Deluxe Book Formatting: Ebooks and Print Book Package

Deluxe Book Formatting: Ebooks and Print Book Formatting Package


1.  Formatting of Book Interior for Print: Book size and binding of your choice. Book formatting done in Microsoft Word. This includes a copyright page, dedication page, one abbreviated title page, one elaborate title page with logo, acknowledgments page, table of contents, sections, chapters, running headers and page numbers, “About the Author” and/or “Other Books By” page. Upper case for first line formatting style or drop caps, clip art or small photo on full title page if desired.

2.  Formatting of Kindle mobi for Kindle Direct Publishing: This includes a copyright page, dedication page, one abbreviated title page, one elaborate title page with logo, acknowledgments page, functioning NCX (table of contents),  chapters, “About the Author” and/or “Other Books By” page. Upper case for first line formatting style, clip art or small photo on full title page if desired.

3. Formatting of EPUB  for iBookstore and Nook, Kobo: This includes a copyright page, dedication page, one abbreviated title page, one elaborate title page with logo, acknowledgments page, functioning NCX (table of contents),  chapters, “About the Author” and/or “Other Books By” page. Upper case for first line formatting style, clip art or small photo on full title page if desired.

4.  Formatting for Smashwords: Should you ever wish to move from your current ebook distributor to Smashwords, you will have the files ready to upload.

5.  Formatting of file for PDF Ebook Download Project: Often books with a large page count have gutters and the margins look uneven, which makes for unpleasant online reading. We will produce and equal-margined PDF for you to send to reviewers, for download from your website, for sale as a download only project on

6.  Cover Design and Cover Formatting for print book based on your book size, page count, according to your printer's specifications.

7.  Cover Preparation for E-books: We will prepare and format your ebook covers based on your print book cover design, according to ebook distributor specifications.

8.  Upload and Setup of Print Book to POD of your choice for mass print book distribution. This can be, Createspace, Ingram Spark, Lightning Source, etc. We can also, via FTP, submit your files to the offset printer of your choice in any country.

9.  Upload and Setup of EPUB to for mass ebook distribution to iBookstore, Nook, Kobo, and over 20 ebook retailers or we can upload and set up your ebook files to Smashwords to mass ebook distribution.

10. Upload and Setup of Kindle mobi files to Kindle Direct Publishing for Kindle distribution to

11. Upload and Setup of PDF Download Project:Some people do not have ebook readers or just want a simple, immovable PDF to download and read. We will set up a PDF download project for you at, which offers this feature, and give you a copy to make available for sale on your website.

12. ISBN Retrieval: We will retrieve a free ISBN for you from either or If you wish to have your own ISBN, in your name, we will guide you on how to get one.

13. Bar code:We will generate a bar code for your book based on your ISBN.

14. Editing: We will correct up to 10 typographical, grammatical or spelling errors if we happen to notice them while doing the design and layout work. (Thorough editing may be requested for a separate fee.)

15.  Advice and Feedback on Your Book Description and Author Biography

16. Guidance on your path toward self-publishing. We will guide you and direct you on all aspects of self-publishing

17 Book Marketing Ideas and Feedback: We will give you marketing ideas and feedback and tell you how to go about implementing them.

18. Follow-up: You may contact us at any time post publication for feedback, direction, recommendations for review sites and suggestions regarding anything else you may encounter.


Once we receive confirmation of the purchase, we will contact you within one business day with information and steps on starting the process.

Book Formatting Testimonials from Custom-book-tique Authors and Publishers

Book Cover Design Service Includes:

1. A full, one piece high resolution PDF of your book cover design, formatted and sized to your printer's specifications.

2. A full, one piece high resolution JPEG of your book cover design, formatted and sized to your printer's specifications.

