The Telemachus Press Blog

Frisky Wins His Heart by David Phillip Parks & Marlene McKnight Koenig

A woman unexpectedly finds a kitten while at church and decides to bring it home. But her husband is not happy with her new pet.  Frisky soon makes their home its wonderland, filled with excitement and accidents. What Frisky brings most to their home is finally appreciated by both adults!

Available for purchase at these and other online retailers:


Barnes and Noble

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Posted in: Main
Maddie Kane by Patricia Zoratti

Where folks marry 'til death do them part, and the sugary aroma of pralines faintly hangs in the air, lays a remote Louisiana parish called Boggy. Evil? A romantic spirit? A garrulous, grouchy police dog that dreams of a town with more crime? Nothing is what it seems as hometown darling, Maddie Kane, unwittingly discovers in a place where superstitions and the Atchafalaya swamp reign supreme. Maddie's impassioned pleas for police to consider wily Beau Blackthorne, son of the most prominent family in town, as a viable murder suspect, police swiftly rule her fiancé Dwight's death an accident. Nineteen-year-old Dwight Harris, found dead in the swamp, comes back to Boggy in spirit form. He is sure that his death was an accident, but plays up the "Restless Spirit Syndrome" for the Celestial Elders, to buy precious time and be close to his beloved Maddie. Sure that everyone had it wrong, and after being patted on the head and told to go home by the police, an indomitable Maddie picks up her crippled heart and marches herself off to the police academy. With her unconventional police dog, Ebola, by her side, Maddie Kane embarks on a career as a deputy, seeking emotional salvation for herself and justice for her departed love, Dwight. With no chance of having a brilliant career, plucky Deputy Kat Cooney takes the art of doing nothing to new heights. Naïve rookie Deputy Maddie looks to Kat to mentor her, much to the dismay and surprise of those around her. Even jaded Kat isn't prepared for what Maddie unearths when she defies cranky Lieutenant Darnell's orders and shakes up the Blackthorne name, changing Boggy's tranquil reputation forever. It's a wild ride atop Deputy Maddie's motorbike, with her intrepid police dog, Ebola, next to her in his sidecar. Maddie Kane will tickle you, tug at your heart, and take you to the outer limits of your imagination.

Available for purchase at these and other retailers:


Barnes and Noble


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Posted in: Main
Betrayal & Conquer: An American Story of Courage & Resilience By Ramona Ortega-Liston

Betrayal & Conquer: An American Story of Courage & Resilience By Ramona Ortega-Liston

Dr. Ramona Ortega is the daughter of Mexican migrants that immigrated to the United States in the 1930’s seeking the American dream. After enduring years of physical and emotional hardship throughout the 1950’s, Ramona and members of her large family found the dreams they sought. This is the inspiring story of one of the nine children born to Maria and Blas Ortega who set out to pursue her own American dream. Her name is Ramona. 

Not letting the stifling poverty she knew as a child stop her Ramona moved from the Iowa cornfields to Arizona pursuing her dream of going to college. She was triumphant in her educational quest successfully earning an Associate of Arts degree from Scottsdale Community College (with highest distinction), a Bachelor of Science degree (magna cum laude) from Arizona State University (ASU) and a Master’s degree from Harvard University. But she was not finished going on to earn a doctorate from ASU eventually becoming an associate professor at The University of Akron where she was named one of six “Women “Trailblazers.” Ramona pursued other aspects of her American dream by volunteering for the Bush-Cheney Transition Team (2000-2001) later becoming a Co-Host for the Presidential Inaugural Committee Awards Luncheon “Leave No Child Behind.” And, yes, Ramona danced at four presidential inaugural balls! 

Ramona has many years of public service to her credit becoming a Charter Member of the ASU Research Park Board of Directors and a member of the Arizona Governor’s Trade Delegation to Japan. She is the recipient of three prestigious presidential appointments. She was appointed by the Reagan Administration to the Community Colleges of the Air Force Board of Visitors and received the prestigious Air Force Award for Meritorious Civilian Service. Next Ramona was appointed by the George H. W. Bush Administration to the Army Command and General Staff College Advisory Board and to the National Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. Ramona’s many tiered career includes being an associate in the investment banking firm of Boettcher and Company and she later served as director of the Unaccompanied Minors Shelter Care Program (UMSCP) receiving special recognition by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General for creating a model shelter for unaccompanied minors. 

