

To follow Stephanie and Sparklepants, you can connect with her on Facebook here.

You can purchase “Sparklepants: Moving Day” HERE.

If you, too, are a children’s book author (or you know someone who is), and would like to learn more about we help authors publish their books, reach out to Cathy@davisCreative.com for more info.

You can also join us for our FREE monthly Lunch & Learn, the “Author Brand Connection”. Register HERE, in advance, to receive the ZOOM link for August 23rd!

No Drama Llamas.

January 2019 will be the 15th Anniversary of Davis Creative.

I’d love to be able to say it has all been “smooth sailing,” but as with any growing business, we’ve celebrated our “ups” and learned from our “downs”!

Looking back over the last decade-and-a-half, I’ve learned 3 key strategies for thriving . . .

  1. ALIGN your own job description with what you do best; delegate tasks you avoid doing. Things will get done faster and more accurately by people who enjoy doing all those things you avoid.
  2. ASK professionals when you have no clue what your next-best-step needs to be. Identify key team members, including a lawyer, accountant, virtual assistant and business coach . . . and learn to rely upon them to help you.
  3. AVOID Drama Llamas. Over the years, I’ve had to learn how to “fire” a few clients. It becomes apparent that we are just not a good fit, and no matter how hard we try to make it work, no one will be happy in the end. As I’ve acquired more practice, I’ve gotten better at spotting them BEFORE they become a client. My intuition usually nudges me during the initial discovery phase, and NOW, before the discomfort and drama starts to unfold, I can more easily side-step the Llamas before they pull me into their dramas.

Yes, we’ve learned a lot in 15 years. 

Additionally, we . . .

  • do what we love
  • work with clients who love what THEY do
  • have fun
  • stretch our comfort zone on a daily basis
  • trust our intuition
  • work long days and long weeks when the work is flowing in; we take breaks when it’s not
  • ALWAYS take a nap or a few days off to recharge our energy, as needed

SO, IF YOU ARE ALSO INTO HAVING FUN AND WOULD LIKE TO PLAY IN OUR SANDBOX, GIVE ME A CALL: 888-598-0886

________________________________________________

We create brands and publish books which connect people, awaken humanity, and make a positive impact on the lives of the people they reach.

When was the last time you did something for the very first time?

The grand-bubs stopped by for a few hours  last week while Mom ran some errands. Ages 6.5 and 4 years, they are still not too sure about our super-wiggly, hyper-active new puppy who wants to lick their faces and jump all over them.

Having a 4-month-old puppy around is a new experience for them. They have a dog, but he is actually more like their older, “big brother” who was in the family before they ever arrived. Their dog is much more mellow and has learned to get out of their way and go snooze in another room.

At first, Mr. N (the 4 year old) was afraid of our puppy, Chewy. After all, his name IS “Chewy!” So, we hid safely under a blanket and let Chewy jump on us both and try to find his way into our “security blanket.” Giggles and laughter ensued, and what used to be a frightening experience soon turned into a great game of hide-and-seek.

When was the last time YOU did something for the very first time?

Our clients hire us to help them take a lot of “first steps” into new experiences. They trust us to help them navigate what can sometimes seems like the unknown territory of professional branding and independent self-publishing. Taking on the role of the “security blanket,” we turn what appears to be overwhelming and scary into easy step-by-step processes.

Ready to take the leap into a positive, new branding experience? . . . give me a call.

Isle Do-It-Later

On the ISLE of DO-IT-LATER, things get postponed . . . put off . . . put aside.

Complacency becomes the fog that obscures our hopes and dreams and convinces us that it is much easier to just DO-IT-LATER. As we settle into our complacency, we run the risk of convincing ourselves that all is well, yet bemoan others as we watch them sail on by.

Much was the story of Meryl. Her coaching business was doing “fine” . . . it kept her busy for about 10 hours a week and brought in added income for the family. Her youngest just graduated from high-school, was working full-time during the Summer, and was headed off to college in the Fall.

She was starting to feel the anxious nudge in the core of her chest again. She had been ignoring it for years, as it continued to get louder and more frequent. “When are you going to finish your book, Meryl?”, it would ask. She would always find something “more important” which needed her attention. Until now. She decided it was time to start taking care of Meryl and turn her attention to growing her business.

Meryl found the courage to reach out and ask us for help. We created a plan which included a complete brand update and we paired her with one of our professional writing coaches who helped her finish her book. Meryl now uses her book as a key personal growth tool in her private mastermind groups. Her business has doubled in the past year and she has a waiting list of people wanting to work with her one-on-one.

Meryl jumped off the ISLE of DO-IT-LATER, learned to believe in herself, and trusted others to help her raise her level of expectations for what she wanted to accomplish. Her confidence soared and her business followed suit.

What have you put aside that you would LOVE to be doing right NOW?

What can you now START that you have continued to postpone?

What would you be doing, if you knew you could not fail?

Maybe it’s time to hop off the ISLE of DO-IT-LATER.

HOPE as the American Way

July 4thwas my mother’s birthday. As a former military wife, it was immensely important to her to fly the American flag and wear red-white-and-blue in honor of “the American Way”.

It was a much simpler time, in 1939. In this photo, my mother was 16 and on her way to the annual “Cherokee Strip Land Run” celebration in her home town of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Much like today’s county fairs, there would have been a carnival atmosphere with games, events and DANCES! If there was a party, a dance, or a celebration, it would have been on her calendar.

