I like the following piece from the movie Braveheart.
Wallace: Sons of Scotland, I am William Wallace.
Young soldier: William Wallace is 7 feet tall.
Wallace: Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds, and if he were here he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse. I AM William Wallace. And I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What would you do without freedom? Will you fight?
Veteran soldier: Fight? Against that? No, we will run; and we will live.
Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you'll live -- at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!!!
Storage,The Race and More!
Labor Day Weekend!
I hope everyone is enjoying their labor day weekend, even if you don't celebrate it in your country at this time! BBQs, Parades, a weekend trip, getting ready to send your kids back to school (oh yeah)!
I am happy as it marks the end of summer and I can really get down to business. As you can see, I'm taking the time to get this newsletter out to you.
Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day!
As promised I have quadrupled the amount of storage allowed for stores and I have increased the additional storage size, if you need it, to 250 megabytes. So, if you have been paying for additonal storage, more than likely your monthly fees will be reduced by that amount starting with October's (September 27th) invoice!! If it is not completely eliminated it will certainly go down. I did increase the fee for additional storage to $7.50 now, but I am sure most of you will not use any additional storage.
This also means that all your stores are on upgraded servers with larger and faster hard drives as well as more memory. They say if you want to speed up a computer add more memory and that is what I have done. Whooohooo!!!! In order to efficiently use our resources, I have not moved any closed stores to these upgraded servers. Now if someone wants to return they will have to start off with a new site. I cannot recover any closed stores anymore. I made this decision and took this step for you, the current store.
I hope this makes a lot of you happy! This will cost ChrisLands revenue, which we can ill afford, but you can help. Please read about TheRace Promotion and Bonus below.
Here is a list of the first ten levels for the storage allowance now.
Up to Number of Items Listed
Storage Allowance (in megabytes)
Please note that the first two levels are no longer available. However, we still have stores grandathered at those levels. As I always say, ChrisLands always takes into consideration our current stores when changes are made.
If I could afford to, I would even increase these values more! I hope someday to increase them again as our resources increase.
You can see what you are currently using for storage on the first page of your store's administration. It is listed in the lower right hand corner.
As another means to reduce your costs, in our new code we are writing an interface to image uploads that automatically sizes images properly. This will reduce the space used as many stores upload images that are quite large. Unfortunately this has to be coded and won't be available until I launch the new code base.
Until then you can help yourself by properly sizing your images. I always recommend that images be sized to around 500 pixels wide by a proportionate height. This does three things, it reduces the size of the image file, it looks good on the product detail page, and it makes your web pages load quicker as the image size is smaller.
There are many free packages online for resizing multiple images at once. Just search for "resize multiple images" and you will see many responses. You can also configure your camera, and probably your scanner, to size the image. Again, around 500 pixels wide for an image is what I suggest. Even 640 pixels wide (usually a setting on cameras) is better than the size of some images being uploaded now.
I also want to mention that the new code base will have better tools built in to manage images through the administration.
There you have it, you have more storage now!!!
TheRace to 2014
For the rest of 2013, ChrisLands is throwing The Race to 2014 Promotion. When someone signs up for a new store with ChrisLands through the rest of 2013, with a valid setup fee payment, they will receive 25% off the store setup fee, making the setup fee only $149.99. Plus they will receive a $25.00 credit towards their future store fees! Combining these two benefits equates to over a 35% discount for setting up a new store.
Additionally, any current store who refers someone who then signs up through the rest of 2014, with a valid fee payment, the referring store will receive a $25.00 credit towards their future store fees as well. New stores may participate and refer other new stores. You may refer as many stores as you like!
I know you are asking yourself, how do I participate in this promotion? Right! Ok, I'll tell you!
For the new store to receive their discounted setup fee and credit, and for you to get your $25.00 credit have the new store do the following when they register with ChrisLands.com.
On the second page of the ChrisLands registration, the last question on that page is this:
All the new store has to do for TheRace Promotion is to enter the code:
TheRace-YourStoreNumber (replacing YourStoreNumber with your actual store number)
The resulting entry should look like::
Just to be clear about YourStoreNumber, have any store you refer change YourStoreNumber to your actual store number. So, for instance, if you are store number 2456, then when the new store registers what they enter should look like:
Once more, make sure the new store enters TheRace-YourStoreNumber when registering with ChrisLands. That is TheRace dash Your Actual Store Number, TheRace-YourActualStoreNumber.
