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Join us in supporting local merchants, literary programs and community nonprofit organizations. The following partners were selected to collaborate with the 2021 DSM Book Festival through an application process. Applications for the 2022 Festival will open on Nov. 1, 2021.

Merchants  |  Nonprofits  |  Publishers


Beaverdale Books

Beaverdale books is Des Moines' only independent bookstore with new books. Their friendly and knowledgeable booksellers will find the perfect book for you. Beaverdale Books is also the featured Bookstore of the 2021 DSM Book Festival.

Aardvark to Zucchini

Aardvark to Zucchini offers children's books and reading accessories. We are dedicated to educating children, helping them to thrive within our communities and contribute to society to the greatest extent possible. We developed a reading primer that uses a unique phonetic alphabet designed with a simple goal in mind: to expedite reading success, thereby making learning easy for today's children and teaching more rewarding for parents and instructors.

Teach your child to read in 20 days with the Aardvark to Zucchini Phonetic Alphabet Book.This early reading primer uses a creative alphabet containing many of the phonetic sounds in the English language. Designed to cover one chapter per day, the 64 phonetic sounds are gradually introduced in a specific order that helps the child grasp the concepts quickly and acquire basic reading skills within a month. Although the book is targeted for children up to age 6, the approach may appeal to older students, including those who are learning English as a second language. Make reading simple and fun for both the young reader and parent or teacher with the Aardvark to Zucchini Phonetic Alphabet Book!

Right Stuf, Inc.

Right Stuf, Inc. is the largest anime retail and distribution company in North America, currently offering more than 22,000 products via rightstufanime.com. Founded in 1987 by owner and CEO Shawne Kleckner, our unique position as a publisher, distributor and retailer gives us a distinct advantage in the marketplace and the confidence to proclaim that “we know anime!”

Usborne Books & More

Educational children's books available through online ordering, community events and school and office book fairs.

Fun, affordable, entertaining, and educational books to help kids fall in love with reading, history, art, science and more! Order online or earn free books for your school or organization through our community programs.

Usborne Books has hundreds of titles for ages 0-17. There are books for every type of reader and learner, including academic resources, and activity books to promote various types of cognitive development.

Local Consultants:



Open Book is a community project that creates connections and builds social cohesion through story sharing where People are “Books” and You are a “Reader.”

Books are our neighbors from diverse backgrounds who are willing to share their personal experiences and their defining moments. Readers are the people who are interested in hearing life-changing stories. They gain a more complex sense of the books as they “check them out,” hear their stories. and engage with them through small group or one-to-one conversation.

The Open Book story sharing format sets aside debates and agendas. It turns “sound bites” and rhetoric into something more tangible. Through the experience, both books and readers discover they have much in common despite their differences, and the experience triggers new, positive connections.

Everybody Wins! Iowa

Everybody Wins! Iowa (EWI) is a children’s literacy and mentoring nonprofit dedicated to ensuring children’s success in school and life through weekly one-to-one read aloud sessions with caring adults. Through these ongoing read-aloud sessions, children in the program are provided with an opportunity to build their vocabulary, listening skills and confidence. Our signature program is Power Read, where volunteer reading mentors are matched one-to-one with an elementary school student for about an hour each week and together, they read and engage in conversation. Students are selected for our program by their teachers for one of three reasons: the student is struggling with reading, they are new English language learners, or if the teacher believes that the student might benefit from having a positive ongoing mentoring experience. These consistent, positive interactions aim to provide students with a dependable role model who works to strengthen their reading confidence.

Foreshadow Foundation

Our purpose is to increase literacy among elementary age children by providing easier access to books. Our focus is mainly, but not limited to, children living in rural areas who are typically under-served by similar programs. We provide free books to children through schoolbooks fairs, Book in a Box and Stock the Classroom initiatives.

Iowa Center for the Book

The Iowa Center for the Book is an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Our mission is to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy and libraries.

Established in 2003, the All Iowa Reads program is one of the first projects to be provided by the Iowa Center for the Book. All Iowa Reads fosters a sense of unity through reading. We encourage Iowans statewide to come together in their communities to read and talk about a single book title in the same year. Libraries, book clubs, schools and other local organizations are encouraged to sponsor discussions of the title.

