Monday, April 25, 2011

Two New Titles from the Trenches

Soho Crime’s Potsdam Station, by David Downing, appears in yet another favorable review, this time by Marilyn Stasio of the New York Times.  

Stasio seems impressed by Downing’s main character, John Russell, the travelling American Journalist who spends much of Potsdam Station fighting to get back into Berlin to save his lover.  “Downing provides no platform for debate in this unsentimental novel,” Stasio says, “leaving his hero to ponder the ethics of his pragmatic choices while surveying the ground-level horrors to be seen in Berlin. The assaults on the ear are no less shocking, from the screams of women in the night to the appalling silence at the end of it all.”

Frank Weimann of Literary Group International has been busy as well, landing a deal for Gary O’Neal’s American Warrior.  The book provides a look into the Vietnam War through the eyes of a soldier, and the story of a man who is as cold and brutal as an endless blizzard to enemies at war, yet calm as the fallen snow in the quiet between battles.  The tale of this army tracker was sold to Tom Dunne of Thomas Dunne Books.

If you are a fan of war stories and determined men of character don’t miss either of these titles.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rock Paper Tiger Nominated for Best First Novel

Soho Press’s Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann has been nominated for Best First Novel this year.  Brackmann contends with other top titles including Blacklands by Belinda Bauer, The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron, The Sherlockian by Graham Moore and Snow Angels by James Thompson in the 2010 Strand Magazine Critics Awards.  The awards will be presented in the categories of Best Novel and Best First Novel at an invitation-only cocktail party, hosted by The Strand on July 6, 2011, in New York City.

We have had quite a bit of praise for Rock Paper Tiger, the story of pill-popping Iraq War vet Ellie Cooper and her search for her missing artist lover.  Meshing flashbacks of Iraq with images of rural China and real-life intrigue with mysterious informants from an online game, Brackmann has created an electic, dangerous landscape for the action of her first novel.  Strand Magazine has taken notice and we wish Brackmann the best as their judges make their decisions.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome Rubicon Seven!

Benay is proud to announce our newest client, Rubicon Seven LLC, a visionary provider of land-use solutions.  Rubicon’s vision is not only found in its designs, but also in the lasting effect those projects have on communities both local and global.  Rubicon Seven uses green technology and holistic methods to pursue its mission of improving lives as well as improving the environment, all while building meaningful places that enrich both consumers and the community as a whole.

The company is led by its founder, Tedrowe Bonner, an interdisciplinary scholar with degrees in political economics and statistics from the Universities of Massachusetts and Boston, respectively, and who has   an avid interest in global sociology, environmental sociology, urban sociology, and methodology.  Alongside his endeavors to make Rubicon Seven’s projects aesthetic and functional successes, Mr. Bonner completes work on his PhD in sociology.

Mr. Bonner and Rubicon Seven are currently engaged in several projects to revitalize community involvement and stand as an example of the power of communal effort and green building methods.  Anyone inspired by the cause can visit Rubicon Seven’s home page, where there is more detailed information about Mr. Bonner’s vision and the company’s current projects, as well as opportunities for you to get involved through sponsorship, advising, or investment.

We look forward to working with Rubicon Seven in the years ahead and are very proud to be a part of this noble effort.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mike Sacks at Powell's

Fans of Mike Sacks, author of Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason by Tin House Books, around Portland should make their way over to Powell’s City of Books next Thusday to hear what is certain to be a hilarious reading of the book by its author. Sacks has proven his wit in publications like Esquire, GQ, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair and retained enough ammunition to pack this collection with fifty-four short humor pieces which are often absurd, yet hilariously plausible.

Stefan Sirucek at the Huffington Post seemed most impressed by a piece titled ‘The Rejection of Anne Frank’ the oblivious publishers who have just rejected Frank's diary manuscript helpfully tell her to consider writing something more ‘book-club friendly’ and to focus on her ‘tween demographic.’” Steve Heisler at AV Club appeared to favor ‘Rules for My Cuddle Party’ which, “explains the ironclad restrictions of a makeshift orgy while delving into the filthy mistakes of previous ‘parties.’”

Filled with fifty-two other lists, stories and emails just as bizarre, Your Wildest Dreams is sure to leave readers in stitches. Don’t miss this opportunity to see Sacks in person and laugh at some of the best, weirdest comedy writing to come out in recent memory.

Sacks will be at Powell’s Thursday, April 28, 7:30 pm at 1005 W Burnside, Portland, Oregon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jesse Ventura at Disinformation

Our client, Gary Baddeley of Disinformation had the good fortune of sitting down with Jesse Ventura, former WWF performer and commentator, Minnesota governor, and co-star of popular co-star of hit film Predator.  Promoting his new book 63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read, Jesse discusses topics ranging from the possibility of joining Ron Paul in a future presidential election, to legalization, to the privatization of prisons and the price of bottled water vs. gasoline.

Jesse talks about that the recent drama surrounding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.  Questioning why the UK would hold Assange for acts not considered illegal in the that country, Jesse suggests that the nature of certain documents held by Assange may well be of an explosive and damaging nature to the current American administration.  

True to his larger-than-life nature, Jesse covers more topics than can be done justice in a few blocks of text.  He entertains as only a man with his diverse background can, and dissects questions and issues posed by Disinformation’s fans with thoughtful responses and a decisive, self-aware point of view.