BUT WAIT! It gets better!
As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, our resources are very low. Considering this I have cancelled all future advertising. Unless it is already paid for, you will not see any ChrisLands' ads anywhere.
That is crazy, right? That is what I thought too! How I am going to grow ChrisLands and grow the company's resources without advertising? Then I thought, I do not have the money for advertising before I get new stores but after some new stores there might be a few dollars to use.
This is where YOU come in. I have added an additional bonus for stores that refer new stores to ChrisLands during TheRace Promotion. What is this? What do you mean? I will tell you!
I am asking for your help and I'm willing to pay for it!
I have certain goals for this promotion, and if we reach those goals I will divide up the money I might have spent on advertising to get that number of new stores, with you, the referring stores! Cool Right! I thought so, besides I would rather pay you for helping me then pay some big corporate entity.
Here are the goals for new stores and the amounts I'll divide up:
25 to 49 Stores - $750.00
50 to 99 Stores - $2000.00
100 and Over - $4500.00
So how will I divide up these amounts, if we reach a goal? It will be based strictly upon the number of stores referred and the number referred by each current store. Here is a simple example.
ChrisLands goes over the goal of 25 new stores with 30 new stores referred by current store owners. Eleven current stores referred these 30 new stores. Ten current stores referred 2 new stores each and one current store referred 10 new stores. Since there is $750 for this goal level, I will divide $750 by 30 (the number of stores referred), which equals $25.00, then muliply that amount by the number of stores referred by each. So the 10 stores who referred 2 new stores would each get an additional $50 (2 x 25) bonus and the one store who referred 10 new stores will receive an additional $250 (10 x 25) bonus.
Mathematically this might look like this:
$750 / 30 (new stores) = $25
$25 x number of stores you referred = your additional bonus
So how will I pay this out? If your additional bonus is $99.99 or less, it will be applied as a credit to your store's future monthly fees. If your additional bonus is $100 or more, the first $100 will be a applied as a credit to your store's future monthly fees and the rest will be sent to you as a check from ChrisLands. So in the example above, the 10 stores who referred two each and received an additional $50 bonus, the entire $50 will be applied as a credit to their future store's fees. The one store who referred 10 new stores and received an additional $250 bonus will have $100 applied to their future store's monthly fees and ChrisLands will send a check for the $150 remainder of that additional bonus.
Please note these three items:
The new store must enter the correct promotion code, TheRace-YourActualStoreNumber
The referring store must be open. Closed stores are not eligible.
Referring stores must be up to date on their monthly service fees.
One more note on this, this applies to any type of store. You don't have to refer only bookstores. We already host other store types, such as:
So whether you know another bookstore owner, a doll shop, a hobby store, or just about any store that has a product that can be sold online, referring them will count towards your referral numbers.
Did you hear that? That was the sound of the starting gun for The Race to 2014. So if you know someone who has been sitting on the fence about getting online with a store, TheRace Promotion at ChrisLands.com is what you have been waiting for! Refer Your Friends today!
Please note: Referral credits and any additional bonus (if any) are only for current open stores who are up to date on their monthly service fees. The credit applied to your store's future fees can only be used towards your store's monthly service fees. They cannot be redeemed or traded for anything else.
What is Coming Next
We are not resting around here!!! ChrisLands continues to roll on!
ChrisLands reached the deadline of increasing storage by September 1st. Our next deadline is October 1st to upgrade the email server to use IMAP connections. IMAP connections will allow you to connect your email accounts to any device, phone, tablet, computer, laptop whatever. Then all your emails will be synced on all devices. For instance if you delete an email on your phone, when you open your email on your computer that particular email will be deleted there as well. The truth is that all emails are saved in one space, on the email server, but your devices all see the current emails there.
With this email upgrade, I'm adding a web based email system (like gmail, hotmail), where you can access your email through any internet browser. Additionally I'm upgrading the email admininstration system. Its a lot of work but I think in the end it will be worth it and, I hope that, all of you will really appreciate it.
