The Best Way to Support SSP

It is now close to Christmas and everyone asks you for money and support. SSP is no different but the pitch is different and better. Why? Because we aren’t asking you to spend any money.

Ask your library to buy our books

You read that correctly. Don’t spend a dime, but ask your library to spend the money it has to buy e-books and paperbacks and make sure that they buy the books that Sullivan Street Press publishes.

A big sale is going on right now

All our books are now on sale to libraries. They can buy them for 35% off.When you go into your library with the list of titles published by SSP, you are actually going in and saving them money.

Not a way to undercut bookstores

I know you are thinking that. Your mind is saying right now: If I go to the library and ask them to buy a book written by Mickey Z. or Deborah Emin or Paul Graham, I am hurting my bookstore. But you are not.

What you are doing is helping this publishing company to get its books into more hands than just yours. If you like any of our books, your trip to the library is a gift to this publishing company and to the authors we publish. If all the people who like our books went to their library and asked for the books to be on the shelves or available for digital download, this company and many other small publishers would be financially viable and able to publish more books and put into readers hands many more stories about this world that need to be told.

You could never buy as many copies of our books as the libraries can

Simple math, my friends. Think about it this way too. I can ask each of you to buy a book. I could even ask you to also contribute to our GoFundMe account. But with one visit to the library, you could order all of our books, not spend one penny and make sure that all of our books can be read and enjoyed by your entire community. How many times do appeals for help come this wrapped up with ease and sharing?

Thank you to all of you who will take me up on this project.

Here are the books, with their ISBNs, which the librarian will need to order the books. And if you are asked if our books are available for library purchase, say yes, and say by Baker & Taylor, OverDrive, 3M, and EBSCO. Your librarian will think you are very smart.

Occupy These Photos, by Mickey Z.//e-book ISBN: 978-0-9819428-9-6 Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9963491-0-9

Occupy this Book, by Mickey Z.//e-book ISBN: 978-0-9819428-4-1 Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819428-1-0

Eating Vegan in Vegas, Second Edition, by Paul Graham//e-book ISBN: 978-0-9819428-5-8///Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819428-2-7

Scags at 7, by Deborah Emin//e-book ISBN: 978-0-9819428-6-5  Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819428-0-3

Scags at 18, by Deborah Emin//e-book ISBN: 978-0-9819428-8-9 Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9819428-7-2

#Vegan Thanksgiving: More Thanks

We are a mere two days away from Thanksgiving and it appears that there is way too much for Sullivan Street Press to be thankful for to be expressed all in one blog post. I am definitely thankful that the press has had the opportunity to publish books on being vegan, Eating Vegan in Vegas, and that we are working on its third edition, due to launch in Las Vegas during the Vegas VegFest.

Authors Teaching Publisher

I am grateful to the authors who entrust their books to Sullivan Street Press and want to share with the world their ideas whether they are about what it is like to be a vegan in Las Vegas, meaning a big shout out to Paul Graham. Or an also big hug of gratitude to Mickey Z. for his two books, Occupy this Book and Occupy These Photos. Working on Mickey’s books has been a joy and the look of each book has made me very proud of the quality of the books Sullivan Street Press publishes. I have learned a great deal from both these authors. Paul, in a way, led me to being a vegan and that led me to search out vegans in NYC and see what they were up to which led directly to Mickey and his fascinating talks at cafes, at rallies and that led to the books.

