AWP 2016 The Perfect Self-Released Book

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Mindbuck Media and Friends will be hosting a panel at AWP 2016 in Los Angeles! 

The Perfect Self-Released Book: What Elements Are Essential, and Will All This Money and Work Pay Off in the End?

Scott James Bookfair Stage, LA Convention Center, Exhibit Hall Level One
Thursday, March 31, 2016
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm 

Link to AWP Event Page 

Many AWP participants plan to self-publish. However, a tidal wave of subpar books into the public sphere remains a damning criticism of the practice, making it difficult for readers to sort through new releases for quality, particularly from emerging writers. Self-published books need to be perfected to be part of the literary conversation. However, the reality of poor sales and high expenses needs to be discussed openly so that authors do not get stuck releasing an inferior product.

Moderator: Jessica Glenn is a book publicist, musician, and writer. Her book publicity company of ten years, MindBuck Media, specializes in fiction. Glenn has published short fiction and poetry in PDX Magazine, Mamaphonic, Papierdoll, and elsewhere, and her press releases are reprinted widely.

Kristin Thiel is a professional editor and  helps individuals writing dragon mysteries, universities publishing dialogues on education, and tech companies crafting white papers. Over the years, her self-publishing clients have only grown in number, with good reasons.

Vinnie Kinsella, author of A Little Bit of Advice for Self-Publishers, began his love affair with book publishing in the second grade, when he worked with his fellow students to write and illustrate a story about the adventures of an ice-cream loving giraffe. Since then he has worked as a writer, editor, book designer, journal publisher, workshop speaker, and college instructor. In his current role as a publications consultant, he uses his broad knowledge of the publishing industry to assist and educate self-published authors. Vinnie lives in Portland, Oregon, with his books and his collection of coffee brewing equipment.

Laura Garwood, editor and writer, runs her own business out of Sacramento. She edits books, speaks about editing, and writes the well-known parenting and humor blog,Short-Winded Blog. She has her master’s in book publishing.

Mary Bisbee-Beek, Book Publicist; Agent; Foreign Rights; Marketing Consultant

https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/event_detail/6037

Creative Publicity with Blue Star Coloring

adult-coloring-book-stress-relieving-animal-designs-1941325114-600x450Q&A with Jessica about publicity for Mindbuck Media client Blue Star Coloring.

Q: Blue Star Coloring brought you on to do publicity for their line of coloring books for grown ups. What’s different about doing book publicity for coloring books versus a work of fiction?

We are gearing up to do our first full release with Blue Star Coloring and our pitch list is certainly different than it is with novels and memoir!

Q: Are there any interesting challenges getting the word out about adult coloring books?

Since industry reviews for coloring books have never been a thing, we are in new territory with this one. We are following enthusiastic reviewers with great interest as we explore this robust publishing trend.

Q: What has been the most fun aspect of working with Blue Star Coloring?

12728546_1657570981172120_730098069_nThe most interesting and fun part of working with Blue Star Coloring is the company culture. Blue Star Coloring is comprised of interesting, hard-working people who are up for trying new things. It’s always a blast to work with people who will take creative risks and these guys have that in spades.

Q: Any advice for artists looking to publish similar art books?

If artists have illustrations ready it wouldn’t be the worst thing to submit a query to Blue Star Coloring. It’s difficult to break into the market at this point without working from within the industry.

Q: What kind of publicity hits has Blue Star Coloring had so far?

As the leader in Adult Coloring book, Blue Star Coloring has been featured everywhere including USA Today, Good Morning America, Time, Washington Post, and many more.

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How To Pitch Your Book

Clear forest in glasses on the background of blurred forest

From our friend Joe Biel founder, owner, and publisher of Microcosm Publishing

Microcosm Publishing is celebrating our 20th anniversary on Feb 12 and every day, new authors come to us with their delicately crafted, very personal work that they’ve spent hundreds of hours honing to perfection. Despite all this work, they’ve often completely neglected to figure out how to talk about their book, let alone how to pitch it.

But in the modern publishing landscape, the question of who gets published is less about how polished the manuscript is and more about the fact that publishers, just like readers, need a way to quickly understand what your book is about, who it is for, and most important, what benefits it offers. The book can be a masterwork, but if you can’t compellingly describe it in a single sentence, nobody will ever know.