ChrisLands also has two more goals for September with a milestone of having them complete by October 1st. This will be tough with the email server upgrade but we will do all we can to reach these milestones.
Oh yeah, would you like to know what these additional goals are? Well, ok, I will tell you.
One is the addition of images and data from an image and data provider. I have discussed this in the last few months. September we are working on the integration. What this feature will provide is default images and data for Title, Author, Publishers, etc in the event you do not have all that information for your listings already. Unfortunately, ChrisLands has to pay a fee for these data elements and images. Our policy is not to charge any fee for additional features unless it costs ChrisLands for that feature. In this case it does, so there will be an added fee to use this new feature, something around $6 per month. But, as always this feature will be an opt-in feature that you can choose to use or not.
Our last goal for September is to look at and work on ways to increase our revenue base. The more stable ChrisLands is the better it is for us as well as for all of you! Truthfully, considering everything ChrisLands has been through, this is not a want it is more of a need.
Anyway, ChrisLands has the infastructure to support various features and services. We want to leverage that infastructure as much as we can. NO we are not looking at ways to nickel and dime you with additional fees. We do not believe in that. So if we are able to leverage our infastructure there will be no additional cost to you. Well, that is, unless you decide to use anything we come up with. Please stay tuned.....
Yes we have a very packed September planned. We will be pushing hard this month! I am so thankful that Summer is over now!
Some Old Newsletters
First you must know that I believe that having a website is important for a business today. I know! Pretty convenient for me since ChrisLands does this, but it is true, I do believe this. I equate it to having a phone. You have a phone for your business, right? You pay the monthly fee for that phone whether you use it or not, right? Maybe ten years ago having a website was not important but today it is just as important as having a phone. The last time you looked up a business, what did you use? The internet? Did you look at that businesses' website? Do you even still have your phone book? I don't. Yes, I believe having a website is important!
Given this, the most common reason for stores to close is because the store owner is retiring. Sometimes because they have sold their store. However, there are a few occasions when a store owner closes their store for lack of sales. Ok, I get it. I understand. But then I go to close their store and they have done nothing to it, no written content on information pages, not very good item details, the About Us page still says "more coming soon", basically nothing.
This is what I don't get. Practically no effort at all. I'm on ChrisLands it seems like everyday.
A long time ago I wrote some Marketing Newsletters. These are quite old but I believe the information is still valid. They might help you with coming up with ideas for marketing your store more. I won't vouch for all the links still working. Here they are:
In the future, I hope to update these newsletters with more current information.
You might also consider the following ideas.
Have BookFinder.com search your inventory. To signup for this feature go to your store Administration, on the first page of Administration, click the Marketing link in the left menu, on the page that comes up click the Search Engine for Books link, then on that new page click the Bookfinder.com link. Read through the information on that page, click Yes and save the form. ChrisLands has servers dedicated to this search, additional resources, so there is a fee for this.
Show Featured Items on your home page. To configure Featured Items, click Featured Items in the Advanced Features area of your store administration. Fill out the form and click save at the bottom. You can specify featured items in the Inventory area of your store administration. Click View Inventory find the items you want to feature and click Add in the far right hand side of the listings.
Show New Items on your home page. To configure New Items, click New Items in the Advanced Features area of your store administration. Fill out the form and click save at the bottom. The newest items are automatically selected to display on y our home page.
All of this internet stuff takes work. It is not magic. I believe the more you put into it the more return you receive. Obviously, I cannot (and will not) give any specifics about any store as I respect all your privacy but I can say that there is a very large difference between the top producing store and the least producing store. Some of this has to do with their target market and the price of some items sold, but I do believe that much of it has to do with the effort they put into their website. Having said that, the last time I checked the store that produces the most sells books, just books, and not rare or expensive books.
So have a look at your site and see what you might be able to do! Keep it rolling!
A Good Summer!
One more time, I had a lot to say. I hope you made it this far.
Just one more thing, if some of you receive post cards in the mail from ChrisLands, those are late. They were supposed to be mailed in June and the vendor just now mailed them. Obviously the promotion on the back of the post card is expired. The information on the front is still true though!! Thank You!
Please don't forget about TheRace to 2014 Promotion! Maybe I will be sending you a check in the New Year!
Jaymes H. Sorbel
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