Monday, February 25, 2013

Another Soho Press Success

"Laughter is a subversive weapon when you live under a repressive regime. That's the take-away lesson from Colin Cotterill's gravely funny novels set in Indochina in the 1970s."
Soho Press continues to gain recognition from readers worldwide, widening eyes with their new mystery title, The Woman Who Wouldn't Die. This long-awaited follow-up to 2011's Slash & Burn and the ninth installment in Colin Cotterill's bestselling mystery series stars the inimitable Lao national coroner, Dr. Siri, a man extraordinarily intrigued by the dead souls he examines every day.
After a woman is shot and killed in her bed during a burglary and her body burned in traditional Lao fashion, she pulls a Lazarus, reappearing three days later with only one distinguishing difference; she can now communicate with the dead. Her clairvoyance persuades the long-dead brother of a Lao general to enlist her in helping his brother uncover his remains, which have been lost at the bottom of a river for many years.
Dr. Siri is sent along to supervise the excavation, and convinced that this will be a relaxing voyage, he persuades his wife, Madame Daeng, to join them. However the couple’s vacation soon turns into a thought provoking journey when questions arise concerning what the group is really digging for at the bottom of this remote river on the Thai border.
Soho Press is a phenomenal independent publisher of literary fiction and international crime. Their recent recognition by the New York Times comes to no surprise. Since 1986, they have been releasing attention-garnering titles such as The Woman Who Wouldn’t Die, and will certainly continue to do so in the upcoming years. To check out their full catalogue including all 2013 releases, visit their site at
-Mike Iovino

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Effective Addiction Treatment from Caring Experts at Family Intervention Center

Family Intervention Center
Addiction is a life threatening disease. Fortunately, there are kind and knowledgeable professionals who can help those struggling to regain control of their lives.

Benay's new client, Family Intervention Center, has promoted wellness through education, intervention and treatment since 1991. This non-profit social agency provides a continuum of services, tackling addiction and mental health issues that affect families all over Connecticut.


From their office in Waterbury, Connecticut, the experts at the Family Intervention Center aid school systems state-wide in implementing effective Peer Help and Mediation programs to prevent social injustices such as bullying and verbal harassment. School personnel are thoroughly trained to help students with their often overlooked exposure to stress and addiction.


As a licensed Substance Abuse and Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, Family Intervention Center provides an exceptional counseling program for those plagued by drug use, alcoholism, gambling and eating disorders. Their health industry professionals will work with families and loved ones to arrange planned interventions for individuals in need. Their ability to communicate with feelings, facts, love and concern motivates those who are addicted to seek the treatment they require.


After evaluating individuals and defining the issues clients face, clinicians develop unique plans of action tailored to each patient's needs. Providing programs for co-dependence, anger, families and youths, the Family Intervention Center aims to help those who are both directly and indirectly affected by the disease of addiction.

Next Steps?

If you know someone who struggles with addiction, I urge you to contact the Family Intervention Center. 

Reach them at 203-753-2153 or email Visit online at or stop by their office at 22 Chase River Road in Waterbury to seek the assistance you or your loved ones may require.

Do What You Do Best, and Let Benay Do the Rest!

At Benay, we are honored to provide business management services that enable Family Intervention Center to focus resources and staff time on what they do best -- helping clients affected by addiction.

If you know an organization that would benefit from our financial management and back-office services, please give me a call or an email. We'll do everything we can to help them fulfill their mission!

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Second Story of Every Title (As Told By a Bunch of ‘Ooligans)

A book is far more than a compilation of pages and text sandwiched between two covers; a book is labor in print, the culmination of countless hours spent on writing, revising, printing and promoting. As an author in my own right, each of my works is a part of me. Whether in a blog like this one, a piece of poetry, or a novel, every single word in print is carefully crafted in order to evoke a specific emotion from the audience. However, the author is not the only one who works on a title. Though they are the creative minds behind their texts, the public eye would never have access to their works without the essential medium, the catalysts of the written word, Publishers.
Publishing is hard work. The past four months I have spent as an intern at For Beginners and Benay Enterprises have proven that without a doubt. Working on webpages, drafting press releases, securing rights, dealing with agents, among many other things, working for a Publisher requires a multitude of skills in various fields. My internship at For Beginners and Benay has armed me with the skills I need in order to succeed in the world of Publication, but there are many interested in the field that do not have access to the unique and incredible opportunity I have had the privilege of experiencing.
There is, however, one University providing interested students with a glimpse into the fast paced field of publishing. Portland University’s Ooligan Press, an entirely student-staffed press, has recently implemented a program called “Start to Finish,” in which the students give an insider’s perspective on creating a book. Tracking the evolution of a title from acquisition to release date, students blog about their experiences during a title’s long journey to the printing press.
The response from participating students has been overwhelmingly positive. After working on Eliot Treichel’s story collection, Close is Fine, one student credited the project with “helping [her] to overcome [her] fear of taking on something bigger than [her]self.” Creator of Start to Finish, Jonathan Stark, said it best, “Each book we publish has an epic story of success behind it that exists totally separately from how well it reads or how well it sells.” Thus, the concept of the so-called “second story,” the story of a title’s creation that remains absent from the story in print yet is of just as much importance as the author’s writing.
Though it often remains unheard, the second story is responsible for the first. The literature audiences read and love would not exist without the Publisher, something both the students at PSU’s Ooligan Press and I know quite well. So next time you pick up a book, whether it be an informative and reader-friendly For Beginners title, a book from one of Benay’s publishing clients, or perhaps a recent release from Ooligan Press, take time to appreciate the hard work it took to put that book in your hands.
-Mike Iovino