Every book needs very clear development and language. The first question you need to be able to answer, in a one sentence pitch and at greater length in the book itself, is “what is this book about?” Next you need to investigate that the book you have in mind hasn’t already been written. Then you need to make sure you’ll be able to write it.”

THE PROCESS

If your book is best suited to major publishing houses (i.e. occupies an identifiable and reachable audience of more than 5,000 people), you’ll need to pitch an agency until one agrees to work with you. Then the agent begins the next process, of pitching to publishers. The process of pitching to indie houses is our focus here. Publishing with a client account like Amazon’s is another option, as is using a pay-to-play company to bring in some of the services that a publisher would normally provide for free. While these options do not have any barrier to entry (except money), if you want to reach readers who are not your friends and family, properly developing and pitching your book remains just as vital as it does in pitching to the industry.

THE RULES

Follow directions. It’s the first step to winning.
No matter who you’re pitching, the most important part of the process is: Read and follow all submission directions exactly. You will likely ruin your chances of success if you assume that you are an exception to the guidelines, if you do not follow them correctly, or if you do not put sufficient time into the process. I toss over half of our submissions because they have not followed our submission guidelines and the result is incomprehensible. Some people appear to be “blanket-submitting” their manuscript everywhere without regard to fit, which simply wastes everyone’s time. Others believe that if we just read their work we would be swooning so hard that we would be asking them where we could sign on. I cannot stress enough the vitality of reading the guidelines.

It’s also vital to research the publisher. Read their mission statement if they have one. Look at the other books they have coming out, and what they’ve done in the last few years. What kind of books do they like? What are their bestsellers? If a publisher has not made any children’s books, there is likely a good reason for that. Even if they made an exception for yours, it likely would not be in your best interest. You want your book to fit into the story and fabric of what your publisher does best.

WRITING THE PITCH

Make the first sentence of your pitch a clear and uncluttered explanation of what benefit the book offers to readers.
For example, you might write, “NONOWRIMO: Your Daily Guide To Not Publishing a Creative Work provides helpful day-planning and activities that a potential author could pursue instead of writing.”

This is the most important part of your pitch, so it should be the most visible. The publisher needs to immediately understand what the book is about before they will be willing to look further. Often, opening a conversation with someone about their pitch results in defensiveness and not understanding why a publisher needs certain questions answered. Again, the plausibility of a project is not related to the merit of the work as much as the merits in the concept of the work.

The second most important part of your pitch is one or two sentences explaining how your book stands out from similar titles. Focus on what is unique about your book that other in-print books do not offer. This requires research on what is in print rather than just speculating from memory or conjecture. Visit some bookstores. Check Google and Amazon, and look at the Amazon rankings to get a general idea of which books have done well and which have flopped. Publishers will do this as well, but your preliminary search will help direct your pitching in the right direction.
When the publisher’s guidelines indicate that it’s the correct time, submit the materials requested. If a specific format is not specified, include the basic outline of your complete work and a sample chapter or two. Most places will also want a list of comparable titles: books from the last five years (preferably fewer) from comparably sized presses of similar length, cover price, and marketing budgets. This helps everyone to better understand how you think about your book and the company it keeps.

PLATFORM

It’s helpful for agents and publishers and readers to understand what you bring to the table besides your writing: your platform and endorsements. Did you create a successful social media page or blog that speaks to the same people that your book does? Are there professional or popular people who are willing to speak excitedly about the book or write an endorsement? Is your best friend or aunt a well-connected journalist who is excited to go to bat for your book? Is your local TV station news host a social acquaintance? Have you written other books or done other projects that gained fans or praise? Share that briefly in your pitch.

Even if you’ve never written a book before and don’t have a strong network already in place, you can include supporting evidence about the potential readership of your book. Most of the pitches that I receive contain a blanket claim along the lines of “books about ice cream are very popular right now.” This is not helpful, but if you include a metric, like “Dentists have found that eating more ice cream reduces risk of cavities.” That level of information opens up new ways for the book to be sold and is helpful (even more so if it’s true!).

Almost every pitch I receive is too long, which causes me to skim for the relevant points. Then I respond if it fits or delete it if it does not (or if I can’t tell what it is about). So make it short and to the point. When you’ve finished crafting the most relevant information about your book, cut the word count on your pitch in half at least once, if not four times.

