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
Stillpoint author and publisher David Kudler will be giving a talk this Saturday at the California Writers Club Sacramento on the subject of “The Enduring Hero’s Journey®: How to Make your Writing Compelling and Memorable.”
Kudler, who has worked with Joseph Campbell Foundation since 1999, will talk about Campbell’s concept of The Hero’s Journey®, as it was laid out in his seminal book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Kudler edited the 2008 edition of the book. He will look at the ways in which the Hero Journey can serve as a blueprint for creating an enduring, transformative story.
Location: Cattlemens Restaurant, 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA
Date/Time: Saturday May 20, 2017, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
You only THINK you know what happened at Waterloo
The real story involved more monsters. And a lot more time travel.
It’s 1815, and Wellington’s badly-outnumbered army stares across the field of Waterloo at Napoleon’s forces. Desperate to hold until reinforcements arrive, Wellington calls upon a race of monsters created by a mad Genevese scientist 25 years before.
It’s 1815, and a discontented young lady sitting in a rose garden receives a mysterious gift: a pocket watch that, when opened, displays scenes from all eras of history. Past…and future.
It’s 1885, and a small band of resistance fighters are resorting to increasingly extreme methods in their efforts to overthrow a steampunk Empire whose clockwork gears are slick with its subjects’ blood.
Are these events connected?
Oh, come now. That would be telling.
“Waterloo and time travel are made for each other and Heather Albano has done a wonderful job of giving us a delightful cast of characters, tasked with stitching together the proper nineteenth century while fending off several monstrous alternatives. Propulsive adventure with historical insight.” – Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars and 2312
“Austen, meet Waterloo. When a genteel 1815 heiress is given a strange watch, she time-travels to an 1885 England where history has gone hideously wrong. Now she has to change it back to what it “should” have been—and that never works out well, does it? A delicious supercharged blend of steampunk and the Napoleonic Wars, with a thrill on every page.” — Sarah Smith, The Vanished Child
“If Jane Austen and Mary Shelley had locked H. G. Wells in a dungeon and revised his wildest work, the result would have been something like this rollicking steampunk time-travel adventure that still manages to be a comedy of manners. Albano’s delightful characters confront the not only monsters and killer robots, but their own divided loyalties between personal happiness and the fate of their country.” – Ken Schneyer, The Law & the Heart
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