Watch the interview for yourself at Disinformation’s home site.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Consulting and Small Business

If your small business has grown enough that you can’t personally relate your company’s vision to every employee, it has probably grown to the point where you would benefit from the services of an outside consultant, according to the latest article by Financial Post. Small businesses going through a growth spurt are actually in a better position than larger ones, however. The article advises that owners of small businesses have to deal with the challenges of a tight budget and are generally unwilling at first to spend money on outside services or consultation, but that these services are an important part of the growth process. 

Understanding of a company, the industry in which it operates, and the company’s place in it are key traits of a consulting service that will give these small businesses maximum value. By networking and being active in its field, often times, a small business will be able to find an individual or company which is uniquely suited to provide advice at a fraction of what larger businesses pay. 

Regardless of the method business owners use to acquire quality advice, one thing seems clear: Businesses which do not seek consultation as they move out of the beginning stages of their life are much less likely to succeed.

“The bottom line is great ideas make for great startups, but great companies require something more. And those great startups who think they can become great companies without any help from outside their own walls are risking the very lifeblood of their business,” says Rowley Mossop, principal of independent consultancy Innovia Partners Ltd.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mr. Kill

Soho Crime’s longest-running series, featuring George Sueno and Ernie Bascom, will get a seventh book this December.  Martin Limon’s latest work, Mr. Kill has been described as “a not-to-be-missed addition to the growing library of novels about Southeast Asia by people who know what they are talking about,” by John Burdett, New York Times bestselling author of Bangkok 8.

Mr. Kill immediately surrounds Sergeants George and Ernie, U.S. Army Investigators, with hostile citizens, difficult superiors, and dangerous contacts when a young mother is discovered brutally raped on a train into Seoul.  Korea’s people are outraged by news of the attacker, described by witnesses as an American serviceman.  George and Ernie arrive too late to catch the offender in the area and are instead forced to pick their way through the city on his cooling trail, dealing with American officials who want nothing more to deny the involvement of their men and the blond bombshell lead singer of country western act providing more than musical entertainments to the local men in uniform.

A second murder lights a fire under the sergeants and finally draws the attention of the ruthless Korean homicide investigator known by those who stand in his way as Mr. Kill.

Limon’s new book promises to serve up the levels of action and intrigue readers can expect of a seven-title veteran.  Look for it in December for a great read or perfect gift.

Monday, April 11, 2011

MTV and More

This month has been a busy one for our clients and favorite publishers, with several deals to report and of course more on the horizon.

The Literary Group International continues to prove both well connected and capable of closing titanic deals, landing MTV Chairman and CEO Bill Roedy’s What Makes Business Rock for Koerner & Kronefeld Partners. What Makes Business Rock will relive Roedy’s experience crafting the world famous, hugely successful entertainment network.

Fans of history should enjoy The Overlook Press’s two newest acquisitions, Martin Sixsmith’s Russia: The Wild East, A History and Joseph Kelly’s America’s Longest Siege. Both review the troubled past of one of the world’s largest nations and explore how old problems continue to affect their populations today. Sixsmith’s book covers a broad arc of time, from Russia’s birth in the tenth century to the present day, and reveals the complexities of its modern incarnation. Kelly’s America’s Longest Siege will highlight a Southern sin older even than slavery: the suppression of dissent.

Michael Tucker’s Like Life was also signed to Overlook last week. According to Publisher’s Marketplace, Tucker’s latest is “a novel about love and loss between soulmates Herbie and Annie, set among a diverse cast of characters that support the couple with humor and guidance.”

Finally, Granta has struck a deal with Guardian journalist, Patrick Barkham, author of The Butterfly Isles, to publish a natural history of the badger in 2013.  Apparently there are more badgers in Britain than anywhere else in the world. This fact combined with Barkham’s mother’s legacy as a champion against the mass-slaughtering of badgers, makes the journalist uniquely suited to tell the territorial animal’s story.

So keep an eye out for all of these titles to appear on bookshelves in the near future.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Twitter to Capitalize on Site

Everyone’s favorite microblogging and message site, Twitter, has been eyeing Facebook’s financial success for a while now and appears to be ready to follow in the social media giant’s trend-setting footsteps by offering branded pages. True to its 140 character concept, Twitter isn’t saying much about how these deals will work.  Business news sites and interested parties on the internet are speculating, however. Twitter’s branded pages will likely look and function like Facebook Pages, allowing brands to create their own profiles, attract followers, and post updates.

Twitter has had its toe in the water for a while now with its Promoted Accounts offering, allowing companies and individuals to hand over a wheelbarrow full of dollars for the opportunity to appear in a list of accounts suggested to users based on which other subjects and people they follow.  While pricey, the tactic allows businesses to target their promotions much more effectively.  Twitter’s algorithms ensure that the promoted accounts appear to users who have a demonstrated interest in the promoted subject, or accounts tangentially connected to it.  At the same time, it prevents, say, OrganicWheatProducts from being stuck awkwardly in the sidebars of devoted fans of RefinedSugar.

The effect is to allow advertising and promotion that is both more effective and less likely to be perceived as spam.  If Twitter’s Promoted Accounts service is any indication, we can expect their branded pages to offer the same basic features as Facebook Pages, but with a more user-conscious demeanor.

For those businesses who already use Twitter or are looking for a new venue for promotion, the development of these new branded pages will be worth watching.