Above all, really think about who the book is for and what their concerns are, what publications they read, and how they feel about the issues discussed. Your book is for individual people rather than an amorphous “mainstream.” Be respectful to your audience—a prospective publisher, agent, or individual readers alike—and acknowledge what they know. Make them feel welcome. That’s how you succeed.

 

Microcosm is an independent, punk-inspired book publisher. They are about to turn 20. This is their story.  Good Trouble: Building a Successful Life & Business with Asperger’s

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/microcosmpublishing/making-room-for-good-trouble

Poets & Writers Feature

We are so pleased and excited to be featured in the Nov/Dec 2015 edition of Poets & Writers in “A Publicist’s Prospective.”

So impressed with Poets & Writers setting up the ‪#‎pwlive‬ event to go along with the article. Thanks!

Editor Jessica Page Morrell and publicist Jessica Glenn weigh in and give advice to burgeoning self-publishers. Available only in print. We highly recommend a subscription to Poets & Writers as a valuable resource for all writers (and poets!).

 

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Summer/Fall 2015 New Books

A sample of current MindBuck Media books on tap:


41q43hXsb3L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_War: A Crime Against Humanity by Roberto Vivo

A book that will open your eyes to the evolution of war and the promise of enduring peace.

War: A Crime Against Humanity is a fascinating history of war and the search for enduring world peace.
Roberto Vivo deftly guides the reader through the history of war and peace, from early civilizations to the major conflicts and peace efforts of today. The book zeros in on the historical moments that have shaped the practice of war in dozens of examples, from the ancient Greeks to Cambodia to Rwanda, and juxtaposes such examples with our best experiments in peace.

Vivo then draws on the history of movements to outlaw practices such as apartheid and slavery to build a case for criminalizing the use of war and holding world leaders accountable for initiating conflicts before the International Criminal Court.

His outspoken criticism of the politics and industry of war is tempered by a profound optimism about what people can learn from history and what we can achieve together. War: A Crime Against Humanity is not another diatribe against the status quo; it is an inspiring and profoundly hopeful vision of the future we can dare to create.

Release: April 2015
Publisher: Hojas del Sur
ISBN: 978­987­1882­34­2
Kindle Price: $9.99
Pages: 357
Distribution: Amazon
eBook Distribution: Kindle

everydayahopeEvery Day A Hope by Marci Mathews

Through tiny stories and illustrations, Every Day a Hope​encourages and empowers readers to examine emotionally difficult issues, while instilling confidence, introspection, and creativity. In each page, Marci M. Matthews addresses familiar concepts in a unique manner, designed to evoke thoughts, feelings and the ability to embrace the positive.

The concepts in E​very Day a Hope a​re taken from Matthews’ work with survivors, but the book is accessible to anyone. The book challenges readers by asking questions and providing space to draw, write, keep lists, and be creative.

“This debut picture book for a general audience deploys text and drawings to showcase a series of musing, motivational messages. (E​very Day A Hope)​has plenty of gentle charm and will certainly be accessible to a wide audience… a sweet, simple roundup of illustrated inspirational thoughts.” ­
– KIRKUS

Release: M​ay 19, 2015
Publisher: Off to See
ISBN: 978-0-9908218-1-6
Price: $18.99 hardback
Price: $14.99 paperback
Pages: 131

Girl in the River resizedGirl In A River by Patricia Kullberg

Her pimp wants her dead, a hooker wants her heart, and the DA just wants her …

On the eve of World War II, Portland, Oregon, battles corruption as the city falls into the hands of gangsters. Newly orphaned, Mae Rose wanders the rain-stained streets alone, on the lam from a knife-wielding pimp and mustering her own worst impulses to survive. As Mae rises to power in Portland’s gritty sex industry, she’s pursued by a district attorney who seeks to snare her for more personal reasons. In the city’s smoky nightspots, the glamorous Dr. Ruth Barnett turns heads, but by day she operates a wildly successful abortion service. At war’s end, both Mae and Ruth are caught in the crosshairs of Portland’s anti-vice crusade. The women’s survival, as well as any chance at lasting love, depends on their allegiance to each other and their abilities to outsmart the cops and politicians who no longer protect them. This novel, based in part on the true story of Dr. Ruth Barnett, takes an unflinching look at the power dynamics of sex and post-war assaults on reproductive rights.

