Get Hyped for ClexaCon and a Free Book!

Welcome back, BEB faithful!

This month, there are two things to be really excited about!

First, Blind Eye Books will be partnering with Queen of Swords Press to bring out books to you at ClexaCon 2019! Unfortunately Nicole and Ginn won’t be able to make it like last year, but Theresa will be floating around the table and the con to see all your lovely faces and talk to you about your favorite books!

If you haven’t heard of ClexaCon before, get ready to have your socks knocked off, because it’s the hottest con for queer women in media on this side of the Atlantic! Everything from meeting your favorite writers and actors to learning what it takes to break in as a creator in your favorite medium/genre, ClexaCon is about bringing fans and creators together in a space to celebrate queer female and nonbinary representation together.

If you want to go, there are still tickets available! Grab them here and then figure out which swimsuit you’re going to bring with you to Las Vegas.

If you can’t make it out to Las Vegas for the con, never fear! We have something cool for you too!

We love our social media gal Theresa, and we love her writing too. While her books aren’t quite right to publish under the Blind Eye Books flagship, we’re thrilled to announce that she’s serializing her very own novel for free on her website! If you love queer women, realistic representation of what it’s like to be bi and have anxiety, and fandom shenanigans, you’ll love her story, Author X Audience:

Alexis Ainsley is used to struggle. From her strained familial relations to her bisexuality to trying to score an editorial internship, she’s familiar with how hard life can be—although this is her first time struggling with reality when Terry Walsh, the creator of hit cartoon series Serenity Peaks, bumps into her at the movie theater. After hearing her talk about his show as more than just a fan, Terry asks to see Alexis again, and it’s not long before Alexis finds herself an intern working alongside Terry on the Serenity Peaks finale. But what happens when a fan who got her job through the goodwill of the show’s creator disagrees with his proposed ending to the series?

Full of feminist propaganda, tragic backstories, and fan feels, Author x Audience tells the story of a fan and a creator that transcend the limited relationship of author and audience to relate to each other as people—and take it from Alexis; the struggle is real!

Check it out here on her website—and don’t forget to leave her a nice comment!

See you all in April!

Show Your Library Love for Library Lovers' Month!

Hello again, BEB faithful!

This month we have an exciting giveaway going on! As you may or may not know, all of our books are available in OverDrive through your local library! But what is OverDrive you might say? It’s a digital service that allows you to borrow ebooks from your local library! All you need is your library card!

“That’s nice, Theresa,” you might be saying to yourself right now, “but how does that fit into your giveaway?”

Great question! To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is borrow one of our books from your local library! Snap a picture of your order confirmation, and tweet it at us at @blindeyebooks. Be sure to include our username in your tweet or we won’t see it! The giveaway goes until March 15th, so you’ve got some time to plan your picture and get it to us.

“This is really cool, Theresa, but it looks like my local library doesn’t have any of Blind Eye Books titles in their collection…”

No worries! You can still enter the contest! Go in to your local library and find out how to request that the book you’re looking for be added to the library’s collection! Snap a pic of the request, and tweet that at us instead.

“Theresa, all of this sounds really complicated and hard, and I’m no good with technology.”

Don’t fret, my friend. You can still enter our contest. All you have to do is go to your local library, find a handy-dandy librarian, and ask them to help you. I can guarantee they would be thrilled to help you order one of our books through OverDrive! Snap a pic with the librarian that helped you, and tweet it at us to enter the giveaway!

“Okay, Theresa, I understand how to enter the contest…but I don’t have a library card!”

Friend, what have you been doing with yourself all these years? Libraries are the best! You can borrow books, video games, audio books, CDs, and so much more from your local library! Getting a library costs nothing, and they’re wonderful places for events and to learn things! Not to mention, they’re a great place to help support indie book publishers even when you can’t afford to buy all their books. Plus, February, is Library Lovers’ Month!

So, what I’m saying BEB Faithful: get thee to a library!

See you in March!

-Theresa

PodCon 2 Round Up!

Hey there, BEB Faithful!

For those of you in the greater Seattle area, and those of you who follow our podcast Lauren Proves Magic is Real, the weekend of January 19th was a great one!

We spent the weekend at PodCon 2 talking with other like-minded people, and talking about representation in media. Most notably, the Ars Paradoxica crew did a panel about transgender representation that we particularly liked!

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If you’re not familiar with Ars Paradoxica, they do a pretty great job with asexual and trans representation. There are some other honorable mentions within the podcast, but we’ll leave them for you to discover. If you like science fiction, time travel, and stories with lots of characters, this is a great one for you the check out!

Some other podcasts we’d like to give shout outs to are The Strange Case of Starship Iriswho are doing a great job with racial and queer representation—and Redwing, which is written by an nonbinary person of color!

We ran into some old favorites as well! Here’s Cecil Baldwin of Welcome to Nightvale taking a moment to himself.

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We’ll definitely be back for the next PodCon considering all the awesome people who keep showing up. Be sure to check out some of these awesome podcasts, and we’ll see you again next month!

