Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

I am going to take a HUGE leap of faith in this post. Thank you Randi Lee, Chrys Fey, and Elizabeth S. Craig for encouraging me.

I’ve been a business owner since 1990 when I opened Photo Impressions. I spent years doing stock photography for Cat Fancy, Homes Illustrated, etc. I moved into weddings and portraits and even shot an album cover.

I also got involved in MLM in 1995. Amway/Quixtar, part of the Winters Marketing group. Yes, I made money. I’m still an IBO because the XS energy drinks and Nutrilite vitamins are great. I also learned so much about running a business and about leadership and people skills during that time.

In 2007, I officially launched my professional speaking career. (I’d already been speaking in front of groups and on stage.) By early 2009, I was a member of the National Speakers Association. I still do my seminars and speak to groups.

But eight years ago, I launched a business that has become my life. I had high aspirations for it, mostly to help other writers as well as make money for myself. I studied the industry for two years before I felt confident enough to start out on my own. I wanted to do it right and be as professional as other companies in the industry.

At the beginning of 2008, I launched my company - Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

That’s right - I own Dancing Lemur Press and its imprint, Freedom Fox Press.

The first few books were mine. But I didn’t start DLP just to self-publish. I set up this LLC to take on other authors. Everything is done as the big boys would do it - dozens of review copies sent out, CIP blocks, ISBN and bar codes, professional cover art and formatting, advertising, etc. And over the years, I’ve been blessed with some great authors - Alex J. Cavanaugh, Tamara Hart Heiner, Beverly Stowe McClure, C. Denise Sutton, Beverly Weeks, and many others. DLP/FFP now has 20 titles to its credit, with 2 more coming out in the next 2 months, 2 in the works, and another slated for the end of the year. We’re a small publisher - just three people on staff - but we are 100% dedicated to the authors we bring on board.

When I started in 2008, self-published was still a dirty word. I knew to separate me the author from me the publisher. But now, eight years later, it’s no longer such a stigma. And Dancing Lemur Press LLC is an established press with many authors.

People who know me in the real world know I own a publishing company. Online, I’ve kept it a secret because I didn’t want to discredit any of my authors. They are all amazing writers and deserve every bit of success that comes their way.

But it’s time. Because I have several things I can now share!

First, is that Dancing Lemur Press is open and looking for submissions in several genres.

Second, that Freedom Fox Press is also open for submissions for those writers who want more control and profit.

And finally, I can tell the world about the most amazing graphic artist! My husband, Craig R. Wolfe, a professional graphic artist since 1988, does all the graphics for DLP. And he freelances! If you are interested in superb cover art, bookmarks, logos, book trailers, etc., visit his site HERE.

Now you know! I didn’t write How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now on a whim. I’ve been doing this for years. And I want to help other writers avoid the pitfalls I encountered. Maybe even help a few authors along the way through the book, my seminars, my formatting services - and through Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and Freedom Fox Press.

82 comments:

  1. Hi L Diane. I knew this about you. You are a very talented person and I can see how you love your publishing venture. I admit I did look at your company before I self-published, but I wanted to have a go and learn by doing it myself. I'm glad I did, but not sure I want to go it alone again! I couldn't find all the answers on your website when I looked several months ago. I'll definitely be looking at you when I finish the second in my paranormal romance series.

    I hope your post results in a flood of submissions. Every success!!

    Denise :-)

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  2. It's great when we can stand up and announce something we've achieved. I have come across your presses before. It's also great to have a graphic designer of your own! I'm lucky too: my brother is an illustrator and graphic designer, and he does all my book covers for way cheaper than he should!
    angelinetrevena.co.uk/insecure-writers-support-group-theres-nothing-wrong-with-a-happy-medium

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  3. That's awesome how you continue to pursue your passion and have been able to watch your publishing company grow and be proud of all the authors you've worked with. Good luck with the new submissions.

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  4. What great accomplishments you've achieved over the years! Nice to see you doing something you love because that's what matters. And to have your hubs on board and helping out--priceless!

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  5. As always, you do an amazing job with every endeavor--and your background in both business and art has served you well in making Dancing Lemur such a success. Your drive is reflected in the excellent quality of books your publishing company has produced (and the fact that they have garnered reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly...many of my Big-5 books haven't been reviewed by either).

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  6. Denise, please do!

    Angeline, it's a bonus to have a graphics person who will work for cheap. Or free. LOL

    Jennifer, I couldn't do it without him.

