01 August 2009

Our Literary Debut

Ready for the exciting announcement I mentioned yesterday? Okay. Here goes.

See this book cover?

This week is its official debut in bookstores nationwide. It's the story of one popular blogger, Tara Frey of typing out loud, along with snapshot stories of various artsy, crafts-y, and boutique-y bloggers from throughout the blogosphere. The book is chock full of ideas, how-to's, and strategies to get new bloggers started, as well as some very good ideas for intermediate bloggers who want to take their blogs to the next level. We find it quite helpful and inspiring.

And guess what else???

We're in the book!!!!!

The fair Tara contacted us several months ago requesting an interview and permission to use screen shots of our blog for inclusion in the book. We were thrilled but decided to keep this little secret under wraps. Until now! Get your copy of Blogging for Bliss here or here. And very soon, we'll be carrying the book in the store. Watch the blog, as well as our Facebook fan page and our Twitter, because as soon as we slit the box open on these babies, we'll let you know!

So many of our local customers who read Lettres come in asking questions about how I got started blogging and how they can start their own blog. Well, Tara's got everything you need to know to get started, plus interviews with inspiring bloggers and lots and lots of photographic eye candy, all between two covers. In my opinion, it's even a great beach read for those who just can't wait to move into the blogosphere.

Now for the fun parts:

No. 1 We're participating in a blog party hosted by Kari Ramstrom of Artsy Mama on Tuesday, August 4th. Please meet us here on Lettres from THE BLISSFUL on Tuesday the 4th as we celebrate blogging for bliss--both the lifestyle and the book! Also, Kari has kindly provided a list of other participating "blissful bloggers" {Tara's nickname for us} in the sidebar of her blog so that you can check out other parties throughout the blogosphere on Tuesday.

No. 2 We're hosting a Blogging for Bliss Book Giveaway right here on Lettres and it begins NOW! One lucky winner will be chosen by random number generator to receive a complimentary, brand spankin' new copy of le book. How to enter our giveaway? I'll get to that part in a minute.

First, please humor me as I make a few private {now public} confessions:

First of all, while we are featured in the book, I surely don't consider myself or my blog to be the epitome of blogging glory. No way. I'm just a busy shop owner trying to find the time to get the oil in my car changed, much less blog in a way that touches people's lives. But writing is my first love and blogging here is always on my mind. I am thankful for every single person who stops by to read or check out our latest photos from the shop, and especially for those who take a moment to leave a comment letting me know you were here.

I have to confess: since my business has grown, I've hidden more and more behind the facade of it, to the point where I feel that my personality has almost been obscured on this blog. And yes, I guess I have to admit that it was intentional. The more photos of the store I could show and narrate, the less about me I had to show. I never wanted this blog to be about "Abby and her little shop." I wanted it to be about THE BLISSFUL--this store that has always felt bigger than me. I wanted the blog to be about my customers' experience of the store, like a peek through the shop windows, independent from me, its Proprietor. I felt that I had to take myself almost entirely out of the equation in order for people's experience of the store via the blog to be pure and natural. As humans, we judge everything we behold even without meaning to. I knew that people might be judging the store, but I didn't want them to be able to judge me. But in trying so hard to get out of readers' way, I feel that I've lost my way a bit. I miss the joy and freedom with which I used to blog here, on our old archives, before we rebranded and moved into these chocolate polka dotted blog digs back in 2007.

So I say all of the above to share this: that I'm taking back the blog. I'm returning to the kinds of personal posts that make me happy. I'm ready to open up again and share more of the heart of what makes this store what it is. And I hope you'll keep reading and enjoying all that is to come. It's always a scary prospect to reveal more of yourself, but I can honestly say that Tara's book is inspiring me to do just that, along with so many of the amazing bloggers that I enjoy reading every day.

In an effort to better connect with all of you reading, I'd like to tie a simple, one-question questionnaire into our Blogging for Bliss Book Giveaway. By responding to this questionnaire in the form of a Comment, you are automatically entering the giveaway to win a copy of Tara's first book. I say 'first' because I'm pretty sure this authoress has more books in her future! {Please be sure that your Blogger ID allows me to trace your e-mail address so that I can notify you if you're the winner.} Entry deadline is Thursday, August 6th at 10 PM EST.

