Meet IBPA’s New CEO in December

Independent Book Publishers Association’s new CEO Andrea Fleck-Nisbet will be introducing herself to IBPA members during the IBPA Member Roundtable on December 15 at 10am PT. With her past experiences in publishing at HarperCollins, Ingram Content Group, and Workman Publishing, Fleck-Nisbet is ready to answer questions about content and acquisitions; working in the indie publishing space; and much more. After the opening Q&A session, attendees will be split into various breakout rooms to network with other IBPA members.

The IBPA Publishing University celebrates IBPA’s 40th anniversary in 2023. The organization is again offering one member from each Regional Publishers Association a scholarship to the conference, which is a savings of $500 for current IBPA members and $600 for non-members! The deadline to apply is December 31. Here are more details.

The 2023 IBPA Publishing University will be held held May 4-6 in Corornado, California. The conference features an agenda designed to meet the unique needs of small publishers with in-depth learning sessions, powerful keynote speakers, lively networking events, and an industry awards gala.

Going to Bookycon in the Metaverse

Your intrepid editor has been dipping into virtual conventions throughout the past year, believing in the power of connecting with writers, publishers, and readers without having to leave her book-lined cave.

The latest was held “in the Metaverse” and proved quite science fictional. Bookycon was created by the app Booky Call, which calls itself “a free book discovery platform cleverly disguised as a dating app.” Held on November 12, the festival promised to feature more than 100 author interviews and limited free tickets to 3,000 attendees.

After creating a dashing avatar (attendees could make their favorite book appear as their chest while topping it with their headshot), I rolled through the virtual convention site, taking a seat at the stage of my choice to listen to author interviews, and then meet the authors afterward for one-on-one video chats. All of it worked quite well although lining up with the room map boards to find out where things were proved oddly tricky. However walking through chairs and walls was more fun than stumbling down long corridors at a BookExpo.

I managed to hear at least six interesting interviews while completing some household chores (you can’t fold your laundry and put away the dishes if you’re at a real con), jotted down some book titles to look up later, and had a nice chat with a member of Independent Book Publishers Association via our avatars.

Like the Hotel California, Bookycon was easy to enter but I never found a way to check out. So my avatar may still be there, wandering around saying “hello, hello, anyone here?”

If you are putting on a virtual convention or have been promoting books in one, comment and let everyone know how it worked for you.

The Metaverse convention venue for BookyCon courtesy of Booky Call.

November 5’s Two Literary Events

Two longtime favorites of Northwest readers, writers, and publishers happen in November.

In Oregon, it’s time for Portland Book Festival at the Portland Art Museum and neighboring venues on Saturday, November 5, 2022. The daylong event features author discussions, pop-up readings, writing classes for youth and adults, kids’ story time, an extensive book fair, local food trucks, and live music! For more information, check the website at literary-arts.org.

In Seattle, look for 10th anniversary Short Run Comix & Arts Festival also on Saturday, November 5. The festival devoted to zines, comics, and other small press will be held from 11 am- 6 pm at the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center. Free to the public, Short Run is depending on the success of this event to continue their programming for indie artists. As they announced in May: “We made the decision to hold the festival this fall as the past few years have offered little for artists in the way of book tours and ways to engage with a new audience. As an organization, it has been difficult to sustain the level of volunteer engagement needed without a festival to plan and execute. And finally, the continuation of Short Run (the organization, as a whole) depends on the festival this year, because financially, our infrastructure will not survive another postponement.”

You can find all the Short Run programming at their website shortrun.org.

Past Short Run at the Seattle Center, photo courtesy of Short Run Comix & Arts Festival

2023 AWP in Seattle Offers Scholarships


The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) returns to Seattle, March 8-11, 2023, at the Seattle Convention Center. The conference will host literary panels, readings, and a book fair. In 2014, when AWP last happened in Seattle, more than 14,000 people attended. The organizers say it will be a “destination for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers of contemporary creative writing. It includes thousands of attendees, hundreds of events and bookfair exhibitors, and four days of essential literary conversation and celebration. The AWP Conference & Bookfair has always been a place of connection, reunion, and joy, and we are excited to see the writing community come together again in Seattle, Washington in 2023.”

Registration is now open at awpwriter.org/awp_conference/overview for $200 (Members) or $300 (Nonmembers) for the full conference. This early bird rate increases to $250/$350 after November 22. Onsite registration in March will be $435/$540. For those who cannot afford these rates, AWP offers other ways to participate.

The AWP Conference Scholarship Program, which has a deadline of December 8, 2022, is now open. AWP encourages those who identify as people of color, disabled, LGBTQIA+, and/or low-income to apply. Membership is not required to apply. This year, 75% of conference scholarships will be awarded to local Seattle residents.

AWP also offers a Work-Exchange Program, which is intended for “current students, adjunct professors, or someone in need of assistance to cover the cost of the conference.” In exchange for training and four hours of volunteering, AWP will provide a waived conference registration. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2023.

Indie Bookstores Get Cat Mascot With Seattle Connection

The American Booksellers Assocation recently introduced “Stacks,” its brand new bookstore cat mascot! The name was the brainchild (kitten?) of James Crossley, manager of Seattle’s Madison Books, in teamwork with his daughter.

