Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our eBook Venture Status Report

In a little over a month we hope to begin publishing four books on Kindle and Nook, the two leading eBook platforms. My co-partner in this venture is Todd J. (TJ) Lind, a local high school student whom I met through the Proctor DECA* program. Along with Brita MacInnes, and Anna Swenson, TJ helped the Creative Marketing Team reach the "Sweet 16" in this year's international competition in Orlando. What caught my attention was their facility with the iPad and their high degree of motivation.

I became involved with the Proctor DECA program in 2002 and have watched with amazement at the level of commitment many of these young people had. I've also been impressed with their Marketing teacher/DECA advisor Jay Belcastro. Despite Proctor being possibly the smallest high school of 16,000 competing schools with DECA programs, Belcastro has inspired three Proctor teams to win the highest honors in the annual competition. He does it with a smile, not a whip.

The way DECA works, three members of the team go to present in the meets, but there are also background members of the team who play important supporting roles. TJ, Brita and Anna were also supported by Luke Lindstrom, Gavin Johnson, Brooke Oraskovich and Brooke MacInnes. It was my privilege to be involved with all these kids who were primarily sophomores competing against veterans. Everyone involved could see that the best was yet to come for all of them.

After the Orlando competition I recruited TJ to collaborate on this project which has been percolating inside me for more than a dog's age and is long overdue. An important piece for me was that TJ actually like the novel. He read it, believes it will attract readers and agreed to be part of the team.

The Red Scorpion was originally written with the aim of being published when my son Micah was a teen. The whole challenge of agents and publishers made me weary and the book was not yet ready for prime time by the time he graduated high school, so I set it aside. In 2005 I made another go of it, but again let it go. Finally, a Portuguese artist whom I met through blogging asserted that my work was worthy of a wider readership, and it became clear to me the time is now.

Once I made it a goal to publish my stories this year, all the other pieces came together.

The four books will include my first novel, The Red Scorpion, targeted for the Young Adult category. The three follow ups will include collections of short stories which I have written over the past twenty-five years. Each collection of stories will have a unifying theme, the first being stories with a paranormal aspect. The second set will be called Newmanesque, chiefly because while not exactly paranormal they are unusual. The third set will be anchored by my 1991 Arrowhead Fiction Competition winning story "The Breaking Point." The stories were written as literature, but their ultimate aim is to offer up a good read.

The rationale for getting all these books launched simultaneously is the belief that when a reader finishes a good book, he or she will look for more books by this same author. TJ and I want to be ready.

The books will be offered under the N&L Publishing banner, Newman & Lind. This was TJ's proposed name and I liked it. You have to have a name to get your ISBN... and you have to have an ISBN number to sell your books through stores. So, we grabbed it.

At the moment TJ's developing a promotional plan. I am working on getting the "products" ready.

In the meantime you can follow our progress on Facebook. If you "Like" us there, we'll do our best to keep you in the loop.

*DECA is an international association of marketing students that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

Photo: TJ Lind shows Ed Newman how a tentative book cover design will appear on an iPad. (Click image to enlarge.)

1 comment:

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