Publisher Meets Incredible Chef

As a publisher, I walk into all kinds of situations to meet new people and learn from them what they are doing. In a similar fashion, I met Laura Theodore, to many known as the Jazzy Vegetarian.  Laura has graciously supplied recipes from her new book, Vegan-Ease to this #vegan blog. I am thankful for the ways in which Laura supports the work Sullivan Street Press does and so, I share with you a favorite recipe of hers:

Spinach-Tomato Vegan Omelet
Makes 2 servings / Ease Factor 3

I tried for years to create a tasty vegan omelet, so I was super excited when I came up with this oven-baked version. Because a tofu-based omelet is more delicate than the classic egg version, I have developed a jazzy method for helping it to stay together when serving. It takes a little bit of extra fuss, but is well worth the effort.
TOMATO LAYER
2 medium tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Several grinds of freshly ground pepper
SPINACH LAYER
5 to 6 cups very lightly packed baby spinach, washed and dried
TOFU “EGG” LAYER
1 block (14 to 16 ounces) firm regular tofu
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (for dusting top)
¼ cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat with vegan margarine a heavy, ovenproof 10-inch round sauté pan or skillet with tight fitting lid.
Arrange the tomatoes in the prepared skillet by overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle the thyme, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper evenly over the top of the tomatoes. Top the tomato layer with all of the baby spinach, pressing it down slightly.
Put all of the tofu “egg” layer ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Spread the tofu mixture evenly over the spinach, smoothing the top as you go.

Dust the top of the tofu layer with the additional 1⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika. Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
Carefully cut the omelet into two servings, by slicing down the middle. Gently lift one-half of the omelet out of the pan, using two very large, flat spatulas. Place it tomato side down onto a rimmed dinner plate. Place a second rimmed dinner plate of the same size firmly over top of the omelet and quickly flip it over to invert the omelet so the tomatoes will now be facing upward. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vegan cheese, if desired. Then, use the spatula to gently fold the omelet over. Proceed plating up the second half of the omelet in the same manner.
Spoon the sauce that remains in the bottom of the pan over each omelet. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

Amount per serving, based on 2 servings: 188 Calories; 11g Fat; 2g Saturated fat; 21g Protein; 107mg Sodium; 7g Total Carbohydrate; 2g Sugars; 4g Fiber

 

Recipe from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease, © 2015 Laura Theodore, reprinted by permission. You can follow Laura on Facebook and Twitter.

E-Books, Print Books and Giving

Ah, it is that time of year again, no, not quite Christmas, but almost my birthday and Chanukah. Now my thoughts turn to snow, the cold and how you can support this publishing company I run, Sullivan Street Press.

Hear my prayers

First I pray that most of you will take it into your hearts to love and to read e-books. Whether you buy them for yourself, buy gift cards for your friends and family, ask your libraries to buy our books, there are so many ways you can both show your support for our e-books while at the same time helping the authors I publish get their stories into a wider world of readers. (To learn more about e-books, here is a recent blog post about e-books.)

Know our mission

I was talking to a new author today and I realized that I don’t outline our mission clearly enough. It is a lofty one, full of the need for more stories being told that will help our readers understand the life around us better. The authors I publish have all helped me to gain things I might not have even known I needed. Paul Graham’s book, Eating Vegan in Vegas helped me to become a vegan. Mickey Z.’s first book with us, Occupy this Book helped me to understand how to be an advocate and activist while his second book, Occupy These Photos was an eye opening series of photos showing activists at work from OWS to the #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations in NYC.

Coming Attractions

It is not seemly, some say, for a publisher to sell her own books through her company. My answer to that is simple: Who cares? The latest volume of the Scags Series, Scags at 30, will be out in May. (You can learn more about the earlier volumes here.)

Look to April for the Third Edition of Eating Vegan in Vegas. This latest edition will be a guide to vegan restaurants in Las Vegas but more than that it will be a resource for all visitors to Las Vegas who want to know what is going on in the Animal Rights community, how the environmental movement is shaping up in Las Vegas, where to go to find the artists and those working to help spread the word about a plant-based life in Las Vegas.

Starting a new poetry series, too

I had a vision in West Virginia of the sort of poetry books that SSP could publish. I know we now have the capacity, through our distributor, INScribe Digital, to make available both e-books and bound books that could have text as well as full-color photos in them. I had been thinking about Liza Charlesworth’s poetry and her photographs for a long time.

