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To Build Credibility, There’s Nothing Like A Book PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 28 September 2012 15:24
How to Create Yours with a Minimal Investment of Time, Money
By: Michael Levin

How do you build trust with clients when people have lost their faith in the markets – and advisors, too?

And how do you stand out from the pack when investors can go online and find dozens or even hundreds of advisors from whom to choose, not to mention the Fidelitys and ScottTrades of the world?

For more and more financial advisors, financial planners, and owners of financial services firms, the answer is writing a book.

When you’re an author, you’re the authority.

But how are you supposed to write a book when you’re jammed with taking care of your current clients and prospecting for more?

A process of 10 simple steps involving a minimal investment of your time and money can make you a published author in a matter of weeks. Your book will be full of your own thoughts and ideas, and convey just the tone you want. Best yet, you never have to sit down to write a word.

Keep in mind, you aren’t going into the book business — you’re using your own book to build your business.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t sell a single copy.  The idea is to demonstrate to prospective clients that you are the most trustworthy, knowledgeable authority in your field.  That going it alone is not a great strategy.  And that the value you provide far outstrips anything they could get from a website or from your competition.

You already know far more about your field than you could easily fit into a 150-175 page book (the best size book for today’s shortened attention spans).  People need to realize just how much you know about your specific area.  They need to know that you have a plan and a process for protecting and growing their hard-earned money.  That’s something only a book can do – not a white paper, not a website, and certainly not a 140-character tweet!

So how do you write a book without bringing in a ghostwriter?

• Step 1. Define your market niche.  Who do you want to reach?  Who can make you the most money?  Don’t think about writing a best-selling book – think about a best-earning book.  Your niche will make you rich.  So who’s at the heart of your target audience?

• Step 2. What’s the biggest problem they face?  Are they retirees, afraid of outliving their money?  Are they parents trying to fund their children’s education?  What keeps them up at night?

• Step 3. Ask yourself how you’ve solved this problem for other clients in the past.  Break down your solution into a multi-step process.  Each step in your process is going to be a separate chapter in your book.

• Step 4. Hire a college or grad student in journalism from a local school — see some clips first, before you make an agreement — to interview you for an hour a day on each step in your process.  Tell the person all the war stories, facts and figures, successful client engagements, everything that relates to each specific chapter of the book.  Pay the student $250-300 per chapter for the interviewing and writing.

• Step 5. Fact check the completed manuscript and have it professionally proofread.  You can find proofreaders online.

• Step 6. Have a cover designed for your book on a website like, which aggregates graphic design work for a remarkably low fee.  You can get a great cover for less than $300.

• Step 7. Upload the book to Kindle Direct – have someone tech-savvy in your office follow the fairly straightforward process.  Within hours, you’ll have a book that’s available on Amazon as a download for the Kindle.

• Step 8. Offer the book as a free PDF download to people who visit your website in exchange for contact information.

• Step 9. Use Amazon’s CreateSpace program to get physical books printed, which you can use as leave-behinds with prospects and as a way of getting lucrative and valuable speaking engagements.

• Step 10. Throw yourself a book launch party – put it in the local news media – and invite current clients to come and bring friends.  Sign books, create amazing new credibility for yourself, .and laugh all the way to the bank!

About Michael Levin: New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin runs, which specializes in ghostwriting books for financial services professionals.

Open House Update, The Book Rack Moves to Larger, High-Traffic Location PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Mark McLaughlin   
Friday, 28 September 2012 15:09
UPDATE:  The Book Rack has moved from Duck Creek Plaza in Bettendorf, Iowa, to a larger store in Davenport, and on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., The Book Rack will host an Open House with refreshments at their new location, 4764 Elmore Ave., Davenport, to thank the community for all the support it has shown The Book Rack over the years.
Bob Applegate of The Book Rack
Bob Applegate of The Book Rack.
Customers visit The Book Rack’s two Quad-Cities locations (Davenport and Moline) from as far away as Clinton, Fulton, Aledo, Dubuque, Muscatine, Geneseo and beyond.
IA/IL QUAD-CITIES – After 30 years at the same location, The Book Rack in Bettendorf, Iowa, is moving to a new location on Elmore Avenue in Davenport, effective Sept. 24.
According to bookstore owner Bob Applegate, the decision to move the store’s Iowa location after three decades was a matter of planning for the future.
“We had two locations – a new one in Moline and the older one in Bettendorf’s Duck Creek Plaza,” he said. “The larger, more visible facility in Moline quickly surpassed the Duck Creek site in sales, even though it’s only been in Moline for two years. The Bettendorf store, though successful, was limited by its size and location.”
The Moline store is located in Rock River Plaza at 3937 41st Ave. Dr., Moline, Illinois. The new Davenport store can be found at 4764 Elmore Ave., across the roadway from Best Buy.
Bob Applegate and his wife, Claudia, bought The Book Rack’s Quad-City franchise four years ago after retiring from the Rock Island Arsenal, satisfying their entrepreneurial spirit at an age when others are thinking about leaving the 9-to-5 workday.
“Something Had to Be Done”
According to Applegate, the biggest problem with the Duck Creek Plaza location was that it was out of the public’s line of vision. “It’s across a parking lot from Home Depot, and really, you could only see it from Home Depot,” he said. “It never benefited from its proximity to Schnuck’s, even though that high-traffic supermarket was right around the corner.”
Plus, the Bettendorf location was just too small. “It needed to hold a lot more inventory to compare to the Moline location,” Applegate said. “Something had to be done.”
After considering various sectors of the Quad-Cities for a new location, Applegate decided to move the Duck Creek Plaza store to Elmore Avenue. “The new location has much better visibility and ample storefront parking,” he said.
How The Book Rack Works
According to Applegate, The Book Rack gives customers store credit on the books they bring in, for 25 percent of the cover value of paperbacks. They accept mass-market and trade paperbacks, as well as selected hardcovers. “We welcome the opportunity to look at any book,” he said. They may decline a book if they have too many copies or if the book is in bad shape.
The Book Rack sells paperback books priced at half the cover price. They accept store credit up to 50 percent off the sale price of used paperbacks that the customer buys. They can special-order almost any book for a discount.
“Our customer service includes a Book Search feature,” Applegate said. “If you’re looking for a favorite book or author, we’ll let you know when the item comes in. Our system will also tell you if you’ve bought a particular book before, in case you’re a voracious reader and have forgotten the titles of what you’ve read before.”
A Widespread Clientele
According to Applegate, customers visit The Book Rack’s locations from as far away as Clinton, Fulton, Aledo, Dubuque, Muscatine, Geneseo and beyond.
“We have between 55,000 and 60,000 books in stock in Moline,” Applegate said. “The Duck Creek location could only hold 20,000 titles. The Davenport store will start out with 35,000 titles and grow from there.” He noted that his stores do not suffer from any clutter. “It’s all as neatly filed as any library,” he said, “and clean, with no dust.” Also, The Book Rack has about 1,800 books listed on
“Our tagline is, ‘It just makes sense to get your books at The Book Rack.’” Applegate said. “That applies whether you’re buying from us at our locations or online. We encourage folks to visit the stores regularly, since the inventory changes and you never know what great books you’ll find once you start browsing.”
For more information, call (309) 797-1985, Moline, or (563) 355-2310, Davenport. You can also visit The Book Rack online at

