- We published 102 books (and that doesn't include paperbacks, reprints, audio, or interactive).
- We won a bunch of awards: American Graphic Design Awards for The Adventures of Sam X, our Spring 2008 catalog, our Fall 2007 catalog, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; the Golden Duck Award; and Ropes of Revolution won both the Moonbeam Award and the Teacher's Choice Award.
- As part of a restructuring at Capstone Publishers, we assumed responsibility for Picture Window Books' fiction, and now we're publishing a more comprehensive selection of fiction, expanding our age range to preK through grade 9.
- We said goodbye to Kay, one of our designers, and Maryellen (who is now working as the classroom project manager for Heinemann Raintree/Capstone Publishers).
- We welcomed two new editors (Julie and Christianne), an art director (Bob), two designers (Emily and Hilary), and an intern (Sean, who has just officially become an associate editor).
- We solved approximately 250 New York Times crossword puzzles during lunch.
- Two babies were born (Sam, to Beth, and Isla, to Julie).
- We got a bunch of great reviews.
- We moved from our cramped cubicles in "the garage" to more spacious offices downstairs. Our new location is a work in progress—and some of us are still not in our permanent desks—but we've got a lot more room!
- We traveled all over the US—to ALA, SCBWI, Comic-Con, TLA, and helped host PLA here in Minneapolis (where we introduced Jake Maddox to a bunch of happy librarians).
- We had tons of fun!
How can we possibly top 2008? It's going to be tough, but we're pretty sure we can do it. For starters, we've got 106 new books headed to libraries now for our Spring 2009 season. We'll have another 98 the season after that (making our 2009 total 204!). January will mark the launch of our new DC Super Heroes set, featuring Batman and Superman. We've been working on these books for years now, and we're so excited for them to finally be in the hands of readers! But the fun won't end in January—we'll have more new series, great new authors and illustrators, and fantastic new books all year long.
The Stone Arch Books blog is evolving in 2009 too. We want to give you more—more insight, more behind-the-scenes, more commentary. We'll feature more staff members, authors, and illustrators. We'll unveil more new features. And we want to hear from you—please use the comments sections to tell us what you want, what you think, how we can better serve you (as teachers, librarians, parents, readers).
Our resolution for 2009: Innovate more. We know that 2009 is going to bring challenges in every industry, including ours. We've always considered ourselves innovative, but with the new economic atmosphere, we're going to have to be even more creative. We'll have to find new ways to do things. We'll have to do our work differently. It'll be exciting to see what comes out of it.
What's your resolution for 2009? What challenge are you excited to tackle? (Let us know by leaving a comment!)
Happy New Year from all of us here at Stone Arch Books. 2009 may not be easy, but we're pretty sure it's going to be good.