Out of these visions and memories, a new hybrid poetry book was born. Liza’s book, Why Happiness Makes Me Nervous, uses text as a trunk for her lyrical narrative of a girl growing into the world and uses photographs as visual poems that expose another set of emotional experiences similar to leaves on a tree that come out of the trunk, her poems. This will be a book to linger within for hours. Whether bought as an e-book or a bound book, it will be a beautiful addition to what we refer to as poetry but as a new hybrid form.Liza’s book will be out in April, in time for National Poetry Month.

Send good wishes, support and your money

SSP is in need of your support as we begin this new year with new books, new authors, new ways of producing books (which I will describe more fully in another blog post) and our continued commitment to see publishing as a creative act.

GoFundMe will gladly take your payments for next year’s work. Thanks in advance.

#Vegan Thanksgiving: Blog from Paul Graham

Paul Graham sent in this wonderful blog about where to eat a #Vegan Thanksgiving meal in the Bay Area and I share it with you.

Thanksgiving at Millennium Restaurant

After two decades as an award-winning vegan restaurant in San Francisco, Millennium Restaurant will celebrate its first holiday across the Bay in Oakland.  Millennium has been recognized as one of the top 25 vegan restaurants in the world.  They are having a very special Thanksgiving Celebration meal featuring roasted kabocha squash, mushroom torte, and desserts like maple-pecan sweet potato pie with bourbon cream and huckleberry compote.  The cost for this premier vegan Thanksgiving restaurant option in the San Francisco Bay Area will be $62 for adults, $30 for children under 12.  This will be a five-course meal and will be served 2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Millennium Restaurant
5912 College Ave.
Oakland, CA.
(photo: Crusted Pumpkin with Lentils)

Fresh from The Farm–2015 Summer Road Trip

It took us almost a full day to set up our campsite at a KOA near Cooperstown, NY, the first stop on our road trip. Six nights of sleeping in our new tent at a campsite set in the midst of vast farmland has meant relaxing into a more quiet environment except for the cows and birds and the coyotes howling and screaming at night. Tranquility is not an overrated state of being.

A lot like heaven, I can say. This kind of quiet is essential for any type of creative work, whether like me you are writing a novel, or you just need to re-calibrate how you live your life. Resetting time’s hold can be an awakening to the greater necessities of one’s soul.

I don’t think everyone must sleep in a tent and walk blocks each day to go to the bathroom, but there is something altered in the day’s rhythm when most of “where” I am has no equivalence to the “normal” life I lead in my urban spaces. We arrive, unpack and set up our tent and gazebo, organize our food, cook our meals surrounded by trees, wildlife (and some not so wild as in the cows grazing around here), a plethora of bugs and all manner of wild flowers. We live within what weather and our energy allows for. So windy nights are fine but not great for putting up our tent, which can become a large kite. Cool is fine to sleep in, but not too cool for those long walks to the bathroom late at night.

At first, my body resists and resents this arduous life. While I’m singing here the praises of an outdoor life, it will be weeks into this trip until my whole being can sing in unison about the benefits of living outdoors. When I uproot myself from the ordinary, from an office space, a routine, friends, adjustments need to be made and over a 2-month period, those adjustments and the work are ongoing as we move from place to place.

The physical and mental aspects of our nomadic life are thrilling. Yet, or more precisely, more consequentially, the creative adjustments are even more thrilling and challenging. Writing Scags at 30 while on the road is a first-time experience for me and this has become the most difficult adjustment for me. Please stay tuned for the things I learn to do and not to do while writing at picnic tables in campsites and while sitting in the car. Being several places at once, real and imaginary, is quite a trip, pun intended.

We’re running a donation page for Sullivan St. Press, please give here: www.gofundme.com/yw769w

We’re Leaving in the Morning, Join Us

Getting on the road, is for us, one of the best reasons to be alive. It connects us to the world, to new people, we see things we won’t see or experience sitting at home and just imagining it. We must be there, right there, wherever “there” is.

