Art at the LDSBA

There were lots and lots and did I say LOTS of artwork at the convention. Here are just a few that were there.

Altus Fine Art
Altus represents Simon Dewey, Jay Bryant Ward, Judy Cooley, Lynde Mott, Al Rounds, and many others.

Amalphi Arts
Their website is still under construction but they represent some pretty amazing artists. This is one of them. (Guess who?) (I don’t know the answer.)

This is Armor On—artwork featuring the whole armor of God.

Here’s a close-up of one of their products. Pretty cool.
(Thanks Sandra for the URL link and the images.)
Inspirational Art
That’s what the sign says. Don’t know if that’s the company name. Don’t have a URL.

Love the concept here. Some of the posters are pretty awesome. Others are just so-so.

This is Mary, Mother of Jesus. One of the awesome ones!

If you have LDSBA photos to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.

National Family Institute and The Success Choice

National Family Institute is a newcomer to the convention.

They were fun to talk to and had some great items for sale. Including The 3 Word Journal by Randal A. Wright (pictured above). Interesting concept for “non” writers who want to keep a journal.

They also had a planner for women from The Success Choice, which I thought looked great for moms.

And they had these darling bronzes.

Called “Moments of Life” they are sculpted by Mary Adams. She does not a have a website but can be reached by email: mothera [at] gmail [dot] com.

If you have LDSBA photos to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.


Although some publishers also act as distributors for smaller presses and self-publishers, there are two nice-sized distributors that service the LDS market.

Brigham Distributing carries a lot of books by smaller presses, like Valor Publishing Group, Walnut Springs, Windhaven Publishing and others.

Sounds of Zion distributes a variety of audio, games, music, jewelry, stickers, books and more.

If you have LDSBA photos to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.

Some Smaller Publishers

Best Books Publishing & Distribution had a booth. I couldn’t find them online. (If anyone has a link, let me know .) They had an amazing two-volume set of books with CDs called We Believe. A 1525-page reference book by Rulon T. Burton, organized alphabetically by topic. I was impressed.

Newcomer Greenjacket Books had a small booth. They five titles out and will be releasing more this fall. They seem to cover the gamut from fiction to non-fiction.

Signature Books , known for books on Mormon history and the Rocky Mountains, had a display of their newer releases and bestsellers.

If you have LDSBA photos to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.

Granite Publishing & Distribution

Granite had a nice big booth at the convention.

They had two author signings early Thursday morning.

Above is Dorothy Keddington, who is a favorite for traditional romance readers, signing her latest, The Fairy Thorn.

This is new author, Kristoffer Neff, with his debut book, No Place to Hide. So hot off the presses that it’s still warm to the touch, it should be available in bookstores soon.

(Thank you to Karlene for these photos.)

If you have LDSBA photos to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.

Cedar Fort

I thought I had a photo of the Cedar Fort booth, but apparently, I only got one of the bookshelf.

CFI and its imprints had a slew of books new books and books about to be released on display. A few of them looked pretty interesting. Like this one…
…about a woman who wakes up to find her brain transplanted into the body of an 11 year old girl. Hmmmm.

CFI also carries sidelines. I thought these purses were darling. (Sandra, thanks for the photo.)

If you have LDSBA photos to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.

LDSBA 2010: Covenant

Somehow I only ended up with one photo of Covenant’s booth.

They have a lot of great books coming out in the next few months. One’s that I’m especially looking forward to seeing are The LDS Christmas Songbook (pictured above)…

Chocolate Never Faileth by Annette Lyon

Cold as Ice by Stephanie Black

Also, Cross My Heart by Julie Wright, Trespass by Sandra Grey and Murder by Design by Betsy Brannon Green. (Could not find images online, although I saw some of them at the show.)

More photos to come. If you have some to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.

LDSBA 2010: Deseret Book

What I like about Deseret Book’s display is the giant posters of their new releases.

Here you can see Key Lime Pie on the bottom.
That’s one I’m looking forward to seeing.

Deseret Book is always the busiest booth. In addition to displaying new products and taking orders, they almost always have an author or artist doing a signing. Just a few of the authors signing at the trade show were:

If you have LDSBA photos to share, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them.

2010 LDSBA

The LDS Booksellers Association Trade Show is this week.

They have a Bookseller’s University on Tuesday and Wednesday, sort of a school for resellers.

The trade show/convention itself is only two days this year, Thursday and Friday.

