We’re Going To PNBA Fall Trade Show

SpyGirls_Camp_SecretThanks to Kathryn Dennis, SpyGirls Press,  and Beth Chapple, Granite Peak Publications, Book Publishers Northwest will have a display  at this year’s PNBA Fall Trade Show. Author Waverly Fitzgerald also has signed up to help at our table. There’s still slots left open for BPNW members who wish to volunteer to help them. All table volunteers will receive an exhibitor’s badge that will allow them into all education events as well as the trade show — and the dessert receptions!
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Volunteer Benefits
Members can display additional books or stage give-aways or author signings by volunteering to work the exhibition space. At this point, members may volunteer for as many hours as desired. Every BPNW member who signs up to help BPNW will receive an exhibitor badge too.

*Directions on how to submit titles for display were emailed to members on August 31. Members also can drop off display packages at the Sept. 21 meeting.

Other Benefits of Membership: 

Display book covers and share your news at BPNW website. We publish book covers and member news in an exclusive channel.  This channel automatically publishes to our social media as well as emails all posts directly to 1000+ subscribers. 

Discounts from Independent Book Publishers Association:

If joining IBPA or using one of their marketing programs, BPNW members receive an “affiliate member” discount. Any BPNW member can request these discounts (programs available for discount vary each year). Learn more about this organization here.

Discounts from Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association: 

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association offers special rates to BPNW members for marketing to Northwest booksellers and librarians. Learn more about this organization here.

Interested in becoming a member of Book Publishers Northwest? Learn more here.

Guest Article: Typesetting. Who Needs It?

by Rosie Gaynor

If your text is long—and if you want it to be read—then chances are it’s going to need some typesetting.

How much?

An easy way to decide how much time and money to devote to typesetting is to consider your choice of printing house and paper stock. For text that is meant to be read, I’d recommend that…

  • The typesetting be as good as or slightly worse than your printer. A bad print job is going degrade your type, so it’s worth paying for good printing.
  • The typesetting be as good as or slightly better than the stock. Good stock cannot cover up bad typesetting. Good typesetting, on the other hand, can help the reader forget a lesser stock. (Bad stock can degrade the type, though, so go for stock that is at least good enough.)

It feels so heartless to do this kind of triage, to engage in lowly budget-based bargaining when books are involved. But our goal is to get the book out the door and into people’s hands without losing our shirts (or hair), so we do the very, very best we can with the resources we have at the moment.

The illustration below shows the difference typesetting can make. (To really see the difference, download the PDF and print it on a good printer.)


Book designs differ, but usually a good typesetter’s goals look something like this:

  • Word spacing, letter spacing, and line length work together to create lines that read evenly and easily. (It is important to see a print-out of this. An onscreen PDF is not going to show you what you need to see here. Print out the PDF of the sample above and you’ll see for yourself how big a difference it makes to view type printed on paper.)
  • Hallmarks of good typography have been considered, such as curly quotes, hanging quotes, curly apostrophes instead of prime symbols, proper use of hyphens, en-dashes, em-dashes, and real small caps (instead of InDesign’s approximated small caps). Old-style numerals, lining numerals, proportional numerals, and tabular numerals have been used purposefully.

DIY? Maybe.

If you are used to looking carefully at type (say, maybe, you’re an editor?) and if you’re comfortable on the computer, you could probably pull off something like Example #1 above on your own. I did, years ago, before I took design classes.

You’ll need to know the basics of InDesign and you’ll need to have a good feeling for what typeface and type size fits your text block well. If you go this route, I’d highly recommend you take a short class in InDesign (at, say, my favorite: School of Visual Concepts in Seattle) and that you find a copy of Mitchell & Wightman’s Book Typography: A Designer’s Manual. (It’s a gem of a book, content-wise and beauty-wise. Just turning the pages—a Precision fine 130 gsm stock—is an experience!)

Example #2 above? That kind of work takes some training and a really good eye. And it takes time. And dogged patience. Generally speaking, it takes a pro.

If you do hire a typesetter, ask to see a hard copy of a book that s/he has typeset. One page is not enough, as you’ll want to see how s/he managed the awkward paragraphs. (There are always paragraphs that refuse to cooperate.) With that book in hand, you’ll also be able to tell whether s/he had the stamina to make the type look even throughout the entire piece. If you go with a printing company’s in-house typesetter, ask to see a sample book done by the person who will be working on your book. They might fuss a bit, but I’d ask anyway.

How Much Do Typesetters Charge?

Typesetting fees are all over the place. But, like olive oil, cheese, chocolate, and shoes, the cheapest ones are generally not the best. The 2013 Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines suggests $6–$12 per page for a simply formatted book, like a novel. Figure $900–$1,800 for a 150-page novel.

It’s daunting. I think it helps to consider the printing–stock–typesetting balance. And to go back to the very basics: What makes the most sense for your goals, for your budget, for your preferences, and for your timeline? What’s your gut telling you?

Why bother? Because good typography will set you apart.

Scribes of old knew: Well-drawn pages paid respect to the words and to the author. Eventually, we figured out that well-set pages allowed for easier reading, greater comprehension, and better sales. And we book lovers today still know: When we hold a well-set book in our hands, we are holding a treasure.

