April 9, 2013
Does “Merch Update” sound hip enough?
It turns out that we have this giant green bag choc-full* of beautiful, slimming, “obsidian black” BatCat t-shirts. They’re perfect for any situation. Going on a hot date? BatCat t-shirt. Going on a safari? BatCat t-shirt. Geocaching? BatCat t-shirt. Hula hooping? BatCat t-shirt. The possibilities are endless.
They’re selling for $15 ($18 with shipping). They’ve got the infamous BatCat logo on the front, and they shamelessly plug our website on the back. You can get one in our store: click right here. Scroll down in the store gadget to get to the shirts (sorry, we are not internet wizards and don’t know how to make it prettier).
Grab ‘em while they’re hot (which they’ll always be, ’cause, ya know, look at them)!
*This is a pretty serious exaggeration, we only have a few at the moment.
March 18, 2013
By Liam McInerney and Nicole Andrasko
The Little Room. It’s where we store our book making supplies and magic talismans. It’s an untold treasure trove of bookbinding goodies, plastic dinnerware, and, of course, Johnathan Michael Gnorack.
Right now, our Little Room is very messy. It’s so messy, in fact, that one cannot find anything, no matter how hard one looks. Awls are in inkwells, paintbrushes are stuck to power drills, and it’s generally just in a terrible state of affairs.
Thankfully, a few members of the staff volunteered to tidy the Little Room. They tackled the hellish paper-scape and labelled as many despondent boxes as possible. Ill-begotten, discarded bookbinding projects were filed away from sight. The hand saw was separated from the dinnerware. All the book board ended up in one place. They even found a copy of “The Venetian’s Mistress.”
Even J.M.G. looks happier.
March 13, 2013
Thanks to everyone who came by to visit us at the AWP bookfair in Boston. We had a delightful time and hope everyone else did as well. Don’t forget to friend us on Facebook! Just search for BatCat Press.
Now we are hard at work designing our 2013 projects by Matthew Mahaney and Christine DeSimone. These will both be released at our annual LAVA festival at Lincoln Park, which will be held on May 28 and 29. Online ordering will be made available shortly after the festival.
Our 2013 submission period officially begins on June 1, but you are welcome to send along your manuscript at any time and we’ll add it to our queue. We go through submissions in the fall so wait times may be long and varied, but rest assured that we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can. For more submission information, click here. Edit: We’ve updated our submissions page! We’ve simplified things a bit, but shoot us an email if you have any questions.
March 1, 2013
For our second project of 2013, we’re trying something a little bit different. The project is currently codenamed Five and will be a series of poetry broadsides by Christine DeSimone of San Fransisco, CA. These limited edition broadsides will be available as a set and will debut at LAVA at the end of May.
We have one more project in the works that we will announce soon. In the meantime, come visit us at AWP – table J15. We’ll be bringing the goods!
February 15, 2013
We are very excited to announce our first title for 2013: Your Attraction to Sharp Machines, a poetry collection by Matthew Mahaney of Tuscaloosa, AL. Your Attraction to Sharp Machines will be released at Lincoln Park’s LAVA Festival (May 28-29) and will be made available for purchase online shortly after. We’ll have more details about the collection posted soon.
But wait! There’s more! We have two more projects on deck that we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks, so check back again. Also, don’t forget to stop by our table at the AWP Bookfair – J15. We’ll be there with books, broadsides, and some pretty spectacular handouts. Hope to see you there!
January 10, 2013
…oh man, we are so busy. Here are some recent updates:
- Snowmen Losing Weight is available once again, and can be ordered by clicking here. We also have a limited number of The One That Counts available (Valentines Day, anyone?), as well as all of our other titles.
- We are very hard at work selecting manuscripts for 2013 publication. This year we read more manuscripts than ever before, and are approaching the finish line. Emails have been going out left and right, and all finalists for this year have been notified. A public announcement about our 2013 title(s) will be coming soon!
- AWP Boston is fast approaching, and we’ll be there – fourth year in a row! If you’ll be there too, come visit us at table J15. There will be books.
- Thanks to everyone who came to visit us at Handmade Arcade! It was a fun time, and we hope that many Christmas trees found themselves adorned with books this past month.
That’s it for now. Don’t forget to friend us on Facebook for tiny and timely updates. We’ll be running a few more contests this spring – don’t miss out!
November 14, 2012
Lately we’ve been working on producing a second run of Noah Falck’s Snowmen Losing Weight. We’re nearing the end of this process, which we started back in early October. A limited number of copies will be available on December 7 (pre-order here). Till then, we wanted to give everyone a look inside the creation of Snowmen.
When we choose a manuscript for publication, it’s usually in a pretty solid state and in need of little editing. Our job, as we see it, is to figure out how the manuscript should be presented, to find its ideal form and make it happen. Since we make all of our books by hand, we have the freedom to do a lot of experimentation and really explore ideas in form and design. So we do.
Snowmen Losing Weight looks pretty simple from the front, but is actually one of our most complex designs to date. It’s a modification of the dos-a-dos binding style, in which two books share the same cover. But instead two, Snowmen has four.
