Tag Archives: Barnes & Noble


Effective immediately (6/8/11), the subject blog has moved to its new site: http://www.ViewsfromSandhausen.com/ The blog will be but one element in a larger site that I  self-host, and that will give you a significantly richer experience. Items of significance for you … Continue reading


FlaAuthor blog has moved to http://ViewsfromSandhausen.com/blog/ Continue reading

www.ViewsfromSandhausen.com: New Site Going Live

Our main website, http://ViewsfromSandhausen.com will go live this Thursday, June 9, 2011.

The blog currently found at http://FlaAuthor.wordpress.com will be transferred as of that date.   There will be a link pointing to the new site, for some period of time.

Please add the http://ViewsfromSandhausen.com to your address book and watch for our first post on that site will appear this Friday.

Meanwhile, our book is available for purchase at Amazon USA and Amazon
, plus Barnes & Noble, and if I may say so, is doing well.  I’ll
see you in the book and on the new site.


What Really Happened at Borders?

Borders - Signs off the Building

I LOVE bookstores as much as I love to read.  There is nothing like browsing through sections that held my interest, seeing what these talented authors had crafted out of a little ink, a few thoughts, and a stack of paper.  We bought a lot of books, almost exclusively from Borders, and their poorer cousin, Walden Books.  Walden’s tended to be located in lower-traffic areas while Border’s was found in the ‘The Big City’.  We lived in the sticks…

And then the Internet emerged, and web browsers were offered, and Google tied it all together.  Suddenly, we did not have to pile in the car to find a book.  Have a credit card?  You could have your book on your doorstep in 36 hours.  What could be better than that?  NO more searching the ‘stacks’, no more waiting for Borders to order the same book that YOU could order.  To be sure, I still counted myself as a browser, when Lynn and I went shopping.  Something like icing on the cake, you met some really wonderful people, doing the same as you.  To sit in the coffee bar, thumbing through a recent best-seller, while you drank rich, Colombian, coffee – nirvana!!  My default process had become, “find an interesting book, write down the details, and order it from Amazon”.  Not good for bricks and mortar!  The last time that I was in Borders was six months ago, while I was researching the cover and interior design for Views from Sandhausen. (How are we writers going to perform that particular type of design research in the future)?

We all saw it coming, modeling on my personal general shift away from ‘big box’ bookstores.  Additionally, we saw that:

  • No bookstore moved fast enough in the eBook Space
  • No bookstore could survive the huge investment in the music business – and the subsequent tanking of that business
  • No bookstore could have a supply chain that was measured in weeks, once you order a book through them, before you get your book
  • No bookstore could survive the economy tanking (Borders should have quickly divested itself of all Walden stores in the 2007 timeframe)
  • No bookstore could survive the deep discounting that has been growing in the retail book market
  • And many other reasons that were not as obvious

I have been holding off on writing this post because I wanted to write it once, to include the real reasons why Borders collapsed, unlike Barnes & Noble, and Books a Million (although I wouldn’t rank either as ‘investment grade’ properties) survive.  Well, I think I have finally unearthed the ‘real believable’ story.

I constantly strive to expand my social presence and I was looking at a site called Quora.  I’m still learning about it, but as fate would have it, I Immediately ran across an article on the subject, written by the former Borders Merchandising Strategy & Analytics Director, Mark Evans.  If there is anyone that should know, it is he.  Here is what Mark said in his piece, “Why is Barnes & Noble performing well as a business while Borders is near (or has even reached) bankruptcy?

Photo Credit: NewsFlux

More Signs of Success

This weekend we received our third positive book review, this time from a talented reviewer who reviews book for a living.  I am really excited about this one!

Lynnette Phillips, Avid Reader Book Reviews


January 2011 - Avid Book Review

897 Twitter Followers - @CliffordF2

On the Twitter side, I am a handful of followers away from 900.  This gives us a little more reach to help others with what we have learned on this odyssey.  Of course, it gives me a priceless audience for what I might want to say, and to receive feedback that always makes a person better at whatever they might want to try.

