COMING SOON: A Man and His Message—New Biography Shares the Inspiration Behind “Today’s Thought”

Today’s Thought—Rev. Paul Osumi: The Man & His MessageFor more than 35 years, Rev. Paul S. Osumi inspired generations of readers of The Honolulu Advertiser and other newspapers with his daily column, “Today’s Thought.” Thousands of copies of his simple aphorisms were clipped and saved, tacked to bulletin boards, stuck to refrigerator doors and carried in wallets. Now, in Today’s Thought—Rev. Paul Osumi: The Man & His Message, his son, Norman H. Osumi, tells the story of the man behind these treasured messages, including hundreds of favorite “Thoughts.”

Today’s Thought also features many of the inspirational speeches delivered by Rev. Osumi during his tenure at churches in the Gila Relocation Camp, where he and his family lived during World War II, and on Kaua‘i, the Big Island and O‘ahu. Photographs and letters from the Osumi family’s personal collection add a depth and intimate dimension to this profile of a quiet man who influenced so many. Rev. Osumi’s “Thoughts” resonated with people of all faiths and even those with no religious affiliation, speaking to his universal message of leading a positive, meaningful life.

After the beloved pastor’s death in 1996, Norman Osumi received many inquiries about publishing a new collection of “Today’s Thoughts.” Because three small volumes had already been published by Rev. Osumi himself (one in 1966 and two in the ’90s), Norman felt that any collection “would need something more.” Thus began a decade-long project to research his father’s life, with the goal of including a biography to add context to a new collection of “Thoughts.”

Born in Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i, Norman H. Osumi, a retired banker, grew up on the Waialua and ‘Ewa Plantations. He is the father of two children and resides in Honolulu with his wife, Carolyn. “My father’s words had a great impact on my life,” Osumi says, “and on so many others’ too. People needed guidance in their lives and he tried to provide that. Many of his pieces were about life in general. You may say what he wrote is merely ‘common sense,’ but until people read the messages, they don’t internalize the lessons. Father’s daily sayings gave people in Hawai‘i a set of values for living happy and meaningful lives.”

Today’s Thought—Rev. Paul Osumi: The Man & His Message is priced at $17.95 in softcover and will be available for purchase beginning September 15 at local bookstores, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii gift shop, Logos Bookstore of Hawaii and online direct from Legacy Isle Publishing.

ADVANCE PURCHASE EVENT

Join author Norman Osumi at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for a special presentation in the

Community Gallery on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 1 to 4pm.

Mr. Osumi will share his thoughts behind writing this book about his late father. Advance copies of Today’s Thought—Rev. Paul Osumi: The Man & His Message will be available for purchase at the event, ahead of general release to the public.

Mr. Osumi will also sign books following the event.For more information, contact JCCH at (808) 945-7633 or email at info@jcch.com

 

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Funding Your Book — A Community Fundraiser Project

Last weekend at the Hawaii Book & Music Festival, a friend stopped by our booth and mentioned that she had a pet project that she would love to see turned into a book. When we handed her a brochure on Legacy Isle’s services, she said, “Oh, I wish we had the money to do this.”

The book project she had been speaking of would document a historic district. While describing the book project, she casually mentioned that she thought that then it could be sold in a community center the district wanted to open, to offer information, archives and a gallery of historic images. “We’re trying to fundraise to start [the center],” she said.

“Why don’t you turn the book into a fundraising project for the center, instead?” we suggested. We offered the following ideas to her:

  • Instead of trying to find money to fund the book independently of the community center, combine the two projects and turn the book into a fundraising item.
  • Use a crowd-funding model and ask for donations that will help 1) create a book to share the legacy of the historic district and 2) fund a center to continue archiving the historic materials and provide information for the community. Naturally, every donation over a certain amount ensures the donor receives a copy of the book when it is published.

Crowd-funding, in the sense of using services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, is relatively new in the book publishing market (although patronage certainly is not!). Under this model, you can ask people to donate in order to help fund your project—it’s basically like pre-selling your book. The model that Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the others have popularized, however, also offers “perks” when a donation is made. Instead of simply offering a book for a flat pre-order fee that covers the book (usually at retail price) and shipping, you can allow people to donate less than the retail price—and give them a “perk” as simple as a printed acknowledgement of their donation at the back of the book, or a credit in the same amount toward the purchase of the book after its publication. Donors who give more get a more substantial perk, such as a private pre-opening tour of a new community center.

