DEADLINE EXTENDED: Call for Contract Employee — Local Interest Sales Coordinator

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Please note that the application deadline for the following job posting has been extended to Wednesday, September 28th.

Biblioasis Press is looking to add a part-time contract worker to support with the distribution, sale, and promotion of our fall regional interest titles. For over twelve years, our publishing house has built a reputation for producing high quality books, maintaining excellent vendor relations, and proving authors with excellent publicity outreach. We are perhaps best known in Windsor-Essex for the national best-selling From the Vault: A Photo-History of Windsor by Craig Pearson and Daniel Wells, 50 Greatest Red Wings by Bob Duff, and The Rumrunners by Marty Gervais.

What We’re Looking For:

We’re looking for a self-motivated, outgoing, energetic, and extremely organized individual to assist with the work of selling, delivering, and publicizing our local interest titles over the fall 2016 season. The ideal candidate should be able to maintain excellent professional relationships with our network of independent vendors across the region, deliver all orders on a timely basis, maintain stock levels, excite local media about our titles, and assist with all other sales, distribution, and promotional aspects of our regional book program. Though access to a car or van is not mandatory, it is an asset.

What You’ll Be Responsible For:

  • Maintaining excellent relations with independent vendors in the Windsor-Essex region
  • Expanding our independent vendor network
  • Coordinating the sale of books to vendors
  • Distributing Biblioasis titles to all vendors in a timely, efficient manner
  • Effectively promoting our books and their authors to local print and broadcast media
  • Assisting with regional author touring, including but not limited to: soliciting and coordinating author events, updating author itineraries, and transporting books (and occasionally even their authors) to respective events
  • Keeping close and accurate record of stock levels, both internally and at vendors

What’s Mandatory for the Position:

  • A driver’s license
  • The ability to lift boxes, on a regular basis, that may be as heavy as 20 kg or more
  • A flexible work schedule, which allows for occasional work on nights and weekends
  • The ability to work and keep cool under occasional periods of high pressure

Term Limit:

This contract position will expire on or around December 31, 2016, though it may be extended beyond that date.

To apply for the position, please email your cover letter and resume to gmunroe@biblioasis.com by September 28, 2016.

If contacted, you will be interviewed between October 3 – 7, and must be able to start the week of October 10th.

Call for Volunteers — Fall / Winter 2016

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With a busy season approaching — perhaps the busiest in our history — Biblioasis is looking for a new group of enthusiastic volunteers. Our press office handles nearly every step a manuscript takes on its path to becoming a widely-read book, including acquisition, editing, typesetting, cover design, stock management, publicity, and bookstore sales. Authors published by Biblioasis regularly make news across North America: several have either won or been shortlisted for major awards; more have been featured and reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Washington Post, The Walrus, and other outlets. Volunteering here offers an opportunity to gain experience at one of Canada’s most prestigious independent presses. Students interested in the publishing industry are strongly encouraged to apply.

Sound too good to be true? Here are some blurbs from previous volunteers on their experiences in the office:

“I’ve learned a lot about what small tasks make up the greater scheme of the publishing industry. It’s easy to see the process of making books as a linear production, but in reality it’s a division of hard work and dedication to the craft.  That’s what makes volunteering here so rewarding.” – Joan Gabriel

“It has been great to put what I have learned in theory into practice. Getting real world knowledge and experience has been invaluable during my time at Biblioasis. P.S. Must love dogs. Even if you don’t, when you meet Loki, you totally will. Samantha & Loki, Best Friends for Life.” – Samantha Alfini

What You’ll Be Responsible For:

  • Logging reviews, press, and other media hits.
  • Assisting with author event coordination, including travel arrangements.
  • Updating and maintaining the press website.
  • Bibliodata and stock level monitoring.
  • Assisting with local, national, and international market research.
  • Assisting with catalog and advanced review copy mailings.
  • Assisting with miscellaneous administrative tasks.

What Will Be Required Of You:

  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with social media.
  • Ability to work independently on a range of short, medium, and long-term tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Good verbal and written communications skills.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel, and PowerPoint.

