Month: April 2014

Ridgewell’s, Available for Purchase Today!

ImageNative Ink Press, an imprint of Ink Smith Publishing of Monrovia, California has just published a fascinating memoir about the storied high-end power caterer, Ridgewell’s, and the three generations of the family that founded and nurtured it through the Depression years, the Second World War, the era of Watergate and Vietnam and into the modern era of ‘inside the beltway’ Washington of today. The story, as told to the author by Bruce Ellis the grandson of the founders, begins with his granddad “Charlie” Ridgewell’s departure from the Isle of Wight, the tiny island athwart the English Channel in the very early years of the twentieth century who, nearly penniless, found a job with the British ambassador’s staff at their embassy in Washington as a ‘valet’. It was through this connection that he met his future bride, Marguerite Cuvillier

(who was later nicknamed “Little Meemaw”)​, herself a recent immigrant from Paris working as a ‘plain cook’ at the French embassy. Mr. Ellis describes the couples early life in the first decade of the last century and how, through wise reasoning and their careful handling of the little money they were able to save from truly paltry earnings (around a ‘pound’ a week or a little more than a dollar a day)​ they started the small business of catering to the well-to-do hosts and hostesses of the greater metropolitan area that have always flirted with the politically powerful and well connected since the time of John and Abigale Adams.

 

 From the birth of the company and its struggles to keep up with the shifting power scene in and around the nation’s capital to where the company is today some 86 years later Mr. Ellis lays out the labor of love that he, his identical twin Jeff, and his father and grandfather before them experienced. This book is a tribute to the concept that service, properly understood, is perhaps THE way to manage any business. In other words they took what they knew about the life of a servant and brought that lesson to a business that actually sold service. The company was to serve every White House from Harding to Obama and, astoundingly, made money every year it was under the guidance of the founder and then his son-in-law and then his grandsons. He tells how his grandfather, Charlie, made it his business to become close to the most powerful and influential people who, in turn, lived among and entertained the most powerful and influential people. He goes on to relate how his father, a Depression era boy from the hills and farmland of Boone, North Carolina became a close friend of President Harry Truman and Marjorie Meriwether Post, at that time the world’s richest woman. Names like Mrs. Post. Evelyn Walsh McLean (the owner of the Hope Diamond), Perle Mesta (The Hostess with the Mostess), Gwen Cafritz, Elizabeth Taylor, Nelson Rockefeller, George Herbert Walker Bush and on and on the power people of politics, entertainment and business all came to rely on Ridgewell’s.
Bruce notes that as the family expanded so too did the business. From it’s simple beginnings on a downtown street in the basement of a townhouse with two employees in just three generations the compay grew to over 150 full time staff and more than a thousand ‘outside’ service personnel from maitre d’s to bartenders, wait staff, etc., You’ll follow that growth with stories such as how the company took control over its own destiney when, during his father’s management, the company had to rely on an outside kitchen to provide the food component. Recognizing this situation could not continue because of the inherent lack of control Bruce and twin Jeffery in the very early 1970’s had the company relocated to suburban Bethesda Chevy Chase where a complete catering operation was set up with kitchens, warehouse, sales and administration could overseen by the family.
Ridgewell’s is a great story filled with vignettes that will delight the reader and surprise some with the concept that managing a business has much the same dynamics as raising a family. True humility, absolute honesty, commitment to principle and guided by a generosity of spirit is the formula, according to Mr. Ellis that worked at home and at work.
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Actively Seeking Ink Smith Dedicated Reviewers.

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We have the Ink Smith Publishing Book Club as a great way to give back by offering a free book a month and the opportunity to earn reward points.

We are now looking for dedicated reviewers.

What would you get as a dedicated reviewer?

  • Access to our entire library for free
  • The ability to earn gift cards for your reviews
  • Become apart of the Ink Smith family
  • Help out authors
  • Get recognition for your reviews. (Tweets, shout outs, and guest interviews)
  • And More!

What we require from you?

  • An honest review.
    • If you didn’t like the book that’s ok! If you did great. Any review is appreciated.
  • Reviews must be posted at the book club to be verified.

That’s all!

So if you are interested, please fill out the form below and someone will be with you in 24 hours.

The Journey to Wondercon, The Final Update

I feel like there is no such thing as too prepared. I started packing Tuesday morning. Having done events before I have learned… boxes on wheels are not the answer when it comes to transporting goods. So this time I am going suitcases a try. So far, so good. Packing everything has been a game of extreme tetris. Not just the kind you play with the dishwasher, but this one has different delicate elements. The books went into two entirely separate suitcases. They weren’t any trouble, although if I had had 5 more books… they wouldn’t have fit.  It was the bag with the delicate material that was the headache.

