Notes & news
More reasons to think ebooks!
As an editor, a writer, and a reader, I am a committed convert to ebooks. They provide an excellent new publishing option for book authors; they're environmentally friendly; they give readers a wider choice than they've ever had before; and they're just plain fun to read!
And every day, or so it seems, there are more reasons for authors—whether self-published or traditionally published—to consider releasing their own book(s) in ebook formats. The conventional book trade is in constant flux—mostly not in a good way. Publisher bankruptcies are now frequent events; for example, Canada now has one less publishing house, as the venerable old firm of Thomas Allen recently closed its doors upon acquisition by Dundurn.
Meanwhile, as the US Authors Guild Bulletin has recently reported, printed-book sales are flat while ebook sales are booming. Think about it . . .
Writers' Union promo squad
As a long-time member of the Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC), I recently became part of the organization's "promo squad," a new venture to promote both the writers' union and the interests of book authors. One recent post concerns copying by educational insitutions that circumvents the right of authors to be paid for the use of their intellectual property.
Preserving your writing ideas
As writers, most of us have a sense of where our ideas come from—a memory, an observation, a dream, or somewhere else at the depths of the right brain. But when an idea is fleeting, it seemingly goes somewhere that makes its retrieval hopeless. And, ironically, often the ideas that we find most compelling—and feel certain that we'll remember—are the first to be forgotten. That's why it is always a good idea to write down each passing thought as it occurs.
I used to carry a small notepad and pen with me at all times. Another pad and pen were fixtures on my nightstand, for recording those inspirations that only seem to come at 3:00 a.m.
The paper-and-pen method still works. But we are now in the digital age, and most of us have access to any number of wireless devices that we can use to preserve our best ideas until we are able to incorporate them into our books and other projects.
Rob Lennard, aka "the History Wrangler"—a Helping You Get Published client and award-winning author of two highly successful children's time travel novels—swears by his iPhone. "What works great for me," says Lennard, "is using the note feature in my iPhone to write down ideas for my storyline when I get them. This is a great habit, in that if you wait for days to write them down, ideas will evaporate."
Follow Helping You Get Published and Patricia Anderson on these sites . . .
Coming soon . . .
New video: Writing Romance . . . with a Passion. Stay tuned . . .
Helping You Get Published books & authors
Recently published . . .
Autumn 2013 . . .
In business, as in life, some truths abide . . .
Madame Alexandra's Rules of Business: The Enduring Principles of Business Success, by Claude Roessiger
Madame Alexandra, a noted entrepreneur of fin-de-siècle Paris, sets down the timeless principles of business success. Among her many wise precepts are: "Read great books . . . Provide your clients with excellence, exclusivity, and desirability . . . Respect those with whom you conduct business . . . Be discreet . . . Work to a single high standard in even the least detail of your business . . ."
Madame Alxandra's Rules of Business is a must-read for anyone who has ever run a business, currently operates a business, or is thinking of starting a business. A mix of belles lettres, wit, and good sense, it is both a work of literature and a primer for achieving excellence in any commercial or, indeed, most any other endeavor.
A book that defies easy classification—it is as incomparable as Madame Alexandra herself!
You can tell a book by its cover . . .
Unforgettable Packaging and How to Create It: The Definitive Guide for Luxury and Specialty Brands, by Claude Roessiger; foreword by Santo Versace
"In a forest of digital noise," as Santo Versace expresses it, Unforgettable Packaging meets the challenge of luxury packaging in today's economy. This best-practices guide, at once pragmatic and philosophical, definitively integrates both the economics and the culture of luxury products and their packaging.
Authoritative, informative, and readable—it doesn't get any better than this in the world of business books!
"Claude Roessiger founded and led one of the major luxury packaging companies of the world, and came thereby to understand branding through packaging in a unique and valuable way. He 'speaks our language.'"—Santo Versace
Claude Roessiger was raised in Switzerland and the United States. He studied political science at Middlebury, and received an honors degree from Boston University’s School of Management. An entrepreneur, Roessiger has founded several international companies. He is an authority on the branding of luxury products and has written on the subject and lectured in front of leading luxury-sector associations in Europe, Asia, and North America. He has also been active in state politics and has written and spoken widely on political philosophy and international relations. He lives with his family in northern New England and on Ireland’s windswept west coast.
Summer 2013 . . .
In the quiet of a village churchyard, something evil waits . . .
