Our Uphill Battle

Dear Book Lover and Bink friends,

Bedazzled Ink is a medium-sized publishing company with a mission. Founded in 2004, we are dedicated to literary fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books that celebrate the unique and under-represented voices of women and books about women. We’re interested in fiction with female protagonists and nonfiction from a female perspective that appeals to all readers. In other words, we publish books that are equal in acceptance to books by male writers.

And we’re facing a tough uphill battle.

Some facts . . .

  • Women buy two thirds of books sold but reviews are centered on male authors and critics.
  • In the average publishing house, women account for about 30% of the writers.
  • An agent asked a woman author if she could turn her 50/50 male/female cast to 75% male.
  • While women read books regardless of the author’s gender, men tend to read books only by male authors.
  • Three-fourths of the reviews by major review publications are for books by men.
  • Amazon lumps all women authors in “women’s fiction” regardless of what kind of book it is.
  • Amazon’s marketing keeps female writers from finding their core audience “not to mention from entering the larger more influential playing field.” (New York Times)
  • A woman writer gets points if they include the “male” world in their work and lose points if they don’t. (New York Times)
  • No Pulitzer Prize winner from 2000-2014 was written wholly from the point of view of a female.
  • Only two National Book Award winners from 2000-2014 were written wholly from the point of view of a female.
  • Women authors use initials or male pseudonyms to gain credibility in the publishing industry.
  • Many female authors say the way their books are packaged encourages readers and reviewers to take them less seriously.

Woman authors who write outside acceptable “women’s” genres are forced into inappropriate boxes by their agents and publishers and are incorrectly marketed by booksellers. Women authors have a greater chance of being overlooked by reviewers.

We don’t think that the male writing style and voice is superior to the female style and voice or that women should emulate it. Each are equal in quality and validity of content. The only way we can fight this inequality of acceptance is to be in the industry’s face as much as possible. Or as Meg Wolizter wrote more eloquently in the New York Times:

“But some of the most acclaimed female novelists have written unapologetically and authoritatively about women. And the environment needs to be receptive to that authority, recognizing and celebrating it in order for it to catch. It seems no coincidence that some of the most esteemed women writing today—Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Doris Lessing, Marilynne Robinson—came to prominence at an unusual moment in time when the women’s movement could be felt everywhere.”

It’s time to step up and reassert that women’s voices are equal and have a right to be heard, now more than ever. Bedazzled Ink is in the unique position to give women their voice through the written word. Authors from all over the world are recognizing what our mission is about and are sending us amazing work that transcends the idea of “women’s fiction” and tells of the world through the female perspective in strong individual voices.

We are accepting these books, but we need to ensure that we’ll have the means to give them the full attention required to fight through the publishing industry’s biases to reach their largest possible audience. We’re starting this fight with the books we are publishing in 2017. Unfortunately, our mission to validate the voices and the stories of women takes funding beyond the modest means of an independent publisher.

We hate to think inside the box and tend to kick boxes and anything resembling boxes out of our way, so we created the Angels for Books Campaign. This campaign reaches out to those who would love to have the opportunity to support the voices of women authors and to help publishers create a literary battering ram against the walls of bias that currently exist in the publishing industry.

We hope you’ll spend some time and look at our Angels for Books Campaign and add your support to our mission to make women’s literary voices heard and respected.

We also have an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign if you just want to support us with a smaller donation.

Claudia Wilde
Publisher

January Newsletter

We are continuing our mission to celebrate the unique and under-represented voices of women with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. We need to meet our goal of $2000 to keep the campaign going after the January 28th deadline. Let’s make 2017 a great year for literature by and about women!

New Releases

January

dispatcheslesbianamerica_lg

Dispatches from Lesbian America

(Bink Books) A collection of more than forty works of short fiction and memoir from contemporary writers, some newly emerging and some well-known. Unique in recent lesbian anthologies, these thoughtful stories address themes meaningful to us in the modern world.

thethirdlaw_lg

The Third Law by Jordan Falconer

(Mindancer Press) Newton’s Third Law – “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Another exciting tale from Jordan Falconer.


Bedazzled Ink in the News

andreasimon2

Andrea Simon’s Esfir Is Alive has a review in the December issue of Hadassah Magazine and on Teenreads.com.

DCIM100SPORT

S. Rose’s Sparrow in the Wind has a review on Koobugs.

tinasears

Tina’s Sears’ The River’s Edge has a new review on YABooksCentral.com.


