Monthly Archives: June 2013

Get Out Books is Expanding!

                                                                           Get Out Books is Expanding!


Susan Pace-Koch, Creative Director of Get Out Books in Concord, is pleased to announce the addition of Tracie Timmer to the staff.  Tracie has a Master’s of Fine Arts in Children’s Book Illustration.   “We are excited to be working with this new and very talented artist.  Welcome aboard, Tracie!” says Susan.


Get Out of My Head, I Should Go to Bed is an award-winning children’s book from Get Out Books.  It was selected as the Best Book of 2012 in BAIPA’s Book Awards.

Adventures in Crowd-funding


Adventures in Crowd-funding Your Next Book
By Sylvia Binsfeld

As an author, I have had an unusual challenge to meet…in order to create my book, I first need to make a movie, and not just any type of movie, a short fantasy film, so that means, the expensive kind. The children’s picture books in the series I am working on, which started with Dorme: a Magical Dreamland Visit, will all come with a fantastical, imaginative short companion film. The book is illustrated with images taken from the film.

Writing books like this became my calling after reading about the importance of fantasy and imagination in childhood for honing cognitive, problem-solving skills and optimism later in life, and how childhood with its magical imagination is being cut short for kids by the overly adult media they are exposed to far too early in life, and by our fast-paced lives.

I sold my home to create my first labor-of-love, so this second time out, I had to think of something else to fund my rather costly endeavor, both money-wise and time-wise. I decided to try crowd-funding. You see, the little films are so expensive to create, I’m likely never to see a return. With crowd-funding that is not as big an issue, while using up all your money and selling your house is. Now it becomes mostly a huge investment in time. I had never chosen crowd-funding before, because it made me uncomfortable, but with this new insight, it became more appealing.

So what is crowd-funding? Crowd-funding started as a way for independent artists to directly call upon the public to help fund their film, book or album, and it is a glorious way around the studio or traditional publishing systems to get quality media produced…or, so I hope. My magical fantasy film, Upon a Starry Night, is currently on Indiegogo, looking for funding. Turns out the much-needed “Healthy Media” for children and families is an over-looked area that needs to fight hard for funding on Indiegogo, where Horror and Documentaries are the most funded genres.

Turns out also that crowd-funding is…well…hard. Expect to spend about two months after you launch your campaign, plus a month ahead of time, with your campaign as your main focus.

Here are a few things that can help make a crowd-funding campaign successful.

1) Choose a Crowd-Funding Platform That is Right for You. For example, Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If you don’t make your goal in time, you don’t get any of the money you worked so hard to get. If you do make it, Kickstarter takes 5%. With Indiegogo, you can choose either the all-or-nothing funding…or flexible funding…meaning, if you meet your goal, they take 4%, and if you don’t, you still get to keep the money you earned to build other fundraising efforts; however, Indiegogo takes a whopping 9% as punishment.
2) Create a Buzz. Since you usually only have 45-to-60 days to raise all your money, build a buzz beforehand. Let your friends and acquaintances know personally and through social media about your plans. Have a pre-launch tea party…anything to get a buzz so that your campaign gets off to a fast start.
3) Have a Marketing Plan. Besides the Internet/social media, what else can you do to get the word out? Radio interviews, or newspaper interviews? Create a press release and send it out.
4) Create a Social Media List. What types of social media will you be using to get the word out throughout your campaign? There’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and more. I’d choose maybe four to primarily focus on.
5) Create a Pitch Video for Indiegogo, or the crowdfunding site of your choice. Personally tell people why your book or project needs to be made…what’s so special, and then ASK for what you need. My ask on my video is not strong enough, so I need to redo. If you are shy, don’t be tempted just to show images. It’s important the viewers meet you.
6) Offer Great Perks for Contributing to Your Campaign. People can donate just to donate, or they can choose from a selection of perks, depending on the size of their contribution. See how it’s set-up here on the right on my campaign. Get creative. The more personal, the better. I offer signed copies of my previous book, or signed, hand- drawn artwork, storyboards…and, for a bigger contribution, I offer the vest Quentin Tarrantino gave me when we worked on Dance Me to the End of Love…signed by Quentin Tarrantino!
7) Spread the Word! Here’s the part that’s hard for me. It feels like harassment, so I’m doing a less intense form of this, but my friend, who had a successful crowd-funding campaign, said he blasted emails and social media posts all day long. His personal, direct “asks” garnered the best results. He always asked for two things in his emails and posts, monetary support and that the recipient spread the word!
8) Spread the Word and Ask Some More! Be diligent…and yes, you may lose some Facebook friends.
9) Keep Your Page Updated and Interesting. Add media, photos if you can.
10) Always Say Thank You! Always let every one of your contributors know how much you appreciate what they did for you.
11) Hope for some Good Luck…that always helps.

