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2017: Here We Go

Winter has come. In Northern California, there continues to be more rain and snow than we’ve had in a long time. The weather is a blessing, and hints of a lush, green spring.

To my friends and family, the New Year seems to bring excitement and foreboding in equal measure, as 2017 rings in uncertainty. At Raincloud Press, our authors have been busy sharing on their blogs, and I’ll put some links to the highlights here:

I am enjoying the cold and slower pace of winter, and the goal of taking time and not rush. It feels like an important gestation period for the various projects happening at Raincloud. I can feel the potential building for our first mainstream novel, House of Rougeaux (to be published most likely a year from now). The design team and the editors are gearing up and by April we should have the first physical copies and artwork to share.

If you haven’t already, please check out our currently available titles which are available everywhere.  Or order by phone directly from our distributor in Chicago (800)888-4741.

 

Happy New Year,

Erika Lunder

Publisher, Raincloud Press

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Raincloud Press Titles Receive the 2016 Best Book Awards

best_book_award_badgeThis is an especially good day at Raincloud Press. All three books that we published this year became finalists in the 2016 Best Book Awards! From Ashes Into Light is a finalist in both Fiction: New Age and Fiction: Visionary. For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories is a finalist for Fiction: Short Stories. And Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU is a finalist in Comics: Graphic Novel.

From_Ashes_Into_Light_Award_Cover_90This is a huge honor for us! It’s great to have the talent of our authors, Gudrun Mouw and Jenny Jaeckel, acknowledged in this way. For Gudrun Mouw and her debut novel From Ashes Into Light, this is her third award. Although her reviews on Goodreads have been mixed, the award judges are picking this book again and again. There really is nothing like From Ashes Into Light: spiritual fiction about some of the world’s biggest tragedies and a soul who reincarnates through the ages. The narrative is poetic and shifts between four main characters, making it perhaps a little complicated for those used to genre fiction.

Our lead title for Fall of 2016 is Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU. The Best Book Award is the first award for this title and we are thrilled. Spot 12 is an adult comic book about the author Jenny Jaeckel’s time in the NICU with her newborn who was born with a genetic condition. The baby Asa survives a harrowing first five months. Spot 12 is getting great reviews and by word of mouth is transforming how friends, families and strangers are viewing the NICU experience.

For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories by Jenny Jaeckel got squeezed out of it’s summer publication spot so that Raincloud Press could transfer all our titles to a new distributor (Small Press United). For the Love of Meat was published in October alongside Spot 12, but without the same media attention. That wasn’t the original plan. But some books gain notice after slowly building fans, and this is what For the Love of Meat will probably do. Some of the biggest fans of this collection of short stories are librarians, who can appreciate the Latin flavor of this multicultural and multinational collection.

meat_front_3_small-copyWhat’s Next

We had a few titles scheduled for 2017, but I’ve pulled those to make room for House of Rougeaux, Jenny Jaeckel’s debut novel now scheduled for the beginning of 2018. This is a novel of a lifetime and we need a whole year to midwife our precious manuscript. Thanks go out to our test readers who are bouncing up and down with excitement over this title, and also managing to give insightful and helpful feedback. Next step, professional editing and cover mock-ups. Advance copies should be ready by June 2017.

Raincloud Press is publishing quality literature, inclusive literature and narratives that feed the best of what people have to offer: Community, love, overcoming oppression, humor, racial and spiritual tolerance and harmony, and an LGBTQ supportive environment. Something about that feels so radical right now. And I just can’t put my finger on why…

 

 

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Spot 12 ~ Published at Last

img_1254We have been very busy all summer getting ready for the publication of Jenny Jaeckel’s two latest books: Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU and For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories. Two very different books that ended up publishing in the same month because of delays over the summer.

If you need some recommendations for Spot 12, Jaeckel’s memoir about her baby who spent 5 months in the NICU because of a congenital condition, see this review from the blog tour: Lovely Bookshelf. Or you can go to www.spot12book.com for a list of about 12 reviews that went up during our blog tour that just ended today.

For the Love of Meat is Jaeckel’s first collection of short stories and reading it is like taking a mini-holiday around the globe. We did a review campaign on Amazon, getting advance copies in the hands of reviewer, and you can read the reviews if you want to hear what people are saying. Of course, both books are on Jaeckel’s Goodreads page, which is always a great place to go to decide whether you want to read a book or not.

As the publisher, October was very demanding. I’ll be glad to put my feet a little up in the coming months. But there’s not too much time for rest, because Jaeckel’s first novel is out to the first batch of test readers. After the next rewrite, I’ll be getting together with our editor, cover designer and publicist to begin to get House of Rougeaux in shape to be published in March 2018.

Yikes! That’s a long time from now! But the better the book, the longer it takes to come out because everything has to be just so. I won’t say anything more, except that this is an amazing full-length novel.

