A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Dick Cantwell, a
three-time winner of Brewpub of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival®
and a renowned brewer, shares his insights on the surging popularity of craft
beers in a new book, BrewingEclectic IPA: Pushing The Boundaries of India Pale Ale (Brewers
Publications; June 4, 2018; Hardcover $19.95;176 pages; ISBN:
978-1-938469-46-6). Media Connect is proudly promoting this book to the news
Among the most well-respected
and experienced craft brewers in the world, Cantwell explores the history,
trends, and recipes behind the most popular style of craft beer. He provides
scores of tips and methods for the beer-curious to concoct a delectable brew
and shares the story of how and why the proliferation of American IPA came to
“There’s no mistaking
that we are living in the heyday of IPA,” declares Cantwell. “Brewers are using
a wide range of ingredients, from cocoa nibs, coffee, fruits, and vegetables, to
spices, herbs, and even wood, to push the boundaries of the style.”
Dozens of recipes are
contained in Brewing Eclectic IPA, including recipes for IPA with fruits,
herbs, spices, coffees, chocolates and other flavorful sources.
continue pushing the envelope of flavors, adopting new and unusual ingredients
that expand the boundaries of classic beer styles while at the same time
demonstrating reverence for the beers that have come before them,” writes
Cantwell. “This willingness to take risks has driven the growth of craft beer,
as people have gradually rediscovered flavor and rejected blandness in their
food and drink choices over the past few decades.”
Brewers Association reports that IPA, the leading craft style, is now the third
most popular style of all beers. Brewing Eclectic IPA resourcefully
provides a chart that shows how dozens of fruits can be utilized to craft a
delicious IPA. It describes how the fruit should be used (i.e. pureed, juiced,
and chopped), and shares each fruit’s attributes, and recommends what it can be
combined with. Similar charts show a list of vegetables, herbs, botanicals,
spices, and a list of chocolate, coffee and tea forms that can be utilized in
brewing the perfect IPA.
The Brewers Association (BA)
is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and
brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.
Here’s an interview with Dick
1.What inspired you to write Brewing
(BP) contacted me a while back with the idea that BP would publish a series of
books on IPA, each devoted to a different style-type. Of all the types available—English,
American, Double/Imperial, Session, Black, White and Belgian, I chose Eclectic
since it sounded like the most fun, as well as the one best suited to me. I’ve
always tried to be an innovative brewer, exploring new ingredients and techniques
to make delicious beers, and IPA is most often what I drink. It gave me a
chance to do some research on what’s been going on out there, and to develop
some new ideas of my own.
2.What’s the biggest takeaway from the book?
As popular as IPA is,
and as much interest as there is in innovation and the kinds of flavor
combinations one finds, not just in beer but in cooking and other food
products, the opportunity to conceive flavors that go together for both
subjective and scientifically quantifiable reasons, this is a book that should
appeal not just to brewers but to more general readers as well.
3.Why do you believe India Pale Ale (IPA) has
become the most popular style of craft beer? How is it experiencing a
revolution of flavor?
On an awful lot of
beer menus, IPAs are the best beer on offer. They provide brewers the
opportunity to show their chops—to show that they know what they’re doing in
the brewhouse, and that they’re tapped into the latest and most interesting hop
varieties available. With all the fruity new hop varieties being grown around
the world, whole new styles and sub-styles have emerged, showing off juiciness
and interesting combinations with fruit, herbs, wood, and sour aging.
4.Where do you see additional growth for the
It’s really all
across the board, from attracting people who haven’t been craft beer drinkers
with entry level ales and lagers that offer more flavor and enjoyment than the
industrial beers they’re accustomed to, onward to aficionados perennially interested
in whatever’s new. That puts pressure on brewers both to remember they’ve got a
varied audience for their beers and to keep putting out new beers with new
5.In order to differentiate themselves,
brewers are introducing and experimenting with additional ingredients and
brewing techniques. How do they go about doing that?