    Elizabeth, that stuns me. And you're with one of the big five.

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  7. WOW!!! This is all new to me! And I have heard of Dancing Lemur Press!! That's awesome!!!!

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  8. What a wonderful announcement and something to be quite proud of. I can practically feel your excitement in announcing your publishing company online!

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  9. I saw the level of professionalism etc when I received my contract for the anthology. Way to go! I really like your publishing model and if my works weren't already under contract elsewhere, I'd be in the market. May still be one day. You do a great job.

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  10. Congrats! Looks like you are moving the right direction- good luck!

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  11. Hey, Diane, how terrific that you've "come out of the closet" with the truth of who you are and what you do so terrifically. Yeah. Thanks for the leap of faith. I doubt it will be unfounded. Huge congrats.

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  12. I was wondering about the connection, especially as a contributor to the Parallels Anthology. This is so cool! And to have your husband available to do the graphics? Even better. I think letting people know you are in charge of this press is a great idea.

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  13. This is amazing! I love learning this about you! And wow, what an accomplishment! I'm so glad you decided to share this with all of us online. Many congrats!!

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  14. I'm so glad you've decided to share this news to everyone. The response has been amazing so far and I know it'll continue to be so. I hope you reap many benefits for making this announcement. Way to go! :D

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  15. Crystal, thank you, that's good to hear. I know it's my responsibility to handle it right and professionally.

    Karen, you encouraged me too, and I thank you.

    Tamara, yes - that's me you've been exchanging emails with.

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  16. Congratulations! And what awesome news. Not only are you a huge inspiration, but you're helping writers achieve their dreams. :)

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  17. ** applause, applause ** Take a bow, my dear!!! You've earned it. Wow, and Wow on opening not one but two presses. My mind boggles thinking of all the hard work you've put into these endeavors. I will certainly check out your submission guidelines and if any of my manuscripts are a fit (when they're ready) I will submit. Wishing you all the success in the universe!!

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  18. Helping authors to move forward as you head towards your and your husband's dreams -- way to go.

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  19. This is truly awesome, Diane. Wow. You and your husband must be very proud. Not something one does overnight. It does take a lot of work to do what you've done. I had seen Dancing Lemur Press but didn't know it was yours. I'm very impressed!

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  20. Thank you and glad you let everyone know.

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  21. What you've accomplished is awe inspiring, Diane. It's been an honour working with you. You're like my very own hero.

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  22. You've been doing a great job with all of your endeavors. My congratulations on the motivation to get things done and following through to pursue the success that eludes so many.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  23. This is fabulous news (or olds I guess!). You are my favorite kind of entrepreneur - the kind that is fired up by the creative. Looks like you offer an awesome package. And the graphics on your company and imprint are gorgeous.

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  24. Thanks for sharing! I love seeing passion for books and publishing from those who believe in it from the ground up.

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  25. Leigh, please do.

    Ann, thank you. It's good to hear that people know of the press.

    Joylene - LOL! Thank you.

    Jan, thank you. I will pass that on to my creative husband.

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  26. I read this earlier but it took me a while to comment. Just WOW Diane, WOW.

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  27. Okay, you've definitely been busy. I had no idea about all this. Glad you took the leap and let us know. You may be hearing from me in a year or so.

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  28. Fabulous news. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and learning more about you and what you do Diane. You have obviously worked very hard for your achievments and I send sincere congratulations! Way to go!! I would expect for you to be innundated with submissions after your 'coming out'. So pleased for you and wish you success and happiness.

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  29. That is really cool. It looks like you've built a great framework for authors. Great job!

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  30. Awesome news. You definitely have a reason to crow. I have heard of you too, so that is pretty cool. Congrats and Much Success!
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  31. Holy cow - that's awesome! I'm so impressed. I'd never have the courage to do what you've done. I've always been so impressed with how happy Dancing Lemur makes Alex, and getting his book on BookBub is a real coup - not many publishers can do it or will even try. I'm still very interested in Freedom Fox coz I'm determined to go with a hybrid publisher. It just makes sense in today's publishing world, and for me personally. Congrats on all you and your husband have accomplished! (And Alex's covers are awesome!!)

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  32. Ken, I look forward to it.

    Lexa, I'd love to have you submit to FFP. I've always been so impressed with the artwork Craig does for our line of books. He really enjoyed doing Alex's books.

