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Paul Mullen at The Day I Hit a Home Run Enterprises reports that he has contracted with Minor League Baseball to create as many as 305 children’s books for teams such as the Iowa Cubs, Las Vegas 51s, Durham Bulls, Texas Round Rock Express, and Sacramento River Cats.

Titles he’s issued since 2007 include The Day I Hit a Home Run at Great American Ball Park, with more than 2,000 sold; The Day I Hit a Home Run at Principal Park, with more than 5,000 sold; and just released, The Last At-Bat at Yankee Stadium and High Rolling at Cashman Field. The books are being sold in ballpark gift stores, bookstores, and other retail outlets, and in schools and through book fairs and literacy programs. The Cincinnati Public Library staff has reviewed the titles and recommended them for third-grade and older readers.


From mid-April to mid-June, the Bronx Zoo’s Animal Tales Extravaganza is featuring yoga, and Teresa Power of Stafford House Books will be among the presenters. Her ABCs of Yoga for Kids was selected for the event because of the many poses in it named for animals. For example, Power explains, kids can pretend to be swans as they emulate the picture of them and read the accompanying text in the book.


Turning on the proverbial dime is part of what distinguishes small publishers, as Jean Lukesh of Field Mouse Productions shows in her report about her biography for children of World War II hero Ben Kuroki, a Japanese-American aerial gunner who flew 58 missions over Germany and Japan. Last fall, when the book had been in limbo for three years at a university press, Kuroki, then 93, contacted Lukesh and her husband. Kuroko told them he was scheduled to receive an Audie Murphy Award and to speak at the American Veterans Center Conference in Washington, DC, on November 6—and he wanted to unveil his biography during the event.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—for us and for Ben,” says Lukesh, but the university press staff said it could not get the book into print fast enough. So the author and her husband, whose publishing company had been dormant for a few years, went into action overnight to regain rights to the manuscript and get it edited and designed. They used Lightning Source for digital printing and print-on-demand, and in less than a month—on October 10—they received the first copies of Lucky Ears: The True Story of Ben Kuroki, World War II Hero. When this column went to press, roughly 500 copies had been printed.

“We know monetary totals will not be very impressive in the grand scheme of publishing, but we feel we’ve made a pretty good start, especially for a whirlwind reentry into a totally new-to-us kind of publishing,” Lukesh says. “And if we had not taken this book to press ourselves, it might never have been published at all. Now, Ben can’t wait for us to write a biography of him for adults.”


Pardey Books has sold the rights to issue Russian editions of two of its titles, Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew and Storm Tactics Handbook, to Gamzatov Timur of Kaspijsk, Dagestan. The initial press runs will be 1,500 for each title. A DVD, also called Storm Tactics, a companion to the book of the similar title, will also be given a Russian sound track and be packaged with Storm Tactics Handbook.

Lin and Larry Pardey report that their books now also have been translated into Italian, Japanese, and German.


Joanne Silver of Beach Lloyd Publishers, which promotes the study of French through the use of memoirs from World War II survivors, was in Paris in January for a symposium of the Association of Holocaust Organizations and the screening of La France Divisée, a 25-minute documentary on the wartime division in France between Nazi collaborators and resistance movements. The film features four survivors of the Holocaust, two historians, and the French Resistance leader Lucie Aubrac.

Beach Lloyd and the American Association of Teachers of French share distribution of a study guide for the film; see francedivided.com to learn more.


“Every author I’ve talked to recently has questions about e-books and how to go about getting their book ready to go on sale in the Kindle store, the iBookstore, and all the other venues where people are buying e-books to fill up their new Kindles, iPads, Nooks, Kobos, and other e-book readers,” reports Joel Friedlander, blogger of The Book Designer (the-bookdesigner.com), who has put together an E-book Conversion Services Directory at e-bookconversiondirectory.com.

IBPA members who have struggled with vendors will appreciate Friedlander’s warning: “People who create e-books need to have skill at understanding how books are constructed, and how best to interpret them in the e-book environment.”

As he points out, “The differences between print books and e-books can make this process a bumpy ride. The person doing the conversion must observe how the book is presented in print and have the skill to reproduce that presentation in e-book formats.”

He also notes that some vendors offer only automated conversions. For example, Friedlander says Smashwords, a distributor of indie e-books, cannot convert heavily formatted books or books for which you do your own e-book files.

At press time, Friedlander’s directory included more than 40 vendors who responded to his inquiries and provided cost estimates for converting a sample document. He cautions he did not verify the information submitted. If you deal with any of the vendors listed, you’re invited to send Friedlander your comments regarding the quality of the service you receive.

Members in the Spotlight is compiled by Linda Carlson (lindacarlson.com). She welcomes news of unusual special sales, licensing deals, significant media coups, and other achievements at linda@ibpa-online.org. The focus of this column is as much about how you accomplish something as what you accomplish, so details and specific how-to’s are important.

Please submit your information in the text of your email, and remember to include your name, title, and the name of your company. This column does not use news about nonmembers. It does not ordinarily use photos or other images. To make sure that you receive Linda’s emails, check on whether her address has been added to the approved sender list in your email program—and whether you have an updated email address on file with the IBPA office, ibpa-online.org.

Since information for Members in the Spotlight is needed at least six weeks in advance of the Independent’s issue date, news you submit by April 15 can be considered for the June and later issues. News that is time-sensitive and/or misses the Spotlight deadline—awards, events, upcoming television and radio appearances, and co-opportunities—should be directed to Lisa Krebs in the IBPA office at lisa@ibpa-online.org for inclusion in the IBPA e-newsletter, Independent Publishing Now.



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