A lot of the time it
just occurs to them that a particular specialty ingredient lends itself to a
certain style: it plays off malt and hops in a way that either harmonizes with
the base beer, or surprises the drinker with interpretive contrast. Sometimes a
particular hop variety is so reminiscent of a particular fruit or herb that it
just cries out to be combined with. Some combinations are just a natural, and
others are unnatural—yet delicious.
6.Could IPA, as the leading craft style,
eventually become bigger than American lagers and light lagers?
I’d love to say yes,
but I don’t think IPAs are for absolutely everyone. If they were, in fact, I’m
not sure there would be enough interesting hops to go around. There’s no
question that they’re continuing to grow in popularity, and that the brewers
who make those light lagers are getting in on the action with the formerly
craft brands they’ve acquired.
7.Your book shares dozens of recipes from some
of the nation’s top brewers. Which are some of your favorites?
At Magnolia we’re
gradually brewing some of the recipes to try out on our customers. Hot Guava
Monster (a guava habañero double IPA) was very popular recently. I love both
rosemary and juniper in IPA. The jasmine IPA I brewed at Elysian has always
been a favorite of mine, and while as a federal licensee we’re not allowed to
make beer with any THC in it from cannabis, we did recently did do an IPA using
non-psychoactive cannabis terpenes.
In 2004, you received the Brewers Association’s Russell Schehrer Award for
Innovation in Brewing. Tell us a little about that and what you and your fellow
winning brewers have accomplished in achieving that honor – and how you rose up
to be among the most well-respected and experienced craft brewers of today?
It was a great and unexpected honor to
receive Russell’s award in San Diego that year. Looking back on it I feel it’s
been something that’s kept me going, innovating and putting it all on the line
as my career has developed. And it’s a pretty prestigious group, recognizing
the lifetimes of achievement of many of craft brewing’s pioneers and chief
inventors. Those who have been given the award are also well-known for sharing
everything they know with pretty much anyone who asks for help. It’s how we all
got where we are, and it’s one of the open secrets of our industry.
Your book is the first one dedicated to India Pale Ales that are brewed and
fermented using flavorful ingredients that don’t adhere to the German Reinheitsgebot. Why is that significant?
We are fortunate in
the world outside of Germany not to have to worry about the constraints of the Reinheitsegebot. The hoops German
brewers have to jump through in order to call what they produce “bier” are
incredible, and incredibly arcane. These days, of course, German craft brewers
are brewing IPAs and other adventurous styles and risking the opprobrium of
having what they make called something else. I think they’ll get over it.
following nine resources should be a big help to you. Most are free; some
charge a fee. Check them out to see which one meets your needs on scheduling your
posts and managing your level of engagement.
wonder why some blog posts draw a lot more traffic than others?
there are many, many factors for why one post gets read more than others, one
thing is true: It begins with a strong
blog headline is uninteresting, not newsy or controversial, not offering
something of value, or void of a key word or phrase that would appeal to your
target reader, no one will open up the blog post. They’ll see the headline and stop there. No click. No action. No nothing.
Which headlines will provoke or get one’s
a problem or highlight what’s wrong.
an inviting question.
sex, politics, money, religion, or celebrities.
intrigue and mystery.
a shocking fact.
good blog won’t get read, shared, or engaged if the headline is dull or lacks
impact. It is just not enough to craft a
cool blog or a compelling message – competition for readers has never been
greater and people are more distracted than ever.
your blog headline isn’t a screamer, opt out for one that reads like the front
page of a newspaper.