-Theresa

Starting the New Year Write

Hello again, BEB faithful!

It’s been an exciting couple of months full of conventions, NaNoWriMo, and all of the preparations for the holidays. Things are finally starting to slow down in preparation for the New Year—but we all know you still need more books in your life. See if this next paragraph describes you or someone you know:

Got everything you wanted for the holidays except a new book to burn through into the new year? Or perhaps you know someone who could use a little extra dose of holiday cheer, a fantastical story to take them away from their troubles and keep them feeling warm and safe until the sun comes back and spring. If that’s you, we’re here to help with this months blog post!

If you relate, the rest of this post is dedicated to going through our books and telling you what kind of person would suit each best. We hope you enjoy this silly astrology by book blog post, and have all the very best stories to keep you company in the New Year.

Wicked Gentlemen - This book is for waist-coat wearing Fullmetal Alchemist fans who enjoy a fantastical approach to historical fiction. Angels, demons, mysteries, and a whole lot of romantic tension, this story is one of our favorites at the press.

Two Tangled Tales - The perfect little ebook for the fairytale lover in your life. These two charming short stories will have you getting out the tea set to enjoy an old-fasioned Victorian cup of tea.

Turnskin - Imagine being able to shift your physical form at will--and then grab this little number! Turnskin centers around one of the most skilled shapeshifters of the age in a society of shapeshifters. A little genderfluidity never hurt anyone. ;)

Strange Fortune - The epic stakes of Lord of the Rings with the added draw of queer characters--Josh Lanyon's Strange Fortune delivers that high fantasy feel and the LGBTQ good times.

The Archer's Heart - Looking for something in a non-western setting devoid of the society you know every day? Then check out Astrid Amara's little e-trilogy The Archer's Heart! With political tension and romantic tension in epic porportions, The Archer's Heart keeps your heart strung like a bow from start to finish.

Lord of the White Hell - The LGBTQ college version of Harry Potter you've been looking for, complete with falling in love with your gorgeous and haughty room mate, and taking him home to meet your mother in your women-run society. Lord of the White Hell is full of cozy moments by the fire and real and literal magic. Be sure to grab them as a set! No one likes cliffhangers!

Smoketown - In a city where birds are forbidden, one woman keeps them, waiting for the woman she loves to return to her. She's not the only one to wish for something she can't have in this city. Smoketown is a hauntingly beautiful, bittersweet tale of love, redemption, and independance. Don't worry, though; even though it sounds tragic, the play upon your heartstrings resolves warmly. Blind Eye Books has a soft spot for happy endings.

The Rifter - Like high fantasy? Want to escape to another world? Need a series that will take you longer to get through than the holidays with your family? Then The Rifter is the series for you! When John accidentally finds a key in his roommate Kyle's mail, he hardly expects it to take him to another world. Now he must survive it until Kyle find him--and a lot can happen when worlds are temporally locked together!

The Irregulars - Love interlocking short stories in the same universe? Then grab your copy of The Irregulars! Four stories from four award winning LGBTQ authors! Each story just long enough to get through before your next holiday commitment, or during commutes!

Highfell Grimoires - Blind Eye Book's signature Steampunk title! All the comforts of Victorian era London, now with floating islands, blood magic, the titular grimoires, and a little societal espionage besides, Highfell Grimoires keeps you guessing right up until the end.

Renovation - When everything you touch gives you memories of what it's been though, construction can be a rough job--especially when renovating an old house where someone died. If only the house could give you enough evidence to rule out your hot new neighbor at this job! Urban fantasy and mystery combined, Renovation will keep you on the edge of your seat and your mind off the cold.

The Devil Lancer - Set in an alternate history of Crimea, war is at hand--but so is black magic. When Elliott Parrish is assigned to spy on fellow officer Cornet Ilyas Kovakin, he finds the rumors about the man's demonic power on the battle field to be more literal than he expected. But when that power is revealed to be more curse than boon, how will the two soldiers save each other, and the war?

Champion of the Scarlet Wolf - Another duology set in the same universe as Lord of the White Hell, but now five years later. If you gave someone the gift of The Lord of the White Hell last year, this is the perfect set to follow up with. Great for December birthdays! One book for the birthday, and one book for the holiday.

Bellingham Mysteries - When they say "Read all about it!", Jack Fontaine wishes they were talking about his journalism. Instead, he gets more than he bargained for as his journalistic desires draw him further into murder and mystery. Pair this with Renovation for the perfect LGBTQ murder mystery package for the thrill-seeking reader in your life.

Bitter Legacy - When crime is too big for one man to solve, you can bet it leads to a team-up. Set against the backdrop of a police procedural with notes of detective noir, a detective and a photographer find out if they're compatible enough to take down a serial murderer. Chilling to the bone, you won't notice the cold while reading this.

