Back to

“Change Your Business, Change the World” Special Promotion

Posted: January 9th, 2017 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Entrepreneurship & Business, Press | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

Win a Consult to Learn How to Transform Your Business

Win a full hour of business consulting with Susan Chambers with a purchase of her book, Small Business, Big Change: A Microentrepreneur’s Guide to Social Responsibility. Susan will chat with you about your small business or green project over Skype or phone.

Possible discussion topics:

  • Learning how to start small and still have a big impact.
  • Setting social-responsibility goals for your business.
  • Developing bonds with other businesses and organizations in your community.
  • Reducing your carbon (and other) footprints with strategic green policies.
  • Finding and working with suppliers and vendors who adopt or share your values.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! To be entered in the drawing, buy a copy of Small Business, Big Change. Forward your order receipt to by February 21. Put “Change Your Business, Change the World” in the subject line. Purchases must be made between January 9 and February 21 to qualify. Paperback purchases receive 2 entries, e-book purchases get 1 entry. Drawing will take place on February 22 and winners will be notified by e-mail.

Good luck!

About the Book

An essential resource for both aspiring and experienced solopreneurs, small business owners, and startups, Small Business, Big Change proves businesses of any size can align their values with their business practices to make a positive impact on the world— there’s no such thing as “too small” to make a difference.

Mapping out an easy step-by-step process, Susan walks readers through what it takes to be a committed, yet pragmatic, socially responsible business owner by sharing her own experience as a solopreneur and interviews with 21 small business owners from a diverse range of industries around the globe. Learn practical and effective approaches to implementing and tracking socially responsible initiatives related to operational and management practices, business networks, vendors, customers, employees, and investors. BUY HERE

READ AN EXCERPT: Small Business, Big Change: A Microentrepreneur’s Guide to Social Responsibility

Night Owls Press Holiday Book Sale 2016

Posted: December 12th, 2016 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Press | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Happy Holidays!

We’re offering our biggest sale of the year! Get 50% off any title, in any digital format. The sale even includes our newest releases for English language learners, Turn of Phrase ESL books. Our e-books are perfect for your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Book sale through January 1.

How to get your discount:

From our bookstore, select a title and your preferred e-book format (Kindle, iPad, Nook, PDF). Enter the code WINTER50 in the ‘Coupon’ field and click ‘Update Cart’ to apply the discount. Press the orange ‘Submit Order.’ Payment is accepted through PayPal or credit card. Download links are sent to the e-mail address you enter or the e-mail associated with your PayPal account. We recommend downloading the files directly from your preferred tablet or e-reader.

Sage Wit post ‘Just, Green, and Local’

Posted: December 5th, 2016 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Entrepreneurship & Business | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

Vote with your wallet. In her latest Sage Wit post, business consultant Susan Chambers, author of Small Business, Big Change goes over the downsides and upsides of holiday shopping. Learn how to use your money to support your local economy and to compel businesses to rethink their policies for a cleaner, safer planet and thriving economy.

Here’s an excerpt:

In recent years, there has been growing push back from people who cringe at the materialism inherent in and perpetuated by Black Friday shopping frenzies and madness: more and more people are choosing to participate in “Buy Nothing” day as a protest. While this strategy works as a short-term protest, in the long run it doesn’t force large corporations to rethink how their business models (and the economic policies that support them) have a negative impact on the planet and the prosperity of local economies.

Ideally, we want to create long term social, economic and environmental changes for the better, and that’s best achieved by encouraging consumers to regularly choose locally-owned stores within their community when they need to purchase goods and services. That’s a vision that is best achieved by encouraging (and rewarding) both consumers and businesses to adopt more sustainable habits environmentally (reduce waste or unnecessary consumption, re-use materials where possible and appropriate, and recycle), socially (support businesses that demonstrate a commitment both to fair wages and decent working conditions for their employees and their suppliers’ employees) and economically by supporting local businesses and local economies.

Read the complete post at Sage Wit here.

The Complete Leader podcast on Writing Compelling Content

Posted: December 5th, 2016 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Entrepreneurship & Business, Writing Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Key lesson for thought leaders: Writing is communication, so if you want to hone your ideas and develop a voice that inspires and motivates others, it’s important to create material that’s compelling for your audience.