The Memoirs of a Hoodstar: American’s Nightmare- Young, Black & Misunderstood
1.What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
The state of the African American community inspired me to write this book. Growing up in a single parent home in the inner city created what seemed like insurmountable odds for my personal success. Our community was strife with the same old realities of prostitution, severe drug use, poverty, crime and gangs. We were young, poor, angry and often very desperate for a change. Those factors somehow combined to create a volatile generation of young, black men that would capture the country's attention with nightly news reports of gun and gang violence. From that moment on there was a clear divide between us, the angry young black men, and the rest of society. I wrote this book as an open letter expressing the dreams, failures, pains and successes of this group of men. I wrote this book to show the world these men are not the pariahs of society but the actual sons of the very society that created them. We were not "domestic terrorists" just misguided capitalists who did not see our opportunity in the society in which we lived. We are American fathers, husbands, sons and uncles. Despite what the mass media and the politicians told the world we are actually HUMANS who want for our children the same thing everyone else desired for their families. 2.What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
This book is about the human struggle for survival in a world that sees you as marginal, even undesirable. Anyone who relates to the human struggle for survival will be an audience for this book. But more specifically, any person who has personally dealt with the inner-city struggle, the judicial system or the penal system will relate to this story. There are over 2 million Americans in the penal system in this country so not only will they see a story of hope in this book perhaps even their friends and families will see a light of hope from this tale. 3.What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
I hope this book leaves the reader with a sense of hope. Hope for the ones that may not see any sign of hope for their own futures; hope for the son who seems lost in a life of crime and violence; hope for the child who feels he has no chance at a successful life; hope for a community under relentless attack from their own government; hope for the child who does not know his imprisoned parent; hope for the wife who loves a man imprisoned; hope for life.
4.What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
For my fellow authors I offer a few words of wisdom. First, This industry prints MILLIONS books every year from authors of every genre. Your book is only one. Second, the marketing of your project is just as important as the content if you wish to sell books and not just write as a personal hobby. Authors need to allocate a good portion of their resources specifically for marketing to ensure the book reaches its target audience. You may have discovered the cure to cancer but if no one knows about it, know one will benefit. Lastly, it takes a team of good partners to make a book successful. A lot of authors, myself included, are somewhat recluse while creating our woks. It gives us more time to focus and less distraction while in creative mode but you will need the help of good, competent professionals to make your book a successful novel.
5.What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
My experience writing this novel has shown me several trends about the book industry. Hard copy print is a dying medium. We live in an information age were information is transmitted in milliseconds. Consumers have become accustomed to reading information from their digital gadgets. The demands for our personal time and the pace in which information is transmitted has altered how we read. Very few people have the time to sit still and read a novel. Now consumers want to read their novels, business books from their iPhones, cell phones, tablets or laptops computers. I see an ever-increasing demand in the eBook market, as well as digital. This is creating a demand for new ways to market books. The old ways of book signings, book shows, etc. are being replaced with mass texts, emails and Facebook live moments. Authors must figure out new ways to reach and interact with their audiences.
6.What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
Writing this book created a myriad of challenges for me personally. First, since I am a member of the very community I wrote about I struggled with all the emotions that arose while touching on these very sensitive issues. As a child I had family members who struggled with substance abuse so that topic was very personal to me. I grew up poor in the inner city, so I struggled with that issue while writing this book. My family experienced the loss of two family members, both young black males, at the hands of local police officers so that created some unforeseen emotion for me while I wrote this novel. The mass incarceration of millions of young black males created mixed feelings for me. While I understood why society seen the actions and behaviors of these young men as completely unacceptable, I also knew the history and understood the desperation of these men. I was angry yet saddened, if that makes any sense. Lastly, just learning the "business" side of this industry was a challenge. Like most novices I expected to write a book, sell millions of copies, appear on the Jimmy Kimmel show, sell millions of copies and make the NY Times best seller list - all on my first book. Then I learned the reality: this is a business that requires a lot of resources and a lot of personal hustle to succeed. All of my dreams are still possible, but it will take a lot more than just writing a good book. It is a business.
7.If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
We are living in very peculiar times right now in the U.S. Every night we are seeing news reports of conflicts between the races. Every day we see nightly news reports of another innocent victim of police violence. The incarceration rate in the U.S. is higher than any other nation in the world. Why? What is going on with the social fabric of America? Why are these kids so upset they are killing other students in mass shootings at school? What is the appeal of street gangs to our kids? The issues are no longer limited to the inner city. These issues have bled out to our suburban communities all over the country. “Memoirs of a Hoodstar” answers some of these questions for the reader. “Memoirs of a Hoodstar” enlightens the reader to the hopes, dreams, ambitions, disappointments, pains of an entire segment of the population that may not have the attention of the national politicians but certainly has heavy influence over the youth in our society. If we want to understand some of the issues, we must first understand the very people who must deal with them daily. For $20, my book can help the reader understand.
