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friday, april 22, 2011

Jolt: a rural noir Wins Bronze for Inspirational Fiction in National Living Now Awards

Nine years and counting since Roberta M Roy began research and the eventual completion of Jolt: a rural noir. Alva Press, Inc., did all she could to help her along. And then yesterday, a break! Jolt: a rural noir was awarded a bronze in the Living Now national competition for independent publishers sponsored by Jenkins publishing house.

Alva can't tell you how delighted Roy was--not only be recognized--but to have been understood! The category in which Jolt: a rural noir received the award was Inspirational Fiction. It had worked! Roy's discussion of struggle and love and survival following a nuclear meltdown had neither frightened nor depressed its readers. It had inspired them! Exactly as Roy had intended it should!

But how could a book on a nuclear event that depicted an explosion and a three-winged radiation sign on its cover do that? Only as Jolt: a rural noir does it. Only as John Hersey's Hiroshima did it. And Dave Eggers' Zeitoun. And Kamila Shamsie's Burnt Shadows.

In sum, Jolt: rural noir's characters survive and grow. We read of how a community in which inhabitants care for each other heals.

Jolt: a rural noir
debunks the images of looting and vandalism so often disproportionately presented in post-disaster news reporting. And now, oddly--and sadly--events at Fukushima, Japan, confirm the appropriateness of the notion that caught in a disaster, people by nature will work together. 

Alva Press, Inc. expresses its deep appreciation to Jim Barnes, Awards Director at Jenkins Publications for all his time and energy in organizing and bringing to fruition the Living Now independent publishers' book awards which honor of Earth Day.

Also thanks to all those wonderful people listed as having helped Roy along the way on the first page of this site, but most especially to Joan Schweighardt with Grey Core Press for her careful editing; Kim Hornyak, who got Alva interested in Jenkins through the Critic's Bookshelf; Kristi Paonessa for her great cover image; Jeff Kelly, fellow Indy for suggesting and modelling that independent publishing can work; Drs. Bill Dickerson and John Harris reading Jolt: a rural noir for medical-survival information representative accuracy; Nancy Means Wright, author of Midnight Fires, for her kind support and for being the first to recognize Roy as a credible author; Roy's fellow writer, cousin, and sister-under-the-skin, Elizabeth 'Betty' Hampel for her unflagging support and enthusiasm; Kathy Massaro for her fine book design; Kara Griswald, VT, Vergennes, Roy's friend and colleague, for arranging the Skyped interview with the Vergennes Book Club; Roy's sister Wilma Tully for her emotional support and involvement in this website development and attendance and support at booksignings; as well as all Roy's family, friends and supporters who have stood beside her in her determination to share the information and statement of hope intended for the greater good in Jolt: a rural noir.

Roberta in Po-Town, Just dancin'

9:59 am edt          Comments

saturday, april 16, 2011

Smith Publicity to Support Alva Press Publicity Campaign

For the last few months Alva Press has kicked around ideas and researched how best to conduct a publicity campaign to bring Roberta M Roy's masterful saga of love and survival, Jolt: a rural noir, to the public eye. To date Alva has relied primarily on its own website, word of mouth, and the happenstance event that someone will spy the book on Amazon.com and order a copy.

But let's face it. Time is precious. Who cares to read a book that has not been personally recommended by someone the reader respects? Not I for one. Nope.

Unless, of course, it is by an author the reader has previously enjoyed. Or on a topic of current interest. For instance, when I learned that Dave Eggers was talking about the after effects of Katrina, I picked up a copy of Zeitoun. So, too, when I heard Kamila Shamsie on NPR discussing the effects of mass events, culture, and language on the individual in her book Burnt Shadows, I just had to read it myself. And certainly, especially given the ongoing effects of the Fukushima Tae Ishi Plant meltdown, I'm hoping that readers interested in learning more about how individuals and community can respond to a similar disaster might want to run out and purchase the very human story of Jolt: a rural noir. But if you are anything like me, you'll just look to your favorite reviewer or a friend for a thumbs up.

But when you are a fledgling publishing company, how does one get the attention of respected reviewers? It's a big world out there. Where does one start?

Well, a few months back in my circling, I began discussions with
Corinne Liccketto of Smith Publicity, Inc. With her help, for the first time I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. However, the preferred ride would be costly and Alva could not--as much as she wanted it--purchase the services needed.

Time passed and more talk. More discussions. Don't you have a smaller package? Finally we came to a kind of a bare bones agreement where Smith will provide us a professional publicist to write the initial letter of release and a specially tailored list of contacts and Alva will do the footwork and follow up. The campaign will begin in mid June--Alva's option. Smith, with its friendly staff and high efficiency, could be ready sooner, but, modesty aside, it was Alva that wanted to wait until after the Living Now and IPPY awards from Jenkins had been announced.

The Living Now Awards will be announced this Thursday and the IPPY's on May 5. Alva is optimistic that Jolt: a rural noir will place. Although many are cheering for Jolt, only Alva knows just how much research and writing and criticism and rewriting and re-critiqueing went into bringing the book to readiness just to go to print. And then, of course, there was the question of design--both text and cover. So probably that is why Alva is so hopeful.

Roberta in Po-Town, Anticipatin'

12:28 pm edt          Comments

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