The theme for this year is Camelot:

With origins in the 12th Century A.D., the Arthurian legends have inspired, uplifted, and encouraged people through the ages. In a time when the isle of Britain was divided and in need of a unifying force for good, a new kingdom was conceived out of the hopes of good people for a better way of life, and then born out of the valiant efforts of heroes like King Arthur, Sir Galahad, Sir Gawain, and other Knights of the Round Table—pursuing quests for the good of the whole.

I will be there. I will be the one in the pink princess dress.

Who else is going? If you take photos, e-mail them to me and I’ll post them here.

Books (Part 2)

All of these photos were sent to me from Sandra, who attended the convention on Thursday. She also felt it was small and sad. She said she saw everything in just a couple of hours. Thanks for the photos.

Cedar Fort’s booth tied with Deseret Book for having the largest floor space. I think they were this same size last year, but not sure. They weren’t having any author signings while I was there, but I think they did have a few scheduled.

This is one display of new Cedar Fort books. I think most of these have already been released. They had another bank of books this size that held new releases, as well. Some of them looked interesting. I would have been tempted to swipe a few but 1) they didn’t have any that were just sitting around asking to be swiped, and 2) Lyle Mortimer was sitting right there giving me the evil eyeball. (Not really “evil”—just suspicious. I think it was the peacock feathers. I was molting all over his booth.)

CFI has really been picking up a lot of authors lately. It’s a smart move on their part, if they can maintain the schedule.

Covenant’s booth was smaller than last year, again, I think. They had the most traffic while I was there. They also had two banks of New Releases. Some of these are already out and others are coming out over the next couple of months.

I’m particularly interested in seeing the book on the bottom right shelf. (Click here for close up.) I really don’t remember posing for that shot. Maybe I should sue them for endorsement infringements?

Another release I’m anticipating is the one on the bottom left of this bank. (Click here) While I think Jennie Hansen is a fine writer, I don’t personally groove on historicals or westerns. This is a current day suspense, which I do like.

I would have swiped some of these books too, but they weren’t real. They were old books with a new cover wrap for display purposes only. Bummer.

Deseret Book wins the “are you kidding me?” award. I was absolutely stunned by the size their booth wasn’t. They are usually THE big spot each year, sometimes having more than one booth area. This year, while still the biggest (w/CFI), they were just so much smaller than before.

From another angle. And don’t assume that it extends much beyond the picture because it doesn’t. They only had one signing station this year. So disappointing to see that. But totally understandable. Why should they put out a bunch of money for a huge booth, when reseller attendance is at an all-time low?

The last photos I have here are of Brigham Distributing. Brigham doesn’t publish but they distribute for small presses, like Leatherwood Press and the new Valor Publishing. They also carrying close-out titles for Spring Creek and Rosehaven Publishing, both companies are pretty much out of business now. I’ve been really impressed with Brigham Distribution over the years. I very much admire Barry Reeder.

This is Valor Publishing holding a mock-up of their first title, Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story by Mark L. Shurtleff, scheduled to come out this fall. Tristi Pinkston (left) is acquisitions editor, BJ Rowley (center) is business manager, and Candace Salima (right) is president.

I did not see WiDo Publishing there (which I’ve heard pronounced as both “wee-doo” and “wid-doh”), although I heard rumors that a representative was strolling around there one day. I also don’t know if they’re self-distributing, or if they’re going through another distributor.

That wraps it up for now. If you have more photos, corrections, comments, you know how to get them to me.

Now for Books (Part 1)

Let’s go with the smaller book publishers first, as in smaller than Deseret Book, Covenant and Cedar Fort.

Granite publishes a few titles each year, but they also distribute for a variety of small presses. They had a teensy booth this year. (Click to see last year’s booth) Last year, they had several booth spaces (4? 6?) combined together, lots of author signings, a huge display. This year, they had two booth spaces and there were two authors there signing books when I went by.

Sandra sent me this photo of her with Granite author, Kae D. Jacobs, and her book, Beyond the Masque.

Millennial Press seems to have found their niche in the market. They are solidly doctrinal. They have two great series, Setting the Record Straight, which features various authors on LDS topics, and Know Your Religions, which compares Mormonism to other religions.

In addition to their publications, the also distribute for BYU Studies, which specializes in LDS academic publications. They had several new titles on display at their booth.

Millennial combined booth space with One Associated, a company that has developed a POS software which helps both vendors and bookstore owners overcome some of the difficulties of doing business in the LDS market. They had a pilot store set up in Pleasant Grove, UT for several months and I’ve heard great things from vendors about how the system works. I have no idea why this hasn’t taken off like crazy. I was very impressed with it when I first heard about it three years ago.

