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Year in Review

December 31, 2020-This year was different, to say the least! No one could have predicted what 2020 was going to look like, but we got through it and we didn’t just “get through it” we flourished. Here are some of the highlights from 2020 from Pandamonium Publishing House-we couldn’t have done this without you, our loyal supporters. Thank you for everything. 

  1. We signed a bunch of new authors: Regan McAulay, Dale Shipley, Tonya Cartmell, Alex Goubar, Rachel Adema-Hannes, Annie Kittiphanh, and Paul Moscarella bring mega talent to our team! Welcome aboard and thank you for creating such awesome works.  We can’t wait to collaborate again soon on new projects. 
  2. We created new books: 17 to be exact not including our client projects! From One Christmas to the Next by K.G. Watson and Alex Goubar, Inside Looking Out by Tim Ford, Acts of Kindness by collaborative authors, Machinia by Paul A. Moscarella and Alex Goubar, The Celestial Squid by Alex Goubar, Lost and Monkey Around by Rachel Adema-Hannes and Erin Cutler, The 12 Days of Rescue by Tonya Cartmell and Emily James, The Midas Haircut by Lacey L. Bakker and Emily Keown, The Magic Pumpkin Farmer by Lacey L. Bakker and Alex Goubar, The Clouds Above Lamasol Island by Alex Goubar, Dealer by Annie Kittiphanh and Alex Goubar, Life Supports by K.G. Watson and Alex Goubar, Becoming James Cass by L.L. Colling and Alex Goubar, Grandma’s Table by Michelle Pontefract and Erin Cutler, The Adventures of Milan and Friends; Baseball Bedlam by Lacey L. Bakker and Alex Goubar,  Advice from a Publisher by Lacey L. Bakker and Alex Goubar, and Acts of Remembrance by Engelina Hummel, K.G. Watson, and Alex Goubar. 
  3. We increased our website traffic: As of 8 am this morning, we’ve had 17, 267 views of our website which was an increase of +106% over last year, 10, 259 visitors which was an increase of +160% over last year, 129 likes which was an increase of +93% over last year, and 38 comments which was an increase of +52% over last year. 
  4. We did a collaborative book: Acts of Kindness was a collaborative book by many authors from Canada and the US. Authors shared their stories of how kindness touched their lives with heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking experiences. Thank you so much to each contributor, we appreciate you! Keep spreading kindness. We’ll be working on another collaborative book in 2021, stay tuned for details! 
  5. We had 5 best sellers: The 12 Days of Rescue by Tonya Cartmell and Emily James, The Adventures of Milan and Friends; Baseball Bedlam by Lacey L. Bakker and Alex Goubar, Advice from a Publisher by Lacey L. Bakker and Alex Goubar, The Magic Pumpkin Farmer by Lacey L. Bakker and Alex Goubar, and Becoming James Cass by Lacey L. Bakker and Alex Goubar. Thank you SO much for supporting our work, Canadian authors, artists, and illustrators! I  am absolutely sure that 2021 will bring us more bestsellers, we can’t wait:) 
  6. We started a book club: Pandamonium Publishing House International Book Club was born and we have readers from around the globe! In 2020 we read authors from 6/7 continents and in 2021 we’ll be reading and discussing our own CANADIAN authors which we couldn’t be more excited about! Currently, we have 225 members and hope to increase our membership each year with membership reaching 1,000 by 2025. 
  7. We started a subscription book box: This was a super fun option to set up for our readers! We currently have 127 subscribers that receive books each month on a variety of subjects, genres, and authors. We hope to grow our membership steadily over the years and have 1,000 members by 2025. 

To all of our readers, subscribers, supporters, and people cheering us on-YOU matter to us. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we love. Thank you for believing in our business and for championing Canadian artists, authors, and illustrators. We appreciate you and it’s a pleasure to write for you. 

To our clients-THANK, YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You make us a better business and we are so thankful for you and your trust in our company. We are so happy to work with you and help bring your wonderful stories to life. We adore you all! 

To my team-You are an epic group of individual voices with unique experiences that give you so much power as authors, illustrators, and artists. Without each one of you, there would be no Pandamonium Publishing House. Your hard work, positivity, and work ethic are inspiring and uplifting on my darkest days. All of you keep me going during the toughest challenges. THANK YOU Tamara Botting, Tim Ford, Michelle Pontefract, Alex Goubar, Erin Cutler, Rachel Adema-Hannes, Christopher Botting, Ken Watson, Tonya Cartmell, Paul A. Moscarella, Samantha Ramos, Annie Kittiphanh, Gina Nateo, and Maryanne Smith.  It is an absolute honour to work alongside each one of you; thank you for believing in me and in Pandamonium Publishing House. YOU who make this company a pleasure to lead and remind me that I have a great responsibility to each of you. 

Happy 2021! Wishing you much success, happiness, and love, now and always. X LLB

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New Year, New You? Probably Not.

January 1, 2020– Happy New Year, Friends! What is it about a new year that gives people so much hope and promise? Is it the turning of a new page on the calendar? Is it the thought of a fresh start and a new beginning? Is it the chance to start over and better ourselves, to break bad habits and create healthy new ones? Or are they all just lies we tell ourselves?

I’m going to go with; They’re all just lies we tell ourselves, Alex for $200! Why so cynical? Because science, that’s why. Researchers at Scranton University did a study that showed only eight percent of people were able to achieve their New Year’s resolutions, the other eighty percent failed, and the remaining twelve percent did what you should do-not make any resolutions in the first place.

