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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.

What Happened to Compassion?

Mother Earth is pissed off, and has a need to blow off a little (or a lot of) steam. I’m a big believer in the correlation between “earth energy” and “people energy”. You know, that macro- vs. micro-level theory. When the negative energy in humans reaches a boiling point, at some level it affects the energy of the global community, thereby affecting the energy of our globe, AKA: earth.
The divide and discourse between people seems to be getting wider and hotter (many theorize at the hands of social media), and our youth has no idea how to handle rejection. Let alone how to play well together on the playground. My conversation is not about politics or guns (although it COULD BE). It’s about how people treat people.
I don’t know the answer. I wish I did.
So, the best I can do is to keep offering POSITIVE energy out into a world which so desperately needs it right now . . . hoping my little positive ripple reaches out and diffuses some little bit of resistance and hate.
Go ahead, call me Pollyanna . . . others have. But if I believe it could happen at the micro level, that also means it could happen at the global level.
Please join me. Let’s try it.

ASK CATHY: Should I sign a contract with a publisher?

Good things come to those who wait (a bit).

BUT NO HAND SANITIZER!

When you ask an almost 4-year-old what kind of birthday cake they would like for their birthday dinner, it’s almost certain they will respond with their favorite. So, when I asked Mr. N this question, he responded right away with, “LEMON!” To be immediately followed by a pointer-finger shaking in my direction, “AND NO HAND SANITIZER!”

I figured there must be more to this story.

Come to find out, he learned the hard way, that if you are in a hurry to eat your cake, and your Mom/Dad rushes over with the hand sanitizer before your eager hands can partake . . . one MUST WAIT patiently for the hand sanitizer to dry before grabbing the cake with your hands. Otherwise, it tastes YUCKY!

Exactly (pretty much) what I tell most of the authors who are referred to us after they have heard the phrase, “We’d like to publish your book!” from a self-proclaimed “publisher.”

OK . . . so, what I ACTUALLY tell them is, “Take a deep breath, and don’t sign that contract until we have had a conversation! (Since we are talking via phone, they can’t see me shaking my pointer finger in their direction.)

Don’t be in such a hurry to sign those contracts, people. One must wait patiently and review the pros-and-cons. Otherwise, the results could be very YUCKY!”

Now, I’m not a publishing attorney (but I know a few, AND know when to refer you in the right direction). Having been around the publishing industry for almost 15 years, I’ve have had many an author referred to us AFTER they have signed a contract (which, of course is when I refer them to the attorney). I can help you BEFORE you sign the contract in three main areas:

  • I can help you interpret the big picture and turn industry jargon into words more easily understood
  • I can help you come up with a list of questions to ask to clarify anything that does not make sense
  • I can inform you of industry-specific best-practices and help you avoid signing a contract which does not serve your best interest

But, they said . . . “We’d like to publish your book!”

These are the words most authors yearn to hear the most. Unfortunately, not all “publishers” are credible. It seems that just about anyone these days can call themselves a publisher, and many do . . . no matter their qualifications.

How can you protect yourself and not get pulled into a less-than-professional contract? Be ready with these questions:

  1. Do I pay for standard editing, design, marketing, and promotion?
  2. How do you charge for your services?
  3. What kinds of services do you offer?
  4. Do I retain the copyright to my words?
  5. Am I required to buy copies of my book as part of the contract?
  6. Who is your distributor?
  7. Do you offer marketing and promotion support?
  8. If so, where/how does my book get promoted? Does it cost extra?
  9. Will I be involved with the cover design?
  10. How many books do you publish per year?
  11. How long have you been involved with publishing?
  12. Can you give me contact info for recommendations from authors they have worked with?
  13. Will you be getting an advance?
  14. What kind of royalties will I get?
  15. Can I read the contract before signing?
  16. Do I supply the ISBN for my book?
  17. Will my book be available on Amazon.com?
  18. Will my book be available in bookstores?
  19. Will my book be available for purchase outside of the USA?
  20. What happens if I decide to terminate my contract with you?

