Laura Robb of Mark House Publishing and Kathryn Dennis of SpyGirls Press will be attending Publishing University and its related special events for free in March. Both expressed their excitement at having this opportunity to meet and learn from other publishers.
Mark House Publishing was founded in 2012 by Jim Thomsen, a freelance editor, and Robb, a writer, both long-time residents of the Pacific Northwest. In 2013, they brought out a young adult/adult crossover novel China Rock set in the San Juan Islands during the Great Depression. For 2014, their current projects are a book and calendar featuring West Seattle wildlife aimed at hikers and photographers, and an anthology of short stories by Pacific Northwest writers.
“Publishing is fascinating because it requires involvement in so many areas of business, technology and culture. The breadth of knowledge needed, however, can be daunting. In the past two years, I have found myself gathering information on subjects from paper quality to foreign rights to blogging and other social media platforms,” wrote Robb to IBPA. “The “ask the experts” feature [of Publishing University] is very appealing as I can bring up specific questions during the one-on-one sessions.”
SpyGirls Press publishes adventure series targeted to middle grade readers. In 2012, they published Lost in Petra, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, won a silver Moonbeam, was a finalist for the Next Generation Independent Book Awards, a thumbs up from Midwest Book Review. The book, the first in the Anatolia Steppe Mystery Series, received interest for foreign rights from the Frankfurt BookFair. The publisher began a second series, Junior Spies, with the title Camp Secret in October 2013. They plan to publish one book in each series annually.
Attending Publishing University “would give us the opportunity to learn from other publishing professionals, evaluate our goals going forward and how we can maintain sanity and our current pace, and learn some new tricks and tips,” wrote Dennis in her application.
This year, BPNW will give recipients with a small stipend if they provide educational support to the membership through organizing a meeting or writing articles for the website after attending the Publishing University.
The Independent Book Publishers Association’s (IBPA’s) 2014 Publishing University takes place March 21 and 22, 2014, in San Francisco. This year’s workshops focus on how to get content published, distributed, and read in a rapidly changing and evolving environment. For more information, see the Publishing University website.