Et cetera

Katherine Hetzel, author of StarMark and the upcoming Kingstone, visited her old school, Limehurst Academy (Loughborough, UK) and talked about her experience as a writer and conducted a creative writing workshop.

hetzel-limehurst3hetzel-limehurst2hetzel-limehurst1


Tina Sears is enjoying her bookstore appearances.

tinabookstore 2


January Events

TheRiversEdge_sm

Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg, Virginia will be hosting a book reading and signing of Tina’s Sears’ The River’s Edge from 1:00-3:00 on January 7th. On January 14th, Tina will be reading and signing the Salem Church Branch Library in Fredericksburg at 1:00 to 3:00 pm. To complete her January library crawl, Tina will be at Porter Branch Library in Stafford, Virginia on January 28th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

WornMasks_sm

Phyllis Carito will be interviewed and reading from Worn Masks (GusGus Press) at the Chatham Bookstore, Chatham NY at 5:00 pm on January 14th.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

December Newsletter

New Releases

December

 

dispatcheslesbianamerica_lg

Dispatches from Lesbian America

(Bink Books) A collection of more than forty works of short fiction and memoir from contemporary writers, some newly emerging and some well-known. Unique in recent lesbian anthologies, these thoughtful stories address themes meaningful to us in the modern world.

Hindsight_lg

Hindsight by Jody Klaire

(Bink Books) The lock is the key. General Ursula Frei goes missing and the Criminal Investigations Group is thrown into turmoil.

thethirdlaw_lg

The Third Law by Jordan Falconer

(Mindancer Press) Newton’s Third Law – “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Another exciting tale from Jordan Falconer.

Mandala Dreams by C.A. Casey

mandaladreams_lg

(Rogue Books) Relax. Focus. Meditate. Color 38 calming mandalas and let the stress fall away. Includes 38 inspirational quotes.
________________________________________

Bedazzled Ink in the News

rainbowwinner-2916 honorablemention-2016
Two Bedazzled Ink books and one GusGus Press book received 2016 Rainbow Awards.

  • Winner – It Pours by C.D. Cain – Contemporary General Fiction
  • Winner – A Kiss Before Dawn by Laurie Salzler – Contemporary Romance
  • Honorable Mention – Women of the Year by Karen Richard – Anthology/Collection/General Contemporary Fiction

And It Pours and A Kiss Before Dawn made it in the top ten Best Lesbian Book (regardless of category) ranked by total points from the judges.

 

andreasimon2

Andrea Simon’s Esfir Is Alive has a review in the November/December 2016 issue of AJL (Association of Jewish Libraries) Reviews and in the December issue of Hadassah Magazine.

tinasears

Tina Sears The River’s Edge has a review in the December 2016 issue of VOYA Magazine.

ChrisConvissor

Chris Convissor’s The Urn Carrier has a review in the December 2016 issue of VOYA Magazine.
________________________________________

Et cetera

base-3-stickies

Jody Klaire has created a series of short stories called The Whisterblower set in the world of Above and Beyond series.


Tina Sears found a copy of The River’s Edge in the Books-A-Million in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

15032253_691941817651340_6070720668983007438_n


Elaine Burnes blogs about why she likes short stories and about A Perfect Life and Other Stories (GusGus Press) in her blog Thoughts on Writing and Life.  She encourages everyone to give short stories a try.

elaineburnes


andreasimon2

Andrea Simon has a pair of articles posted to The ProsenPeople column on the Jewish Book Council website. In “Rewriting My Family Memoir as a Work of Fiction” Andrea Simon tells about how she incorporated the research for her book Bashert: A Granddaughter’s Holocaust Quest and her own family members into Esfir Is Alive, a novel about the life of Esfir Manevich, the only recorded survivor of the massacre of 50,000 Jews at the forest site of Brona Gora. In “If It Didn’t Exactly Happen, Can It Be True?” Andrea talks about how she learned to blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction in her writing. In “Writing About My Friends and Relatives,” her final post as Guest Scribe to The ProsenPeople column, Andrea relates the pitfalls of fictionalizing friends and family in her work.


Phyllis Carito did a reading from Worn Masks at Columbia-Greene Community College Library in Hudson, New York.

caritoreading


Andrea Simon celebrates with bubbly at the book launch for Esfir Is Alive in New York City.

esfirlaunch


rabbits_lg

Award-winning Rabbits of the Apocalypse by Benny Lawrence made it onto The Lesbian Review‘s Top 10 Lesbian Science Fiction Novels as a bonus title.


Tina Sears signs The River’s Edge at its book launch in Fredericksburg, Virgina.

tina-launch

________________________________________

December Events

TheRiversEdge_lg

The Books-a-Million in Fredericksburg, Virginia (Towne Centre, 137 Spotsylvania Mall Drive) will be hosting a book signing of Tina’s Sears’ The River’s Edge from 12:00-3:00 on December 3rd.