3. A full, one piece low resolution JPEG image of your book cover that you may display as a thumbnail where required.

4. An ISBN barcode generated and placed on the back cover. You must provide the ISBN.

5. Inclusion of your book or author website, logo, reviews, biography, and/or photograph.

6. A Photoshop source file used to create your book cover design, should you wish to have changes made in the future.

Formatting Dialogue for Kindle

Answer for Footonthehill,

Should you decide you need more customized sections, the method I recommended is full-proof--and you don't need any knowledge of html. You can apply this method to all kinds of sections which require different formatting within the text, example, they can be named Quotes Style, Dialogue Style, etc.

Highlight the text, right click, save selection as New Quick Style. Then anywhere you want the same formatting, just put your cursor at beginning and choose the Style you created from the toolbar.

 Book Formatting and Layout Services - Custom-book-tique

List of Book Reviewers for New Authors and Publishers

List of Book Reviewers for New Authors and Publishers

I prepared a Book Reviewer List for my website as it is one of the most frequently asked questions by clients.

Book Reviewers for New Authors and Publishers

We've listed the ones we thought would be most likely to be receptive to new writers.

PDF to EPUB Conversion Help for

PDF to EPUB Conversion Help for

by  Maggie  ‎Pagratis

When you convert from PDF to EPUB using Calibre or any other automatic conversion software, you are likely to find a mess. Here are some tips on how to prepare the file as a validated ready-to-upload EPUB.

1. Save the PDF as HTML
2. Open the HMTL file using Microsoft Word.
3. Clean up the hard returns that may have been haphazardly created, center and resize images (96 dpi), reinsert the ones that may have disappeared in the conversion process. In short, check that everything looks the way you would like it to look.
4. Assign Heading Styles 1 and 2 to the headings. Check under View/Navigation to make sure you haven't assigned headings to blank spaces.
5. Save this cleaned-up (tab free, frame free) hmtl file as Word.
6. Upload to and let their converter prepare the epub for you. In this way you know the file will be validated according to Lulu specifications.
7. If you need to make any changes past this stage, make them using Sigil (free epub editor).
8. Make sure you enter the exact metadata that you find on your cover. Do not capitalize every letter. Do not capitalize articles, for example.
9. Update Table of Contents to reflect your assigned headings.

--Maggie * Print Book and Ebook Formatting Services

Are you writing a book? formats, designs and guides you to publish books, e-books, and all types of books using free book publishing resources online.

We are industry experts who enjoy working with people and formatting and designing books in all their forms and platforms.We have formatted dozens around the world, from Australia to Africa to the United States and Canada. We believe that the world can be moved with friendliness, communication and excellent books.

Ebook and Print Book Formatting Services

*Maggie -


The best kind of employee is the kind who says yes to life. Obvious it may seem, but think about it. Does your employee or colleague count minutes, punch a clock, record their work, their hours, their contributions?

Contrary to a yes man or woman, a yes-to-life person breathes and lives the work like it was own, to keep. Now, how does one inspire in someone or create an employee like that? Well, we could go through a slew of suggestions and ideas, but I just don’t think it’s possible. Why? Because it’s in the person—in the person you hire. So, when hiring, ask life related questions and home in on what makes this potential employee tick. What are their values?
Do they value the work for the work’s sake or do they just want a salary? Do they take pride in accomplishing the task at hand? Do they revel in a job well-done or are they satisfied with achieving only the expected? Do they, in fact, relish exception—exceptional work?
It's hard to create, this kind of employee...they just are, regardless of you and the job.

So, look for the person, hire the person, and keep the person—the yes-to-life person—the kind who embraces life and sees every task thrown at them as a challenge to rise to, an opportunity to learn and grow. This is the person you want working for you.

Yes, indeed.

Maggie Pagratis
Article originally published in BusinessNewsmakers Magazine


The Board of Trade, founded 200 years ago as a voice to represent the business community, then almost entirely comprised of men and created for men, is now headed by president and CEO, Ms. Isabelle Hudon, who shares her wisdom with members of the business community.

Though she has held several influential positions in her career, this is the first time she is at the very top. “My first reaction, after a few weeks of sitting in that chair four years ago was, I understood, very well, the meaning of feeling alone at the top. But, since, I’ve learned how to surround myself with very good people. Ultimately, it is not true that you’re always alone at the top, but it is true that it’s quite different. When you are number one, the puck stops at your desk and you have to call the final decision.”