Maze-Born Trouble - Love a good thrilling space podcast? Lovers of Wolf 359, Girl in Space, Starship Iris, and The Penumbra Podcast will find themselves enraptured with Maze-Born Trouble.

Blades of Justice - Looking for a good, old fashioned, queer female power trip? Maybe with some non-binary representation on the side? Then Blades of Justice is the perfect gift for you! Who says the tool of justice can't be domestic?

The Long Past and Other Stories - Looking for a mixed bag of queer stories all under one cover? The Long Past and Other Stories gives you dinosaurs, magic, boys in love, and girls in love all in one book! Grab it for the starry-eyed older teen in your life and watch them geek out over feathered dinosaurs and clockwork robots brought to life.

Grilled Cheese and Goblins - Looking to gobble up more than just your a holiday meal this year? Food inspector Keith Curry offers a delectable selection of food description--and a rather tasteful array or mystery to be solved. Grab this for the food lover in your life!

Object of Desire - More Dal Maclain means more mystery--this time with the fashion and modeling industry at its core! If you've got a beautiful friend, let them know just how gorgeous you think their make up and clothing choices are by grabbing them this story about unbearably beautiful and well dressed people falling in love with each other while trying to solve a murder.

Happy Holidays from Blind Eye Books! See you in the New Year, BEB faithful!

-Theresa

Getting Ready for Geek Girl Con

Blind Eye Books will be in the Dealer’s Room at Geek Girl Con at table #118

Come visit us and see what’s new. (Sadly, this cat won’t be working the table—her paws are too big to work the credit card reader.)

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September in Retrospect and Great Things to Come!

Hello BEB Faithful!

If you kept tabs on us, you’ll know that we had a fantastic time in Florida at Bouchercon!

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Here’s a picture of the Ginn Hale title we brought with us!

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Here’s a picture of our head editor Nicole Kimberling having a great time with author of Smoketown, Tenea D Johnson.

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And here’s a picture of two jolly old gents having tea that we found pleasing at the Norman Rockwell museum of fine art in St. Petersburg.

It was a lovely time, and we can’t wait to see all the lovely faces of those of you that came by again soon!

Now, on to October!

As those of you who keep tabs on the blog will know, Geek Girl Con is quickly coming onto the horizon! There’s still time to get your ticket if you haven’t already, so grab yours and make your plans for the weekend of October 27th and 28th! We’re bringing the new printing of Ginn Hale’s Lord of the White Hell books with the beautiful new cover! If you haven’t seen it already, please direct your attention to our Facebook page, here! We’ve got another little goodie we’ll be bringing as well! A chapbook with the lesfic story from Ginn Hale’s book The Long Past and Other Stories.

But that’s not the only exciting thing we have planned for you in October, no sirree! Our newest title Goblins and Grilled Cheese will be debuting on October 9th! Check out the reviews so far:

“Kimberling's world-building is wide-ranging and imaginative. She draws on every possible myth, fairy tale, or folk tale for inspiration -- but her monsters are never typical, and they are never just monsters… And it is a fun collection. There's action, mystery, magic, and even a bit of hanky panky. This is just the thing to beat back the blahs on a rainy afternoon.”
Rebecca Buchanann

"Grilled Cheese and Goblins is an incredibly fresh look at urban fantasy. Not only is the book a m/m romance, but it blends fantastical elements with food health and safety administration. I mean, what? Who would even think to mix the two? Better yet, why would you?! I’ll tell you what, Kimberling has merged the two to create such a nuanced and different world!”
Ally, Ally’s Appraisals

With so many goodies in October, it’s almost like we’re just handing out candy.

Sounds like the right October spirit to us!

Until next time, Faithful!

-Theresa

Upcoming Events!

Hey, BEB Faithful!

Get ready to mark your calendars, because we have some exciting dates for you!

If you're going to be in St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia) this September, hopefully you're going to the world mystery convention, Bouchercon! We'll be there, September 6-9th, so we hope we'll see you there too! If you still need tickets, check out the Bouchercon website!

But, that's not all! We'll also be making our regular appearance at GeekGirlCon in October! This con just keeps getting bigger and more wonderful every year, so we hope we'll see you there too! Be sure to mark your calendars for October 27th and 28th, and we'll all be sure to get our geek on!

In other news, we sadly won't be attending ClexaCon 2019 in an official sense, but we will be sending along a couple of our books and one of our staff with Queen of Swords Press--who will absolutely be there again next year. Be sure to stop by and say hi for us! The con is a great experience for all queer women, and we can't recommend it highly enough.

Looking forward to another year of seeing you at some kickass cons, Faithful!

-Theresa

Pride Month has been SO EXCITING!

Hey BEB Faithful!

We've been super busy trying to celebrate Pride with all our friends and fans. One of the things we've done this month is add our book Smoketown to a LBGT+ sci-fi book bundle! Tenea (the author) is super stoked about being part of the bundle, and you can see what she has to say about it here. The bundle is only available until the 28th of June, though, so grab it while you can!