Tina Sears is dusting off her dancing shoes and teaching the Foxtrot and Waltz for the Harry Potter Ball at the Barnes and Noble, Central Park in Fredericksburg, Virgina on this Friday, Dec. 9th. She’s signing copies of The River’s Edge from 5 to 9 pm and then teaching you how to shake a tail feather from 6 to 7pm. The Ball starts at 7 pm but there will be early activities too.

Spectrum_lg

The Situation Room in Los Angeles 2313 Norwalk Ave) will be hosting a reading and signing of Meital Yaniv’s Spectrum for an Untouchable at 4:00-6:00 pm on December 10th.

TheUrnCarrier_lg

Chis Convissor will be signing copies of The Urn Carrier at the Red Door Cafe in Lake Ann, Michigan on December 10th from 11 am to 1 pm. She’s also giving away a free audio version of The Urn Carrier to a lucky attendee.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

November Newsletter

New Releases

November

 

afteratime_lg

After a Time by Laurie Salzler
(Bink Books YA) In the late 1800’s, Mayme Watson boards a train bound for Eagle Rock, Idaho. What she finds there is the start of a new life.

esfirisalive_lg

Esfir Is Alive by Andrea Simon

(Bink Books) Esfir Manevich is a young Jewish girl who lives in the Polish town of Kobrin in 1936. Facing anti-Semitism in public school, Esfir moves in with her charming aunt who runs a boardinghouse in the bustling city of Brest. Being younger than the other boarders, Esfir struggles to find a place in her new life, all the while worrying about her diminishing role in the family she left behind.

Hindsight_lg

Hindsight by Jody Klaire

(Bink Books) The lock is the key. General Ursula Frei goes missing and the Criminal Investigations Group is thrown into turmoil.

TheMermaidGirl_lg

The Mermaid Girl by Xequina

(Dragonfeather Books) A series of big storms flood the sea town where Camila lives and she finds a tiny, newborn mermaid in a puddle of water.

PaganHeaven_lg

Pagan Heaven by Ruth Rouff

(GusGus Press) In an unusual melding of narrative poetry and spot-on prose, Pagan Heaven offers a wry take on the absurdities of modern American life, all the while celebrating human uniqueness whenever, wherever, and however it’s found.

Spectrum_lg

Spectrum for an Untouchable by Meital Yaniv

(GusGus Press) Spectrum for an Untouchable is an experimental book that aspires to explain Israel, and what it means to be Israeli, from an autobiographical standpoint.

________________________________________

December

dispatcheslesbianamerica_lg

Dispatches from Lesbian America

(Bink Books) A collection of more than forty works of short fiction and memoir from contemporary writers, some newly emerging and some well-known. Unique in recent lesbian anthologies, these thoughtful stories address themes meaningful to us in the modern world.

thethirdlaw_lg

The Third Law by Jordan Falconer

(Mindancer Press) Newton’s Third Law – “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Another exciting tale from Jordan Falconer.


Bedazzled Ink in the News

andreasimon2

Andrea Simon’s Esfir Is Alive has a review School Library Journal, Kirkus ReviewsBooklist, and in the YA Spotlight in the Winter 2017 issue of Foreword Reviews.

bevjafek2

Bev Jafek’s The Sacred Beasts has a five star review in the Winter 2017 issue of Foreword Reviews.

tinasears

Tina Sear’s The River’s Edge has a review on YABooksCentral.com.


Et cetera

The Book Club at Stamford High School (Stamford, Lincolnshire) enjoyed StarMark so much they designed their own coat of arms and sent Katherine Hetzel this picture of some bookmarks they made based on StarMark.

starmark-club starmarkbookmarks


Meital Yaniv called the launch party last weekend in Los Angeles for Spectrum for an Untouchable amazing. She had a great time and engaged in a very intriguing conversation with her audience.

spectrum-launch1 spectrum-launch2 spectrum-launch3

 


Chris Convissor signing The Urn Carrier at the Horizon Bookstore in Traverse City, Michigan.

chris-horizonbookstore


Jo Knowles, author of Read Between the Lines (Candlewick), sent a picture of her dog admiring The River’s Edge to Tina Sears.

knowles-river


November Events

Four authors will be reading from Haunting Muses at Laurel Book Store in Oakland, California on November 12th at 7:00 p.m. The authors are Giovanna Capone, Xequina Berber, Jamie Sage Cotton, and Andrea Lambert.

Phyllis Carito will be reading from Worn Masks (GusGus Press) on November 29th, 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Columbia-Greene Community College Library in Hudson, New York.