Stacks’ first task will be to walk independent bookstores through ABA’s “Good books come to those who shop early” Fall Marketing assets to encourage shoppers to support their local bookstore. Thanks to Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association for the cute kitty story.

Red Pencil Seeks Presenters

The call for presenters for Red Pencil 2023—the biennial conference of the Northwest Editors Guild—is now open. The conference will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington, and the Guild wants you to share your expertise in editing, language, business development, technology, and other professional topics with eager-to-learn conference attendees. Please see the conference web page for details about submitting a proposal: https://www.edsguild.org/2023-call-for-conference-speakers

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

Folio Seeks Humans to Become Books

Folio is seeking Northwest residents willing to become Books in the Human Library, a global movement that challenges stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. They will present a free two day in-person experience taking place from 12-6pm on Oct 7 and 8, 2022, presented in partnership with the Scan Design Foundation.

The Human Library aims to challenge preconceptions by creating safe spaces for conversation, where topics are discussed openly between human Books and their Readers. First started in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000, the Human Library has since expanded to over 80 countries.

In the Human Library, Books are individuals on loan to have personal conversations with a Reader. Books are described as people who defy stereotypes, they come from a variety of different backgrounds, lead different lives, and engage in conversation to challenge a Reader’s assumptions based on their personal experiences.

Folio invites community members who have been stereotyped or been discriminated against based on ethnicity, occupation, religious beliefs, cultural background, social status, health, disability, appearance, or lifestyle, who are motivated to challenge stigma and are willing to join in short 20 minute conversations, to become published as one of the open Books. Applications are due by August 12, 2022. Books must be available all day on either October 7 or 8.

Everyone is invited to take part in this cultural experience at Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, located in downtown Seattle at 93 Pike St. #307. Whether individuals wish to get published as a Book, volunteer at the event, become a supporting sponsor, or attend as a Reader, check the links below to apply.

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum is a nonprofit library located in the Pike Place Market. Folio offers a circulating book collection, provides workspaces for writers, and presents numerous public programs, author readings, civic discussions, and musical evenings.  More information about their programs can be found at folioseattle.org

The Human Library
Oct 7 and 8, 12:00pm to 6:00pm
FREE

Submit application to participate: https://bit.ly/3BPBkE9 
Register to attend: https://bit.ly/3QmI9Rn     

IWG Adds August Book Fair

The Idaho Writers Group is planning a book fair on August 27. Anyone can buy books at the Idaho Writers Guild Book Fair, but only IWG members can sell books at this time.

Organizers say that the event will be outside in Boise but there will be a food truck and access to indoor restrooms. Boise is famously hot and dry in August, so a perfect city for an outdoor book fair. Find out more about the event at the IWG Calendar at idahowritersguild.org/events.

IWG is a 501(c)3 non-profit “dedicated to helping writers navigate today’s complex publishing world.”

Float into a new book fair this summer in Boise. Photo by Bryce Boehler on Unsplash.

New Indie Author Group Takes Books to Events

Author Event Network launched recently in Seattle. This association of authors collaborates to share space and save on costs at local events. Their kick off event at the U District Street Fair. They are planning to take books to Kirkland Summer Fest, Blackberry Festival, NW Garage, High Point 710, Salmon Days, Indie Con, or other events that work for the group.

Check their website for sales and signing events this summer. Founder Guy Morris, who debuted as an independent author in 2020, states on the website that the indie authors “meet monthly by Zoom to propose, qualify, and plan local events in advance.”

Visit www.authoreventnetwork.com to learn more.

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Celebration of Book Arts on Bainbridge Island

The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art shows off its collection of artists’ books as well as delves into the production of these one-of-a-kind pieces in the DogEar Festival, June 3-5.

The three-day festival explores artist’s books, print works, and letterpress with drop-in activities, live music, demonstrations, presentations, and panel discussions. Among the activities planned are steamroller printing with Wayzgoose Kitsap, self-serve typewriter poetry creation, and a Print Plein Air Printing Parlour. Look for talks from artists and browse St. Rita’s Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary (TB&TA). A complete festival schedule is available at BIMA’s website.

Artists’ books may use the form of the book but are often produced as tactile objects. Others may be printed in limited edition through older forms of printing, such as letterpress. In the making of these books, artists employ drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, gluing and binding, sculpture, photography, textiles, creative writing, and storytelling. The Museum’s website calls these fascinating pieces “the Trojan Horse of the art world…you don’t know exactly what is inside until it is revealed.”

The Museum changes their exhibition of books three times a year as well as hosting a series of videos on the pieces in their collection: Artist’s Books Unshelved.

Artist’s Books Unshelved is an ongoing video series exploring selected pieces from the Cynthia Sears Artist’s Books Collection. Tune in on BIMA’s YouTube channel at 11am every first and third Saturday of each month for a new episode. Past episodes are available to watch for free.

Bainbridge Island is connected to Seattle by ferry and to Kitsap County by bridge. The Museum is located in the Island’s only large town, Winslow, and is approximately three blocks from the ferry dock, making it possible to walk from the ferry to Museum and back for Seattle booklovers.