Posted tagged ‘publishing education’

IBPA names BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AWARDS™ Finalists

May 10, 2012

The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) is proud to announce the finalists in the 24th Annual Benjamin Franklin Awards™. The three finalists in each of the 54 categories were chosen from close to 1,300 entries, and one winner per category will be announced at the Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony on Monday evening, June 4th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York city on the eve of BookExpo America 2012.

Top experts in the book industry, including librarians, booksellers and design experts, judged every entry. In keeping with IBPA’s educational mission, all entrants receive a written critique with advice on how to improve their publications as well as kudos for the good work produced.

Honoring excellence in publishing annually since 1988, the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ have recognized publishers as large as John Wiley and Sons, DK and Sourcebooks, and as small as Happy Quail, Appell Publishing, and Exalt Press.

This year’s finalists include a spectacular array of titles from publishers large and small, including The Drama-Free Office from Greenleaf Book Group, LLC, Empowering Spanish Speakers – Answers for Educators, Business People, and Friends of Latinos from Summerland Corp., My Grama’s Garden from My Grama’s Garden and more…

The Independent Book Publishers Association, the largest not-for-profit association of publishers in the United States, is pleased to honor this year’s Benjamin Franklin Awards.™ finalists.  A complete listing of finalists may also be found on the IBPA website http://www.ibpa-online.org/pubresources/benfrank2012_finalist.aspx

The Other Bunch of IBPA Publishing University Payoffs

February 20, 2012

By Tom Doherty

Thinking about my experiences at IBPA Publishing University over the years, and anticipating this year’s University, I realized that the event helps my business in two broad ways.

It helps me meet the challenges I know I face today. When I have recognized a problem I need to solve, a gap in my knowledge I need to fill, or an opportunity I want to explore, IBPA Publishing University seminars are a source of new insights and information. I learn what peers are doing to take advantage of new technologies, to manage costs, to seize new opportunities, and to gain a firmer grasp on a rapidly changing marketplace.

I encourage you browse the IBPA Publishing University website to see all the great seminars designed to meet the challenges you know you face today.

But IBPA Publishing University also helps me — and other publishers — accomplish things that might not be captured by seminar titles, and that we might not have thought about including in a IBPA Publishing University agenda.

For example, it helps me manage and motivate my staff, learn which IBPA programs would be valuable to my company, make and strengthen relationships with peers and industry experts, psych myself up to learn about that one aspect of the business that I dread, and affirm my strengths.

The Power of Me Plus

The first time I took a staff member to IBPA Publishing University I was a sales and marketing manager and my colleague had recently joined our team as a marketing assistant. Bringing this assistant saved many, many hours of training and served as a powerful motivator for someone who would become an outstanding employee.

As a bonus, it freed up time for me to focus on non-marketing seminars and networking opportunities.

Since that first time I have taken other employees to IBPA Publishing University to encourage, motivate and educate.  Every time, I left feeling that the money spent paid immediate and tangible dividends by reducing training time for these employees, increasing their self-confidence and encouraging high performance.

Picking Programs

During my first few years as an IBPA member, the only benefits I took advantage of were the discounts for IBPA Publishing University and my subscription to the Independent.  Although I would still be a member today just to get these two benefits, I now use a great many others as well. Talking with other attendees at IBPA Publishing University has provided a great way to find out firsthand which programs worked best for which publishers.

Several years back at an IBPA Publishing University luncheon, the people I was sharing a table with were griping about how difficult and expensive it is to reach librarians when somebody spoke favorably about the IBPA library flyer mailings.  So I signed up for the next one, and since then we have participated in many IBPA mailings.  I can’t imagine a more cost-effective way of reaching a large audience of book buyers.

IBPA membership benefits go well beyond marketing and promotion, to deal with shipping, distribution, insurance, and legal, editorial and financial matters. Because the best mix of benefits varies from publisher to publisher, it can be difficult to know where to start. Reports from those who have used specific benefits can be a big help.

A Wealth of Ways to Interact

Networking is always on my to-do list.  Of course, social media now offer many options for networking, but there is still nothing like doing it face to face.  The beauty of IBPA Publishing University is that it brings together people at every level of publishing.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, I guarantee you’ll meet people just like you at IBPA Publishing University, people working through the same challenges and opportunities that you are facing.

