Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Akashic Books!

Benay is honored to welcome our newest  client, Akashic Books.  Akashic is an independent publisher of literary fiction and political nonfiction dedicated to amplifying the voice of authors being ignored by larger media companies.  Their recent release, Go the F**k to Sleep, has hit the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and IndieBound bestseller lists.  The audio book is narrated by none other than Samuel L. Jackson, the F-word artist of our time.

Akashic’s catalog satisfies a wide range of readers with titles from criminal fiction like The Cocaine Chronicles, by Gary Phillips and Jervey Tervalo, and The Plot Against Hip Hop, by Nelson George, to truly novel non-fiction, including the latest political cartoon and commentary release by Mr. Fish, GO FISH: How to Win Contempt and Influence People.  These are published side-by-side with the ambitious Noir series, a collection of crime stories by genre-writing geniuses and literary fiction greats with volumes creeping from the sunset-shadowed alleys of San Francisco to sweltering Haiti nights.

Akashic likely gets its rock star attitude and bold strides toward success from its Editor in Chief, Johnny Temple.  Temple plays bass for the band Girls Against Boys (styled GVSB).  Among his other duties, Temple finds time to organize the popular Brooklyn Book Festival.   

With a diverse, competent staff, fresh and fearless authors, and one foot firmly planted in success, Akashic is poised to become a growing, maverick force in the publishing world.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Gripping and compelling novel, SOHO’s Sand Queen brings the Iraq War to your living room.

Sand Queen brings the perspective of female veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom into light. Nineteen year old Kate Brady, a Specialist in the United States Army, is assigned to guard an American prison in the deserts of Iraq.  There she meets an Iraqi local named Naema Jassim whose father and brother are detained in the prison. They soon become friends who promised to help each other through these difficult times. But as the war rages their relationship begins to strain. Kate’s difficult tasks of being a female soldier in Iraq and Naema being a female civilian in Iraq, both struggle to survive the constant dangers of everyday life.

Drafted from real life accounts of female soldiers and Iraqi civilians, Sand Queen is hailed on shedding light of the horrendous impact of the Iraq war on women both, soldiers and civilians.

A Mortal Terror: Another great installment in Soho’s Billy Boyle series.

Billy Boyle is a Boston police officer turned United States Army lieutenant who is sent to the European theatre assigned as General Eisenhower's personal investigator. The mystery unravels as two bodies are found in Caserta, Italy days before the invasion of Anzio. The bodies belonged to Lt. Norman Landry and Cpt. Max Galante who were found with a distinct clue: the Lieutenant, holding the ten of hearts; the Captain, the jack of hearts. The message seems to be clear. If the murder isn't detained, the higher ranks will be next. Follow the fast paced thriller that the New York Times called " A spirited wartime storytelling" and Lee Child of Gone Tomorrow claimed "An instant classic."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Gaming the Workplace

Henry Albrecht wrote an enlightening entry for SmartBlog today about the potential of ‘gamification’ in the workplace.  Titled “The Game of Corporate Wellness: Failing, Winning and Gloating”, Albrecht’s article gives employers several tips on ways they can engage their employees that far suprass the effectiveness of competing company wellness programs.

Tailoring the interactive experience to the specific cultural environment is very important, according to Albrecht, who says, “A game that works for active employees of globally dispersed high-tech companies may be very different from one that works for single one-location hospitals.”

It’s also important to start small and take baby steps toward initiating your corporate ‘game’.  Simple rewards and increasing levels of involvement are useful in drawing in employees who likely won’t want or feel free to engage in the game.  “If you demand too much early on, you’ll overwhelm participants with too much too fast,” warns Albrecht.  But by switching the focus from telling employees what to do, to letting employees decide how best to achieve a set goal, creativity and effectiveness can be nurtured to new heights.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Luminarium Provoking More Thought In the NYT

Soho’s Luminarium has received yet another insightful and positive review in Sunday’s New York Times from Christopher R. Beha.  Beha calls Alex Shakar’s novel compelling, comparing it at times to the films Inception and The Matrix.  Shakar’s novel is already complicated by alternate realities, artificially induced religious experiences and disembodied family members.  To this, Beha’s article brings the ideas of William James and his opinions, contrary to many who see religious experiences as symptoms of brain trauma or dysfunction and then dismiss the concepts as past mistakes of no value.

Beha seems to find those demanding concepts at odds with the novel’s attempt to entertain at times, but concludes that while there is quite a lot going on within the story, Shakar’s talented writing holds the book together.  Clearly, there is a lot to learn from Luminarium, which is as full of entertainment as it is of revelations.