Setting goals are entirely different than making resolutions; here’s how:

  1.  Goals are Specific. For example, you may want to set a goal of writing for one hour per day, whereas your resolution could be to become a better writer. The best way to word this is to combine the two; To become a better writer, I will write for one hour per day, five days a week.
  2. Goals involve Planning. For example, you resolve that this year you’re going to submit your work to a publisher for consideration. Sure, that sounds great, but have you planned for this? Where will you submit your work? Have you done research on which publisher is the best fit for your manuscript? Do you have an email address of the person you will be submitting to? Without a proper and REALISTIC plan, YOU WILL FAIL. That’s all there is to it. Remember the adage that still rings true; if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
  3. Goals involve Action. For example, you can be as specific as you want to, you can plan what you’re going to do until the cows come home. But without taking action, you’ll never achieve anything. I know someone who has over 2,000 (not an exaggeration) email leads, from various shows she attended as a vendor, that are sitting in a box on her desk doing absolutely nothing and have been doing nothing for years. Sure, she had good intentions to use them one day, but that day never came, and now most of them are expired, moved, or dead ends. If you don’t take action on the goals you’ve set, what’s the point of setting them?

What are you doing each day to move closer toward your goals? My point is, I hope that you’re not the eighty percent of people who make resolutions and dump them by January 12th. I hope that you succeed in everything you do and know that anything is achievable if you are specific, create a plan, and take action.

Happy New Year, everyone. May the best be yet to come. X LLB

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Let’s Talk About Excess…

January 2, 2018– By now, I’m sure you’re sick of Christmas. Ok, maybe not sick of Christmas, but sick of the hullabaloo. It’s been over for about a week and the entire lead up to the special day has been excessive; holiday parties, work parties, get-togethers with friends, kid’s plays, decorating, shopping, eating, drinking, cleaning, spending, rushing, and cooking, it all becomes too much.

It’s time for a break! That’s what I love about a new year; it allows us to regroup and reset our lives and decide what we want for the coming year. I hate the word resolution because I think there are such negative emotions associated with it. I resolve to get fit, I resolve to save money, I resolve to climb to the top of the CN Tower, whatever it is, it’s all been said before. As humans, we are conditioned to want more, do more, spend more, say more, eat more, consume more, work more, pay more, and buy more. I for one, am so sick of it! It’s time to take control in all areas of our lives and use what we have until it runs out. And not to be the bearer of bad news, but most of the time when we resolve to do something, we fail. Sure, we start out strong with lots of momentum and we’re taking our healthy lunches to work, we’re hitting the gym five days a week at six in the morning, and we’re finally cutting back on coffee and getting more sleep. But, then the inevitable happens; life gets in the way and we slowly sink back into our comfortable realities. Of course, I’m not saying that it can’t be done, people change their entire lives every day, I’m just saying that there’s a better way.

The better way is to cut the excess. That’s it. It’s that simple and that hard. As writers and creatives, we often do things excessively; we use too many words, we have too many excuses as to why we didn’t write today, we have too many notebooks filled with ideas that we never follow through with. We have an excess of coffee mugs, an excess of deadlines, an excess of commitments, and an excess of time spent in front of our computers when we should be spending time with our loved ones. I’m pointing the finger straight at myself on this one. So, this year, I don’t resolve to do anything, but what I am going to do is finish what I start, one thing and one day at a time. I am NOT going to do anything to the point of excess. NOT. A. DAMN. THING. 2019 is my year of minimalism; it’s the year where I finally take control of my schedule, my writing, and my professional life. The funny thing is, it’s all been in my control from the start. I hope that you’ll join me in cutting out the excess in all areas of your writing life. Who knows? You could have your best year yet!

So, for 2019, the only things that I wish for you in excess are happiness, joy, and love.
X LLB

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What are Your 2019 Writing Goals?

December 12, 2018– Goals are important for everything in life. If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll know that I’ve said it a million times, “You can’t hit a target you can’t see.” I’m a firm believer that goals are essential for success, and here’s the thing, even if you fail to reach your goal, you’ll be a hell of a lot closer than you would be if you had never set a goal in the first place.

So, as the end of the year looms closer, it’s time to focus on what you want for 2019 and beyond regarding your writing career!

Here are some things that you could consider, but remember, goals are personal, and it all depends on what YOU want for yourself. Will 2019 be the year that you:

  1. Finish your novel– make this the year that you finally finish it! Set a timeline and stick to it. Stop procrastinating!
  2. Start a writing business-figure out what you need to do and get it done. Start with one thing at a time. A lot of info is available online, and you can always bring in the pro’s for help, talk to your accountant, bank, whoever you need to help point you in the right direction.
  3. Write every day– If you choose this goal and stick to it, you’ll get an UNBELIEVABLE amount of writing done. Your writing will improve, you’ll get better at self-editing, and you will have accomplished something that only professionals do. This will be a fabulous 2019 goal if you’re serious about turning your writing into something. Set a goal of words or pages per day and sit your ass in the chair. Make an appointment with yourself and DON’T CANCEL.
  4. Join a club-Is this the year that you’ll finally join like-minded authors? Will you complete continuing education to start or continue to hone your writing skills? Will you say yes to new opportunities? Are you ready to break out of your shell and see what’s in store for you?

I’ve got my own goals in store for 2019 that I’ve already started. So why should you wait? Start working on them now and just think of all that you’ll get done before January!

Here’s to your success in 2019 and beyond!
X LLB

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