Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Odyssey Press Launches Self Publishing Press Division

Writers who want to have their books published have a new option, Self Publishing Press (www.SelfPublishingPress.com). The new company has been created as a division of Odyssey Press, which has a 22-year history of digitally printing books, journals and article reprints.

The new venture's aim is to provide a cost-effective way for authors to self publish their books, explained Kevin E. Pirkey, publisher of Self Publishing Press.

Pirkey, who has spent the last 25 years in the printing and publishing industry, said today's technologies enable authors to do for themselves that which took entire staffs just a few years ago.

"With Self Publishing Press' support, authors can match the services of large commercial publishers and publish their books the way the want," he said, "but with the quality and professionalism their creative works deserve. Just because they have never written a book before or don't have the name recognition of a Stephen King doesn't mean they shouldn't get the same access to readers and bookstores all over the country."

Pirkey explained he was motivated to begin Self Publishing Press by his love of books and publishing. "I love to share in and encourage the passion of a new author for their work and the subject that they are interested in," he said. "There is great satisfaction in seeing an author receive the first copy of their newly published work."

Self Publishing Press will offer its authors several publishing packages from which to choose. Writers can select services from its Gold Deluxe, Silver Premier or Bronze packages, which include editorial and marketing services. Also available is a Family Memories plan, which is designed for those publishing family genealogy books, cookbooks or similar works with limited distribution.

Additional copies always can be ordered from Self Publishing Press. The packages include an author Website to more easily allow for ordering reprint, and a variety of a la carte services also are available to our authors.

Joining Pirkey at Self Publishing Press is Teresa M. Melcher. She will help edit and serve as a guide for authors in the publishing process. Melcher has been writing and editing professionally for 26 years, including seven years as an editor of several newspapers in Ohio. Her mother introduced her to a love of reading and she's hooked.

"I love books. This is a great opportunity to help authors publish their books, to share their stories," she said. "I'm looking forward to reading a lot of great books and meeting interesting people along the way."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New eBook Imprint: Avon Impulse

Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced the debut of Avon Impulse, a new imprint dedicated to digital publishing. The new imprint will feature e-books and print-to-order novels and novellas by existing Avon authors, and will seek new talent to nurture in an e-book marketplace that finds romance experiencing expansive growth.

"Romance readers have been among the first to embrace books digitally," says Liate Stehlik, senior vice president and publisher of William Morrow and Avon Books. "Their passion has encouraged us to introduce a line of romance e-books, which empowers Avon to publish more quickly, with an eye to what's trending in fiction."

The new imprint is looking to publish multiple titles each month, eventually releasing new content on a weekly basis. The Avon Impulse brand has grown organically from Avon’s existing publishing program and offers authors all the strengths of Avon's widely respected team. Books will be acquired by Avon editors, and will benefit by targeted marketing and publicity plans, as well as powerful sales platforms.

"What sets Avon Impulse apart," affirms Stehlik, "is that authors are signing to work alongside the Avon team, and will benefit from the same platforms that Avon authors have always enjoyed."

As part of the imprint’s publishing strategy, each Avon Impulse e-book will benefit from a dedicated "five-point" marketing and publicity platform, helping build awareness in the competitive marketplace. Plans include cross promotion, digital marketing and publicity, social media outreach, interactive assets and coaching, as well as targeted online retail placement strategies.

"Without traditional printing constraints, we can edit, market and release e-books more quickly, allowing unprecedented speed to market," says Carrie Feron, Morrow/Avon Vice President and Editorial Director. "The Avon Impulse imprint also allows us greater flexibility in the length of books we can publish—from novella to full-length fiction, and enables us to explore new themes in romance."

"There is so much opportunity right now within the romance genre," Stehlik says. "Readers have found a rich array of fresh content using digital and e-reading devices. It's crystal clear that we can nurture great talent via Avon Impulse's e-book publishing platform - and that there is already a very dedicated fan base of savvy digital readers."

The line launches with "A Lady's Wish," an original e-novella by Katharine Ashe; on-sale March 15; and then features "Royal Wedding," a historical romance short fiction anthology by Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley and Loretta Chase, timed to coincide with the nuptials of Britain's most beloved young couple. Later in the season bring four releases from Lavinia Kent and a prelude to Karina Cooper’s Avon debut, "Blood of the Wicked." Jaime Rush launches a brand new series with a digital short; and a full-length paranormal romance novel by author Kristin Miller will be released in the summer.

Avon Impulse is currently in the acquisition and production process for e-books to be published in 2011 and 2012. "We are actively looking to acquire for Avon Impulse," says Feron.

Authors looking to submit to Avon Impulse can find guidelines and an online submission portal at www.avonimpulse.com. "We are looking for quality submissions across every romance subgenre," adds Feron.

Avon Impulse e-books will be made available at all online retailers, everywhere in the world where English-language e-books are sold. For those seeking a hard copy of individual Avon Impulse titles, print-to-order books will be available from online book retailers.

For more information on Avon Impulse, and a detailed FAQ, visit www.avonimpulse.com.