Hudon sees leadership as inspiring people to want to follow you. She does think you can change the world on your own. In fact, when she was appointed president and CEO, she accepted and applied much of the advice of her mentors: Make sure that you’re surrounded by very, very strong people.

It is tougher, daily, to manage strong people, but success will be much more sustainable and better. I strongly believe that leadership is not about one person but a bunch of people performing all together.” Being a woman, says Hudon, only enhances and adds to the experience of being a leader.

More and more, the presence of women in leadership positions redefines the interaction in the workplace. “Women try to share the passion, share the idea, making sure that their own idea becomes a collective one.” When a woman leader sees that people are buying into her ideas, then she launches her plan or action. “Whereby,” she says, “men are way more authoritative. One is not better than the other one, but the mix is very good. I do believe that the richness of a team is the complementing of people and expertise. We have to have great expertise and a good combination of men and women.”

Hudon’s leadership style is not conventional or hierarchical. Rather, the predominant and recurring ingredient for her success as a leader is passion. The meaning of success for her has always remained the same: Success is simply happiness. “Success can be very different for different people. We have to have goals and we have to reach those goals and make them even better. But one thing is for sure, we have to celebrate success.”

Both Hudon’s personal and professional goals center around communication and the spreading of inspiration and joy. Her professional goal is simply to inspire people around her to work in a common direction, towards a common goal. Her personal goal has remained the same her entire life: She wishes to continue to be happy. Even in situations where Hudon does not win, she looks for the positive side of things and accepts the occasional pitfalls. Winners, says Hudon, are both born and created. It’s more about choice for her; the choice to behave with respect and integrity. When you know how to cherish those values and you have ambition and you’re happy...then everything is possible. “Dreaming is a right,” she says, “and not a privilege.”

The dream to rise, to believe in inspiration and passion—to be a woman and a leader —is a right Ms. Isabelle Hudon has earned.

Article originally published in BusinessNewsmakers Magazine 


Older women are hard to find. They have gone into their basements and homes and are likely practicing there, says business owner and franchiser, Julio Philippe. We have to try to bring them out again.

Julio Philippe was inspired to launch PhotoDerma while attending laser conferences throughout the U.S. It was apparent to him that the “beauty” business would only flourish and that the services now offered by small enterprises would become the focus of large corporations; the small mom-and-pop shops would be replaced by la crème de la crème risk-takers of the business world—and PhotoDerma would be one of them.

With a degree in business and substantial experience in sales, Philippe took elaborate measures to ensure that the concept and title were accessible. He wanted to brand it carefully and meaningfully. Hence his choice of “photo” representing the force of light, and “derma,” denoting skin.

For me it was important to have a brand name that was easy to understand, easy to remember. I wanted something that finished in the Latin like ’a.’ It travels well across the world.”

For two years, he tested the technology and prepared. Finally, after extensive research and study of the name, concept and efficiency of the equipment, he set about selling franchises. Since the very start, Philippe had planned for this.

PhotoDerma is at a very important stage right now, says Philippe. “When an industry is young, there are a lot of little shops all over the place. When an industry becomes mature, big businesses install themselves.” In fact, Philippe has opted to focus on one country at a time. By beginning the franchise installation in one area, he has bargaining power with suppliers. “You have money to spend, which is something that you could never do alone.”

PhotoDerma intends on investing $75 000 in the next six months on advertising alone. This, says Phillipe, is thanks to the combined effort of the franchises. “The franchiser collects funds from each of the PhotoDermas and spends that on marketing; Internet, radio ads, billboards.”

In the next 12 months, there will be 10 more Photo-Dermas launched. Ten a year is a good number. It’s a business that’s bound to grow. Philippe elaborates: “Look at young women. I see, now, young women with pigmented lesions, something that you didn’t see not long ago. But now we see it. Why? The sun.” The sun has brought young and old back into the salons, this time for skin laser treatments and photorejuvenation.

