Books & Things Receives 2017 Best of Springville Award

Press Release


Springville Award Program Honors the Achievement

SPRINGVILLE March 23, 2017 — Books & Things has been selected for the 2017 Best of Springville Award in the Bookstores category by the Springville Award Program.

Each year, the Springville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Springville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Springville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Springville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Springville Award Program

The Springville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Springville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Springville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Springville Award Program

Springville Award Program

Reposting of original press release.

Meet the Publishers: LDSPPA

Meet the Publishers: LDSPPA

In this edition of Meet the Publishers, we’re taking you out of our office building and into the publishing world at large—specifically, the LDS publishing world.


On Friday, April 3, the Latter-day Saint Publishing Professionals Association held its inaugural meeting at the Salt Lake City Public Library. It was an exciting day of meeting new friends, brainstorming about our aims for the association, and determining what to do next.

ldsppa2We were fortunate to have Kimball Fisher, a renowned expert in organizational behavior and leadership, to guide us through the process. Kimball spent his career working with Fortune 500 companies and recently retired. He and his wife, Maureen, led us through a series of group activities to help us determine what we all wanted from this association and how we can serve each other and the world of publishing.

ldsppa30Throughout the morning, as we met the students, professors, executives, writers, editors, and various other professionals in attendance, we gained insights from each other and bonded over our shared experiences in publishing.

ldsppa13During our lunch break, we shared stories about how our membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has shaped our professional careers or changed how we do business. For example, here at Cedar Fort, we have experienced some incredible growth in the past ten years. And it was about ten years ago that we began praying together as a company. We know prayer helps us think more clearly and invites a good spirit into our meetings. We’re grateful for the growth we’ve experienced as a result.

ldsppa29After lunch we tried to narrow our focus to specific actions we can take now to move the association forward. We also appointed board members to serve on the first board of directors for the organization. Our president, Bryce Mortimer, is one of the founding board members. It was inspiring to see the dedication that has already begun in this effort as everyone in attendance began volunteering their time and talents to the cause.

ldsppa8We hope that as this association grows, we’ll find even more enthusiastic professionals who want to join us. Stay tuned for more info about upcoming LDSPPA events and opportunities, and please comment on this post if you’d like to learn more about how you can be involved.



All photos in this post appear courtesy of Kathryn Thompson. 

Meet the Publishers: Cedar Fort Celebrates Fastest-Growing Ranking with Pancake Breakfast!

Do you ever have a day when you just need to celebrate? We did.

On March 9, 2015, Publisher’s Weekly ran an article on the fastest-growing publishers in the country, and Cedar Fort made it into the top 10!

We were so thrilled! After lots of growth in the past few years and many growing pains along the way, it was fantastic to have our efforts recognized by the industry at large.

We knew it was time to celebrate, so that morning we had a big pancake breakfast for everyone in the company.Lyle

But not just any pancakes. We wanted to make them extra awesome by incorporating recipes from Karly Campbell’s recently published Stack Happy—an entire cookbook stuffed with delicious pancake and topping recipes.

So, in keeping with our signature Cedar Fort style of collaboration and cooperation, we each brought a topping or side to share.

With tables of bacon, eggs, potato pancakes, browned butter drizzle, cinnamon streusel, and more awaiting us, we said a quick prayer and dug in! We spent the next hour eating and talking.

Bacon-and-eggsThe food was delicious. Lauren Error, the graphic designer who worked on Stack Happy said, “It felt good to see the very first book I worked on come to life—or come to the table.”

As we ate, we asked each other a series of questions like, “If you could remove any one person’s vocal chords for a year, who would you choose?” and “Which person from the past are you most looking forward to meeting after you die?” As you can imagine, the answers were both funny and illuminating. Here at Cedar Fort, many of us are divided into specific genre groups and don’t work much with those outside our team. We wanted to give everyone a chance to spend time with each other.

KellyEmily Chambers said, “It was fun to get to know my coworkers in a relaxed, unusual way—a way I don’t normally get to interact with them. My favorite part was everyone’s answer to the question, ‘If you could suddenly discover that one fictional book was actually real, which book would you want it to be?’ Most everyone answered something like Harry Potter, but one person said Jurassic Park and I thought that was both awesome and terrifying.”

Lauren said, “I enjoyed getting to know people I don’t normally talk to and having conversations about topics that wouldn’t normally come up.”

BryceEven though we know we still have a lot of work ahead of us, we loved taking the time to recognize our success and realize how far we’ve come as a company. Zane Phillips, who works in our warehouse, said, “It’s encouraging. [Before the breakfast] I didn’t know we were one of the fastest-growing publishers.” This news gives each of us extra motivation to produce and deliver the best possible products to our customers.

