Category Archives: Evolved Publishing

End of Summer 2014 – New Visions (IndieGoGo Campaign by Evolved Publishing)

THIS POST IS FOR READERS (AND PERHAPS FOR WRITERS, DEPENDING….):

LINK TO CAMPAIGN: End of Summer 2014 – New Visions

As you probably know, I am the managing publisher/editor at Evolved Publishing, a small press I co-founded with D.T. Conklin. Indeed, you may have seen me lament on these pages that I spend so much time focused on my responsibilities to EP, including having a part in editing 70 (and counting) EP books to date, that I find it almost impossible to focus on my own writing. The clock just seems to run out on me every day.

Well, as much as I may complain about that on occasion, when my mood sours because I’m itching to write and can’t make it happen, the truth is that I love what I do with EP. I’m so proud of what we’ve built there. As of today, we have a team of 29 current authors, with 1 or 2 more likely in the next month or so. Supporting their work we have a team of 11 editors, 8 artists/illustrators, and 6 foreign language translators. We’re also working closely with about 10 different audiobook producers/narrators, and we have a team of fans willing to support us via advance reviews, social media sharing, and of course, snatching up our books just about as fast as we can get them out.

Oh, we do love our most loyal fans at EP, not just for their financial support, but for the constant moral support they provide. They engage with us and have fun with us and… well, they make an often tough business so much more enjoyable for us. We’d be lost without them.

I like to think that some of those fans would be at least a bit lost without EP, too. We’ve put out more than just a few quality books, as evidenced by the ever-growing list of awards we’re pulling in, often in competition with dozens or even hundreds of other titles. And our average rating at Amazon, across our entire catalog and many hundreds of ratings, is over 4.5 stars. Pretty good stuff. Our reputation for that kind of quality is growing, including with those loyal fans, who are quick to spread the word in their own circles.

 

That brings us to our IndieGoGo campaign. We talked about it over on the EP website here: Evolved Publishing Opens a Crowdfunding Campaign on IndieGoGo (Working to Build a Stronger Alternative for Indie Authors), so stop by and check it out.

Ultimately, though others are attempting to do what we do, and even tried to copy our model (one website copied our verbiage word-for-word, until I spanked them for it and they pulled it down), we think our standards for excellence separate us from the crowd. Indeed, some of those other houses are publishing works we previously rejected (I’m not throwing stones, just making an important point about EP). Quality is Priority #1–that’s not just our motto, it’s our covenant with our readers and with our team.

The IndieGoGo campaign we’re running is all about being able to continue doing what we do at a pace that readers want, and kicking up the visibility of our work across a broader audience out there. The best way to ensure that EP continues to attract great talent, and that those on board with us continue to create excellent, entertaining books, is to make sure everyone involved is reaching enough of an audience out there to justify keeping on with it.

Competition is fierce in its overall flood of offerings these days, though we think our quality helps us stand above that crowd. Still, too many do not yet know about EP’s extraordinary commitment to quality. We have some absolutely wonderful books that haven’t yet made their mark with readers, which is just a shame. We need to get the word out, and that costs, of course.

If you’d like to help, the perks are a great value. Even if you don’t want a one of the specific perks offered, and just want to support the arts and EPs place in that world, you can contribute as little or as much as you’d like. I’ve posted the link again below. And thank you!

End of Summer 2014 – New Visions

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An Opportunity for Aspiring Writers to be Published Authors

THIS POST IS FOR WRITERS:

Over at the Evolved Publishing website today is a post about my services as writing coach. Specifically, I’m looking for that one “special project” to help an author achieve his or her dreams, and to help make Evolved Publishing that much better.

If you’ve created a good novel-length story but your actual “writing” still needs some work, and you think I can help coach you up to “publishable,” then stop by and check out the post linked below.

Would a Writing Coach Make Sense for You?

Butterfly - Mark Twain

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“I have a Kindle Paperwhite, and I love it! It’s so easy on the eyes that I can read on it for hours, just like a paper book, in any light.” – Lane Diamond

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW FOR DETAILS:

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“Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble” by D. Robert Pease is Perfect for Your Pre-Teens

IfYouLoveRead_NZMT

Yes, if your kids love the Percy Jackson adventure “The Lightning Thief,” they’re sure to love the adventure “Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble.”

Noah is a space ship pilot, a voyager to distant worlds, a time traveler, and at twelve years old, quite possibly the last, best hope for Earth.