To enter our giveaway, please leave a comment with your responses to this question:

Which of the following types of posts would MOST interest you here on Lettres from THE BLISSFUL? {Please rank your top 6 or fewer.}

a} posts showing new products in the store and in the Online Boutique
b} posts showing photo coverage of in-store events {Trunk Shows, Holiday Open House, etc.} and seasonal debuts
c} posts discussing behind the scenes goings-on of the shop and what it's really like to own a boutique
d} posts offering advice/tips/encouragement for aspiring shop owners
e} posts offering advice/tips/encouragement to artists desiring to sell their work to boutiques
f} posts offering design ideas/advice
g} "Dear Abby" style posts answering readers' questions on a variety of topics
h} interviews with other bloggers/shop owners/designers/friends of the store/other specialists
i} posts delving into personal stuff and non-shop related observations on life, design, inspiration, etc.

I'm looking forward to reading your comments. Once again, the entry deadline is Thursday, August 6th at 10 PM and the winner will be chosen by random number generator. We'll contact her/him by e-mail shortly thereafter and announce it here on the blog.

Meanwhile, see you here on Tuesday the 4th for a blog party!



Melissa said...

definitely behind the scenes! the blissful "reality show blog" :)

audrey said...

Hi Abby.
All good ideas - I would vote for c,e,a,i,and f. Although, whatever you write about will be interesting.
Congratulations on the book spread ~ it is well deserved!
Looking forward to future postings on your blog! Can't wait to visit your shop again on my next visit back "home".

Jill Elaine said...


sounds fun to hear more about YOU too Abby!

Vintage Sue said...

What a wonderful idea to "take back" your blog. Never forget that when people love your shop, they're also loving YOU.

My votes are C, D, H, F, G.

P.S. If I win (dare I dream?), Google has been ignoring my requests to change my email account, so I'm still fighting for it! XOX Sue

Canton Box Company said...

Hi Abbi!
Congrats on the book feature! My vote is for:


Looking forward to stopping in again soon - can't wait to see the Blissful's fall line!


Spring said...

Honestly Abby- I can't choose one topic that would keep me coming back- I love them all! Congrats on being featured in the book- you deserve it...Your blog is fabulous, and I can't wait to hear more about The Blissful and more about YOU :) I'm really looking forward to making another trip down there- hopefully in September....

Mary Frances said...

Definitely more interviews with shop patrons, suppliers,and of course more about you and your mom...we love pictures of the store...some of us may never get to set foot in our retail "Oz"...and only get to order stuff online! How about features regarding your staff? And when will you finally get and show us your home? Long ago promised...but design/decor tips; Q &A would be fabulous, too!!
Mary Frances


Mary Frances--

"Long ago promised..." You must be referring to THIS post from two years ago? http://theblissful.blogspot.com/2007/10/seasons-revelations.html Wow! What a good memory you have!

It's two years later and I have to confess I'm still in the same situation as what I described in the above post. The home of my own I longed for then {and how much more so now} is still a couple of years off--I'm waiting until my boyfriend {I don't like that word} and I get married before moving out again. Then it'll be OUR home.

But unlike what I said in that old blog post, my feelings have changed on the topic of sharing home photos on the blog. I truly don't know how other bloggers do it {much less have their homes featured in national magazines--yikes!}. Maybe it's the shop owner thing. A shop is a public entity where {beloved} customers walk through the front door all day long. My home will be my one little bastion of peace, retreat, and privacy in the world. I look forward to that place, but probably won't share it online.

Amy Sullivan said...

Congrats, once again! What an honor. I look forward to reading the book since I always look forward to reading your blog and seeing what you're up to. I like the choices a and f as far as topics go... keep up the good work!

kd said...

Hi Abb,
My vote is for new shop stuff and photos of in-store events!

Kimberly said...

I'd like to enter your giveaway. This book is quite the buzz!
My choice:
e} posts offering advice/tips/encouragement to artists desiring to sell their work to boutiques

love, Zoey said...

A,B,C,E,F,H -- If I have to pick only six! Congrats on your feature in the book, Ab!

bolerorkm said...

b, a,g,i,h,c
I would love to read things about the store, upcoming events and tips/ideas.
Congratualtions on the inclusion in the book.

Deb said...

Congratulations on being a part of Blogging for Bliss!
For your Questionnaire my top 6 would be ...A,B,C,E,G &H.

Homestead Mercantile said...