Brown Books to Publish Ziglar Book for a New Generation

Brown Books will publish Zig Ziglar's new book, Born to Win: Prepare Yourself. Expect Success. Change the World.

With Born to Win, best selling author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, hopes to introduce a new generation of success-minded readers to his messages of humor, hope, and encouragement. Recognized by his peers as the quintessential motivational genius of our times, Ziglar's powerful messages have earned him many honors, and today he is considered one of the most versatile authorities on the science of human potential.

"I am very excited about my new book, Born To Win," said Ziglar. "In the book, readers will find the core principles and action steps that have transformed the lives of many thousands of people over the past 40 years. I've put the most important things I've taught in a concise, easy-to-read format. I feel that Born to Win provides a clear direction on how to be successful in every area of your life."

Tom Ziglar, CEO of Ziglar, Inc. and Zig's son, comments that this book speaks to both loyal Ziglar followers, as well as to those who are new to his motivational philosophies, while asking, "We are all born to win, the question is – 'are you winning?"

"Ziglar is thrilled to partner with Brown Books in the release of our newest book Born To Win. Brown has already made significant contributions to the project and we believe this book will impact thousands of people around the world," said Tom Ziglar.

The book will be edited by New York Times best selling author Michael Levin. "I owe much of my success to the wisdom of Zig Ziglar. To contribute to a book of Mr. Ziglar's gives me goose bumps. It's my way of saying thank you for helping me become the man I am today," said Levin.

Born to Win is scheduled to be released September 2011.

To learn more about Zig Ziglar and Born to Win, please visit http://www.ziglar.com , or contact Brown Books Publishing Group at 972.381.0009.

Professor Emeritus Wil Denson signs with Hollywood literary agent

Lucky for Dr. Wil Denson, Hollywood loves guys with beards and Ph.D.s.

That's what literary agent Caren Bohrman, a prominent figure in the Hollywood film industry, jokingly told the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professor emeritus of theatre arts when he recently signed with her agency.

Joking aside, Denson caught the agent's attention -- and that of about 35 other agencies, producers and managers -- when his screenplay "Feral" in January was named the overall winner in trackingb.com's 2010 international Feature Script Contest. Denson's work was selected for the top honor from a field of about 1,000 competing entries by a panel of 15 film industry literary judges.

Denson's hopes after "Feral" won the tracking.com contest were that he'd "be signed by an 'effective' literary agent, that 'Feral' will be produced and that I'll be made one of the film production team," he said shortly before signing with Bohrman.

"The odds of production are daunting, but I have hopes," he said.

Denson went with Bohrman based on what he'd learned about her from others in the industry. Bohrman has sold numerous screenplays that have subsequently gotten produced, including the scripts for the films "The Fugitive," "Warlock," "Crazy/Beautiful," "Buckaroo Banzai" and "The United States of Leland."

"Ms. Bohrman was my first choice to represent me," Denson said. "She's generally known as a 'boutique' agent specializing in working intensely with a small number of writers. From what I've learned she is one of the best/better LA industry people/human beings. The organizer of [the trackingb.com contest] advised me from the very beginning that she was the one to hope for, the perfect match for me."

Denson retired in 1999 from UW-Eau Claire after 30 years on the university's theatre arts faculty. He taught acting, stage directing, theater literature and criticism, musical comedy, performance for the camera, playwriting and theater management. For years he was the director of University Theatre and Summer Theatre. During his time at UW-Eau Claire, many of his play scripts were published and produced.

Denson's writing continued following his retirement and expanded to include screenplays.

"Feral," about a man "beyond psychotic," can accurately be categorized as a thriller, Denson said.

"Some agents have also labeled it 'thriller/horror,'" Denson said. "I'm not clear on the distinction. I do want to make it clear that it is not a 'slasher film.'"

Denson, who said he constantly changes and rewrites his works that have not yet been published, estimated he began writing "Feral" about five years ago.

His "dream cast" would include Chris Cooper or Tommy Lee Jones in the lead, a county sheriff, with John Malcovich as Ray, the psychotic villain.

"It's very unusual for first-time screenwriters to score A-team actors, but I can dream," Denson said.

The trackingb.com honor is not the first screenwriting contest success for Denson. Earlier versions of "Feral" were a top-10 finisher in the 2007 Script Savvy competition and a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Nexus Screenwriting Contest. Another of Denson's screenplays, "Brantner," was a finalist several years ago in the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Competition, a prestigious contest sponsored by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

As he waits to see whether his new agent will be the key to getting "Feral" produced for the big screen, Denson directs his attention to doing what he loves. While "Brantner" had success in the Nicholl Competition, it's never been produced, and he continues to refine it. He's also recently returned to playwriting. His one-act play, "It Ate Houston," was awarded second place in the Lourdes College Drama Society's 2010 One-Act Playwriting Competition and will premiere in Lourdes College's Festival of One Acts this spring.

A new piece, called "Going Long," also is in the works. Whether it's a play or a film script and what it's about, however, Denson is not yet willing to share.

"I hesitate to say more about it at this point except I think it's a good idea," Denson said.