Monthly Archives: May 2016


A Race That Lived Up to Its Billing

By Lew Freedman It was a race that lived up to its billing, a race that was worthy of the advance hype and its place in history. The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29, not only filled the venerable Indianapolis Motor Speedway to bursting with 350,000 people in attendance, it delivered a race to be savored. Due to slick planning by his Andretti Autosport team, rookie Alexander Rossi became the champion in the most prestigious automobile race in the world, one that dates back to 1911, and as always it enthralled an audience bedazzled by speed. Rossi, 24, a Californian who has been living in Europe since he was 16 so he could embark on a Formula 1 career, became the freshest face on the IndyCar scene when he almost miraculously nursed 36 laps at 2.5 miles per circle out of speedy race car without stopping for fuel. Every ticket was sold in advance for the race that pays out $13.4 million in prize money, about $2.5 million to the victor. Every angle was scrutinized, yet practically no one in the world would have predicted Rossi as winner and even fewer would have guessed how he would out-run Carlos Munoz and Josef Newgarden, the second- and third-place finishers. "At least people had an amazing show to watch for the 100th running," said Newgarden, disappointed at not being the winner. It was a fabulous show. Anyone lucky enough to attend experienced a glorious day and that included the weather of 81 degrees and mostly sunny after weather forecasts called for thunderstorms. The start was clean, the lead changes frequent. Thirteen of the 33 racers led at one time or another and there were 54 lead changes, the second most in a single race.  Although there were several crashes, they were minor in nature with all drivers able to climb out of their cars under their own power. Safety focus and protection is better than ever at the Speedway. This latest chapter in "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing" was indeed grand spectacle. In Rossi's case, if he goes on to become a perennial all-star driver everyone will recall that he entered the big-time in Indianapolis on a pleasant day in May. And did so under the mostly highly pressurized of circumstances and was transformed from unknown to household name overnight. About Lew Freedman: Lew Freedman's most recent book is The Indianapolis 500: A Century of High Speed Racing. He is a prize-winning sportswriter and former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska, and The Republic in Columbus, Indiana. He also worked on the staffs of the Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer. Freedman is the author of numerous sports books, many on the White Sox, Cubs, and baseball history.     This blog has been brought to you by CPG News & Information Services


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The Beginning

It's an exciting time in May at the Motor Speedway the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 race quickly approaches. The following is an excerpt from Lew Freedman's book, The Indianapolis 500: A Century of High Speed Racing. Enjoy The Beginning... The first Indianapolis 500 took place in 1911 when the “Average Joe” in the United States did not even own a car for private transportation, or at least one that had an enclosed body and could take him very far. Compared to the cars on the road these days, passenger cars moved at the speed of golf carts, so right from the beginning, just being able to watch a race car speed around an oval at more than ninety mph was breathtaking. Initially construction of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was not aimed at auto racing, but automobile development. Indianapolis was vying to become the nation’s motor vehicle center, competing against Detroit for the soul of the industry. Detroit had Henry Ford. Indianapolis wanted to lure manufacturers with a splendiferous testing facility. The world’s most famous automobile race was begun as a tenant for the Speedway, which opened its doors in 1909 and successfully attracted crowds well into the thousands for motorcycle racing and other events. The Speedway itself was a showplace from the start and it took almost no time before the Indianapolis 500 race added more cache to its fundamental reason for being. From its inception – and its reputation only grown and enhanced – the Indy 500 was the longest, most prestigious, most popular, and most exciting automobile race in the world. This new gravel-and-tar track built for $250,000 on 328 acres of what had been farmland six mile west of the city at the (now-famous address) corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road lured fans fascinated by speed.   About the Author: Lew Freedman is author of over 75 books including JUMP SHOT: Kenny Sailors, Basketball Innovator and Alaskan Outfitter.


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Seasonal Strawberry Recipe with a Wow Factor!

Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet, offers more than 130 delicious, vegan recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, each complete with nutritional analysis. Enhanced by over 200, full-color photographs, each recipe is ranked with an Ease-Factor to make it easy to choose recipes that fit into any busy schedule. It’s strawberry picking time! I LOVE fresh berries, and I’m always motivated to make a delightfully delicious berry dessert whenever fresh strawberries are available at the market! This luscious pie provides the perfect showcase for seasonal organic strawberries. The filling is so creamy you will not believe it’s based in raw cashews and tofu. Easy to assemble and super yummy! Here is the seasonal strawberry recipe with a wow factor!  Strawberry Mountain Pie Makes 6 to 8 servings CRUST 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan cookie crumbs or vegan graham cracker crumbs (see note) 3 to 5 heaping tablespoons sesame tahini 1½ tablespoons nondairy milk FILLING 16 ounces extra-firm regular tofu 8 ounces soft silken tofu 1⁄3 cup raw cashews 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegan white sugar or your preferred dry sweetener TOPPING 16 ounces organic strawberries 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves 2½ teaspoons filtered or spring water Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. To make the crust, put the cookie crumbs, 3 heaping tablespoons tahini and 11⁄2 tablespoons nondairy milk in a medium-sized bowl and combine using a large fork or dough blender. Add more tahini until the crumbs are moistened, but still crumbly in texture (up to 5 heaping tablespoons of tahini in all). Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes. Put the pie plate on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. While the crust cools, put the extra-firm regular tofu, silken tofu, cashews and sugar in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the tofu mixture over the cooled crust. Spread in an even layer and smooth the top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie is slightly firm to the touch (center of the filling will still be very soft). Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes. While the pie bakes, trim 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-inch off the wide end of each strawberry. Then, when the pie is out of the oven but still warm, arrange the strawberries, flat end down, in a pleasing pattern on top of the pie, gently pressing the end of each strawberry into the filling so it stands upright. Put the preserves and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk together. Spread the preserves evenly over the top of the strawberries using a pastry brush or small spoon. Refrigerate 4 to 8 hours before serving. Carefully cut the pie into slices (the filling will be soft). Stored tightly covered in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep for about 2 days. Chef’s Note: To make cookie crumbs, put 11⁄2 to 2 cups of broken-up vegan cookies in a blender, and process to coarse crumbs. Add more cookies, as needed, to make the amount of crumbs needed for this recipe. Photo credits: David Kaplan This blog is brought to you by CPG News & Information Services


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Four Distribution Methods for Independent Presses

There is no one solution for book distribution. Selecting the right form of distribution for your publishing enterprise is determined by considering your own strengths and weakness and finding the right distribution partner or partners to enhance your strengths and cover for your weaknesses. What follows is an overview of several popular ways independent presses get their products to market. Before discussing distribution options let’s look at the entire publishing process broken down into four distinct parts. First the publisher creates or acquires the content from an author. Second the publisher fashions the content into a book. Thirdly the publisher gets the book into the marketplace. In the fourth step the publisher reaches out to the consumer through marketing and publicity. Below I discuss four popular options for independent presses to distribute their books: Full Service Book Distribution: Full service distributors will typically offer many services beyond basic distribution, but the main parts of distribution have remained fairly consistent over the past several decades. The book distribution process involves sales, customer service, warehousing, inventory control, fulfillment, book trade marketing, billing and collections, and metadata service. If any of these basic elements are missing then the service provider should not be considered full service. The advantages of full service distribution include a large reduction in the publisher’s infrastructure costs. In addition, your line has professional sales representatives actively promoting your books, authors, and imprint brand. The full service distributor is already doing business with most, if not all of your important customers. The best full service distributors make their money from client sales so upfront costs should be negligible. Limited Service Book Distribution: The limited service distribution partner might perform many of the same functions as the full service distributor. Most commonly missing though is strong sales representation to retailers and wholesalers. A publisher’s book might be widely available, but the distributor may offer only minimal help getting product sold to retailers and wholesalers. The advantages of a limited service distributor is that like a full service distributor, they may already be set up with many of your potential customers making selling your books easier and like the full service distributor their fees take care of many of the infrastructure costs of publishing. Since these distributors offer less service, the cost of distribution should be less, but be cautious of high up-front costs or charges unrelated to sales. This is a good option if a publisher is confident in their ability to generate strong publicity to pull demand through the system, or larger publishers that have their own sales and marketing team already in place. Vendor of Record: Using a vendor of record strategy is another way that the independent press can structure their distribution. Instead of contracting with a single distributor, you set up directly with one or several wholesalers. Once this network of wholesalers is established you can sell directly to institutions and retailers and direct them to order through one of your wholesalers. You can still sell directly to retailers and institutions, but many of these customers will prefer to order through a wholesaler. The advantage to this strategy is that you have only a limited number of customers to service directly, which can help keep infrastructure costs low. Since you are selling directly to your wholesale customers you keep more of the proceeds. Vendor of record arrangements are also non-exclusive, so you maintain more control. You will need to have a strong sales team since wholesalers will not be selling your book, but if you are comfortable selling and taking on some of the pick, pack, ship, billing, customer service and metadata work this might be the independent presses most profitable option. Print On Demand - The last distribution option I will cover in this blog post is a popular option for publishers because the startup costs are low and the publisher’s infrastructure needs small. Many of the best self-publishing services used frequently for e-book publishing and distribution also offer distribution to traditional trade book markets using the distribution reach of POD (Print On Demand) manufacturers either in-house or thru partners. Although there remains some stigma directed at POD this bias is eroding for several reasons including even the largest publishers are using POD for some even most of their manufacturing. Be careful not to pay much extra for this service up front unless you have a good and sustainable means of marketing books in that format. Whether you are using a full or limited service distributor, a vendor of record distribution partner(s), or offering POD product a publisher should endeavor to understand each method clearly before choosing which best fits the need. This post covers only the most basic elements of only four methods to have your book distributed. There are other models as well including, hybrid models and blended publishing models that also offer distribution of your books. Every method described above will require that you sign an agreement or several agreements. Be sure to read each carefully. These agreements will spell out the contractual obligations of each party and best prepare you for success with a full understanding of your chosen method of distribution. Ideally you will start planning your distribution strategy nine to twelve months prior to release your book(s). If that doesn’t describe your situation then the best time to start is now: To learn more about your distribution options through Cardinal Publishers Group visit www.cardinalpub.com. You can visit us at BEA 2016 in Chicago at booth #1624. Some good resources for finding distributors: http://www.bookmarket.com/distributors.htm http://www.ibpa-online.org/resources/distributor-wholesalers/ A good resource for finding an e-book publisher for self-publishers: http://www.bookmarket.com/ebooks.htm A good resource for finding vendor of record wholesalers: http://www.bookmarket.com/ This website offers a list of wholesalers at a reasonable cost. If you’re new to marketing books you should also seriously consider picking up a copy of John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book. If you are serious about publishing for profit, or even profitably publishing for a non-profit I suggest you consider joining an organization like the Independent Book Publishers Association, http://www.ibpa-online.org/benefits/list-of-benefits/  . This organization has a great monthly magazine, The Independent, and many other education and marketing benefits. There are other good organizations that help self-publishers and I encourage you to look into several, particularly local or regional ones when available to see which best fits your needs. Tom Doherty is president and founder of Cardinal Publishers Group. Brought to you by CPG News & Information Services  