What We Can Offer:

  • Travel and lunch stipend.
  • Employee discount on all books in the bookstore.

What We’d Ask of You:

  • A commitment of at least four hours each week.

Access to a car is preferred but not required.

To apply for the position, please email your cover letter and resume to gmunroe@biblioasis.com by September 23, 2016.

If contacted, you will be interviewed between September 26 – 30, and must be able to start the week of October 3rd.

THE INTERVIEWER BECOMES THE INTERVIEWED: Wachtel in the hot seat at Blue Met

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Montreal’s Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, one of Canada’s premier literary festivals, is no stranger to Eleanor Wachtel: The thoughtful and intrepid host of CBC’s Writers & Company, who is celebrating 25 years hosting the national literary staple, has attended all but one Blue Metropolis since its inception in 1999. Wachtel loves the festival for its wide scope and its location, her hometown of Montreal, which she says has “tremendous joie de vivre and savoir faire and je ne sais quoi.”

Although she’s more than comfortable interviewing the big names who grace the Blue Met stage, Wachtel found herself the interview subject at this year’s event, as she thoughtfully engaged with interviewer and Montreal author Will Aitken’s questions on hosting the show, interviewing authors, and the launch of her new book, The Best of Writers & Company. Listen to the full interview, from April 15 2016, right here:

Call For Volunteers – Spring/Summer 2016

BIBLIOASIS WEEKLY ROUNDUP (WED.FEB.10-WED.FEB.17)

In addition to a much-appreciated provincial holiday on Monday, it’s been a quiet week at the press office. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been up to (and what we’ve been listening to!) since last week.

THE HARD PART IS NOT MAKING A PLAYLIST 400 SONGS LONG

Kevin Hardcastle (left) and Kathy Page (right).

One of our favourite places to read about music and literature on the internet is Largehearted Boy, a blog operated by the steadfast David Gutowski for fourteen years and counting. In addition to Gutowski’s keen eye for music and books, what makes Largehearted Boy special is the sheer breadth of its content. The site features free and legal music downloads; daily music, literature, and popular culture news; book reviews; mixtapes created by authors related to their latest books; reading lists by musicians; soundtrack discussions by directors and composers; and “The Largehearted Boy Cross-Cultural Media Exchange Program,” where authors interview musicians (and vice-versa).

We’re proud to share two playlists by Biblioasis authors featured this week, who are joining the ranks of Anakana Schofield, Bret Easton Ellis, Garth Risk Hallberg, and Eimear McBride. Kathy Page created a playlist for Frankie Styne & the Silver Man, a novel Gutowski called “imaginative and crisply written… one of the creepiest novels I have ever read.” You can stream Kathy’s playlist on Spotify. A few days later, Page’s Biblioasis peer Kevin Hardcastle created a playlist for his debut collection Debris, which Gutowski called “gritty and visceral.” You can stream Kevin’s playlist on Spotify as well.

REVISITING A MONSTER

Speaking of Frankie Styne & the Silver Man, which was recently published for the first time in the US and Canada, author Kathy Page took to her blog this week to answer questions about the book’s origin. Kathy posted a short essay describing the origin of the novel and its recent revision — which was quite substantial. We recommend it especially to those interested in how authors view (and revise) works written at an earlier stage in their careers.

MYRIAD JOYS

Quill & Quire‘s review of Lives of the Poets (with Guitars), which features an early cover design.

The most recent edition of Quill & Quire arrived in the office this week with a huge review of Ray Robertson’s Lives of the Poets (with Guitars). Adam Nayman was somewhat critical of the selective appeal of the book (it focuses mostly on roots, blues, and gospel), but he concluded on a high note. “The achievement of [Robertson’s] book is that it directs fans and novices alike toward the myriad joys offered up by its subjects,” he wrote, “while also prodding us to think and feel more deeply about the other poets with guitars — or boom boxes or turntables — who lie beyond these pages, in our own personal pantheons.”