You can just barely see in the corner of that photo a display for OttoSkins, (their website is under construction so this takes you to a twitter page). These are technically sidelines, not books but it’s run by Dave Trammell, who is also one of the owners of One Associated. OttoWear/OttoSkins are thin removeable skins for your electronics—computers, iPods, cell phones. They have an entire LDS line. Totally cool. Wish I had photos of their product to show you. I’m definitely buying some for myself!

Signature Books had a presence at the convention. They had a small booth, but then they generally do. They “promote the study of Mormonism and related issues pertaining to the Rocky Mountain area.” Their collection definitely speaks to a particular niche of the LDS market, but they do it right because they seem to be growing.

Sounds of Zion seemed about the same size as usual. They are more of a distributor, than a publisher. They’re probably better known for their music and audio CDs, but they carry a decent line of books, as well. They don’t seem to have a focus to what they distribute, but will consider anything that they feel is worthwhile,

Walking the Line is a self-publishing venture for Kevan Clawson. He’s had a booth there for several years and seems to be about the same as before. His books are doctrinal, missionary, and biographies.

The Wind River booth was smaller than last year, even though they now include Mapletree (Homeschooling & Child Development) and Trumpet Media (Christianity & Religious) as imprints. They carry a wide variety of titles and genres—home schooling, history, politics, fiction, self-help, and more. In this photo, JB Howick (owner) and Ryan Bott (Millennial Press) are discussing solutions to all of the world’s problems.

Now for Sidelines

This is just a taste. Like I said before, I couldn’t find my camera, so I’m relying on others for these images. If you have some, please send them.

Real Heroes Posters has Book of Mormon and other scripture hero posters. I thought this was a pretty cool concept but the art wasn’t quite to my personal tastes. However, I liked Lehi’s Dream and Mary Mother of Jesus.

Mormon Wrap, another great concept: LDS-themed wrapping paper and gift bags. Don’t know if I buy their “Strengthen their faith with LDS wrapping paper” slogan or the label of “spiritual gift wrap”—I mean, c’mon. Really? Some of the designs were cute. I’m not sure they’ve hit the niche quite yet but they’re close.

Daily Bread—freeze-dried food storage that will last 25 years, and is reasonably priced. I can’t speak for their other products, but the lasagna they were giving tastes of was yummy.

Cherished Moments Jewelry featured some cute, dainty jewelry designs for baby blessings, baptism and YW gifts, as well as missionary gifts and tie pins.

RingMasters always wins the best decorated booth—and they deserve it. I didn’t go to the awards banquet this year but I’m assuming they won because I really didn’t see any other booths doing much to fit the theme. In addition to their popular CTR rings, they had YW jewelry with the new value represented. I also loved their decorator plates and their engraved crystals with mirrored platforms.

Anyone got photos of other booths? Send them in.

Starting with Art

[Thank you to those who’ve sent photos for me to post! I couldn’t find my camera.]

There were a total of 85 vendors at the LDSBA Convention this year; less than 20% were publishers or distributors of books. The rest were what we call sidelines—art, candy, food storage, t-shirts, ties, games, rings, scripture totes, and all that other stuff you can find at your local LDS bookstore.

So let’s start with Art. These are just a few of the art vendors who were there.

Altus Fine Art is best known for Simon Dewey’s artwork but they also represent B. Laura Wilson, Walter Rane, Joseph Brickey, and Lynde Mott, among others. They had a nice L-shaped booth and their display was wonderful.
Greg Olsen Art had a nice booth too. Loved those columns.

Here are a few other art booths. I’m not sure which companies they represent. If someone wants to let me know, I’ll post names and links.

Golden Street Artworks features the work of Scott T. Peterson. He has a really cute calendar (both a 2010 and a generic 2 year calendar), posters, greeting cards, stickers and a bank.

I didn’t get a photo of their booth, but I was very impressed with them last year and was happy to see them back again.

A new art company (new to me) is Sculpture Grove. They have a 12″x10″ solid cast bust of Joseph Smith. It was really attractive and detailed.

If anyone has pictures of these booths, send them to me.

The Incredibly Shrinking Convention

The LDS Booksellers Convention has once again come to a close. I experienced a variety of feelings during this week. While it was fun to see the new things coming out, network with old friends, meet a few new ones, it was also very sad to see how much the convention has changed over the past few years.