My friend who just finished his campaign was asked by another artist, “Was your campaign painful?” My friend responded, “Oh, yes!” The artist then replied…”Oh, then it must have been a success!”

The one nice thing that comes of all this is, you quickly know who your friends and supporters in life are, since as little as $5 can help…It all adds up, that’s the whole point. It’s an exchange of energy. It’s a way for us to support each other. A small amount that is barely missed individually, as part of the collective can breathe life into a beautiful film, book or other project, that otherwise would not be possible to create.

Sylvia Binsfeld is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of Dorme: A Magical Dreamland Visit. Her timed Indiegogo campaign for Upon A Starry Night can be found at: http// only until Aug.8.

BAIPA Author on HuffingtonPost Live


BAIPA author Pam Evans (picture above) was a guest panelist last week on the national TV show HuffingtonPost Live, hosted by Nancy Redd. The topic of the show was “Second Marriage Etiquette.” Pam’s picture and a brief description from her book were also featured on the HuffPost Live national promos.

Pam’s book Ring EXchange: Adventures of a Multiple Marrier was published last year. If you go to the book’s website: — you can click on a link to the HuffingtonPost video.

Pam Evans has been married and divorced four times, and lived to tell the tale — with honesty, humor, and a heartfelt message for her readers. It’s great that her book is starting to get national attention!

By the way, I was the copyeditor, creative contributor, and wrote fifteen case studies and the back cover copy for the book.

Linda Jay Geldens, BAIPA newsletter editor

Lee Foster – July BAIPA Speaker – Traditional vs. Indie Publishing

Dear Baipa Members,

This is Lee Foster, and I will be talking with you at the July program about “Traditional vs. Independent Publishing.”
One possible part of the strategy for jndependent publishing, from my perspective, is that you might want to get your book content up on your website, for all to see, so that you benefit from ads (potentially) and more people might buy your print or ebook product.
However, another benefit of a website presentation of your book is that editors may see your work and may want to license it or commission you for parallel work. This has just happened to me again. I have the 30 chapters of my recent book Northern California Travel: The Best Options up on my website at

An entity named liked it and said the web presence was one reason why they decided to offer me a part-time position as their San Francisco Expert, paying me $9-20K per year. Here is the announcement:

book publishing

Lee Foster ( has been contracted by to be their San Francisco Travel Expert. Lee’s website within can be seen at Lee will develop 10 or more short 500-word articles each month for the site., competing with the other major players on the Internet, has decided to expand its Experts roster to Travel and has tapped Lee for the San Francisco Expert position. As of March 2013, has been rated by Comscore as the 19th most visited site on the web, with about 52 million monthly unique viewers. Lee will draw upon his extensive San Francisco coverage in his articles, books, and app at for this ongoing assignment. He will also welcome information from PR people involved in presenting San Francisco to travelers. Lee’s opportunities to report on San Francisco in this new structure are inexhaustible. His compensations for the contract will be both guaranteed cash and promotion of his own website and products.


Hope to see you at the July 13 BAIPA meeting!


— Lee Foster Foster Travel Publishing,  PO Box 5715 Berkeley, CA 94705, (510) 549-2202,

“A Pie for a Pig” from Get Out Books

A new arrival! The Pigs are in the house!  (Warehouse, that is!)

