KiCam Welcomes New Author: Sharon Leder

Sharon_LederKiCam Projects is delighted to add Sharon Leder to our stable of 2017 authors.

Sharon, who lives in Brewster, Mass., brought to us a story so special that it caused us to rethink a few things. Sharon’s book is a personal story of a young woman, growing up in Brooklyn in the late 1950s and early ’60s, who discovers that her father is battling a heroin addiction. It’s her family’s secret, a topic that evokes shame, denial and blame.

Sharon uses fictional techniques to tell the true story of her life through the character of Sara, who is confused and angered by the painful secrets piling up around her. Though KiCam usually acquires strictly non-fiction, Sharon’s story captured our attention right away. We knew this was a perfect book for us.

Says Sharon: “Some experiences are too painful to write in first person, so my story is about my persona, Sara Katz, who struggles to love her father, a butcher from an immigrant family, a man she also fears and loathes, an abuser who can also show his loving side. Sara, who’s been her mother’s confidant since age eight, constantly challenges her mother’s second-generation tendencies to keep her father’s addiction secret, and her grandmother’s old-world impulse to deny her son’s ‘sins,’ even after his death.”

Sharon is retired from her career as a professor of literature, Women’s Studies and Jewish Studies, and an earlier version of her book was a finalist for the Merrimack Outstanding Writer Award (2015).

Sharon’s book, releasing in May 2017, is a true story about the shattering effects of addiction, a young woman catapulted into feminism and, as Sharon says, “coping with grief, and finding the courage to speak the truths that lead to healing.”

Welcome to the KiCam family, Sharon!

Be the Badger

Photo credit: Tatterdemalion! via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Tatterdemalion! via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

A recent lunch with a friend and publishing colleague has surfaced a new mantra: “Be the badger.”

My friend, Ericka, has spent more than 20 years in publishing, working on projects of all shapes and sizes, including editing books for KiCam. She has an amazing way of putting things into perspective and bringing out the best in other people, both in their writing and in their daily lives.

I was telling Ericka about some of the challenges KiCam faces as a new, independent publisher, about some of the frustrating aspects of distribution and the difficulty in getting the heavy hitters to take you seriously (and take your calls).

Ericka quickly flipped the situation on its head, extolling KiCam’s mission, the uniqueness of our purpose and passion, and the flexibility of our mixed traditional/print-on-demand distribution method. She reminded me of all the reasons a writer would want to work with us (blog post on that coming soon!) and helped me see that being new and independent is actually a great thing during this era of publishing.

Everything is changing, so why shouldn’t we help drive that change? 

I felt re-energized and ready to take on the world! That’s when Ericka brought up the badger, the scrappy little animal that just doesn’t care. It works, it perseveres, it never gives up. It’s perfectly delighted to be a badger; it’s not trying to be, say, a rhinoceros. It does its thing, and it does it well. “Be small, but think and act big,” Ericka says.

And so I must issue my pre-emptive apology to every media member, book blurber, interviewer, reviewer and potential partner out there in the world: I’m going to call you. And email you. And probably call you and email you again. Because it’s my job to be the badger for the good of KiCam Projects and our family of authors and filmmakers.

To those of you reading this post, I encourage you to be badgers, as well. If you’re an author, keep going after us publishers until the right one hears your voice! If you’re a fellow publisher, keep fighting the good fight. If you’re a reader and book lover, keep carrying the flag for the little guys, even as you enjoy the great work coming out of the major houses.

Be the badger you were meant to be! And never stop thinking, and acting, big.

Book Expo America Wrap-up

After attending our first Book Expo America in Chicago earlier this month, our brains have been spinning trying to process it all.

BEA, the country’s largest book fair, represents every aspect of publishing—and then some! The floor was filled with the biggest publishers around, as well as self-published authors making bold investments in their futures. Booths abounded, seemingly for miles, with everything from printers and distributors to publicists and consultants. You could find something from every genre (even the Scientologists had a booth), for readers young and old alike, in print, digital and audio formats.

As newbies on the scene, we felt at times that there was almost too much to take in. Here were the highlights for KiCam:

* We met our amazing publicity team from PR by the Book. It was our first face-to-face meeting with the crew from Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tenn., and we couldn’t be more pleased to be partnered with this dynamic and delightful group.

* We made great connections at Publishers Weekly, Foreword Reviews, IngramSpark and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

* We got an inside look at how the gatekeeping process works in the book world. It’s challenging, but it’s not going to stop us!

* We got to see Kenny Loggins (!) and Sebastian Junger (!!).

* We were floored by the number of coloring books on the market for adults. Whoever came up with that idea must be sipping umbrella drinks on a private island right now.

* We brought home more tote bags and books than we realized we could carry.

* We grabbed as many catalogs as possible. What better market research, right?

