Archive for the ‘Book Publishing–Conferences’ category

IBPA at ALA 2012–“Independent publishers have the most unique product”

July 10, 2012

According to Publishers Weekly – “It was an upbeat annual conference for the American Library Association in Anaheim, but attendance figures barely squeaked past that of last year’s show in New Orleans. As the show closed, ALA officials reported that 20,134 attended the 2012 meeting in Anaheim, roughly flat with the 20,125 at the 2011 show. The number of paid attendees dipped, however, to 11,056 from 11,988 in 2011, while the number of exhibitors ticked up slightly in to 5,388 from 5,274 last year.”

According to Library Journal – “Hot button topics going into this year’s American Library Association (ALA) conference in Anaheim, CA, included what the Georgia State ereserves decision means for the future of fair use, what librarians will use to replace the now-defunct Meebo for virtual reference, and of course, whither ebooks for libraries?”

This year the show was in our back yard, which is great if you forget your business cards or a shoe – which we didn’t – and, you could run into a librarian from your former high school – which we did! That was fun.

IBPA has been attending ALA for 20+ years now, so we usually land a pretty good location on the show floor. This year we were in the perfect spot between Scholastic and Penguin Books, so the traffic was steady and constant. The mood for the show was decidedly “excited and interested” and the IBPA booth was full of visitors. The exception was during well-attended classes after which we would get the overflow groups, eager to get back out onto the show floor. This is to be expected, as the ALA show is the librarians’ annual conference, which includes their own seminars, author breakfasts, and other programs.

And, we certainly enjoyed representing our members’ titles this year.

Here are some links to a few articles about specific topics of interest and happenings at the show:

PW DailyALA 2012 Attendance Roughly Flat with 2011

PW DailyAuthor Rebecca MacKinnon Kicks Off ALA With Talk On Digital Privacy

 PW DailyMore Religion Publishers Join Exhibitors at ALA  –

 PW Daily – As ALA Opens, Pew Issues Report On Libraries and E-Books

Shelf Awareness – ALA Celebration in Disneyland

Library Journal – News from ALA Annual 2012

The nice thing about library shows is that the pace is pretty even and librarians are, well… nice! They are also interesting and intelligent, informed and funny and will quite often, surprise you. We met with so many librarians who were happy to see the IBPA booth and reminded us that, “Independent publishers have the most unique product.”

Booth signs proclaiming “IBPA—The Best in Independent Publishing” and posters announcing that” Independent Publishers Rock” and “Support Independent Publishing” were attention-getting and had the desired effect—to attract visitors into the booth. Again this year, we offered postcards and bookmarks—they were hot, hot, hot!

To check out photos from the booth, please see the IBPA Facebook page:

The ALA show is primarily an information gathering show and librarians are the ultimate information gatherers. Some librarians are very specific in their needs and we follow them with catalog in hand, circling requests. Others stand in a certain genre for a period of time, make a detailed list and move on with precision. The great thing about librarians is that they will walk right into the booth and start “shopping,” because librarians are genuinely interested in the product from independent publishers.

Year after year, librarians come to the IBPA booth to see our display and to tell us that they appreciate the IBPA mailings as well. As a point of information, we took a straw poll at the Public Library Show (PLA) as to whether librarians preferred print or email to receive their information. The result was two to one in favor of print!

Specific interests voiced this year were in Children’s and Young Adult titles, History and Historical Fiction and Science, although the entire stand received well-deserved attention.

We had a beautiful color catalog this year that we handed out to so many librarians. For those who didn’t want to carry one more thing, we took names to send it to them after the show.  We will also send the PDF of the catalog to the entire list of librarians we collected at the show.

The catalog is posted on the IBPA site here: (View at 100 %)

In addition to the Featured Titles area, the catalog is posted in the Book Professionals area of the site and the database by genre of all of exhibiting members’ titles is linked to both areas here:

Orders usually take place as a library’s fiscal year ends which is when they get their dollar allocation for the year. Many of you can expect to see orders through your listed wholesaler or distributor (or website) over the next 6-7 months.