We live in a world of typographical atrocities. Alas. But it’s also true that we live in a world of near-perfect typographic masterpieces. Your book will be somewhere on that typographical spectrum. The nice thing is that you get to choose where.

Rosie Gaynor owns Seattle Scriptorium—the business of beautiful communication. She has worked in the design departments at Tiger Oak Media, Puget Sound Business Journal, and TCS World Travel. She has typeset three books and would love to work with you on yours. She can be reached at rosie[at]seattlescriptorium.com.

Are you a publishing professional or a service for publishers? Would you like to submit an article to Book Publishers Northwest? Email bpnwnews[at]aol.com.

PNBA Tradeshow Schedule Available Now

BPNW members at booth

Our members have a chance to display their titles at PNBA shows.

Event schedules for their Fall Tradeshow are posted on Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association’s  page. Book Publishers Northwest will be hosting a display there and all members working at the table have a chance to enjoy several events, including the Friday education.

If you’re not a BPNW member, there’s still time to join for 2015 only at $50.  Visit the membership page to learn more. After September 1, BPNW only will have 2015/16 memberships for $90.  Current 2015 members also can renew for 2016 at $40 after September 1.

ALA Orlando Show Puts Out Call For Exhibitors

OrlandoALAThe American Library Association’s Annual 2016 Conference & Exhibition will be held in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016. More than 17,000 key library buyers from around the country are expected to attend ALA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition June 24-27, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Applications for exhibition space are now being accepted. In addition to being time-stamped, the assignment process includes how many years you have exhibited and if you are an ALA Corporate member. ALA Annual is one of the largest national events for the library market. The space rate is $2,475 per 10×10 and $175 for each open corner. All we need is your space application and wish list of space selections to be part of the first round which will start in September.

Click for the online Space Application.

News From Our Fellow IBPA Affiliates

ibpalogoBook Publishers Northwest is an affiliate of the Independent Book Publishers Association. Here’s some news from our fellow affiliates around the country.

Independent Publishers of New England

  • IPNE is hosting their annual conference Sept 25-26, 2015. See their website for information.
  • IPNE is displaying member titles at the New England Library Association (NELA) Annual Conference. IBPA members can register at the IPNE member rate.
Midwest Independent Publishing Association
  • MIPA recently changed their name from Midwest Independent Publishers Association to Midwest Independent Publishing Association to reflect the growing number of authors in membership.
  • MIPA covers 12 states and have around 80 members. Around 25 to 40 people come to each meeting.
  • MIPA is trying to get people from all 12 states involved in their activities. Currently, they have an active rep from Michigan who will start a Michigan-based Meetup.com group.
  • MIPA will be attending the Twin Cities Book Festival and Bloomington Book Fest.

Northern California Publishers & Authors

  • ​ NCPA has a new president, Sharon Darrow, who is very energetic. Good news! One of Sharon’s goals is to increase membership by bringing in younger members.
  • NCPA will overhaul their website in the coming year. The new site will be built on a platform that anyone in the association can work with.
Publishers Association of Los Angeles
  • ​ PALA has been been running very effective brainstorming sessions. Ten to 20 people attend. Each attendee brings a challenge they’re struggling with and the group discusses possible solutions.
  • PALA is looking again at their mission statement to determine whether it still works for them.
St. Louis Publishers Association
  • ​SLPA held a successful education program with Joan Stewart in June. 50 people came.
  • SLPA will host a vendor showcase in August to help members connect with local designers, proof readers, and others. They expect 15 to 20 vendor tables and around 100 participants.

Lack of Volunteers May Mean No Book Trade Show Display

Book Publishers Northwest normally exhibits members' books each year at the PNBA Fall Trade Show.

Book Publishers Northwest normally exhibits members’ books each year at the PNBA Fall Trade Show.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, Book Publishers Northwest may not be able to display members’ books at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s Fall Trade Show. Held in Portland, Oregon, October 2 to 4, 2015, this show is attended by booksellers and librarians looking to add to their stock. There is also a full day of educational events for publishers and authors.

At this point, we have cut back from two-day display to one-day display. PNBA is kindly holding a table for BPNW but we will have to release it by August 7 if nobody steps forward to help. A final appeal will go out to all BPNW members for help tomorrow (July 30).

If no volunteers are found for the 2015 show, BPNW will try to find another marketing benefit for this year’s members and will continue to plan a display at the 2016 show in Tacoma, Washington.

Volunteer Benefits

You can display additional books or stage give-aways or author signings by volunteering to work the exhibition space at the 2015 PNBA Fall Trade Show. This comes with free entrance to the show, which is not open to the public. Members who volunteer to open or close the space will receive a 2016 BPNW membership ($50 value) as well as these benefits. At this point, you may volunteer for as many slots as you’d like. If you are a member but have not received the announcements by email, please contact bpnwnews@aol.com for further information.

UPDATE:  By July 30, members Kathryn Dennis and Beth Chapple stepped up to take over the display, guaranteeing that BPNW members would have their books seen at the show. THANK YOU!