“… Like one of those hardboiled film noir movies, this novel is smart and raw and full of sassy dialogue …” –M​aryka Biaggo, author of​Parlor Games

Release:, August 20, 2015 P
ublisher: Bygone Era Books, Ltd.
ISBN: 978-1-941072-24-0
Price: $19.95 Paperback
Price: $6.99 e-book
Pages: 378

summerColdwarSummer on the Cold War Planet by Paula Closson Buck

Their first encounter disrupted her sense of who she was. Years later, she still finds him as irresistible as he is forbidding.

“Each story he told shed about as much light as a match and made all the dark around it worth wanting to know…”

In the late spring of 1989, Lyddie, a young American art historian, finds herself alone and pregnant when her husband, Phelps, disappears in Kurdish Iraq. Set adrift from the security of their marriage, she returns to the divided city of Berlin where they met four years before, seeking truths she believes Phelps may have kept from her.

Now the ferment at Germany’s borders is spilling into the private lives of their bohemian friends—particularly that of exiled East German painter Axel Herzog. Lyddie has always felt the gravitational pull of Axel’s art and of the stories of mystics he learned as a boy in Greece. And though Phelps once warned her away from Axel, the attraction grows stronger as she uncovers a vulnerability beneath the scorn he learned on the other side of the Wall. When revelations about Axel’s past force her to retreat to an island in Greece, Lyddie finds she has run headlong into everything she has tried to avoid.

In this novel of conflicting allegiances played out between a richly realized late Cold War Berlin and the stark beauty of the Cycladic islands, travellers, natives, and refugees circle one another warily, their fates hanging on the question of which trusts if any, will remain unviolated.

Release: September 3, 2015
Publisher: Fomite
ISBN: 978­1­942515­11­1
Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
Pages: 357
Distribution: Ingram, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
eBook Distribution: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords

size500_Ice_Cream_Work_Cover_1000-1Ice Cream Work by Naoshi

Where will Ice Cream Man work next??

Ice Cream Man knows there’s lots of work to be done! Whether it’s cheerfully posing next to chocolate cake, beaming team spirit as 1/8th of a sunflower, or glowing bright as he becomes a fabulous night light, Ice Cream Man is ready for the job!

This delicious, quirky children’s book by internationally acclaimed Japanese artist Naoshi combines a whimsical story with colorful sunae (sand art). A “Look & Find” section challenges youngsters to scour the pages for small details, and a “How To Make Sunae” section guides readers step‐by‐step through a “sand painting” art project of their own.

“Ice Cream Work is a meticulous and stunning piece of art. The story exudes a
loopy, anarchist joy: chronicling the adventures of a hard­working and stylish frozen dairy confection and his eclectically industrious week.” ­­ Dale Bayse, author of Heck, Where the Bad Kids Go series

Release: October 1, 2015
Publisher: Overcup Press
ISBN: 0­9834917­3­9
Price: $14.99 hardcover
Pages: 40
appropriate for ages 3 and up

LostJournalsThe Lost Journals of Sylvia Plath by Kimberly Knutsen

Katie’s bored stiff in her marriage. Wilson’s clawing the walls to stay sober. Can they survive January?
Katie Lavender’s life boomerangs between diapers and benzodiazepines, hot sex and married sex. A genuine earth mother, Katie is an anxious hippie with a PhD. She spends her afternoons leafing through People magazine, snacking on her kids’ cereal and seducing her young neighbor. She’s restless for something to change ‐ fast. Katie’s fumbling husband Wilson is a sober alcoholic and professor of women’s studies, though he’s beginning to suspect he knows nothing about the other gender. With three children underfoot, Katie and Wilson each wonder if they’re meant to be together. The Lavender’s stagnant marriage is upended when Katie’s pregnant sister January arrives on their doorstep. Obsessed with her big‐haired ex‐lover ‐ 80s rocker Stevie Flame ‐ January is a free‐spirited, wild child who drives Wilson crazy. January’s arrival unearths memories from Katie’s violent past, and a trauma she thought she’d overcome haunts her anew. Can Katie reclaim the love she deserves?

“Consistently funny and well­ observed … the novel is a pleasure to read.” ‐‐ Andy Mozina, author of The Women Were Leaving the Men and Quality Snacks.