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  33. I should have guessed. You know so much about the industry and are always up to date with the latest news. I predict you'll be inundated with submissions.

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  34. Congratulations doesn't sound like the right word, since you've been doing it, and doing it well for some time now. Maybe a yippee? Very cool stuff.

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  35. Congratulations not only setting out to undertake these projects, but to do them and do them so well.

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  36. It's a good feeling when a book or project is achieved, Great post Diane.
    Yvonne.

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  37. I am thoroughly impressed! You seem to be successful at everything you do, and I'm sure everyone one of us out here in author-land appreciate someone who works so hard to promote our work and get it into hands of readers. Well done!

    IWSG March

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  38. Wonderful news!
    Thank you for sharing this!
    1. I have loved everything that Dancing Lemur Press - so, I'm excited to know that you're the reason Dancing Lemur Press exists.
    2. I started Wings of Light publishing as a self-publishing type (not my name, only) kind of venture, but haven't been ready to get it off the ground for anyone else, so I might swing by Dancing Lemur Press more regularly just to check out operations . . . :)
    3. And, I might just have a book to send you in a month or two . . .but I'm slow.

    Anyway, for all the reasons above and because I think you're an amazing lady, I'm glad that you're the driving force behind Dancing Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press.

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  39. This is really good to know! I'm so excited for you!

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  40. This is so great! With the way publishing is changing, it's so wonderful to see the people who are rising up and creating their own imprints. Seriously, well done.

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  41. I already thought you were amazing before, but wow! It's great that you've used your talents in a way that helps your fellow writers. You're definitely an inspiration!

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  42. You've had an impressive career! How great that publishing is part of it. I love that the Wolfe has a Lemur and a Fox.

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  43. Susan, I hope so.

    CD, thank you!

    Tyrean, thanks. I would love to see anything you've written. I'd also be glad to help you get Wings of Light off the ground. (Literally.)

    LG, and I'm so excited to be publishing your story in the IWSG anthology.

    We do! LOL Not sure how it became all animals.

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  44. You've done an awesome job, Diane. Wishing you the very best with your publishing business.

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  45. As a new author at Freedom Fox Press, may I say that Diane is super to work with. She's very patient and knows what she's doing. I'm happy to have my latest YA novel with her publishing house. Watch for it on March 15, 2016. And the cover is gorgeous. Fits the story perfectly. Her husband is talented.

    Thank you, Diane, and Freedom Fox Press.

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  46. I'm not sure I knew this about you but it is very impressive! I will definitely share your submission requests!

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  47. Well, that's just so cool, Diane! I love everything you're doing for our community of writers. I wish you much success.

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  48. Ha! I've been seriously wondering if you were the owner since I saw Diane on the edits:) I have no doubts it's a wonderful company. You have done so well by Alex and he has been such a success. KUDOS:)

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  49. You wear many hats and have many accomplishments. I've read this about you before, but all together...wow, that's an amazing career and you keep at it to grow professionally.

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  50. Incredible accomplishments! You are a shinning example of hard work paying off. The personal testimonials are impressive. May 2016 be the best ever.

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  51. I'm really glad you shared. Congrats! Sorry I'm late with the wishes. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  52. Diane, best wishes to Dancing Lemur! You and Crag are professionals who have been around and through everything for longer than most can boast.

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  53. Congrats on having a Publishing business. I too have started up my own company, but so far it hasn't really taken off yet. I've done it mostly for myself, but I hope to do it for others in the near future. I plan to also use my publishing site to offer other services as well. What you've done is definitely an inspiration.

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  54. Diane, you're an AMAZING photographer, writer, professional speaker and owner of a publishing company!
    Wow, you wear a range of hats...and you do it in style!
    Thank you for everything that you do.

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  55. Hi Diane - this was an awesome read ... how brilliant and just so informative about how skilled you both are - great you've got your husband working with you .. no wonder the talent shows through.

    Fantastic ... and good to know - the submissions I suspect will roll in ... that'll be just amazing ... cheers Hilary

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  56. That is amazing! You're amazing! Congratulations on all your success! Heather

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  57. You are amazing and so hard working. You are definitely an inspiration. Congratulations on all you have accomplished. I hope there is tons more success ahead for your and your company.

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  58. You've built an amazing legacy, with a talented cast of writers! Wishing you oodles of success in the next chapter of your literary adventures!