This can be great since authors are bound to run into people who might want to chip in a few dollars, but not the full amount that the book might cost—and those people can add up! It also gives people a reason to lend more financial support and get something enjoyable in exchange. A well-off friend or relative who might be in a position to give you $500 toward your book project may not really want 50 copies of your book, let’s be honest, and they might not like you quite enough to hand you $500 “just because.” But if they got a unique experience out of it, that’s something worth considering.

And for community groups and non-profits, this can be an even bigger motivator. Organizations can often tap into deeper resources—an artist on the board might offer a custom painting in exchange for a $1,000 contribution, or a chef might contribute a home-cooked meal for a $2,500-level perk.

While individual authors might find success with the crowd-funding model—the Galley Cat website has a weekly feature highlighting a Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week—this post is meant to focus on the applications of using the model for a book published by a community organization or non-profit. These types of groups may find greater success than an individual because of the implication that excess funding will be directed toward the group’s greater mission. In the above example of the historic district group, if their goal to fund the book and start the renovation on a potential space was $15,000, and their fundraising page showed they had already achieved the goal, a potential donor would still be motivated to give, knowing that their funds would help build out the center and maintain it.

A community group may also, if it is well-organized enough, be able to manage their own crowd-funding campaign on their own—it would require meticulous record-keeping, as well as a clear statement of how funds will be used, what should happen if the fundraising goal is not met, and when donors can expect their promised books and other perks. (The reason Kickstarter and Indiegogo are so popular is because donors feel comfortable that if the project doesn’t accumulate the funding threshold, they’ll have their money refunded.* These services also offer online transactions and a website to direct donors to, which are tools not all authors or community/non-profit groups have at their disposal.)

Or, instead of crowd-funding, community groups can look for one or two individual or corporate donors to act as a traditional sponsor for all of their publishing costs. This type of funding can have the bonus effect of putting more dollars to work—a book can be sold for multiple times its production cost, adding more to the overall fundraising effort. The Hawaii Foodbank, for example, had a generous anonymous donor purchase 1,000 copies of The Hawai‘i Book of Rice from us at Watermark Publishing; the Foodbank was able to turn around and sell those books as part of their big annual Spring Food Drive effort at no cost to the organization, thereby earning even more than the anonymous donor’s original contribution. Traditional-style sponsors (like the patrons of old) don’t get any tangible benefits (no perks) from backing a project, but a sponsorship benefit might be as simple as a logo placement on all copies of the book or a “Presented by” credit as part of the book’s sub-title.

The choice to crowd-fund or seek a smaller number of donors boils down to what sort of group is looking to do the fundraising, and what sort of audience exists to support the group’s interest. If the book would have a broad appeal, crowd-funding becomes an option because of general interest in receiving the book (with the feel-good aspect of supporting a cause). If the book and the organization are of interest to a much smaller group, then single or corporate donors become a more logical choice.

As you can see, the ways for community groups and non-profits to fundraise to produce a book and then turn around to use the book as a fundraising tool itself are numerous.

*Depending on the crowd-funding platform, some campaigns do not return contributions from under-funded projects to the donors; trust-worthy platforms and campaigns will clearly spell this out on their project page and let donors know what happens if a project does not meet its funding goal.

This post does not imply an endorsement of Kickstarter, IndieGogo or any other specific crowd-funding platform. If utilizing one of these services, be sure to read their terms of service thoroughly. We suggest you also consult with a financial expert regarding your responsibilities. When considering a crowd-funding platform, explore your options; some are better suited to non-profits, and others have more restrictive rules regarding perks or what qualifies as a valid project.

Choosing the Right Legacy Isle Publishing Package for You

Legacy Isle offers four basic packages that can be customized to suit your purposes. But where to start?

First, consider what kind of book you’re working on. Next, how many copies do you need? How do you want it to look? Finally, what do you plan to do with it?