In September, 1893, the Cherokee Strip Land Run opened over 12,000 square miles of new territory to white settlers. A single gunshot at noon signaled the start of what has been billed as “the largest, most spectacular” competitive event in history. Historians say that between noon and sunset, some 40,000 homesteads of 160 acres each had been claimed. Seven counties were populated, numerous town sites had been established and what was to later become the state of Oklahoma (14 years later) began to take shape.

Fast-forward to 2018, and I hang the American flag on our front porch this week in memory of my Mother and how much it meant to her. But, as I do so, I also ask myself, “How would I currently define the American Way?” I find myself having to redefine what that means to ME.

For me, the American Way is a way of life. I want to live in a land of HOPE. The HOPE that dreams can come true for those born here, as well as for those who immigrate here. We are all immigrants, unless you are Native American. My ancestors came here from Germany, England, and Ireland. They traversed the Trail of Tears and married Cherokee natives. My bloodlines are a melting pot of many cultures, traditions and dreams.

So, on this 4thof July, it is my HOPE for you, and for all who enter this country looking for HOPE, that you are able to follow your dreams and live in HOPE and FREEDOM with your families. May you find joy, happiness and something to celebrate this week!

“Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

— From Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, New Colossus,
as it appears on the Stature of Liberty in New York Harbor.

Logos, Taglines, and Books, Oh My!

Almost 15 years.
A lot has changed in our world of branding, designing and publishing since we started Davis Creative. We’ve made a lot of pivots, and we still LOVE what we do,

Years ago, way before I started working for myself, I heard Les Brown on PBS talking about the “pivot” as he shared the metaphor of how each of us is the pilot of our own airplane (life). If we are flying from NY to LA, it may appear to be a direct, non-stop flight, but the pilot is constantly in “pivot mode” — adjusting speed, altitude and direction as they navigate around storms, mountains, or other planes. As Les pointed out, as the pilot of our own life, one must learn to pivot if we want to survive and thrive.
Almost 15 years of pivoting.
In January of 2004, we primarily designed logos and printed materials (business cards, brochures, annual reports, sales sheets, packaging, etc.). Jack used to call it “bird cage lining.” Over the years, as technology entered the picture, we pivoted to meet the demand for images and messaging which supported brands in the digital age. We also entered the publishing arena, which now accounts for 90% of our workflow.
So, when a client asked me recently, “Do you still do logos?”, it caused me to pause a bit. Of course, my answer was, “YES!”, but I also realized that because we have been mostly talking about the publishing side of our business, that there may be other people out there who may be thinking the same thing.
So, in case you need a refresher on just exactly what it is that we do . . .

We Brand, We Design, We Publish.

LOGOS, TAGLINES, and BOOKS, Oh My!

We Help You LOVE Your Business Again.

 

Sphere of Influence.

Thank you for your recent referrals! Because of you, we are able to help more small business owners grow their businesses!

A long-time client recently commented . . .

“People are amazed when we tell them we are self-published. The books you design for us look like they have been produced by a traditional publisher!”

We invest 100% of our time and energy to delivering first-class service to our clients. As a result, our valued clients, suppliers, and friends continue to refer their family, friends and business associates to us for advice when they are ready to Brand, Design and Publish.

 

Who else do you know who deserves the extra care and attention we provide our clients?

We aren’t looking for just anyone.

We are expanding our SPHERE of Influence to include more people like you — people and businesses who . . .

S = Serve their community through their business — be it city, state, around the country or throughout the world

P = Professional experts — passionate about what they offer and how they can help

H = Heart-centered and health-minded — be it mental-, physical-, financial- or social-health

E = Energized and excited about bringing a better way of “being” or “doing” to the world

R = Respectful of diversity and welcoming of all positive paths, be it race, religion or gender

E = Entrepreneurial in mindset and eager to grow their business and help others along the way

There is SO MUCH more to great book design than fonts, colors and Create Space.

If you’d like to learn more about our SPHERE of Influence Referral Program, or how we can help you grow your business with our Brand, Design and Publish programs, contact Cathy@daviscreative.com or 888-598-0886.

I guess I’m full of it.

So, I got a great compliment today . . .
“I’m in awe of how FULL-OF-LIFE your
newsletters are! I always look forward to
getting them in my inbox”.
 ___________________________________________________
And it got me to thinking . . . what else am I FULL of?
  • ThankFULL to be living at this time on this planet. As crazy and as uncertain as life can get these days, we have front-row-seats to the unbelievable transformations occurring in cultures, communities and conversations.
  • GrateFULL to still be working in an industry which has grown and changed beyond recognition from where it was when we got our first
    jobs in the mid-1970’s.
  • ResourceFULL and able to pivot our creative talents to accommodate the ever-changing branding and publishing industries.
  • ImpactFULL in helping to grow our clients’ businesses . . . those small-business owners, solo-preneurs, service professionals, therapists, helpers and healers . . . as together, we are creating positive ripples out into our global community.
  • FaithFULL that even when the light at the end of the tunnel may be dim and difficult to see, there is still hope, giving us the energy to keep moving forward and see the cup at AT LEAST half-FULL.

 

Meet CHEWY, our new in-office mascot, playing with one of his favorite toys — an empty plastic cup.

 
Give us a call . . . we are chock-FULL of ideas to help you grow your brand and publish your book.
 
How can we help you fill YOUR cup?
We Brand, We Design, We Publish.
We INNERGIZE Your Business.
We create brands and publish books which connect people, awaken humanity, and contribute to making a positive impact on the lives of the people we reach. Yep.