BEA gave us at KiCam a chance to see how far we’ve come in a short time, while also challenging us to keep getting better, learning more and aiming higher.

One step and one great story at a time, we will change the world. 

KiCam Welcomes New Authors: Laura Dewire and Kailen Offutt

KiCam is thrilled to announce that Laura Dewire and Kailen Offutt have joined our publishing family. Their book, tentatively titled “A Corner of Heaven,” will be released in January 2017.

Laura and Kailen form a unique partnership: Laura was Kailen’s first-grade teacher when a piece of art drawn by Kailen got Laura’s attention.

“The assignment was to have each child create a portrait of his or her family,” Laura says. “In the upper right-hand corner of Kailen’s paper, a small baby was depicted with a figure who looked like Jesus. ‘This is my family,’ she said. ‘Most of us live on Earth, but my baby brother, Kulen, lives in heaven with God.’ It was both heartbreaking and touching to see that small angel in the corner of that paper.”

Kailen’s drawing inspired Laura to write a children’s book that would pair with Kailen’s illustrations and provide a comforting resource for families experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or the death of a newborn child. 

“Kailen’s drawing got me thinking about the pain these parents must feel when tasked with sharing this tragic news with their other children,” Laura says. “What if there were a book that could be used as a tool to help break the news? A book with pictures and language that are appropriate for young minds and hearts. The tragic loss of a child is unthinkable, but it is my sincere wish that this book can be a beacon of hope for families: a shining light from a corner of heaven.”

Welcome to the family, Laura and Kailen! We know this book will touch the hearts of, and help bring healing to, readers of all ages.

A portion of the proceeds from “A Corner of Heaven” will benefit Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which provides remembrance photography for grieving parents.

KiCam Welcomes New Author: Keith Maginn

KiCam Projects is thrilled to welcome Keith Maginn to our publishing family!

Keith, an accomplished self-published author, will bring out his first project with KiCam in September. Keith has a knack for finding the extraordinary in the everyday, for bringing to light the amazing stories that sometimes hide within each of us.

Think of the people you know. Would you be surprised to find out that one was a drug addict who now mentors young men? What would you say if an acquaintance revealed he’d survived a plane crash and completely rethought his life and priorities? Do you have a friend who seemed to be living the American dream before her life was altered by a tragedy?

Keith’s book will share these stories and many more, inviting you into the anything-but-ordinary lives of people just like you and me.

Keith, like KiCam, believes everyone has a story to tell. That’s what inspires him as a writer:

“The people I admire aren’t perfect. They are flawed. They are, in a word, human. I can relate to someone like that. We pull for the underdog and, every so often, they prevail against all odds.”

We look forward to sharing these inspiring stories with you this fall!

KiCam Welcomes New Author: Michèle Swiderski

SwiderskiKiCam is proud to welcome 2017 author Michèle Swiderski to our publishing family!

Michèle, from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, will release her first book in February, sharing her 10-year journey through depression and anxiety to a place of peace and wholeness.

After three extended leaves from work, Michèle devoted herself to getting well and staying well. To do so, she took a new approach, surrendering to a Higher Spirit. As she writes, “I had nothing to lose.”

In her book, Michèle will detail the work and discipline it took to commit to caring for herself and focusing on Spirit, wherever it led her. She offers examples of how she retrained her thinking, the techniques she used for visualizing her successes, some of her daily affirmations, samples of her journal writing and personal blog, and other details that will help readers understand Michèle’s path and chart their own.

Tom Harpur, author of “The Pagan Christ,” already has endorsed Michèle’s work:

Refreshingly honest, this book offers a first-hand grappling with one of the most insidious afflictions of our time. This is not about theory, but a painful, raw struggle and how Michèle Swiderski saved her own life using a constructive, hands-on approach. By laying bare her own intimate journey, she has laid down a practical wisdom that offers genuine hope.    

We couldn’t be more excited to bring Michèle’s book to readers in the United States, Canada and around the world!

KiCam Welcomes New Author: Kristin Bartzokis

KiCam Projects is delighted to introduce one of our new 2017 authors, Kristin Bartzokis.

Kristin is a phenomenal writer whose blog, “Diary of a Beautiful Disaster,” is candid, powerful and, indeed, beautifully conceived and executed.

Born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a craniofacial abnormality, Kristin has spent her life creating her own definition of who she is and who she is meant to be. She is a runner, an explorer, a gymnast and an artist, a strong woman determined not to be held back by any supposed limitations.

Kristin’s writing is something to which we all can relate: We all have vulnerabilities, self-doubt and challenges. We all wonder how, or if, we fit in, and we sometimes feel alone in our struggles, as if no one else can understand.

Kristin’s book, coming in March 2017, will help each of us embrace our uniqueness and find the confidence to accept ourselves. 

Welcome to the KiCam family, Kristin!