Category Archives: It’s My Blog and I’ll Post What I Want To

Feeling Nostalgic for Asia in 2016

I can’t believe it’s already been almost a year since I embarked on my “Eat, Pray, Love” working holiday in Asia. What an amazing year it was! Here is a video I created, ahead of time, to help me obtain a teaching job once I got to Thailand…

And here is a page where I wrote about my experience: click here for more details regarding my inspiration for this trip. There are a couple of pictures contained on that page specific to my time in Thailand, but I thought I’d also share a few more with you today. It was an amazing year for me. So glad I did it!

1. DELICIOUS food in Singapore
2. Evening tour of downtown Singapore
3. The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand
4. Tour of George Town in Penang, Malaysia, to see all the street art
5. Afternoon visit with the Long Neck Karen Tribe
6. Visited The White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand
7. Visited The Bund in Shanghai, China
8. Watched a Buddhist monk being ordained in Thailand
9. Hugged by a baby elephant at the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation in Hua Hin, Thailand

I hope you enjoy these pics. And if you ever get the chance to visit any of these places, I highly recommend it.

So, what inspired this blog post today? I received an email from my old school in Bangkok, Interkids Bilingual School IBS, that tugged on my heartstrings and made me nostalgic for the whole experience again. Click here to read it.  It makes me smile. I love these people, and I miss them very much. Thank you for giving me such a beautiful experience in your country.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

How The Secret Changed My Life … New Book Due Out October 4, 2016

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

A little under a year ago, I wrote a blog entry titled How Gratitude and Visualization Can Help Authors Sell More Books and announced that my personal story was being featured as the “Story of the Week” on TheSecret.tv website. Earlier this month, I was informed that this same story will also appear in Rhonda Byrne’s upcoming book titled How The Secret Changed My Life: Real People. Real Stories. which is due out on October 4, 2016.

I’ve been aware, for a while now, that my story may appear in this new book because I gave permission to The Secret team to publish it when we spoke about it last year. I was also aware that it would undergo some light editing (as it should!) if they decided to include it in their book. Since the lightly edited version is slightly different from the original version I sent them, I’ve decided to share the original with you here. Enjoy!

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My Three Greatest Dreams Came True … Plus A Few More!

I was a single parent for over 20 years. As a single parent, finances were always a stressful area of my life. I rarely traveled anywhere, nor was I a home-owner. I rented for a long time. One of my greatest desires and promises to myself was that one day I would travel to the UK. I’d never left North America before. I wanted my first trip abroad to be to London, UK. I also wanted to be a home-owner, and I wanted to feel a sense of financial comfort and ease in my life. But, for many years, I saw no way this could ever happen for me.

In addition to these common desires that many people share, it was also always my dream to become a bestselling author. I had self-published three books by the time my son finished grade twelve; but they weren’t selling as well as I had hoped they would.

I first came across The Secret in early 2007. I loved it because it inspired me and gave me hope that I could improve my situation once and for all. (It is also what inspired me to write my second book.) Following that, I bought The Power and then The Magic, and I began focusing on what I love and on practicing gratitude every single day. I started watching subliminal videos and listening to subliminal tapes to help me reach my very core, so that I could really infuse my subconscious thoughts and beliefs with these new messages of love and gratitude and personal empowerment. Another thing I did was watch Rhonda’s videos The Secret to Riches, The Secret to You, and Planet Earth Forever at least once daily for several weeks straight. I really wanted to saturate my body, mind, and spirit with love, gratitude, and the belief that I could improve my life. Something in me knew repetition was the key … just keep reading these books, keep practicing gratitude, keep watching these videos, keep strengthening my belief.

Long story short, it worked. It still brings me to tears, sometimes, when I think about just how well it worked for me.