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How to Make a Bourbon Cocktail

What’s a party without cocktails? With the Derby it’s all about bourbon cocktails too. So here are a few suggestions on how to make a bourbon cocktail: Bourbon Sour Get a can of frozen concentrated lemonade, and put that in the container. Then fill that same can with water, and add it to the container. Then fill that same can with pulp free orange juice and add that to the mix. Finally, fill the lemonade can with bourbon. Repeat all the steps as needed to fill up the container (or pitcher), and then all that’s left to do is fill glasses with ice, pour and serve. Bourbon Lettuce and Tomato Cocktail It’s just a Bloody Mary using bourbon instead of vodka. You see vodka only adds alcohol to a Bloody Mary, but bourbon brings alcohol AND flavor to this classic drink. I use Evan Williams Black Label 86 proof bourbon in mine. The five years of aging and 86 proof bring some good barrel notes to complement and enhance the Bloody Mary’s ingredients. If you want to get cute, garnish it with a baked slice of thick bacon! Dawn at The Downs Cocktail This is your elegant morning option. In a champagne flute pour one ounce of bourbon (I like Elijah Craig 12 for a little more spice or Evan Williams Single Barrel for a little more vanilla flavor), and then fill the rest of the glass with Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. You can garnish with an apple slice to give it a little extra “oomph.” And for the main attraction, The Mint Julep, check out Bourbon Whiskey: Our Native Spirit 3rd edition! Bernie Lubbers travels the U.S. and the world educating people on American Whiskey, and how it weaves through the fabric of Kentucky and America’s history. Bernie especially has a passion for Bottled-In-Bond whiskies and how The Bottled In Bond Act of 1897 and the Taft Decision of 1909 which changed the whiskey landscape here in the U.S. With his friend and bluegrass musician Hickory Vaught, he wrote and co-performs a live music show/whiskey tasting called; “Bourbon Thru Bluegrass” where folks get to sample whiskies from the style of the 1700’s, through the 1800’s, & then the single barrel and small batch bourbons of today. All throughout the tasting folks simultaneously hear the history of bourbon, enjoy live bluegrass music from that time period, or about that time period, and taste whiskey in the styles of those time periods.             Bernie won Whisky Magazine’s Whiskey Ambassador Of The Year in 2009 for the U.S. and then went on to win Whiskey Ambassador Of The Year International. He was again presented the U.S. Whiskey Ambassador Of The Year in 2012 alongside the legendary Elmer T. Lee. He was also named the U.S. Whiskey Ambassador of the Year in 2016. This blog is brought to you by CPG News & Information Services


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