These are just a few of the many possible questions you could ask. So, if you are in a quandary over a publishing contract, or simply trying to determine your next-best-step, give me a call. I’ll make sure you get answers to all your questions . . . and help you make the decision process easier for you.

No sense rushing into a YUCKY situation.

Yesterday, I quit.

YESTERDAY, I QUIT . . .

I quit thinking small.

I quit thinking I need to do it all myself.

I quit discounting my talent and services.

I quit thinking I am supposed to know how to do everything.

TODAY, I  BELIEVE . . .

I believe I only attract those people who are excited to be working with me.

I believe I’ve “GOT THIS”!

I believe it’s OK to take breaks during the day and let my mind rest while NOT working.

I believe what I do contributes to the positive awakening of the world.

And tomorrow . . . I TRUST everything will work out just dandy.

Because, after all . . .

Lukewarm vs. Pretty Cool.

Certain things are not meant to be lukewarm.
Showers. Hot Chocolate. Eggs. Gravy. Relationships.
. . . and why not “dougwarm” or “anniewarm”?
Research shows the word “lukewarm” popped up around the 14th century as meaning “slightly warm”.  “Luke” is derived from “lew” or “lewk” or “leuk”, in Middle English, which meant “tepid” (slightly warm). This in turn came from the Old English adverb “hlēowe,” which means “warm or sunny.” Additionally, “hlēowe” came from the Proto-Germanic “hlēwaz,” meaning “warm.” Within two centuries, it also began having a figurative meaning, that of “lacking in enthusiasm.”
Here in the United States, lukewarm tends to connote “less than” warm . . . as in, were things to be ideal, what you have in front of you (hot chocolate, eggs, a first date) should be warmer. . . and warmer would be better, if not best.
At Davis Creative, we don’t do lukewarm.
Our clients reach out to us because they know they will never get “lukewarm” nor “almost.” We don’t do things “almost” . . . we do them right the first time, with enthusiasm, excitement and eagerness.
You deserve the best, you expect the best, you get the best. 
Now . . . if you are Dutch, and just happen to be living in the US . . . and just happen to be working with Davis Creative, feel free to use the word, “leuk” (pronounced LUKE). Research also shows that the Dutch currently use this word as in “cool” or “nice.”
So, if you like the services we have provided for you, please feel free to respond enthusiastically with “LEUK!”
We’ll think you are pretty-cool, too.

Your Golden Thread

If you are one of our clients, or have heard me speak, you’ve heard me talk about the Golden Thread. The ONE thing that matters most . . . your “WHY-you-do-what-you-do”. . . your reason for waking up in the morning with eagerness to help your tribe.
Simply stated, your brand is a woven tapestry and your Golden Thread is the one common denominator running throughout, creating a consistent, intentional brand message . . . it holds your brand together.
Take the DOVE Campaign for Real Beauty. 
GOLDEN THREAD: no matter your physical size, shape, ethnicity, etc., let your real beauty shine through. Dove believes their conversation “leads to brand love, and brand love leads to brand loyalty.”
 . . . and the Pillsbury Doughboy.
GOLDEN THREAD: Bringing families together. Since 1965, Poppin’ Fresh Doughboy (his full name) has become a global icon whose smile and cheery disposition transcend language and cultural barriers everywhere. Everyone wants to have dinner with the Doughboy (yes, his last name IS one word — I checked).
Then there’s OPRAH.
GOLDEN THREAD: Passion & Purpose. For Winfrey, being a brand is about being true to your intentions as well as being consistent in messaging. “Your true work on earth is what you’ve been called to do in some way or another,” said Winfrey. “Your fullest, highest expression comes, obviously, when you do what you love. Your business is an energetic force in the world.”
What is YOUR Golden Thread? What is your passion . . . your purpose . . . your intention? What do you do bigger, better, faster, smarter than anyone else?
If you’d like some help finding your Golden Thread . . . give me a call. I love helping people Acknowledge Their Passion, Align Their Purpose, and Attract More Profits.

We Brand, We Design, We Publish.
We Take Your Business to the Next Level.