OF SCHOFIELD’S PECULIAR DECENCY AND CANDOUR

With the UK release of Martin John, we’re experiencing a pleasant bit of déjà vu as publications overseas rave about the novel as passionately as their North American counterparts did. This week, The Spectator called Martin John “a grown-up tale of how blighted lives carry on … fizzl[ing] with surface humour.” The same day, Eileen Battersby, the famed Irish Times literary correspondent and author who John Banville described as “the finest fiction critic we have,” raved about the novel, calling it “a comic tour de force … many writers have brazenly wandered into the minefield of mental illness, but few with Schofield’s peculiar decency and candour in not only depicting Martin John’s scheming turmoil, but also the bewildered righteousness of those surrounding him.”

BIBLIOASIS WEEKLY ROUNDUP (WED.JAN.27-WED.FEB.10)

February is a momentous month in the literary world. For literary presses, it signals the end of an extensive production process for spring titles. Covers are being finalized, manuscripts are being proofread for the last time, and advanced reviews are trickling in. Before you start catching up on that stack of books on your bedside table, play catch up with us and find out what went on this week at Biblioasis.

FEBRUUM BLOWOUT

The Ancient Roman month Februarius was named for the Latin term februum, which means purging or purification (via the purification ritual of Februus). Although we could use a Latin refresher, we’re celebrating Februus in full force with our February Blowout sale! Biblioasis the bookstore, located in front of Biblioasis the press, is holding a 40% off sale on the entire used stock for the whole month. We’ve been posting photos of the strange and wonderful books our customers have been digging up during the sale all month on our Instagram (@biblioasis). Here’s one of our customers with his copy of a 6 LP set of audio recordings from the Apollo 11 moon mission. He spotted this interesting piece of moon shot ephemera and Americana, attractively slip-cased with a book by Time-Life, high atop the stacks in Used Science on an earlier visit to the store and picked it up during the first week of the sale.

MARTIN JOHN STILL ON TOP

A Martin John review in the UK’s Sunday Business Post featuring the book’s UK cover.

Although it comes strong and often, we at the press don’t ever tire of Martin John news. Whether it’s the Giller shortlist, a positive review from the New Yorker, or one of December’s near daily best-of-2015 nods, 2015 was undoubtedly the Year of Martin John. That momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing in 2016. This week, Martin John was published in the UK (by our friends at & Other Stories) to tremendous reviews from The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, and The Sunday Business Post. CBC Books listed Anakana’s novel as one of twenty future Canadian classics, along with Giller-winner André Alexis’ Fifteen Dogs and Jeff Lemire’s Essex County—already a classic in our opinion. As if all of that wasn’t enough, The Vancouver Sun is currently featuring the novel for their Van Sun Book Club. Tracy Grimmett Sherlock, arts editor of the paper, put together an all-star group for the discussion: novelist Ian Weir; YA author Melanie Jackson; Julia Denholm, dean of Capilano University; Daphne Wood, director of Greater Victoria Public Library; Monique Sherrett, principal at Boxcar Marketing; Trevor Battye, a partner in Clever Media; and Bev Wake, senior executive producer of sports for Postmedia.

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN FOR BAD THINGS HAPPEN

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As we mentioned in this post’s lede, February is the end of the production process for many spring releases. One of titles we’re most eager to let out of the Biblioasis stables is Haligonian Kris Bertin’s debut collection of short stories Bad Things Happen, edited by the inimitable Alexander MacLeod. The book arrived from the printers this week and we’ve begun shipping copies out to media outlets and booksellers in anticipation of its February 23rd publication date in Canada (and July 12th in the U.S.). The good folks at Quill & Quire were the first to review the collection, calling it “brash (in the best possible sense), intriguing, and consummate without being showy, these are terrific stories in a strong, diverse, and fascinating collection.” On top of that, The Toronto Star‘s Deborah Dundas chose Bertin as one of five up-and-coming writers to watch in 2016.

