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Heidi Komlofske-Rojek
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 City Book Review, 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.
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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.

Joseph Arellano
Contributing Editor

I am a Contributing Editor for San Francisco Book Review (SFBR), and a Column Coordinator for the Portland Book Review (PBR). I began writing reviews, of music, rather than books, while attending the University of the Pacific (UOP); there, I wrote reviews for The Pacifican student paper and for the campus radio station, KUOP-FM. I went on to receive a Communication Arts degree from UOP and a law degree from the University of Southern California.

I have written book reviews for SFBR, PBR, San Antonio Book Review, the Tulsa Book Review, Blogcritics, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and an east coast-based online book review publication. I have maintained my own book review site, Joseph’s Reviews – recommended by the Midwest Review of Books, since June of 2009. I also write music and entertainment reviews, and conduct author and musician interviews, for Blogcritics and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

I live in Elk Grove, CA, with my wife Ruta and Sasha, the Russian Blue princess cat.

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 Kids’ 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.

Holly ScuderoHolly Scudero
Copy Editor

I have been a voracious reader for pretty much my entire life.  When I first discovered City Book Review 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

Perri ThawPerri Thaw
Editorial Assistant

I’m currently a Freshman at CK McClatchy High School, and work at San Francisco Book Review every day after school. My duties include listing books in a database, keeping the library of books for reviewers organized, and any miscellaneous assistance I can provide to the staff in the office.

My curriculum in school leans heavily to the sciences programs, because I would like to become a Veterinarian.  I’m currently taking molecular biology and trying hard not to blow up the lab. I’m also studying French and would someday love to visit Paris.


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