Dr. Ortega’s interest in government and politics began as a Scottsdale Community College student aide to Sandra Day O’Connor in 1975 later becoming Deputy Administrative Assistant to Congressman John McCain (now U.S. Senator). She has been a dynamic speaker on Hispanic and women’s issues at Harvard University and Radcliffe College and is a published author. Among her many research publications are articles on the variables influencing public sector careers of Hispanics and women in higher education. 

Only in America can a daughter of Mexican migrants grow up to accomplish the things Ramona has and to live her idea of the American Dream; few expected that she would become a world traveler presenting academic papers on six of the seven continents. Ramona’s story is inspirational and illustrates that through hard work and educational preparation anyone can rise above their humble beginnings and enjoy the fruits of an independent and courageous spirit.

Available for purchase at these and other retailers:


Barnes & Noble

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Posted in: Main
The Bottom Line – A management primer for first line law enforcement supervisors by Arthur P. Meister

The Bottom Line – A management primer for first line law enforcement supervisors by Arthur P. Meister

The most important position in any management hierarchy is the first line supervisor. It’s where the rubber meets the road for ensuring an organization’s mission gets done as expected. And yet, it is the position least likely to receive any management training when it’s needed most. While some may get nominal experience in relief supervisory assignments, most don’t get the opportunity to truly learn and reflect on the proper approach to - and relationship with - the position they will occupy. This should happen before functional duties take command of their time and attention. Many bring former interpersonal habits and reasoning power into their new position. Rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures often dominate a new manager’s attention. 

This book provides a reality-based introduction to issues newly promoted law enforcement supervisors should know sooner rather than later. It explains the role interpersonal skills and orientation play in management success. Any leader’s influence is sustainable to the extent subordinates are willing to let it effect them. While much is written about management expectations of subordinates, role also involves recognizing and meeting basic subordinate expectations, too. It helps set the right interpersonal tone and tenor for effectively managing others. It also builds a strong foundation from which to coach and counsel them the right way. A properly fulfilled role also helps lessen the potential for personnel problems and strengthens any official action when needed to address one. 

This book challenges the reader to become familiar with a decision making bottom line before having to deal with crisis and controversy. A bottom line is the moral boundary that should never be crossed. It is the line in the sand that prepares one to lose the deal, a friendship, allow someone guilty to go free, even damage your cause, for the sake of protecting personal integrity, and what will likely be everyone’s longer term best interest. 

There are too many examples of managers and subordinates alike who help or abet others doing wrong in the name of loyalty and friendship that has them later lamenting, “I wish I hadn’t said or done that.” 

That’s because so much of law enforcement service involves emotionally charged interactions. This reality raises the bar for loyalty and friendship when actions are revisited or adjudicated by lawful oversight authority. It can compel a choice between honesty, loyalty and friendship, in ways no other occupation demands with such direct and damaging consequences. In other words, how to avoid surpassing what one later finds should have been their bottom line. 

All of this is important for maintaining a professional workplace when dealing with issues unique to law enforcement, i.e., overreaction, informants, officer involved crime scenes, the public trust, etc. 

A professional work environment can exist anywhere, from the precinct station on the meanest street, up to and yet noticeably absent in the plush and pristine corporate office. That’s because management sets the tone and tenor of all workplace activity. The keys to a manager’s success require understanding one’s proper role, knowing his or her moral boundaries, and employing the interpersonal and functional skills that help maintain a professional work environment regardless of its unique circumstances and the challenges it must face.

Available for purchase at these and other retailers:


Barnes & Noble

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Posted in: Main
Kiss the Sky by DC Gallin

Refreshing, liberated and sexy, Trouble Magazine, Australia This is London in the heady nineties. Claudia, an aspiring painter, drops out of college and squats a freezing cold studio in the East End of London. She is joined by beautiful Paloma and a statuesque lesbian Q who has never quite given up on the idea of seducing Claudia. From their diet of tinned sardines and apples, to their night-time escapades in which they film each other on the roof wearing nothing but silver angel wings and roller skates, Kiss the Sky chronicles the humorous coming of age quest for creativity, independence and sexual freedom while living like artists on next to nothing. Soon Claudia and her friends are sucked into the maelstrom of the dance music revolution taking over the capital. Although this peaceful movement is violently opposed by the authorities, they immerse themselves with infectious enthusiasm. But of course life is not all just play and parties and their naive idealism soon gets them into deeptrouble. When the girls are evicted from the studios after organising an illegal rave, Claudia finds herself increasingly on her own and even homeless… Will Claudia and her friends be able to escape the matrix and stay on their un-prescribed path in the face of real life challenges and adversity? Escape with Kiss the Sky into various parts of bohemian London, in search of an alternative, non materialistic way of life!

