Indie Author Spotlight: Joanne DeMaio

As the warmer weather beckons, we are inspired to take to the seaside with B&N Press bestselling author, Joanne DeMaio! We celebrate Joanne and her latest book, THE LIARS, available now on NOOK.

Flatlay of a table with a NOOK tablet device showing the cover of "Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans"

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of supporting Joanne’s work, including a feature in our Serial Reads Program. We joyfully watched as Joanne captivated audiences with her stories. And we’re honored to be a part of her journey.

But don’t just take it from us. In her own words, Joanne reflects on her illustrious self-publishing career. And we just can’t wait to see what the future brings for this prolific author.


A Guest Post by Joanne DeMaio

Upon joining B&N Press in 2012, I didn’t realize that I would be doing much more than publishing books. Instead, I was starting to redefine what we commonly think of as “the novel.” What I’m most known for is The Seaside Saga, which starts with my New York Times Bestseller BLUE JEANS AND COFFEE BEANS. In a nutshell, The Seaside Saga is a contemporary TV drama series in book form—21 novels (and counting) and nearly 7,000 pages following the tangled adult lives of a group of beach friends on the New England coast.

However, the strong cast of characters takes center stage beyond the shingled-cottage-and-sandy-beach backdrop, featuring a male-lead amputee and coastal architect; a denim designer turned novelist; a diner chef; a Vietnam combat veteran; an ever-inspiring innkeeper; a persnickety-with-a-twinkle-in-his-eye beach commissioner; a heartbroken acoustic singer-songwriter; a tough, but beloved, Maine lobsterman battling the Atlantic and his past; and a ghost, among others. That cast is lightning in a bottle. They shape the Saga and have endless stories to be told. And it is just the coolest thing to be at the helm of that.

Redefining “the novel,” each book picks up where the last one leaves off—literally from that final cliff-hanging sentence. In this way, The Seaside Saga is a totally unique, continuous and immersive experience. Fluid like the sea. It’s all about an incredible journey through the characters’ lives (much like our own), rather than conforming to a formulaic plot with defined beginning-middle-end. That’s not real life, and that’s certainly not the Saga. I’m also really proud of the way The Seaside Saga is a disruptor—not only to the publishing industry, but to the idea of what a novel can and cannot be. The question isn’t where can I take The Seaside Saga—it’s where can’t I take it. And it’s publishing independently that allows me the creative freedom to spin out that question, on my own terms, book-after-book.

NOOK and B&N Press not only offer me a platform to do this, but they also foster, promote and embrace my work. Several of my titles were handpicked as Book of the Month for their Serial Reads Program, which shares daily chapter installments to NOOK readers. In addition, my first winter novel, SNOWFLAKES AND COFFEE CAKES, was featured in a holiday partnership with B&N and Six Flags. After appearing on billboards, signs and booths at the theme park, it became the #1 downloaded book from the promotion.

At Barnes & Noble, I’m honored to have found not only a sea of readers—but also a bookseller that truly values, respects and prioritizes innovation. I published my latest novel, THE LIARS, this month. It’s Book 20 of The Seaside Saga and my thirty-first book to date. Book 21 of the Saga, THE MISTAKE, is due out this May with much more in the works. But it all started with BLUE JEANS AND COFFEE BEANS. In many ways, that was the first thread I’d stitch into my catalog of books. Little did I know then how revolutionary that would be. Now I’m publishing a 7,000+ page novel. Same people. Same place. Different drama. The thing is, when you think of blue jeans, you think of freedom, rebelliousness, independence. Hey, maybe you’ll think of me that way, too.


About Joanne DeMaio:

Joanne DeMaio is the prolific New York Times bestselling author of The Seaside Saga and other novels. Groundbreaking in scope, The Seaside Saga is an ongoing contemporary fiction series that’s redefining the traditional reading experience. DeMaio’s books have been called “potent and compelling” by USA Today, named a Critics’ Pick by Kirkus Reviews, and have been featured in national publications from Redbook to First for Women magazine. Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on upcoming novels.


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