We also have some extra special goodies for you today: accounts about what Pride means to us here at BEB.

First up is Theresa, our social media gal, and second is our current intern, Elica.

"Pride has always been a big time for me. I was an ally even before I knew I was bi, and we had people from the community in my family. When I was little, I had point blank asked my mother if men could marry men and women could marry women, so when I found out years later that her answer of 'yes' had been a lie because she thought I was asking if they could love each other, I lost my mind and made everything from my school projects to my speech and debate topics about love being love and the need for equality. To have a time of year where everyone is celebrating that kind of love is such a victory for me, even though I know we have so much further to go." —Theresa

"For me, Pride Month represents inclusion and self-acceptance. As a bisexual woman, growing up in a small conservative town in eastern Washington was very stifling. I was often second guessing my sexual identity throughout high school and it wasn’t until I attended my first Pride in Spokane that I felt optimistic about my identity. It was the first time I was surrounded by LGBT+ people holding hands and unapologetically expressing themselves, and it filled me with an incredible sense of relief. Pride continues to motivate me to work on accepting myself and creating inclusive spaces for other LGBT+ people.” —Elica Starr

We'll have some other awesome announcements coming up in the beginning of July, so keep your eyes on our blog and our social media!

Until next time, faithful!

-Theresa 

Authors of Instagram: How Visual-Posting Can Work for the Writerly

Hey there, BEB faithful!

This month, we've got two things for you! First off, an exciting announcement about our next upcoming podcast project called Silver-tongued Cypher! It's about rap-battling mages ans is set in the Irregulars universe just like our first podcast was. Sit down with your copy of The Irregulars and refresh to be ready for get ready! We'll let you know when the first episode is out!

And second, we have a guest post from our publicity intern, Elica Starr! She's about to give you all the in's and out's of how authors are using Instagram--and also talk a little more about Dal Maclean's Object of Desire.

Stay tuned next for Elica, and I'll see you in June for Pride!

-Theresa

Authors of Instagram: How Visual-Posting Can Work for the Writerly by Elica Starr

As masters of language, writers thrive on text-based internet platforms. Take Twitter for example: its 280-character limit has become its own literary genre, honed by witty writers of the social media era. What’s more surprising is the fact that authors are also slaying the Instagram-game! Though it’s a form that favors aesthetics over text, contemporary authors are increasingly realizing the potential of an Instagram following, and their readers have never been happier.

Perhaps you’re a writer who groans at the phrase “A picture is worth 1000 words.” Maybe you’re a traditionalist — who’s more comfortable wielding a typewriter than an iPhone camera. Regardless, if you’re a writer who hasn’t taken advantage of this picture-posting platform, you might want to consider it. Whether you’re an up-and-coming poet working on your debut collection or a seasoned novelist working on your third spin-off series — here are a few reasons why you want to start ‘gramming.

Free Advertising:
Let’s get the obvious point out the way — any social media platform is an outlet for advertising, and an Instagram profile is yet another great place post the link to your Amazon pre-order page. But aesthetic marketing photos also prove wildly effective for authors promoting their newest novel. For instance, consider taking a picture of your novel and experimenting with placement. The literary community on Instagram has a fetish for book pics featuring foamy cappuccinos, comfy bed covers, and cluttered bookshelves — anything that taps into the cozy souls of your readers. And the best part about it — these pictures are effortless to capture. Take your novel out on a coffee date to a local cafe, prop it up against your venti chai tea latte, snap a pic, and post away.

Another way to market your writing on Instagram is by showcasing a few favorite lines in the form of visual quotes. Aestheticizing a quote with a particular font, color scheme, and photography can create a striking visual that conveys the overarching vibe of your novel. I recently collaborated with Blind Eye Book’s author, Dal Maclean, in creating some promotional visual quotes — using black and white photography of London, brilliant quotes from her upcoming novel, Object of Desire, and a touch of accent colors. In doing so, we transmediated some powerful writing into eye-catching postable Instagram content that conveys a thriller-romance-vibe upon first glance.

 

Building Credibility:
Instagram isn’t just about the advertising — it’s also about building a personal relationship with your following. And now more than ever, readers are invested in the personal lives of their favorite authors. Grant your readership a glance into your passions and proclivities. Not only will you appease their curiosity, but you can build credibility as a writer and author. If you write about French cuisine, for example, post that picture of the Bouillabaisse and Crème Brulée you cooked the other night. If your novels are set in Japan, dig up those pictures you took on your last visit to Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine. If your protagonist has a penchant for cats, post some cute cat pics! By proving that you know what you’re talking about, you can build trust with your readership. You might even hint at upcoming writing projects by posting pictures of your current inspirations, covertly preparing your audience for what’s to come.

