Monthly Archives: October 2013

DIY Publishing 101 – Kawasaki, NaNoWriMo – 11/7/13

“DIY Publishing 101″ — great topic for BAIPA members!  The Commonwealth Club is hosting this program on Thursday, November 7, in the East Bay — Lafayette, CA.  Time: 6 p.m.  Address:  Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Road. 

Venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki and the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month, Grant Faulkner, will discuss the art and craft of writing. 

Guy Kawasaki is the former chief evangelist for Apple Computer, and is a special advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google.  The most recent of the twelve books he’s authored is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book.  Grant Faulkner is a contributor to literary journals, a self-published author, and co-creator of the online literary magazine 100 Word Story.

BAIPA members will receive a $10. discount off the Non-Member tickets by typing in the special promotional code “specialforwriters.”

For tickets and more info:

The Book App — Part II

By Joseph T. Sinclair

In a prior article entitled The Book App, I reported that Kindle Fire has outsold iPads. I remembered that incorrectly from the statistics, and I should have reported out-polled. The source I read had reported not sales but the results of a preference poll.

Yesterday, when Apple announced their new iPads, the company claimed that iPads have about 90% of the tablet market. I have another source that shows iPads with about 40% of the tablet market, Samsung with about half that market share, and the remaining 40% split between others. There is yet another source that puts the iPad market share at 68%. It is hard to know what to make of these conflicting statistical claims. Nonetheless, I think it is safe to assume that about half the market is iOS (Apple) and half Android. After all, it is known that Samsung smart phones outsell the iPhone and that the Android is growing faster than iOS. Android apps are not the same as iOS apps. Thus, when making book apps, you either have to make two versions or decide in which of the two markets you want to make your sales. It is unlikely that this situation will change for a long time. In fact, Microsoft with Win 8 is likely to become a third major mobile competitor in the next few years. Fortunately, authoring software will eventually make this a moot concern, as you will be able to export your book app easily to either Android or iOS formats.


Becky Parker Geist – Bringing Life to Books through Voice

IMG_5216eBy Linda Jay Geldens

Becky Parker Geist, a new BAIPA Board member, is a voiceover professional who can, upon request, access a variety of voices from wacky cartoon characters to serious roles like Dame Fortune in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and can launch into accents ranging from British to Southern to pure New Yawker.


She received her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and her B.A. in English and Theatre from Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Becky then began her voiceover career in 1981 as a staff narrator for the Library of Congress’ Talking Books for the Blind Program.  One of their most popular narrators, she recorded 70 titles during a two-year period.


In 1984 she and her husband moved to California with their baby daughter.  Eventually, two more daughters arrived; currently, one lives in Los Angeles, one in New York City, and one in England.


Besides doing voiceover work, Becky is a stage actor, acting coach, theatre director, playwright (she’s currently on tour with the one-woman show she wrote, Joy with Wings: A Daughter’s Tale), screenwriter, teacher, and Executive Director of Chaucer Theatre.


Becky’s versatile acting background serves her well as she tackles books for self-publishers that might call on her talents to interpret historical figures in a novel or animals in a children’s story.  She has a particular love of creating children’s audio-enhanced ebooks, including sound effects and original music, and also doing voiceovers for animated films.


Becky discovered BAIPA in March 2012, thanks to her friend, author/attorney Sandy Shepherd, who thought Becky’s unique talents might enliven books written by self-publishers. 


Becky’s philosophy?  “Great stories can uplift and transform.  Effectively delivered from the heart, the voice allows the stories to come alive inside the listener, like a warm light being turned on and revealing a whole new world.  That’s what I do.  I reveal new worlds that the author has created.”


Becky has created the Book Audiologist Award Contest, and is currently accepting entries of books for children (details are on her website), as a way to help authors expand their marketing efforts, while exploring the possibilities of how an audiobook version of their book might sound.  Weekly finalists have segments of their books podcast.  The 2013 winner will receive an audiobook version at no charge.  BAIPA authors who have worked with Becky include Geraldine Boyce and Susan Pace-Koch.


Becky Parker Geist is committed to providing exceptional, inspiring, accessible voiceover services to self-published authors.  As she says, “I stay vulnerable to what is being conveyed in the story and allow it to affect me.”  Her versatile voice truly brings characters to life.