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We have paper, catalogs, glass, feather pens and other easily breakable(or bendable) goods to be transported to the convention center. I don’t want to show up with bent signs and broken feathers. That would definitely be bad for business!

I’ve updated our Square store. We have a few more dozen followers on twitter. Look for #inkwell this weekend! If you take a picture with us, or our booth or anything related to us, be sure to include the hash tag!

#INKWELL

Follow Us!

@inksmithpublish

Tonight we set up. I feel like its a holiday weekend. I cannot wait for tomorrow!

Did I mention we are having an exclusive giveaway for the weekend? No purchase is necessary. Only one entry per person. Multientries will void your entry. Whats better than free books! Come by and sign up.

Now I can finally concentrate on what to wear!

This will be the last journey post for now, as the event starts tomorrow. Depending on how exhausted I am, I may or may not post a Day 1 recap. Be sure to stop by our booth! We are space 100 in the small press section. Take pictures, tag us on twitter and let us know what you think. Thank you for following my adventure. The stress is finally over and I am ready to enjoy.

We are also putting our ebooks at our official store 50% off! This will be available to anyone. So even if you aren’t attending this weekend, you can still take advantage of this great sale! We’ve also added the Amazon Payment option on our website, giving you more options to check out.

www.ink-smith.com

 

The Journey To Wondercon, Update #3… The Final Stretch

 

It’s Monday. That means I only have tonight, tomorrow morning and evening and Wednesday to finish up what ever I have left before we go to setup at the Anaheim Convention Center. That isn’t very much time given I will also be studying for my Real Estate License Exam that I will be taking on Wednesday. I don’t know what I was thinking when I scheduled the exam for this week and not next! The combination of stress from both has negated each other I am afraid. Which has left me in a state of feeling at peace even though there is still stuff to be done and information to learn!

I took some pictures today. I thought I’d have some fun with these updates. Today was crunch time. This weekend I spent most of the time listening to the sounds of my printer dancing back and forth to the printing of book catalogs. I did about 200 catalogs and almost emptied my ink cartridges. In retrospect, using a company like uprinting.com would have cost me into the $400s+. $16 dollars For 2,500 sheets of paper (in which I didn’t even use half of that) + 76 for the ink (mainly two colors are depleted). I am tempted to print up another 100 catalogs. I noticed a spark in eBook sales after Condor 21 with our catalogs. It might be worth it.

 

I was in the process of putting them together. They are missing their final touches in this picture!

I was in the process of putting them together. They are missing their final touches in this picture!

Today however, I did more merch. I finished the feather pens that had taken me so long to finish because of my schedule. I hand dye my own ostrich feathers. Usually I make the feathers for my hats for the Renaissance Faire, but I’ve decided to make feather pens with them… considering our logo is a quill.. I thought it would be fun and relevant! I’m pretty happy with how they turned out and I hope you like them too! I will have them on Etsy after this weekend for about 7-8 dollars each. I was going to stick to red, black, and white feathers but I figured that people might want other colors.

 

 

I also put the final touches on the book bags that I have been working very hard on. I had my team of minions to help me this morning. photo 3

 

So the feather pens are done, although I could do more plain white feathers if I got enough feed back suggesting that I should. The book bags are complete. I did 55 of them. The poles are painted and the last of the signs have been printed. This is the final stretch! Now my list stands at finishing putting the giant book covers on poster board, cutting them evenly, and packing. Of course I may be doing more catalogs and feathers, but that is yet to be determined.

The advice I have received on Reddit has been wonderful! Thank you to all those who have commented, helped, and suggested what to do. I feel that this is going to be a great event. I am so excited!

 

The Journey to Wondercon, Update #2

I’m more surprised that I haven’t lost my head at this point. I hit a point yesterday where I felt all the stress overwhelm me. Though, I am proud to say that I’ve made it through and am ready for what ever tomorrow brings.

There is still a big list of things that need to be done, but I see the light!

We haven’t done many big events quite yet. So there has been a lot of setup that I won’t ever have to do again! *Hopefully*

We created a very tall banner sign holder from PVC. Had an 8ft banner printed and set it all up in the entry way of my house. Why? Because the thing towers at least 10+ feet over my head! In my nervous excitement, I want to be over prepared for next weekend. We have set up now a demo of what our display will look like next weekend. It makes me feel a little better, knowing the display stands out and looks amazing.  I can be a creative perfectionist though and that will definitely delay completion of our table.