Sharing the Process:
Although a messy writing desk may not seem like post-worthy content, the fact of the matter is many readers romanticize the creative chaos that is the writerly life. The iconic clutter, scribbled shorthand notes, paperback stacks with underlined passages, scattered writing utensils (extra points if there’s a quill pen thrown in the mix), nostalgic polaroids and ripped pages, you name it. Literature-enthusiasts follow writers for a reason — and more often than not, they are itching for a peek into the creative process. Whether you keep your workplace tidy or tumultuous, whether you work from an office or your dining room table — a picture of your workplace says a lot about you, and your readers will appreciate the authenticity.  

Engaging in the Community:
The literary community on Instagram continues to grow as authors migrate to the platform, so engage with your fellow writers and fans! Plenty of authors share in each others’ successes and promote each others’ upcoming publications. Book lovers post “favorite reads” by creating aesthetic book stacks and taking pictures of the titled spines — tagging each author featured. Fans engage with their authors by posting their book purchases, reviews, and fanart. And authors can reciprocate the support by reposting these pictures. There are entire communities united by the use of the same hashtags. The more entwined it becomes, the more the literary community thrives — which also results in driving potential readers your Instagram feed. Along the way, you might even create some lasting friendships with authors you currently admire.

It’s true that for some wordsmiths, Instagram may not seem the most intuitive — but the publicity, connections, and communities that the platform has to offer is worth giving it a try. Take a gander at the many ways authors are uniquely utilizing the space to represent themselves and their work. Delve into the writer community, shout out a few of your favorite authors, and cozy up into some niche corners of the platform. Above all else, remember that posting doesn’t have to be a strenuous activity. Display your writerly lifestyle in all of its glory, and #booklovers will be double-tapping in no time.

ClexaCon Round Up and Excitement for Dal Maclean

Hey there BEB faithful!

We saw a bunch of your smiling faces two weeks ago in Las Vegas and LOVED IT! Not only were we there, but other publishers of LGBTQ+ fiction were there, along with a bunch of talented artists, cosplayers, and other professionals.

As many of you will know, we shared a table with Queen of Swords Press while we were there. Our head editor also did a panel with her peers from Queen of Swords Press and Sapphire Books about labels and queer representation in books that I live tweeted for the world and can still be experienced through this Twitter thread! All the presses urged attendies to submit as well, so if you're looking for a home for your queer novel, check out our submission guidelines, QoSP's, or Sapphire's!

We also took a bunch of cool pictures of stuff from the con while we were there. Check out our instagram if you haven't already. If you're interested in seeing some of the art we ended up taking home with us, we loved this artist's tea mermaids and original comics, this artist's Steven Universe and Dragon Ball Z crossover, and this artist's take on a punk Black Lady and Sailor Saturn from Sailor Moon. We tagged the artists in our Instagram posts, so if you like their work, go follow them! I also ended up cosplaying. Nicole couldn't believe my transformation, so she had to take photographic evidence. (For those of you wondering, I'm Ryuji from Persona 5)

If you're still on the fence about coming next year, let me tell you about the panels. We had everything from Xena and Korrasami fan panels to panels about bisexual representation to how to have safe and fulfilling sex with people of all bodies and sexual preferences (including those who prefer not to engage). All in all, ClexaCon was a safe and empowering environment that had all sorts of fun and educational ways to spend your time. I made a bunch of new friends, and should you choose to come next year, you will too!

Or, if you're so excited by the round up that you don't want to wait a year, you can still get tickets for ClexaCon London happening in November of this year!

And as if that wasn't enough to carry us through April with a goofy smile on our faces, people are starting to rave about Dal Maclean's newest book, Object of Desire! Check out what people are saying on Goodreads and what Renee is saying over on Gay Book Reviews.

That's it for now, but we'll be back with more excitement next month. Until then, faithful!

-Theresa

Blind Eye Books and Queen of Swords Press at ClexaCon

We're just winding up tabling at our first ClexaCon and we can't recommend it highly enough. Here our editor, Nicole Kimberling tries (and fails) to take a good surreptitious panel selfie with Catherine Lundoff of Queen of Swords Press, and Isabella of Sapphire Books. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

"Maybe I should watch a video about how to do this..."

"Maybe I should watch a video about how to do this..."

Arao Ameny Interviews Editor Nicole Kimberling

Today we have MFA student Arao Ameny interviewing Blind Eye Books editor Nicole Kimberling about the day-to-day of running a small publishing company.

Nicole: So how did you find Blind Eye Books?

Arao: I was reading a book called Queer Africa, an anthology of LGBTQ fiction from the African continent and re-reading another book called Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta, books that center around LGBTQ characters on the African continent. I started wondering about books or publishers that center around similar narratives here in the U.S. I was doing an internet search, found the Lambda Literary website and scrolled through a few options, read that Blind Eye Books publishes books with LGBTQ protagonists, contacted you and here we are...On a personal note, I'm on a quest to read books or authors from diverse communities—that's how I'll learn and grow and mature as a writer.

Nicole: It’s amazing how books are able to break through barriers between people.

Arao: I understand you are established in Bellingham, Washington. What year did you start Blind Eye Books? Did you originally start in Bellingham where you are located? Have you expanded?

