Posted tagged ‘book industry trade shows’

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


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

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


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.

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.

IBPA Publishing University: A Contrarian View

April 17, 2011

by Florrie Binford Kichler

2011 marks the year of the leaner, meaner, Pub U—in a new location in the heart of BEA with the white hot spotlight focused relentlessly on what independent publishers need to know—and DO–right now to position their companies for success in a digital future. Visit for details of the more than 20 general and break-out sessions, Ask the Experts personal consulting opportunities unique to this event, Table Top networking and much more. Whether you’re a new one-book publisher, a self-publisher, an author-publisher, a traditional publisher or anything in between, you will not want to miss the opportunity to hone your publishing skills with the latest in leading-edge tools, tips and techniques from IBPA Publishing University

You’ve heard all that before from me.

You’ve heard me extol the virtues of the most unique and amazing learning experience in all of publishing.

You’ve heard me say that a publisher missing IBPA Publishing University is akin to a diehard football fan missing the Super Bowl.

But IBPA Publishing University 2011 isn’t for everyone. In fact I would be remiss both personally and professionally if I didn’t point out some reasons why you might want to stay home on May 22 and 23rd catching up on your Twitter feeds, posting on your Facebook friends’ walls and wondering why nobody’s answering your emails (they’re all at Pub U)

Top Five Reasons Why You May Not Want to Attend IBPA Publishing University 2011

5. You’d rather contemplate and speculate about the state of publishing in 2050 than in the here and now.

Of course we all need to keep our eye on the industry view from 30,000 feet and you’ll get a taste of that from our visionary and dynamic keynote speakers at Pub U. But if you prefer dreaming about what might be in a dim future rather than what is in a dynamic present, you don’t belong at Publishing University. The U is created by publishers for publishers. New publishers learn the practical ground rules for successful publishing so they can hit the ground running right away, and the more experienced publisher comes back for a refresher course on what’s new—and what’s now.

But if you don’t want to find new, improved methods of doing business that you can take straight back to your office and implement right away, don’t come to IBPA Publishing University 2011.

4. You’re not interested in discovering, creative and low-cost ways to sell more books.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. More than 10 break-out sessions on sales and marketing both “e” and print will catapult newer publishers from status quo into “status grow.”

But unless you’re looking for new techniques to get more books out the door and more cash coming in, don’t come to IBPA Publishing University 2011.

3. Assembling an arsenal of practical, hands-on tools that you can put to work to improve your publishing program immediately doesn’t energize you.

Tips for reaching the library market, an ebook production primer, and the latest in social media tools for publishers are just a small sampling of what you’ll take home from IBPA Publishing University 2011. No generalities and platitudes allowed—what you’ll find in each session are knowledgeable instructors who have been where you are, know what you need to know, and are ready to supply the solutions required.

But if you’d rather face a 90 degree angle learning curve on your own, don’t come to IBPA Publishing University 2011.

2. The opportunity for a private one-on-one session with a publishing industry expert to find solutions to your particular challenges doesn’t appeal to you.

At IBPA Publishing University, you will find the best of the best industry experts. And brand new this year is the chance to meet them up close and personal in your own dedicated consulting session. And did I mention that your private meeting by appointment with the adviser of your choice is now free when you attend IBPA Publishing University?

But if you’d prefer to spend hundreds of dollars to hire your own consultant, don’t come to IBPA Publishing University 2011.

And the number one reason why you should not come to New York on May 22-23 and attend IBPA Publishing University?

You’d rather follow “book publishing” on Twitter than meet book publishing’s real people and develop a lifelong network of friends, colleagues and mentors.

You walk into IBPA Publishing University certain that your problems are unique and convinced that nobody has ever faced the challenges you currently face in trying to get your book (s) out into the world. You walk out with tools to take your publishing project to the next level and a group of advisers who have experienced and overcome similar problems to yours and are willing and eager to lend you a hand.

Isn’t that better than trying to learn publishing 140 characters at a time?

See you at IBPA Publishing University prior to BEA on May 22-23.

Reprinted with permission from the April IBPA Independent

IBPA at the Frankfurt Book Fair (and some general foreign rights tips)

November 15, 2010

By Lisa Krebs, Assistant Director, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

This year, IBPA (formerly PMA) celebrated its 25th year exhibiting at the Frankfurt Book Fair !

That fact had escaped us until the fair staff visited our booth with a plaque and cake that spelled it out in icing.

This was my 10th year at this show and the second year for our President, Florrie Binford Kichler. Having previously done the London show and so many domestic shows together, we have a great rhythm and flow as a team. So now, besides finishing each other’s sentences, we’re handing each other a needed title before the other even asks. That makes for a fantastic working show! There is something so great about that kind of continuity.

For the past ten years, we’ve stayed in the private home of the Abraham family in a town called Goldstein. It is two trains and a trolley ride away from the fair, which makes for a long “to and from” part of the day. It’s also what affords us the opportunity to attend this show on  behalf of IBPA members and we’ve come to love our adopted German family. We’ve actually watched babies grow up and go to school.

Over the past 25 years, we’ve made a lot of publisher friends from all over the world. To meet with them each year and watch the progress of each company is amazing. That kind of history is invaluable and so many deals and referrals have been made from those relationships.  We made a lot of important new contacts as well and expect to see them next year for business.