You have the 40-year-old woman who wants to look good. It’s 90% of our business.” The woman 35 to 55 who is working and does not want to have surgery but wants to be beautiful, with the fresh look of uniform skin colour. “That’s a big market for us. I think PhotoDerma is well positioned in the market. The face, the skin...has a lot of potential.”

PhotoDerma primarily uses Intense Pulse Light (IPL) as opposed to the mainstream laser. “The new IPLs have very powerful integrated cooling,” explains Phippe, “they have a lot of energy, something that the old IPL did not have. We can do very efficient treatments. As well, it has been proven scientifically to work for hair removal, for vascular lesions, for the face. We can shut down a vessel, eliminate Rosacea without creating Purpura (intense redness). The laser based technology, when it’s used at short pulse duration, creates Purpura.”

As it stands, this industry absolutely wants older women. If it were not for the challenge of certified, experienced—and age-appropriate human resources, Philippe says he would probably grow more rapidly. “It’s tough to find and put somebody up to speed. I think this will be a big challenge. It’s a challenge for everybody in the industry. Since, in the industry right now, you have a lot of estheticians in their basements, it’s tough to get them back on the market. I find that I’m posting ads for estheticians...we pay well—and they don’t show up. So, it’s very tough to recruit.”

To work with IPLs and laser, one needs to be either an esthetician or nurse. “Since we work with women, I don’t like to have young staff. I prefer to work with 35-year-old women because, first of all, they can relate. I don’t necessarily want a 20-year-old woman to sell this service.

When you walk into a PhotoDerma, it’s beautiful. So, you establish credibility; you’re not walking into a little hole in the wall. You’re walking into a PhotoDerma.” During the consultation, it is common, says Philippe, for a client to inquire about treatments already tested by the esthetician herself. This credibility by shared need and experience is invaluable. iinvaluablenvaluable. BNM

Article originally published in BusinessNewsmakers Magazine 


As business owner, dancer, teacher and choreographer at Ethereal Tribal, Fryett juggles her many roles with the sway of a performance. The company, established recently in Montreal, has grown steadily and boasts appearances at the McGill Theater, La Compagnie de Medievale, Tribalement Votre, Theatre St. Denis, and St. Basile Le Grand.

Ethereal Tribal is a professional dance group and incorporates many styles of dance. It represents a fusion of cultures, ages and life approaches, allowing room for change and redefinition. The possibilities with this form of belly dancing are infinite as it adapts while growing.

Andrea Fryett is well-respected among the dancing community and has had the pleasure of working with famous dancers like Ansuya, Zoe Jakes, Kami Liddle, Moria Chapel, and Bozenka. In August, she performed with Sharon Kihara and Mardi Love from the superstars as well as Ariella Aflalo. But the thing that makes Fryett light up when she speaks is the most recent addition to her repertoire of unique collaborators: a male belly dancer!

Tribal Fusion’s audience often turns loyal, attending most of the shows. Recently, one male spectator caught their attention by the enthusiasm he displayed at every one of their performances— and he was picked out of the crowd and asked to dance with them! Fryett says that they needed a black male dancer for the part and he, with his vibrant energy, was exactly what they were looking for. His moves
are not feminine, says Fryett, even though belly dancing is thought to be a sport of women. Rather, men take the basic belly dancing moves and redefine them; they lend to them male energy and strength. Whether male or female, this redefined kind of belly dancing might be just the thing for you.

—Maggie Pagratis
Article first published in BusinessNewsmakers Magazine


He’s not Indian and he’s not British and he’s not Canadian, says business owner, Sanjay Goswami. He is everything, and he fits everywhere. Why then is he opening up an orphanage in India?

Well, he explains, developed countries offer so many chances and opportunities for needy children and adults. There is so much help here available to anyone who wants to take advantage of it: Education is free, and social resources abound. In India, however, the situation is different. There is much poverty. Everything is more difficult. The children there want to eat regularly, to be taken care of, to be allowed to grow, and to be educated. Goswami wants to give them that—at least a fighting chance at all that.