I really increased the intensity of my gratitude and visualization exercises in September 2013, around the time I published my fourth book. I began doing my exercises twice a day, first thing when I woke up every morning and last thing before I fell asleep every night for 30 days straight. The result? From November 2013 through to July 2014, the following amazing improvements happened in my life:

  • My fourth book was listed as a bestseller on Amazon.ca in November 2013.
  • In December 2013, that same book was also listed as a bestseller in the Calgary Herald online.
  • My son graduated from university that December, got the job he wanted at the company he wanted to work for, and moved into his own home. What a wonderful additional reward to see him so healthy, happy, and successful in his own life.
  • The annual income at my full-time job increased by $35,000 that year, and I also earned additional income through my sideline business as a book publisher and author.
  • I was approved for a mortgage in December, bought myself a brand new condo with many luxuries (safe and secure underground parking being one of them), and moved in.
  • I booked myself a trip to visit London and Paris which was on credit card and would be paid off within six months due to my increase in income.
  • I gave my son all my old furniture and was able to easily afford to buy myself new furniture for my new condo which was to be financed over three years.
  • I bought myself a new jeep which was to be financed over six years.
  • I was also FINALLY able to afford to pay back my two brothers and one of my cousins for money they had lent to me years ago when I’d been in a rough financial spot. (GOD, that felt good—to hand them each a cheque along with a heartfelt THANK YOU. I was finally free of the emotional burden of this personal debt that I had carried in my heart for years! It’s not that they had ever made me feel bad about it. Quite the contrary. But it felt like a burden to me. I had always planned to pay them back.)

Needless to say, things were going so well for me on so many fronts. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy … which seemed to attract even more things to feel grateful and joyful about. More good news followed. More money followed. It was absolutely amazing.

In March 2014, my mother won $1.15 million in a lottery! I was so excited for her! All of us were! Of course, my very generous mother shared part of her earnings with her children and other family members which completely paid off my remaining debts including the trip to London and Paris, the new jeep, the new furniture, everything! I was completely debt free (other than the mortgage on my new condo) with additional savings put away and even more spending money at my disposal than I already had due to the salary increase. So, I decided to also take a long-desired trip to New York City in July, too!

Not only did my mother win $1.15 million dollars in a casino lottery in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, that year … which is, you would think, a once in a lifetime event that we were all thrilled about. But then, around two months later, my uncle (who happens to be my God father) then also won $1.4 million is a separate casino lottery in Medicine Hat, Alberta! (I enjoyed teasing my cousins that their dad seemed to be trying to one-up my mom. We all had a great laugh out of that.)

What an amazing few months for me between November 2013 and July 2014! Not only did pretty much every single wish I had for myself come true, but even more wonderful things came my way than I could ever have expected. And the best part of it was that I got to see my son, my mom, and my uncle enjoy success and joy in their own lives, too. That was the icing on the cake, for sure!

My life continues to be so fulfilling to this day. I continue to earn a great living and travel. I continue to have a wonderful relationship with my son and watch him have success in his own life, too. It’s wonderful. I also continue to have increased success as a bestselling author, book publisher, and sales coach for authors. Life is sweet.

I’m a firm believer in the power of gratitude, the power of love, and the truth of Rhonda’s messages in each of her books. I’m so grateful to you, Rhonda. You have helped me to change my life for the better. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

New Age Fiction by Kim S.

New Age Fiction by Kim S.

How to Dwarf a Giant

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

For Starters, Stop Mentioning Its Name at Every Turn

Last year, an epic battle played out on the North American book publishing landscape.

The conflict pitted an ecommerce retailer/vanity publisher against traditional trade publishers, new ideas against old, price against value, which ultimately spawned the creation of a group called Authors United led by American author Douglas Preston.

In November of 2014, a soldier on the traditional side of this battle was victorious in negotiating a deal that allows trade publishers the continued right to dictate their own recommended retail prices for the books they produce. This has always been the relationship between manufacturers and their retailers, as it should be. The manufacturer (publisher) knows its own production costs and, therefore, sets its recommended retail price based on those costs. The retailer, in turn, lists the item at that suggested price and may or may not provide discounts to their buyers based on their own projected profit margins.

Despite this win, Preston is still concerned.

“The main problem hasn’t gone away,” he told Publisher’s Weekly. “When one company controls 50 percent of the market, and it has proven itself to be ruthless and uncaring with authors, that’s a problem. We don’t want this to happen again.”

His solution is to continue drawing attention to the problem in 2015 by sending a formal complaint to the Department of Justice citing possible antitrust issues which will surely keep this retailer in front-page news for several months to come.