Release: October 2015
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
ISBN: 978­0­87580­725­6
Price: $18.95 hardcover
Pages: 384

Guest Post from Indie Reader: Get Your Book in Front of 37,000 Book Industry Professionals

Book_IRIS_programFor many Indie authors, getting their books in an actual physical bookstore is the Holy Grail. We hear it all the time. The problem is, it’s a crazy amount of work to canvas the shops, have meetings with store owners and convince them that you’re book is a good fit.

So we at IndieReader came up with a solution. Not just another listing, IR In-Store (IRIS) reviews and catalogs your book as part of a branded collection on Edelweiss, an online catalog service used by a majority of independent bookstores (plus B&N!), a social network platform for industry professionals and an interactive research tool for librarians, bloggers and reviewers.

The cost to indie authors is $399.00* per title (assuming the the title is available via Ingram Wholesale, if it’s not, IR can make it available there for a small additional fee) and includes an IndieReader book review that will accompany the title in the Edelweiss database.

Not only that, but for no additional fee, your book is included in the Edelweiss Digital Review Copy (DRC) Module. Similar in function to NetGalley, it is a secure, controlled way for authors to share their DRCs with reviewers, bloggers, librarians, media, booksellers, wholesalers, etc.

But don’t just take our word for it. Says Counting to D author and MindBuck Media client, Kate Scott, “Participating in IndieReader’s In-Store (IRIS) program is an investment I would definitely do again. If you are planning to spend any money on publicity and/or marketing for your upcoming title, I recommend joining IRIS first. I will definitely be listing all my future titles on the Edelweiss network.”

And bookstore owners concur.  Says Tony Herr, from Cape Atlantic Bookstore in Cape May, NJ:

“I love this idea very much and want to utilize it completely. We’ve had an indie section since we opened 2 years ago, but it hasn’t been very diverse since I cannot review everything that comes my way, and so far the indie selections from Ingram have only been offered at 25-30% discounts, (I would happily take more chances with titles if Ingram offered them at my regular discount). I definitely believe this service will go a long way to getting these selections properly reviewed and on bookstore shelves.”

More information on the Indie Reader In Store program.

Guest post by Amy Edelman at IndieReader

ArtclecticPDX Interview with Art Edwards

Jessica’s back with TypeCast on ArtclecticPDX on KZME 107.1 FM

BadgeJessica’s interview is with author Art Edwards.  They talk at length about his latest book, Badge, but go into topics like “Calypso,” the Refreshments, self-publishing and wondering if kids today look back fondly at the music of Art’s generation and the way he looks  back at the sixties generation’s.

Listen to the show here.  The interview starts about 30 mins in.

 

Guest Post from Grammarly: Using Technology to Complete a Novel at Warp-Speed

We at Mindbuck Media are pleased as the proverbial spiked punch to have Allison VanNest of Grammarly.com provide a guest post for us.

By Allison VanNest, Grammarly.com

Over the last decade, technology has changed just about every part of our lives. From smart phones and tablets to ever-present Wi-Fi and HDTV, the list of incredible technological advances goes on and on. However, one area that technology hasn’t seemed to touch is novel writing. A proper novel will always require a dedicated author working tirelessly to develop a story and to bring compelling characters to life.

Technology doesn’t really figure in to the novel writing process.

Or does it?

GrammoWriMo LogoIn November, Grammarly debuted GrammoWriMo, a spinoff of National Novel Writing Month. As part of this project, hundreds of writers signed up to co-write a single 50,000-word novel. While this is would be a daunting project for any single writer to complete in 30 days, Grammarly’s writers knew that they were up for the task if they did it together.

And they were right. Although more than 300,000 people signed up for NaNoWriMo in 2013, only 41,940 novels were actually completed. Clocking in at a total of 130,927 unedited words, the GrammoWriMo group novel was among them!

Over the next few years, technology will drastically change the way that we communicate in writing. Grammarly is at the forefront of this change – having already created a project to make the writing process both social and democratic.

The response to GrammoWriMo was overwhelming:

  • Thousands of people participated in surveys to determine the plot of the group novel and submit potential cover art; 287 writers ultimately contributed to the project
  • Writers from 27 countries – and 44 U.S. states – contributed an average of 580 words each to the group novel
  • 70 percent of GrammoWriMo participants have a personal blog, and an impressive 55 percent have been published online at some point

Naturally, there are some hurdles to clear when trying to bring together a project of this size in such a short amount of time. Two of the biggest challenges that the Grammarly team faced were organization and cohesion.