A Pie for a Pig,” illustrated by Jack Wiens, written by Susan Pace-Koch, is hot off the press.

You’ll meet the crew of Pie Tasters and they are very picky Pigs with personalities!
There is the stately Presley, who loves Lemon Meringue and cold winter nights, Ms. Posey, our Georgia Peach Pie taster, Paddy, the macho Rhubarb Pie lover and winner of the Golden Glove. There are 12 Pigs and 12 Seasonal Pies to tempt you!

Our charming Pig Personalities are being memorialized in felt by fabric artist, Lisa Colom, of Merry Manias.  They will be “on the road” and looking for good bakeries where they can sample PIES!
Personalized book copies are available through the company web site or through Amazon. “Sneak Peeks” can be seen at the web site for a virtual taste treat.
**Award Winner**    2012 “Get Out Of My Head, I Should Go To Bed” “Best Book” selected by BAIPA.     Available on Amazon!

Book Signings at California State Fair in July


Big Fun and Book Signings at the California State Fair!

At the California State Fair, one can indulge in corn dogs, caramel apples, funnel cakes, beignets, books, deep-fried artichoke hearts, chocolate-covered bacon and, wait . . .  books?! Yes, books!! And authors too! California authors!!

The California Authors Booth is one of the exhibits at the “BIG FUN” fair scheduled from July 12-28, 2013, at Cal Expo in Sacramento. Since 1998, Naida West, awarding-winning author and publisher of the California Gold Trilogy, has organized the booth located in the California Building (


Featured authors will range from New York Times Best-Selling to award-winning to newly published. The California Authors exhibit serves an educational role and the authors’ mission is “to visit with and educate fairgoers about writing and publishing, and, if visitors show an interest, sign and sell books.”

Margie Yee Webb, author/photographer of Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings: Insight and Inspiration for a Wonderful Life, is scheduled to appear along with new and returning authors. Among them is Kiyo Sato, winner of the 2008 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing in nonfiction for Dandelion Through the Crack (which was later released as Kiyo’s Story: A Japanese-American Family’s Quest for the American Dream.) The complete schedule of authors and links to their websites will be available at

The California State Fair is a 17-day event celebrating the State of California, its industries, agriculture and diversity of its people. The State Fair provides entertainment and education to inspire the young and young at heart! This year’s theme is “Food-Family-Fun”. For details, visit

Visit the State Fair and stop by the California Authors Booth . . . a fun treat for the whole family!



Margie Yee Webb Author/Photographer, Cat Mulan’s Mindful Musings:     Insight and Inspiration for a Wonderful Life

All about Writer’s Wings

“Dear Contributor,

We thank you for the opportunity to review your submission. We regret that it does not meet our present needs, and we wish you the best of luck placing your work elsewhere.


The Editors”

If you’re a writer trying to get published you are, no doubt, familiar with this type of response.Submitting your work takes courage, perseverance, attention-to-detail and stamina, not to mention TIME! And the rejections, well, we all know about those.

My short-works submission service, Writer’s Wings, grew out of an opportunity to help a writer friend. She felt a strong desire to get her short stories published but wanted no part of the submission process, finding it onerous and stressful. A mutual friend knew of my resourcefulness as a successful personal assistant and suggested that I try my hand at the submission work.

This turned out to be a terrific suggestion! I took to the work readily, as it felt very much like the work I used to do as a grant-writer–researching prospects, adhering to the often strict submission guidelines, keeping accurate records and tracking the progress of the submission. I enjoy the challenge of finding a good home for a story, and the gratification of being able to help writers become published authors. I am happy to say that my first client has had three of her short stories published to date, and loves being freed from the submission process. Who wouldn’t love never having to read another rejection letter??

I joined BAIPA because I have two clients who want to self-publish and have turned to me for guidance. I can tell after attending only two meetings that there is a wealth of excellent information to be found here. I’m eager to learn everything I can about this rapidly changing field and I look forward to meeting my fellow BAIPA members!

Marleen RoggowMarleen Roggow, ,