There’s a reason this book has won multiple awards:

NZMT_Awards

Critics love it —- “Pease’s strength as a storyteller lies in his ability to connect multiple time periods imaginatively, as well as Noah’s excited, fast-paced narration.” – Publishers Weekly —- and so will your kids. And to make it even better, it’s on sale for the next few days only, at just $0.99 at both Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

I had the great pleasure of editing this series, and I know your kids are going to love it.

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Book Awards Are Just Plain Fun

As authors, we all hope to win the occasional award. I haven’t really submitted Forgive Me, Alex to many – just a couple – but I’ve managed to get a little recognition, and the kind reviews my book has received have been pretty good stand-ins.

Well, I have the added pleasure of sharing in the glow of awards won by books I’ve edited. Over at the Evolved Publishing blog recently (linked at bottom), under the heading of “Quality Matters,” they listed as evidence of that commitment a number of books and the awards they’ve won.

Well, of the 16 books listed there, which have combined for over 35 awards, I wrote 1 and edited or co-edited (meaning I did the final polishing pass) 14 of those.

I often gnash my teeth about the all the editing I must do, and how that keeps me from working on my own writing, but I have to say, all these awards do bring a smile to my face. I still wish I had more time for writing, but whenever I get down and moody about that, I’ll just refer to that blog post at Evolved Publishing.

Maybe that will lift my spirits. 🙂

Here’s that blog post listing all the awards:

At Evolved Publishing, Quality Matters!

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As I prepare to wrap up the year, I look forward to a more engaged 2013.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and have a very Happy New Year!

All in all, I’d have to say that 2012 has been an exciting year. It’s certainly been a busy one. Whew!

Those of you who follow my blog (Thank you!) know all too well that I’ve given it short shrift in recent months. I’m not the kind of person who thinks I should be sending you a new blog post every day. Bluch! Who has time to read them? Especially of you’re like me, and subscribe to about 200 of them. So I try to pick my spots, and provide 3 or 4 decent posts a month. Usually. Yeah, the last few months haven’t been so good.

My only real excuse is that I’ve been working insane hours trying to keep up with an insane editing schedule for all those insane authors at Evolved Publishing. (Just kidding! They’re terrific.) Seriously, though, the pace of things at EP this year far exceeded our expectations, which, I must say, certainly beats the alternative. 😀

My business partner D.T. Conklin and I had hoped to have 10 good authors and 20 quality books in EP by the end of 2012. Well, we ended up with 14 and 35, respectively. It’s been a grind, and we experienced a few growing pains — which, in retrospect, seems perfectly natural — yet even with those few challenges, it was just plain exciting! And 2013 promises to be a good year, as we continue to build our catalog of quality authors and books.

2013 will also be exciting for me because we’re making some changes to our management team, which will free up some time for me not only to do all I must do as a publisher, but to write my own books, too. Man, I can’t tell you how excited I am to get back into the writing routine! To say it’s been driving me bonkers that I haven’t been writing would be one of the year’s great understatements.

As part of that, I expect to be more engaged at this here sad excuse for a blog. 🙁 I doubt it will happen in January, but by February, I should be well settled into my new routine. If not, I’m gonna… I’m gonna… well, I’m gonna go truly bonkers.

Next up is the sequel to Forgive Me, Alex (BTW, it’s on sale this week. Save $2.), which I’m calling The Devil’s Bane. Some of my favorite characters (and I hope yours) will be making a return appearance: Tony Hooper, Frank Willow, Diana Gregario, Linda Monroe, Ben Komura, and yes… that despicable Mitchell Norton. Mwoohaha! My hope — nay, my intention — is to publish it on May 21st. A lot will have to go right for that to happen, but I am an eternal optimist. (After all, I’m the guy who assumed my girlfriend quit smoking cigarettes when I started finding cigar butts lying around the house. 😛 )

Will it all happen according to plan? I sure hope so. I mean… err… ahem… yes, it will happen!

In the new year, be happy, be healthy, be safe. Thanks again.

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Guest Post by Emlyn Chand, Author of the BIRD BRAIN BOOKS Series

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming author Emlyn Chand, award-winning author of FARSIGHTED, TORN TOGETHER, and the BIRD BRAIN BOOKS series. She’ll be talking about the latter here, for parents and their kids. This guest post is part of a blog hop running at Evolved Publishing this week, in which you can not only discover new authors, but win some cool prizes, too.

DON’T TALK DOWN TO CHILDREN! SMART ENTERTAINMENT EQUALS SMART KIDS.

