Friday, July 30, 2010

Updates for Fall

We're excited to announce that our Fall books are now up on our website! Check them out at

Today I found a great blog post called Great Children's Books About Princesses. I was very pleased (but not surprised!) to see that The Paper Bag Princess had made the list. (Fun fact: this book has now been in print for 30 years. It's available in hardcover, paperback, Annikin version, board book, and special 25th Anniversary edition!)

It also got me thinking: what would Elizabeth, star of The Paper Bag Princess, read as a teenager? Any suggestions? Favorite young adult novels with strong female protagonists? Let me know in the comments! (Personally, I'd vote for Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy... can't wait for the third one, Mockingjay, to come out this August!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Annick's Vancouver Office Has Moved!

Our Vancouver office has moved to a new home! Here's the inside scoop from my colleague Paula:

July 8 was moving day for Annick’s small but mighty Vancouver outpost. It was a big job—Colleen and I spent weeks sorting through dusty old files, packing up shelves overflowing with books, and reliving many years of memories along the way. Despite a few bonks on the head while putting together the bookshelves, the move went smoothly, and we are now settled in to our new location in the beautiful Duncan Building in downtown Vancouver, just a few blocks from our former office in Gastown. We’re in a cozy, bright one-room office with wood floors, plants, and plenty of natural light, looking down on the bustle of Pender Street outside. Books have been re-alphabetized and shelved, pictures have been hung, and we’ve even set up a mini-kitchen. It already feels like home!

And here's Paula, all settled in and busy already:

And of course it's not official unless there's a plaque, right?

The new address is Suite 205, 119 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC. Click here to view more pictures on our Flickr account.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Publisher...

This week on Twitter, users tagged questions and comments to publishers with the hashtag #dearpublisher, leading to the kinds of interesting conversations Twitter was made for. (To learn more about how the hashtag was started by @jennIRL and @HarperPerennial, read this article at FuturEbook.)

By far the most re-tweeted post was by @katrinalantznov, who wrote: "#dearpublisher Combine ebooks with hardcovers, but please don't stop printing books ever. The book is not dead. It just had babies." Good to know, as Annick expands its ebook program. (We definitely have no plans to stop printing books!)

Here are a few other noteworthy tweets, along with our responses:

@asthasr: "#dearpublisher, If your author has a web page or blog (or active Twitter), add that to the author bio. We like their writing. Give us more."
Happy to oblige! We include our authors' websites in their bios and/or on their book's copyright page. We also have an author page for each of our authors and illustrators on the Annick Press website, and we list their websites and other online presences. (This blog also has links to Annick contributors' websites and blogs in the right-hand frame, so feel free to explore!)

@CheekyReads: "#dearpublisher Please indicate on covers if book is part of series & what # it is. On inside, please list series in order."
Our latest series, Single Voice, isn't sequential, so we don't have numbers on the covers. However, we do have a list of the other books in the series inside each book.

@tehawesomersace: "#dearpublisher People of color don't all live in the ghetto or have abusive parents or wish they were white. Why can't we be vampires?"
Good point! You might like The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor, which features a First Nations vampire. (Click here for the book trailer, and here for a clip of Drew reading from the book.)

"#dearpublisher #dearblogger Don't ignore me bc I'm a "new" blog. I've been talking, reviewing, & recommending books since the dawn of time :)"
"#dearpublisher I'm more likely to pick up a book because of a blogger I respect or from friends in a Goodreads group."
We try to work closely with book bloggers for that very reason: people who are enthusiastic about books and read a lot of them are exactly who we'd love to have recommend our books to others! When bloggers approach me for review copies (or when I pitch books to them), I look at their blog's content rather than its age: are the reviews well written and insightful? Based on the blogger's tastes and what genres they review, will they like our books? Are they active in the book blogging community (including Goodreads and Twitter)?

@Irisheyz77: "#dearpublisher please encourage your authors to comment/email bloggers when they like a review. It gives us the warm fuzzies."
We do send our authors links to blog reviews, but from now on, we'll encourage them to comment, too!

If you'd like to ask Annick any questions directly, you can always comment on this blog, send us a message on Twitter (@AnnickPress), or contact us through our fan page on Facebook. (And if you're looking for submission guidelines, here they are: Hope to hear from you!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Annick-versary!

June marked a very impressive achievement for our production manager, Heather: 25 years at Annick Press! Over the years, Heather has developed an impressive archival memory when it comes to the Annick list--something that her coworkers (especially the newer ones!) definitely appreciate. In honor of her contributions, Annick's Toronto office had a celebratory lunch, then headed back to the office for cake and presents (and a few touching speeches).

In the following interview with Heather, she reflects on publishing, books, and how Annick has changed over the past 25 years.

1. Why did you want to work in publishing?
It was actually my "back-up" plan. After graduating from University with an English degree (and no actual job skills) I was thinking of journalism school. I thought I should have a back-up plan for that and found out about a publishing course. I went to an information seminar about the course and I was hooked. All I'd ever known about publishing was editing. About two months after starting the course, I knew I never wanted to be an editor! Coincidentally, my grandfather was an editor at General Publishing--and used to bring us all kinds of books.

2. Tell us a bit about what life was like at Annick when you started. How have things changed?
When I first started, there was only myself and the two owners/publishers Anne Millyard and Rick Wilks. We were in two and half rooms above a bagel shop! Eighteen months later, Anne and Rick bought the Annick house. We thought we'd never fill it. The three of us did everything. Gradually, more and more people joined us, specializing in different areas. Now, Anne Millyard has retired and we're full to the rafters with people!

3. How did you move into Production?
At first, I did a little bit of everything (except editorial). I had the production skills thanks to the publishing course and I liked it--a lot. As more and more people joined Annick and took over their areas of specialization, I got more and more focused on production. Of course, in a smaller work environment, we all still do a lot of "other duties as required"!

4. What’s your favorite part of your job?
Anything remotely hands-on. When I started we were still doing paste-up with repro' type! I loved that. Now it's all computers, but there are still some things that emulate that "craft" part of production. Manipulating electronic layouts. Working in Photoshop. Mostly our designers do that now, but occasionally I still get to.

5. What’s the most challenging part of Production?
Trying to get books in on schedule if they're delayed. Trying to keep costs down.

6. Name some of your favorite books.
Hmmmm. Two Solitudes by Hugh Maclennan; the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (I re-read it every few years), Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (heh--I have a thing for post-apocolyptic books and movies).

I read a LOT of YA fiction. Right now I'm anxiously awaiting the third installments of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the Life As We Knew It trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer (OK, that one's available, but only in hardcover).

Picture books? Nicholas at the Library by Hazel Hutchins (one of my all-time favorite Annick books). The Chester series by Melanie Watt. I love Chester.

I definitely prefer fiction, in all genres, to non-fiction.

7. What non-book-related hobbies do you have?
I swim--a LOT. I belong to a competitive club. I've competed, off and on, since I was nine. We train three times a week. I like distance the best and this summer I'll be doing a 1.5 km (.9 mile) open water race. Last year I did 3 km but the water was really rough (3 ft waves) and cold and it was not enjoyable. The longest I've done is 5 km (3.1 miles) and I loved it. Someday I'd like to try 10 km.

I also do a lot of things with my hands--I guess that's the production side of me. Jewelry-making, cross-stitch, sewing. But NOT knitting.

And I love plants. I have a lot of houseplants and a vegetable garden on my balcony. However, I'm kind of a "survival-of-the-fittest" gardener. Tough plants only!