Nicole: We started BEB 11 years ago. Originally we published speculative fiction only but in the last couple of years we’ve expanded into mysteries and thrillers.

Arao: What kind of books do you publish?

Nicole: Blind Eye Books publishes fiction featuring queer protagonists. We do both print and digital releases of novels, anthologies and, recently, standalone novellas.

Arao: Who are the key players in Blind Eye Books?

Nicole: We have two full-time employees and work with several contractors. Dawn Kimberling acts as publisher and art director and I am both managing and acquiring editor. We have a social media coordinator named Theresa Tyree and may work with other freelance editors, proofreaders, publicists, illustrators and book designers depending on what a particular project requires.

For example, for our forthcoming release, a thriller called Object of Desire by Dal Maclean, I did the primary developmental edit and line edit and hired another editor, Anne Scott, to do proofreading and continuity. We hired KaNaXa to design the cover (including the cover type design) and did the interior book design in-house. We also outsource our ebook manufacturing. So including the author that’s a six-person team working to turn a manuscript into a print book.

Arao:  Do you have authors with multiple titles that you’ve published? How many books do you publish per year?

Nicole: Yes. Most of our authors have more than one title with us. But we don’t demand right of first refusal or anything like that. We publish two titles per year.

 Arao:  I understand you publishing company is dedicated to publishing the best science fiction, fantasy, mystery and romance featuring LGBT protagonists. What is your mission statement? How has it evolved?

Nicole: Our mission statement is exactly the same as it always has been: to produce genre fiction featuring queer protagonists that is both powerful and positive. We don’t do bummer endings. Ever.

 Arao:  May you describe how you fund Blind Eye Books? How do you fund your press? What are the estimated costs of doing business?

Nicole: With money of course! (lol) We run on the revenue generated by sales of our books, just like any other business. :) If you’re asking how much money a person needs to start a publishing company I’d say: about $5,000 and one killer manuscript that’s gonna sell more than 10,000 copies. At Blind Eye Books we lucked out and chose Ginn Hale’s Wicked Gentlemen as our first release. Ms. Hale’s book went on the win the Spectrum Award and was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award.

Arao:  How has your audience changed since you first established Blind Eye Books?

Nicole: Well, it’s gotten bigger. Each new author finds a new set of readers and some of those crossover to our other authors and titles. Plus review outlets are more eager to read fiction featuring queer protagonists than they used to be.

Arao:  What other thoughts or ideas would you like to share with our class about Blind Eye Books? 

Nicole: When we started Blind Eye Books it was to produce the kind of books that we wanted to read but couldn’t find on bookstore shelves. Back then publishing was a closed system with enormous barriers to entry to the book market and access to readers. Since then digital access to distributors and retailers—even libraries—has become as easy as setting up a Smashwords account. Worldwide print book manufacture and distribution can be had from Lightning Source. Marketing is a hashtag away. Even high-end reviews in venues like Kirkus and Publishers Weekly can be yours for a few hundred bucks. So if you have the passion to start your own publishing company that makes the kind of books that YOU want to read go ahead and make one. If you think there is an underserved reader or marginalized author, publish a book. Sell the book. Prove that the market exists. Make those readers visible.

It would be ingenuous of me to claim that starting a publishing company is easy, because it really isn’t. Like any other business it takes a while to learn the ropes of your industry and you are bound to make some errors and missteps along the way.

But just in case anybody wants to give it a shot I’ll give the brief order of events here:

1.     Decide what your mission is. Do not deviate from the mission. For the purposes of this essay lets say you want to read contemporary romance books featuring Latinx protagonists. Decide on a name and acquire a business license and bank account and web address. Apply for an EIN number for tax purposes.

2.     Find a couple of authors who are willing to work with you. Even if you are, yourself an author, it will help to have more than one person on your team. Five is a good number, but you can start with just one if that’s all you have. Always write contracts explaining exactly how much an author is paid and when they are paid. At Blind Eye Books we pay 10% of cover price for print and 50% net for digital.

3.     Complete production on your books—get them written, edited, proofread, and manufactured into 3 file types: print-ready pdf (for Lightning Source) plus .mobi (for amazon.com) and .epub (for everybody else.) Make sure covers are high-res images.  You are now four months away from release.

4.     Build your website.

5.     Send review copies to reviewers—most big venues require books to be submitted at least four months prior to the release date.

6.     Build and connect author websites (if they don’t already have them.)

7.     Build social media accounts for your publishing house.

8.     Contact citizen reviewers in your field. Send out review copies.

9.     Two months before release date, upload digital books for preorder. Begin to arrange author appearances on relevant blogs and websites. (It helps to hire a publicist to do this if you can find one familiar with your field.).

10.  One month before release date begin media campaign.

11.  Release date: Hooray! Time to see how you did. If you sold 100 copies, you’re about average. If you sold 1000 you’re on to something. If you sold 5,000 you’re onto something good.

