was successfully added to your cart.

At Our First PNBA Conference

By | Learning How to Be a Publisher
BPNW PNBA 2016

Here’s our books at the Book Publishers Northwest Table.

Earlier this year, we joined Book Publishers Northwest. It seemed like a good pace to learn skills during their monthly meetings. What we did not realize is that it would also get us into the door for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association conference. For a new publisher, this has got to be the best $50 you could spend. (Membership information here).

What I liked about being at the PNBA conference was being totally overwhelmed, totally humbled, and finally to get a bit of clarity about how we might sell our books.

A funny thing that’s changed for me being a publisher rather than only a reader is that I no longer walk into a bookstore with a sense of anticipation and wonder, but rather dread and the wish that somehow there were no other books than the ones we’re putting out! How dare there be so many more interesting and gorgeous books taking attention away from our incredible books that everyone should read! Ha! Such is the life of the publisher as he walks to the counter with six books he intensely needed after he was done fondling his book on the shelf!

“The After”: A First Look!

By | Books, Learning How to Be a Publisher

FullSizeRender 2

Always an exciting, as as we’re finding, a nerve-wracking day, our third book, The After, is back from the printer. Due to the complexity of printing Karinna Gomez‘ dark mezzotints, it was the first time we got to see all of it integrated. This may seem unusual, but there is a bit of leap of faith, at least for the new book designers, on how the book will actually feel. Will the size actually work? Will the pages feel good with the cover stock? With the paper finishes?

We are thrilled to report that most everything we set out to accomplish with this book looks and feels great. The art has printed beautifully on Olympus Press‘s high definition offset press. The landscape format feels wonderful to hold, and the cover in a dull gray rough stock, while perhaps a bit less eye-catching than we hoped despite some printer tricks using white ink, is interesting to touch and contrasts nicely with the interior stock.

We could not be more honored to bring out this somber, troubling work on the mass extinction currently happening around us and because of us. We are certainly humbled to be working with the talented folks who shared their creative energy with us and the printer’s team working on educating us on how to get the best looking books we can dream up on our challenging budgets and short runs.

We are accepting pre-orders for The After. It will ship to arrive by Tuesday, September 27.

The After Interior Page Karinna GomezScore

The Birds of Rome

By | Ephemera, Learning How to Be a Publisher

Birds of Rome Cover In addition to our books, we are working with the authors we publish to create a bit of ephemera for your briefest reading pleasure.

This week, we received our first one back from the printer, “The Birds of Rome” by Melinda Mueller. Originally published in “Looking Together: Writers on Art” by the University of Washington and the Frye Art Museum, we are pleased to re-present this poem in this tidy format. We might recommend reading this poem with a glass of wine while watching the sun set and the shadows lengthen on rooftops.

FullSizeRender

Popular Songs: A Short Delay!

By | Books, Learning How to Be a Publisher

We are sad to announce that we will have a short delay on Popular Songs: The Political Poems of 1819-1820 by our man, Shelley.  Alas, there was a glitch that can sometimes happen between paper stock (ours is luscious) and presses.  So while we work that out with our press, we can always look on the bright side and say, “We have seen the book and you will love it!” and we can also say, as new publishers might, “Wow. We did not see that typo before!”  I think the cliché being, Every dark cloud has a silver lining…

We will update the shipping date when we have it, but we’re hoping April 22. Of course, pre-orders will be shipped the day this book arrives as we can’t wait to get this in the mail to you.

Here's a bit of the interior spread, though in this picture you might also see the mechanical crease that won't be in the books we're shipping!

Here’s a bit of the interior spread, though in this picture you might also see the mechanical crease that won’t be in the books we’re shipping!

 

 

Our First Print Ad!

By | Learning How to Be a Publisher

As a new publisher, it’s easy enough to make a book. It is just some paper stacked together, after all. The hard question is how do we make sure that we’re not just hoarding our lovelies in boxes in a far closet? We want our poets read and our artists seen!