Goswami founded SKG Design over 20 years ago, and is the proud father of two children. He helped raise them and provide for them. They are adults, and with himself the proud owner of a successful renovation establishment, he is ready to do new things. He, like many accomplished businessmen, wants to do something for others; something that involves giving. Recently, on a search for this something more, he went to Tanzania where he met philanthropists from the ABC Christian Ministries. “They’ve got 11 000 orphans that they’re raising in Africa, India and other places—and it’s based out of Iceland,” says Goswami. The intent for his trip was to get a footprint and see what they were doing so that he could do something similar in India.

Since then, he has begun researching and making plans for the construction of his Indian dream orphanage. To do so, however, to put the plan into phase two, where the actual orphanage is built, Goswami will go to India in early November. He intends on spending some time there after it is built in order to supervise, ensure resources, and ultimately, make sure that the children have a good quality of life.

His experience and certification in building homes from scratch has come in very handy in his search for labour, materials, and an ideal location. He is able to make educated judgements and quicker decisions. He does not want unnecessary delays, as there are so many Indian children orphaned with no family and nowhere to go. Goswami’s familiarity with India, Great Britain, and Canada—and his feeling of belonging everywhere—give him the confidence that he can
do anything anywhere. He is adamant about turning his dream of an orphanage into reality. In fact, in summer 2009, he says the orphanage will be built and ready to accommodate children. His own children here in Canada, his inspiration for this, have enthusiastically volunteered to lend a helping hand.

“I feel that I’m blessed with so much,” says Goswami, “that it’d be good to give a little bit back.”

—Maggie Pagratis
Article originally published in BusinessNewsmakers Magazine 


Is it a love story? Is it a fur story? Is it an art story? Oh, all of the above, the meeting reveals as Betty sits there and talks about her Zuki, husband and furry partner. “I imported him,” she says with a smile.

It all started 37 years ago when Betty took off on a quick trip to Israel and came back with a brush of love, a future husband and life-long career in fur. Zuki, then an immigrant without a job, naturally went to work for her father, who was in the fur business. But what kind of fur? The only kind of fur business the community was accustomed to: traditional, mainstream, brown, black or white. Nothing like Zuki was to come up with.

That’s where Zuki’s youth and inquisitiveness came in. Now, he thought, if we can make black fur, we can make fur of other colours. Why not pink and blue and purple fur? Why not? He was to be met with resistance, but luckily, Betty’s father was an accommodating man and allowed Zuki some leeway. And thank God he did.

Zuki redefined what it meant to wear fur. He used fur as a canvas and an ornament for the body. He did not see the tradition of the industry as one not to be tampered with. There was no line for him. His creativity knew no boundaries—which led him to the creation of INTARSIA. He was the first to envision and create fur like a puzzle, where pieces of individual fabric and colour are inserted into existing fur like a work of art. The result is a mirage of colours and textures, comparable rather to a pièce de resistance than to a mainstream fur coat.

Not traditional, not expected, there is no limit to what can happen next, says Zuki. Who knows where the creative mind will take you? As it stands, his current collection incorporates both sides of the hide, resulting in two coats in one: One side with Intarsia or coloured fur, and the other——hand painted.

How do they deal with the controversy of fur? Well, the fur industry, says Betty, is one of the founding industries in Canada. And, it is strictly regulated. Zuki International values these regulations and feels privileged to exist among the very top innovators within it. Zuki is highly respected as not only an entrepreneur but as an artist. His work is shown across Asia and Europe, and there seems to be no end to demand in Russia where fur is now all the rage.

Luckily, this fur man was imported here and allowed the freedom to explore, to be himself, says Zuki, in the beaverful land of opportunity; where he is able to take the fur industry to places it had not gone before, where he can move forward but also go back in time to fetch inspiration and ideas of old, back in the day where every surface was a possible canvas.