                                                                        * * *


Michael Larsen – Conference Founder, Agent Is November 9 Speaker

photomichaellarsenMichael Larsen, Conference Founder and Agent, Is BAIPA’s November Speaker: The 10 Keys to Becoming a Successful Independent Publisher

Michael Larsen is one of the best-known literary agents around. With his wife and partner Elizabeth Pomada, he worked in publishing in New York before moving to San Francisco in 1970 and started Michael Larsen-Elizabeth Pomada Literary Agents in 1972.

And of course, everyone in the Bay Area writing community knows that Mike and Elizabeth are co-founders of the San Francisco Writers Conference, the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference, and the San Francisco Writers University.

BAIPA is delighted that Mike Larsen will bring his passion, his wisdom, and his four decades of experience as an author and agent to our November 9th meeting. The topic of his presentation is what he calls “a new model I created,” highlighting ten keys for becoming a successful independent publisher.

Mike knows whereof he speaks! His How to Write a Book Proposal, now in its fourth edition, has sold more than 100,000 copies. His book How to Get a Literary Agent is now in its third edition.

Now is the best time to be an independent publisher, Mike is convinced, but…technology is forcing you to reinvent yourself as a contentpreneur, committed to both content and commerce. You need a new model for becoming successful, featuring these keys: passion, purpose, prose, people, platform, pre-promotion, promotion, professionalism, people, planet and profit, and finally, perseverance.

These ten keys challenge you to balance yin and yang—creating content and communicating about it. Integrating them will create synergy and a literary ecosystem that will flourish as long as you sustain it.

Be in the audience at BAIPA on Saturday, November 9, for Mike Larsen’s don’t-miss presentation! .

– Linda Jay Geldens

2013 BAIPA Book Award Winners

And the winners are….!  At the October BAIPA meeting, Judy Baker, Book Award Chair for this year, announced the 2013 BAIPA Book Award Winners to an appreciative crowd.

Look for separate posts in each category over the next couple of weeks, and brief interviews with the authors following later.

Here are the 2013 BAIPA Book Award Winners:

Best Cover Design

            Book Title: The Boy Who Was Not A Lesbian & Other True Stories

            Author: Kristin Lyseggen

Best Historic Fantasy

            Book Title: Quest of the Warrior Maiden

            Subtitle: Volume 1 in the Bradamante and Ruggerio series

            Author: Linda C. McCabe

Best Novel

            Book Title: A Daughter’s Inheritance

            Author: Geraldine Boyce

Best Novel, Young Adult, LGBT

            Book Title: Elk River

            Author: Gregory C. Randall

Best Children’s Picture Book

            Book Title: Zack’s Zany ZucchiniLand

            Author: Sandy Baker

Best Children’s Picture Book + DVD

            Book Title: Dorme

            Subtitle: A Magical Dreamland Visit

            Author: Sylvia Binsfeld

Best Children’s Chapter Book

            Book Title: Lilah Dill and the Magic Kit

            Author: JL Jusaitis

Best Memoir

            Book Title: The Woman in the Photograph

            Subtitle: The Search for My Mother’s Past

            Author: Mani Feniger

Best Non-fiction: Family History

            Book Title: The Courdins of Val Pellice

            Subtitle: A Waldensian Chronicle

            Author: Jim Staley

Nonfiction: Parenting/Family Relationships

            Book Title: The Approximate Parent

            Subtitle: Discovering the Strategies That Work with Your Teenager

            Author: Michael Y. Cimon

Nonfiction: Grandparenting/Parenting

            Book Title: The Grammie Guide

            Subtitle: Activities and Answers for Grandparenting Today

            Author(s): Jan Eby, Laurie Mobilio, Lynne Noel, Cindy Summers

For the Digiliterati

By Joseph T. Sinclair

There are three trade shows coming up in the Bay Area in which authors and publishers of book apps may be interested. These conferences tend to be very expensive, as they present many educational sessions over a multiday show.

I’ve found that one can learn a substantial amount just by getting into the trade show floor (“Expo”) and visiting the vendors. The admission is often free or a nominal price. By talking with vendors until you understand what they offer (not always easy), you can learn a huge amount—potentially more than attending the educational sessions.