D. Durand Hall is an African American businessman and rehabilitated citizen. During his incarceration, he studied over seven hundred books to understand the legal and cultural ramifications of imprisonment on African American men and their families. As founder and CEO of Urban Multimedia Communications, LLC, he is now committed to creating platforms that inform and promote the minority struggle to the world. For more info, see: www.memoirsofahoodstar.com
bookstores are undergoing a happy resurgence and yet they are precariously
endangered. There’s a book that serves as
a celebration of independent bookstores everywhere and for all those who love
books: Footnotes From the World’s
Greatest Bookstores by Bob Eckstein.
introduction from Eckstern says it all:
are emotional places both for their patrons and for the employees. They are built on the sweat and tears of
hardworking people, each bookshelf lined with the life work of hundreds of
artists. Each of those books represent
endless hours of grind and toil. Often
the bookstore owner and employees are also writers. Is there a space with more fulfilled or
bookstore is also a hangout, a place of solace, a community center, and a venue
for cultural entertainment. There are
many who absolutely live for bookstores and even those who aspire to live in a
bookstore, with some bookstores providing a place to sleep in exchange for
work. What other type of store does
that? The relationship between
bookstores and their customers is give-and-take, reliant on loyalty and
generosity. Customers work on the honor
system and should be applauded-bookstores can be taken advantage of, dispensing
free expertise and human contact only to have their place of business used as a
catalog for online shopping, or a library, or simply a restroom. Bookshop owners and employees are a very
a New Yorker cartoonist, gathered the
untold stories from 75 of the world’s most renowned bookstores – past and
present – and provided evocative color illustrations of each shop. He literally shows a portrait of our lifelong
love affair with books and the indie bookshops that sell them to us. His renderings cherish these sanctuaries for
learning, dreaming, escaping – each one a unique, character-filled home to the
community it serves.
of the stores featured include:
Bookstore, NYC, 1913-1989.
Book Store, NYC, 1927-Present.
Book Shop, Boston, 1925-Present.
Poetry Book Shop, Cambridge, MA, 1927-Present.
Books, Portland, Oregon, 1971-Present.
Book Shop, Bethlehem, PA, 1745-Present.
& Books, South Florida, 1982-Present.
Room, Philadelphia, 1973-Present.
real problem with the book business is that smart people have gotten too busy
to read,” wrote Garrison Keillor in the foreword. “You know it’s true. When my bookstores goes under, I will at last have time to pick up a book,
sit down, and read it for hour after hour.
That’s the good life. I’ll walk
into your bookstore, dear reader, and stand over the fiction table and glance
at the waves, read the first paragraphs and the jacket flaps of fifteen novels,
pick two, go to the counter, commiserate with you about the sad state of the
world, and go home and read. I look
forward to that.”
Ron Hubbard is the most published author in history, according to The Guinness Book of World Records. He released 1,084 books, 29 of which were
book publishing the domain of women? An
AP survey found that nearly 80% of the novels purchased are by women. The majority of literary agents, and book
editors are women as well.
Byrne, in his 1968 book, Writing Rackets,
claimed only 560 of the 182,505 fiction manuscripts submitted to US publishers
each year in the late 1960s were accepted.
That’s one out of every 364.
little over 70 years ago – in – 1947 – Doubleday became the largest U.S.
Publisher, selling more than 30 million copies annually. Penguin Random House
is the largest book publisher today.
with 100 million-plus copies sold include James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Jeffrey
Archer, Mary Higgins Clark, Nora Roberts, Anne Rice, Janet Dailey, and E.L.
