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We’re excited to announce that we have just signed Colby Marshall and her debut thriller, CHAIN OF COMMAND is set to be released in 2013! About CHAIN OF COMMAND: The road to the Oval Office is paved in blood… The simultaneous assassinations of the President and Vice President catapults the Speaker of the House into the White House as the first female President of the United States. Evidence points to a former Navy SEAL as one of the assassins. Relegated to writing sidebar stories instead of headlines, journalist McKenzie Derrington composes a scathing story about the Navy training killers. Former Navy SEAL Noah Hutchins doesn’t believe his partner could have committed the heinous crime. They’d endured the horrors of Afghanistan together. His buddy was a hero, not a murderer. Thrown together in a search for the truth—and a career-making story—McKenzie and Noah must deal with the possibility of involvement of a radical foreign faction, a violent ultra-feminist group, and corrupt politicians willing to kill to keep their secrets.
Here at Stairway Press we are slowly moving into making more of our titles available in e-book format. It’s a simple fact that small presses are flourishing in this, the age of web 2.0′s ultimate connectivity, as a result of the ease of distribution and relatively cheap production of e-books when compared to physical books. Huffington Post’s recent article bemoaning the lack of indie titles on bookstore shelves nevertheless cited how over half of the top 20 titles on Amazon’s Kindle ‘Movers and Shakers’ list were small press published. The internet simply allows cheaper and wider distribution of indie titles, a magic combination for small presses with limited resources. As a tool of expression, there’s no escaping the fact that the internet itself has been one of the best and worst things to happen to entertainment publishing ever. Not since the times of the printing press has there been such an explosion of ideas across the known world. Of course, with online distribution came piracy, a plague that is currently threatening the livelihoods of musicians, writers and those involved in the film industries worldwide. That’s the negative side of digital publication. The positive side: the rise of the small presses. Indie record labels. Production companies. The internet is the domain of the producer, in control of the triple-threat of content, publication, distribution. The internet allows for talented, driven entrepreneurs to take control and start ‘passion presses’, interested much less in profit than in producing quality work that is unafraid to take risks. This is where small presses, labels, and so on come into their own. Let me explain. Imagine your typical large press is a large ship. The profits are in the hull, the bilge, used to weigh the ship down and keep it stable. Such a large craft requires many crew members to keep it running, yet all it requires is an average-sized hole in the hull and it starts sinking immediately. Piracy is that hole. The small presses, by contrast, could be likened to a small yacht: nippy, requiring little bilge to weigh it down, and as a result much easier to turn around to avoid said icebergs. This small boat also requires less crew, and less wages to pay and less politics, equaling more freedom to choose quality works. The real beauty of small presses is their dual ability to select books they really believe in and to take risks in them. Large corporations simply have too much to lose. They must follow market forces or they die. Small presses are known as a starting point for many authors, nursing and encouraging their talents without placing too much pressure upon the author to make mega-big bucks. If only large presses existed, few books would get published, especially niche titles such as sci-fi, essays, poetry and so on, robbing the world of some great talents. Let’s face it: we all love encouragement. Regardless of whether your first book makes much money, just having it out there in the world is likely going to be enough to encourage you to keep writing. Few people create in a vacuum. We all like a pat on the back now and again. How does all of this link into the increasing availability of small-press books online? Quite well, actually. With the increasing availability of e-books on the internet, an author’s work is becoming more accessible, more portable and, dare we say it, cheaper. Hence, the publishers are able to convert and distribute works easier and cheaper, and authors get their work our quickly, and to a wider public. It’s win-win. A great diversity of titles are now available online, from bestsellers to literary works, classics to scholarly resources. Prize-winning books are now being released in e-book formats long before the winners are announced, as a matter of course. Both books are available on the Kindle, and in other e-reader formats. When it comes down to it, many people prefer the print version, that