Bookbuilders of Boston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together people involved in book publishing and manufacturing throughout New England. Our blog describes industry events that we sponsor or attend.

Monday, September 15, 2014

CNE Dispatch: First Casual Networking Event of the Fall

Bookbuilder Networking September 10

After a summer of mostly going without structured networking opportunities, our monthly Casual Networking Events returned for the fall season last Wednesday. Established and up-and-coming bookbuilders (and a few in between) met at Back Bay Social Club in Boston to talk about all things book and ebook publishing, as well as office and freelance life. There was, of course, a healthy amount of business-card swapping, too.

With this bunch of people, it's easy to find things to talk about. I, myself, had some lively discussions about the subject areas I work in, and I particularly enjoyed catching up with two former interns; introducing them to each other; and then talking at length about our different experiences with job hunting, career planning, and a lot more. And the conversations going on throughout the evening were similarly productive: I caught the tail end of my bookbuilder-friend's mini-coaching session on impostor syndrome with two recent graduates turned young professionals in the industry. DRM was another relevant topic of conversation.

A number of Boston- and Cambridge-area publishers and publisher-services companies were represented, including Perseus, Aptara, the MIT Press, Artech House, and Pearson Education, plus a great bunch of freelancers who specialize in a variety of services, like editing, proofreading, indexing, and project management. Students, too! All are welcome.

Casual Networking Events take place on the second Wednesday of each month, and the location alternates between Boston and Cambridge. The next event is Wednesday, October 8, at Park Restaurant & Bar in Cambridge, 68 p.m.

Monday, September 8, 2014

First Casual Networking Event of the Fall is This Wednesday!

It's Time to Network

Are you ready for Bookbuilders of Boston's new year of monthly Causal Networking Events?

Come join your fellow publishing professionals (and meet new ones):

Wednesday, September 10th
Back Bay Social Club
867 Boylston Street
6-8 p.m. 

Casual networking events are informal meetings with no agenda or cover charge — only a chance to network and have fun. Networking isn’t limited to when you need a job. Meeting people in the industry can improve your knowledge as well as your prospects.

If you haven’t attended one before, we encourage you to try it. Casual networking events are free and open to everyone. Tell us you're coming: RSVP.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Call for Entries: 57th Annual New England Book Show

57th Annual Call for Entries
Since 1956, Bookbuilders of Boston has sponsored the annual New England Book Show to acknowledge and honor excellence in bookmaking. We're looking for all the best books New England has to offer, from long-established Boston publishers and scholarly presses to independent creators and printers, self-published authors, and students across New England. This year, we're even adding six brand-new categories to the mix: poetry, graphic novels, coffee table books, cookbooks, literary journals, and magazines.

Create an outstanding electronic project? Submit an e-book or app.

Entries are welcome from anyone who had a hand in producing a book anywhere in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont. So if you've got a book that you published, designed, produced, or manufactured here, it's eligible, even if some of the production happened somewhere else.

A jury of talented and distinguished publishing experts will judge all entries based on design, composition, paper, printing, and binding—or design, functionality, and usability for electronic submissions. The most outstanding entries will be displayed and celebrated at this year's Book Show, as well as in a commemorative catalog.

Learn more and enter now. The deadline for entries is February 4.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We're SO meta ...

The final fall workshop for Bookbuilders of Boston was on the topic of metadata, and we were lucky to welcome four respected professionals on our expert panel.

At right are Rich Kobel (Scope eKnowledge Center), David Rech (Scribe Inc.), Anna Pollock-Nelson (MIT Press), and Fran Toolan (Firebrand Technologies). Their panel discussion was recorded by David Stirling, and the recording is available here. Anna Pollock-Nelson begins the discussion and gives a nice introduction for those unfamiliar with the various functions of metadata in our industry.

Attendance at this educational session was the highest of all of this fall's offerings from Bookbuilders. (The picture at left was taken before the event started, and many others joined us at Pearson.)

The attendance came as somewhat of a surprise to me ... I learned the word "metadata" six years ago, and although it has been important in my day-to-day work since then, until now I haven't come across many Bookbuilders members with an interest in the topic. So ... good timing. Many attendees came from Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt in particular, and I'm glad we could support this learning need in their profession.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

You Can't Compete With the World Series ...

... but you can capture an outstanding program on the Common Core and publishing just before the Red Sox clinch game six at Fenway.