12.  Pay author on time.

13.  Repeat!

###

Bio: Arao Ameny is an Uganda-born, Maryland-based journalist and writer. She is currently an MFA Fiction student at the University of Baltimore and loves prose and poetry—equally. Her favorite author is Zimbabwean author Dambudzo Marechera.

 

 

ClexaCon2018 and Feminist Futures!

Hey there, BEB faithful!

First of all, happy international women's day! This month we've got two quick things to hype! We're really excited that both of our announcements have to do with pretty much entirely to do with women.

The first of which is ClexaCon! We've been talking about this con since last fall, but just in case you missed it, the convention is all about queer women in media! We're going to be there sharing a table with Queen of Swords Press, and we hope we'll see you there! If you need to get tickets, check out ClexaCon's website here! And if you can't come see us in April in Las Vegas to chill with all the other supporters of queer women in media, check out their other events! You won't be disappointed.

Second, there's a book bundle being put on by Cat Rambo right now featuring feminism and our very own Nicole Kimberling! Stories in the bundle include:

Starfarers Quartet Omnibus - Books 1-4 by Vonda N. McIntyre
The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
Happy Snak by Nicole Kimberling
Spots the Space Marine by M.C.A. Hogarth
The Terrorists of Irustan by Louise Marley
Alanya to Alanya by L. Timmel Duchamp
Code of Conduct by Kristine Smith
Queen & Commander by Janine A. Southard
The Birthday Problem by Caren Gussoff
To Shape the Dark by Athena Andreadis

You can check out more about the bundle here, but hurry! The offer ends on March 21st!

We hope you have a magnificent March, faithful. And we'll see you next month!

- Theresa

Dal Maclean does it again!

Hey there, BEB faithful! Good to see you, even if you're just huddled up next to your computer hiding from the snow.

How about that weather, huh?

Anyway, since you're cuddled up indoors already, let me tell you about this awesome thing you could be reading.

If you read Bitter Legacy, you know what an artist Blind Eye Books author Dal Maclean is. She dislikes the Tragic Gay trope, but loves imperfect characters and genuine emotional conflict in romantic fiction, so you know you're always in for a something relatable and engaging when you pick up one of her books.

Which brings me to the purpose of our monthly tête-à-tête: Dal Maclean's newest title Object of Desire is up for preorder on Amazon!

This time, the story is about a beautiful male model being framed for the death of his employer:

Tom Gray is one of the world's top models–an effortless object of desire. Self-contained, elusive and always in control, he's accustomed to living life entirely on his own terms. But when Tom comes under suspicion in the gory death of his employer, his world spirals into chaos. Someone's framing him. Someone's stalking him. And as old secrets come to light, Tom finds his adversary always one step ahead. Will Foster is the only man Tom trusts to help. But Tom brutally burned all bridges between them two years before, and Will paid a bitter price. If he wants to survive, Tom must prove his innocence to Will–and to the world.

Having been able to preview the manuscript, I can personally guarantee that this one is worth your time, and your money. Go snag your copy from the preorder link above! We're only going to print so many, so reserving yours before we run out is a good idea!

Keep warm during this flash freeze, and we'll see you next month, faithful!

- Theresa

Interview with Jess Faraday!

Hey there, BEB faithful!

Today, we've got an exciting feature for you! An interview with Jess Faraday, the mastermind behind the new short story series Blind Eye Books will be releasing. Sit down, strap in, and get ready to walk through what makes Faraday tick--as well as get a sneak peak of what's to come in her short stories!

1. What is the vision for your short story series? Will all the stories revolve around characters in the same word and time period? Or will we visit different words, characters, times, etc?

I was so excited when Blind Eye suggested writing a series of shorts with Constable Simon Pearce. Pearce is a minor character in my novella, The Kissing Gate, which appears in the anthology Blades of Justice. The stories all take place in Britain the late 19th century, and follow the young constable through different cases, while he tries to find his place in Scotland Yard and in the world.

2. You do a fantastic job of layering tension, character, and world building, which is essential when writing short stories. What’s your recipe for keeping that so well balanced?

Outline, outline, outline! When you’re working with multiple storylines, it’s important to know the structure and beats of each one, so that they’re balanced. After that, it’s a matter of composing each scene so that it moves the storylines forward together.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing stories like the one’s we’ll see in this series?

I love reading about history. The 19th century was a time of explosive growth in science and technology. I enjoy thinking about how new advances changed the way people looked at things and related to each other – and about how despite the differences in the environment and social structure, people are basically the same, with the same struggles, desires and conflicts.

4. What sort of representation can readers expect to see in the series?

The main character, Simon Pearce, is a gay man. Being a low level police officer in 19th century Britain, he’s had to be extremely careful, as it was a crime in that time and place — not to mention the ruin of a career that he’s worked very hard to achieve and maintain. So he doesn’t have a lot of experience beyond paid quickies here and there. He’s an innocent in some ways, but not a virgin or naive. Part of Pearce’s personal arc in these stories is learning how to have a relationship with someone he likes, respects, and enjoys spending time with. There may be a couple of someones. Ultimately, though, part of his story will be figuring out what he wants in this aspect of life, and finding a way to get it.