Zuki has one regret only. He wishes that he had had the insight to appreciate how fully innovative his concept of Intarsia was at the time. He wishes he had patented the process that has yet to be as precisely mastered by others in the field. Yes, he is the imported fur man—still Zuki King of Intarsia.

—Maggie Pagratis
Article originally published in BusinessNewsmakers Magazine 


I interviewed Janis Ian on October 2nd of 2008 after reading Society's Child—a powerful experience. Its tone moved beyond the pages into my own life. I felt as if the book was coaxing me along to go ahead and read it lest I discover deep life secrets and messages.
Its words and lessons still reverberate in my mind. Above all, I recall the humility of the human being behind the words, her honesty, and the appreciation she has for life. In line with all the monumental successes of her songs, her Grammys and accolades, Janis Ian's Society's Child is a great book. With or without fame, it reads solid and truthful and further testifies to the fact that Janis Ian is a great writer.

The Man Behind the Robot; The Robot Behind the Man

Ivan Jivkov took the plunge into his own business in 2004 and hasn't looked back. Since then, his steel detailing company, Jitech Fabrication Technologies, has made its impression on the industry. In 2007, it was the recipient of the West Island Chamber of Commerce Award for best new business, and in 2006, it won the Best Solid Steel Competition for the best commercial steel building.

Getting the job done and winning awards has, however, not always been easy for Jivkov. In fact, the greatest of all challenges has been finding qualified people to complete the projects. His latest idea, to implicate a series of robots in the steel detailing process, would put and end to this problem. “In Canada there is a real shortage of skilled labor such as metal workers, welders. We just don't have the people to do the work. There are two alternatives. We can outsource oversees, but due to the distance, the turnaround of the project becomes very very long. So we're stuck with automating.”

Consequently, Jitech has devoted a lot of time to this idea as well as received government grants to go ahead with research. Jivkov believes in its benefits so much so that he supplements grants with personal and company funds to its development and adaptation. “We are working with the Institute of Aerospace Research combined with Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal. What they do is they have industrial robots that they are working on for the aerospace industry; metal is metal and the robot doesn't know the difference whether he does airplanes or he does we are tapping onto their resources and their knowledge to pursue our project. It's still in the early stages of development. We believe we will have something in 2009, and something great in 2011,” says Jivkov. “The major challenge of the project is to be able to have robot software read information downloaded the 3D models that we create here in our office automatically and do specified tasks. Some of those specified tasks are drilling, cutting with higher definition plasma, marking, assembly and welding.”

Research has allowed Jitech to grow and remain at the forefront of technological developments. Its continued application of IT and EDI have allowed for these kinds of up-to-date solutions. In fact, it was one of the motivating factors behind Jivkov's decision to leave his job four years ago and start his own business. The idea of automating simple tasks fueled his desire be a leader, a business owner and creator. He has honored his life motto -- that each man is ultimately “master of his own destiny.”

In this case, man masters his own destiny and that of the robot too.

—Maggie Pagratis
Article originally published in BusinessNewsmakers Magazine 

The Entrepreneurial Fire of Madeleine Kojakian

Man and woman, both surgeons, want to become husband and wife. After a long day handling the intricacies of the human body, they have neither will nor inclination to delve into anything else. What do they do? They find entrepreneur and owner, Madeleine Kojakian.

It all began in 2000 when Kojakian worked with a venture capital company—she was responsible for planning events for the media division. There she got the experience of collaborating with different designers, planning events and launch parties. She was delegated the responsibility of hiring, selling and promoting. “We did campaigns with different brands. And that’s how I got to know the fashion and lifestyle industry in Montreal. Then, I was getting married in 2003, and with my research in weddings, the CEO of the company I was working with said, 'Try to keep a journal of your wedding and what you’re doing.’”