We gathered seven hundred plus contact names of librarians from all over the U.S. who specifically left their information at the IBPA booth and exhibiting members can receive a copy of that list upon request.

We also had some wonderful members visit the booth this year. Thank you to everyone who came to the booth to visit and lend a hand. We really appreciate your enthusiasm and support!

The books in the booth were donated to the ALA’s charity benefiting literacy.  If you have any specific questions about the display or the ALA conference, please feel free to contact the IBPA office. We are happy to help.

Thanks to the members who participated and supported IBPA.

We appreciate you!

Lisa Krebs, Terry Nathan, Patti Grasso at ALA 2012

IBPA member titles rock the house at the Public Library Association Conference

April 16, 2012

Following is an excerpt from a report, written by Assistant Director Lisa Krebs, on IBPA’s recent attendance at the PLA  Conference.  More than 125 members exhibited their books in the IBPA booth and many of those also participated in in-booth autographing sessions. Each member who exhibited their title received a full report on the show as well as contact information for the more than 500 librarians who visited the IBPA booth. See the conference in photos on IBPA’s Facebook page and browse the color catalogue of the titles at the IBPA site here

PLA Report

According to Publishers Weekly (3/23/12): More than 8,700 attendees and over 400 exhibitors gathered in Philadelphia, March 13–17, for the Public Library Association 2012 Biennial Conference, and despite lingering discord with publishers over e-books and ever-tightening budget constraints, the mood of the show was upbeat, with a strong slate of popular authors, keynote speakers, and a professional program that focused on advocacy and, of course, books.

From the PLA press release: “As society continues to change the way it consumes information, libraries are on the front lines when it comes to adopting new technologies,” said PLA president Marcia Warner, director of the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library. “The PLA Conference offers librarians from across the nation an opportunity to discuss the changing nature of public libraries and their evolving role in the communities they serve.”

The PLA is one of the most informative shows IBPA attends. The hours are moderate, and the librarians are very focused on collecting information. The next show, PLA’s 15th National Conference will be March 11-15, 2014, in Indianapolis, IN.

As an every other year show, the PLA “travels” the coasts each conference. This time it was the on the East Coast in Philadelphia, PA.  IBPA had a good location near the entrance of the show and close to some popular library vendors. The PLA show is primarily an information gathering show and librarians are “the” information gatherers. Most librarians are very specific in their needs and we help them fill out their lists with the books we had on hand at the booth. Others stand in a certain genre for a period of time, make a detailed list and move on with precision.

Librarians are genuinely interested in the product from independent publishers. Every year, we are approached at the booth by librarians who receive our mailings and tell us how much they appreciate how “one-of-a-kind” and specialized small press titles can be. As one librarian put it, “Independent publishers are the ones with cutting-edge and unique product.” Some librarians gravitated towards the booth just because they saw the word “independent” and wanted to show support and have a look.

It was also great to hear that the librarians are using and appreciate the IBPA flyer programs. Many told us that they pass the fliers to their colleagues and hold onto them for future purchases for their collections. This year, we took a straw poll about how these librarian specialists prefer to receive catalogs and information about your titles – Print or Email? We asked men and women, new and seasoned and the answer was the same. Surprisingly, while a few like getting email catalogs, the result was two-to-one in favor of still receiving print.

Here are some of the comments:

–        “I prefer print because I like to mark it up.”

–        “I get too many emails—prefer print.”

–        “Print catalogues stack up in my office—I’d much rather have e-catalogues”

–        “No matter what the format, easy ISBN access is critical.”

–        “I can more easily share print catalogues with my colleagues.”