Think back to your childhood. What was it like? What did you enjoy doing for fun? I remember playing outside, collecting Pogs and Beanie Babies, watching cartoons, and reading—lots of reading. I loved Bunnicula, because it taught me big words and never apologized for that. I couldn’t get enough of The Babysitter’s Club, which illustrated that girls could be strong and, no, you were never too young to start your own business (and follow in Kristy’s footsteps I did when I opened Novel Publicity at the age of 26. BSC totally deserves some of that credit, thank you very much).

These childhood favorites have stuck with me through the years—I even continue to learn from them! But what do kids have nowadays?

Is it just me, or have books and television seriously been dumbed down? Our kids aren’t getting any stupider, are they? I don’t believe so. Of course, this problem isn’t only the curse of the younger generation. These little kiddies have moms who read Fifty Shades of Grey and watch Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives for entertainment. What’s going on?

Am I romanticizing my childhood, or has something seriously changed? Either way, I refuse to follow trend with this stuff and drivel that’s far too widespread for my liking. What’s wrong with a little intellectual entertainment?

Smart books and TV shows equal smart children!

Although I have yet to add the mommy feather to my cap of accomplishments, I’ve been thinking about this issue quite a lot lately.

It all started when I finally decided to pursue the publication of the children’s book I penned four years ago. My editor loved the story but questioned my decision to use words like mysteriously, investigation, or catastrophe. In the end, we decided to forge forth with the larger vocabulary words and let the chips fall where they may.

… And readers noticed in a positive way!

In fact, one reader said:  “This is a smart book. The storyline is simple (it has to be, to keep things interesting and quick for young kids), but not simplistic. It has excellent higher-level vocabulary (quaint, gazed, zipped, shapely, fluttered, mysteriously, frantic, flitted, nestled-the list goes on and on). As a parent who is forever obsessed with expanding my kid’s vocabulary (which, at fourteen months, consists mostly of “doggie,” “kitty,” “up,” and “hi”-but we’re getting there) and exposing her to new words, this is essential. I loved that I, an adult, was able to read Honey the Hero without feeling cheated out of thinking. I kept imagining reading this story with my kids when they’re older, and pausing to explain what the new words meant, and how they could use them.”

And you know what? I’ve not heard a single complaint about the words being too big or challenging. There are plenty of books out there that stick to an easy vocabulary for three- to six-year-olds.

The Bird Brain Books are different, and if you ask me, they’re different in a good way.

Yes, I want to provide stories that can capture children’s interest, but it’s just as important to grow their minds as it is their imaginations. That’s why I will continue to use “big words,” make references to classic literature, and teach a lesson or two along the way—while always keeping the enjoyment factor number one.

What are some other “smart kids’ books” you’ve come across, and how have they been received by your little ones?

Don’t forget to stop by the Evolved Publishing pre-holiday blog hop. We’ve got 20 autographed books up for grabs! From thrilling young adult adventures to suspense nail-biters, thought-provoking literary novels, bright and cheery books for children, an uplifting memoir, and hot-and-steamy romance, we’ve got something for everyone on your holiday-shopping list.

About Davey the Detective

In Davey the Detective, the second of the BIRD BRAIN BOOKS, Davey dubs himself the luckiest crow in the entire world when he finds a wonderful, shiny object. It even has a fantastic name: “paperclip.” Wow!

One dark and dreary day, Davey’s treasure goes missing, and he is beside himself with grief. Luckily, he knows just how he can find out which of the forest animals is to blame for the theft. Inspired by the torn pages of a Sherlock Holmes story that were used to fashion his nest, Davey calls on the help of Sarah the sparrow to investigate the mystery and, hopefully, retrieve his prize.

Together the two birds begin to collect clues. Their trail leads them straight to Mr. Bushtail, a greedy squirrel who keeps a giant store of objects in a hollowed-out tree trunk. When Mr. Bushtail refuses to cooperate, the two birds have no choice but to break into his tree house in search of the truth.

Justice will prevail and treasure will be found in this intriguing tale of mystery.

About the Author

Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children’s book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit EmlynChand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

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Guest Post by Kimberly Kinrade, Author of THE THREE LOST KIDS Series

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming author Kimberly Kinrade, award-winning author of THE FORBIDDEN TRILOGY and THE THREE LOST KIDS series, for a guest post designed for parents and their kids. This is part of a blog hop running at Evolved Publishing this week, in which you can not only discover new authors, but win some cool prizes, too.