Learn how “Writing Compelling Content” can make you an effective thought leader on The Complete Leader podcast. Led by The Editor’s Eye author Stacy Ennis, this talk covers how people can wrangle their big ideas and creative vision through writing. Stacy shares her insight as an editor and creative consultant to thought leaders, celebrities, Nobel prize winners.

Find the podcast here (11/21/16 release). Learn more about The Complete Leader program here.

The Complete Leader podcast on Creative Clarity Through Writing

Posted: May 30th, 2016 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Entrepreneurship & Business, Writing Tips | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

In business you’ll often hear: “Ideas are cheap; execution is everything.” Going from that kernel of an idea to implementation is often a creative process—which can sometimes feel like an odd contradiction. Creativity is the stuff of breakthroughs and “Eureka !” moments, while process is based on routine, bound by rules and conventions. Ultimately, though, creativity is as much about inspiration and spontaneity as it is about focus and organization. The writing process can bridge that seeming divide.

Learn how to find “Creativity Clarity Through Writing” on The Complete Leader podcast. Led by The Editor’s Eye author Stacy Ennis, the discussion goes over how mastering the writing process can actually help people think more creatively, and streamline and focus ideas for more impact.

About the podcast: “Today we talk with Stacy Ennis, a book coach and creative consultant who has helped celebrities, Nobel prize winners and other thought leaders write books. A self-proclaimed pen aficionado, Stacy gives us tips for creating quality content and ways to beat writer’s block. She also shares her theories on content in the age of social media, and the power of writing rituals.”

Find the podcast here. Learn more about The Complete Leader program here.

Hiring and Working with a Ghostwriter

Posted: May 23rd, 2016 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Articles, Blogs, Ghostwriting | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

If you’re a busy professional or thought leader thinking about a book project but don’t have the time, one option is for you to consider working with a ghostwriter on a collaborative writing partnership to make your book a reality.

The Editor’s Eye author Stacy Ennis offers insights on her work as an editor and ghostwriter:

“When I ghostwrite a book, I strive to embody my client’s voice. I pore over hundreds of pages of interview transcripts, looking for patterns. I piece together ideas. I build on my client’s genius. Although I write the initial words, we are very much co-creators. This is reflected in the fact that most ghostwriting clients leave the process feeling like they wrote the book—only they typically save more than 300 hours of time in the actual writing process.”

Stacy also offers a few tips on what to expect in a collaboration, from how the initial meeting and interviews will be conducted, to the book outlining and drafting process.

Read more in her guest post “What to Expect When Hiring a Ghostwriter” (via

Stacy Ennis Offers a Teleseminar: “How to Write Better Nonfiction”

Posted: March 23rd, 2016 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Press, editing, in-house publication | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

The Editor’s Eye author Stacy Ennis talks to Stephanie Chandler from the Nonfiction Authors Association in the teleseminar, “How to Write Better Nonfiction” (recorded, posted March 23, 2016, members-access only).

Stacy’s talk is chock full of constructive advice for writers based on her years of experience as a book editor, ghostwriter, and published author. Editing and research are an integral part of writing nonfiction, and Stacy goes over the essentials, from how to conduct research, to how to nurture a productive relationship with your editor. She also breaks down the editorial process for authors, touching on the different stages of editing, something she delved into in her book, The Editor’s Eye.

The Editor’s Eye: A Practical Guide to Transforming Your Book from Good to Great is a practical guide to the book-editing process for aspiring and established authors. Learn the editing and writing strategies to write more creative, streamlined, and compelling prose with less frustration. Author Stacy Ennis is a North American Book Awards winner and an Idaho Author Awards winner.

Foreword by Maryanna Young, CEO, Aloha Publishing
Introduction: A Book to Help You Write Yours
Ch. 1: Rethinking What You Know About Book Editing
Ch. 2: The Editing Basics
Ch. 3: The Writing Process Revisited: Planning and Writing Your Book with an Editor’s Eye
Ch. 4: The Writing Process Revisited: From Revision to Publication
Ch. 5: Hiring and Working with an Editor (or, Why Your Editor is Your Book’s BFF)
Epilogue: Wrapping Up

Twenty writers and editors were interviewed for the book, including: ghostwriter, coauthor, and book doctor Tim Vandehey; independent writer, editor, and author Christy Karras; commercial freelancer, business coach, and author of three award-winning books, including The Well-Fed Self-Publisher, Peter Bowerman; freelance writer and author of My So-Called Freelance Life, Michelle Goodman; and number one international best-selling fiction author Vincent Zandri.

