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.

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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

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.

 

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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.

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Blog Tour: ‘Patchwork Reality’

Pauline Hansen is excited to be hosting a blog tour for her book, Patchwork Reality from February 21 – March 15.

Through a series of dreams and delusions, Curtis Hansen becomes convinced that he and his wife, Pauline, are part of an intricate game devised for the entertainment of wealthy onlookers. To win, the couple must stay together despite a series of temptations and trials designed to break up their marriage. After playing “The Game” with Curtis for nine arduous years, Pauline makes a shocking discovery. Read the riveting account of her decade in the dark and her return to reality after Curtis is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

 

If you are interested in joining the blog tour, please leave a comment with the date you’d like to post or contact Cedar Fort via email.

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Meet the Author:

Pauline Hansen grew up in a tiny town where she went everywhere barefoot, played in the ditch, and anticipated the arrival of the bookmobile every two weeks. Her love of reading led her to dream of someday becoming an author. In addition to reading and writing, Pauline enjoys traveling, spring cleaning, cooking, organizing, and spending time with her family. After nearly twenty-five years living in the city, she now resides once again in her tiny hometown in southern Utah with her husband, three of their five children, and two cats. Patchwork Reality is her first publication.

Patchwork Reality Blog Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Blog Tour: ‘Fractured Truth’

Rachel McClellan is pleased to announce the release of the third book in the Fractured Light Series. She will be hosting a blog tour for her new book, Fractured Truth.  from April 6 – 26.

Llona is determined to end the fight with the Vykens once and for all. All she needs is to find and destroy the Shadow—the ultimate source of dark power. But when she makes a startling discovery about someone she loves, Llona has to fight the toughest battle yet in this exciting conclusion to the Fractured Light series.

If you are interested in joining the blog tour, please leave a comment with the date you’d like to post or contact Cedar Fort via email.

Fractured Truth blog tour

Meet the Author:

Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four small children. Her love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was…Currently she lives in Rhode Island where the graveyards are as enchanting as the forests.

“Fractured Truth” Blog Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Blog Tour: ‘Healing Stone’

Brock Booher is pleased to announce a blog tour celebrating the release of his book Healing Stone from April 10- 25

Abandoned in a graveyard and a mother who was never found—that’s all Stone Molony knows about his birth. But now he needs to know more. A tragic accident has awakened a powerful gift inside him that changes everything. As the town stirs up around him, Stone journeys through corruption, racism, and violence to uncover the truth about his past.

If you are interested in joining the blog tour, please leave a comment with the date you’d like to post or contact Cedar Fort via email.

Healing Stone blog tour

Meet the Author:

Brock Booher grew up on a farm in rural Kentucky, the fourth of ten children, where he learned to work hard, use his imagination, and believe in himself. He left the farm to pursue the friendly skies as a pilot, and currently flies for a major US carrier. A dedicated husband and father of six children, he began writing out of sheer arrogance, but the writing craft quickly humbled him. During that process, he discovered that he enjoyed writing because it is an endeavor that can never quite be mastered. He still gladly struggles everyday to improve his writing and storytelling skills.

Healing Stone Blog Tour Schedule

Week One

  • April 10 – Readalot
  • April 11 –
  • April 12 –

Week Two

Week Three