Brainstorming: Plans for 2023

We all need a brainstorming day. Our culture seems to value the end of the calendar year as a time for collecting our thoughts, setting goals and focusing on moving forward. But I think we all need to do such brainstorming and organizing periodically.

First, a retrospective: Parisian Phoenix published its first book in September 2021. In the last fifteen months, we have released nine books. Yup, nine. See them, and if you prefer to support independent bookselling, and buy them here on Bookshop.org. If Amazon is easier for you, here’s your link. And to be fair, I’ll add Barnes & Noble here.

We sketched out a production schedule for the first half of 2023 and the major project that occupied most of our summer has been sent back to the drawing board for the third time. Such news hits hard at first, but set-backs and disappointment are a part of business– and life.

And once everyone around the table recovers from the shock, new ideas flow and new options develop. We’re in that phase now of reaching out to new partners to complete the project when the original one changed their mind. The most interesting part to us as a publishing company is this non-fiction book was supposed to be fun and easy, a preparation for a more sensitive and difficult one on reproductive rights we had scheduled in the future. Lessons, growing pains, trial by fire.

Our next solid project, as this author seems quite diligent and excited, should be a spiritual devotional, organized by theme, to help people retain their personal values in an increasingly technological and scary world. That is scheduled for publication in March, to reach the Christian market in time for Easter and those with more secular, non-Christian, or pagan beliefs will have it for spring, which unlike this sun-less and dreary time at the end of the calendar year, shows fresh beginnings and hope. And if you believe in the writing adage “show, don’t tell,” there it is in full bloom.

And if you believe in the writing adage “show, don’t tell,” there it is in full bloom.

January 1 tells you that you have a new beginning, amid snow and darkness and cold. Spring shows you green leaves and budding flowers and sunshine.

— Angel Ackerman

January 1 tells you that you have a new beginning, amid snow and darkness and cold. Spring shows you green leaves and budding flowers and sunshine.

After the devotional, Larry Sceurman returns with his anthology, Coffee in the Morning, which follows his debut novella, The Death of Big Butch. Larry has a delightful sense of humor, an air of nostalgia and a memory for detail that captures not only the fullness of life but also many regional features that even I had forgotten. When was the last time you watched the Mummers parade? Never saw the Mummers? Then, you’re not from anywhere near Philadelphia.

We’ve had multiple unsolicited submissions from outside the Lehigh Valley, which means we need to find more events devote more time to our marketing plans to generate more income to support more books. We’re squeaking by now almost generating enough money to pay for the next book based on the latest release’s sales, but we also need to guarantee sustainability on more than a book-by-book basis.

We need to update our website with our latest releases and authors, list our upcoming calls for submissions (among them some potential new anthologies and a photography scavenger hunt) and sit down with all our authors.

Some potential upcoming books:

  • several potential memoirs, including one about a multi-generational tavern business and some mid-20th century Hungarian and American recipes
  • hopefully a new Fashion and Fiends novel
  • the still-in-production cat book
  • a second edition of Darrell Parry’s poetry book, Twists: Gathered Ephemera
  • a new novel by Seneca Blue, who penned Trapped, a rom-com with photography by Joan Zachary
  • a non-fiction title about pedagogy/education
  • a non-fiction book on practical advice for RV/van living

And hopefully 2023 will bring to fruition some collaborations in discussion right now.

So, whatever your goals, hopes or dreams, keep brainstorming and don’t let the calendar decide how or when you move forward.

Published by Angel Ackerman

Writer, Editor, Traveler, Fashionista, Francophile, Student and Mother Publisher at Parisian Phoenix (parisianphoenix.com) Author of the Fashion and Fiends series

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