The books have been ordered and shipped. It was a big decision. I hope I made the best call on the numbers.

The book bags have been finished too.

I still don’t know what to expect! Anyone I ask keeps saying, “It depends on the crowd.” Some years they buy and other years they don’t. I don’t like those numbers. I prefer a yes or a no!

Advice? Thoughts? I will post pictures this weekend of my dilemma. To have the second book stand or not? That’s update #3’s main topic for discussion.

 

Daemon Theory Release Day

Blank white book w/path

Daemon Theory

By: J. Alton Mast

Release Day: April 10th 2014

The First Impact. The day everything changed. The day humanity fell. Earth has been left in a state of disaster nearly five-hundred years after the rapture. And for more than five-hundred years, humanity has been forced to rebuild, atoning for their mistakes as a society and seeking aid from the only beings that would listen to their cries. Feeling as though the heavens had turned their back on them, humanity turned to the sentient beings of hell, living under the jurisdiction and dictation of High Arch-Daemons, known as the Black Order.

Maye Holloway, a young woman of barely seventeen, has been unwillingly thrust into the dark world of the Daemons who control her people, slowly learning their horrific secrets. Maye’s sole desire is to break free of Daemonkind’s wretched hold on her soul, with her life intact. Though the fates have a different plan for the girl, and her monstrous partner, an enigmatic Arch-Demon with a questionable past of her own, Alecko vi Fenris. However, Alecko’s motives are as vague as she is, and Maye begins to question who her biggest enemy is: The Order, Alecko, or herself.

 

Buy it today:

www.ink-smith.com
www.amazon.com

The Journey To Wondercon Update #1

I’ve decided to “journal” the next 14 days as we get ready for Wondercon 2014.
If you don’t know what Wondercon is, then listen up!
Wondercon is hosted by the same company who puts on the giant Comic Con in San Diego California. It is smaller compared to the 120K who attend Comic Con. About 50-60K will be in attendance at Wondercon, or maybe more! They seem to be growing every year.

Up until now, Ink Smith has only attended small book fairs. Condor 21 which was our first experience at a “con” vention had about 650 people in attendance. To our surprise we sold out of a few books and sold several book bags.

Now my dilemma is this: What to expect at an event with attendance in the thousands?

I am in the process of putting the book order together, but I don’t want to over order. I also definitely don’t want to sell out of items on the first day.

Ideally if someone has had experience with this kind of thing I would love your input!

I currently have on order 15 copies of those books that I sold out of, 10 books of those that sold one or have previously been popular at book events, and 5 of those who haven’t really drawn much attention at events. I also am planning to have 40-50 book bags for sale as well. I was told to order about 300 books for this event, but I’m a little uneasy about order that many books. On that note, we will be at other events this year. So extra books wouldn’t be an issue either.
Or should I order more?

I also will be selling Quill pens as well that I have been hand dying and making myself. I will only have a select amount of those there as time keeps eluding me.

Our position is in the back left corner. I have plans to over come this obstacle, although I’ve been told that being in the corner might be a good thing.

So thoughts? What should I do? How many should I order? Advice?

I am very excited!

2014-2015 Book Submissions

 

It’s been awhile since we’ve called for submissions.

We are currently looking for books to fill our 2014 and 2015 calendar! We are looking for anything but religious, political and romance novels.

We do tend to focus on sci-fi, fantasy and horror novels but we are hoping to expand our catalog for the end of the year with different… unique novels.

If you think you have a story that we may be interested, please check out our submission page and guidelines! Let us know you found this submission calling at The Inkwell and Quill.

Have a non-fiction or a children’s book? Check out our imprint, Native Ink Press, as they are also looking for 2014-2015 novels for their calendar!

 

www.ink-smith.com

 

www.nativeinkpress.com

A New eBook For Free at the Ink Smith Publishing Book Club

That’s right! This isn’t an April Fools joke.  The new featured book of the month is now up for download at our book club.

If you are already a member just head on over to bookclub.ink-smith.com and login. If you aren’t a member, what are you waiting for! Joining the book club is free. You get the featured book of the month for FREE! You can earn “cash” for your reviews and street team activities. You can also get “cash” from your friends! Refer your friends and when they join you’ll earn points.

We have added new street team activities.

We will be adding more gift cards and prizes that you can redeem.

 

Download today!