FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLACK SPOT BOOKS CELEBRATES 1ST ANNIVERSARY, NEW PARTNERSHIPS
NEW JERSEY (NOVEMBER 12, 2018) – Black Spot Books, an independent press specializing in speculative fiction, celebrates its first anniversary this month, along with a new distribution partnership and a 2019 catalog of upcoming titles from award-winning authors, new voices, and sequels to several of the house’s first year best sellers.
Since launching in November 2017, Black Spot Books opened its doors in January 2018 with a frontlist of engaging novels from fresh American voices, many by debut authors. With a growing catalog of titles that span from urban fantasy, to dystopian futures, historical fiction, and psychological thrillers, Black Spot Books has thrived by carving a niche in the market and building partnerships, including its relationship with literary publicity group Smith Publicity, and its new exclusive distribution partnership with Small Press United and the Independent Publishers Group.
The most rewarding aspect of the past year, says Black Spot Books Owner and Publisher Lindy Ryan, has been in doing exactly what she set out to do: operate under the guiding principles of passion, creativity, and investment in the long-term success of books and their authors. “We wanted to forge a new publishing company that focused on bringing great new books to market from authors who may not have found a home with the large publishing houses” says Ryan.
“Our culture as a publisher is based on collaboration, both internally with our authors and team members, and with the industry at large. As we’ve solidified our place in the publishing community, our efforts have been guided by our passions as book lovers first and producers second. We’ve brought fresh new voices to market, published boundary-challenging fiction from new and emerging writers who have stories we believe in—and that’s exactly what we will continue to do.”
Keeping sights set on long-term success, Black Spot Books has entered an exclusive distribution partnership with Small Press United, a division of the Independent Publishers Group, the distributor renowned for bringing titles to an industry-wide level through the widest variety of sales channels. Global distribution will continue through Ingram, with the same high level of quality and service that buyers have come to expect from Black Spot Books in its first year. For publisher brand and title-specific marketing, Black Spot Books also plans to maintain and expand its ongoing relationship with Smith Publicity.
Ending the year with the highly-anticipated political dystopian title The Absolved (Dec 2018) from Matthew Binder, Black Spot Books’ 2019 catalog will feature new titles from award-winning and debut authors, including the houses’ first young adult science-fiction title, Apocalypse Five (Feb 2019) by USA Today best-selling author Stacey Rourke and The Hungry Ghost (June 2019) a magical realism thriller from debut author Dalena Storm. Sequels, too, are coming in 2019 from Black Spot Books. Fans of Sam Hooker’s Terribly Serious Darkness series (Peril in the Old Country) can look forward to Soul Remains in April, as well as And Then There Were Dragons, the second installment in Alcy Leyva’s Shades of Hell Series (And Then There Were Crows), planned for July.
“I am grateful for the support and community we’ve built in our first year at Black Spot Books,” says Ryan. “Building a new small press from scratch is a labor of love, and it truly takes a team of dedicated, creative, and passionate people. I couldn’t be happier with where we’ve ended our first year as the new kid on the block, and I am looking forward to continuing to be part of this industry for many years to come.”
ABOUT BLACK SPOT BOOKS:
Black Spot Books is a traditional small-press publisher specializing in speculative fiction, including titles in dark humor, fantasy, paranormal and horror. Learn more about Black Spot Books at http://www.blackspotbooks.com.
ABOUT SMALL PRESS UNITED:
Small Press United (SPU) is a major distribution option, for new and small publishers, from IPG, the independent press distributor renowned for bringing titles to an industry-wide level through the widest variety of sales channels. SPU shares IPG’s sales force throughout the U.S. and Canada
to reach thousands of accounts, including chain and independent bookstores, online retailers, national wholesalers, library and specialty wholesalers, gift and specialty retail, museums, and more.
Learn more about Black Spot Books at www.blackspotbooks.com and connect on Twitter @BlackSpotBooks, Instagram @BlackSpotBooks), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/BlackSpotBooks/).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUTOMATION UNRAVELS THE FABRIC OF AMERICAN SOCIETY IN A NOT-SO UNBELIEVABLE FUTURE
Automation Unravels the Fabric of American Society In A Not-So Unbelievable Future
“Dramatic and well written, this dystopian trip to a robotic future has everything: lust, law, medicine, betrayal, politics—even love. As humans struggle to retrieve their humanity from the robots who have taken their jobs and self worth, one man—a doctor— has the opportunity to be a hero or villain.”
- Alan Dershowitz
“With touches of Vonnegut and Huxley, Binder delivers a darkly funny look at a future we’re most likely stuck with.” – Seth Meyers
It’s 2036. Henri is a wealthy physician, husband, father, and serial philanderer. He is also one of the relatively few people to still have a job. Automation and other technological advances have led to unemployment so severe that many people are no longer expected to work and now known as “The Absolved.”