The Marble Orchard, a mystery novel by Mitch Kynock
Walter Ross is determined to expose a secret he believes is hidden somewhere inside the walls of a Catholic church in the small community of Pixville. His quest begins when his best friend, Cecil, spends a frightening night at the church’s cemetery, known as "the Marble Orchard." While partying among the gravestones, Cecil and his friends encounter a half-human apparition that seems all too chillingly real. When other similar events from the past and present begin to surface, Walter is convinced that these mysterious happenings are warning signs that something sinister has occurred inside St. Joseph’s Church. As time moves on and events unfold, a fire destroys the church, opening the door to a horrific discovery. With the authorities baffled, it falls to Walter to unravel the mystery of the Marble Orchard.
An unusual mystery with some chilling twists.
Mitch Kynock is also the author of the inspirational memoir Conversations with Spirits.
Spring 2013 . . .
Murder, madness, and twisted love
. . .
Snowblind: A Play in Two Acts, by R. W. Swartz
For years George has lived with the guilt of his wife and daughter’s death. Over time, guilt has taken ever greater control of his mind, and he blames his family for leaving him alone. Though he still “visits” them daily, every outing ends in their dying. With the same scenario and torment playing out over and over, George has become quite mad. Now as he is about to lose his family again, he hopes that the outcome will be different. His wife, Rebecca, has said that it will be, but in his paranoia, George is not sure. She has said this before then grown tired of the new game, and tragedy has repeated itself yet again.
Who is mad, who is not? Who is the victim, who is a killer? Who is who? Has Rebecca taken the thoughts of her tortured husband for her own purpose? Or does everyone’s existence reside in the mind of an evil madman?
A vivid drama that is at once a murder mystery, exploration of the nature of reality, and excursion into the darker reaches of love.
Robin Swartz retired from military service and is now an author and part-time playwright living in his home state of Alaska. He studied journalism at Grossmont College and San Diego State University. In addition to Snowblind, he has outlined two other plays and is the author of Love Me: A look into a life of abuse, sex, drugs, and bipolar disorder. He is currently researching and writing a new book about an old missing-person case that is still open.
A medicinal romp through small-town Arkansas, professional baseball, and a hospital that could be harmful to your health . . .
The Arkansas Connection, by David Evans
Frank Munro, manager of the New York Mets, leads a turbulent life trying to win with a team of dysfunctional underachievers. Soon after the Mets lose the final game of the season, Frank must return to his hometown of Catsville, Arkansas, to arrange his mother's funeral. Meanwhile, Bobby Sherward, a doctor-turned-right fielder, decides that his future is in medicine, not baseball. He takes a position at a veteran’s hospital in Arkansas that turns out to be within spitting distance of Frank's hometown.
That’s not the only unsettling coincidence Bobby must contend with, for it soon becomes apparent that Broken Arrow Memorial is the medical equivalent of the Mets. Run by a psychotic medical director, the hospital is the home of indifferent or incompetent doctors, electro-convulsed patients, and assorted weird experiments. Bobby soon has enough, but before he leaves town he encounters Jonathon Brown, a remarkable sandlot baseball player and financial genius. Bobby convinces Jonathon to try out for the Mets, and his incredible skills both on the field and in finance soon bring the team fame and prosperity. But Jonathon runs afoul of a brokerage firm whose CEO plots to “eliminate” him. Will Jonathon survive his trip to the big league? Or will the Arkansas connection come to an untimely end?
An original and genuinely funny novel proving that laughter—mixed with baseball, money, and quirky characters—is powerful medicine indeed.
A journey out of the darkness and into the light . . .
Jaded Diamond, by Penny D. Burnham
Natalie Lauren, senior acquiring editor for one of the largest privately held publishing firms in North America, has worked her entire life to make a profound difference in the world. But there has always been something missing, and Natalie will soon come to understand the difference between working to have a great life and having a great life that works.
Haunted by the tragedies of her past, her own personal darkness, and a shattered relationship with her free-spirited lover, Natalie is jaded by the life she is living. At a crossroads, and in pursuit of her next publishing project, she ventures to a small island in the Mexican Caribbean, Isla Mujeres (Island of Women). In this tropical paradise, the past that she has struggled to leave behind catches up with her, and she uncovers the patterns that have defined her and the barriers that have blocked her intuition and self-love. Through the influence of Mayan culture, the goddess Ixchel, the island, and its people, Natalie learns what it means to be free, to live a genuine life with an unchained heart—and to journey at last from darkness into light.
A rich narrative of release and renewal, magic and discovery.
