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.


Publishers Weekly Reviews Siberiak

CoverforWebjuneFlatPublishers Weekly reviewed Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob in their October 6th issue. Siberiak comes out as a softcover on November 1st, less than a month away.


In a graphic novel originally self-published by the author in 2011, Jaeckel recalls her participation in  a remarkable cultural exchange at the height of U.S.-Soviet tensions in the 1980s. Along with 24 other American high-school students, Jaeckel joined a group of Soviet teenagers to cycle, row, and raft down Siberia’s river Ob in a trip meant to further peace. In simple, pared-down b&w cartoons, Jaeckel creates a cast of human-animal hybrids, giving the Americans long, floppy ears and the Russians neat, cropped ears and sharper snouts; throughout, she records discoveries about the ways her Russian counterparts are either unexpectedly similar to Americans (they love the Beatles) or unlike them (boys and girls display easy, unself-conscious physical affection toward members of their own sexes). Jaeckel documents a kaleidoscope of impressions and perceptions, including her own small contributions toward international relations, as when she’s confronted by four grim-faced grandmothers, greets them in tentative Russian, and is rewarded with broad grins. With an emphasis on dialogue and interior reflection, it’s an honest, closely observed account  that readers–especially those with an interest in Russia–will find facinating. Ages 18-up.


Summer Announcement

old world summerSMallWhen I started Raincloud Press in January of this year, I was uncertain exactly where it would be headed. I began it as a sole proprietorship and set off down the publishing road. My husband and I own and run Deer Creek Resources LLC, a business concerned with mapping and environmental issues. After months of discussion, we’ve decided that Raincloud Press belongs under the LLC. The vision we have is to have three imprints: Deer Creek Press for printing atlases and other geography-related books, Raincloud Press for literary and young adult books, and Mr. Pancake & Sons for children’s books. Stay tuned for staff updates, new titles and releases!




Designer Extraordinaire!


My book designer, whom author Jenny Jaeckel referred me to, just finished the cover to the forthcoming graphic memoir Siberiak. Josue Menjivar teaches design and publishing in Vancouver, BC and was nice enough to squeeze this project in his busy schedule.

It’s stressful having a book without a cover, because a cover can express so much about what’s inside. Josue really captured the ethos of Jaeckel’s cold war tale. Thanks Josue!


Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob

Page34WebMy current project is called Siberiak: My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob, a graphic memoir from a teen’s travel to Russia in 1988. Several dozen American and Russian youth travel down the Siberian River singing Beatles songs and learning from each other. Author and Illustrator Jenny Jaeckel brings a welcome sense of humor to this unique and warm coming of age story.

As things heat up currently between the former USSR and the Ukraine, some people may be drawn to remembering the 80s: a period of great nuclear tension between our countries and a revival of the peace movement. Planned publication for this book is August 1st.