DEBRIS GETS ITS U.S. RELEASE

We’re proud to announce that Kevin Hardcastle’s debut short collection, Debris, which has garnered raves across the country & two best-of-2015 nods, was published in the U.S. on February 9th. The Winnipeg Free Press called the book “unflinching,” and “impressive for any writer, especially for a first collection… Hardcastle comes close to a masterpiece.” All you American-based fans: be sure to snag yourselves a copy. In the meantime, celebrate by reading “Montana Border” in The Walrus, an aptly themed tale of CAN-US border crossing and one of Debris‘ many gems.

THE WEEK IN REVIEWS

In addition to great reviews for Martin John and Bad Things Happen, raves rolled in for Kathy Page’s Frankie Styne and the Silver Man, Marius Kociejowski’s Zoroaster’s Children, and Ray Robertson’s upcoming book of essays Lives of the Poets (with Guitars). Frankie Styne and the Silver Man was lauded by both the Vancouver Sun and Toronto Star. The Sun‘s reviewer wrote that it “offers a terrific showcase of Page’s singular style (with its attractive high-low mixture of genres), quirky unexpected invention, and attention to the nuances of psychology. Mere words on a page, her creations linger in the mind long after the reading’s done.” Heather Birrell, writing for the Toronto Star, called it “a fantastic novel. Character driven, claustrophobic, and deeply weird, it has a haunting, discomfiting quality that lingers with a reader.” We can’t help but agree!

The folks at the Library Journal gave a coveted starred review to Zoroaster’s Children, writing that “poet and travel writer Kociejowski journeys widely and writes to ‘describe the world’ and make deeper inquiries into human nature … [Zoroaster’s Children is] highly recommended for its poetic presentation of experiences in different locations, this account is inspired by the past and a plethora of emotions.”

One of the first advanced reviews for Ray Robertson’s spring 2016 title, Lives of the Poets (with Guitars), came in from Kirkus Reviews. The reviewer wrote that “[Robertson] brings a good ear and plenty of critical insight to essays aimed at helping readers discover new favorites or hear more familiar music from a fresh perspective … [A] solid … fresh collection.” We can’t wait to see what the rest of the critical world has to say about this tremendously fun book.

BIBLIOASIS WEEKLY ROUNDUP (WINTER INSTITUTE EDITION)

If you’ve been wondering about the unusual quiet on the press front this week, wonder no more: our Publisher, Daniel Wells, and Director of Marketing and Publicity, Grant Munroe, spent the week at the American Booksellers Association’s 11th annual Winter Institute in beautiful Denver, CO. Here’s a small update and some photos from the event:

BOOKS, BOOKSELLERS, AND BOOK TOTES

After a five day trip to Denver, Colorado for the American Booksellers Association’s 11th Winter Institute—a cozy and very fun gathering of approximately six hundred of the best booksellers across North America—Dan and Grant are back at the press office. The pair brought author Ray Robertson along with them to promote his new book Lives of the Poets (with Guitars), a fun & irreverent book of essays that explores the lives and music of outsider artists from Sister Rosetta Tharpe to the Ramones.

Ray Robertson signing advanced copies of his forthcoming music book Lives of the Poets (with Guitars). Photo by Laura Meyer, House of Anansi's Director of Marketing and Publicity.

Ray Robertson signing advanced copies of his forthcoming music book Lives of the Poets (with Guitars). Photo by Laura Meyer, House of Anansi’s Director of Marketing and Publicity.

Speaking of the best booksellers from across North America, Dan and Grant ran into Stephanie from Page & Palette Bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama, who’s not just a huge fan of our books—but also of our totes.

Stephanie of Page & Palette Bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama showing off her collection of Biblioasis totes.

Stephanie of Page & Palette Bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama showing off her collection of Biblioasis totes.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Three of our authors are involved in readings and events across Canada this month. If you’re in Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal, be sure to check out some of these:

K.D. Miller, author of the genius All Saints (which was up for the 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and Frank O’Connor Award), will be reading in Halifax on Tuesday, February 2nd as part of the 22nd annual Saint Mary’s Reading Series.

Kevin Hardcastle, whose debut short story collection Debris was released this year to great acclaim, will be reading at Ben McNally books in Toronto on February 25th alongside Patrick Warner and Kate Cayley. The event is free and will feature snacks, if literature isn’t enticing enough for you!