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Visionary Novel Wins Silver Medal in Inspirational Fiction

livingnowaward-copyRaincloud Press Author Gudrun Mouw just won Living Now Awards silver medal for Inspirational Fiction. The Living Now Awards are in their 8th season and were created to celebrate books that “enhance the quality of our lives.” We are honored that the Living Now Awards saw fit to bestow From Ashes Into Light a medal. It means a lot to our team and to the author to have this moment of recognition. Thank you Living Now Awards!

For those of you who haven’t heard of From Ashes Into Light, it’s a visionary novel about overcoming great adversity and prejudice, and it takes place over the course of 200 years. From Ashes Into Light is available in hardcover through any bookstore. If it’s not in stock, it can be ordered since it’s available through all the wholesalers. The novel will be available in softcover at the end of November.

Here’s a link to the award announcement at Living Now Awards.

Here’s a link to the order page to order From Ashes Into Light directly from IPG.

Here’s a link to Gudrun Mouw’s blog.

Description of From Ashes Into Light

From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

Three electric characters weave a narrative of raw consciousness, a moving example of transforming the ripple of suffering through the incredible strength of vulnerability.

Hospital through the eyes of patient

One Month Countdown ~ 100 Copies to Give Away!

It’s one month until Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU publishes. This unique graphic memoir, sometimes called Graphic Medicine (a visual story about medical-related issues), brings us an intimate portrait of a mother living in the hospital with her baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Author Jenny Jaeckel first published this book in Canada after winning the prestigious Xeric grant in 2008. For the first time on October 7th, 2016 Spot 12 will be available in the US market through a major distributor (Small Press United, a division of IPG).

Spot_12_Cover_90In honor of this big day, Raincloud Press has decided to give away 100 copies of Spot 12 through the Goodreads Giveaway program. The giveaway starts today and ends on October 2nd. You do have to be a member of Goodreads to enter the giveaway. But signing up is easy and you can set it up so you won’t get any junk mail.

If you have never checked out Goodreads, it is a social site for book lovers. It gives you an easy way to keep track of books you’ve read, how you liked them, and books you want to read. It’s very user-friendly and if you are considering reading a book, there are a ton of reviews that can help you decide. Writing reviews on Goodreads is a great way to support your favorite authors or publishers.

Here’s the link:

Goodreads Giveaway

or clink on the link in the sidebar

 

Cunero 12

Don’t forget that Spot 12 is also being released in Spanish (Cunero 12: Cinco Meses en la UCI Neonatales). Consider donating a pair of copies (in English and Spanish) for your local library, hospital or special needs organization and help support parents who have been through a difficult hospital stay.

Spread the Word

The most powerful force in the book world today is word-of-mouth. If you love Spot 12, pass it around to your friends. Tell family about it. Help spread the word of this brave and pioneering story. Thanks for your support!

Read More

Visit the website dedicated to Spot 12 for advance praise and Jenny Jaeckel’s Biography.

Visit Jenny Jaeckel’s blog for a continuation of the story that begins in Spot 12. 

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How to Blast Those Illegal Copies Out of the Water

Ebook Pirates

In order to hear about publicity for our titles at Raincloud Press, I use Google Alerts for our titles and authors. This lets me know when each book is mentioned online anywhere. This includes sites which are using our content to lure users to click on links. Some of these sites just publish the descriptions of our titles and book cover pics. But some of them are offering illegal copies of our ebooks.

It can be discouraging waiting for the reviews to roll in, and instead be notified of all the illegal copies of your book being pirated. So when I heard about a service that helps a publisher identify and delete illegal copies of their ebooks on the internet, and had to try it. This is what I had been looking for.

There was a waiting period where my account was vetted by the service Blasty (I am not affiliated with them in anyway). Then, I got an email saying my account was ready to go. I signed on immediately and got to work blasting the illegal copies off the web. I have to say, it felt pretty darn good.

I am so excited about our titles getting out into the world, about copies being passed on again and again. But in the person-to-person way. We give out hundreds of copies of our titles on Goodreads and LibraryThing, so people looking for free copies of books have those outlets. Nothing feels better as a publisher than getting a book in someone’s hand, but we want to maintain that position of decision-making, controlling when and where our books are given away.

ARC Pirates

Speaking of giving away books, I’ve noticed that some of the folks that receive advance copies from us through Goodreads and LibraryThing decide to sell those copies on Amazon. Hey! That’s not cool! Advance copies are not for resale. That book was an investment. We buy the envelopes, the shipping, the book itself. If the book wasn’t a good fit, then please pass it on to someone else. But don’t compete with our distributor. That takes money out of our author’s pockets and makes it a lot harder for an indie publisher like us to stay afloat.