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Spotlight: IBPA Member Achievements

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October 2012

Major Praise and Pickup

Aquila Polonica Publishing’s The Auschwitz Volunteer by Witold Pilecki has received pages and pages of publicity recently, with Publishers Weekly calling it “remarkable revelations” and the History Book Club and Canada’s Maclean’s praising it with phrases such as “extraordinary memoir.”

Most impressive is the 1,600-word review that appeared in the New York Times Book Review, which started its comments with an explanation: “Pilecki’s report on Auschwitz, unpublishable for decades in Communist Poland and now translated into English . . . is a historical document of the greatest importance. . . . The long report that constitutes this book dates from 1945 and summarizes what he noted along the way: the brutality of Ausch­witz as a German concentration camp for Poles in 1940 and 1941, and its transformation into something worse over the course of the war.”

Besides being named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a Featured Selection of the History Book Club, The Auschwitz Volunteer is a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Military Book Club. Aquila Polonica Publishing did a book trailer for it that is available on YouTube at bit.ly/AuschwitzVolunteerBookTrailer.


Coverage for the Right Readers

Auricle Ink publisher Richard E. Carmen was interviewed about dealing with someone with hearing loss for the September issue of BottomLine Health (bottomlinepublications.com). Its article “Is Your Loved One’s Hearing Loss Driving You Nuts? Secrets to Making a Hearing Aid Much More Appealing” was based in part on Carmen’s book, How Hearing Loss Impacts Relationships: Motivating Your Loved One.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers had two titles pictured and described in the “Alumni News: Bookshelf” section of a recent issue of the Harvard Business School BulletinWhat the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher, and The Secret of Teams: What Great Teams Know and DoTrue North Groups: A Powerful Path to Personal and Leadership Development was cited in “Ideas: Faculty Books.”


Focusing on Food

“Book about edibles is luck for beginners” is how the Seattle Times headlined the recent story in its Pacific magazine (a Sunday supplement) about the authors of Food Grown Right in Your Own Backyard: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Crops at Home. The book is new from Skipstone, an imprint of Mountaineers Books.

In “Cookbooks Go Quirky,” part of a recent Publishers Weekly feature on (what else) cookbooks, both print and electronic, IBPA members cited include Square One Publishers for its forthcoming juicing title, Life Foods, Live Bodies! and Gibbs Smith for its Push-up Pops.


Trade Media Mentions

Among the publishers recognized recently with starred reviews in Publishers Weekly are:

Sourcebooks Landmark for A Royal Pain, described as a “delightful love story” and a “charming book worth reading again and again.”

Sourcebooks Casablanca for Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie, which features an autistic character. (Another Sourcebooks Casablanca title, Hell on Wheels, was included on the PW list of Best Summer Books 2012.)

Among those cited in recent issues of Library Journal:

Piggott Press for Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, described as a “quirky little book” for home-based businesswomen who also have small children at home.

Interweave for Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon, and Cords, described as “bohemian-inspired, but they’re more haute than hippie.”

Trafalgar Square Books for Norwegian Mittens & Gloves, which points out that author Annemor Sundbo’s “knowledge of her topic shines.”

Chicago Review Press for Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History, about the soldier arrested for sending thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks.


Attention for an E-book Imprint

Village Books and its Chuckanut Editions were recently discussed in Shelf Awareness, which profiled Lindsey McGuirk, who handles the store’s Chuckanut imprint and its Espresso Book Machine program. “About 12 percent of EBM business is publisher backlist and Google Books,” she said, explaining that most of the Google Books are genealogies that date back to the early 1900s, “which is pretty freakin’ cool.”

Chuckanut Editions had published 13 books as this was being written, with two more in the works.

“The bulk of our printing definitely comes from self-publishing authors,” McGuirk said. “At this point, we have 83 authors who have printed their books with us. Many of them have multiple titles.” When asked about e-books vs. print format, she emphasized, “It would be foolish for an author to go strictly e-book. A ton of people are reading e-books, but a ton of people are sticking with physical books or reading both the e-book and physical book.”


A Keyword Selection Strategy

To select the keywords most likely to attract readers to its Web pages for The Biting Solution, forthcoming from Parenting Press, the press used the Google AdWords traffic estimator (“Estimate traffic for new keywords,” adwords.google.com).

Staff members typed in 30 relevant words and phrases and a possible price bid per click for each; Google then showed whether that bid would get a Biting Solution Web listing on the first page of search results. Publisher Carolyn Threadgill then selected the highest-priced (and presumably the most relevant) terms for the keywords and discarded those terms that are seldom searched, according to Google.

Spotlight is compiled by Linda Carlson (lindacarlson.com), who welcomes members’ news of unusual special sales, licensing deals, significant media coups in the last month, movie and television options, and other achievements at linda@ibpa-online.org.



The focus of this column is as much on how you accomplish something as on what you accomplish, so specific how-to’s are important.

For her other monthly articles in the Independent, Linda often emails members to ask about their experiences. To ensure you receive these messages, check that you have her email address in your address book.

Please submit your news for Spotlight in the text of your email (no attachments) and remember to include:

● your name and title

● the name of your press as it appears in the IBPA membership directory

● your email address

● URLs for the archived editions of any media stories you’re telling us about

Since information for this column is needed about eight weeks in advance of an issue’s publication date, news you submit by October 10 can be considered for the December and later issues. News that is time-sensitive should be directed to lisa@ibpa-online.org for consideration for the IBPA e-newsletter.

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