Save

Save

Save

October Newsletter

New Releases

September

APerfectLife_lg

A Perfect Life and Other Stories by Elaine Burnes

(GusGus Press) Call it happily ever after or a perfect life, it’s a universal destination we all hope to reach. From North America’s highest mountain to that quirky town at the end of the hook of Cape Cod and well past the stars beyond, Elaine explores the hopes and fears that drive us all.

RightOutofNowhere_lg

Right Out of Nowhere by Laurie Salzler

(Bink Books) Roni Oatman belongs to a crew that conducts Search and Rescue Operations for the Forestry Service deep in the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho. They save lost people, but Roni is a bit lost herself.

undertheinfluence_lg

under the influence by cat mac

(GusGus Press) cat mac’s first collection of poetry, set in Vancouver, B.C. and Mexico, is about a poet growing up in the sixties, grows up in a dysfunctional family, who gets out from under negative influences, comes out as a lesbian, and becomes a healthy, happy poet-singer-songwriter.

TheUrnCarrier_lg

The Urn Carrier by Chris Convissor

(Bink Books YA) Nineteen-year-old Tessa is suddenly tasked with spreading her great aunt’s ashes all over the US and Canada so the rest of her relatives can receive their inheritance.

________________________________________

October

HauntingMuses_lg

Haunting Muses edited by Doreen Perrine

(GusGus Press) In this collection of lesbian stories, ghosts, be they actual or the metaphorical ghosts of memories, aren’t necessarily evil and hauntings may or may not be bad.

Hindsight_lg

Hindsight by Jody Klaire

(Bink Books) The fourth book in the Above & Beyond series. The lock is the key. General Ursula Frei goes missing and the Criminal Investigations Group is thrown into turmoil. Can Aeron and Renee get Frei to safety and keep her past’s secrets hidden? Or will the truth mean she loses the freedom she fought so hard to have all these years?

LiveLoveLacrosse_lg

Live Love Lacrosse by Barbara L. Clanton

(Dragonfeather Books) Addie Coleburn, fresh out of the sixth grade, is spending the summer at her grandmother’s house in Syracuse with her mother and brother. Kimi Takahashi, a girl who lives up the street, invites Addie to go to the park and play lacrosse.

TheRiversEdge_lg

The River’s Edge by Tina Sears

(Bink Books YA) Forced to spend the summer of 1976 with relatives, Chris Morgan faces many challenges. Surrounded by the danger of the river and the shadows of her family’s past, Chris realizes her carefree childhood is ending.

SacredBeasts_lg

The Sacred Beasts by Bev Jafek

(Bink Books) Ruth, a brilliant zoologist and geologist and Sylvie, a young French artist travel to Spain’s Costa Brava and then on to Barcelona—Ruth filtering the world through her feminist political and zoological/environmental perspective, and Sylvie capturing the world around her with a vivid, penetrating artist eye.

WornMasks_lg

Worn Masks by Phyllis Carito

(GusGus Press) Set in the late twentieth century, Mary Grace, an independent and solitary woman in her late forties, is drawn back into her mother’s life and death, and a journey that impacts her life as an estranged daughter.


Bedazzled Ink in the News

39967_421286838369_4021849_n

The Book of the Mandolin Player (Bink Books) by Anne Britting Oleson has a review on centralmaine.com. Anne Britting Oleson has also been selected to participate in the 2016 Amtrak Writers Residency Program.

ChrisConvissor

The Urn Carrier (Bink Books) by Chris Convissor is featured in “On the Road, Again: New YA Road Trip Novels | SLJ Spotlight” in the September 2016 issue of School Library Journal.

meitalyaniv-sm

Meital Yaniv’s Spectrum for an Untouchable (GusGus Press) has a review in the Huffington Post.

Tina Bio Photo

The River’s Edge (Bink BooksYA) by Tina Sears is one of YA and Kids Books Central Buzzworthy Books for Fall 2016.


Et cetera

urncarrier-launchcake

Chris Convissor said, “Let them eat cake,” at the launch party for The Urn Carrier in Traverse City, Michigan.

chrisandcd

C.D. Cain and Chris Convissor at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia.


October Events

WhenItRaynes-bbpItPours_sm
[Cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew] If you’re in Orlando, Florida for Pride weekend, C.D. Cain will be signing copies of When It Raynes (Bink Books) and It Pours (Bink Books) at the Melissa Crispo concert starting 9:15 p.m. October 7th at the Copper Rocket Pub.