much is clear. But it’s about choices. Just like vanilla or chocolate ice-cream, the purchases of the people will drive business. But there’s no escaping the fact that one-in-six Americans now use an e-reader, and one-in-forty British citizens getting one for Christmas, not to mention the dramatic drop in price of the devices in recent years, publishing groundbreaking new content for a reasonable price is now more accessible than ever. Another shocking statistic from Pew Research: the average reader of physical books reads around 16 a year, yet those who read e-books come in at 24 a year. That’s a a huge difference, in anyone’s terms. And that can only be a great thing for independent presses dedicated to producing quality content available worldwide. Janet Sharpe is a freelance writer from England who believes in freedom of choice whether it’s choosing an organic mattress, comparing a latex vs memory foam mattress or choosing to express yourself free from the shackles of the big corporate media. Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/why-you-cant-find-indies-in-bookstores_n_1418839.html http://www.metro.us/newyork/entertainment/article/756199–the-rise-of-the-small-press
As we look at the publishing roadmap for the upcoming year, we can’t help but get excited. There are some really great titles in the pipeline. Get ready! Here’s a sneak-peak at the schedule: Coming in the next month: Last Will By Bryn Greenwood Literary Fiction / Novel Expected release – April 24th, 2012 Coming in the next 6 months: Mesh By Ken Coffman and Adina Pelle Fiction / Short story collection Expected release – May 8th, 2012 Free Expression in Canada By Robert Martin Non-Fiction Expected release – May 22nd, 2012 Coming in the next 12 months The Sandcastles of Irakkistan By Ken Coffman Fiction / Novel Expected release – November 13th, 2012
Christopher Burchfield’s highly anticipated and exhaustively documented book, The Tinder Box: How Politically Correct Ideology Destroyed the U.S. Forest Service, set for release March 6th, is now available for pre-order and you can read a free preview of the first two chapters today! Click here for more info.
J. R. Veatch, from Seattle, WA expresses praise for Ken Coffman’s latest novel, ‘Fairhaven’: “Jake Mosby is a grumpy, drunk, retired Seattle police investigator waiting to die. His plans for a quiet departure from his pain-filled existence are scuttled when he is drawn into a serial killer’s web of madness and “mercy” killings. Set in his (and the author’s) adopted hometown of Mt. Vernon, WA, the curmudgeonly Mosby and his slacker-punk grandson Nort are deputized by the local police; the ultimate “Odd Couple” creating a serious disturbance in the police force while working to stop a murderer destined to become one the most notorious serial killers of all time. Fairhaven is an excellent read. Coffman creates complex characters that are wonderfully flawed. Without a single personality to cheer for, the author somehow manages to get the reader to invest in – and care about – the highly dysfunctional heroes of his story.” – J. R. Veatch (Seattle, WA) Read more at Amazon
Robert Ferrigno is a New York Times bestselling novelist and author of Horse Latitudes, the Assassins futuristic trilogy Prayers for the Assassin, Sins of the Assassin (Mystery Writers of America 2009 Edgar Award Finalist), Heart of the Assassin and other novels. Ken Coffman is the author of Hartz String Theory, Steel Waters and other novels. This interview took place near Seattle on August 20, 2009. KLC: I’m not much for organized religion, but when we were in Mexico we took a tour of a church and I was struck by soot on the walls from a siege in the 1700’s. The people are attacked so they go to the stone church built better than anything else around…in this case there is a real benefit to having the community church there. RF: It’s nice to go to a place where people actually care about you. There’s someone there to greet you—someone happy to see you who knows your family. I’m not a hierarchy kind of guy, often the normal, average people are great, but the people who gravitate to senior positions? I hate them. It seems to be true in every field. I like the regular people, the guy sitting next to me in the pew, but I usually have trouble with the people in positions of authority. KLC: The same with politics. Can you imagine what they have to put up with to get their success? RF: The things they have to say and do… Meetings are half of their lives. Even if I’m the star of the meeting, I’d rather be doing something else. I never wanted a job where meetings are the main thing you do. KLC: Some people love meetings… RF: Those people are really scary. Let’s avoid them if we can. KLC: I want to talk with you a bit about poker. You know that Bill Gates played poker? RF: Yes, I can imagine it. The killer instinct, you know? KLC: My guess is that your skill at poker has helped you navigate through life and with negotiations and contracts… RF: You know