Category: General

PubWest Announces 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to Honor John Mutter and Jenn Risko

PubWest, the leading trade association of small- and medium-sized book publishers, has awarded its 2018 Jack D. Rittenhouse Award to John Mutter and Jenn Risko, co-founders of Shelf Awareness.

The Rittenhouse Award was established in 1990 as a way to thank and honor those who have made an important contribution to the Western community of the book. The award is given annually in memory of Jack D. Rittenhouse, the West’s legendary bookman.

“The Jack D. Rittenhouse Award recipients have all made extraordinary contributions to how books are made and sold,” said Bill Fessler, PubWest board president and publisher at American Traveler Press. “The roster of honorees includes publishers, retailers, educators, and writers who have made a real contribution to the Western community of the book. This year, it is a true pleasure to induct Jenn Risko and John Mutter for their work at Shelf Awareness.”

John Mutter and Jenn Risko will accept the Rittenhouse Award during the PubWest 2018 conference, scheduled for February 15–17 at The Westin Pasadena in Pasadena, California.

John Mutter was the longtime executive editor for bookselling at Publishers Weekly. In the mid-1990s, he launched one of the first trade e-newsletters: the former PW Daily for Booksellers. It became very popular, and when it was ended and John left PW, booksellers immediately rallied, asking him to start his own newsletter.

Jenn Risko landed her dream job with Pacific Pipeline twenty-five years ago, where she was given an old Ford Taurus, an enormous territory, and bags of western publishers’ titles. She has held sales and marketing positions at Rand McNally, Falcon/Insiders’ Guides Publishing, and the National Academies Press. She met John Mutter at a Falcon Publishing sales conference, and got into trouble for “hogging” him. Upon hearing of John’s exit from PW, she called him to ask what his plans were.

Shelf Awareness was born shortly thereafter in June of 2005, out of a need for a community newspaper for independent booksellers, librarians, and the publishing trade at large. Shelf Awareness Pro, as it’s now known, quickly became the daily must-read of 40,000 industry subscribers. The publication is well known for championing independent bookstores at a time when their future was in doubt.

In 2011, as book review sections were dwindling, indie bookstores were being referred to as “showrooms” for Amazon, and Borders had collapsed, Shelf Awareness launched a consumer-facing e-newsletter, Shelf Awareness for Readers. It highlights the best books being published each week and is branded on behalf of more than 100 independent bookstores to more than 415,000 indie bookstore customers. It is estimated to have helped indies sell hundreds of thousands of books.

Following the success of Shelf Pro and Readers, in 2016 the American Booksellers Association enlisted Shelf Awareness to build a new platform and create the e-newsletter for their Indie Next List program. The Indie Next List e-newsletter is delivered on behalf of more than 100 bookstores to 465,000 avid readers.

In 2017, Shelf Awareness will have delivered more than 70 million e-newsletters, and has more than 650,000 combined Twitter followers, Facebook likes, and Instagram followers. It has successfully deployed tens of thousands of advertisements for publishers, and remains the industry favorite to influence booksellers, librarians, and the largest audience of independent bookstore customers.

New Date: Publisher Roundtable

Friday, December 15, 2017
10:00 am (Pacific) / 11:00 am (Mountain)
Hosted by PubWest President Bill Fessler
These valuable roundtable calls offer publisher heads of house the opportunity to discuss business conditions, trends, and a wide variety of topics in a casual and collaborative setting. Topics include: Sexual Harassment Policies. Does your company have one? Is it effective? Is it enough? The Publisher Roundtable calls are open to heads of house only.
RSVP and send suggested topics to Kent Watson at kent@pubwest.org.

REGISTRATION FOR PUBWEST 2018 IS NOW OPEN!

