Amazon’s evolution into — among so many other things — a cutting-edge publisher of emerging indie authors continues today with the announcement of a dozen “exceptional new titles” to be published by its AmazonEncore imprint, including two — “Faking It” and “Ordinary World” — by former Free Kindle Nation Shorts author Elisa Lorello. We were pleased to introduce Faking It to thousands of Kindle Nation readers in early April with this lengthy, enticing excerpt. Congratulations, Elisa!
Announced in May 2009, AmazonEncore is a program which identifies exceptional books and emerging authors using information on Amazon.com, such as customer reviews and sales data. Amazon then works with the authors to introduce or re-introduce their books to readers through marketing and distribution into multiple channels and formats, such as the Amazon Books Store, Amazon Kindle Store, and national and independent bookstores via third-party wholesalers. AmazonEncore is a brand for titles published by Amazon Content Services LLC.
Here’s the guts of this morning’s press release from Amazon:
In addition, AmazonEncore is announcing four terrific additions to the fall 2010 publishing list: “Waiting for the Taliban” by Anna Badkhen; “Easily Amused” and “Celia and the Fairies” by Karen McQuestion; and “An Awesome Book of Thanks!” by Dallas Clayton.
“We’ve been happily overwhelmed with great books to share with readers this spring,” said Jeff Belle, Vice President, Amazon.com Books. “With four great additions to our fall publishing list–including AmazonEncore’s first picture book–and spring books ranging from our first diet book to a science-fiction twinged tale from a Yugoslavian immigrant, we hope every reader finds something to enjoy.”
In “Waiting for the Taliban,” which was originally written as a syndicated diary that was published in Foreign Policy magazine, war correspondent Anna Badkhen returns to Northern Afghanistan in search of the friends she made in the early days of the occupation there, back when it was the safest part of an unsafe land. Her journey takes her to an entirely different place than the one she first encountered: blighted, hopeless, still unspeakably beautiful but now overrun by the Taliban. Traveling from village to village, she comes to understand what went so terribly wrong in the north–and, by extension, what she believes is going so terribly wrong in Afghanistan in general. “Waiting for the Taliban” was published on Sept. 9.
From bestselling Kindle author Karen McQuestion, “Easily Amused” is a lighthearted romantic comedy about a young woman who finds love and friendship where she least expects it: her backyard. AmazonEncore will also be publishing McQuestion’s “Celia and the Fairies,” a middle-grade reader about a young girl who embarks on a quest to save the destruction of fairies’ homes–and her own–from a vengeful developer. McQuestion had written fiction for years, but it wasn’t until she self-published her novel on Kindle that she found her readers. Her success with self-publishing earned a movie option and publishing deals for five of her books. Her first novel, “A Scattered Life,” has been ranked as high as #5 in the Kindle Store. McQuestion lives in Hartland, Wis., with her husband and three children. “Easily Amused” was published on Sept. 21, and “Celia and the Fairies” will be published on Nov. 2.
“An Awesome Book of Thanks!,” written and illustrated by Dallas Clayton, is an uplifting book about being thankful for all the things in the world, good and bad, large and small, and welcoming life wholeheartedly. The book conveys, in pictures and simple yet beautiful language, all the ways one can be thankful, and all the different things in life to be thankful for. Clayton is the author and illustrator of “An Awesome Book!” He is also the creator of The Awesome World Foundation which donates books to children in need. Clayton lives in Los Angeles. AmazonEncore’s first picture book, “An Awesome Book of Thanks!” will be published on Nov. 2.
In Sarah Collins Honenberger’s “Catcher, Caught,” 15-year old Daniel Landon sees a reflection of himself in the words of J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” after being diagnosed with leukemia. The author was inspired by her desire to reconnect today’s teenagers with the voice of Holden Caulfield through a narrative based on the true-life story of an abused and neglected teenage boy suffering from leukemia. Honenberger was herself stricken with cancer after writing “Catcher, Caught“; thankfully, her cancer is now in remission. Honenberger lives in Virginia. “Catcher, Caught” will be published on Dec. 28.
“Get Real and Stop Dieting!” by fitness instructor and wellness expert Brett Blumenthal cuts through the chaos of fad diets and scientific mumbo jumbo to demystify healthy eating once and for all. Blumenthal has zeroed in on five simple “Get Real” principles, which are accompanied by 40 pages of healthy, satisfying recipes that range from whole-grain pancakes to rich chocolate clusters. Blumenthal’s writing has been featured online on Yahoo!, Shine from Yahoo!, Divine Caroline, Intent, Wellsphere, Tonic and Gather. “Get Real and Stop Dieting!” will be published on Dec. 28.
Emily Rubin’s “Stalina” is a daring twist on the timeless immigrant tale in which a witty and fearless Russian woman will stop at nothing to reconcile the pain of the past and find happiness in America. Rubin’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In 2005, she began producing “Dirty Laundry: Loads of Prose,” a reading series that takes place in Laundromats around the United States. She lives in New York state. “Stalina” will be published on Jan. 4.
“The Summer Son,” by novelist Craig Lancaster, explores the complexities of family dynamics and two men’s turbulent journey toward healing. Mitch Quillen is nearly 40 and facing the quintessential midlife crisis: a career going nowhere, a marriage slowly dying and a tumultuous relationship with his father. When he is beset by mysterious phone calls from his father, he travels to Montana to face the man that he holds responsible for much of his discontent. Lancaster, a journalist and novelist, is the author of “600 Hours of Edward,” named a Montana Honor Book. He lives in Billings, Mont., with his wife and two dachshunds. “The Summer Son” will be published on Jan. 25.
Neve Maslakovic’s “Regarding Ducks and Universes” is a novel about a culinary writer who learns that he has an alter ego in an alternate universe and who sets out to snoop around his alter ego’s life, with dangerous consequences. A native of Belgrade, Maslakovic earned her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University and is a member of the Loft Literary Center. She currently lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. “Regarding Ducks and Universes” is her first novel and will be published on Feb. 22.
“Faking It,” Elisa Lorello’s first novel, introduces 30-something writing professor Andi Cutrone, who meets a male escort at a party she attends after breaking off her engagement. Intrigued, she calls him, and over cheesecake in Brooklyn, he agrees to teach her how to be a better lover in exchange for writing lessons. Smart, witty and introspective, “Faking It” is a novel about two people discovering their authentic selves. A native of Long Island, Lorello currently lives in North Carolina, where she teaches writing and writes. “Faking It” will be published on March 15.
Readers who fall in love with Andi Cutrone in “Faking It” can also join Andi in Lorello’s “Ordinary World.” Six years after “Faking It” concludes, Andi is blissfully married and living a seemingly perfect existence until her husband dies unexpectedly. She flees to Italy to escape and runs into an old friend who helps Andi see that someday she will be happy again. “Ordinary World” will be published on March 15.
“Nickel Plated” from Aric Davis focuses on the life of Nickel, an orphan raised in abusive foster homes, who escapes to make a life as a private investigator. When he agrees to help the beautiful Arrow find her kidnapped sister, what he finds leads him into a paranormal trap and a fight for his survival. Davis lives with his wife and daughter in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he has worked for the past 14 years as a body piercer. “Nickel Plated” will be published on March 22.
Previously announced on the fall 2010 list, bestselling author J.A. Konrath’s “Shaken“–the seventh book in the Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series–will be available as a physical book on Feb. 22. The Kindle edition of “Shaken” will be published on Oct. 26.