the business books like Things you can learn from Attila the Hun? Everything useful in life I learned either from the movie The Godfather or at the poker table. In poker you learn about risk and reward. You learn how to read other people. You learn how to take chances—sometimes you have to bet on yourself. Sometimes you have to get up and go away—you have to recognize that the guy across the table is better than you are. There’s a cliché, if you look around the table and you don’t see the fish, then you’re the fish. There’s always a game where you’re the best—you have to find it. A lot of the lesson is in the willingness to take a risk. There’s an expression: The best thing in the world is playing poker and winning, the second best is playing poker and losing. So, the best thing is the game itself, win or lose. It’s okay to take a risk for something you love even if you’re not always successful. KLC: I’ve played some and I’m not very good. I remember figuring out that if there are six guys at the table, your average chance of winning is one in six, so if you play out every hand, you will lose. Being trained as an engineer, you’d think I would figure that out quickly, but it took me a while. The other part that got me is the bluffing. You have to bluff and you have to get caught. If you only bet big when you have a great hand, your winning pots will be small. RF: Statistically, over the course of your life, everyone gets the same hands. You have to be in the game and lay traps and get caught laying traps. Here’s the oldest joke in the world: In a small town railroad station, two old poker players meet. One is new in town, the other has been around a while. Player One: “Is there a game around?” Player Two: “As a matter of fact, I’m on my way to a game right now.” Player One: “What’s the game like?” Player Two: “Dark, smoky room, toilet’s overflowing, the house takes too big of a rake and the other players cheat.” Player One: “Why are you going?” Player Two: “It’s the only game in town.” Player One: “Oh, then let’s go.” RF: That’s my favorite joke in the world. It’s interesting how many of the top players have technical and mathematical backgrounds. You see the bios, degrees from Wharton, MIT, CalTech. One guy they call Jesus because of his long hair, Chris Ferguson, has a PhD in Computer Science from UCLA. Poker is about making decisions based on minute differences, like the difference between a one-in-ten chance of winning compared to a one-in-eleven chance. Most people slough off the small differences, but a bond trader can make a fortune off the difference of a tenth of a penny. A lot of young guys are learning online…you can learn the math that way, but you can’t learn the psychology. KLC: I don’t think I could handle the stress. You have to distance yourself. Even when its two bucks on the table I worry too much about whether I will win or lose. RF: You get used to it. You can’t think of the pot as money. It’s harder with physical cash, that’s why the house uses chips. I’ve been in cash games and it’s scary when you see a mound of bills on the table. Rent for a couple of months. KLC: How important is it to mislead the table? RF: You do have to change your game depending on the players. One thing to keep in mind: you can’t bluff stupid people. You Keep Reading…
Climatologist and one of the authors of Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory, Dr. Tim Ball offers fascinating perspective in light of recent studies on CO2 emissions. It’s an enlightening article for anyone interested in the topic of global warming. Click here to read the article For more of Dr. Ball’s writing, be sure to check out his blog or pick up a copy of Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.
Write a story with the theme “Fine Print.” It can be a work of fiction or non-fiction. One entry per person. New entries only. No poetry. Maximum Length 6,000 words. Recommended length 1,000 – 3,500 words. Submissions will be posted anonymously on the Stairway Press website and participating authors will vote for the winning story. Authors are not allowed to vote for their own submission. A winner will be announced approximately one to two weeks after the deadline passes. The winner takes away a $100 cash prize. 2nd and 3rd place will receive a Stairway Press keychain flashlight! This contest is open to all. One entry per person. New entries only. Deadline: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Email your submission to email@example.com. We will post the stories to stairwaypress.com/contest on December 2nd, where voting will commence. Deadline for voting will be December 12th, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Cash prize delivered by check or PayPal.
This last Friday, Ilana was a guest on Chuck Wilder’s radio program ”Talkback.” In case you missed it, here’s a link to the audio: Talkback with guest Ilana Mercer Visit “Talkback with Chuck Wilder” on the web. Learn more about “Into the Cannibal’s Pot” by Ilana Mercer