Meanwhile, it’s election season, and a candidate from a radical fringe party called The Luddites is calling for an end to the “Divine Rights of Machines.” After Henri is displaced from his job, two Luddite sympathizers—whom Henri has befriended at his local bar—frame him for an anti-technology terrorist act. The prospect of Henri’s salvation comes at the cost of foregoing his guiding principles in life. This new vision for the world, after all, just might prove better than the technological advancements that, paradoxically, have “left humanity out in the cold.”
The Absolved [Black Spot Books, December 4, 2018] examines society and the unanticipated consequences of rapid technological advancement – and our reliance on it – as its protagonist faces off against a future teetering between a utopian leisure culture and a world of boredom and vice.
“While futurists promise the ushering in of a utopian leisure culture, it’s my belief that without work to provide us with a sense of purpose and personal fulfillment people will simply fall victim to boredom and vice,” says Binder. “The Absolved doesn’t purport to provide answers, only to detail the unsustainability of a system that does not work for the majority of the people it serves.”
THE ABSOLVED will be available in paperback and e-book formats through all major retailers and distributors on December 4, 2018.
ISBN (print): 978-1-7324007-2-6
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-7324007-3-3
Pre-order it today from Black Spot Books.
ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES OF THE ABSOLVED AVAILABLE ON NETGALLEY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE WINTER RIDDLE
WILL THE WINTER WITCH JOIN FORCES WITH SANTA AGAINST THE GATHERING DARKNESS, EVEN IF IT MEANS SAVING THE WORLD?
A farcical tale of Yuletide proportions.
Once upon a time, the North Pole was a very noisy place. A kingdom cowered under the maniacal rule of the White Queen, the Vikings raided and pillaged as they were wont to do, and the Winter Witch avoided talking to any of them.
When her peace and quiet are obliterated by threats of war and Ragnarok, she’ll try anything to get them back. When casting spells to become nearly invisible and dealing with otherworldly powers fail, the Winter Witch must forge an alliance with Santa—a retired warrior who’s anything but jolly—to save the North Pole from calamity.
In this updated version of Sam Hooker’s humorous dark fantasy novel that’s a perfect holiday read, The Winter Riddle [Black Spot Books, November 1 2018], destiny calls on an unlikely hero to save the North Pole. The Winter Witch would have been more than happy to be left alone entirely, and that’s exactly the sort of person who sticks out like a sore thumb when destiny goes shopping for heroes. Destiny has a nose for a bargain. Why pay full retail for a willing hero who’s all biceps and tally-ho?
Of course, she could have avoided the whole thing by refusing to involve herself in a scheme devised by the most deceitful deity ever to disgrace the world with his presence, but that would have angered the horrible White Queen, ensuring that she’d never have another moment’s peace again. The aforementioned scheme felt like the lesser evil at the time, but nothing could have been farther from the truth.
The Winter Witch’s desire to be left alone sends the North Pole careening toward disaster. Flying machines falling from the sky! Cannons going off indoors! Espionage, intrigue, gender-bending fashion, and even a hint of global warming imperil the fate of the world as we know it, and it all falls to one reclusive mumbler to make things right.
Will the Vikings take up arms against the frost giants? Will an evil necromancer keep the kingdom in the grip of fear? And for the love of Christmas, will everyone who isn’t the Winter Witch please stop meddling with dark forces beyond mortal comprehension for a bit?
The Winter Riddle is a farcical tale of a yuletide fantasy, wherein a reticent heroine must surmount countless challenges to save the world. From battles with giants to unlocking ancient magics to navigating the nuances of polite conversation, each obstacle is more monstrous than the last. Deck the halls and bar the doors! We’re in for a long winter’s night.
"I was perfectly happy to let my first novel molder in self-published anonymity, but my publisher saw something special in it,” says Hooker. “I am thrilled to be working with Black Spot Books again to re-release a new, improved version of The Winter Riddle just in time for readers to cozy up with it this holiday season."
The Winter Riddle will be available in paperback and e-book formats through all major retailers and distributors on November 1, 2018.
ISBN (print): 978-1-7324007-0-2
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-7324007-1-9
Pre-order it today from Black Spot Books.
ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES OF THE WINTER RIDDLE AVAILABLE ON NETGALLEY
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THE ISLE OF GOLD
MYSTERY, MYTH & MAGIC MEET IN AN EPIC ADVENTURE OF TWO WOMEN LOST AT SEA - AND THE SECRET THAT BINDS THEM TOGETHER
An orphan disguised as a pirate sets sail for a mystical island in hope of unraveling the mysteries of her past.