Turnout was small last night, but honestly, anyone who chickened out can be forgiven. President Obama was at Faneuil Hall, Drake was at the Boston Garden, and an audience of about fifteen at Pearson watched and listened to a fantastic panel discussion on the Common Core and its effect on publishing. And, oh yeah: 37,000 people watched the Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals, with the first pitch thrown minutes after our panel ended. Drake got a poor review, but I think the rest of us did pretty well!

Our panelists and moderator are shown at left: Amy Pattee from Simmons College, Roger Sutton from Horn Book, Stephen Pekich from Victory Productions, and moderator Christopher Kenneally from Copyright Clearance Center. The evening's sponsor was Edwards Brothers Malloy.

There is no easy way to summarize a Common Core discussion, since there are so many facets to the topic. The biggest takeaway for me was that the Common Core aims to diminish the potential of "teaching to the test" by emphasizing skills such as critical thinking over memorization. As such, it will be challenging to assess results of the Common Core, and much is in flux.

A question on "Common Core Plus" from HMH.

For a more detailed observations, take a look at some of the live tweets from this event (thank you, Kate Elwell and others). Or, better yet, listen to the panel and Q&A on SoundCloud. David Stirling made these recordings and did a great job without ideal technology available. You will need to use earbuds and turn the sound up, but after my mumbly introduction you will be able to hear well. Please listen and send us your feedback.

SoundCloud Audio Links
Part 1: 40 minutes, panel
Part 2: 20 minutes, Q&A

Friendly panelists at the conclusion of our program.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Top-Quality Educational Offerings: All Free of Charge

I want to encourage members and nonmembers alike to attend our upcoming educational workshops--the topics are timely, and several of the speakers are NEW to Bookbuilders education.
July Casual Networking
On Boston Common.

Roger Sutton from Horn Book is new this coming Wednesday (October 30), speaking on the topic of Common Core. Whether you deal with the US Common Core on a daily basis or not, rest assured that it affects the work we do in Boston educational and children's trade publishing. In November, we welcome companies who help publishers manage their metadata, with Scope eKnowledge Center sending a speaker from New York. 

Venue for October casual networking:
Park in Harvard Square.

Again, whether you think this topic affects your career or not, it absolutely does. We have entered a new age in all sectors of book-buying--there are fewer bookstores in which to browse, and more format options, even for students buying required textbooks. The increased choice and unmediated access to books mean that publishers need to supply reliable, timely information on their complete title list. Without good data, the potential for lost sales is extremely high.

Winners Circle speakers From
Harvard University Press and Chelsea Green.

All of this is not to say that this season's first educational offering was lacking in any way: for the first time, we held a New England Book Show Winners Circle to showcase some winning covers and interiors. As a non-designer, this discussion is really necessary for me to understand trends, considerations, and processes in the variety of industry environments we have in Boston. I am grateful to the members and others who participated in this discussion for so freely sharing their thoughts.

Register now to attend upcoming educational sessions, and remember to bring a photo ID for the security desk at Pearson (501 Boylston Street, 6:00 pm start). On October 30, I recommend the commuter rail to avoid Fenway Park traffic. We WILL announce the score during the break on Wednesday, and we'll also forgive you for checking your phone!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

New Board Convenes for Fiscal Year 2014

The new slate of Bookbuilders of Boston board members and officers met at Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) on July 11, 2014. Here is our new roster:


Right Side (L-R): Bob Bethune,
Scott Meyers, James Taylor
Left Side (L-R): Tom Delano,
 John Rodzvilla, Chris Hartman.
Jamie Carter, CCC, President
Chris Hartman, Pearson Learning, First Vice President
Tom Delano, Vista Higher Learning, Second Vice President
Scott Payne, Edwards Bros. Malloy, Treasurer
Laura Wind, Bedford St. Martin's, Clerk

Board Members and Committees

Bob Bethune, Maple Press, Education
Michele Brennan, Bridgeport National Bindery, Membership
Tom Campbell, King Printing, Finance
Melissa Cerebi, VitalSource, Communications
Kate Elwell, MIT Press, Education
Scott Meyers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Finance
Abby Mumford, Harvard University Press, Communications
Josh Read, Pearson Education, Membership
John Rodzvilla, Emerson College, Education
Sean Stanford, Quad/Graphics, Membership
David Stirling, Heinemann, Communications
James Taylor, Williams Lea, Finance

We also have a new office manager as of August 1, 2014: Becky Specht. Details will follow.

On screen, participating by Skype, is Laura Wind.
In the plaid shirt is David Stirling.
Among the topics discussed were maintaining relevancy in a changing industry landscape, and serving a constituency beyond Boston city limits. If YOU have ideas that the board should discuss, please submit them here.