Penny D. Burnham, a Canadian writer, is the author of guides, manuals, training programs, website copy, marketing materials, and poetry. Jaded Diamond is her first novel. She will be appearing this spring at the London Book Fair and Book Expo America in New York City.
Winter 2013 . . .
Inspirational novel . . .
The Vision, by Lori Fields
Janet is a young woman with high anxiety and a distant family. James is a teenage boy with a sick sister and low self-esteem. Jacob is an older, disgruntled gentleman with no passion for life. These three very different people are all in need of something, or someone, to help them with the challenges they face at this time in their lives. A vision—so powerful, so loving, and so welcoming—comes into their lives, changes everything, and brings them together in lifelong friendship.
A story at once entertaining, heartwarming, and thought provoking.
Lori Fields is a Reiki master and certified counsellor who believes that spirituality and a connection to a Higher Power helps us in our everyday lives and with challenges that we face. She has written poetry, stories, and lyrics. The Vision is her first novel.
In the spirit of Thoreau . . .
Mt. Hersey Road: Finding Nature After Fifty Years, by Dorothy Thurston
This true account of simple living chronicles the author's struggle to acquire 138 wooded acres on Mt. Hersey Road, an unpaved and winding passageway in rural Arkansas, near the Buffalo River.There she builds an unpretentious cabin for contemplation and rest, a place where, undisturbed, she can record her thoughts on society, people, and animals. Beginning fifty years ago when she could only plan for the day to live in unblemished nature, her quest for quietude culminates in this unusual memoir of a lifelong dream realized.
A thoughtful, sometimes provocative tribute to nature and the rewards of solitude.
Dorothy Thurston is a writer and artist whose experience includes teaching painting, producing public relations material, writing feature articles for periodicals, and working as a copy editor for the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. While she lived and worked for much of her life in heavily populated urban areas, her ideal was always to gain the kind of quiet inspiration to be found in secluded woodland settings. Mt. Hersey Road, her principal work, carries on the tradition of the nineteenth-century naturalist Henry David Thoreau, who regarded nature as a way to peace and integration.
A father's love transcends time . . .
The Fountain of Hope, by Douglas R. Safarik
Devastated by his teenage son's cancer, Sam Richards is caught up in a maelstrom of emotions, memories, and disturbing dreams. His troubles compound when he experiences unsettling visions at the fountain of the hospital where his son is being treated and receives prophetic short stories from a threatening stranger. As events spiral out of control, they lead to a car crash with Sam at the wheel.
His resultant "death" thrusts him back through time, to his teenage years. Empowered by hope, and guided by his dreams and the mysterious stories, Sam attempts to alter the course of his own and others' lives to ensure that a cure will be found to save his son. But with his time in the past running out, is he too late to change the future?
A richly imaginative novel about family life, paternal love, and the power of hope.
Douglas Richard Safarik lives in Vancouver, Canada, where he and his wife, Fran, have raised three children. The passing of his son inspired him to write The Fountain of Hope.
New and more charming than ever . . .
Georgie, the Wild Pig; Oliver, the Pet Lamb; and Sophie, the Farm Cat,
by Marina Devon
The first books in each of Marina Devon's three series of animal storybooks for children are now available in colorful new editions.
Georgie, a wild piglet raised on a farm, turns into a rather cheeky and playful pig, following people around like a dog. She'll eat anything and thinks she's the absolute “coolest pig” in the world!
Oliver, a cute little lamb, becomes an orphan when he is only a few days old. Lucky for him, he gets a new mum who feeds him milk from a bottle. Oliver lives inside the people's house and soon feels well enough to enjoy new adventures indoors and outdoors with the other animals on the farm.
Sophie, a sweet but wild little kitten, finds a new home in a house on a farm. As the days go by, she becomes more tame and now has to learn a lot of new things, such as wearing a harness and using a kitty door. Follow Sophie's first weeks in her happy new life as a farm cat.
Marina Devon's books will delight children and adults alike. Find out more and enjoy free gifts for children, amusing animal videos, and beautiful photos and artwork at www.animalstorybooks.com
Marina Devon is a keen photographer and writer of children's books. She lives on a farm in New Zealand and spends each springtime rearing a small flock of orphaned lambs. Animal welfare is always on top of the list for her and she is never happier than when she's among her animals—getting new ideas, playing with them, caring for them, trying to help them along, and feeling incredibly lucky to be a part of their lives.
Left: Author Marina Devon with Oliver, her pet lamb; photos and book cover designs by Marina Devon
This autumn, as always, wishing you every success in your writing and publishing endeavors . . .