WriteOnNaNoWriMoGetting organized

To make GrammoWriMo work, Grammarly divided writers into groups (around 25 people per chapter) that were assigned to work simultaneously on each of the novel’s 30 chapters. Each writer within each group was assigned a specific day on which to write. Writers built on the work of those before them until the chapter was finished and each author has applied his or her own touch to the manuscript.

Technology played a large role in making this kind of organization possible. A Google Doc was assigned to each chapter-group, so writers could easily access the growing document without having to pass around email attachments. Also, individual Facebook groups were established for each chapter so they could quickly and easily communicate and problem-solve along the way.

lonely wishgiverCreating a cohesive novel

Each of the 30 chapters was written simultaneously, so writers had to pay close attention to the outline created for their own chapter, as well as the plot points introduced in chapters before and after them. For this to work, the entire book had to be outlined in advance of the project so writers working on later chapters would have an idea of what would be appearing in the earlier pages of the novel.

A very specific and detailed plot summary was provided to all writers, highlighting the purpose and direction of each individual chapter. This document was continuously updated by the Grammarly team and established the main characters and storyline while allowing for some freedom of creativity for the writers themselves.

What do you think?

Is this project likely to change the way novels are written from this day forward? No – probably not. However, it is an exciting demonstration of how technology can bring people and ideas together with a common goal. No longer is the process of writing a novel limited to a solitary writer banging away on a keyboard until the story is complete. Projects like GrammoWriMo prove that innovative thinking can bring new solutions to age-old challenges.

Would you co-write a novel with 300 other people? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

AllieA self-proclaimed word nerd, Allison VanNest works with Grammarly to help perfect written English. Connect with Allie, the Grammarly team, and more than ONE MILLION Grammarly Facebook fans at http://www.facebook.com/grammarly.

 

Editing Rx

Editing_Tools_2By Kristin Thiel of Indigo Editing

Just as a therapist may be able to prescribe medication or not, may counsel the physical or the mental side of a person, or may have a certificate or a medical license, an editor may perform any number of different editing tasks and have a background distinct from other editors. Editor is a broad term, so it’s important for authors to ask editors questions and see samples of their work to understand what they do and what perspectives they bring to their work. Two very different editors can both be wonderful—but not equally wonderful for the same writer.

As a group, the editors of Indigo offer a variety of skills and experiences, but here’s the framework within which we all work. For each project, we:

  • Provide a free sample edit so that the author can see the editor’s individual style and so that the editor can offer a clear estimate on time and cost
  • Make suggestions while encouraging the writer’s own style and voice—the author always has the final say on a project
  • Keep a style sheet of all style decisions, variant spellings, and fact-checked proper nouns
  • Write an editorial letter to summarize our edits and explain what the author should do next

We take these steps in each stage of editing. Some projects need all stages, some just one—the editor and the author work together to determine what level of work is needed.

  • Developmental editing digs deep, addressing content, presentation, and documentation. The editor works closely with the author. Because this may continue for several rounds, for the sake of a client’s budget, Indigo tries to keep this contained in a single round. If we notice in a sample edit that a project requires deep structural work, we suggest a Reader’s Response first to help alleviate the heavy lifting required in multiple developmental editing rounds. (For a Reader’s Response, an Indigo editor reads the manuscript at a reader’s, rather than an editor’s, pace and then prepares a letter of reply, highlighting what the editor sees as the manuscript’s strengths and what could be done to address the less successful patterns.)
  • Line editing includes editing for grammar, syntax, and consistent formatting among similar elements, cross-checking across the text, and fact-checking.
  •  Proofreading may happen before design, after design, and after the printer has provided proofs, the editor at this stage catching lingering errors in spelling and punctuation through awkward line or page breaks.

Email info@indigoediting.com to talk with Indigo about the editing you want for your writing. (We can also help with project management of your independent publishing project as well as book design.)

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Mindbuck Media 2013 Books in Review

by Jessica Henkle

As the year comes to a close, we at MindBuck Media would like to share a bit about some of the books we’ve had the privilege of promoting in 2013.

Word Up!

WordUpWe kicked off the spring release season in April, when Northwest Brainstorms Publishing brought us Marcia Riefer Johnston’s Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs (and Everything You Build from Them). The title says it all–this book is jam-packed with practical writing advice for grammar novices and aficionados alike. A technical writer by trade, Johnston has the know-how to help you make your words pack a punch, whether you write novels, scholarly articles, Twitter posts, or all three. Word Up! has continued to be a bestseller in the writing/grammar category since its release.