At IBPA Publishing University you can be mentor, mentee, peer or some combination of each.  I have never found a better environment for meeting people in the business. It provides a place you can let your guard down and establish professional rapport with people who appreciate the art and science of publishing as you do.

Bearding a Bugaboo

So far, I have been focusing on what you can do besides attend the seminars at IBPA Publishing University, but I do one thing about the seminars that I encourage you to do: Explore something you dread.  I sign up for at least one seminar covering a topic I have avoided because it seemed uninteresting or complicated.  And that’s one reason I now know much more about social media than I used to know.

Think about the one thing you like least about your job, and explore that at an IBPA Publishing University seminar.  It might be the only time you deal with the topic all year.  Then again, it might be the start you’ve needed to reveal that what you dread is helpful instead of scary.

Building Confidence

Finally, I want to emphasize that IBPA Publishing University builds the confidence we all need to make faster and better decisions. It provides an important way of getting feedback about things you do know as well as a way to explore what you don’t.

So my best advice from experience is: Sign up for all those seminars you’re looking forward to plus one you might normally avoid; take advantage of every available benefit beyond the seminars, and bear in mind that the confidence you gain by learning new things and validating what you already know can make all the difference in your performance and job satisfaction in the year ahead.

Tom Doherty has been president of Cardinal Publishers Group since 2000 and publisher of Blue River Press since 2004.  Prior to Cardinal Publishers Group Tom worked in publishing for nearly 20 years including eight in book distribution with Time-Warner and The Hearst Corporation.  During his time at Cardinal Publishers Group, a full service distributor, Tom launched more than fifty new imprints.  As publisher of Blue River Press he published notable New York Times bestselling authors James Alexander Thom and Jack D. Hunter as well as category non-fiction and regional best sellers. Tom serves on the IBPA board of directors.

Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler and Berrett-Koehler Publisher and President Steve Piersanti to keynote the 24th Annual IBPA Publishing University in San Francisco March 9-10

February 10, 2012

For immediate release:

Otis Chandler, founder and CEO of Goodreads, the home of more than 7 million members who have added more than 250,000,000 books to their virtual shelves, will be the Saturday, March 10 luncheon keynote speaker for the 24th annual IBPA Publishing University in San Francisco on March 9-10. Chandler will speak in a “Fireside Chat” format hosted by Michael Wolf, Vice President of digital publishing at GigaOM and commentator for such outlets as CNBC and Bloomberg TV on technology market trends.

Kicking off the IBPA Publishing University on Friday, March 9, will be the opening keynote presented by Steve Piersanti, founder, president and publisher of Berrett Koehler.  Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012, Berrett-Koehler is a leading independent publisher of progressive books on current affairs, personal growth, and business and management and a pioneer in the digital publishing arena.

Chandler and Piersanti join more than 50 industry experts who will present a day and a half of programs designed to provide publishers of all sizes with the hands-on, how-to tools they need to promote, market and sell more books

Highlights of IBPA Publishing University include:

  • More than 20 sessions including the hottest how-to topics in publishing led by industry experts in sales, marketing, social media, copyright and more
  • The back-by-popular demand “E-magination” panel of  industry prognosticators weighing in on what’s new and next in social media
  • Early bird session featuring Dan Poynter, publishing authority and author of The Self  Publishing Manual”
  • The opportunity for attendees to “Ask the Experts” in their own private consulting session by appointment
  • A dedicated track of sessions designed to guide self-published authors and brand new publishers in choosing their best options

For additional information, session details, photos and information, visit IBPA Publishing University  http://www.ibpapublishinguniversity.com

Founded in 1983, the Independent Book Publishers Association  http://www.ibpa-online.org is the largest not-for-profit trade organization for publishers in the United States, serving more than 2700 book publishers of all sizes. IBPA’s mission is to help independent publishers market their titles, to provide education on all aspects of publishing, and to act as an advocate for publishers’ rights.