James, among others.
are many one-hit wonders, writers who penned amazing breakthrough books that
garnered critical acclaim and great sales figures, but who would never come
close to that success again. Coming to
mind are James Redfield (Celestine
Prophesy), Charles Frazier (Cold
Mountain), James Walter (Bridges of
Madison County), and Xavier Hollander (The
Happy Hooker). Why didn’t they
repeat their success?
Source: An Insider’s Guide to Publishing: Historical Perspectives on the Publishing
Business by David Comfort (Writer’s
Daughter of NFL
Hall-of-Famer Pens Children’s Book On The Pursuit Of Stardom & Meaning Of Friendship
Grimes grew up in a household where she saw firsthand how hard work and
sacrifice needs to be made to achieve success -- or even stardom. Her dad is a
legendary Heisman Trophy winner, a two-time Super Bowl champion, and a member
of the National Football League Hall of Fame, Roger Staubach.
In Michelle’s newest book,
Takes the Stage, the second
in a children’s book series, our young female hero decides to audition for the
school musical along with her canine buddy, Maverick.Not everyone thinks Pidge can learn to sing
or that Maverick can be trained, but Pidge believes.Through their theatrical escapades, Pidge
discovers that singing requires hard work, and that Maverick might not be ready
for his stage debut after all. By the end, Pidge understands that being a star
is all a matter of perspective, and that unconditional love matters more than
Michelle, who wrote
and created the series, joined forces with illustrator Bill DeOre. He enjoyed a
34-year career as a nationally syndicated editorial and sports cartoonist for
the Dallas Morning News.
She says she learned
all about commitment to hard work from her dad who would tirelessly practice
basic fundamentals, even many years into an illustrious career.
The late Pat Conroy,
a best-selling author who wrote several acclaimed novels that were turned into
Oscar-nominated films, The Prince of
Tides and The Great Santini, said
this of Michelle’s book:
“Where is Pidge? is a book for the ages.I know of no American writer who didn’t fall
in love with language by hearing children’s books read to us by our parents.Michelle’s book is charming, funny and
delightful.It is so full of family love
that you’ll want to buy it for every child you know.It has the look, feel, and smell of a classic
1.Michelle, what inspired you to create
a children’s book series?
Writing this series evolved for me from years of journaling. Years ago, I began
attending the Barbara Bush Foundation Celebration of Reading Event in Dallas,
which focuses on the importance of literacy, and I always left inspired to
write. That led me to enroll in the SMU Creative Writing Continuing Education
Program and I fell in love with creative writing. However, the program was not
directed at writing books for children.After drafting a novel, I began writing the story of Pidge at my kitchen
table in a spiral notebook and couldn’t stop. To my surprise, my voice flowed
naturally on the pages and I realized it was my core story. And there began my
entry into the world of writing for children. I loved writing the first Pidge
story and sharing the story with children, so it was natural for me to write a
second book and create a series. I am currently writing the third Pidge book
and hope to write many more.
2.In the newest book, Pidge Takes the Stage, what happens to
our young heroine? Pidge
decides to try out for the school musical, along with her canine buddy
Maverick. However, she must learn to sing and to train Maverick. She learns
that singing is not easy, and well, Maverick is not a good listener.In the end, Pidge learns to sing after hard
work. But Maverick is a different story. Maverick is a complete disaster at the
audition. Pidge realizes that her hard work paid off for her singing, but she
must accept and love Maverick for who he is, and that he’s not destined for
fame in the theater.
3.As Pidge discovers being a star
requires a lot of hard work, what message do you hope to convey to others? When I share the story with
children at schools or book events, I always address the hard work Pidge
dedicated to her singing lessons. And I tell the kids – her hard work paid off.
She was ultimately granted a role in the school musical.I talk to the kids about hard work and how I
know going to school every day is tough. But that is how we power through life.
We have to work hard whether it be at school, in our job, exercising to stay
healthy, in our sport, with our musical instrument, etc. – and in the long run
the effort will pay off.