My account was finally created on Barnes & Noble and I hope to get the account, from which orders can be taken (Nook eReader), finalized ASAP.  The format of the Nook is ePub – which is the primary format for eBooks.  Thanks to Walt at Five Rainbows, his full-service book design process provides me with versions of the book in all formats!

The balance of next week will to offer the book on additional eBook retailers, in the USA and in Europe.  By blanketing the market, I trust that we will be able to get the book into print sooner!

It is 54.9 degrees outside with bright sunshine.  The golfers are out in force today – what an amazing breed.  Lastly, I purchased a ‘new’ car last week that should carry me forward for the next several years.  Love those 100,000 mile power train warranties!

Be well and stay warm!


Views from Sandhausen Purchase Outlets

My Dear Friends and Family

After countless hours and a significant financial commitment, Views from Sandhausen: Experiences from a Foreign Service Assignment is finally available.  It can (first) be found on Amazon.com formatted for the family of Kindle eReaders.  Buy the eBook for Kindle here.  You can also leave your review of what you thought of our efforts, at the same location!

I am in the process of putting it up on Barnes and Noble for their Nook eReader, as well as other outlets. 

Within the next week I anticipate that it will be available for all current and future devices.  Of course, my favorite, the iPad, will be fully supported (including iPad 2’s enhanced features).  From the wings I can hear, “…but Cliff, I don’t have a Kindle eReader or a Nook, color or otherwise”.  Not to worry, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and others, have applications that are free and can be loaded on any PC or Mac, as well as most Smartphone’s out in the wild.  The nice thing about Kindle is that you buy the book once, and it is available on all Kindle devices, no matter the computer underneath.  It will even tell your various devices exactly where you were in the book when you last stopped reading.  Readers for various systems can be found here:

Amazon Kindle for all devices

Nook (B&N) for all devices

I have put up a page on http://FlaAuthor.WordPress.com that I will keep updating as new versions are available – as well as keep you posted (pun intended) on the two print books availability.  I anticipate that you will be able to hold a Hard or Soft cover book by the end of this quarter.

Views from Sandhausen

978-0-9831283-0-4 Hardcover   Available Soon
978-0-9831283-1-1 Paperback   Available Soon
978-0-9831283-2-8 ePub           Available Soon 
978-0-9831283-3-5 Kindle          Available 1/19/11

I would like to thank you all for your endless support, as well as for several reviews that have been sent to me or posted.  Should you purchase an electronic copy, not only are your photographs in full color, but the various web links are ‘live’.  This means that as you come across a link in the electronic book, you can simply click on the link and be taken to the website mentioned.

Lastly (for now) I am toying with the idea of making a ‘Bundle’ option available for a discounted price, only on my http://www.ViewsfromSandhausen.com website.  That is the preferred point of purchase as my margins are better there.  It will be up just as soon as is possible. Those investments will come as soon as funds allow me to make it happen.

Thank you all and your co-authors, Cliff and Lynn, that you again!

Love Cliff

We are finally Published on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Amazon Kindle e-book reader being held by my g...

Image via Wikipedia

While it will be a day or two before you can actually go to Amazon.com and BN.com to purchase Views from Sandhausen (they have work to do after I finished), we are officially published!  The Hardcover and softcover versions will be another month to 45 days, VFS will be available tomorrow. 

eReaders that support ePub formats include the readers’ shown Here.

eReaders that support the Kindle format are limited to Amazon Kindle.  Having said that, how many more eReaders are required?

While I respect your enthusiasm, hold off on purchasing for the paper versions.  They are much more satisfying (in my opinion). The eBook’s advantages are that the interior photos are in color, and the hotlinks to places mentioned in the book are ‘hot’.  That means that you can click on the link, while holding down the Ctrl key, and be magically swept off to the location in question.  I am considering offering a bundle that includes your choice of eReader file along with a hardcover copy.  That was you have the tactile sensations of a paper book, along with the portability and added functionality of an eBook.