Some interesting notes from the show:

  • Send posters to libraries, lots of posters – with useful information and web addresses. Librarians will definitely put them up, especially if it ties in with a certain week, month or holiday.
  • A review from one of the following magazines is the stamp of approval that is often needed to write a purchase order: Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and Booklist. Other magazines, newspapers and websites are used as well, but one of these magazines will definitely influence a purchase. Therefore, if you have received a review in any of these publications, please make sure it is prominent in any promotion you send to the library.
  • Moreover, reviews in general are very necessary for acquisition. It is suggested to get reviews from your local librarian, experts in your field, people of merit in your industry or genre. Even other publishers, if they are well known in the genre, are good review sources.
  • “Independent” is “in” and has been popular for librarians, but especially now. So, make sure that your paperwork, brochures, website, etc. contain the words “Independent” and “Indie” publisher.

Specific interests voiced this year were in specific health issues, young adult and reference titles, although the entire stand received well-deserved attention.

The books at the IBPA booth this year were donated to Better World Books after the show. All proceeds from the books will go to help generate funding for Plan USA’s relief and educational programs in Haiti. Plan USA has been working in Haiti since 1973. They were recently selected by the Haitian government to implement the country’s education restoration effort alongside the Ministry of Education, UN agencies, local and international NGO partner

View the PLA Facebook page with photos


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

Founded in 1983, the Independent Book Publishers Association 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.

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,, 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!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing

February 18, 2011

by Florrie Binford Kichler

Debate over the future of the book vs. whether the book has a future was the overriding theme of 2 and a half days of programming at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change conference. Keynotes featured presenters with perspectives as varied as Canadian best-selling author Margaret Atwood, who cautioned publishers not to forget their “primary source” (the author) and Skip Prichard, Ingram CEO, who, in an upbeat and enthusiastic paean to change, warned that we should not let our companies’ pasts get in the way of our companies’ futures.

TOC Soundbites:

• What is a bookseller? According to the independent retailers on a lively Q &A panel on Bookselling in the 21st Century, the role of the bookseller is to curate selection and create a community, online, on land or both, that connects with one another around books. When asked how the indies can compete with the likes of Amazon, Google and Barnes and Noble, the consensus was that they don’t—the small indie offers a very different experience than the large retailers and are not even in the same game when it comes to customer service.

• In a panel of The Future of Ebooks Technology, moderated by Google’s Abe Murray, when asked how digital publishing will change in the next decade the answer was that content will get richer and more interactive, and the number of complementary products will increase. According to Andrew Savikas of O’Reilly, the book will not go away but will continue mutating and evolving.

• We are becoming people of the screen, noted Kevin Kelly from Wired, and screens will continue to proliferate as they become cheaper. Is there any reason then, why screens can’t be bound into book format?

• Jim Fruchterman, in a presentation called “Making the Book Truly Accessible,” spoke of the site he runs called Bookshare that supplies reading material to those who are severely dyslexic, sight impaired, and/or reading impaired. The largest online library for people with print disabilities, the service operates under copyright exception and has reinvented accessibility for books. Only 2 out of every 1000 people have disabilities severe enough to use the site—which means he turns away 998 who have reading disabilities. He invited publishers large and small to partner with him to service those 998.

• “What do Ereading Customers Really Really Want?” According to Michael Tamblyn of Kobo, they want fiction, especially romance, sci fi, mystery and romance. Those who read during the day spend more time reading than those who read at night and 8 pm to midnight is ebook shopping prime time. Kobo is constantly collecting data on their customers. Why? To make the reading experience better. If you know the reader, sales will follow.

• In a presentation entitled “Delivery on Demand in the Digital Age,” Laura Baldwin of O’Reilly spoke of how the company is going to a new model of inventory management that works solely with short run printing and POD. Their goal is to have their content be always available, always relevant and never out of stock and they’re partnering with Ingram and LSI in this effort. Adopting the model of low-to-no inventory allows the company to free capital formerly “sitting in warehouses. (Author note: POD has gone mainstream.)

• Dominique Raccah of Sourcebooks spoke on “Building the Future from Within-What Transformation Looks like Inside a Publishing Company.” It’s all about the reader, she points out, what does he or she need and how do we as publishers provide solutions. Her company has integrated digital into every department and has a robust app creation program. The challenge for publishers in a digital environment? “The physical book is one and done, digital requires rapid and frequent iteration.”