Pearce was a minor character in my novella The Kissing Gate in Blades of Justice. The major character was Dr. Elizabeth Bell, a lesbian physician who was also a police medical consultant. (She was actually a murder suspect in The Kissing Gate). Pearce read and admired Dr. Bell’s work long before he met her in Blades of Justice, and she and her partner, Alice, will show up in at least one of the stories.

Other minor LGBTQ characters may present themselves as the stories progress — people will have to read to find out!

5. Above all else, what do you hope your readers will get out of reading these stories?

A few hours of entertainment!
______________

And there you have it, faithful. Straight from the horse's mouth, all we Faraday wants if for you to enjoy her stories.

We'll be hyping them more as they release, so keep your eyes on our social media pages! And we'll see you next month!

-Theresa

 

Happy Holidays and an Exciting New Year!

Happy Holidays, BEB Faithful!

From all of us at Blind Eye Books, we want to wish you a merry holiday season and happy new year. We've got all sorts of surprises for you in the upcoming new year, and we're all hoping that 2018 makes the future look a little brighter.

We'll be doing our part by bringing you a bunch of new books and making appearances and even more events!

More on that soon, but for now we have to focus on making our new year's resolutions!

See you in 2018!

-Theresa

Black Friday to Cyber Monday is deals Deals DEALS!

Hey BEB Faithful!

Black Friday is coming up, and everyone's having a sale. We're no exception, but our sale? Our sale goes all through the weekend until Cyber Monday!

That means we're slashing prices on all of your favorite books--and we know there are few of you out there that will really appreciate this. I can't tell you how many of you walked away from our con booths these past few months, sad to only have a fraction of the books you wanted to take home with you in your hands.

Get five titles for .99 cents each! The Shattered Gates by Ginn Hale, The Archer's Heart Book One by Astrid Amara, Smoketown by Tenea D. Johnson, Irregulars, by Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Astrid Amara and Ginn Hale, and Blades of Justice by Jess Faraday, Helen Angove and Rachel Green.

So stop by and grab your favorites. Introduce your friends through the sale as a sneaky way to tell them what you want for the holidays. Coerce strangers into looking at or webpage. Whatever you want! The prices are low and the stories are as great as always. Get them while the getting's good!

And, as always, we'll see you next month!

"Lauren Proves Magic Is Real!" Episode Six: Performance Review

So in episode five we left off with Lauren in a precarious situation: in the middle of her podcast two nefarious thugs broke down the door sprayed her with gunk shoved her in a bag and carried her off. We pick up again with Special Agent Keith Curry, who has just come home from work.

Episode Six, “Performance Review,” was written by Nicole Kimberling and produced by Tommy Jordan. Keith Curry’s Theme and Lauren’s theme were written and performed by Tommy Jordan.

This week’s episode features the voices of:

Ginn Hale, Ian EveryHope, Josh Lanyon, Laura Browne-Sorenson, Danielle Rose, Brendan Connor and Tommy Jordan.

Addition featured music was: Mind of the Machine by Future Lab Rats and Skipping 7th Grade by CHRVNS

"Lauren Proves Magic Is Real!" Episode Five: Just Say No To Kraken

When 12-year old cat sitter Lauren discovers her neighbor is a secret agent, the next logical step is to start podcasting his field reports. In episode five, Lauren listens in while Keith takes a call from a distressed kraken.

Episode Five, “Just Say No to Kraken,” was written by Nicole Kimberling and produced by Tommy Jordan.

This week’s episode features the voices of: Dal Maclean, Ginn Hale, Ian EveryHope, Philipp Roser, Brendan Connor, Astrid Amara, and Tommy Jordan.

Featured music is: OMG by Ricky Sprinkles, I Wish My Baby Was Born by East Coast Dave, Evacuate by Future Lab Rats and Easy by Pascal

"Lauren Proves Magic Is Real!" Episode Four: Hot Boyfriend

When 12-year old cat sitter Lauren discovers her neighbor is a secret agent, the next logical step is to start podcasting his field reports. This week Lauren's podcast gets some sponsors--though the products they're selling seem very strange... Then for a change of pace, Lauren breaks into some saved voice messages from Special Agent Keith Curry's hot boyfriend, Gunther.

Episode Four: “Hot Boyfriend” was written by Nicole Kimberling and produced by Tommy Jordan. It features the voices of Ginn Hale, Tommy Jordan, Brendan Connor, Dal Maclean, Tenea D. Johnson, Anthony Navarro, Nicole Kimberling, Danielle Rose and Ian EveryHope.

Featured Music:  “It Is What It Is”  “On An Island” and “In Orbit In Exile,” by Tony Dutcher from the band Royal Trash. Plus “Reality Hop Taqsim” by East Coast Dave and “Say That I’m Trying,” by Joji