The year is 1716—the Golden Age of Pirates. An orphan who sleeps in the dusty kitchens of a quayside brothel, Merrin Smith is desperate to unravel the secrets of her past and find the truth about the events that brought her to the Caribbean island of Isla Perla as a child. Disguised as a sailor, and with the help of her longtime friend Claudette, Merrin joins the crew of the pirate ship Riptide, helmed by the notorious Captain Erik Winters. Tenacious and rumored a madman, Winters is known as much for his ruthlessness as for his connection to the enigmatic and beautiful proprietress of the Goodnight Mermaid, Evangeline Dahl, who vanished from Isla Perla two summers before.
At sunset the Riptide sails for the mythical island of Bracile, a place hidden between air and sea and that exists only for a moment every two years, and which has never returned any man who has sailed for its shores. The journey will be perilous and long, and it will take Merrin far away from the only home she’s ever known. Because she can read, Merrin will serve as the Captain’s apprentice, deciphering old texts for clues to the island’s whereabouts as the ship sails through haunted, frozen waters and into the very heart of the ocean. As she struggles to navigate the rough, seafaring life aboard a pirate ship, Merrin must keep her identity hidden from the scrupulous gaze of not only Captain Winters, but also Mister Brandon Dunn, the ship’s surly, legend-spouting quartermaster, and Tom Birch, the charming boatswain Merrin can’t help but feel drawn to.
As the Riptide makes its way to Bracile, Merrin begins to suspect that the men she has worked so hard to deceive may in fact be more connected to her than she would have imagined, and that perhaps her own past might have more to do with the Dunn’s legends and myths than she ever could have guessed.
In The Isle of Gold [Black Spot Books, October 9, 2018] Merrin Smith must face perilous waters, cursed sea goddesses, and the embodiments of some of the ocean’s most terrifying legends as she not only struggles to survive her journey, but to find the answers to the mysteries of her past.
A story where history meets fantasy, The Isle of Gold is an epic, emotional adventure of two women—one desperate to save herself, and the other determined to be rescued—and the secret which binds them together.
“For as long as men have sailed the ocean, they have told stories about the sea,” says Jane. “It’s a place of mystery, myth, and magic—and this makes The Isle of Gold a perfect setting for an epic adventure that is not only a tale of historical fiction, but of the very evolution of a woman’s spirit as she seeks to find herself in a world of unpredictability and uncertainty.”
About the Author
Seven Jane is an author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. She also regularly writes short stories and poetry that is published in various literary magazines. Seven is a member of The Author's Guild and Women's Fiction Writing Association. She lives in New England. Follow @SevenJaneWrites on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The Isle of Gold will be available in paperback and e-book formats through all major retailers and distributors on October 9, 2018.
ISBN (print): 978-0-9997423-8-9
ISBN (ebook): 978-0-9997423-9-6
Pre-order it today from Black Spot Books.
ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES OF THE ISLE OF GOLD AVAILABLE ON NETGALLEY
So it was no surprise that I missed Mrs. Littlefield calling us to circle time when I was so close to the end of my book. In third grade, though, tattle-tales abound, and another student soon pointed me out to Mrs. Littlefield. Sternly she called me over to her chair, where she was surrounded by the entire class. Her grim demeanor changed, however, when she saw my face streaked with tears. "What's the matter?" she asked. Sobbing, I jerkily informed her that I had just finished Old Yeller. She dropped her own book, opened her arms, and pulled me close. "Well, then, that makes perfect sense," she told me. "We all cry at Old Yeller."
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
This feels like a trick question, since Bury The Lead is all about connections, both real and manipulated. Which is fair, because I only have a trick answer. At face value, my work is primarily composed of stand-alone novels and poetry. However, the questions addressed by all of them are the same. How does love alter us and our reality? What is truth? What price will we pay for liberty - and can we even define what liberty is? What makes us human, and at what point do we leave our humanity behind? I write in many genres, but the questions - those tricky connections - remain the same.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Never let it be said I came late to my melodramatic sensibilities. I was in junior high when I first noted that my great - and ever unrequited - love, who was also a writer, was carrying around a big red-and-black hardbound book everywhere he went. Since true love means reading all the same books (yes, I scoured his library card records, and yes, I was a scary little stalker,) I of course set myself to discovering what it was. It turned out to be Roget's International Thesaurus, Fourth Edition. I saved up my birthday money and bought a copy of my own at the mall bookstore. I quickly discovered its many magical properties, and to this day, it sits ever at my side as I work. Most of the time I find that the word I want is the one already in hand, but just the flavor and feel of the words, sliding over my lips and into my mind, are a delight. And sometimes whole stories arise from the invocation of a single word.