Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Almost sounds silly, doesn't it? What else should a publishing company
be about? But the truth is, that many of today's companies are only
looking at the bottom line. Just look at the websites of some of the
largest companies out there. They'll say it right on their web-page.
Publishing has become a numbers game. Just as visual media has long
given up on content and merely produces syndicated trash, so too have
many in the publishing world turned to famous names and endless
marketing to produce garbage. Their CEO's are running around
frantically as they bark orders to meet or maintain "last years
percentages." They are working social media to death. And most book
conferences speak much more about "getting noticed" than about the
actual content of a "good old fashioned great story!"
SwordPen Publishers barely considers the bottom line. As a matter of
fact, we live in the red - in order for our stories to be read! We
care about kids! We'd give our books away for free if we could! [We
actually do! Check out RoomToRead.org.] Children absolutely love our
stories! All over the world! And they have great taste! So do their
parents! Every story is crafted with a mother's love. From old
fashioned fables (yes, we are not embarrassed to admit it!) to
edgy/quirky/funky stories, SwordPen delivers books that children read
over and over, or keep asking their parents to read to them again and
again. One of our illustrators recently related that her husband keeps
on reading The Hippo That Flew with his morning cup of coffee! But
that is very understandable, since he's a mere fifty-two years young!
SwordPen Publishers will be releasing two more titles this summer. My
Dog Ate It! and Of Course I Love You! And we are devoting just a
little of our time speaking to investors to help us get out of the
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It’s been a day of praise for SwordPen Publishers. Two especially heart-warming acknowledgments, that came from opposite ends of our readership spectrum, show how diverse our readers are. And that is why we claim that our books are from “three to ninety-three.”
The first came from RoomToRead.org. They are an amazing organization that places wonderful stories around the globe. Many children that will never see the inside of a library are able to read lovely stories that bring them such happiness. A publishers book has to be approved before RoomToRead will accept the book for their young readers. After receiving our first book, we contacted them to see if they were interested in our more recent releases, such as The Hippo That Flew and Don’t Get Stuck On Being A Duck!
Here was the response of RoomToRead.org.
“Based on the quality of the first book you sent, I don’t believe we need to review the other titles before accepting them for donation. I really enjoyed reading through How Mice Became Small and I am sure children who use our libraries will as well!”
We nevertheless wanted them to see our next gorgeous children story book – that will be out before the New Year. Here was their response.
“Don’t Get Stuck on Being a Duck! is another fantastic one that we enjoyed reading immensely."
But the height of our day came from a busy mom, who wrote a quick one sentence remark (along with a picture of her son holding an ice cream cone – this kid was having his ice cream and reading it too!), that simply read …
“My son can’t stop reading this book!”
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
After nearly four years, a plagiarism lawsuit still continues in
Federal Court. But what makes this case so unique is that it is
between one of the biggest law firms in the world (Davis Wright
Tremaine)--and a single CEO (Zev Lewinson) acting pro se.
The following was the original court motion order and can be found on
the Pacer website for the United States District Court - Southern
District of New York:
SwordPen vs. Holt has been scheduled for oral argument on all pending
motions before the Honorable Kenneth M. Karas,United States
District Judge, on Wednesday, September 9,2009 at 10:00am in Courtroom
521,U.S.District Court, 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, New York
10601. Oral Argument set for 9/9/2009 at 10:00 AM before Judge Kenneth
M. Karas. SO ORDERED (Signed by Judge Kenneth M. Karas).
Holt has retained the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine as defense counsel
in this "David versus Goliath" plagiarism suit. SwordPen Publisher CEO
Zev Lewinson is acting as pro se litigator in the case. After several
rounds of written arguments and repeated requests for dismisal by DWT,
alongside requests by Lewinson for discovery, both sides appeared
before His Honor Judge Karas. Davis Wright Tremaine is the prestigious
firm that waged an epic battle against Exxon for almost two decades in
the now historically infamous Valdez oil tanker spill.