Our 2018 theme is “Raising Voices: Creating a Vibrant Publishing Future.” To be successful in publishing new books, new titles in a series, or ebooks, “Raising Voices” is an imperative: our content must be fresh and diverse, our publishing missions need to be understood, and our marketing efforts have to be seen and heard. For every segment of conference’s schedule-each keynote, each panel, each intensive session, and each event-our theme will be at the forefront.
Get away from daily office distractions and connect with publishing professionals from throughout North America for an incredible three-day book publishing immersion program. Whether you are a longtime publishing professional or a rookie, you’ll benefit from sharing fresh ideas and gaining critical insights for navigating and thriving in our industry as it experiences monumental changes in print and electronic workflow.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
* Keynotes by: 
Becky Brasington Clark, Director of the Library of Congress Publishing Office
Chris Finan, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship
Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation
Lian and Liz Dolan of the Satellite Sisters
* Preconference intensive sessions:
Get Discovered: How to Increase Your Online Presence
Beyond the Boilerplate: Contracting Books to Optimize Subsidiary Rights and Protect
Your Investment
* The extended Gibbs Smith Publishers Roundtable 
* Program sessions:
Optimizing Top Accounts
How Can Editors Build Sustainable, Effective Virtual Project Teams
The Ever-Shrinking First Printing
When Money is Raising the Red Flag: Listening to Your Finance Department
Special Isn’t Special (Sales) Anymore
Getting the Manuscripts You Want
Engaging with Your Community
How to Speak Design for Non-designers
* Peer-to-peer roundtable discussions
PLUS THIS YEAR!
* The PubWest Spelling Bee and Trivia Night
*”Speedy Spiels: Technology Hacks”: Four-minute presentations describing techno-tips that have proved to be time savers . . . or mind savers.
Don’t miss PUBWEST 2018 and the opportunity 
to learn, network, and get energized!
 Register now and get 15% off with our Early Bird Discount.

EXTENDED DEADLINE! Best Practices Survey

We are excited to present you with an updated PubWest Best Practices Survey! This is not your typical publishing industry survey. For starters, we’re interested in capturing data about PubWest’s base-that is, small- and medium-sized book publishers. We’ve also created a survey that won’t require you to look up any spreadsheets or add up any figures. Instead, we believe the most useful information in any survey of the publishing industry is found in the responses to open-ended questions.
EXTENDED DEADLINE: A link to the survey is provided here; please complete the form online and submit it by November 30, 2017.
All survey responses will be anonymous, and the information you provide will not be shared outside of this survey. You can opt out of any question. When we share the results, we will use your answers about net sales and the categories in which you publish, for example, to inform our analysis of different parts of our complex industry. We will also share verbatim responses to many open-ended questions, which we hope will stimulate new ideas among PubWest publisher members. We also look forward to sharing with you the data we gather on such topics as average salaries for various job titles.
Thanks in advance for the time you take out of your busy day to complete this survey. Next year it will be even more efficient, because we’ll reissue the survey with this year’s responses in place-making it easy for you to update your answers as necessary-along with a new section for more specific, timely inquiries. We hope the PubWest Best Practices Survey will become a regular and valued part of the services PubWest offers its publisher members.

 

Portland State University and Ooligan Press will be the third-party collector and analyzer of the PubWest Best Practices Survey. Data from the survey will be analyzed and then released back to PubWest members to further gauge and inform publishing practice.

New Date: Publisher Roundtable

Friday, December 1st, 2017
10:00 am (Pacific) / 11:00 am (Mountain)
Hosted by PubWest President Bill Fessler
These valuable roundtable calls offer publisher heads of house the opportunity to discuss business conditions, trends, and a wide variety of topics in a casual and collaborative setting. The Publisher Roundtable calls are open to heads of house only.
RSVP and send suggested topics to Kent Watson at kent@pubwest.org.

President and Founder of Gibbs Smith Publisher Passes Away

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Gibbs Smith, President and Founder of Gibbs Smith Publisher.
“The entire PubWest community is grieving from the loss of Gibbs Smith,” says Executive Director, Kent Watson. “Gibbs was a true friend of PubWest, and all of its members. He helped with many of the conferences, and moderated numerous Publishers roundtables offering his publishing wisdom to the people that were new to the trade and those who had years of experience. In 2007, he was honored with the Jack D. Rittenhouse Award. He was an ever-curious publisher. In fact, each time I would see him he would ask me “Kent what’s the book that you think needs to be published?” The news of Gibbs passing brought tears to my eyes as I truly looked up to him as someone who always made the connection between publishing and community. Gibbs Smith will truly be missed.”