News from the Back Room indicates that another wonderful review has been received from Washington DC.  It is as follows:



 Views from Sandhausen: Experiences from Foreign Service Assignment

Author: Clifford L. Feightner

Provocative and playful, Views from Sandhausen: Experiences from Foreign Service Assignment takes you on the Autobahn and highways of Europe, to a small village south of Heidelberg—Sandhausen. An American corporate ambassador and his wife share their first-hand experiences of the history, traditions, art, culture, cuisine, conveniences and inconveniences of living abroad. From this base location they venture through Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and later the Cayman Islands—sharing their enterprising excursions, tips, photos and humorous stories. From the well known Louvre Museum and Neuschwanstein Castle to the local, lesser known KERVE celebration and “Blumen Flumen,” it is the personalities and perspectives of the expatriate couple that makes it a book well worth reading.

-Cher Skoubo

Owner, Skoubo Graphics

Washington, DC


On another note, we now have 858 Twitter followers. This is in addition to our 251 LinkedIn Connections, and 168 Facebook Friends, our little Tribe is really beginning to take off!  They are located worldwide and I trust that they will act as our ambassadors. 


Views from Sandhausen – A Major Shift

FlaAuthor Publishing, LLC logo

As I’ve said before to all who would listen, you have to know what you don’t know.  I started down this book trail five years ago.  I first contacted AuthorHouse to be my ‘straw man’, in terms of learning what this effort involved.  Time passes.  In April, when I decided to move forward, I again contacted them to understand what the current project looked like.  I also started to learn about their competitors, and evaluate Publish on Demand (POD) companies.  As it turned out, I had started to “eat that (publishing) elephant” from the wrong (author) side.   I should have been looking at it from the ‘reader’ side.  In other words, how is the general market going to find our book?  How is the market going to evaluate our book?  How are we going to deliver a book to the reader without ‘stigma’ and without any negative impressions of it, even before the industry sees the book – nay reads the book?

I have since learned that books delivered through the POD vehicle carry some ‘baggage’ with them.  They are rarely stocked in bookstores.  POD’s say that they will submit to bookstores but that is not the same as being ‘stocked’ on the shelves.  Further, in terms of getting the general literary community to read, review and comment on our work, chances of them wanting to do so are lessened by the fact that the author went the POD route.  In fact, ISBN numbers assigned to these publishing houses are stigmatized by the very fact that they are ‘owned’ by one of these publishers! The ISBN is the standard identifier for the book industry – all over the world. It has been for almost 40 years.  It’s what uniquely identifies your book as yours.

What I should have done is to just go to a few libraries and bookstores, and looked for books published via the POD’s leading publishers.  What I also should have done is to more carefully read the literary reviews, looking for these same publishers.  Lastly, no matter how much research that you do, if you don’t listen carefully to those whose shoes you aspire to walk in – you are less likely to be guided by them!

OK, another Lesson Learned. 

I’ll continue this story tomorrow.  It has a GOOD ending!


Shift in Emphasis

Now with the editing process well underway, it is time to return my focus to the publisher, AuthorHouse.   They offer a  number of options, or services, that they will offer to you for a price.   You select what you need, and can afford.  Since I want to make this book into a  Best Seller , I purchased a wide range of options, including:

Services Provided
One-on-one author support   Professional Marketing Consultation
Custom full-color cover   Bookstore availability
Custom interior design  Complimentary author copies
ISBN assignment Digital Formatting and Distribution (e-Book) 
Electronic proof Image Insertions
Online distribution  Personalized Back Cover    
Copyright and LOC Control Number  Barnes & Noble See Inside the Book 
Book Buyers Preview  Marketing Kit 
Booksellers Return Program  Google & Amazon Search Programs 
Book Signing Kit  

To execute this plan they need a significant amount of information from me.  They gather this information in a series of forms that I fill out, then transfer to


Then, through a series of design and production calls, my comments are melded with their Design Input plus the manuscript – to produce a book. 

So, it is once again Full Speed Ahead.  I’m really finding this process invigorating and cathartic.  Just what the doctor ordered!