You need to decide whether these conferences are relevant to what you’re doing before you attend. Otherwise you may waste your time. The conferences are:

AnDevCon (, November 12-15, Hyatt Regency Burlingame, Expo free

Appnation (, December 3-4, Moscone, Expo $20

Appsworld (, February 5-6, Moscone, Expo free

San Francisco (Silicon Valley) continues to be the app center of the universe, and as a result, we get many of the trade conferences. Eventually the conferences will migrate to other cities. Digital publishing seems to have its epicenter in NYC but focuses on ebooks, an antiquated platform.

San Francisco is the second literary capital of the US behind NYC. The literary scene here is very robust and substantially ahead of third place (probably LA). Because of digital publishing, the literary gestalt of San Francisco has been leveraged as never before. Take advantage of the potential edge it can give you while you can. In five years this window of opportunity will pass as digital publishing technology penetrates the hinterlands.

The Woman in the Photograph

The Woman in the Photograph
by Mani Feniger
Writers, Readers and BAIPA friends,
Please join author and BAIPA member Mani Feniger
Tuesday, Oct. 22 7:30
Belvedere-Tiburon Library
1501 Tiburon Blvd.
She will talk about her twenty year search for THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH, winner of the 2013 BAIPA Best Memoir Award, and reviewed by a Writers’ Digest contest judge who said:
“While many books have covered the territory of a search for parental roots, few have pulled it off in such suspenseful, compelling and sympathetic manner.”
Book Cover The-Woman-In-The-Photograph

See Photos, Excerpts and Interviews for “The Woman in the Photograph”

The Book App

By Joseph T. Sinclair

The author of The Mobile Wave, Michael Saylor, states that five billion people out of seven billion worldwide now have cell phones. Soon the one billion people who now have smart phones will be five billion people as cheap smart phones become more available.

Kenya has the most advanced payment system on the planet, the M-Pesa system. Over 40% of the country’s money is in the M-Pesa cell phone payment system. The Masai are using the M-Pesa system. With a spear in one hand and a cell phone in the other, the Masai herd cattle and farm—-and do their agricultural and personal transactions with M-Pesa. (The spear is for warding off lions.)

Americans use a payment system invented in the 1950s. The little plastic cards are 60 years old and facilitate $5.5 billion in fraud each year. Even Europeans have been using smart cards (a more secure credit card with a chip in it) for three decades, another ancient technology, but one that’s better than plain plastic cards.

Smart phones are computers. By the end of the decade, smart phones will be the only computer that most of the five billion people own. About one billion of those people speak English, and a sizeable percentage of the English-speakers own smart phones already.

There are about 700,000 apps available through Apple. There are another 500,000 available through Android. And growing. Apps are digital applications—computer programs. Apps tend to be single-application programs. They are inexpensive. Desktop and laptop applications tend to be multiple application programs. They are many times more expensive than apps for smart phones.

Tablets (part of the mobile wave) sold more than half as many units as PCs for the first time in 2012. PC sales are in decline.

Microsoft has bet the farm on a new operating system (Win 8) that has a seamless interface between smartphones and PCs.

Over half of Amazon’s book sales are Kindle (ebook) versions. Amazon has a 30% market share of book sales in the US. Barnes & Noble has announced that it will close down hundreds of stores in the next few years. Borders is already bankrupt and gone. Sales of ebooks are booming.

Watching the elections in 2012, one saw dozens of people in the crowds shooting photos of the candidates with their smart phones. Not one point-&-shoot camera to be seen. In airports, everyone has a smart phone in their hand watching movies and TV, surfing the Web, texting, listening to music, or reading. Some people even use them for talking. A recent poll indicates that more people prefer to read on their phone than their tablet.

What does all this mean for publishing? First, reading is migrating to digital formats at an accelerating rate. Second, the smart phone (tablets included) is the ultimate device. Publishing on paper, already obsolete, will be an antique mode of mass communication by the end of the decade.

If digital publishing, what digital publishing? The answer is the ebook. Or is it? The ebook is a hybrid. It’s the weird mutation of the codex (book with pages) and digits. It was born when CPUs and devices were expensive, and ebook readers used feeble CPUs and were cheaper. It emulates paper pages. It has deficient multimedia capabilities. It was designed for digital readers that are now obsolete and were never very capable digital devices.

How do you get an ebook? You must have an account at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, etc. Out of the one billion English-speaking people who have smart phones (or will have them soon), a relatively small percentage have such an account. You have to read an ebook in an ebook app. The app is not the ebook.

What about a book app? That is, what about a book in an app format, not in an ebook format?