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Posted in: Main
Book Review Tips (the quick version)

1.     Find reviewer appropriate for your book’s genre/category.

2.     Check your reviewer’s qualifications.

3.     Avoid paying for review services.

4.     Send your book.

5.     Follow up!

6.     Follow up again!

7.     Review each review you receive.

8.     Select the reviews you would like to showcase.

9.     Post your selected reviews to websites.

10.  Repeat the steps for each review.

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Posted in: Self-Publishing
Your Plastic Surgery Companion: A Consumer’s Guide to Facial Plastic Surgery by Ross A. Clevens, M.D., F.A.C.S.

In his newest publication, renowned Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ross Clevens offers patients a must-have guide to Facial Plastic Surgery. A Consumer's Guide to Facial Plastic Surgery: Your Plastic Surgery Companion has eight steps to prepare you for the entire facial plastic surgery process. You will learn how to improve your current beauty practices so that you come closer to your aesthetic goals well before consulting with a facial plastic surgeon.

The book is replete with actual before-and-after patient photos, dozens of patient testimonials and anecdotes taken directly from Dr. Clevens and his practice - one of America’s most successful practices. Dr. Clevens’ peers across the globe learn from his innovative discoveries that provide patient better results in a shorter procedural and recovery time. Enjoy the intimate behind-the-scenes perspective into the world of plastic surgery.

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Posted in: Main
Are You A "Real" Publisher?
We are often asked whether or not Telemachus Press is a “real" publisher. The answer is, of course we are!

With Telemachus Press:
  • your book will be professionally formatted for eBook, hard cover or soft cover
  • Covers will be designed using licensed/owned images you provide or stock images combined for a unique look
  • eBooks will be converted for display on Kindle devices as well as ePub readers
  • ISBNs will be assigned and a Library of Congress Control Number assigned upon request.
  • Books can be distributed through Ingram Content Group’s Lightning Source Inc. (or CreateSpace if desired), Amazon KDP, or Smashwords (or even direct to Nook Press, iTunes and Kobo)
  • Your book will be available to all popular online book retailers and traditional book retailers if desired

What makes us unique is that:
  • You keep all royalties
  • You keep all rights
  • You have significant control of the process
  • You get to make all marketing decisions

Its that simple. Learn more by visiting us at or email us at

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Posted in: ePublishing
Its Christmas…in July!

Its Christmas…in July!

Ok, its hot, humid and way too early to start thinking about having your book ready for the holiday shopping season. Right? Wrong! While I will admit that the holidays aren’t just around the corner, it is time to start planning for the release of that new book that you want to have available for the holiday shopping season. While Telemachus Press takes about 4 weeks to do our part of an eBook and 6 to 8 weeks to do our part of a print book, the rest of the process can take a significant amount of time especially as the publishing sites begin to become backed up due to increased volume of books—not to mention the delivery system. Book production and publishing take time. Editing, cover design…and redesign…and re-redesign, file formatting and conversion and the publishing approval and proofing process all take time. It is a lot of work and you want it done right. So lets look at the calendar and start counting backwards so we can do a little planning.

November 25, 2016 Black Friday - As of today, there are about 20 weeks until Black Friday (although with all the money spent on that day it should be named Green Friday), the official start of the holiday shopping season. 

November 11, 2016 Book Availability Day - You want your print book and eBook to be available with the online retailers a couple of weeks before Black Friday so that it gets fully situated with their ordering and inventory control systems and you are able to get initial reviews and other information on your sales page completed.

October 21, 2016 POD Upload Day – Since you will want a proof of your print book and enough time to make adjustments if necessary to achieve perfection, you will need to be uploading your print book to the publishing sites about 3 weeks prior to the desired availability date. For color books you can move this date two weeks earlier for safety.

September 23, 2016 POD Interior and Cover Initial Review Draft – In order for the author to have input into the look of their print book, we need to have time to exchange drafts and try different features. This is an iterative process and can take up to a month. It can go much faster but just as very few marketing plans survive the first interaction with the consumer, very few initial drafts of a print book remain intact after the first review by the author. The manuscript just looks different when it is all properly formatted.