10 Things to Consider when Pricing E-Books

September 16, 2011

by Stephen Blake Mettee, IBPA Board Chair, founder of Quill Driver Books and The Write Thought, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DROID by Motorola showing Kindle App

 

To reuse a couple of ‘graphs from my previous blog, “Book Pricing, Finding the Sweet Spot”:

One grand thing about e-books is, since there is no printing involved, once edited, designed, typeset, and formatted, the cost of an e-book is zero. Another is that the retail price a publisher sets can vary day to day.

But, with these two advantages, what does a publisher need to be concerned about when pricing an e-book? Vook, the innovative company that melds books with video, has issued a splendid white paper that goes a long way toward answering this question.

Here are Vook’s Golden Rules of Pricing annotated by yours truly:

1. Zero variable cost means it’s OK to significantly lower prices to maximize revenue.

Week to week—or even day to day—price changes are easy, as are limited-time specials.

2. Optimal pricing is highly content specific.

Business books may command a higher price than books on how to write.

3. Certain pricing thresholds trigger psychological “automatic” purchases.

Lower prices increase impulse buying.

4. Categorization has a large role in optimal pricing and discoverability.

A book that lists calories in popular packaged foods is likely to be found by readers more often if it is placed in the category of “Health Care and Fitness” rather than “Reference.”

5. Merchandising whole catalogs is more effective than single titles: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

The Write Thought publishes a catalog of writing titles under the Classic Wisdom on Writing series. It is our hope that we will see a synergistic effect on revenue because of this grouping.

6. Containers are critical to driving upsell in App environment.

My understanding of the term “container” as used here is the same as “series.”

7. Lift effects through savvy launch promotions have a profound impact on sales.

For instance, it is suggested that a publisher may wish, when launching a title, to place a low price on it for a period of a few days to a couple of weeks in an effort to get sales to a level that will be noticed by a retailer’s algorithms. Books that stand out sales-wise are used to populate “you may also like” recommendations generating additional sales creating a cyclical effect.

8. In general apps cannot support as high price points as eBooks.

Apple has begun declining apps that are effectively unenhanced e-books, referring publishers to the iBookstore. This basically leaves the android app market for plain Jane e-book Apps.

9. Real‐time sales tracking is necessary to adjust pricing in a dynamic eBook world.

Just like any data, you have to watch what’s happening and adjust accordingly.

10. For each retailer there are distinct best practices to maximize discoverability and revenues.

Pricing doesn’t need to be the same for each retailer. The sweet spot for an e-book in Apple’s iBookstore may be higher than the sweet spot for the same title in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

It’s a new world out there full of challenges and rewards. Sharpen your spear and forge forth.

Just a write thought.

Want to Sell More Books? It can be as simple as….

June 7, 2011

….making sure that all the information that accompanies your books is correct. That information is called “metadata” and it simply means the ISBN number, the table of contents, the format (paper, hardback, audio, e, etc.), the number of pages—in short, anything that describes your title. If all the components of your title description are correct, your title can be discovered by readers.


If your title description is incorrect, your title will not be found. It’s as simple as that.


BISG is presenting a 4-part series of webcasts to help you learn more about how to make the most of your title’s metadata. The organizer of the series, Sally Dedecker of Sally Dedecker Enterprises, was kind enough to answer some questions, posed by an IBPA member, as to why publishers need to get educated on this critical topic.


1. Do distributors or publishers input metadata?
The publisher creates the metadata and submits it to the distributor. The distributor takes what the publisher creates and disseminates it. If the publisher is creating incorrect data and then sends it to the distributor, the distributor will forward that incorrect data to customers and other industry databases. The distributor will only send to Ingram, B&N, independent booksellers and others what the publisher sends. With this series of webcasts, we are suggesting that all publishers get a good handle on metadata so that what they send is correct and will help readers discover their books.


2. What is “enhanced metadata”?
Enhanced metadata is the fun part of the book’s information…and really helps made the sale! Enhanced metadata covers book reviews, author summaries, author bio, reviews, and sample chapters, really giving the reader the flavor of the book! Search engines pick up on this and this is what keys a reader.


3. Can you give an example of a metadata component and why it is important?
The BISAC Subject Heading is a perfect example. What many publishers may not know is that those subject codes are used to pull recommended title lists for library markets. If you don’t have the code that describes your title (or your code is incorrect), you could be missing sales opportunities. Those codes are available for all publishers’ use here.