My first year at the convention, it was one huge event! We were in one of the bigger convention halls at the South Towne Expo—and it was crowded. There were vendors everywhere and I heard not all that wanted in were able to get a booth. (That may or may not be true, but every spot was filled.)

The aisles were nearly bursting with book buyers. All the Deseret Book managers were there. Buyers came from all across the U.S., Canada, and England. Sometimes the aisles were so crowded with people that you couldn’t get through to where you wanted to go. And the noise! It was definitely noisy.

A few years later, we moved to a smaller convention hall with fewer booths, but it was still nice. Also, Deseret Book stopped sending the individual bookstore managers, sending only the corporate buyers. We saw a big drop in attendees then.

Last year, it was even smaller with the loss of some key companies who had closed their doors.

And this year. This year?

See that? That’s a curtain that partitioned off probably a full third of the hall at the back. I’ve never seen that before!

While there were several new vendors there, a lot of the old-timers were missing. It also seemed that most of the booths were smaller this year than ever before. Granite had a teeny booth. Cedar Fort and Deseret Book both had smaller booths. Deseret Book only had one author signing station this year. Covenant was about the same size as last year (I think) but it has decreased since I first attended. WindRiver was smaller. Millennial Press was smaller and shared their booth with One Associated.

Attendance by buyers was lower than last year. I didn’t think it was possible. I strolled the aisles at my leisure, never once having to stand in a line at any booth. I could hear every thing that was said to me, in normal speaking voices.

It was just sad.

Oh, and the LDSBA itself usually has wonderful decorations out in the foyer. Not this year. Nothing. Only this booth.

Of course, I don’t blame them for not having lavish decorations. With this kind of turn-out, I wouldn’t have decorated either.

I don’t know if this is a reflection of the economy or the state of the LDS merchandising industry or a combination of both or what, but it is sad to see.

I really, really hope something breathes some new life into our convention before next summer.

Off to the Convention!

The LDSBA starts today! Yay!

I’m off to discover some treasures.

I will try to post photos Friday and Saturday so as not to interfere with the Christmas story contest which will start posting on Monday. (Didn’t plan that very well, did I?)

If you are at the convention and you take photos, please send them to me for posting. Especially if you get a photo of me. (ha!)

LDSBA Less Than Two Weeks Away

The annual LDS Booksellers Association Convention is coming up very soon. Booth set-up starts on Monday, August 3rd, as well as Booksellers University, which is a training meeting for retailers.

The actual convention goes Wednesday through Friday, August 5-7th. And yes, I’ll be there.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so busy not posting here. Not that I’ll have a booth, or a book signing this year. But deciding which of my many disguises to wear to the event is consuming my every waking moment!

Should I wear my turquoise business suit with faux peacock collar and matching hat, purse and pumps? (I had to make a little inset because it was too low cut for the LDSBA but I think it looks rather fetching.)

Or should I wear my super-spy undercover suit?

I think the flower makes the whole thing, don’t you?

So. Who is going to the convention? Who has a book coming out or a signing there? When? Where?

Also, any questions about the convention?

More LDSBA Pics

These photos are compliments of Traci Abramson, author of The Deep End (a 2007 Whitney finalist), Freefall (released in February 2008), and Royal Target (to be released in October; currently available for pre-order at Deseret Book).

Traci (center) with Kat Gille (my awesome editor) and
Rachel Langlois (marketing/public relations w/ Covenant)

Traci (left), David G. Wooley (center), and Jeri Gilchrist
after David’s signing at the Covenant booth.

Clint Harrison from Garden Gate Bookstore in Vernal, Utah
proving that real men read pink.

LDSBA—Doo Dahs

Okay, so the official industry lingo calls these “sidelines” but I think doo-dah is so much more descriptive. Each year as I walk the aisles of the LDS BOOKsellers Association Convention, I’m surprise at how the books have dwindled and the sidelines have increased. It’s a sign of the times. We’re becoming a nation of non-readers. (Sigh.)

Here are just a few of the doo-dahs that impressed me. If you have photos of other doo-dah booths, please send them to me.

LDSBA—Small Independent Publishers

Here are some of the small independent publishers at the convention. There were most likely some that I missed. If your company/publisher was at the convention but is not featured here, please send photo and info.

Archive Publishers

This company does not accept manuscripts for publication.
They specialize in reprinting rare and out of print LDS books and books for
LDS home schooling. They have a new “Faith Promoting” series that’s doing well.

Gibbs Smith Publisher

I’ve always thought of Gibbs Smith as the cookbook publisher—the ones that do
the 101 Things to Do With…Whatever series. But they’re changing their image.
Their website is much more impressive than before. They have books on
architecture, gardening, scrapbooking, photography, and many, many more topics.
I was quite impressed when I visited their website.