According to an article from Publishers Weekly – Attendance at the Frankfurt Book Fair dipped slightly this year, but not nearly as much as organizers had expected given the state of the global economy. Attendance for the first three days of the fair, before the gates were opened to the public, stood at 149,945, down 1.7% from the 152,530 attendees in 2009 for the same three-day period. Organizers, however, were encouraged by the numbers given the global economic recession, and by a late rally that boosted attendance, and rise in rights center activity.

IBPA held 50+ meetings with publishers and agents from 25 countries requesting over 200 copies for rights reviews. The countries included were Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and the USA.

The advantage of relationship building in Frankfurt is that, over time, we become familiar with a publishers’ program and figure out how we can add to their list. We also love hearing the success stories of previously purchased titles. One publisher, who had a gorgeous catalog, showed us how they changed a member’s cover art (beautiful job) and let us know how it was selling in their country.

Even as little as 10 years ago, there was a lot of faxing and snail mail about appointments and follow up. Now we can sit in a meeting, discuss an article about a health issue that ties in with a Japanese publisher’s title, go back to the hotel that evening, find it, and email it to her right then and there. We can connect publishers with like product by website or blogs and e-newsletters. We can email the color catalog (from the show to every participant with whom we spoke and to anyone else we feel may benefit. This kind of progress is not just exciting but full of possibilities and we’re exploring all of them.

Here are some headlines from the Frankfurt Book Fair:

Frankfurt 2010 – Roundup

Frankfurt 2010: Making A Difference with E-readers

Frankfurt 2010: Digital Meets Content at More Upbeat Show

Frankfurt 2010: Libel tourism–No Passport Required

Frankfurt 2010: As Fair Winds Down, Disruption Yields to Opportunity

Frankfurt 2010: Frankfurt Attendance Dips Slightly, but Organizers Are Encouraged


For those who have not been to a foreign rights show and may not know how this show differs from our attendance at national shows such as BEA or ALA, here’s a brief synopsis of our day. We have an appointment scheduled each half hour of the day, starting at 9 a.m. and continuing until 6 p.m. when the fair closes (normally we work right through lunch as well). We meet with publishers from all over the world. When we meet with the publishers, they normally tell us about their publishing company’s needs and genres of interest. Sometimes we have lots of product for them; sometimes just a few matches and sometimes nothing at all. But, like everything else in this business, it’s a matter of building relationships.

This year there seemed to be a lot of interest in business, self-help, inspirational/motivational, environmental, relationships, health and parenting titles. The titles that tend to do well at this show have universal appeal and do not contain a lot of references to the U.S. or items you can only find in the U.S. Children’s titles that work at these shows do not contain pictures of kids that are obviously American or rhymes that are not possible to translate and that are global in theme. Certain countries like Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil and others prefer titles that are no longer than 250 pages as translation is cost-prohibitive.

After the show, the displayed books in the IBPA booth were donated to BookBridge – a group that establishes teaching libraries in countries in need.

General Foreign Rights Tips

If you are considering exploring foreign rights opportunities for your book (s) the following tips may help. Additional resources on foreign rights are listed below.

  • Do your due diligence on any foreign rights agent or publisher before contacting them. Visit the organization’s website and perform an online search in advance. Another source to consult is International Literary Marketplace, which lists book industry contacts all over the world.
  • A reading copy or request for other information is the first step in a book licensing deal. More and more foreign rights agents/publishers are requesting PDF copies of titles to be sent instead of or in addition to physical hard copies. One reason is that some countries have agents, editors and decision makers scattered around a region and a PDF cuts down on mailing a book to each person. Another is the growing trend for publishers to go “green” whenever possible. If you are at all concerned about sending a PDF copy we suggest you that you add a method of copy protection to the file.
  • To accompany a reading copy, send any sales figures, promotional material, or any additional information you may have that might be of interest and could affect sales. If your author is available to travel to a country for book tours or can remotely promote the title, please mention that as well.
  • Confirm the address to which you will be sending your title and ask the recipient which carrier is preferred, so that you can ensure that your title will arrive in that country efficiently.
  • The publishing company’s editorial committee will review the book, and you will be contacted as to whether a contract can be considered. Always have your attorney check any contract before signing. It is important to note that foreign rights deals can take several months or even years to negotiate. IBPA received rights requests from last year’s show at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, so do not be discouraged if you don’t hear anything right away.
  • The amounts paid for the licensing of rights vary widely. If the country is not affluent, you may be offered just a few hundred dollars. If the country is more developed, you may be offered several thousand dollars up front. During this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, we were informed by one of our contacts that a book we placed with them sold 35,000 copies in a two-month span and another contact told us that he was able to get a five-figure advance for a title. At the other end of the spectrum there is also the book that received a $300 advance from an emerging country.

There are several articles for members at the IBPA site about the beginning, middle and continuing stages of working with international publishers and it is a great source to begin your research on this topic. Members, please enter your username and password and then type in the word “foreign” in the search area here: for those articles and more.

Here are some additional links for foreign rights information:

Foreign Rights  – Helpful Articles and Sites:

Pictures from this year’s show can be found at the IBPA flickr site.

The title listings and annotations from the show catalog are added to the foreign rights database of the IBPA site and remain there for a year. The catalog for this year is posted on the “Featured Titles” and “Book Professionals” pages of the IBPA web site. The color catalog from the show is emailed to all of our relevant foreign rights contacts as well. IBPA will continue to distribute this catalog throughout the year and will forward any and all requests to exhibiting publishers that will result over the coming months.

We’d like to thank all participating IBPA publishers and hope that success comes your way through the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Lisa Krebs, Assistant Director of IBPA  and Florrie Binford Kichler, IBPA President