4. In a nutshell, what can I expect from the 4 webcasts?
The goal of the series is to really give people and understanding of why metadata is important– booksellers, librarians and others are using metadata to make buying decisions. Incorrect metadata causes missed sales.
We want to encourage publishers to start using the terms and abbreviations and other key core elements that have been established as metadata standards.
You are the publisher, and you should control the information about your books. Having a good plan to create your metadata puts publishers in the driver’s seat.


As a supporting organization, IBPA invites you to join the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) for a 4-part webcast series, Selling more Books with Best Practice in Metadata, that will provide the all-important foundation and hands-on instruction publishers need to take real responsibility for their product metadata. IBPA members receive a 20% discount!


Note that the webcasts will not be posted to the BISG site and will not be made free to those who do not attend. Those who register for the series will have access to the content for review and to use as a guide.
For more information, go to the IBPA home page and click on “BISG Webcast Series.”

Are Publishers Irrelevant? The Great Debate at IBPA Publishing University

May 16, 2011

by Florrie Binford Kichler

First introduced at the 2011 London Book Fair, the “Great Debate” will make its North American debut at the 27th Annual IBPA Publishing University! Don’t miss this lively give-and-take (audience participation required!) as four well-known industry pundits argue the question:

“Authors and readers are all that matter. Publishers will soon be irrelevant.”

Guaranteed to be a lively, informative (and entertaining) look at a question that EVERYONE is asking, publishing’s answer to “Family Feud” will kick off at noon. Moderators will be Susan Danziger, CEO of DailyLit and Michael Healy, Executive Director of the Google Book Rights Registry, and debaters will be:

Rudy Shur, Publisher of Square One Publishers and a consistent stand out on Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Fast Growing Independent Publishers list
Richard Nash, former head of Soft Skull Press, founder of Cursor, and named by Utne Reader as one of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World
Daphne Kis, SheWrites.com, longtime publisher and new media advisor
Mark Coker, founder and CEO of Smashwords, and named by the Wall Street Journal as one of “Eight Stars of Self-Publishing”

The audience will vote for or against the question both before and after the debate. So whatever you think about the proposition may change depending on the verbal skills of our competitors.

A good time is guaranteed for all—be there!

IBPA Publishing University Stuff Members (and others) May Not Know (but Need To)

May 12, 2011

by Florrie Binford Kichler, IBPA president

What You Know: IBPA Publishing University is just around the corner
What You May Not Know: IBPA offers Publishing University scholarships every year through our affiliates and also as an at-large benefit of membership. This year 20 winners will attend IBPA Publishing University free of charge. Next year, one of them could be you!
What You Know: Authors and readers need publishers. Publishers are relevant.
What You May Not Know: Maybe not according to the proposition to be argued during the Great Debate. JUST ANNOUNCED: The North American debut of the Great Debate opens IBPA Publishing University with a bang! Fresh from a successful London Book Fair, the Great Debate features 4 of publishing’s finest debating the proposition, “Authors and readers are all that matter. Publishers in the future will be irrelevant.” Agree or disagree, what we all can agree on is that it’s one of the hot topics in publishing today. Audience participation is required! And one of the audience could be you!
What You Know: Attending Publishing University will save you more money in avoiding expensive mistakes than it costs—and it costs less than most other events around.
What You May Not Know: IBPA members get Early Bird Priority Pricing until May 15. Save $100!
What You Know: There’s plenty of written information about Publishing University 2011
What You May Not Know: But there’s only one (well, ok, two—a shorter and a short one) video.
If you have 4 minutes and want to hit the high points of Publishing University, check it out here

If you have 1 minute and want to hear a bit of my own Publishing University story, check this one:

If you haven’t met me and think that I’m young and attractive—please don’t watch the videos as I’d like you to maintain your illusions.
If you have met me or were taught to respect your elders or are curious as to what’s really happening at IBPA Publishing University, then please watch and consider making the best investment you can make in your publishing career. Come to IBPA Publishing University on May 22-23 at the Javits Center just prior to BEA!
Hope to see you there.


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