Greg Kofford Books

Greg Kofford is another reprinter of rare and out-of-print LDS books,
but they also publish other books. Their website says they are
“publishers & purveyors of fine books relating to Mormonism.”
It’s unclear whether they will look at fiction, but they don’t have any
listed in their releases. However, they do have a page that says
they’re looking for illustrators for children’s books, so maybe they’re
moving into that area.
(G.K.—please feel free to correct, update or amend my info here.)

Leatherwood Press

This is one of the few independent publishers that seem to be growing
and expanding. They publish a variety of fiction and nonfiction titles (over 200),
and say they are committed to “the development of new authors.”
They also have a national imprint, Silverleaf Press.

Millennial Press

Millennial no longer publishes fiction; they focus on nonfiction and LDS
doctrinal titles. Their “Setting the Record Straight” series is selling very well—
these are titles that deal with specific areas of Mormonism, such as
Blacks and the Priesthood, and Mormons and Polygamy.
Each book is written by an expert in the area and they are very easy to read
and understand. Millennial also distributes the Know Your Religion books.

Signature publishes a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books,
but are mostly known for their Utah historical and regional titles.
They also do reprints of older, out-of-print books, particularly
those with historical LDS significance.

LDSBA Convention

Cedar Fort

Cedar Fort publishes doctrinal books, scriptural commentaries,
self-help, cookbooks, and some LDS fiction. CFI includes the imprints
Bonneville Books, which publishes LDS fiction;
Horizon Publishers
, which publishes all genres, and some LDS doctrinal titles;
Council Press,
publishing historical fiction and nonfiction; and
Sweetwater Books
, which targets the national market.
They also own Pioneer Plus, which does LDS jewelry and gifts,
scrapbooking supplies and fine art prints.

Granite Publishing

Granite does some publishing, but it also does a lot of distribution
for small presses. They represent everything from fiction and nonfiction books,
to music, art, statues, journals, stickers, missionary items, and other sidelines.

I thought this was kind of cool—some of their signers
dressing up in character.

Sounds of Zion

Sounds of Zion is a distribution company, not much of a publisher.
In addition to books (fiction & nonfiction), they represent a full line of
music, artwork, DVD and videos, games, stickers and other sideline products.

Brigham Distributing

Another distributor, not a publisher. Brigham Distributing distributes
both to LDS bookstores and nationally. They have picked up
a lot of the smaller publishers for distribution. They now carry the
Windhaven products (LDS 12 step), Spring Creek (yes, they are still in
business but they didn’t have their own booth this year), and
Mapletree Publishing (national titles).

LDSBA Convention


Another of the big super publishers.

This is their wall of new releases.

And thanks to uber-stalker, Sandra, here’s a photo
of herself with David Woolley, who did book signings
of volume 4 in his Book of Mormon fiction series.

2008 LDS Booksellers Convention

I’ll be posting photos from the convention this week. If you attended and would like to send me your photos and/or comments about the convention, please feel free to do so.

The convention was interesting this year. Smaller than previous years. There were about equal numbers of vendors and bookstore buyers represented. I have some concerns and maybe I’ll talk about them later, but I see more difficulties ahead for the independent publishers and bookstores unless something is done soon. Rising costs and diminishing access to the consumer are the problem. I heard several people talking about solutions. Hopefully some of these solutions will move from the talking phase into action in the near future.

But, in the meantime, here’s what I saw at the convention this year:

Even Deseret Book seemed affected by the lower attendance this year. Usually they have author signings at every corner, with long lines of book buyers waiting to get their hands on the new releases. Lines weren’t that long this year.

There did seem to be some excitement generated by J. Scott Savage and his book, Farworld: Water Keep. These photos were sent to me by Sandra, who actually TOUCHED a real copy of the book (to be officially released next month).

Karlene, J. Scott Savage, Sandra
Karlene and Sandra both reviewed
Farworld: Water Keep on their blogs.

Here’s a photo to prove that Sandra and Karlene
actually touched one of the real books.

Here is the FarWorld map.

More photos tomorrow. Authors, Publishers: If you have photos of your booth or your book signing at LDSBA, send them to me with commentary and I’ll post them.

LDSBA Photos Compliments of Annette Lyon

The actual Whitney Award. Classy.

Annette Lyon at her book signing in the Covenant booth.

The Covenant banner for Annette’s book.

A Few More Photos