A Bumper-Crop of Book Genres
The selection at The Book Rack includes, but is not limited to, the following genres:

General fiction
New books
Special orders
Historical romance
Paranormal romance
Young adult
Children’s fiction
Early readers
Classic literature
Faith and value

A Program to Aid Educators
Some customers of The Book Rack have $1,000-plus in store credit. Customers can donate part of their store credit to a teacher’s program fund.
Teachers, in turn, can use part of that donated fund to pay up to half their purchases for classroom libraries.

State Treasurer Returns $150 Million Back to its Rightful Owners PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Karen Austin   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:47

DES MOINES, IA (09/26/2012)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald announced today that the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt has crossed a milestone. "I'm very excited to announce that since I created this program in 1983, we've returned $150 million through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt," Fitzgerald said. "We will continue to reach out and reunite these assets with their rightful owners. Our next goal is $200 million."

Every year, millions of dollars in abandoned property is turned over to the state treasurer's office. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property's owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report and deliver unclaimed property to the State Treasurer's Office, where it is held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits, and safe deposit box contents.

Visit Individuals may also send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to see if you have a treasure waiting for you.

Branstad issues statement on the passing of Andy Williams PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:38

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today issued the following statement upon learning of the passing of Wall Lake native Andy Williams:

“Andy Williams was an Iowa treasure. Andy’s beautiful voice and musical talents were rare gifts, and rather than keep that treasure to himself, he shared it with the world and made it a better place. Andy was a great ambassador for the state of Iowa, and we are all proud to call him a native son. Andy’s voice may be silenced, but his notes will forever live on. Chris and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and fans as we remember this great Iowan.”


# # #

News Releases - General Info
Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:37

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Sept. 26, 2012 – While Iowa farmers are currently focused on harvesting their fields and caring for their livestock, they also understand the need to open their doors to consumers interested in seeing how food is grown and raised. This fall, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is offering the Iowa Farmers Feed US sweepstakes program which invites Iowans to meet today’s farmers, take video tours of their farms and register for a chance to win free groceries for a year.

Following the sweepstakes, there will be two free grocery grand prizes of $5,000 each from Iowa Farmers Feed US’ grocery partner, Fareway Stores, Inc., awarded to Iowa residents drawn at random from those who register at The site offers an up close and personal look at eight Iowa farm families and a chance to tour their farms, which include hog barns, white corn fields and turkey barns. Website visitors can register for the sweepstakes with each of the eight farmers, each day of the sweepstakes, which runs from noon today until noon on October 31, 2012.

“My family is involved in the Iowa Farmers Feed US project because we understand that while not everyone is involved in raising food,  nearly everyone is interested in seeing how animals are cared for, how crops are raised and how we protect Iowa’s soil, air and water,” explained Justin Dammann, who raises cattle, corn and soybeans in Page County. “This website offers that opportunity for people throughout the state of Iowa, many of whom have never been on a farm. It’s a great opportunity for farmers to showcase our commitment to growing safe, wholesome food today.”

The website features beef cattle, turkey, corn, dairy cattle, hog and soybean farmers from across the state, each sharing their personal stories about their history in agriculture, farm families and dedication to producing food. Featured farmers include:

  • Justin and Jennifer Dammann, white corn farmers, Essex
  • Russ Yoder, turkey farmer, Wayland
  • Eric and Emily Crossman, hog farmers, Ogden
  • Jim Brown, soybean farmer, Churdan
  • Pam Johnson, corn farmer, Floyd
  • Stephanie Dykshorn, dairy cattle farmer, Ireton
  • Matt Schuiteman, hog farmer, Sioux Center
  • Tim Kaldenberg, beef cattle farmer, Albia

Additional Iowa agriculture groups supporting this initiative include the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Midwest Dairy.



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