Zachariah Wells, poet, author, and essayist, will be on a bit of a tour supporting Sum, his newest book of poetry. He’ll be in Montreal on February 20th as part of the Atwater Reading Series; Ottawa on February 23rd as part of the Tree Reading Series at Black Squirrel Books; Toronto on February 24th as part of Pivot Readings at the Steady.

BIBLIOASIS WEEKLY ROUNDUP (WED.JAN.13 – WED.JAN.20)

Although it’s been a frigid and blustery week in Windsor, we’ve had the kindness of (anonymous) strangers and the excitement of the impending publishing season to keep us warm at the press. Here’s the best of the news this week from Biblioasis:

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GOT US LIFTED, FEELIN’ SO GIFTED

All of us at the press were pleasantly surprised to begin the week with a gift-wrapped, beautiful watercolour painting of the storefront, which our bookstore clerk Bob found tucked between a few books in our window display. The third in a series that includes local entertainment staples Phog Lounge and Milk Coffee Bar, the painting was clandestinely dropped off by the anonymous Windsor Gift Project group:

We couldn’t be more grateful to the group or proud to be associated with such important local institutions. As soon as we find a cool frame, it will be hanging in the store. You can check out Windsor Gift Project on Instagram @windsorgiftpro.

45 Years

CHARLOTTE RAMPLING GETS THE NOD FOR 45 YEARS

It’s on! Actress Charlotte Rampling snagged a nomination for 45 Years, which was adapted from the title story of a book we published in 2015: David Constantine’s collection In Another Country. Based on most early commentary (especially from Dan Kois of Slate.com), her chances are pretty great.

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THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE, BUT THERE’S A RISK IN IT

Speaking of 45 Years: After receiving a wonderful reception from North American critics last year — including a “best collection of the year” nod from Kirkus Reviews45 Years has attracted new interest in the brilliant David Constantine’s work. We suspect that this excellent, hour-long interview with Eleanor Wachtel on CBC’s Writers & Company is just the start. The interview sees Wachtel and Constantine delving deep into the topics of memory, art, and closure, and David speaks extensively on In Another Country and his upcoming novel for Biblioasis, The Life Writer.

This interview stacks up well among the 25 years worth of interviews Wachtel has conducted with writers as diverse as Jonathan Franzen, Alice Munro, Hilary Mantel, J.M. Coetzee, Zadie Smith, W.G. Sebald, Toni Morrison, and Seamus Heaney on Writers & Company, the best of which we’re proud to be gathering and publishing in Spring 2016. The good folks at 49th Shelf listed The Best of Writer’s & Company as one of their most anticipated non-fiction books of 2016.

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FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE CRITICS

This week, Geist released their Winter 2015 issue, which featured a rave review of Martin John. The review ended with a poignant comment that’s been echoed by more than a few critics lately: “Martin John is the best novel I have read in years: long after reading it I feel that I am still reading it, being read by it.” Pick up the latest issue of Geist to read the full piece.

Russell Smith’s acclaimed story collection, Confidence, which we published last spring, got a smart review in the latest issue of PRISM International . “Smith’s Toronto is a city under siege,” writes reviewer Adrick Brock. “In so many of the stories, one group of people (or animals, in the case of ‘Raccoons’) is invading another.” In his view, Smith’s is a vital, aggressive book that “draws from the city’s stark contrasts: the glitzy restaurants and fabulous people coexist with the grime and violence that gentrification is attempting to scrub away.” These reflect the growing pains, Brock argues, that have attended “Toronto’s identity shift into a hip global metropolis.” Good read!

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GAPING LIKE A DOPE IN THE WARMTH OF THE SUN

We’re waiting with bated breath for the April (CAN) / May (US) release of Alexandra Oliver’s new collection of poetry, Let The Empire Down, especially since her last collection, Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway, earned her the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the National Post‘s Canadian Poetry Book of the Year. You can read a poem, called “Mihiz,” from Alexandra’s new collection on Partisan, one of the best online spots for poetry and cultural criticism in Canada.