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Success Story: New Jersey

A Client’s Letter to the New Jersey SBDC at Brookdale Community College

Dear NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College:

I wanted to share with you my success with my writing business, Fine Works LLC. It would not have been possible without the great assistance of the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Brookdale Community College. At Brookdale Community College, I completed The Entrepreneur Certificate in 2010 and The Digital Blueprint Certificate in 2016 as well as having many one-on-one business counseling appointments with the NJSBDC.

NJSBDC was instrumental in turning my passion, the martial arts, into a writing business. I started publishing magazine articles over a decade ago. Last year, I used my contacts from magazine publishing to get my first book published, a martial arts book titled Sumo for Mixed Martial Arts: Winning Clinches, Takedowns, and Tactics, by YMAA Publication Center. YMAA has been publishing martial arts books for over 30 years. YMAA is selling my book on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and numerous other venues in print and eBook formats. It is being sold worldwide. The NJSBDC prepared me well. For instance, YMAA plans on using my book research techniques for marketing and reviewers as their gold standard. I was informed by the Managing Editor at YMAA, “I’ve never had an author deliver better materials.” 

I continue to publish martial arts articles in magazines domestically and internationally. In the past year, MMA Uncaged, a UK based magazine, published two of my articles and reviewed my book in their magazine. Black Belt Magazine, World’s Leading Martial Arts Resource, plans on publishing an article of mine in their Oct/Nov 2017 issue. All these articles are used as marketing vehicles for plugging my book.

The social media courses provided by the NJSBDC were invaluable for me in marketing my book. I use Google Alerts to gather content to pass onto big influencers in my field to help spread the word on my writing in social media.

I’ve collaborated with other successful clients of the NJSBDC. I introduced Tim Vazquez to the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College several years ago. Tim, an old friend, helped me greatly with the photography for my upcoming Black Belt Magazine article. In turn, Tim’s martial arts school gets some advertising in Black Belt Magazine.

I have been counseled in business extensively by both Ms. Jackeline Mejias Fuertes and Ms. Pasqualina DeLucia of the NJSBDC. They have been extremely helpfully in the positive evolution of my business. Their professional assistance is much appreciated.

My first book is selling well. It is regularly on the top 100 list on Amazon in its category. I recently won an award for my book. It was awarded a Finalist in the SPORTS 2016 INDIES Book Award. I am now an award-winning author, thanks in part to the NJSBDC. Currently, I am working on my second book.

I believe one should keep a beginner’s mind, always willing to learn new things. I continue to reach out to the NJSBDC and take new courses to improve my business skills.

Thank you NJSBDC for being there.

Best Regards,

Andrew Zerling


For more about Andrew Zerling, visit his website at For more about the New Jersey SBDC and the New Jersey SBDC at Brookdale Community College, visit and

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