Snowmen is a collection 61 poems, and it came to us already arranged in sections. We liked this idea and wanted to take it a little further, so a couple of intrepid staff members took the manuscript, consulted Noah and did some reordering, ultimately grouping them into four distinct but equally weighted sections. We decided early on that we wanted to design a book that supported this structure in a direct way – we played around with several different concepts (that included everything from slipcases to sweatbands) but ultimately settled on a single book with four spines.
From there we moved on to material selection. We wanted to use a fabric for the spines that would hold up to a lot of use and give the book more strength and structure than standard issue bookcloth. We settled on a colorful marine vinyl, traditionally used for outdoor upholstery. We selected shades that reminded us of the 1980s and early 1990s, tapping into a sense of nostalgia which we also felt was an undercurrent of the work itself.
When it came to cover design, we wanted something simple that would work with the already complicated and bright structure. At the time we were using ink to do a color wash for the covers of another of our 2012 titles, Far Out All My Life. This lent us the idea of using ink for Snowmen as well, and students developed a technique for specking black ink on white, suggesting snowfall. We wanted to repeat the same idea on our endpages, but to give the design some depth, we used white on black. All covers and endpages were flecked by hand, so each book has a slightly different pattern.
As for the layout, the segmented nature of the book made us question the use of regular page numbers, so we opted to number the poems instead. We also decided that including a table of contents at the beginning of the book wouldn’t make sense, since we wanted the reader to be able to open to any of the four sections and dive right in. Instead, we included a table of contents at the beginning of each section.
Snowmen is labor-intensive, but we can’t imagine it any other way.
October 10, 2012
Interview by Sydney Dixon
Like many small presses, we do our best to get the word out about our new titles. But it’s a big world out there, and often a book’s best friend is its author. Recently, we caught up with Noah Falck and talked with him about self-promotion and how he publicized the release of his book, Snowmen Losing Weight. Snowmen has been one of BatCat Press’s bestsellers, in no small part because of Noah’s efforts (and for those in wait: copies will once again be available in early December). Here’s what he had to say:
What did you do as an author to promote your book?
I tried to create as much buzz as possible through social media, local radio, and newspapers. I did an interview with the local NPR affiliate, and also an interview with the Dayton Daily News. In addition to the buzz, I held an event. I had a book release party featuring music and poetry, including poets Nick Sturm and Matt Hart. I also participated in as many readings as possible to help spread the word. I am still lining up some readings in Buffalo, Boston, and NYC in the upcoming months.
What resources did you use?
By resources, I am assuming you mean media outlets. This is an interesting question, as this is the first time I’ve ever really tried to promote my work. I created a Facebook event page, though since then I get the feeling that Facebook is going by the wayside. I generated some small buzz on the iPhone app Instagram. I used Twitter for the book and the release party event.
What do you think was the most effective method you used?
For the book, I really can’t say. Giving readings is the truest form. That way, people can get a sense of what your work is about. They can participate in the experience. At the same time, a lot of my friends hate poetry readings. They’d rather drink expired milk than listen to people read poems. So for that crowd, I think the social media outlets work, something a bit more instantaneous.
What advice would you give to future author’s regarding self promotion?
To go out and read. If I could I’d travel guerilla style like Matt Hart & Nate Pritts or Matthew Rohrer & Joshua Beckman. For poets, that is the best way to get your work in front of other people. I would also advise in creating some sort of online presence. I was lucky enough to have a very talented friend hook me up with an amazing website, if you aren’t as lucky, start a tumblr, blog, or create a Facebook page or Twitter account. Email other poets and ask them if they know of any places to read. Generally, poets are pretty kind, open-hearted people, and they will do their best to help you out. If not, start your own reading series and invite poets you love.
Noah Falck is the author of Snowmen Losing Weight, Life as a Crossword Puzzle, and Measuring Tape for the Midwest. You can find him here. Next week we’ll be talking to Rosemary Macuga about her publicity efforts for The One That Counts.
August 29, 2012
by Ashley & Sydney
Summer is coming to a close, and the new staff of BatCat Press has already settled in. We’re getting to work right away, and with that comes more blog updates—you can begin to expect regular posts. Be sure to check in with us to keep yourself updated with our works-in-progress. For even more coverage, head over to our Facebook page where Alyx, our social media manager, will be posting regularly.
If you need to contact us about things not covered on here, such as the state of your submission, our communications team will get back to you as soon as possible. Feel free to send us an email at any time! Danielle and Bethany will be sending out declines as early as September, so be on the look out.
New this year is our @Press team, specializing in smaller publications, such as mini-chapbooks. Allison, Liam, Amber and Nicole are currently seeking out talent from within our school, but keep on the lookout for more information about possible outside submissions.
There’s nothing better than holding a book in your hands. Zack, Rae, Autumn and Sydni make up our binding team, but you can count on all of us to be making our publications by hand, as always.
You can expect biweekly entries from the two of us, Ashley and Sydney. We’ll be keeping you up to date with events, book reviews, author interviews, book releases—and even more. We’re looking forward to our most productive year yet, and we’re looking forward to reading your submissions!
August 24, 2012
The first review of Noah Falck’s Snowmen Losing Weight came out this week and you can find it here. Our thanks to Joshua Ware for taking the time to write the review!
Also, more news on a second run of Snowmen will be coming out soon. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, fill out our request form: click here.