We’re excited to have our first print ad out this week in Poetry Northwest, announcing our summer and fall books!

The APRIL Bookfest: Independent Presses Delight!

By | Learning How to Be a Publisher

Books from APRIL Book Expo

 

Since we only have one book out, it made little sense to take a table at the APRIL Book Expo which happened at Hugo House this past weekend.  I went on a book buying binge that was so different than being a reader on a jag, because for the last six months, ninety percent of the books coming into the house, spilling on the office floor in precarious stacks have been picked out due to the production and design, not the writing.

All four of our books this year have involved a discussion with our printer, Olympus Press, and someone else’s book. “We want our book to be like this.” or “What paper are they using?” or “How did they afford to produce this…Look how lovely it is!”  I suppose it’s not every business that can claim such delightful research shopping.

Here are the books and presses that inspired us to try harder to put out interesting and lovely books:

Chin Music Press: Seattle represent!!   Our third book, Tiny Girl, will share some similarities to their book, Hurricane Story by Jennifer Shaw. It will be the same square format and size and we’ll be showing it to the printer to see about offset on uncoated paper. Will we have a big enough run to make this possible? These folks are putting out really lovely and good-looking books.

Two Plum Press hurts our head with it’s aesthetic and smarts. We bought One Whole Breath by Zoe Donnelycolt, and This by Rebekah Green and once we’re through reading these, will be going online or to Portland to get more.  The size and paper of these books is so interesting! Dense little books with interesting typesetting, graphics and art. I’m not a huge fan of the dust jackets though which make holding and picking up the book more clumsy than it needs to be, still, I get the lo-fi and consistent appeal of them. This is a press I am very much looking forward to buying more books from to read deeply in.

Ravenna Press. We picked up three that had something other than poetry happening in them. By Land by John Burgess includes sketches and photos from his trip on the Lewis and Clark Trail, Jeff Alessandrelli’s Erik Satie Watusies his way into Sound includes music notation, like our fall book, The After. Kristina Marie Darling’s Melancholia has interesting layout and typesetting choices.

I picked up only one book by YesYes Books, A New Language for Falling Out of Love by Meghan Privitello. What a cover! I was really stuck by the use of the gray paper inside and strong type choices. Just a very handsome book.

Yet another Portland Press, Sidebrow Books: I couldn’t resist The Wine-Dark Sea by Mathais Svalina. Here’s a book where the bright white guts look great against the type and again, an incredible cover. For a rainy camping weekend, I’m looking forward to the The Volta Book of Poets, which, with my new set of publisher eyes, something we’d likely never do and also, so difficult— too many poets! Anthology work must be much herding of cats! These folks have some really great covers.

One publisher we chatted with, Alice Blue Books, is getting out of the business and sounded exhausted after ten years of publishing. From them, I picked up The Tahrir of Poems: Seven Contemporary Egyptian Poets, translated by Maged Zaher.  And there’s the power of the small press! It’s hard to imagine a big press taking on such a project. And it makes me more excited to try to get our first bi-lingual edition out!

We also had the opportunity to buy a first book by a new publisher, so fresh they’ve only had it four days! Fog Machine‘s first book, Celeris by Emily O’Neill, feels great and we always like true pocket-sized books for poetry!

In addition, we were delighted in the ideas of Mary Anne Carter to focus just on poetry ephemera as jesusmaryannejoesph, and picked up a delightfully strange glittery, “Square” by James Gendron. I have some ideas for ephemera that we’d like to try, not only as additional marketing pieces for our books and events, but also some stand-alone work, much like some of the Miel Books micro-books we’ve bought

My husband and I could also not resist the very graphic sexy times of Northwest Press‘s, “Al-Queda’s Super Secret Weapon”, a very saucy comic book. Saucy comics! Yea! Plus they print one of our comic heroes, David Kelley!

Now, what I really need is to get another trip set up to a warm tropical destination, an extra suitcase to lug all these books, and some time to read them.