2015 Year End Wrap-Up

May 28, 2015

What a fantastic year with such a fantastic staff! I can’t believe my first year with this press is coming to a close; it’s very bittersweet.

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From back to front, left to right: Haley, Rae, Olivia (me!), Sara, Kat B, Savannah, Autumn, Julianna, Sarah, Kat R, and Rhyan.

Just like every year before, we spent the 2014 portion getting ready for 2015. This meant reading through hundreds of manuscripts, and making buttons and books to be sold at Handmade Arcade and I Made It! for the Holidays in order to fund production in the spring.

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Kat R and Sarah showing off their hard work!

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Two of Autumn’s beautiful coptics.

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Rainbow book by Rae

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Christmas book ornaments

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One of Sarah’s beautiful long-stitch books

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Rhyan and I reading manuscripts

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I Made it! and Handmade Arcade were in December, and they were both great experiences for the staff. We got the opportunity to talk about our press to anyone who came by, and also got to walk around the markets and check out some other awesome booths!

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Left to right: Rae, Kat B, Ariana, Julianna, and me at Handmade Arcade.

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When we came back, we decided to set up a shop in a classroom next to ours to continue our sales until Christmas. The Pop-Up Shop continued to go up and down throughout the year, and much later, helped to fund some posters that I made for the press.

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All Books

Expect to see this at our markets next year!

After that, it was the new year and time to pick up the pace on publishing! It took us a long to finally come together on just two manuscripts, as we had all read so many great ones, but eventually, we were down to just The Bone and the Body by Laura Kochman and Apology to the Moon by Jim Daniels.

Planning for our new books wasn’t the only thing we had going on this spring; we were also prepping for the 2015 AWP conference, which I covered in full over here.

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Kat B and I were just two of the staff members that painted handouts for AWP.

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They turned out great!

We went into overdrive when we came back, finalizing designs and beginning production. I wrote a post earlier you can find here, which will show you how our process went, and also covers our release party!

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This year was my first on the BatCat staff, and it was amazing! I could not have asked for a better, more fulfilling experience, and I’m so, so excited to come back next year.

Good luck to our seniors, Sarah, Rae, Autumn, Sara, and Savannah!

Have a good summer, everyone!

Olivia, BatCat Staff Member

During our time at AWP, not only did we sell out of our first edition of Poems in Which You Die by Sarah Carson, but we also debuted a paperback second edition!

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In making the new design (second from the right, next to its predecessor) we decided to carry a lot of the original ideas over. For instance, we brought the scribbles and color originally found in the end-pages to the back, and kept the front cover’s title placement. However, instead of embossing the softcover like we did with the first edition, we had one scribble go from the back, over the spine, and to the cover in order to create the face.

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You can buy the paperback here, at our Square Market store, along with our other books (now including the 2015 publications!)

Olivia, BatCat Staff Member

A few days ago, on May 20th, BatCat held its annual release party! We were so lucky to have both of this year’s authors there to read from their new books.

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Jim Daniels, author of Apology to the Moon

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Laura Kochman, author of The Bone and the Body

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This means these new books are now for sale on our Square Market store!

Getting these books (which first came to us with many, many other manuscripts) to where they are now, published and ready for the public, took a lot of hard work and time. Both books went through several designs and redesigns before anything was finalized.

The Bone and the Body, for instance, went from soft cover to hard cover and back again, constantly changing in color and size as well.

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Each book starts out as a bunch of scraps pinned to an idea board.

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From there, staff members attempt to make mock-ups of these ideas.

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Once we get our design finalized, we start production!

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Stamping The Bone and the Body with trees and/or coral.

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Two layers!

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Each title is handwritten.

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Apology to the Moon took just as long. We faced many roadblocks in our own indecisiveness. We didn’t know if we wanted a tri-fold or a bi-fold, a colorful marbled cover or a sleek and dark one, and a lot of our mock-ups looked similar to the ones that came before it.

In the end, we broke our cycle, decided on exactly what we wanted, and even had a totally new idea: we wanted a constellation! We chose Hercules, a demigod who faced many trials (just like the man in the book), for the front cover, and Hydra, one of Hercules’s trials, for the back.

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Each hole had to be hammered out individually

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Here’s another example of change; the Hydra on the final book looks pretty different!

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We’re so proud of these beautiful books, and so happy that we got to work with their authors.

Keep following this blog for more updates!

Olivia, BatCat Staff Member

AWP 2015

April 25, 2015

A few weekends ago, BatCat Press attended AWP for the sixth year in a row, but for the first year with students! Sarah and I, Olivia, represented the press in Minneapolis in an effort to spread our name and sell some books! I know I can speak for Sarah when I say that we had a great time being out in the writing/publishing community and proudly wearing our logo on our shirts!

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Sarah behind the table early in the morning.