• In the session, “Game Plan for Going Direct To Your Customers,” the focus was on building your customer database and collecting data so you can know your readers, and making your books available in as many digital formats as possible for the convenience of those readers. According to Dan Wallek from Lerner Publishing, the advantages of forging a direct relationship with your customer is speed to market, increased packaging options (bundling of e and print, for example), and better agility to react to reader needs. He advised selecting a good technical partner and, sticking with your core competency/expertise.

That’s just a small taste of a conference that prides itself on offering a view of the publishing industry through a wide-angle lens with an occasional microscope thrown in. IBPA Publishing University provides a practical publishing education with an occasional wide-angle lens thrown in. Independent publishers need both perspectives.

Brian O’Leary of Magellan Media summed up the takeaway:
“Publishers aren’t in the book business—they’re in the content solution business. We must make a leap away from what we are comfortable with.”

Extensive and detailed TOC coverage may be found at:

Turn off Twitter, bag the blog and meet the experts at IBPA Publishing University

May 17, 2010

Save thousands in consulting fees and mistakes NOT made  at IBPA Publishing University

I love webinars. I love podcasts. I love Twitter and RSS Feeds. I love anything that allows me to stay cozy (and lazy) in front of my computer. Technology has taken learning to new heights—making it easily and cost-effectively accessible to all while sitting all alone.

  • But will sitting all alone in front of the computer allow you to pick the brains of more than 50 of the publishing industry’s most experienced experts on everything from promotion to production, from marketing to social media?
  • Will  the daily “free” webinar that is long on theory but short on practice introduce you to your fellow publishers who have “been there, done that,” and are ready to give you solutions that you can take back to your office and use now?
  • Will checking the 545th blog entry of the day bring you Seth Godin, world-famous marketing expert, Dominique Raccah who started her hugely successful Sourcebooks from her spare bedroom, Dan Poynter, who single-handedly began the self publishing revolution, a panel of ebook experts to point you toward publishing’s future, and a roundtable where you can meet publishers featured in Publishers Weekly’s Fast Growing Indies List?
  • Will reading your 9,945th tweet give you access to the major book distributors in the industry face-to-face to get your questions answered, and your book sales growing?

NO! But attending IBPA Publishing University on May 24-25 in New York will get you all that and much more.

And it’s not too late—for many of you on the East Coast, you’re just a train ride away from the only conference created BY publishers FOR publishers to give you hands-on advice on how to run your publishing company better and smarter.

You say you don’t have time?

  • No time to get a jump on the future by attending the Emagination panel where a group of the industry’s best prognosticators and predictors will give you the latest on the e-volution?
  • No time to experience mega marketer and best-selling author Seth Godin, called by BusinessWeek the “Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age,” as he weighs in on the challenges and opportunities that face book publishers in the digital world-and beyond?
  • No time to attend break-out sessions on everything from “Ebooks: A Growing Publishers Guide to Going Mobile and Vertical,” to “Rethinking Twitter–Social Media Marketing Strategies for Publishers?”
  • No time to learn the basics of publishing from design to production to marketing and everything in between?
  • No time to be inspired AND educated by industry experts?
  • No time to meet, network with and learn from other attendees?

You say you can’t afford it?

Other conferences charge more than $1000 for two days of education-not IBPA’s Publishing University. For half that amount you can take advantage of more than 20 break-out sessions, multiple general sessions featuring Seth Godin, Dominique Raccah and more high-profile speakers, all meals, and cap it off with the Benjamin Franklin Awards Gala Reception and Ceremony. And the education doesn’t end after the conference is over. The colleagues you will meet and the contacts you will make will continue the experience throughout the year to come—and beyond. Just ask the thousands of publishers who have “graduated” from Publishing University, now in its third decade of service to independent publishers.

Turn off Twitter, bag the blog and meet the experts. Invest in yourself by attending IBPA Publishing University, the only conference created BY publishers FOR publishers.

Get details and register today at

You—and your publishing company—will be glad you did.