4.The story is also about conquering
your fears, reaching for your dreams, trying something new, believing in
yourself, not giving up, and being perseverant.How can parents inculcate such values into their children? First and foremost by
example.We can preach to our kids all
day, but they must witness us following our dreams, trying new things, and
persevering in tough times.For example,
if our child comes to us and wants to give up – that is the perfect time to
talk to him or her about the ramifications of giving up, and then give him or
her true-life examples of not giving up.We, as parents, have to live a fulfilling life if we expect our kids to
live a fulfilling life. And that also means that we have to let our children
fail.Maybe after the long talk about
not giving up, the child gives up the next day and quits their team. We may not
agree with our child, but we also have to let them make their own decisions at
the appropriate age and suffer the consequences.
5.How do we show others love for who
they are? We show
love for others for who they are by telling them how important they are to us.
Simple compliments throughout the day let those we love know we care.We have to be careful about critiquing or
implying we want them to do something different – because then we are not
accepting them for who they are.
6.You teamed up with a nationally
syndicated editorial and sports cartoonist Bill De Ore, who worked for the Dallas Morning News for 34 years.What was it like to collaborate with him? It was fabulous. Since we
collaborated, I was able to express to Bill my visions of Pidge, the dog, and
certain family members. Then I let him go to work. He would show me his
sketches throughout the process and ask my opinion. However, rarely did I
suggest any changes. He’s been drawing his entire life and his work is
spectacular. I’m blessed that he brought my characters to life just as I
7.In Pidge Takes the Stage, the teacher says to her young, eager
student:“But it takes a lot of
unspectacular preparation to get spectacular results.”That’s actually a quote from your
dad, the legendary Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Roger Staubach.Tell
us what he meantby that. I
asked my dad one day to describe to me what it was like, in the summer, at
training camp for the Dallas Cowboys -- and that is the quote he gave me. It
really describes life for all of us.The
day-to-day grind for almost anyone is unspectacular – whether you are an
athlete, writer, lawyer, painter, etc.There is a lot of repetition in any type of work. But that repetition
can create spectacular results if you work hard. And for my dad the day in day
out of training camp was lifting weights, running, learning plays, and throwing
the ball over and over. These were all unspectacular activities. But the
spectacular results came on game day when he threw a beautiful touchdown pass
or when he became the MVP of a Super Bowl.It’s a great talking point with kids. I often talk to kids about how I
know school can be tough and maybe they are struggling with learning to read or
write, but with practice, which is unspectacular, they will then get
8.How can we, as parents, help
validate children’s feelings and emotions? We as parents must talk to our children and reaffirm
our love for them.As parents we may not
agree or understand their emotions, but to our child it’s their “truth.”We must listen to our children and not judge.
Just because we validate their feelings, doesn’t mean we agree, but it’s very
important to the child to know they are loved and their voice matters. And
siblings need to care for one another. Siblings must tell their siblings they
love them or remember to thank a sibling for help on homework, or whatever it
9.Your books also contribute to
building literacy.I understand you
worked with Barbara Bush’s organization to promote literacy. What did you learn from her? Where
do I start? She was an amazing woman on a mission to increase literacy, and she
cared deeply for those who didn’t have access to education. First, she started
these fabulous literacy events called the “Celebration of Reading” to raise
money for literacy and to educate those who attended the events about the
literacy crisis. I began attending the events many years ago in Dallas, and I must
admit, I was surprised to learn how many people were illiterate. After the
first event, I was a changed person and began working more closely with the
Barbara Bush Foundation to increase literacy rates. It’s very important to me
to continue to work closely with literacy organizations. Secondly, after
attending the “Celebration of Reading” events, I was inspired to follow my
dream, to write, which led me to enroll in the SMU Continuing Education Program
for Creative Writing.
teach the power of gratitude in your books.Why is it such an important value that we need to be reminded of it? Gratitude makes the world a better
place. There is so much negativity in the world, and we need to create more
positive energy.It’s so easy to go
about our day with our heads down and not even notice those around us,
especially those that have made our life better.We need to keep our heads high and thank
those who have made a difference in our lives. And by reminding ourselves daily
about all the great things in our life, we in turn are ultimately more at peace,