About Us — The Human Face of Digital Publishing
From the beginning, that idea has resonated — and has brought me in directions that I never anticipated.
News from the Stillpoint
I’m going to be running a workshop as part of Redwood Writers 2017 Academy on Joseph Campbell’s concept of the Hero Journey as it applies to exploring setting for writers!
Every story explores a hero’s journey along a path toward discovery. It’s easy to focus on the hero or on the goal, but what about the path? With David Kudler (author, publisher, and editor for the Joseph Campbell Foundation), explore the ways in which you can enrich your settings using the hero cycle explored by Campbell in his classic The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
If you sign up for all three monthly workshops, you’ll get a discount; space is limited, so register now! Continue reading The Power of Where: Setting, Place, and the Hero’s Adventure
Stillpoint Digital Press authors are keeping very busy! In addition to multiple appearances, we’ve got news to share about a great interview, a chance to vote in a red-carpet award ceremony, and a sneak preview from a much-anticipated book! Continue reading Stillpoint Author News: An Interview, A Preview, and Appearances
New England fans of speculative fiction, take note! Stillpoint/Prometheus authors Heather Albano and Kenneth Schneyer are appearing this weekend at Boston’s Arisia 2017 conference, “New England’s largest, most diverse sci-fi and fantasy convention”!
- “Emerging Trends in Game Technology” (8:30 Friday)
- “The Stories People Play” (2:30 Saturday)
- “Writing a Great LARP” (5:30 Sunday)
She’ll also be signing copies of Timepiece at the Dealer Room table of Broad Universe, an organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres. Go say hi, and pick up your signed copy!
Kenneth Schneyer, award-winning short writer and author of the collection The Law & the Heart, will be appearing no less than five times:
- “Reading: Greer Gilman & Kenneth Schneyer“ (Friday 8:30)
- “In Praise of Unlikeable Characters” (Saturday 1:00)
- “How to Self-Edit That Steaming Hot Pile of Crap” (Sunday 10:00)
- “Grounding Your Audience in a Sensory World” (Sunday 7:00)
- “Imaginary Friends: Crafting Memorable Characters” (Monday 10:00)
Check them both out—though you’ll have to choose this evening! In addition to being wonderful writers, they’re both wonderful speakers about their craft.
About Heather Albano and Kenneth Schneyer
Heather Albano is a storyteller, history geek, and lover of both time-travel tropes and re-imaginings of older stories. You most likely know her from her game design work (which most recently included A Study In Steampunk, produced by Choice of Games, and contributions to TimeWatch and The Dracula Dossier, both published by Pelgrane Press)—but she writes non-interactive fiction too. Like the Keeping Time trilogy. Read more at heatheralbano.com
Kenneth Schneyer forgot he wanted to be a writer for 25 years, until he was ambushed by a gang of plot bunnies in 2006. Since then, he has sold stories to many science fiction and fantasy magazines and anthologies, several of which can be found on Amazon. His novella “Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer” has been nominated for a 2014 Nebula Award and a Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short science fiction.
Ken attended the Clarion Writers Workshop at UCSD in 2009, and joined the Cambridge Science Fiction Workshop in 2010. Mostly he writes science fiction and fantasy, but he’s been known to write crime stories, poetry, and anything else that strikes his fancy.
He was a theater major at Wesleyan and briefly a semiprofessional actor before attending law school at the University of Michigan. He teaches legal studies and humanities at Johnson & Wales University, and has published numerous articles on the constitutive rhetoric of legal texts.
Born in Detroit, he now lives in Rhode Island with one singer, one dancer, one actor, and something striped and fanged that he sometimes glimpses out of the corner of his eye. He’s interested in astronomy, history, politics, philosophy, presidential trivia, brain science, and practically everything else. He cooks better than most people you know.
Arisia 2017 is a volunteer-run convention that covers all aspects of science fiction and fantasy literature and media.
It is taking place this weekend, January 13–16, at Boston’s Westin Boston Waterfront.
It is interesting that St. Valentine’s Day, celebrated in the second month of the year, is the festival of romantic love in Western culture. Interesting for a couple of reasons — the first being that poor Valentine wasn’t really much of a lover himself, as nearly as we can tell (though he was martyred for marrying Christian couples). Of course, his symbol has become the stylized “heart” shape, and the heart has long been identified, both East and West, as the seat of love. And so where earlier Europeans identified May Day and Midsummer Night as the festivals most connected with passion, the Christian world focussed on the day of the saint of the pierced heart.
The other interesting thing about February 14th being the lovers’ holiday, it seems to me, has less to do with Valentine, and everything to do with when it occurs: smack dab in the middle of the second month. Continue reading Two by Two: Happy Valentine’s Day!