The 2021 Adult All Iowa Reads selection is Little Faith by Nickolas Butler, the teen selection is Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay and the kids' selection is Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai. Interested parties can also view the shortlist resources page for additional chosen reads and accompanying discussion webinars.

Iowa Jewish Historical Society

The Iowa Jewish Historical Society (IJHS) is an award-winning organization that inspires people of all backgrounds to connect with and preserve Iowa’s Jewish heritage and culture. Our museum features educational exhibits, programs and special events that focus on all aspects of Jewish life and history in Iowa.

Literacy is key to learning about and understanding history and culture. IJHS works with schools on special programs that encourage reading. Coordinating with teachers to help students write a "reflection" paper about the oral histories of two Holocaust survivors after viewing our exhibits. We have also created treasure hunts to encourage students to read exhibit labels more in depth as they search for the answers to the questions asked in the hunt.

Cookbooks have also often been viewed as works of history. To continue this legacy, the Iowa Jewish Historical Society has published our first Jewish cookbook, Beyond Matzo Balls: Celebrating 100 Years of Jewish Cooking in Iowa.

The book features a collection of Kosher and Kosher-style recipes from 138 contributors who shared their favorite family recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, meat, poultry, desserts and more. Many of these recipes have been passed down for generations and across continents.

For more information about Jewish cooking, plan a visit to the Food in Jewish Life exhibit at the IJHS museum when it can reopen safely.

Uniting Through History

Founded in February 2021 by Rachelle Chase, Uniting Through History provides creative opportunities for people to learn about the experiences of Black Americans in a way that allows them to connect to those experiences. Enabling people to “connect” with history is an integral part of our educational projects because by connecting, we feel that people really begin to understand the significance of the experiences of Black Americans and bring our communities together.

Uniting Through History has announced a Hip History contest that begins on March 1, 2021. Students will use an excerpt from Rachelle Chase’s novel, "Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa" to creatively tell the history of Buxton, a coal mining town of 5,000 residents in 1900, of which 40%-55% were African American. A rare circumstance where African Americans were leaders in their community, and they were treated equal to white counterparts.

Buxton is a great example of unity, and this contest is a great way for students to explore Buxton’s history and win prizes.

For adults, there is also the History Book Club, where we not only learn, we take action.

Check out all of the other exciting projects Uniting Through History has underway!


The following local publishing partners were integral to creating the DSM Book Festival’s robust local author representation. Check out all their author services from publication assistance to marketing support.

Drake Community Press

The Drake Community Press is a curriculum-based publishing laboratory that serves a community readership on issues of interest and concern to Iowans. Our books promote collaborative action for community betterment, help select Iowa organizations advance their mission in the community and provide students with practical knowledge in book editing, design and production.

We are unique small-press publisher in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa, that features an undergraduate publishing laboratory that “writes with” a selected non-profit community partner dedicated to community betterment. Previous titles include “Zakery’s Bridge: Children’s Journeys from Around World to the Heartland,” “The Ones I Bring with Me/Los Que Llevo Conmigo” and “A Spectrum of Faith: Religions of the World in America’s Heartland.”

Drake Community Press’ most recent release, “Above and Beyond Cancer” is available for purchase on the Drake Community Press website.

Follow @DUCommPress on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

The Write Place, Inc.

The Write Place, Inc., is a creative agency based in Pella, IA. We specialize in helping self-publishing authors turn manuscripts into finished books. Our team provides professional book editing, cover design, and interior design and layout services. We can also help coordinate printing and distribution.

We can set up a website or social media accounts, design bookmarks and flyers, produce a video or book trailers and more for authors who want to launch a marketing campaign!

To learn more about the Write Place’s services, visit thewriteplace.biz, call (641) 628-8398 or email Sarah Purdy.

BookPress Publishing

With about a million new books published each year, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or even a bit lost in the publishing process. At Bookpress Publishing, our primary job is to become your personal navigator. Whether your book is published traditionally or through a hybrid model, we will guide you throughout the entire development of your book, from the cultivation of your idea to the moment you hold the book in your hands for the first time to the full distribution of your book. We help compress an extremely complicated process into something manageable for any writer, entrepreneur or leader.

BookPress Publishing provides print and eBook book Development and Production support, as well as media development and production services. Streamline your publishing process today by visiting the BookPress Publishing website.