Get a Sneak Peek:

READ AN EXCERPT: The Editor’s Eye: A Practical Guide to Transforming Your Book from Good to Great

Interactive ESL Books that Teach Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Collocations

Posted: February 5th, 2016 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Education, Fiction books, in-house publication | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Turn of Phrase ESL provides English language learners interactive, contextualized opportunities to learn and master idiomatic expressions, phrasal verbs, and collocations in the form of gamebook novels.

What are gamebooks and how do they work?

Gamebooks are fictional narratives told in the second person and interspersed with decision points. Decision points present readers with a choice between several options. How readers choose determines the direction of the story.

TOP ESL books aren’t ordinary novels, and the plots in them are far from straightforward. Readers aren’t just passively reading a story, turning the pages and watching the action unfold. These novels are language-based. TOP ESL books use the gamebook format to test readers’ understanding of expressions and phrases, as well as their comprehension of situational contexts in the narrative. Each TOP ESL book contains a number of different stories, each version with its own ending and multiple ways to reach those endings. Choosing the option that best fits the context of the story leads to better outcomes: Get the meanings and context right, and the story moves along and reaches a satisfying conclusion; get them wrong, and the story takes a rocky turn.

TOP ESL features at least 60 decision points in every book where readers are asked to choose among two options, testing their understanding of either idiomatic phrases and expressions or situational contexts related to story logic and character development.


It’s NOT a textbook but is perfect for the classroom as well as self-study.

Textbooks and other typical reference materials have their place, but sometimes ELLs want more. They want something different that provides opportunities for conversation, discussion, and even creative license. We think TOP ESL fills in that gap in ESL curricula.

There is a problematic lack of engaging, age-appropriate material for young adults and adults. Often fictional works for ELLs are overly simplified stories that are underdeveloped and flat—or worse—written in a prose style that reads and flows more like a children’s book. Our goal is to make learning fun and effective and to provide thrilling fictional worlds for mature audiences. The novels in the series are contemporary fiction based on a wide range of genres, from action-packed adventures and thrillers, to brain-teasing mysteries and capers.

TOP ESL books are ideal for classroom activities, tutoring, and self-study. Want some ideas for activities? Here are a few:

  • Act it out: Play charades with a set of idiomatic phrases from the books and have students act out the different meanings. For example, literal meaning vs. idiomatic meaning; or ‘optimal’ meaning vs. ‘less than optimal’ meaning based on the direction and context of the story.
  • Context clues: At decision points, ask students to discuss the expressions, words, or story details that helped them figure out how to choose the best option provided.
  • Character study: Create ‘character checkpoints’ where students stop and evaluate how the characters are changing or developing. Students can also make predictions about how characters will act based on motives, events, and the decisions made.
  • Creative conversations: Have students take a prescribed set of idioms from the books and prepare short dialogues in pairs or small groups using those expressions. Act out or read out loud the created scenes in class.
  • Draw it: Ask students to illustrate or describe in visual terms idioms for others to guess or fill in.
  • Explore idioms: Instruct students to select several idioms with dual or multiple meanings (e.g., “take care of it”) used in the books and write short scenes using them in the alternative ways.
  • Free writing: Using the books as a springboard, have the students write their own chooseable path stories or scenes. Students can create new stories using the same characters from the books or continue a story from an ending. They can also create new endings for storylines.
  • Letters: Have students write a letter to a character from one of the books to ask about the choices that were made or not made; ask students to exchange letters and answer each other’s letters.
  • Literary concepts: Discuss literary concepts such as conflict, character development/characterization, setting, foreshadowing, rising action, turning point, falling action, and resolution.

For more ideas, go to our online Learning Guide.

