We Are Social

Heidi Komlofske
President & CEO

When I met Ross back in May 2008, he told me of this crazy idea he had to create the perfect book review publication — something he (as a voracious book reader) couldn’t find on the market. I figured it would be the perfect combination of skill sets: Ross’s connection with the publishing industry and my 20 years of graphic design and marketing experience.

Having come from the world of static design for companies (advertising, marketing collateral, website), I rolled up my sleeves and taught myself how to do what I call “fluid design” in InDesign. What I can tell you is that there were a lot of tears when it came down to the deadline wire for getting those first issues to the press. It’s been a learning process for both of us — mostly Ross learning that, no, you can’t just move a book review from one page to the other an hour before the file is due to the printer, because it will create a hole.

Fast-forward to 3 years later, and we’ve managed to create a company that is not only surviving this horrible economy, but expanding into other cities. We went from having a virtual office in Sacramento (and working from home) to moving into a real, big-boy office in Midtown Sacramento in August 2011. (I still miss working in my pajamas, though!)

What is it that I do at 1776 Productions, you might ask? Well, it’s certainly not much to do with the books, which people find quite odd. I remember very early on after starting the business, I had to fill out a questionnaire for an article that a local newspaper was writing on Sacramento Book Review. Ross was reviewing my answers before I sent the file back, and said “You cannot say that your favorite book is The Da Vinci Code — you can’t tell that to anyone!”  So, here I am, confessing my book sin to everyone here. I am not the literary one of this partnership. I handle more of the organization of the publicists and communications to them and our reviewers. Of course, I’m the one who’s fingerprints is all over the company, as far as design, marketing, and of course, the publications. THAT’S what I do best.

You can reach me by email or at 855-741-8810 (extension 3) <<HOW the president & CEO of the company got Extension 3 is beyond me! I think Ross had something to do with this!
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Ross Rojek

I’ve been a reader since before I can remember. From growing up in a family of teachers to skipping school to spend extra time at the library, books have always been a part of my life. For almost 15 years, I retailed comics and books in Midtown and Downtown Sacramento, and in 2008, we launched the Sacramento Book Review. Together, we created a new model of book review publications while the traditional newspapers downsized or canceled their coverage of books. Since then, we started publishing San Francisco Book Review and licensing to other cities.

I am the main contact for all-things-books here at the company — from requesting which books we’d like from the catalogs, maintaining the book database, to helping to decide contents of each publication issue.

You can reach me by email or at 855-741-8810 (extension 1).

Joseph Arellano
Contributing Editor

Joseph Arellano began writing reviews, of music rather than books, while in college. He went on to earn a degree in Communication Arts at the University of the Pacific, followed by a law degree from the University of Southern California. He is currently employed by the State of California and has done pre-publication review and editing for a publisher based in England. He is a prolific book reviewer. Joseph has written reviews for Sacramento Book Review, San Francisco Book Review, Portland Book Review, Tulsa Book Review, and the New York Journal of Books. Joseph has maintained his own book review site, Joseph’s Reviews – which is staffed with five reviewers, since June of 2009.

Joseph has written several articles for The Critical Eye column, while overseeing the contribution of author-written articles for The Back Page column. He is also a Columns Coordinator for Portland Book Review (The Reader’s Perspective and Writers On Writing.)

Joseph lives in Elk Grove, California, with his wife Ruta and their young Russian Blue cat Sasha.

James Rasmussen
Associate Editor

I’m a graduate of CSU Sacramento, with a BA in English and an ever-growing pile of books I need to read. My passion is writing and reading; I love being surrounded by books, which is perfect being that I work mostly in the book room, helping to make sure all the books get to the reviewers and generally learning about the world of books and publishing. Outside of work, I stay busy reading, writing, and gaming.

I’m responsible for managing the editorial intern staff and magazine layout for Tulsa Book Review, and assist with layout of  San Francisco Book Review and Sacramento Book Review.

You can reach me by email or at 855-741-8810.

Christopher Hayden
Editorial Assistant

I attended CSU Sacramento where I got my BA in English (concentrated in Creative Writing), and a passion for writing. I work in the book room, where I connect books to reviewers—constantly learn more about the book industry than I thought existed, and enjoy a daily dose of Christmas; unwrapping piles of books each day. When I’m not in the office, I fill my days with writing, music, and gaming.