DWT "won" the oral arguments and a forty seven page response was
written by Judge Karas. Saying that it was a "close call," Judge Karas
explained that he seldom writes more than a two or three page decision
to explain his views, and that many times he merely issues a statement
from the bench. That forty seven page response may one day become a
case study for how huge publishers can get away with stealing "ideas"
(that are not protected under copyright law) and change them (barely)
enough to avoid intellectual property theft. It's a case that many law
schools will surely enter into their curriculum.
(just Google lewinson vs. holt)
DWT then asked Mr. Lewinson if he would sign a document stating that
he will not appeal or refile the suit under the updated copyright of
his allegedly plagiarized story. For that signature they were willing
to forgo a request of fees for 108K spent by Holt as defendants. When
Lewinson refused to be intimidated, DWT filed the motion for fees, and
he and Holt's legal team were again asked to appear in court before
Judge Karas. At that meeting Judge Karas berated DWT and said that
"Mr. Lewinson is a very bright person ... and consulted with counsel
and acted in good faith ... to put it bluntly, I've seen a far less
(amount) of persuasive arguments and professionalism from (other
lawyers) than I've seen from Mr. Lewinson." His Honor continued in his
praise of Lewinson, saying ... "I think the way you have conducted
yourself in this lawsuit is actually quite admirable. It's not just
because I like your book (better than the dumbed down version
plagiarized by Karen Katz)." As Judge Karas continued his effusive
praise for Mr. Lewinson, he was interrupted by Mr.Balin (Holt's gun
for hire) in an effort to stop the flow of accolades. His Honor than
warned that Holt may continue with their motion but that it might be
more wise to quit while they are ahead (on technical grounds) and
behind (in the 108K in fees).
At that point the court warned that it would not grant fees and Mr.
Balin requested permission to withdraw his request for fees.
At the present Lewinson is deciding if he will refile the suit. "I
learned a lot the first time," Mr. Lewinson explained. "Holt knows
they are wrong. They tried to intimidate me and it backfired. I barely
understood what oral arguments were and was only able to devote a few
hours a week to deal with the onslaught of paper that they sent me. My
inexperience and lack of legal knowledge compared to Holt's well oiled
obfuscation machine and battery of legal talent was like a mouse
fighting a lion. But I learn fast and I am a writer. Most important,
the truth is on my side. That said, I'd still prefer to use my energy
in a positive way - producing more stories for the children of the
world. On the other hand ... I'd still love to go to discovery!"
Lewinson is waiting for his updated copyright at which time he will
decide whether or not to continue this ongoing saga. You can contact
him at firstname.lastname@example.org for documentation with regard to the suit.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It is ten P.M., and my first grader is still up, and so after sending
her to bed for the fifth time, I decided to turn negative time into
quality time, and so I figured I'd read your latest story, The Hippo
That Flew, to her. And so as she sat perched on my lap, I began
reading a story that I enjoyed as much as she did! I had no idea as to
what the outcome of the story would be ... well, I just can't describe
what a beautiful story it is! Thank you so much for taking the time to
produce such a beautiful book! I'm sure it will win a Caldecott! Or a
Nobel Peace Prize at the very least!
Monday, March 1, 2010
All of us at Swordpen publishers are dedicated to providing quality, entertaining, and stimulating literature for children. Although most parents would love for their child to take up an interest in reading, it’s pretty difficult to get books to compete with flashy video games, movies, and TV shows. But a great way to get your child reading more is to buy children’s books as gifts.
Fiction children’s books are easily available and make a great gift for holidays, birthdays, and just-because days. Kids (and adults) love surprise gifts, so find out what your child is interested in an get them a book based on those interests.
Here a few fun reasons why books make the perfect gift:
•Fiction children’s books are easy to wrap!
•Unlike toys, books are pretty hard to break. (Unless it’s in the hands of a 2-year-old.)
•Books aren’t lead-based and don’t have any tiny parts that can cause choking.
•Books are trans-fat free.
•You don’t have to worry about buying the right size. With fiction children’s books, one size fits all.
•Unlike that crazy swing set you bought last year, books don’t require complicated assembly.
•Books have a long shelf life.
•A good book never goes out of style.
•Books are a quiet thing for your child to do.
•Books nurture your child’s imagination and make them more curious about the world around them