The December Monthly Muse is out!

Check out the latest issue of NCBPMA’s Monthly Muse.


NCBPMA Members Receive Discount on Self-Publishing Boot Camp

Self-published authors Lisa Alpine and Carla King won’t make you do sit-ups at the next Self-Publishing Boot Camp Workshop: Ten Steps to Self-Publishing Success! But they will explore each destination on your self-publishing journey from conception to distribution. It’s time for you to get that book out of your head and into the marketplace.

NCBPMA members get a $15 discount for this all-day workshop held at the historic Mechanics’ Institute in the San Francisco Financial District.

Date: Saturday, May 1
Time: 9:30  – 4:30 pm
*Cost: $155 (NCBPMA members $140)
*The fee includes the 87-page Self-Publishing  Boot Camp Workbook (a $29.95 value).
For more information or to register, go to and use this discount code: NCBPMAWS

A Biggs Eye ReView: HEART STONES by Josie Iselin

Book Review by Adrienne Biggs, Biggs Publicity & Events, @AdrienneBiggs

Just in time for Valentine’s Day (and American Heart Month) comes a subtle yet powerful picture book, the perfect gift for yourself or someone you adore: HEART STONES by San Francisco-based artist Josie Iselin ( This hardcover book is just one title in her popular series of nature-based photo books, which also includes Beach Stones, Leaves and Pods and Seashells (Abrams publishers).

For HEART STONES, Ms. Iselin captured images of a magical collection of dozens of heart-shaped beach stones using a flatbed scanner and computer. Like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack, collecting and capturing nature’s anomalies has been a fifteen-year love affair for this Harvard and SFSU-trained artist. For this visual subject, she explains, “Heart stones, lifted from their obscurity, with all their cracks and blemishes, lopsided and imperfect,…(their) shape arises, without artifice, from the geologic weaknesses and variations within them…Love is where you find it.”

In this 5-1/4” x 5-1/4” book, each stone expresses a universal feeling: Love, strength, wonder, imagination, sensation, esteem, adventure, congruence and many other human emotions inspired by the solace found in nature. Some of the stones included in HEART STONES were graciously loaned to the author “in a leap of faith” by friends who consider them powerful talismans, intimate vessels that contain deeply intimate connections. My favorite heart stone images were titled Intrigue, Reliance, Gesture and Solitude. Spend some time with this book and discover which resonate most deeply for you.

Josie Iselin has exhibited her work at several coveted art spaces, including in the Bay Area at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Intersection for the Arts, SF Camerawork, SF Art Commission City Site and other venues. She lives with her husband and three children on a steep hill in San Francisco.

The next book in Ms. Iselin’s popular picture-book series, Beach: A Book of Treasures, will be available mid-April, published by NCBPMA member Chronicle Books and available here Look for a Biggs Eye ReView of Beach in a summer edition of the NCBPMA Newsletter!

P.S. Did you know that February is also American Heart Month? Annually since its congressional approval in 1963, the President has issued a proclamation to this effect, to help raise public awareness of heart disease, the leading cause of death among women. For more information, please visit and – Adrienne Biggs

Writers: Get Your Work Published

Register for the BAIPA 2010 Get Published! Institute

When: Saturday, March 13th, 8:30am-5:30pm
Where: Dominican College, Guzman Hall, San Rafael
Specialized Breakout Sessions & Keynote Speakers
Lunch and refreshments included
For more information and to register:


  • Danny O. Snow, Senior Fellow, The Society for New Communications Research – “The e-Book Bandwagon”
  • Scott James, a.k.a. Kemble Scott, best-selling author – “Advice from the Front Lines of the Future of Books”
  • David Mathison, media expert and consultant – “Using Social Media to Build Your Brand to Sell More Books”

Author Event: City of Dragons

city of dragonsAuthor Kelli Stanley, represented by long-time NCBPMA member Kimberley Cameron of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, will speak at Book Passage in Corte Madera on Wednesday February 24th at 7pm to promote City of Dragons.

Kelli has garnered several starred reviews from such literary mags as Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and the late Robert B. Parker gave her this awesome quote just before he passed away:

“City of Dragons is a stunning recreation of time and place that I greatly enjoyed…as will everyone who reads it.”

The book is also an indie pick for February. For more information, visit Kelli’s website.

Besides meeting both Kelli and Kimberley, there is further incentive to attend this event: Wine and cupcakes will be served(!)


Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti at this time. The effects of this crisis reverberate across the world and have created a much-needed interest in Haiti.

Writers Edwidge Danticat and Simon Winchester are both doing their part to get the word out about Haiti.

Danticat has created a book list for those interested in the history of Haiti.

Author and founder of the Haiti chapter of PEN, Georges Anglade and his wife were lost in the quake.

Author Madison Smartt Bell contributed a literary sampler of works about Haiti for The New York Times.

Opportunities abound to send support to Haiti. Please email us if you have news of how the SF Bay Area book and publishing community is helping and we will post it on The Monthly Muse.