Flashes of War

Thumb_FlashesofWarFlashes of War by Katey Schultz joined the world in May, published by Loyola University’s Apprentice House. Awarded the Gold Medal Book of the Year in Literary Fiction by the Military Writers Society of America, this provocative short story collection illuminates the lives affected by the War on Terror. Told from both sides of the fighting lines, Schultz breaks down barriers, defies stereotypes, and speaks with unflinching honesty into the far-reaching wounds of war. Katey’s website

A Vision of Angels

Thmb_A-Vision-of-AngelsIn July, we welcomed Timothy J. Smith’s A Vision of Angels, a suspense novel that tells of four interwoven lives forever changed by an Easter Sunday terrorist threat. Published by Owl Canyon Press, this is Smith’s second book with us. The first, Cooper’s Promise, was published in October 2012. Drawing from his international background, Smith writes with unique range and sensibility, and in A Vision of Angels, he’s crafted a gripping tale of forgiveness and hope.

Starship Century

Thmb_STARSHIP CENTURY cover 12-12 2As the summer continued, Starship Century arrived, an illustrious anthology published by Microwave Sciences and Lucky Bat in August. Edited by James Benford & Gregory Benford, authors include Stephen Hawking, Freeman Dyson, Martin Rees, David Brin, Richard Lovett and more. Inspired by the discussions that occurred during the 100-Year Starship Symposium, this book combines scholarly essays with stories of science fiction, illustrating the common ground that scientists and sci-fi writers share. It also poses the question, will we reach another star within the next 100 years?

Wally’s Wienerful World of Golf

Thmb_wallys-wienerfulIn August, we worked on Wally’s Wienerful World of Golf. Wally’s is the second in a series of novelty books released through Senovva Productions and Bear Mountain Management by syndicated comic strip author, Kevin Fagan. The series is based on Fagan’s long-running, syndicated comic strip, DRABBLE. We worked on the prequel, A DRABBLE Family Christmas Tale in December of 2012. A third DRABBLE-based book is slotted for 2014, which promises to be as charming as the first two.

Arousing The Buy Curious

Thmb_ATBCCoverBecki Saltzman’s tongue-in-cheek real estate guide, Arousing the Buy Curious: Real Estate Pillow Talk for Patrons and Professionals, rolled out in September from OOMAU Media. This book takes an alluring approach at revealing the inside secrets of real estate. Professionals can learn techniques and “sexy mind-science” for representing clients, while buyers looking to save money will get the scoop on the real (and sometimes naughty) truth about the market.

The Edwin Drood Murders

Thmb-edwin-drood-smallSeptember also brought us The Edwin Drood Murders, the second installment in Christopher Lord’s Dickens Junction series, published by Harrison Thurman. The first, The Christmas Carol Murders, was published in September 2012, when we met bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, Simon Alastair. In this second book, Simon is joined by his dashing life partner, Zach Benjamin, as they step in to investigate when a priceless ring and a rare Dickensian artifact go missing.

Pedal Forward

Thm_PEdalFOrward-CoverMedA busy month for books, September ushered in Trey Hall’s Pedal Forward: The 10 Life and Business Lessons I Have Learned on My Bike, published by Cairn Publishing Denver. When Trey and his bike collided head-on with a car at 75 MPH, he suffered life-threatening injuries, but emerged triumphant. Drawing upon that victory, as well as his years of marketing experience, Hall’s inspirational story encourages top performance, whether on a bike or in a boardroom. No surprise to us that Pedal Forward was voted one of the ‘Must Reads’ for 2013 by greatist.com!

Super Born

Thm_Super_Born_Cover_webThe year rounded to a close with Keith Kornell’s racy fantasy-crime novel, Super Born: Seduction of Being, which flew onto the shelves in October from Harper Landmark Books. It tells the story of a single mom who suddenly develops superpowers, while the men around her are reduced to drooling drunkards. Now, she has to learn how to use those powers and keep the bad guys at bay, all while raising her daughter and holding down a day job.

This was a great year for books, and 2014 is shaping up to be just as stellar. We look forward to telling you more about our new titles in the upcoming months. Until then, 2013’s books offer more than enough material to keep readers good and occupied.