As Lyle Mortimer, our CEO, put it, “[With this article], we’re invited to the big dance.” We have a real opportunity to have a voice in publishing. We can make a difference and spread positive, inspiring messages in a time when they’re sorely needed.questions

We invite you to celebrate this achievement with us as part of our Cedar Fort family, and we’d especially like to thank all of our authors, illustrators, and friends who helped us to reach this point.

To read the full text of the Publisher’s Weekly article, click here.



For more information about the pancakes and toppings we enjoyed, check out Stack Happy by Karly Campbell, available now for purchase on our Books & Things website. Click here!

We’d love to hear your answers to some of the questions we asked at our breakfast. Just leave us a comment below!

  1. If you could remove one person’s vocal chords for one year, who would you choose?
  2. Which person from the past are you most looking forward to meeting after you die?
  3. If you could suddenly discover that one fictional book was actually real, which book would you want it to be?
  4. If you could live in a hotel in any city in the world for one year, which city would you pick?

Meet the Publishers: A Brief History of Cedar Fort

Today we’re starting a new feature on our blog that we’re calling “Meet the Publishers.”

In this series we’ll introduce you to the business buffs, the innovative thinkers, and the practical jokers who have kept Cedar Fort in business for so long. We’ll also discuss some of the principles and ideas that have helped us succeed. We feel blessed to have grown so much, especially in the past few years while publishing as an industry has faced some serious challenges.

There will always be obstacles ahead, but we’ve found that when we combine new ideas and technology with the proven principles of the book business, we continually recreate our own niche in the market and develop products that significantly change lives.

In essence, we take the best of both the old and new and put those ideas to work for our customers: our authors, our readers, our buyers, and our employees.

Cedar Fort, Inc. officially began operating on May 23, 1986, off Geneva Road in Orem, Utah. At the time, we had only two employees. We started as a printing broker and distributor. After working with other publishers, we realized that we could produce books more efficiently than the competition. By our second year of business, we were setting and exceeding goals in the sales and production of our own titles.

Check out these highlights in our timeline below:

1986 – Cedar Fort, Inc., began business with the idea of serving our customers more efficiently.

1987 – Lyle Mortimer became the first publisher in Utah, possibly in the nation, to typeset a book on a Mac.

1988 – Beyond the Veil Vol. 1 by Lee Nelson debuted to instant success.

1992 – Moved to a new location on Main Street in Springville.

1993 – Began using Acumen software to track inventory, calculate author royalties, and manage payroll.

1994 – Began using Adobe Photoshop to create covers.

1996 – Incorporated the idea of short runs and print-on-demand for our backlist titles by collaborating with a local printer.

1996 – Began selling to Barnes and Noble.

1997 – Hired our first bookkeeper for AP/AR, Cindy Bunce. She still works with us but will retire in 2015.

1998 – Put heavier emphasis on publishing and increased number of titles published annually.

2000 – Began selling to Walmart.

2001 – Hired our sales manager, Angie Harris.

2002 – Published Isaiah Made Easier by David Ridges, which resulted in the Gospels Made Easier series.

May 2004 – Acquired Horizon Publishers, which was then the oldest existing independent LDS publisher.

Nov. 2004 – Acquired Pioneer Plus Gifts, which was the oldest LDS jewelry company in the marketplace.

June 2006 – Bryce returned from London England, after serving a full-time mission for the LDS church and began working full-time at Cedar Fort as the PR manager.

 Nov. 2006 – Moved into our own building at 2373 W 700 S, Springville.

2007 – Grew to roughly 13 employees.

2008 – Published The Shell Game by Steve Alten, selling 40,000 copies in one month. Reached #31 on NYT Bestseller list.

2009 – Published Shattered Silence by Melissa Moore, who was featured three times on Oprah, three times on Dr. Phil, and also featured on Gerald, 20/20 and Good Morning America.

2010 – Bryce Mortimer named as Vice President.

2011 – Welcomed New York Times bestselling romance writer Carla Kelly as a Cedar Fort author.

2011 – Bryce Mortimer named as President and Katreina Eden as Vice President.

Aug. 2011 – Divided our team into genre facets (work groups) to provide a better experience for our authors and increase workflow efficiency.

Nov. 2013 – Completed construction on an additional 16,000 square feet of warehouse space.

2014 – Distributed The Saratov Approach on Blu-ray and DVD as our debut in the film industry. Pre-sold 100,000 copies, non-returnable.

2014 – Grew to 62 employees.

2015 – Listed in Publisher’s Weekly as one of the top 12 fastest-growing publishing companies.