First, a book app is not limited to a convoluted, mutated, paper/digital format designed for underpowered digital devices. You can do almost anything you want with a book app that you can do with normal programming. Second, a book app is convenient. It’s just an icon and a tap away. It’s not several taps away. Third, it doesn’t require an account at a bookseller. You get apps via iTunes, Google Play, or the Windows Store where you get all your other apps. It’s immediately available to most smart phone users, not just a percentage of them.

Amazon, king of the ebooks, is already firmly in the app business. The Kindle Fire tablet outsells the iPad (and Samsung Android tablets), making Amazon the leading tablet maker. The Fire uses a slightly modified version of Android, and you can place your Android apps in the Amazon Appstore with a minor modification.

The book app market is huge already. Soon it will have a billion English-speaking people.

A book app doesn’t have to be in a page format. A page format is OK for text-only but very awkward for multimedia. A book app can be in a scroll format, a hypertext format, or a format that facilitates smooth media transitions. Or in all three, and also in formats yet to be invented. When such inventive new formats materialize, they do not have to become part of a rigid standard, such as ebooks.

The drawback is that apps are the realm of the programmer, not the content creator. Certainly that’s one reason why we’ve not seen much book app publishing.

But things evolve. Today we have quasi-competent app authoring software, most of it expensive. Tomorrow we will have super-competent app authoring software, most of it inexpensive. For instance, you can already get all of Adobe’s publishing software now (including the Digital Publishing Suite) for $49/month (Creative Cloud). The Creative Cloud includes about $7,500 worth of Adobe software. With Adobe software, non-programmers can now create book apps. Adobe has bet the farm on diverse media publishing.

Competent authoring software will accelerate the creation and acceptance of book apps. Book apps will foster the diverse-media future of books.

Thus, I contend that the future of book publishing is the book app, not the ebook.


Joseph T. Sinclair has had 20 books published in print by major national publishers.  He has recently founded a publisher, Appworth Media, to publish digital books.


©2013 Joseph T. Sinclair  All rights reserved.

Winners of the 2013 BAIPA Book Awards

Vellum Wrapper Book Cover of The Boy Who Was Not a LesbianBest Cover Design

The Boy Who Was Not a Lesbian and Other True Stories
by Kristin Lyseggen


Book Cover Quest of the Warrior MaidenBest Historic Fantasy

Quest of the Warrior Maiden
by Linda C. McCabe

Book Cover of A Daughter's InheritanceBest Fiction: Novel

A Daughter’s Inheritance
by Geraldine Boyce

Book Cover - Elk RiverBest Young Adult Fiction

Elk River
by Gregory C. Randall

Book Cover Zack's-Zany-ZucchinilandBest Children’s Picture Book

Zack’s Zany Zucchiniland
by Sandy Baker

Dorme Book Cover & DVDBest Children’s Picture Book + DVD (Multi-media)

Dorme, A Magical Dreamland Visit
by Sylvia Binsfeld

Lilah Dill and the Magic Kit Book CoverBest Children’s Chapter Book

Lilah Dill and the Magic Kit
by JL Jusaitis

Book Cover The-Woman-In-The-PhotographBest Nonfiction Memoir

The Woman in the Photograph, The Search For My Mother’s Past
by Mani Feniger

Book-Cover-Courdins-of-Val-PelliceBest Nonfiction Family History

The Courdins of Val Pellice, A Waldensian Chronicle
by Jim Staley

Book Cover, The-Approximate-ParentBest Nonfiction (Parenting/Family/Relationships)

The Approximate Parent, Discovering the Strategies That Work with Your Teenager
by Michael Y. Simon

Book Cover The Grammie GuideBest Nonfiction Grandparenting/Parenting

The Grammie Guide, Activities and Answers for Grandparenting Today by: Jan Eby, Laurie Mobilio, Lynne Noel, Cindy Summers

2014 Nautilus Book Awards – Call for Entries

Nautilus Awards is seeking Better Books for a Better World!

Celebrating 15 years, this international book award organization is deeply committed to honoring books that inspire and connect our lives as individuals, communities and global citizens. Dedicated to excellence and the highest of standards, Nautilus Book Awards winners receive excellent recognition, outstanding exhibit and marketing opportunities, prestige, industry exposure and SALES! For more information, including current Nautilus Winners, Guidelines for Entering, a list of Categories, and a downloadable Entry Form – go to


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