What makes getting on the road for us two old ladies one of the most thrilling parts of our lives is that it grounds us, it gives us a place inside ourselves that is almost immutable. The spiritual and emotional healing that occurs when we sleep on the ground, wake up to see the sunrise over a forest or a lake, when we fall almost on our asses looking at the stars at night, each one of those traditional and expected elements of camping are true and truer because they ring that way for everyone who loves to spend time outdoors.

Our car is almost packed. For the first time, we are ready to go before we need to pull out of the driveway. This forward momentum is about being in tune with a need. We discovered it almost from the start of our love affair with camping. My wife and I were in an awful part of the country where lots of road work was making the air sooty and the noise of it was disturbing. We weren’t in some beautiful spot but in some out of the way town in Indiana. We were driving out west for the first time with all our camping gear.

The day was hot, lit by that white light of Midwestern summer sun blasting around us as loudly as the noise of the construction. It is a wonder we felt as we did. Yet, we both looked at each other and realized we were nomads. Constitutionally, we were meant to travel and to be places like that, along with all the beautiful places too. We are meant to be on the road, to be not some beat poets looking for our manhood, but as women who need to be in touch with the entire, or as much of the entire world, as our car can take us to.

Our trips have taken us to so many places. We have made 9500 mile round trips to the west. We have circled the southern United States. We have visited the homes of many American writers, Welty, Faulkner, O’Connor, Sandburg, Wolfe, Cather. Visiting their homes gives us a deeper connection to their work. We enter into places needing to hear what each one has to say. That is one of the keys as to why our trips are so successful. We can never hear enough of the stories that strangers tell us. At night, while we watch the fire or lie in our sleeping bags, we recount these stories to each other. They are the treasures we bring back to share with others.

Join us on this trip by following us here: www.facebook.com/sullivanstpress

If you can help us support the press as well, that would be most appreciated: gofund.me/yw7169w

Why We Need Your Help

Today we are getting ready to leave town. I know that doesn’t sound like a good reason for us to need your help. So, let’s get the mundane out of the way first and then get to the real reasons you’ll want to help us.

We travel, in part, to see what is going on in the world of books, what libraries are like, what the bookstores carry, where they are, where they have disappeared. While we are on the road, we also talk to everyone we meet about books (and enlist them in the Scags at 7 Video Project–more about that in a later post). The fixed expenses for this company include web fees, cell phones, marketing costs, supplies, books and so forth. That’s where we can lag behind. (Go to this link for samples of all our books and links to your favorite bookstores: http://sullivanstpress.com)

Now the exciting part–we are small, we are slow but we are daring. We have so many stories to tell that if we are invited to a party, we threaten to take over the entire conversation with all we have learned about books, the history of publishing in this country, how our libraries developed and grew, where the money came from, why there are agents, where they came from, what it means to be a bestselling author now, what it meant 50 years ago, what it will take to get the big corporate publishers to be more transparent and how we can help both other writers and readers gain the knowledge they need to understand this wonderful world of books.

Our mission statement from the first day we became a publisher was:

“Sullivan Street Press is in business to change the publishing paradigm”

Yes, we are, and you too can be a significant part of this paradigm shift.

I hope what we begin to share with you on this blog won’t be surprising but will be horrifying. That you, like us, will want to get involved in making the necessary changes to a part of the democratic process (that is what publishing is all about–keeping citizens informed of what the world is all about). We can’t let it slip away. Don’t let it slip away.

Stay with me on this blog as we explore more and more of what is happening in the publishing world and how it will affect all authors and all readers. That is really the point. What the big publishers decide to do will affect what you read and where you will find the books and how much you pay for them. Their decisions too will determine who gets to be published and what kinds of stories can be told. We cover this beat in ways no other publisher dares to, so stay tuned for lots of these stories.

Your donations will also help us to get this information out to more readers who also need to know what is being slowly taken away from us–a free press.

Here’s the link to our campaign: GoFundMe.com/yw769w

(Just as you might share the links to our books with friends, please also share our call for help; it is most sincerely appreciated.)