This grid will get you headed in the right direction, and also will give you an idea of what sort of book projects we can help you publish.

You’ll notice that only three of our four packages are listed below. Our fourth package is our E-Book Only Package, and any type of book that can be published with the other three package options can be produced as an e-book, though some of the questions below will not apply. Look for more information on our e-book options here.

packages
O = ‘Ohana P = Professional PL = Photo Legacy

O

P

PL

My family/group would like to document a special event or project for our own use

Y

N

Y

My family/business has a very detailed history and we would like to publish a printed chronicle

Y

Y

Y*

This is a personal memoir or biography of an individual who is not widely recognized

Y

Y

N

This is a cookbook or crafts book

Y

Y

Y*

This is an art or photography book

N

N

Y*

This is a children’s picture book

N

N

Y*

This is intended as a teaching text or resource book

Y

Y

Y*

This is a work of fiction (primarily text and not a children’s book)

N

N

N

Our class is working on a project and would like to chronicle it and share it with the community

Y

Y

Y*

I only need a few copies for my family or a small group

Y

N

Y

I would like to add color images or have a hardcover book

Y

Y

Y

My school/club wants to use this as a fundraiser item

Y

N

Y

I am a professional and plan on using this book as a promotional tool

Y

Y

Y*

I’d like to see my book sold in bookstores

N

Y

Y

* You may also wish to consider the Professional Upgrade for the Photo Legacy Package

 Available only with the Professional Upgrade for the Photo Legacy Package

Using a Book to Enhance Your Business Brand

“Well, he wrote the book on that!” Can you think of another phrase that so readily conveys the message that someone is at the top of their game in their field of expertise?

A well-written, properly designed book makes an elegant calling card for your business — in one attractive package, you can share the history of your company, your personal contributions to the industry, the motivating philosophy behind your business and the expertise you can bring to your clients.

For businesses celebrating a milestone, a book that commemorates the story of your founder and the legacy of your company makes a wonderful way to share a history that not all your employees may be fully aware of, and a gift for clients who have been part of building up to your current success. Nostalgia photo books are popular items that can evoke fond memories of a brand or business, particularly when a company has a rich heritage that has been well-documented in photos — memorabilia items or pictures of how the physical landscape and structures and tools of the trade have changed.

A book can also humanize a business — here you have a forum to share what makes you tick; what motivates your decisions; you can reveal your personality. Customers who see that the core beliefs of your business align with their own outlook become more loyal. Seeing who’s behind the counter or on the other end of the phone gives them a reason to have a relationship with your company, instead of thinking of you as just another one of any number of faceless options.

If you are frequently called upon to participate in speaking engagements, or if lectures or presentations are a core part of your business model, a book makes a great add-on at an event. Whether you choose to offer it for free or at a reasonable cost, it is a way for you to go home with each attendee. Even better, they can pass your book along to someone else — a new potential client or customer for your business who now understands exactly what you’re all about. (Being that this is a lasting memento, make sure you’ve put in the effort to include significant or useful information and that it represents you well — our professional editing and production team is there to ensure you put your best foot forward.)

“But if I put all my advice in a book, won’t that mean clients don’t need ME anymore?” Think of it this way: If you buy a cookbook from a famous chef, how likely is it that you’ll give up going to his restaurant simply because you are now equipped with the list of ingredients and methodology for creating his dishes? Not likely, is it? It’s the services,  goods and customer experience you provide that make your business and keep customers coming back. A book is simply an efficient tool for reminding them that you have experience and knowledge to offer. After all, you wrote the book, didn’t you?

Where Do I Start With Publishing My Book?

If you have no idea where to start, now that you’ve decided you want to publish a book, don’t worry — you’re not alone. We field a lot of inquiries that begin, “I/my dad/my mom/my friend has a really amazing life story…I want to make it a book. How do I do that?” (And the business counterpart: “My clients always ask for the same information, and I’m tired of copy and pasting the same email excerpt. I’d like to give it to them with more detail, in a more polished presentation…maybe even sell it to non-clients. How do I turn it into a book?”)

