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HomeNewsArchives@Work: Settler's Handbook for the U.S. Virgin Islands

@Work: Settler's Handbook for the U.S. Virgin Islands

April 21, 2005 – Linda Bruton had a history of "sales, marketing and advertising" in Toronto, San Diego and the Virgin Islands.
In 2001 she was working part time at the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce when she spotted, on a shelf, a book called the "Settler's Handbook for the U.S. Virgin Islands."
Her history told her this "would be a good thing to grab and just do it." So she did.
The book had not been updated since 1995. So, after buying the rights to the book, she had a lot of work ahead of her before she could issue an updated version.
She said, "I had to call every phone number in there to see if they were still current." She also had to check every government department and make changes. "It was a lot more work than I expected," she said.
In October 2002 she put out a new version of the book that has been around for 25 years. She then updated it again in 2004 and plans another update in 2006.
Bruton has 10,000 copies printed each time she updates and says, "They are all pretty well gone at the end of two years."
She says it is not getting her rich, "but it is a pretty good part-time job." She presently also works in sales for SkyMed Virgin Islands.
Diving is another thread that has run through her life from Toronto to San Diego to St. Croix. In California and in Canada she edited dive publications and organized dive groups.
Bruton says she learned the skills necessary to put a publication together "by volunteering." But she also has a formal education. She earned her masters degree in marketing by going to night school in San Diego.
Bruton was living in Chicago when she heard that Travel Host magazine needed a sales representative in the Virgin Islands. The magazine job only lasted a year, but Linda is still here.
She went to work for Bohlke International Airways, a job she says she found interesting and where she got more experience in "sales, marketing and advertising."
This experience led her to move to St. Thomas and become marketing manager for Tutu Park Mall. However, she says, she missed St. Croix and had to come back. When she came back is when she spotted the old version of the "Settler's Handbook."
Bruton says what is "more rewarding than you can imagine" is the feedback from people who have read the book. "I have talked to people who live here now and they tell me it is because of the book."
Because of this she is able to list more and more testimonials in the pages of the Handbook. She gets three or four calls about the book a day. She tells people, "The best way to get the book is to send me a check." and many do.
However, Internet sales have really been giving the book sales a boost in recent years.
She has not started on the 2006 version, but it will come. She says there is nothing better to hear than someone talking to her about the book and then saying, "I hope to call you neighbor some day."
Click here to visit the Settler's Handbook Web page!

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