Inspired, Kojakian suggested doing a wedding issue. “And that’s how I got into the wedding business,” she says. “While we were doing the wedding issue, I got to know a lot of the wedding vendors. I got to know the industry locally as well as nationally and internationally because we had to do a lot of research, try to benchmark ourselves with other existing magazines. And, at the same time, I was planning my wedding. “I remember asking one of the girls that was writing articles to do a profile story on a wedding planner.” In two weeks, they were unable to find a single local wedding planner. After doing extensive research online, Kojakian decided, just for fun, to launch the wedding planning site. “Next thing you know, it grew, and people started calling me, and one thing led to the other. They liked the fact that I had experience in the fashion industry...and because I had experience with events, the wedding planning came very easily.” Now she is the official wedding planner for both the Hotel Nelligan and the Hotel Places D’Armes in Old Montreal.

Maddy K, Kojakian’s registered trademark and company, organizes weddings for foreigners, in particular, Americans. “Montreal, especially Old Montreal, is one of the top destination locations for gives you a touch of Europe without having to spend the Euros and without having to fly across the Atlantic,” says Kojakian. Seventy-five percent of her clientele, she estimates, is from the U.S., 15% from Canada, 5% from Europe, and the rest, from just about everywhere.

“A lot of our focus is downtown, and it’s for couples who are looking for something different. For example, the science center, is a very big loft space. We’ve done weddings there, which is very nice, because you’re able to transform the space the way you want it. We did a very nice Indian wedding there...the girl was Indian, and he was American, and we tried to merge the West with the East, and we kind of gave it a more modern twist. Another one was two doctors from New York. One was Canadian from Quebec, and another one was Indian...and they both were extremely busy surgeons, and they wanted to incorporate some elements of their background. So, again, we merged both aspects of their ethnicity.”

“Now that the brand is established, and it’s pretty known in the wedding industry, we’re looking at merchandising,” says Kojakian. Negotiations are underway to launch their product line in outlets throughout North America. “This way, it’s not just our couples who get our will still have the design elements of Maddy K, only it’s cheaper and you don’t have to necessarily hire Maddy K to design it for you.”

The challenge, says Kojakian, is not the weddings themselves. Those usually run better than expected. It is human resources that baffles the mind and consumes the time. “The challenge has been finding good people to work for you because you train the juniors, and then they realize, ’hey, you know what, we can create our own wedding agency.’ And then they move on, and they do it, and they kind of duplicate things that you’ve already taught them. That’s been the biggest challenge for me; to always innovate myself...”

“When you’re an entrepreneur, you have that fire in you, and that flame is there from the moment you are born. You either have it or you don’t. But if you have it, the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is, they get overwhelmed, because there’s so many things they want to do, and they want to be everything. So, my advice is try not to diversify yourself. Find a niche. Don’t try to be everything, and focus on that niche and grow that niche. Because if you put all your energy into one thing—guaranteed you’re going to succeed.” BN

Article originally published in BusinessNewsmakers Magazine 

The Mother's Spell: A Funny Fairytale

A funny and most unconventional fairytale about the merit of manners, featuring a girl turned doll and a frog who was stunned, speechless and beyond euphoric in that he, only he, knew that he had needed a girl, turned doll, turned girl again, to kiss him in order for the spell his mother had cast to be broken. He dared not repeat what he'd done to deserve it. Suffice to say that his mother did not much appreciate rudeness; the spell she had cast was intricate indeed.

For more information contact

The 100-year Old Boy - Children's Book Released!

When Jesse refuses to eat his food, the most unusual thing happens...

Browse the magic of this richly illustrated children's book and delve into the world of infinite possibilities and imagination.

For more information contact

The Long-Legged Turtle from Arizona

In a sunny, southern corner of Arizona, there lived a Long-legged Turtle.

She was the shy and solitary kind and did not take to flaunting her talents, the main of which was to win races effortlessly, being that she was long-legged and all.

One day, in her shy corner of the world, Turtle happened to come across Dog and Cat who were taunting and also mocking Lizard who had apparently lost a race to them.

Turtle was appalled and decided to put aside her shyness and speak up.

"You must not do that," she said to Dog and Cat. "You must not mock those less fortunate than you."