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Check Will No Longer Be in the Mail, Grandma!

Videos on new payment system
Do you know someone who gets checks from the government for Social Security or other federal benefits?  

Well, things are about to change!

As of March 1, all U.S. government benefit payments will be made by either Social Security Direct Deposit or individuals will be enrolled in the government's Direct Express Debit MasterCard program.

Few exceptions allowed 

Roughly 5 million people still receive checks, with Florida, California, New York, and Texas among the states with the highest number of people still receiving paper checks. Some seniors born before May 1, 1921, can still receive paper checks if they choose. But everyone else must either sign up for monthly direct deposit OR receive a monthly debit card with their benefits.

What does this mean?

It means that I'll be helping my 92-year-old grandmother enroll in direct deposit. And it's a chance for us all  to remind friends or family members who are elderly (or less comfortable with technological innovations) that they'll need to enroll or expect to receive monthly debit cards from Uncle Sam.  

This change will eliminate about 136 million paper checks sent by the government, saving taxpayers approximately $303 million in the first five years after the switch.

The move to go paperless is part of the government's efforts to ensure the safe, quick delivery of funds and make receiving payments easier for residents impacted by natural disasters. It's also part of an effort to work smarter, boost efficiency and modernize business methodologies.

Do What You Do Best, and Let Benay Do the Rest!

Benay also helps our clients work smarter and more efficiently. Quick and clear financial information, including weekly AP & AR reports (paperless, too!), customized P&L reports, and constantly updated financials help businesses see where potential efficiencies may be available.

Unlike my grandmother, you don't have to wait to be 92 to become a Benay client. We'd love to find out how we can work smarter, faster and more efficiently on your behalf, so you can focus on growing your business.  

Just give me a call or a quick email to start the conversation.

Hogarth Hogs the Spotlight

British painter William Hogarth is known for being the most honest artist of 18th Century. His depictions of so-called “modern moral subjects” were crude, yet nothing was capable of capturing the repugnant reality of East London in more vivid detail. Hogarth’s portrayal of the underbelly of the metropolis is what lead author, Michael Dean, to use his persona as the lead character in his new title, I, Hogarth. This whimsical tale from Duckworth, an imprint of Overlook Press, with its surprising historical accuracies, is receiving praise only days after its release date (Feb.1, 2013), appearing in this week’s edition of The New York Times Sunday Book Review.
It’s easy to see why the heralded New York newspaper refers to Duckworth Overlook’s title as “gritty, bawdy, and funny.” Following a fictional Hogarth through his poverty stricken youth and rise to fortune from the rotten alleys of East London, I, Hogarth highlights the character that was William Hogarth in a way his paintings never could. Dean’s character describes his work as an engraver (a job Hogarth had to work on his way to becoming a renowned artist) as “scratch[ing] away laboriously like a whore with the clap, easing her itch.” The use of witty yet profuse language emulates Hogarth’s artwork flawlessly, especially “A Harlot’s Progress,” which chronicled an innocent country girl’s immoral demise in the cesspool of a city Harlot called home.
From his pants-dropping shenanigans with prostitutes to his recollection of theater crowds that smelled “like a dead dog rotting in the Devil’s privy,” Harlot’s character embodies 18th century life in London. He satirizes the moral decline of modern society while displaying immorality of his own, contracting syphilis and endangering his wife yet freely criticizing all those around him (even the Prime Minister).
Author, “Dean[,] weaves Hogarth’s opinion on art into the narrative” and “paints with words as Hogarth did with his brush”(New York Times). The boisterous and perverse character of Harlot, as well as his intriguing journey to stardom, is now available for your reading pleasure, as I, Hogarth is now available for purchase online and in bookstores near you. I encourage all readers of a mature enough age to pick up a copy and enjoy the comedic and captivating new Duckworth/Overlook title.