Gibbs Morgan Smith 

1940 – 2017 

Gibbs Morgan Smith passed away October 28, 2017, in Ogden, Utah. He was born in Oakland, California, June 24, 1940, to his dentist father and artistic mother, G. Gibbs and Iola Smith. The family moved to Kaysville in 1947. He attended Davis High School and graduated from the University of Utah with a BS and an MS in history.

Gibbs married Catherine Ellison Wilcox on June 2, 1966, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. He was a high priest in the Barnes Park Ward of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His favorite calling was home teacher.

Gibbs did graduate work in American cultural history and architecture at UC Santa Barbara. While there, his master’s thesis on labor activist Joe Hill was published as a book and then made into a movie. Time spent working on the labor movement had a profound influence on Gibbs’ future perspective. In 1969, Gibbs and Catherine launched their publishing company, Peregrine Smith, in Santa Barbara, then in 1972

moved the company to east Layton. The company name was later changed to Gibbs Smith. He was always proud to export culture from Layton, Utah, to the world.

Gibbs was an artist who painted stylized urban imagery and landscapes. He was well known for his paintings of bookstores, which appeared on the company catalog cover.

Gibbs lived life uniquely. His larger-than-life personality exuded can-do positivity, and “can’t be done” was not part of his vocabulary. He was a classic Renaissance man, intrigued by ideas and cultures; he could converse on any subject. An astute observer of nature who enjoyed the world through the vivid colors of flowers, sunsets, redrock, and forest landscapes, he relished the music of the changing seasons.

He loved car trips and train travel. His yearly routine included New York or points east for the book conventions, Santa Fe for the opera and Indian Market, Cody and Jackson Hole for the Western Design Conference, Boulder, Utah, for Thanksgiving and hiking with Sierra Clubbers over New Year’s. Favorite places away from home were New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Santa Fe, Kelly, Wyoming, and the redrock country of southern Utah. Among his loves were midcentury modern design, vintage silver trailers, impressionist art, and the culture and spirit of California. He enjoyed cross-country skiing, hiking, painting, 8×10 photography, and cowboy poetry; theater, symphony orchestras, folk music, jazz, and contemporary pop; and he relished a good discussion.

One of Gibbs’ dreams was to create a retreat for writers in Utah’s redrock country. The Mesa, which is the fulfillment of this dream, is currently under construction near Zion National Park.

A gathering to celebrate Gibbs’ life will take place Friday, November 3, from 6 to 8 at the new house, 575 Artists Way, Layton; short comments or thoughts are welcome. Funeral service Saturday, November 4, at 2:00 at the LDS meetinghouse on the corner of 200 North and Flint Street, Kaysville. Interment in Kaysville City Cemetery.

Gibbs is survived by his wife, Catherine; daughter and son-in-law Jordan and Troy Johnson and grandchildren Kaitlin and Kai, Logan; sister and brother-in-law ShruDeLi and Ray Ownbey, Salt Lake City, and nephew Micah (Casey) Ownbey, Portland, Maine. He was preceded in death by his parents, George Gibbs Wright and Iola Heiselt Smith.

The family suggests donations to The Mesa Retreat Center at www.themesaretreatcenter.com, or the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club at www.utah.sierraclub.org.

UPDATED: Best Practices Survey

We are excited to present you with an updated PubWest Best Practices Survey! This is not your typical publishing industry survey. For starters, we’re interested in capturing data about PubWest’s base-that is, small- and medium-sized book publishers. We’ve also created a survey that won’t require you to look up any spreadsheets or add up any figures. Instead, we believe the most useful information in any survey of the publishing industry is found in the responses to open-ended questions.
A link to the survey is provided here; please complete the form online and submit it by November 16, 2017.
All survey responses will be anonymous, and the information you provide will not be shared outside of this survey. You can opt out of any question. When we share the results, we will use your answers about net sales and the categories in which you publish, for example, to inform our analysis of different parts of our complex industry. We will also share verbatim responses to many open-ended questions, which we hope will stimulate new ideas among PubWest publisher members. We also look forward to sharing with you the data we gather on such topics as average salaries for various job titles.
Thanks in advance for the time you take out of your busy day to complete this survey. Next year it will be even more efficient, because we’ll reissue the survey with this year’s responses in place-making it easy for you to update your answers as necessary-along with a new section for more specific, timely inquiries. We hope the PubWest Best Practices Survey will become a regular and valued part of the services PubWest offers its publisher members.