What is your MORE?

One of our vendors recently mentioned how much they “LOVE” our brand.

She went on to point out how much it “appears to really irritate” our competition.

HUH?

When I asked her to explain, she offered, “You know you are a success when (your competition) is jealous of your brand. You provide MORE of all the things they aspire to be . . . creative, authentic, trusted, experienced, dependable — you know — that air of excellence.”

I’ll take that as a compliment . . . although I never specifically intended to irritate anyone. Not sure if one would call that a “side benefit”?

What is your MORE . . . your
Magnificent Outstanding Reason for Existence?

Seven Actions for Creating a MORE Authentic Brand . . .

  1. Define your mission, vision and values. What is your WHY? What matters to you? What matters to your clients/customers? How do you help them? Within your answers lies the basis for your mission, vision and values.
  2. Recognize your brand personality. As a small business owner, you are the face of your company. It’s a “package deal.” How does your passion, talent and expertise better serve your tribe and grow a better business? What is it that ONLY YOU offer?
  3. Create a niche AND boundaries. Know your customer and understand why they need YOU. Offer them the relief they seek, but also know when to draw a line if they ask for far more than what they are willing to pay.
  4. Be YOU. Let your audience get to know you. Be real, share stories of success, vulnerability, and near-misses. Your vulnerability will feed the path of “Know, Like, Trust.”
  5. Create consistency. Keep your message consistent, and share on a consistent basis. Whether through your website, social media, speaking engagements, or networking events, consistency builds brand equity.
  6. Honor your commitments. This is a big one. Yes, it’s great to keep promises, meet deadlines and return phone calls and emails . . . but we’re also talking about honoring our commitments to ourselves, as business-owners. It’s great to put our clients first, but equally important to make time for “re-fueling” our own reservoir . . . be it taking a walk, watching a movie or sneaking in a nap on the weekends.
  7. Be the competition others want to emulate. As our vendor pointed out to me, “You know ‘you’ve made it’ when your competition either tries to imitate you and/or decides they don’t like you.” Not everyone will want to play in your sand-box. And that’s OK! Stay true to your mission, vision and values, and you’ll gain the respect from those who matter.

We Brand. We Design. We Publish.

We take your business to the next level.

Contact Cathy for more info: cathy@daviscreative.com

The Law of kNOwing

Uh . . . No.
No thank you.
Not gonna happen.
I’m busy right now.
It basically all means the same thing. Whether it comes out of the mouth of a 4-year-old when you’ve asked them for help with picking up toys . . . OR out of my own mouth when stumbling for the right way to explain to a potential client (as much as I’d love to accept their money), I’m just not able to help you with that.”

Last week brought another opportunity for me to turn down an author’s request to work with us. Although the book may have had merit for a very small audience of aging “Mad Men,” it was not the type of book I could get behind and allow myself to support. As we are discussing the project, I pull the book up on Amazon, and I immediately KNOW my answer will be “NO.” My brain begins to circle around possible exit strategies as I hear the person on the other end of the phone continue to ramble about why we should help them rebrand and market their book.

Uh . . . No.
No thank you.
Not gonna happen.
It’s simply not a good fit.

I KNOW my answer is “NO” 

I’m averaging about one of these opportunities a month, lately. As I get more comfortable with saying “No,” I’m also noticing an increase in the types of clients we LOVE to work with showing up out of “NO-where” (or is that NOW HERE?!).

Exercising the Law of KNOWING allows the window to stay open for better things to come in. During the same week of practicing my “NO,” we welcomed two new projects which I KNOW will create a positive impact on the lives of the people they touch.
I wake up each morning excited about helping people create positive ripples on this planet, and I love welcoming new “menders” into our community. Our clients are helpers and healers — those who mend relationships, tend to those in need, and are willing to lend a hand.
You see, We create brands and publish books which
connect people, create community and contribute to
an overall happy, healthy, heart-filled planet.

We turn down projects which create
division, isolation and separation.

It’s that simple.
_______________________
We Brand, We Design, We Publish.
We Take Your Business to the Next Level.