You can reach me by email or at 855-741-8810.

sheila-trask-150wSheila Trask
Editorial Assistant – Intern

Sheila M. Trask writes book reviews, author profiles, and promotional copy for a variety of publications, including Publishers Weekly, BookPage, San Francisco Book Review, Sacramento Book Review, BlueInk Review, ForeWord Magazine, and Kirkus Editorial. She has a personal book blog, called BookFlap, on BookLikes and would love to see you there:

Amy Simko
Copy Editor

Reading has always been a bit of an obsession for me. I enjoy everything from absorbing factual knowledge from books to exploring new fantasy worlds of wonder. In a previous life (before my son) I worked as a Software Architect and earned my master’s degree in computer science and engineering. Currently my job is to try to keep up with homeschooling my five year old son who also has a love for reading and enjoys reviewing books for both the Kids’ Book Review and Young Mensan Book Reviews. I’m thrilled to be a copy editor and look forward to reading all of our reviewer’s fantastic thoughts on all of the amazing books!

Holly Scudero
Copy Editor

I have been a voracious reader for pretty much my entire life.  When I first discovered 1776 Productions and their need for book reviewers back in 2009, I thought I had found the most ideal gig ever: receive books, read them, and then write my opinion of them out for anyone and everyone to read?  What could be better?  I still write a number of reviews every month, but now I have the added perk of being a copy editor too, which conveniently combines my love of books with an obsessive-compulsive need to make things grammatically correct.  When I’m not thinking about the written word, my hobbies include cooking, baking, exercising, knitting, gaming, and several other nerdy endeavors.x

Cathy Lim
Copy Editor

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for more than a dozen years, two of which she was the book page editor for a newspaper in Alabama. Currently, she runs Rated Reads (, which gives ratings to books based on potentially offensive content. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Brigham Young University, where she focused on copy editing; she has since worked for five newspapers and edited book manuscripts.

Annie PetersAnnie Peters
Copy Editor

Annie Peters is a recovering lawyer married to a techno-geek engineer and mother to three blond, geeklet boys. When not homeschooling her boys or converting 18 acres in Washington State to a hobby farm, Annie enjoys blogging, writing, editing, reading voraciously, healthy cooking, knitting, painting with watercolors, observing local wildlife, yoga, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, organic gardening, tending an ever-growing menagerie, and becoming an ever-crunchier Earth mama.

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Upcoming SF Author Events

  • Events on August 23, 2014
    • Christine Brontein - Stewie Boomstein Starts School
      Starts: 10:00 am
      Ends: August 23, 2014 - 11:00 am
      Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
    • Market to Table: Cooking Demonstrations by Cookbook Authors
      Starts: 10:30 am
      Ends: August 23, 2014 - 12:30 pm
      Location: Book Passage at the Ferry Building, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
      Description: On Saturday mornings, chefs and cookbook authors lead free cooking demonstrations using seasonal ingredients from the Farmers Market. Join them in the CUESA kitchen (North Arcade) for tips, recipes, and a sample. Book Passage will be there with the books.
    • Pam McElroy - The Green Teen Cookbook
      Starts: 1:00 pm
      Ends: August 23, 2014 - 2:00 pm
      Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
    • Ken White - Getaway Day
      Starts: 2:00 pm
      Ends: August 23, 2014 - 4:00 pm
      Location: Copperfield’s Books 3740 Bel Aire Plaza Highway 29 & Trancas Street Napa
    • Karen Wilkinson - The Art of Tinkering
      Starts: 4:00 pm
      Ends: August 23, 2014 - 5:00 pm
      Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
    • Hannah Hart - My Drunk Kitchen
      Starts: 5:00 pm
      Ends: August 23, 2014 - 6:00 pm
      Location: Books Inc, Opera Plaza; 601 Van Ness, SF, 94102
    • Steph Cha - Beware Beware
      Starts: 7:00 pm
      Ends: August 23, 2014 - 8:00 pm
      Location: Books Inc, Alameda; 1344 park St, Alameda, 94501
  • Events on August 24, 2014
    • Sunday Morning Storytime with Christopher Smith
      Starts: 11:00 am
      Ends: August 24, 2014 - 12:00 pm
      Location: Author Appearance - , “” Book Passage - 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
      Description: Sunday Morning Storytime with Christopher Smith at Book Passage, Corte Madera
      Starting September 12!
      Sundays • 11:00 am • Free
      Summer is over and Christopher is back! Singer-songwriter Christopher Smith has been writing music and performing in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Smith writes well-crafted story songs that aim for the heart. Children of all ages—and adults—love him!

      These events are free and take place at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, unless otherwise noted. For information or to reserve autographed books, call 415-927-0960 or go to

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