"Ha, ha, ha," said Cat and Dog in unison, "you are a turtle, the slowest of the bunch, the least fortunate of the lot when it comes to speed. You slowpoke, mind your business!"

Well, Turtle was not at all pleased with this mockery and disrespect of animals. She was of the opinion that all creatures ought to be respected for they were exactly as God intended for them to be - fast or slow or big or small. Just perfect in her view.

"I repeat," said Turtle, "I don't approve of such unpleasant treatment of my friend, Lizard, for though I have not spoken to him much, I enjoy him from a distance and wish that you would preserve him his dignity by ceasing your unnecessary mocks and jabs."

"Oh, get lost, you bugger!" said Cat and Dog, resuming their cackling.

"Very well then," said Turtle, "I will race you both."

Cat and Dog's sides almost split from all the laughter that ensued.

"Tomorrow at ten," they said and hurried off, holding their bellies and doing their best to keep from rolling on the ground as they imagined Turtle racing them.

The next day, at ten in the morning exactly, Turtle and Cat and Dog all presented themselves at the Start Line.

The race didn't last long...Long-legged Turtle rose slowly and deliberately, exposing the long legss he'd been hiding under her shell for so long. She then carelessly lifted one leg and stretched it over to the Finish Line. That's all it took - one step, and Long-Legged Turtle from Arizona had won the race!

Cat and Dog stood and stared. They knew immediately that they had been beaten.

Needless to say, they were quite ashamed for all their mockery and disrespect, and learned never to underestimate any of the creatures in the land. There might be surprises to be had!

So, if you're ever in Arizona, look for the shy, therefore not so famous, Long-legged Turtle. You never know, she might just put aside her shyness for a moment, creep her head out of her shell and say hello.

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David and Goliath Made Secular: A GIant That's Mean Is a Very Bad Thing

Goliath is one mean son of a gun, but David knows just how to put him in his place.
Here's the book video for your viewing pleasure.

Art © by Oliver Weiss
Text © by Mac Wilkey

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Yawny Bear

Excerpt from Yawny Bear:

Once upon a time, there was a bear who had no friends. It's not that he wasn't likeable - he was. It just so happened that he'd moved away from his bear friends.

Well, one day he decided that he would do something about his loneliness and set off to find a friend.

He walked for miles until he came upon a house. Pink it was, with gold shutters.

He walked up to the door, raised his big furry paw and knocked.

“Who's there?” called a little voice from inside.

“It is I,” answered Bear. “I am friendly and I am a bear. And I need some friends. Would you be so kind as to oblige?”

“A bear?” repeated little girl Jezebelle, opening the door ever so slightly. “I am not permitted visitors while my parents are away, least of all, a bear. Bears bite, and I do not wish to be bitten.”

“I do not bite,” said the bear with a frown. “I am a kind bear; all I do is hug. I am friendly and warm and cuddly and soft. And I make a great pillow. I promise.”

“I'm sorry, but I have been warned about you, and you bite. You have big sharp teeth and can swallow little girls whole.”

“But I give you my word,” replied Bear. “I merely want a friend. We have moved so far away from home, and I haven't had a companion in so long. Can't you please reconsider?”

“I cannot break the rules for I am not that kind of girl. I listen to my parents, and they insist that I play with no bears during their absence.”

Just then, Bear raised his eyebrows, closed his eyes and opened his mouth so wide it practically covered his entire face. He stretched his arms to the side of him, and oh, how afraid Jezebelle became. She took a step backwards and awaited the most fierce of attacks. She could almost feel the teeth that were to cause her demise.

But it was not forthcoming. She waited some more and watched bear extend himself, arching his torso, protruding his ominous breast, baring his monstrous pearly whites and rose-coloured gums.

Still, he did not approach. Jezebelle's world did not cease. Her breathing was not terminated. She was not devoured.

An exquisite wave of delight washed over her, and she realized that Bear, her bear, was yawning.

And together they yawned.
© Sarah Jones 2006 (art)
© Maggie Pagratis (text)