THE MAKING OF A REVOLUTIONARY

When my oldest daughter was 2 years old and first learned the sad hard truth of the chicken nugget, she formed a revolt. “The Chicken Nuggets Must Live!” she shouted, tiny fist in the air.

She turned 10 years old this Halloween, and while she still eats the occasional nugget (my children were contemplating a world where nuggets were made of people, butterflies and dinosaurs ^.^), she is still a revolutionary, and the staunchest environmentalist I know.

I have been recycling–and sometimes composting–since she was born. She went to a Waldorf School for her first year, and she loves animals and nature. It’s not surprising, then, that she doesn’t want the Earth to die. What is surprising to me is how consistent she is in the little things.

She will pick up the grossest, nastiest piece of garbage you can imagine, and walk blocks to find a proper receptacle for it. As a mother, I cringe. And caution. And buy her gloves. As a human, I applaud her. (I do this as her mom too; don’t get me wrong.) She even cleans up lunch trash while other kids play. And she is making a difference. With each piece of garbage she picks up, she is saving something of our Earth for the future.

Lessons from the Young

So often, we as grown-ups get so burdened by oil spills and toxic waste and ozone layers that we forget to bend down and pick up that paper on the sidewalk. Yes, we need to be conscious of the global impact our collective choices make, but, don’t let those issues become so overwhelming as to paralyze you from the simple day-to-day things we all can do to make life more beautiful.

When she was 8 years old, after cleaning up some trash in our neighborhood, she came home and drew the picture you see above. On her own. Without any prompting. I was floored, and awed, and proud. In case the quality makes it hard, that’s an “X” in the eye of the deer eating trash, because it will die. (The other deer is smiling, by the way, and I’m really—mostly—sure that’s a leg….)

Inspiration

My kids inspire me daily—in my writing and in life. They are the reason I took a small break from writing my YA paranormal novel Forbidden Fire (book #2 in the Forbidden Trilogy) to write three children’s chapter books based on worlds they discovered.

Now, all three of their books are out, and a new book, The Three Lost Kids & The Death of the Sugar Fairy, just launched October 2nd, and The Three Lost Kids & The Christmas Curse is following close on its heels, to be released November 26th. (I even managed to finish the Forbidden Trilogy as well!)

Don’t forget to stop by the Evolved Publishing pre-holiday blog hop. We’ve got 20 autographed books up for grabs! From thrilling young adult adventures to suspense nail-biters, thought-provoking literary novels, bright and cheery books for children, an uplifting memoir, and hot-and-steamy romance, we’ve got something for everyone on your holiday-shopping list.

About Lexie World

The first book in The Three Lost Kids series is Lexie World, all about the environment, and how one little girl and her sisters learn that the little things make a big difference. (No, this world does not include chicken nuggets made from people, or dinosaurs.)

5-year-old Lexie is tired of getting in trouble for leaving her stuff and trash outside. She doesn’t mean to litter or ruin her shoes, but it’s just so hard to remember sometimes.

When she, her two big sisters, and their dog TayTay end up finding a portal to Lexie World, Lexie discovers the consequence littering has had. Garbage Goblins have taken over and are destroying the Earth!

To save Lexie World, the girls (and dog) must travel with their new Unicorn friend through the Waters of Waste and over the Mountain of Lost Clothes to retrieve a piece of the Mirror of Ice in order to remind the Garbage Goblins of their true form and break their curse.

On this journey, Lexie learns about courage, love and the importance of taking care of her world.

(Just 99 cents, everywhere eBooks are sold.)

I’m a Mom

I’m a mom, and I wrote this book, and the subsequent books, for my kids. I also wrote them for your kids. Lexie World includes discussion questions for you and your child to talk about how they can participate in caring for the Earth.

About the Author

Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for children, young adults and adults and still believes in magic worlds. Check out her YA paranormal Forbidden Trilogy—Forbidden Mind, Forbidden Fire and Forbidden Life—and her children’s fantasy chapter books Three Lost Kids series Lexie World, Bella World, Maddie World, The Three Lost Kids & The Death of the Sugar Fairy, and The Three Lost Kids & The Christmas Curse.

She is also the co-owner and marketing director of Daring Books Design & Marketing, and Marketing Director for Evolved Publishing. She lives with her three little girls who think they’re ninja princesses with super powers, her two dogs who think they’re humans, and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner.

For a list of her books, check out: http://Amazon.com/author/kimberlykinrade.

Find Kimberly Kinrade

Website     Twitter     Facebook     IPI Twitter     IPI Facebook

IPI Website Three Lost Kids Website

Daring Books Design & Marketing Website

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