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  59. This is very exciting! I'd heard of Dancing Lemur from Alex's books, but didn't know you were behind it. I'm sure you'll have your pick of fantastic submissions.

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  60. Oh Wow! I've been looking for some good news related to the publishing world and your news makes me very pleased. Big sigh! Sometimes we just need that kind of wonderful news to make the day a lot brighter.

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  61. I think it's so great that you've achieved so much.

    I have been considering joining a local Toastmasters to work on my public speaking. Do you know if local chapters of the National Speakers Association offer practice opportunities similar to Toastmasters, or are you expected to already be a good speaker before you join NSA? Thanks for your input, if you have any.

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  62. What you've done for other authors is awesome, Diane! And it's nice to know this information about you. :)

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  63. It's awesome that you had the courage and conviction to do this. Small presses are awesome! Thank you for helping writers the way you have.

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  64. Beverly, and I'm so excited about Under a Purple Moon!

    Sandra, now you know.

    Mad Cat, just keep at it and it will grow.

    Patricia, after so many small presses closing, I'm proud to say we aren't going anywhere.

    Cynthia, the NSA requires that you've either done X amount of speaking gigs in a year or have been paid X amount of dollars in a year. They are a great resource, but you have to achieve a certain level of success to be admitted.

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  65. I've always been impressed with your knowelege of the industry and I've always appreciated you sharing that knowledge with us via your blog post. This is an inspirational post and I'm glad you've announced your accomplishments to everyone. You deserve the credit for all you've done. You should be very proud for achieving such success. You've published an amazing group of authors and it must be quite a bonus to have such a talented husband working by your side. I'm very happy for you and I know that your company will continue to prosper. Congratulations again, to you and to all of your authors.

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  66. Congratulations on your success! You and your husband must be so proud!

    Thanks for the well wishes! We plan on going to the beach next week, so this damn flu better be gone - spring is my time of the year!

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  67. Cheers, to you and your hubby!! I am so happy for you both-how wonderful and amazing~

    I knew you were a cool cat! Sorry, You are a dancing lemur ;D

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  68. Glad you are pursuing your passions. That's wonderful. And cool to know you own Dancing Lemur. I may be interested when I'm ready to go on my historical fiction under my pen name... if you do that genre.

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  69. Congrats on taking that huge leap! Here's to continued success in all your business ventures!

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  70. This is an amazing resume, you've had quite a lot of success. I'm glad you're "going public" with all you've done.

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  71. I'm slowly catching up on blog reading. Wow. I guess that some people knew this already, but it was NEWS to me. Of course, given the data you post here on "industry news" and the like, I shouldn't be surprised.

    I'm so happy for your success. You've created a good foundation and are ready for growth, which is the American Dream!

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  72. Hi, L. Diane,

    WOW...this is great! I haven't pulled myself together yet to submit to you, but i will soon. Question: Do you publish M/G and Y/A?

    I need to do another edit on my m/g then it will be ready for submission. This year has hit me hard with moving, training a puppy, staging a multi million dollar house for sale, and now the flu... UGH!

    With freezing temps still in Chicago, Spring can't come fast enough. I just hope that once the warmth hits me, my life will fall back into place.

    CONGRATS on such a great success! I really do admire your tenacity and talent!

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  73. Thank you, Melissa. Very kind of you to say so.

    Ella, all thanks to those Madagascar movies.

    Michael, we do! Please submit.

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  74. I'm so happy, proud, and excited for you that you shared this with everyone. Go You!! This is what IWSG is all about. Woot Woot!!!

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  75. I think it's wonderful that you've been able to pursue your passion and help other authors do the same. I wish you continued success with your company!

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  76. This is completely awesome!!! And so good to know :)

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  77. What a fun announcement! I had a feeling you were associated with DLP, but couldn't put my finger on why I thought that. I need to check out those submission guidelines. :) Wishing you continued success!

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  78. Proud of you. I also think it's wonderful that you and your hubs have a business partnership too. Full speed ahead!

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  79. I think it's brilliant to have so many strings to your bow, and in awe that you find the time!

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  80. I'm impressed at how you and your hubby combined your talents. Congrats on all your successes, Diane.

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  81. This is amazing and so exciting! I've heard of Dancing Lemur too! I wish you all the best and continued success :)

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  82. Wow! You definitely created a business to be proud of. Here's to submissions. May you pick up the next big hit.

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