Free Publishing Conference Focuses On Selling

The Association of Publishers For Special Sales is offering a Free Virtual Book Marketing Conference on September 10 to 11. Led by longtime publishing consultant Brian Jud, this conference focuses on how to sell to non-bookstore buyers.

The two-day virtual conference focuses on marketing print books with free webinars on:

  • What Are Special Markets
  • How to Use Books as Promotional Items
  • How to Create Retail Distribution
  • Make the Grade in the Academic Market
  • Novel Ideas For Selling Fiction To Non-Bookstore Buyer
  • How to Work With a Printer for Customized Print Runs
  • How to Find and Speak at Virtual Events
  • The Selling Power of Book Design
  • Using Social Media for Networking and Book Sales

To find links to register for all or any of these webinars for free, go to

Jud also offers one-on-one consultations. The fee for APSS members is $39.95 ($49.95 for non-members).  To learn more, see

Literary Arts Hiring For WITS

Literary Arts is now accepting applications for WITS, a program that pairs writers with classroom teachers to lead creative writing residencies for public high school students. The WITS program currently serves students at 11 schools in Oregon within Portland Public Schools, Parkrose School District, and Gresham-Barlow School District.

They are seeking experienced teaching artists with backgrounds in education and writing to join a roster of writers for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

For more information, see

Literary Arts WITS teaching artists gather at a pre-COVID function.

Montana Opportunity Grant

Humanities Montana is now accepting applications for grants to “to support creative ways of providing online or other virtual programming.” These grants can be applied to author appearances or other programming by independent publishers that meet the organization’s other criteria.

Meant for organizations based in Montana, the grants provide funding for a wide range of projects “that work to engage Montanans in meaningful discussion about the human condition and enrich civic discourse among the state’s diverse cultures and across its geographical distances.”

To learn more and find out about grants counseling prior to making your applications, see:

Opportunity Grants

Portland Book Festival Goes Online

No surprise, but Literary Arts confirmed this week that the  Portland Book Festival will be held online. The Northwest’s largest festival for readers normally brings more than 9,000 readers to downtown Portland, Oregon, for programming featuring more than 100 writers.

For 2020, the digital festival will feature author events for all ages, pop-up readings, and writing classes from November 5 to November 21. More information can be found at

September 29 Kick-off Planned For PNBA Tradeshow

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association announced that their 2020 virtual tradeshow will begin on the afternoon of September 29 with education programming and “a new-concept dinner event that looks to promote online interactivity and kitchen fun for participants.”

Sticking to a three-day schedule similar to the in-person PNBA show, attendees will find a mix of education and author events from September 29 to October 2. Online access to events will be posted day by day. PNBA also plans to have event recordings and support materials for future reference. For more information about the group and activities, see

New Memoir Focuses on History of Open Hand

Longtime members of Seattle’s publishing community will remember Open Hand Publishing Inc, founded by P. Anna Johnson. Committed to publishing multicultural literature for adults and children, Johnson championed authors of color and released such titles as The Making of Black Revolutionaries, Self Determination: an Examination of the Question and Its Application to the African American People, and High Tide of Black Resistance.

Johnson’s memoir, Publishing Years, will be released in August 2020 by Thirteenth Street Press. In it, Johnson reflects on her two decades (1981 – 2001) of running Open Hand, including how the changes wrought by technology and the explosion of chain bookstores impacted small press publishing in the years before Amazon.

IBPA Provides Virtual Support

The Independent Book Publishers Association reports that their virtual member round tables have been a hit. Started as free webinars to help indie publishers deal with the business impacts of  the coronavirus, these virtual meet-ups have received rave reviews and are beginning to drive programming ideas for the organization. Their July 23 meeting will focus on  how indie publishers can connect with libraries during COVID-19.

The organization continues to add new services for its members including the just launched program for audiobooks: the IBPA NetGalley Program Audiobook Listing. IBPA’s member benefits break into the categories of:

  1. Creating and Distributing Books
  2. PR and Marketing
  3. Securing Book Reviews
  4. Book Award Programs
  5. Managing Your Business
  6. Education and Networking

The organization has more than 3,500 members with a number of affiliate local chapters. To learn more, visit

Virtual Exhibit Offered Via Tri-West

Following the cancellation of regional fall tradeshows, three regional booksellers associations are partnering up to present Tri-West Exhibits, a virtual exhibit hall for the entire indie west. Tri-West Exhibits will be marketing to the bookstore members of CALIBA, MPIBA, and PNBA, reaching over 665 independent bookstores and thousands of booksellers. The Exhibits website will be live from September 30 through October 30, 2020.

Publishers can “book” a  booth for $400 to $2000. Depending on the level of involvement, the booth will feature the brand,  big books,  bookstore specials, and more. To encourage bookstores employees to visit the site and to browse publishers’ booths, the associations will be offering individual programming from all three regions.

More information can be found at the Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association website:

Virtual Tri-West Exhibits Registration

Montana Book Award For Literary Programs

Humanities Montana is now accepting applications for the Montana Center for the Book Prize. This $1,000 cash award will be given to up to five programs across the state, nominated by a community member or self-nominated in recognition of their efforts to promote literacy and literature in their region. Nominations are due July 15, 2020, for this round of awards.

The Montana Center for the Book Prize recognizes programs that offer creative and wide-reaching literary and literacy programming. Eligible programs include festivals, literacy resources, reading and discussion events, Little Free Libraries with community engagement, writing workshops, and more. A list of past winners and the current nomination form is available at

Idyll Arbor Finds New Management And State

Blaschko plans to spend retirement working on his own writing and other projects.

Awhile ago, Tom Blaschko, founder and president of Idyll Arbor Inc., announced plans for retirement, including finding someone to take over the Washington state publishing company and its three imprints. In a recent newsletter, he announced that the company will be transitioning to management by a long-time employee and resident of Indiana.

“Beginning next year Lori Barnes will be the co-president of Idyll Arbor, Inc. Lori has worked for Idyll Arbor over the last ten years specializing in our Pine Winds Press and Issues Press imprints. She is ready to take on the added tasks of developing and marketing books for recreational therapists and activity professionals,” wrote Blaschko. “Over the next few years, I will continue working here as we complete this transition. Part of this transition will include the relocation of the publishing company to the state of Indiana where Lori currently lives, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.”

Blaschko announced that following the transition that he will be spending more time on his own writing and teaching projects. His previous titles include Calculating Soul Connections.

Under the Idyll Arbor imprint, this publisher has more than 200 titles, games, and assessments for healthcare professionals. Pine Winds Press is dedicated to the study of the life force and the soul. For more information on these and other Idyll Arbor activities, see