President’s Column:
The Organic Approach Bears Fruit

January 2002
by Linda Ligon

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In early December, The New York Times published its annual winter lists of notable books, and my heart swelled with pride. Not that any of my books made the cut, but a few small independent publishers’ books did. There was one publisher in particular. Timber Press of Portland, Oregon, swept the gardening category, having published six of the 22 books mentioned in that group. This was far more than any other publisher (most books were from large New York or European houses).


Timber Press started as a fairly casual sideline enterprise a number of years ago, dabbling in regional subjects. But a definitive book on Japanese maples–a hugely popular ornamental landscaping tree in the Pacific Northwest–set the press on a carefully targeted long-term course. They became the tree book publisher. The Very Serious tree book publisher. Their books, though not terribly attractive in the beginning, were exhaustive and authoritative, and thus commanded substantial cover prices.


A Perfect Example

The company developed breadth, taking up shrubs, flowers, vines, grasses, herbs, bulbs, ferns, moss, fungi, and more. They added color, increased design and production values. They kept their books in print, which helped attract respected authors. Today Timber Press produces some 30 titles a year, with a backlist of more than two hundred. They win prizes. They’re a perfect example of a company that’s developed…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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