Available Titles:

An Artful Heist by Jacob Jun

No plan ever goes down without a hitch, not even an artful heist. An Artful Heist is a humorous caper with unexpected twists and turns. Recommended for high intermediate level English language learners. Learn more | Read an excerpt (PDF download) | Read an excerpt (via Scribd) | Read the TOP ESL Catalog (via Scribd)

Blackout by G.K. Gilbert

What would you do if the lights went out…everywhere? Blackout is a high-stakes drama about family ties, love, and survival. Recommended for low intermediate level English language learners. Learn more | Read an excerpt (PDF download) | Read an excerpt (via Scribd) | Read the TOP ESL Catalog (via Scribd)

Cleaning House by Rebecca M. Karli

Crime is dirty. It’s time to clean house. Cleaning House is an offbeat detective-thriller about trust and reading between the lines. Recommended for advanced level English language learners. Learn more | Read an excerpt (PDF download) | Read an excerpt (via Scribd) | Read the TOP ESL Catalog (via Scribd)

The Spoonmaker’s Diamond by Mary M. Slechta

“Legend has it that during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, a Turkish fisherman discovered a rare stone on the shores of the Bosphorus Strait. Deceived by a local jeweler, the fisherman traded the stone for three silver spoons, which his descendants now keep as reminders of the injustice…” The Spoonmaker’s Diamond is a grand overseas adventure that will test your courage and friendships. Recommended for advanced level English language learners. Learn more | Read an excerpt (PDF download) | Read an excerpt (via Scribd) | Read the TOP ESL Catalog (via Scribd)

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or to request review/desk copies.

IDIOM journal article: “Gamebooks for the ESL Classroom”

Posted: February 4th, 2016 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Education, Press, in-house publication | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Earlier this week, we were happy to learn that Turn of Phrase ESL (TOP ESL) was being featured in the Winter 2016 issue of Idiom (Volume 46, Issue 1), the online quarterly journal published by New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (NYS TESOL). Last November 2015, TOP ESL authors Mary Slechta (The Spoonmaker’s Diamond) and Rebecca Karli (Cleaning House) attended the 45th NYS TESOL conference in White Plains, NY.

The article is titled “Gamebooks for the ESL Classroom.” Here’s the journal’s free teaser:

Turn of Phrase ESL (TOP ESL) is an educational series designed on the principles of game-based active learning to help intermediate- to advanced-level adult ELLs build vocabulary, improve reading comprehension, and sharpen critical thinking skills. Active learning is a teaching framework proven effective in establishing learning outcomes that are significant and robust. In a recent study, researchers found that average grades increased by half a letter, and the results were stable in large and small classes as well as in introductory and upper-level courses (Freeman et al., 2014). Game-based learning is a relatively new subfield in the active learning pedagogy. In practice, students participate in context-based simulations that require action and problem-solving (Shaffer, 2006; Squire, 2008; Squire & Jenkins, 2004). With its gamebook format, TOP ESL can be an effective tool for ESL educators and replace conventional books used in reading units.

The full article is available to Idiom subscribers here.

About the Series: Turn of Phrase ESL (TOP ESL) is an innovative educational series that introduces English language learners to idioms, phrasal verbs, and collocations in the form of chooseable path novels. The series is designed for intermediate to advanced level young adult and adult learners.

Happy New Year! A Look Back, A Look Ahead…

Posted: December 31st, 2015 | Author: Genevieve DeGuzman | Filed under: Press | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

A Look Back…

2015 was a tremendous year for us. We published our first educational series, Turn of Phrase ESL. The books mark our foray into the English language education market. TOP ESL is the first-ever series designed for adult English language learners that uses gamebook storytelling techniques. The initial response from educators has been tremendous, with over 80 institutions and organizations with ESL programs requesting review copies in the last few weeks. TOP ESL is a project that was two years in the making, and we’re really proud of our editorial team and authors for making it happen. We hope to do more books in the series, hopefully with a 2017 pub date. Stay tuned for more on this ‘phase two’ of the series.

Looking Ahead…

For 2016 we’re working on a book project that focuses on a cultural trend happening right in our backyard. Working with Karen Locke, a food and drink journalist based here in Portland, we’ll be publishing High-Proof PDX, a guidebook to the artisanal craft distillery scene in the city. We’re excited to show the more ‘spirited’ side of Portland.

Here’s to bringing more great books with big ideas to the world in 2016 and beyond!

~ Happy New Year from everyone at Night Owls Press