My vote would be to get tips and ideas on how to bring hand made items to store owners to sell...no sure I reworded that right, but hope you get what I mean.
Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks

alisa logue said...

Abby, So cool to be featured in Tara's book. So inspiring! I'd say my top intrests would go a,f,i,g,e,c. Love your blog! Keep up the amazing work! -Alisa

à la mode designs said...

Hi, Abby!

Congratulations on the feature in Blogging for Bliss!

I think ALL your posts on Lettres are of interest. :) If I have to choose from the list, my top picks are: A,B,H,G.

Katy said...

Anytime I get a chance to read your blog I enjoy everything you write about. Now that you mention it I realize I do enjoy the tone of your older posts though a bit better...maybe because they were more from your heart or more personal like you said. Anyway, if I had to pick some of the above it would be C,D & I! Good luck to all who entered but secretly I hope I win ;0) Blessings, Katy

Anonymous said...

a,b,d,h...those are my top four picks, although your blog is already very informative, entertaining and creative. [i apologize if this posts twice, my pc hiccuped when i tried to post earlier!] :)

ginny said...

I like seeing a mix of all the topics you list. It keeps it interesting! I love your store. It has a great vibe to it and so does your blog. If I have to narrow it down, I would say new products and events plus some behind the scenes. Keep doing what you are doing. It works!

The Kramer Angle said...

Hi Abby,

Congratulations on your inclusion in Tara's book. I can't wait to get a copy. I would definitely be interested in the following:

posts discussing behind the scenes goings-on of the shop and what it's really like to own a boutique!

I have two barn shows I do:

and I would love to learn what it's like to own a real bricks and mortar shop!

Thank you so much!


Katrina said...

Wow! That's neat-o to be featured in a book. I'm sure you are excited.

The Blissful is really one of my favorite shops to visit. You have captured what it is like to shop in Europe.

That being said, I'd like to be included in the drawing. Here are my preferences:


akasha @ cannet . com

Shellco said...

Congratulations on being included in the book! I'm glad to hear you will be including more of 'you' in your own blog and it's interesting to know that reading the new book inspired you to do so. The list you've given to rank are all great ideas, but a few I'd like to see are f), g), i), a) and c).

Anonymous said...

My vote: b,c,d,e,h,i and more about you! Congratulations on the feature in the book.

Yaya said...

I love, love, love the beauty in all things. Featuring more design ideas would appeal to my love affair with aesthetics, and I'd trust The Blissful to get it right!

Kandi's All That Glitters said...

Dear Abby,
First off congrats on being published in a book. What an honor! I am totally new to blogging;a first timer so here it goes. I visited your shop for the first time last month (July) and was in awe! I bought my girlfriend her birthday gift, which she'll recieve in Sept. But meanwhile, she won your gift at the Hall of Fame luncheon yesterday! It happened to be one of the many items I was considering for myself. What a coincidence! Being an artsy person and loving french inspired items, your shop was full of beautiful decor.
I love to design cards and one of a kind gift boxes & get my inspiration from beautiful papers, old cards, ect. So for your blog "Lettres" the posts that interest me most (loved all the ideas) would be a,c,d,e,f, & i.
I wish you much success in all that your heart, hands, & soul have to share. Sincerely, Kandi

P.S. If your originally from Canton, I'd love to chat. I may know your father.

pam q said...

I just found you!

And I will be back!

I would like to vote for:
C, D, E, and I

Looking forward to reading more in the future!


Sue said...

Congratulations on being in that gorgeous book. I SO want to win it!!! ~Sue~ :)

. said...

Thank you for extending the deadline, love your post about Chicago. Arrving in that city from the desert where I live is like going to Oz.....I love it! I would vote for "all of the above", as a shop owner I don't think you can ever get enough helpful feedback from others on the same journey. Love your blog, Su.

addguy111 said...

C, D

Carol said...

Congratulations! Can't wait to see the book! Love all the topics, but I'll have to pick a,c,d,e,f and h.
We love your shop!

Beth@GypsyFish said...

I would have to say, for sure answer "C". Love your blog, so inspirational! If eye candy had calories your blog would be sinful! (and I would be over indulged) thanks

Deborah said...

Post showing new merchandise. I love your stuff.


The entry window is now closed! Thanks and good luck to all who participated. Our two lucky winners will be contacted today and announced on the blog. :)