About BCC Publications

EMBRACING THE FINE ART OF PRINTING—SINCE 1914

While we’re proud to take an active role in the cultural life of California beyond publishing, The Book Club of California publications are our most substantive, vital, and lasting achievement. Book Club members take great pride in the Club’s long and distinguished history of printing books, keepsakes, and ephemera strong in attention to high craft, fine design, and letterpress printing. Over the past 100 years, The Book Club has played an important and quite possibly the most significant and durable role in the history and preservation of the arts of fine printing in California.

The Club has achieved this distinction by actively embracing printing as a fine art, publishing exemplary books on the art and history of our culture. The authors of these books–many of them Club members–include historians, scholars, professional writers, and poets. The books are carefully conceived, thoughtfully designed, and attractively printed in limited editions, often by the foremost fine press printers in the country. In most cases, this represents the first and only appearance of their texts in printed form. The Club has been recognized as the only club in America continually publishing fine press books since 1914 (and has received numerous awards for them). In so doing, The Book Club of California has given Californians a perspective on their heritage enjoyed by the residents of no other state.

In 1933, The Book Club of California inaugurated its Quarterly News-Letter (members know it as the “QN-L”) and Annual Printed Keepsake, both of which continue uninterrupted to this day.

The year 1953 saw the inauguration of the Club’s popular Standing Order program, sometimes called the Gold-Standard of membership.

The Book Club of California is equally at home with documenting the waves of migrations and immigrations as it is publishing books of fiction, Western history, biography, photography, art, poetry, printing history, typography, and bibliography—and so much else that springs from the California soil and shores. (Our publications have been recognized for their excellence, receiving numerous awards.) A few exemplary titles are The Luck of Roaring Camp by Bret Harte (BCC Publication #3, 1916); Letters of Ambrose Bierce (Publication #17, 1922); Herbert Fahey’s Early Printing in California (Publication #94, 1956); Robert Becker’s Disenos of California Ranchos (Publication #118, 1964); Indians of California (Keepsake XXXVII, 1973); Spanish Approaches to the Island of California 1628-1632 (Publication #149, 1975); Images of Chinatown (Publication #153, 1976). But no brief list can encompass the breadth of it all. Come and see for yourself!

The Gold Standard (Standing Order):

All Book Club of California members love fine books. (That’s why they’re members.) Some love them so much that they become “Gold Standard” members—members of our Standing Order program.

Are there any special benefits to being a Standing Order member?

Yes! Standing Order members are first in line for new Book Club publications and save on all purchases, while helping build the Club’s publications program for years to come.

Does it cost more to become a Standing Order member?

Not a penny. You just agree to buy Club books upon publication, and then enjoy a fifteen percent discount on every Book Club of California publication you buy, including special editions only available to you.

How do I become a Standing Order Member?

For new members, when you choose your Book Club of California membership category, just look out for the pop-up box at check-out and say that you would like to be included.

Current members, just let us know when ordering your next book that you’d like your membership to include Standing Order membership—at no extra charge!

THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA’S MANY ADMIRERS:

In 1996, the American Printing History Association (APHA) presented The Book Club of California its institutional award for contributions to the understanding of printing history. In 2001, The Book Club of California received the silver medal for Notable Contribution to Publishing from the Commonwealth Club of California for Splendide Californie!  Impressions of The Golden State By French Artists, 1786–1900. In 2008, the Printing Industries Association of Southern California (PIASC) recognized The Book Club of California for its keepsakes on California Travel Posters. And we received the Book Builders West 2011 award for best catalog for our 2010 keepsake, Joe Mora: California Cowboy & Artist by Peter Hiller.

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