First things first, you need a manuscript. It can be formal in style, or can be a casual “talk story” memoir. You can write it yourself or hire a writer to assist you. If you’re hiring a professional, don’t expect to go cheap. You get what you pay for. If the writer doesn’t know you, they’ll need to spend a good amount of time interviewing you or transcribing your recorded story. Historical background research may be appropriate. Talk to the writer — do they expect to see their name on your book as a credited writer or editor? Are you OK with that? If your book will be sold in retail markets, be sure that you have an understanding with the writer regarding sales income — was the writing done as a “work for hire,” paid in full in a one-time fee, or will you be splitting book revenues? If you want to hire a professional but do not have friends or family who can connect you with one, talk to us. While our Legacy Isle packages are geared toward those who already have a manuscript, we can create a custom quote for those who need writers. Once we have your manuscript, we’ll assign an editor, dedicated to your project, to give it a final polish. They’ll read it with an eye toward ensuring that it represents you well as an author.

When you envision your printed book, what do you see? Is it hardcover or softcover? Does it include photos or illustrations? Are those in color or black and white? All these decisions influence your choice of package, and how much money you’ll need to spend. When you think of the style of your book, what comes to mind? Is it formal or casual? Our designs are based on templates, but there is a good deal of flexibility in them. When you select a design, make sure it resonates with your envisioned style — tilted images and sans serif fonts give off a more casual vibe than squarely aligned images and serif fonts. A pastel color theme may be very pretty, and perhaps pink is your grandmother’s favorite color, but if your book will be about the challenges she overcame in her life, a more somber color scheme would be more appropriate. Our Professional Package options allow for a custom cover — you’ll need to articulate to our design team the look you want. Think of color palette, fonts, concepts that convey the message (industrial vs. organic; clean and modern vs. cozy and inviting) and look for photos to share with us that are in the style you want.

Finally, you need a clear idea of what you intend to do with your finished book.

  • Is this a personal memoir you want to share with only family and close friends?
  • Do you plan on selling this book in retail channels (online, bookstores, other types of stores)?
  • Do you control or have access to retail channels where this book can be sold (family or friend’s store or business)?
  • Do you want to use this book as a fundraiser?
  • Are you a professional who plans on giving away or selling this book as part of a promotion or at speaking engagements?

Once you’ve identified what you want to do with your book, you’ll be better equipped to select the appropriate publishing package. Some of our packages are geared toward individuals and families who are looking for a professional keepsake to chronicle their history. Other packages are meant for professionals who will need larger books or inventory, and possibly retail distribution.

The Beginnings of Legacy Isle Publishing

Legacy Isle Publishing is a division of Watermark Publishing devoted to providing self-publishing services for aspiring non-fiction authors — particularly in the personal memoir, business biography and family history genres.

At Watermark, we began to receive so many inquiries from clients interested in self-financing their own book projects, we came to realize that we were well-positioned to offer these services as a regular part of our business, not just one-off clients. And so, Legacy Isle Publishing was born.

Not every book is meant for the traditional publishing route, in which a publisher takes on all the financial, production and promotional responsibilities. It doesn’t mean it’s a “bad book.”

Many of those who approached us for help had wonderful stories — but the realistic audience was only a few hundred readers. In other cases, clients were looking to share their business knowledge or the background of their founder — the potential audience was in the thousands, but it would take a long time to get there, would require a lot of dedicated effort, and the readership for these books wouldn’t be found browsing in the bookstore. And still others had no interest in selling their book on the public market — “I just want something nicely done that I can pass on to my children,” they said.

Before establishing Legacy Isle, we turned away several of these potential clients; others found the pricing too high and the quantity of copies included in the proposal too numerous. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what our potential clients were looking for in a finished book —most of them didn’t know what they wanted, or where to start — and assembling each job quote piecemeal.

We have, since then, fine-tuned our offerings to meet the most commonly requested formats and options. The packages we now offer are the most economical and efficient options.

If you have a personal memoir or family history that you would like preserved for future generations; the story of your company’s founder that you’d like to present to potential clients to help them understand how you conduct business; industry expertise that you’d like to present professionally and offer for sale…we can help!