Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spillworthy Sale Starts Today!

The SPILLWORTHY sale starts today!  The ebook is just 99 cents through November 26th.  At the stroke of midnight, we start celebrating Thanksgiving and the sale is done.

Read the book and love it?  This is a great opportunity to release the book to someone else.

Sending the ebook to 20 people with a short note of Thanksgiving? That's a fairly inexpensive gift of love.  You can gift the book right from your Amazon account.

Also? The audiobook version is coming soon! I'm so excited with the way Mark Blowers performs this book. I know you'll love it. I'm hoping it will be ready to buy on December 1st.  :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spillworthy featured in national press release!

Contact: Jim Barnes, Awards Director

Lifelong Reading, from the Womb Onward

(Traverse City, MI - Oct. 7, 2014)  The Moonbeam Awards program is dedicated to reading at all levels and to children of all nationalities, races and faiths. Now in its eighth year, the contest is known for its diversity and inclusiveness, and this year's medalists range from a book for pregnant mothers to read to their unborn babies, to a young adult novel dealing with homelessness and human trafficking.

The Moonbeam Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to the year's best children's books. The winners are chosen for their commitment to children, literacy and lifelong reading. Judging panels of book reviewers, librarians, teachers, and students chose 166 medalists from over 1,300 entries, and medals will go to books representing 37 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, five Canadian provinces, and Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Scotland and Spain.

See the complete 2014 Moonbeam Awards results here:

This year's gold medalist in the Board Book category is Can't Wait to Show You (Preliteracy Partners), and this charming book is not only meant to be read to babies in utero, it's shaped to fit the curve of a mother's pregnant belly! Alas, not everyone receives the gift of reading: My Dad Couldn't Read (See a Book Take a Look) explains how a reading disorder turned into adult illiteracy -- but through tutoring and perseverance father and daughter learned together and earned their high school diplomas together.

Probably the ultimate example of courage and perseverance in this new millennium is the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who in 2012 survived an attempted assassination by the Taliban for speaking out about girls' rights to education. Out in Front (Morgan Reynolds) is author David Aretha's stirring biography of Yousafzai, the "girl who wouldn't be silenced," whose dream is for "every child to go to school," and who someday wants to become the prime minister of Pakistan.

The Religion category gold medalist is another example of girl-power, inspired when author David R. Weiss's daughter asked him to tell her a story about When God Was a Little Girl  (Beaver's Pond Press). He explained how Creation was like one of her art projects, done with joy and love, and even with all the different colors, shapes, and sizes, it looked "just right."

Spillworthy, the self-published gold medalist in the Mature Issues fiction category, not only deals with homelessness and human trafficking, but gives voice to the young victims who rise above their trials through the powerful magic of words. Idaho-based author Johanna Harness proves that reading, writing and communication truly does heal and can save souls -- and books like hers, along with the rest of this year's Moonbeam winners -- can change the world.

* * * * *

The Moonbeam Awards were created in 2007 by northern Michigan-based book marketing firm Jenkins Group, and the winners represent the best books published for children and young adults during the previous year. Jenkins Group has been involved in book packaging, marketing and distribution since 1988, and the growing influence of their children's and grandchildren's love of books inspired them to launch the Moonbeam Awards and the Traverse City Children’s Book Festival.

Learn more about the Moonbeam Awards at
Learn more about the book festival at
For more information about the Moonbeam Awards and the winning books, or to interview their creators, contact Awards Director Jim Barnes at 1-800-644-0133 x 1011 or

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Moonbeam Children's Book Award Gold!


Johanna Harness' Spillworthy was recently awarded a gold Moonbeam Children's Book Award.

Launched in 2007, the awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. Congratulations to all the winners! This year's Moonbeam Awards medal ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 5th annual Traverse City Children’s Book Festival, on Saturday, November 8, 2014. Creating books that inspire our children to read, to learn, and to dream is an extremely important task, and these awards were conceived to reward those efforts. Each year's entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages. Award recipients receive gold, silver and bronze medals and stickers depicting a mother and child reading and silhouetted by a full moon.
"I'm so excited and honored. I still don't quite know how to process this. It's amazing.

I look at the Moonbeam books and realize that this is exactly the kind of list that made me want to start writing, and it's exactly the kind of list that made me fall in love with independent publishing.

Pre-Internet, these were the books I would search for in catalogs and on pilgrimages to huge, urban booksellers. Today these books can be just as difficult to find because they get lost in the noise of publishing.

It's difficult to describe the feeling I get from these books. 
Have you ever savored a magazine with images selected because they did NOT look like stock photography? An old Mothering magazine? Or an old New Moon Girls?  I'm not talking about sloppy or unprofessional. I'm talking about real.

That's the feeling I look for in independently-published books. I'm looking for ideas that aren't changed to fit a preconceived idea of what an audience wants--the literary version of photoshopping.  I'm looking for stories and ideas that certainly could have been changed to make them more marketable, but they were tumbled into something organic and real instead.  They include a variety of characters, like those who actually exist in the world, without slimming or whitewashing or idealizing of dominant culture.  And the covers reflect the guts of the novels! They are beautiful not in spite of being real, but because they are real.

I already have a huge reading list shaped from Moonbeam lists from multiple years.  Now I must talk to librarians about getting more of these books on the shelves because my budget is too small and my list is too big.

Thank you, Moonbeam, not just for this award, but also for your dedication in bringing independent books to the attention of serious readers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What's A Catch and Release Party?

29 MARCH 2014

Contact: Johanna Harness


In Johanna Harness' upcoming book, SPILLWORTHY, the main characters capture their best thoughts, transfer them to pizza boxes, and then set them free into the world.

To mark the official release of the book, readers worldwide will be releasing paperback copies of the new book into the world.  This global party is a "catch and release" party because new readers are encouraged to write their thoughts in the back of the book before again releasing it for others to find.

Readers who find the book can log into to tell others where they found the book and also to reveal where they next released it.

"The best part of this experience is letting go," says Harness. "Believing that the books will end up where they are supposed to be is freeing on so many levels."

Of course, the book will also available for sale.  After May 1st, it can be found on or ordered through your local, independent bookstore.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Catch & Release Party!

In SPILLWORTHY, the main characters release words into the world to be read by others.  In that spirit, we're having a Catch & Release Party to celebrate the release of this book into the world.

Starting May 1st, tagged copies of the book will be released into the wild at various places around the world.

Each book will be tagged with a number and a web address, so people can log in to the site and report a book catch--and hopefully another release.

I'm asking anyone who finds a book to leave a comment in the back of the book before releasing it back into the wild.

I will post exact locations where books are released, so anyone following along can go find the copy soon after it's dropped off. Otherwise, we're leaving it up to fate, believing that the book will find its way into the hands of the right people.

For my own part, I'll release a copy on May 1st and then I'm starting out on a road trip beginning May 2nd.  I'll be dropping copies in various cities in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington throughout the first two weeks of May.

I need your help to make this spread even farther!  If you're interested in participating I will send you a book to release during May.  (I'll work with your schedules and we'll coordinate.)

Some basic rules apply. Don't release the book anywhere that it could raise concerns about unattended items. And, if you leave it outside, please put it in a ziplock bag.  As the person releasing the book, you can add the first comment to the back before setting it free. I would ask that you send me a picture of the book being released and tell me the location.  (I won't post either until it's already done.)

That's it!

The more people involved the better!  If it gets over-the-top expensive, I'll have to cap it, but for now I'm throwing the doors open for anyone to participate.

If you're interested please comment here or send me an email.