September 9, 2016 eBook Interior and Cover Review Draft – Similar to the POD version, the eBook draft must be reviewed and adjusted—especially the all important, front cover. Again this iterative process can take two weeks to complete.

August 26, 2016 Edited, Proofed, Final Form Manuscript Delivery – Mark this date on your calendar. This is the date you must submit your manuscript in order to complete the entire process in time for the holiday shopping season.

So if you are still writing or need to submit your book to the editor, better get started…Christmas is just around the corner.

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Posted in: Self-Publishing
Publish Your Book... NOW

Professionally Publish Your Book…NOW!

The End, those two words that give every author a sense of relief, accomplishment and an opportunity to relax—not so fast.

There are at least three universal truths about becoming a successful author:

·      Writing a book is hard.

·      Getting the book published is harder.

·      Telling the world about your book is the hardest.

Fortunately you can do much of the work yourself and if you don’t have the time or skills required, there is professional help available for every step of the way. 

As a partner in a successful publishing/author services company, I speak with authors every day. Most authors tell me that their story had been rattling around in their head for many years before they actually found the time to write it down. Once their story was out, they felt a sense of relief. The pain and agony of “giving birth” to their book was over and they were ready to sit back and review offers from all of the agents and publishers they contacted. But for most authors, those offers never came and the harsh reality of how difficult it is to break into the world of traditional publishing began to set in.

“It’s not your book that’s the problem…it's the system.”

Book agents receive numerous manuscripts every month and must sort through them based on several filters they have established for themselves. The rejection of your book isn’t necessarily a personal comment from their perspective. It is simply a business decision. They can only process so many books and they must select those that best meet their “formula for success.” Unfortunately based on their initial review, your book apparently didn’t meet those criteria. The problem is not necessarily your book. It may be ready for publishing. The problem is that the system is letting you down. Your thoughts now turn to self-publishing. 

While some (usually those within the traditional publishing industry) continue to feel self-publishing is a less than desirable way to publish, nothing could be farther from the truth. Self-publishing has many advantages:

·      Make more money per book.

·      Opportunity to establish a track record of sales.

·      Better control over your book (pre- and post-publishing).

But like anything that is worth doing, it takes hard work…lots of it.

“Reader’s expect a professional presentation of your work.”

I doubt that the book-consuming public cares or knows who published your book. Quality of the writing, reviews/recommendations, book synopsis, cover (yes, I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but it happens), price/value and familiarity with the author are factors that I consider when purchasing a book. The publisher’s name is not really on my list.

Readers do, however, expect to see a professional presentation of your work. That's where following these best practices come into focus.

1.     Have your manuscript edited by a professional.

2.     Arm yourselves with the right tools to do the complete job.

3.     Choose your publishing partners wisely.

 “If you start with a better manuscript,

you will end with a better book.”

1. Professional editing is critical.

If you start the publishing process with a better manuscript, you will end with a better book. But it is difficult (or impossible) to edit your own work. Editing is hard work, takes time and requires specialized skills.  If you are not paying editors for their services, they may not be as diligent as necessary in their review of your manuscript as you need them to be. Hire a professional editor, verify their credentials and ask for samples of their work. They should welcome your participation and interaction in the process. It is your book; make sure it is edited according to your wishes along with commonly accepted standards for grammar, punctuation and clarity. Remember to specify if you are looking for content editing (story line, character development overall accuracy/consistency of events) or copy editing (grammar, punctuation and spelling).

“Acquire the tools and skills to do it right.”

2. Arm yourself with the proper tools.

Just like any project your undertake, if you want to do a professional job you must acquire the tools and skills to do it right. Fortunately the tools for publishing a book are not as extensive as the tools necessary for many other endeavors. Basically, you need a word processing software such as MS Word for simple documents or Adobe InDesign for more complicated manuscripts, a cover development tool such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator and for a truly professional look to your books, tools/ability to convert your finished manuscript into the popular eReader formats. With these tools, you can begin to format your book, design the cover and convert it into the formats for publishing.