Over the next few posts, I’ll be showing you how ebooks are coded and formatted. We’ll look at the anatomy of an ebook, and what makes it tick.
You’ve heard me call an ebook a website in a box. This time we’re going to talk about what’s inside the box.
First thing’s first: let me share an ebook with you. It’s the ePub file for a short story of mine called White Robes.
You’re welcome to read it, obviously, but for the purposes of this post (and the next two), we’re going to be opening up the box and dissecting the ebook.
This is the actual production file that I’ve uploaded to Amazon, by the way — it includes all of the coding and formatting that I typically include in creating an ebook. It will be the model that I’ll be using over the next few posts in discussing an ebook’s innards.
A current movie reminded me of a publishing story that I’d love to share with you.
For once, this isn’t about independent publishing: it’s about a big publisher struggling to find the right cover design.
In 1988, Joseph Campbell had just died, but the series of television interviews that he did with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth, became an enormous hit—the highest rated program PBS has ever aired, to this day. It was this series that introduced most of the non-academic world to Campbell and made a household phrase from his dictum, “Follow your bliss.” Continue reading Following Bliss: Joseph Campbell and Jackie
This is the next in my on-going series of post on ebook creation; it focusses, obviously, on ebook conversion online. It was originally posted over at Joel Friedlander’s wonderful site for indie publishers, TheBookDesigner.com
The Convertible Cloud: Ebook Conversion Online
Previously, I’ve compared some of the computer apps that you can use to convert your manuscript into an ebook.
This month I’ll talk about online conversion tools — all of the ones I’m going to discuss are attached to the retailers and distributors that you are going to be interested in.
Eye of the Hurricane: Top Ebook Retailers
Let’s start with the most popular retailers and their conversion tools (or lack thereof).
Once again, I’m assuming that you’re in the US — which isn’t a given, I know. (Most of this information is true for non-US publishers as well.) Also, I’m defining “manuscript” as synonymous with “Microsoft Word document” (either .doc or .docx), since that’s the most common file format for authors to work with, and that’s the format I used in comparing the desktop conversion tools.
As before, these are the major retailers you will probably be looking at:
I just had a conversation with a friend about the issue of piracy. I thought I’d share this post on the subject I wrote for Joel Friendlander’s TheBookDesigner.com:
I hear from a lot of authors — traditionally and self-published — who are panicked to find their work being stolen. “I just did a Google search,” they’ll moan, “and found a site that’s giving my book away!”
I take a deep breath, pour myself some (metaphoric) rum, and prepare to repel pirates — but mostly imagined ones.
It’s true: as long as there has been a commercial internet, there have been sites and apps that operated to “share” intellectual property illegally, to indulge in what is colorfully known as piracy.
Everyone remembers Napster: it was a peer-to-peer (P2P) app dedicated to sharing MP3 files across the internet back at the height of the so-called dot-com boom at the turn of the twenty-first century. The music industry did its best to shut Napster down by attacking its servers, its founder, and its users, and it did eventually force it out of business in 2001. But this didn’t stop P2P sharing; it simply moved the sharing on to other vectors — Limewire, BItTorrent, and many more.
However, a funny thing happened, also in 2001, that made music sharing less of an issue to the musicians and music companies: the launching of Apple’s iTunes (along with the iPod) made it easy actually to buy music through legitimate channels. Some folks still shared music online — but far more bought the music and downloaded it legitimately. iTunes became to music what Amazon has become for books: a way for even the smallest label to reach an audience and make some money. In some cases a lot of money.
What Can Stillpoint Do for You?
Stillpoint Digital Press is a publisher and publishing services provider that creates fine ebook, audiobook, and print editions in genres from fiction to literary nonfiction, from memoir to poetry. It aims to provide digital publishing with a human face, offering a full range of editorial services, from editing, layout and ebook conversion to distribution and marketing.
Here's what we can do for you:
- Design your book in print and/or ebook format
- Print formats from simple black-and-white to complex, illustrated four-color
- Ebook formats—Kindle (mobi/KF8) & ePub:
- Fixed layout, flowing text, read-aloud, video- or audio-enhanced, etc.
- Create a cover
- Arrange printing—offset, short-run, or print-on-demand
- Manage distribution
- Work with you to market your book
- Quick and accurate ebook conversion from print or digital original
- Cover Design
- Smidget: Social Media Widget for Ebooks
- Distribution to all major outlets — if you'd like, we'll even set up accounts for you!
- Narration, recording, and editing
- Distribution to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes
- Substantive and developmental editing
- Copyediting and proofreading
- Image & quotes research and permissions