HauntingMuses_sm
Celebrate Women’s Week in Provincetown with a Halloween treat of two book readings and signings for Haunting Muses (GusGus Press) The readings are on Thursday, October 13th at 2:00 p.m. and Friday October 14th at 11 p.m. at Art Market Provincetown, 432 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA. Attending authors are Lee Altomaro, Elaine Burnes, L.K. Early, Sacchi Green, Bonnie Morris, Doreen Perrine, and Pascal Scott.

APerfectLife_smwishbonedraft-bbp

Also on October 13th during Women’s Week in Provincetown, Doreen Perrine will be reading “Angel of Light,” her ghost story in Haunting Muses from  10:15-11:45 a.m. and Elaine Burnes will be reading from A Perfect Life and Other Stories (GusGus Press) and Wishbone (Bink Books) from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. during the GCLS event at the Sage Inn & Lounge.

LaVieEnBleu_sm

At the same GCLS event Jody Klaire will be there through the magic of Skype, with the help of Velvet Lounger, who will read from Jody’s book, La Vie en Bleu at 2:45 p.m.

TheUrnCarrier_sm

Book Signing. Chris Convissor will be signing copies of The Urn Carrier (Bink Books) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. October 15th at the Horizon Bookstore, Traverse City, Michigan.

Spectrum_sm

Book Launch. The Visitor Welcome Center in Los Angeles is hosting a launch party for Spectrum for an Untouchable (GusGus Press) by Meital Yaniv on October 23rd.

Save

Save

Save

Save

A Bittersweet Celebration

The highlight of the GCLS Conference is the announcement of the winners of the Goldie Awards and Bedazzled Ink had several Finalists this year.

Ann Bannon Popular Choice

Dramatic/General Fiction

Debut Author

Creative Non-fiction

Tee Corinne Outstanding Cover Design

Congratulations to Doreen Perrine, CD Cain, Pat Deihl, and Sandra Moran for their outstanding work.

 

wishbonedraft_lg

We’re delighted that Wishbone by Elaine Burnes won the Goldie Award for Dramatic/General Fiction. We’d been fans of Elaine Burnes’ short stories for years and we jumped at the opportunity to publish her first amazing novel. If you haven’t yet read this “beautifully written and poignantly powerful” work, there’s still plenty of summer left for a summer read.

This year’s Goldie Awards is also bittersweet for us. While GCLS honored Sandra Moran and her book, All We Lack, we feel an emptiness that we can’t celebrate her second Ann Bannon award with her and the added honor of the Tee Corinne Outstanding Cover Design by Ann McMan.

allwelack_lg

We miss Sandra’s Moran’s presence as an author and as a person and these awards feel like an end to an all-too-brief era in Bedazzled Ink history. It’s true, we were slated to publish her last book, State of Grace, but we never had the chance to go through the editorial process with Sandra on this, our favorite of all her books. State of Grace will always be a bittersweet memory for me because one of our last conversations was about getting ready to embark on what was always a delightful undertaking with Sandra, the editing process, this time with State of Grace. This brief conversation says everything that needs to be said about Sandra the author and her desire to make sure a book was the best it could be. She wrote: “Fingers crossed that it ticked the boxes.” And I responded with: “Thanks! I’m sure it’s great.” To which she replied, “If it’s not, we will make it great together. I am always eager to make whatever changes are necessary.” I still feel an ache that we never got that chance to work together on State of Grace and that I’ll never have the privilege of working with her again.

In the end, we gave up State of Grace because of editorial and artistic differences with Sandra’s wife Cheryl Pletcher and we respect her choices in how she wants to handle Sandra’s legacy. After Cheryl tried to interest the major publishers in taking on State of Grace, another publisher agreed to put out an edition of Sandra’s last manuscript version of it. As Cheryl wrote in this edition’s Foreword: “I did not want it edited again. Perhaps the story could have been improved by editing. To me, that is irrelevant.”

With all of Sandra’s literary works now published and that chapter of her life closed, her work with Marianne K. Martin on the Legacies of Lesbian Literature Project lives on, with the goal of turning it into a video. All the royalties from the sale of Sandra’s books will go to funding this project. If you haven’t yet discovered the work of Sandra Moran, this is a great time to not only read a wonderful author but to support a worthwhile project. If you’ve already purchased her books, buy one for your local public and college library or recommend her titles to them. Keep passing on the word about this remarkable author who left us too soon so she can live on through her books–Letters Never Sent, Nudge, and All We Lack.

sandrasbooks

You can also make a contribution to the project by going to https://www.crowdrise.com/legacies-of-lesbian-literature-project and you can friend the project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LegLesLit.

The Goldies always mark the end of awards “season” and as we celebrate Wishbone‘s win, we also pause to remember Sandra’s legacy and to celebrate her last Goldie Award.

Casey