Proper book interior formatting is critical. For eBooks, it is best to keep the formatting somewhat simple so that it converts properly and looks good on the maximum number of eReader devices. Stick to one font (like Times New Roman) and use Bolding, Italics and indentation (although it is best to limit indentation to a maximum .5) to show emphasis. Keep the font sizes between 10 pts. to 16 pts. and use MS Word’s Normal Style. Automatic bulleting and other styles can also cause problems with eBook conversions. If you want a special font or graphic element, convert those to images and insert them in the MS Word document.

For print book formats, you can use a variety of fonts, font sizes and images to achieve the desired look and feel. Be sure to leave sufficient space in the gutter so that all of the text can be easily read when the book is opened. 

When designing the cover, be sure to use materials that you own or have been properly licensed for use in commercial ventures such as book publishing. Items taken from the Internet are not necessarily properly licensed for use in book publishing even if the are listed as “Royalty Free.” When in doubt, contact the site owner and get permission specifically for book publishing in all formats. It is best to stick to the established sites for images such as iStock Photo, ShutterStock or similar sites. While the licenses for images from these sites are not exclusive, often you can combine several images into a unique cover. Lastly, be sure to list these images on the copyright page according to the owner’s license agreement requirements.

3. Choose your publishing partner wisely.

There are many good options for publishing the print and eBook versions of your book. Creating publishing accounts on these sites is relatively easy and straightforward. And the best news is that they will pay you the full amount of the royalty due, directly to you. Here are the most popular but by no means the only options. Each site has features that may be a better fit with your particular needs so I encourage you to visit each site and conduct your own assessment.

CreateSpace – This is the Amazon-owned option for publishing your print book. They can publish your soft cover print books in all popular sizes, with a B&W or color interior and distribute them through and/or other retailers. CreateSpace does not currently offer hard cover books.

Lightning Source Inc. – This is the digital print division of Ingram Content Group. It has options for both soft and hard cover print books and eBooks, includes all popular book sizes and can print in B&W or has three options for color printing. Most authors will qualify for their Ingram Spark program that is specifically designed for smaller publishers.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing – As its name says, this is the place to publish the Kindle version of your eBook for sale on Amazon. You can upload a formatted MS Word document or create your own mobi file for uploading (recommended).

Nook Press – The eBook publishing site for Barnes and Noble. You can upload a formatted MS Word document or an ePub file.

Apple iTunes Connect – The special site to publish eBooks directly on Apple iBooks through iTunes Producer and iTunes Connect. You can upload an ePub document to this site.

Smashwords – Not only a retailer of eBooks in a variety of formats, but Smashwords will also wholesale your eBook to other retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBook, Kobo, Baker and Taylor and several other retailers. This is a very simple way to get your eBooks on all sites without having to create accounts on each site.

“The cheapest option may not always be the best.”

If you elect to hire a professional to create the formatted interior files, create the interior and convert the eBook files, selection of the right partner is critical. A poor decision can significantly impact your ability to control your own destiny and may result in a less than acceptable look for your book. There are many options available for formatting, converting and publishing your book. And the cheapest option may not always be the best.

Here are my thoughts about selecting a qualified partner to perform these services:

·      Check credentials of the prospective partner looking not only at their relevant experience, reviewing their website and asking for samples of their work but also by calling references.

·      Have any agreements reviewed by a professional. Be sure the agreement specifies the exact type of services that will be performed and the fees for those services. Also ensure that you understand if the partner is performing “work for hire services” or if they will be retaining some portion of the rights and royalties to your manuscript—or possibly future works. Work for hire services mean that they are being paid to do work for you and that after completion, you own all the rights to the work.

·      Always ask the prospective partner one question, “Who pays the royalty to me?” If the publishing partner collects the royalties and then pays you, investigate further to determine the portion of your rights or royalties that they will be keeping. While there may be value in this type of relationship, be sure that the value is commensurate with the portion of your rights and royalties retained.

·      Choose a partner who allows you to actively participate in the process. This is your book and you should be actively involved in its creation. If you hire an editor (recommended), talk to the editor and help them understand your original intent. This will allow your editor to “get inside your head” and will assist them in making suggested changes. Work with the formatter to ensure the book interior has your desired look and feel.  And stay close to your cover designer so that the most important advertising piece for your book is created the way you envisioned it.

·      Be sure to let your partners do their work and listen to their advice.  If you have selected the right partners, they have done this before and will help you avoid some common mistakes.

Respectively submitted,

Steven Himes

Steven Himes is a principal in the innovative independent publishing and author services company, Telemachus Press.

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