 

Portland State University and Ooligan Press will be the third-party collector and analyzer of the PubWest Best Practices Survey. Data from the survey will be analyzed and then released back to PubWest members to further gauge and inform publishing practice.

BuzzBooks Winner at PNBA

Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith (from PubWest Member Orca Book Publishers) won the BuzzBooks contest last week at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association annual trade show, in Portland, OR. Nearly 200 punch cards were handed out to attendees who visited eight exhibits for publisher quick pitches on recent and upcoming titles across several genres. The booksellers and librarians then voted for the book they were “most excited to recommend to patrons of Northwest libraries and bookstores.”
Orca Book Publishers described Speaking Our Truth this way: “For more than 150 years, thousands of indigenous children were forced by the Canadian government to attend schools designed to eradicate the cultural identities of indigenous peoples. This book takes readers on a journey toward reconciliation as we come to terms with the long-term effects of Residential (Boarding) Schools. Healing requires education and increased understanding of the impacts still being felt by survivors and their families.”

Best Practices Survey

We are excited to present you with an updated PubWest Best Practices Survey! This is not your typical publishing industry survey. For starters, we’re interested in capturing data about PubWest’s base-that is, small- and medium-sized book publishers. We’ve also created a survey that won’t require you to look up any spreadsheets or add up any figures. Instead, we believe the most useful information in any survey of the publishing industry is found in the responses to open-ended questions.
A link to the survey is provided here; please complete the form online and submit it by November 16, 2017.
All survey responses will be anonymous, and the information you provide will not be shared outside of this survey. You can opt out of any question. When we share the results, we will use your answers about net sales and the categories in which you publish, for example, to inform our analysis of different parts of our complex industry. We will also share verbatim responses to many open-ended questions, which we hope will stimulate new ideas among PubWest publisher members. We also look forward to sharing with you the data we gather on such topics as average salaries for various job titles.
Thanks in advance for the time you take out of your busy day to complete this survey. Next year it will be even more efficient, because we’ll reissue the survey with this year’s responses in place-making it easy for you to update your answers as necessary-along with a new section for more specific, timely inquiries. We hope the PubWest Best Practices Survey will become a regular and valued part of the services PubWest offers its publisher members.

 

Portland State University and Ooligan Press will be the third-party collector and analyzer of the PubWest Best Practices Survey. Data from the survey will be analyzed and then released back to PubWest members to further gauge and inform publishing practice.

Happy Hour at the Ashland Literary Arts Festival

Board member Laura Stanfill will give a short presentation about PubWest and the 2018 conference at a publishing happy hour from 4-6 p.m. at Liquid Assets Wine Bar96 North Main Street, Ashland, Oregon.
The happy hour precedes the Ashland Literary Arts Festival, slated for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, in the Hannon Library on the Southern Oregon University campus. The festival will feature twenty independent publishers from the region, including PubWest members, and will celebrate literature, poetry, journalism, art, lyrics, comics, film, and documentary. Partners include the Ashland Independent Film Festival, the Daily Tidings, the Medford Public Library, Willamette Writers, the Schneider Museum, the Rogue Valley Messenger, the Southern Oregon Literary Alliance, and Cascadia Publishers. ALAF is an updated version of the Ashland Literary Festival, which has been existence for six years as an ultra-local event.

For more information about the Ashland Literary Arts Festival, email Tod at tod.davies@gmail.com. To RSVP to the Ashland happy hour, email Laura at books@forestavenuepress.com.