We got to talk to tons of different people, from aspiring authors, published writers, librarians looking to collect unique books, and even Matthew Mahaney (Your Attraction to Sharp Machines) and Kevin Haworth (Far Out All My Life)! We found ourselves eagerly explaining BatCat to absolutely anyone who walked by (including a very nice blogger who wrote an article about us!), handing out logo pins and little circle, spinning pamphlets with all of our information inside.

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Sarah and I did so well with all our talking that we completely sold out of the copies of Surviving we brought with us, plus all the first editions of Poems in Which You Die and our 2013 Broadsides! For the two of us, writing “SOLD OUT” in red Sharpie and then putting out sketchbooks and Where Nothing Can Grow in the open spots was such an adrenaline rush! We were driven from the start, but as the conference went on, we only got more confident.

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Sarah and I really pushed the handouts!

We didn’t just sell books, though! You see that green box right there, in that last picture? I made that! I’m so proud of that box, but I suppose what’s more important is the pins inside of it. Each section was full of handmade pins that had five or seven syllable phrases on them – when someone picked up a pin from each bin, they ended up with a haiku!

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“Where are you going?
The designated driver
Follow who I am”

Between talking to customers and visitors, Sarah and I had down time that was either dedicated to fry-eating or picture-taking. Personally, this is my favorite photo from the weekend:

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I’ve never felt more proud of anything I’ve done than when I was standing behind a table, talking about the press and the projects I’ve worked so hard on. I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by and listened, and to my parents and Miss Mulye for getting me out to Minneapolis. I’m expecting to go to AWP in Los Angeles next year, and I could not be more excited!

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From behind the table,

Olivia, BatCat Staff Member

New for 2015

February 18, 2015

We are very excited to announce two new poetry collections for 2015:

Apology to the Moon
by Jim Daniels

and

The Bone and the Body
by Laura Kochman

Both titles will be released at Lincoln Park’s annual LAVA Festival and will be available online beginning in late May. Follow us on Facebook for updates and process photos!

2015 Title Announcement

Due to the overwhelming number of submissions we receive each year, we have established a new email account specifically for manuscripts. Please send all submissions to submit.batcatpress@gmail.com.

If you have already submitted a manuscript to our main email, batcatpress@gmail.com, don’t worry – you do NOT need to resubmit. All other correspondence should continue to be sent to this address.

Thanks!

Our 2014 titles are now available in our Square Market store! Title pages have also been updated:
Poems in Which You Die by Sarah Carson
When You’re Down by the River by Christopher Lowe
Surviving by Davy Rothbart

We also want to take a moment and say thanks to everyone who was able to attend the book release this week. We really appreciate your support!

2014 = Amazing.

February 17, 2014

2014 marks our 5th anniversary, and we’re starting off the year in a big way – by taking on three new projects, each in a different genre, all to be released in May of this year. Without further ado, our 2014 projects are:

Poetry by Sarah Carson!
Fiction by Christopher Lowe!
Creative nonfiction by Davy Rothbart!

We’ll be releasing more information about these fabulous writers and their work in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, we’re already hard at work editing, designing, and otherwise obsessing over every little detail. We’re also getting ready for the AWP Bookfair, which will be held at the Seattle Convention Center from February 27 through March 1. We’ll be at table M13. Hope to see you there!

We are beyond thrilled that we will once again be a part of Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s premiere arts and crafts fair, now in its tenth year. We will be holding it down at table 96, back by the food and drink area, so please come and visit us! We will have more than a hundred unique journals and sketchbooks to pick from, perfect for holiday gifting, as well as some awesome book-themed seasonal decorations. This will be our third year at Handmade Arcade, so we already know it’s going to be amazing. No, not just amazing – AMAZING. If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, you do not want to miss this. Trust us.

Handmade Arcade is FREE to attend and features over 150 artists and crafters from across the country. Note that parking is free in city garages, but not in the convention center garage. But luckily, there is a city garage just one block away!

Saturday, December 7th
11am to 7pm
David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown Pittsburgh
WEBSITE

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Also, don’t forget that Your Attraction to Sharp Machines is currently available for pre-order. Books will be shipped on or before Monday, December 9, with plenty of time to arrive before Christmas. Here’s the link: buy it here!

Last spring we published Matthew Mahaney’s novella-in-verse, Your Attraction to Sharp Machines, which sold out very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that we decided to do a redesigned second edition!

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The second edition of Your Attraction to Sharp Machines presents a more traditional reading experience, in paperback, but with hand applied touches such as silver leaf and handsewn signatures. A limited number will be produced, so to secure your copy (or copies), you can preorder now though our new storefront at Square. Click here! The rest of our titles will also be going up in the coming days as we transition over from our old storefront.

Pre-orders will be shipped by Monday, December 9.

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