Monday, June 19, 2006

Welcome to New and Returning Board Members

In June, Book Publishers Northwest added new board members Tom Blaschko, Margaret Doyle, Tom Masters, and Charlene Woodward.

Continuing and returning board members are Lani Jacobsen, Rosemary Jones, Duse McLean, and Kent Sturgis.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

June Meeting:
Opportunities for a Small Press

PMA Pub U and BEA Report

June 15, 2006
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Scott’s Bookstore
121 Freeway Drive, Mt. Vernon, WA


Learning From Others at Pub U and BEA

by Margaret Doyle, Port Gamble Publishing

I arrived at Publishing University, a three-day seminar conducted by PMA, the Independent Publishers Association, to grow my one-person publishing company.

I chose courses from the following tracks: general business advice; finance, legal, marketing, editorial, sales, publicity and Internet. Over and over we are told three things:
1. Watch out for publicists
2. Do what you’re good at, what you like the best. Farm the rest out.
3. Have fun

Kent Sturgis, Epicenter Press publisher and retiring board president of PMA, greeted us on Tuesday morning saying that a straw poll shows that about 60% of us have published one to five titles, and tells us that 20% of independent publishers survive five years. He said, “Publishing is a competitive business, but folks help each other.” I’ve found this to be true in my two years as a publisher, and it is the greatest benefit of this nutsy business.

Robin Bartlett, the education chair of PMA, spoke of “extenuating markets” beyond “the Trades.” I remember when “the Trades” referred to winds of a certain latitude, and being mystified by reference to “trade” books and the “trade” market. Now I understand Bartlett when he says, “Look for places outside of bookstores to sell your books.”

One advantage of independent publishing is that you can set your own time-table and promote your book as much and as long as you want. But the best way to capitalize on the experience and expenses of marketing The Fisherman’s Quilt (my first book) is to publish more books, keeping in mind the vision and integrity of my company.

So I went to Washington DC with the successful sales record of 1.500 copies of The Fisherman’s Quilt selling annually, a memoir on the horizon (early 2007), and a planned oral history collection from soldiers who had served in Iraq in 2003-2004. My course selection at Pub U was a mix of hard knowledge of bookkeeping , planning for growth, and motivating courses on making my best year yet happen.

Join Margaret Doyle at Scott’s Bookstore in Mount Vernon for a discussion of PMA’s Pub U and BookExpo America, the largest book trade show held in the U.S., as well as opportunities for a small press in today’s bookselling climate.

Rosetta Solutions Exhibits For First Time At BEA

We shared a booth with (from Tacoma, WA), a new advanced software reader. BEA was in Washington DC this year, after a 20-year absence. The location was excellent--down one aisle from a main escalator. Show organizers reported that 31,971 people registered for the three-day convention and 20,000-plus attended. Our two primary goals were to generate revenue and to build credibility by being an exhibitor at BEA.

There are currently two sales pros generating sales opportunities and following up on leads for Rosetta. We picked up numerous leads during the three-day event. They included assorted publishers, sales channels, investors and potential partners. The sales team is deep in follow-up activities and has several face-to-face meetings throughout the US.

There were very few peers from digital publishing or technology exhibitors at BEA this year. There was no direct competitor exhibiting. Three major search-the-book vendors exhibited: Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. They all want to digitize the world’s books.

Publisher response is mixed; from excitement that someone else is paying to digitize their books, to extreme paranoia, believing that these companies are becoming their most formidable competition.

Some of our best prospects at BEA came to the booth with advance intent to meet us, as a result of the exhibitor directory. They had specific issues to discuss and wanted to learn what we can do for them.

We met with the VP Business Development and Marketing, and the CEO/Pres of R.R. Bowker. We talked about the NetGalley suite of services, focusing on the ONIX Engine and the eGalley services. It was a particularly good first meeting. They sat in cramped quarters inside our small exhibit, during a very busy time at the booth. The CEO would like a Web-based demo in the next couple of weeks. We invited her to select someone to join our advisory team for the NetGalley blog to contribute to the shaping of the NetGalley services.

submitted by Ted Treanor, Rosetta Solutions

Rosetta Solutions, Inc. ( also does business as Seattle Book Company (, a publisher and an eBookstore. In 1996, this Northwest company began as an ePublisher called Alexandria Digital Literature. This part of the business is now doing business as AstraTM (an imprint of Seattle Book Company). NetGalleyTM ( is under development as a destination site for reviewers, booksellers, libraries, media and the reading community.