Does anyone remember the movie The Golden Compass? Do you recall all the extra press coverage this movie received back in 2007 when the Catholic Church condemned it for sending an anti-religious message? By calling for a public boycott of the film, the Church actually drew even more attention to it, which inadvertently boosted its sales. That’s why I bought my ticket. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

By the same token, if the goal of Authors United is to dwarf a retail giant that has grown too big for its britches over the years, perhaps a more effective tactic would be to stop mentioning its name at every turn. Change the focus altogether.

There are many exceptional retailers around the world that will happily sell various book formats for their clients without exclusivity contracts while also letting those publishers (self-publishers) determine their own recommended retail prices. How about rewarding these allies by referring customers to buy books from them instead of giving all the focus and energy to a perceived adversary?

There are also many potential customers out there with different motives for buying various types of books. Some people make buying decisions based on price while others make buying decisions based on value. There is a time and a place for both types of marketing. It all depends on your book’s customer base and what will speak to them most. Trade published authors and self-publishers alike should do the necessary research to understand what their customers want, rather than blindly choosing one form of marketing over the other based on the viewpoint of one retailer. It is your customer’s wants and needs that should determine your marketing strategy.

Value-based selling is far from being a new concept, even if it’s a bit foreign to some within the book publishing industry. If it can be used to sell a car, a clothing item, or even a cup of coffee, it can be used to sell a book. And, it can result in a higher profit for the copyright owner of that book while providing more value to the buyer. It’s all just a matter of a little education.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from PPG!

It seems like just yesterday I was writing last year’s holiday message. Hard to believe it’s that time of year again so soon!
 
Like many others, I’ll be enjoying the company of friends and family while we celebrate Christmas this weekend. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year. For those who are traveling to visit with friends and family members, I hope you arrive and return safely.
 
Not only am I looking forward to a brilliant 2011, but I’m also looking very forward to an exciting book announcement we’ll be making next Monday, December 27th! Keep watching our site for details! (Only four more sleeps!)
 
Warm regards,
Kim S.
 
 
 
PPG is a Canadian book publisher dedicated to serving Canadian authors. Visit our book publishing website to learn how you can publish your book today. 

PPG is Canada’s Modern ECO-Friendly Book Publisher!

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Writers Forum: http://writersforum.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

 As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

 

PPG Supports Diversity and Free Expression for Canadians


 

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

 

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Writers Forum: http://writersforum.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

 

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

 

 

Happy Holidays from PPG!

Like many others, PPG will be signing off for the holiday season toward the end of this week. I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For those who are traveling to visit with friends and family members, I hope you arrive and return safely.

Here’s to a brilliant new year in 2010! I’m really looking forward to it. I hope you are, too.

Warm regards,
Kim S.

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

 

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Writers Forum: http://writersforum.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

 

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

 

Calgary: Home Sweet Home

Of course, I can’t only promote my old hometown on this blog. My current home of almost 12 years—which is also home to the Polished Publishing Group (PPG)—is a truly amazing place to be: Calgary, Alberta. I feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of Western Canada … so close to the mountains … surrounded daily by breathtaking, inspiring scenery. This is God’s country, for sure.

Here’s an idea for my fellow writers: how about filming an alfresco reading to promote all the wonderful things about your book and your province at the same time? Then how about posting that reading on YouTube for others to enjoy?

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

 

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Writers Forum: http://writersforum.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

 

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

 

It’s a Beautiful World … Saskatoon!

Welcome to my inaugural “It’s My Blog and I’ll Post What I Want To” blog entry. I couldn’t resist posting this one….

When a good friend of mine emailed me this YouTube video, it made me homesick for my home town of Saskatoon. Thought I’d share it with you: It’s a Beautiful World … Saskatoon! It’s so nice to see such positive advertising coming out of Saskatchewan!

I hope this blog entry gives all my fellow authors an idea … YouTube is a powerful alternative media you can use to promote yourself and your book(s). How about posting a short “teaser” video of you reading from your latest release? With a little luck, your friends will share it with others, and they’ll share it with others, and they’ll share it others, and so on, and so forth. Do you see the potential for increased exposure?

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Writers Forum: http://writersforum.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.