As we look to the future, we know it will require us to think creatively and continue to innovate. We’re excited to keep growing and developing a wide range of products that will entertain, enlighten, and educate.

You may have noticed a few familiar names in the timeline above. Cedar Fort’s vision and execution would not have been possible without Lyle Mortimer, Lee Nelson, Bryce Mortimer, and Katreina Eden. They and their families have contributed countless hours to the success of our company. At our core, Cedar Fort is a family business, so we’d like to introduce you to our publishers and their families.

Lyle photo

Lyle and Sheila Mortimer have seven children and 22 grandchildren. They have lived in Springville for 25 years. Lyle is a marathon runner and recorded personal records for the last two years in a row.  Lyle is also passionate about scouting. In February 2015, he was awarded The District Award of Merit for his work on a Klondike that included 600 scouts and leaders. We think he picked up his skills as a rubber-band shooter from his boy scouts. As a young man, Lyle served an LDS mission in Samoa, serving his entire mission on the island of Niue; he and Sheila look forward to serving a mission together. Each of Lyle’s children has worked for Cedar Fort in some capacity.

Lee Nelson

Lee and Sharon Nelson are the parents of eight children. They live in Mapleton, Utah. As a bestselling author, Lee has long enjoyed working in publishing and helping others succeed in telling their own stories. His historical novels have sold hundreds of thousands of copies since his first novel was released in 1981. Lee has also published a score of non-fiction works including the top-selling Beyond the Veil series. He was born in Logan, Utah, but spent most of his childhood in California. After serving an LDS mission in Germany, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a Masters Degree in Business, both from Brigham Young University. Each of Lee’s children has spent time working for Cedar Fort.


Bryce Mortimer and his wife, Jessica, have one son, Lyam. They have been married since 2007 and recently moved from Spanish Fork to Santaquin. Like his dad, Bryce loves scouting and spending time outdoors. He’s also passionate about aviation and is close to getting his pilot’s license. Bryce served a mission in London, England. We all look forward to the day we can put Lyam to work at Cedar Fort, just like his father and grandfather before him. But for now he serves as our unofficial mascot and chief cuteness officer.

Kat Eden photo2

Katreina Eden grew up in the Midwest, eventually landing in California where she went to law school and then ran her own law firm for a number of years. In addition to working as Cedar Fort’s executive vice president, Katreina also owns and operates Organiwic, LLC, an all-natural candle company, with her sister. She enjoys being out in nature and spending time with family. In 2014, Katreina published her first book with Cedar Fort, Bible Bands.


Cedar Fort Ground Breaking040


Whether you’re an author, a book seller, a reviewer, or just a fan stopping by to read our blog, we want to welcome you into our Cedar Fort family and invite you to join us as we continue to combine the best of the old and new in publishing and look forward to a future full of opportunity.


Publishers Weekly lists Cedar Fort as one of nation’s fastest growing independent publishers

Publishers Weekly lists Cedar Fort as one of nation’s fastest growing independent publishers

PublishersWeeklyIndustry trade publication Publishers Weekly lists Utah-based Cedar Fort Publishing & Media as one of the nation’s fastest-growing independent publishers. Twelve independent publishers made the list, which is based on three factors over the past three years: sales growth, number of employees and number of titles.

“This article is exciting because it validates our vision at Cedar Fort,” said Bryce Mortimer, president of Cedar Fort. “It will allow us to be of greater service in a struggling industry.” Mortimer currently serves on the executive board of PubWest (the largest independent publishers association in the US) and is involved in several other industry projects. “This recognition from our publishing peers will open new avenues for us to continue releasing inspiring and uplifting books and products,” he continued. “We are thrilled about the visibility this brings our company and our authors.”

PW reports that Cedar Fort credits its growth to a complete restructuring of its in-house operations. Instead of dividing its staff into traditional departments based on employee specialties, the production teams are grouped by genre, enabling each team to focus on its own titles.

“[The restructuring] allows us to respond quickly to trends in the marketplace, both in acquiring new titles and packaging our books to help them stand out from everything else on the shelf in that genre,” said Cedar Fort production manager, Heidi Doxey. Cedar Fort also credits its increased sales to branching out into film distribution, e-books and audiobooks. The company has been involved in the film industry for the past 18 months.


Cedar Fort Publishing & Media was formed by Lyle Mortimer in 1986. Since then, the company has grown and currently produces uplifting fiction and nonfiction books that are known across the globe. Cedar Fort has a solid catalog of LDS fiction and nonfiction titles, general release titles (including cookbooks, clean romance, and young adult adventures) and an LDS-oriented product line.