Posted tagged ‘Publishing University’

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.

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

Congratulations to the IBPA Benjamin Franklin™ Award Finalists

May 20, 2010

If it’s May, it must be time for the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ and all of us at IBPA are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2010 contest. We often get the question as to why the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ are open to all publishers rather than just restricted to independent publishers. The answer is simple–in the marketplace, independent publishers must compete with ALL publishers, large and small, for shelf space, eyeballs—and excellence. The Benjamin Franklin Awards™ are simply a reflection of the reality of that larger universe. Which is why, since 1988, the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ have recognized publishers as large as John Wiley and Sons and Sourcebooks, producing hundreds of titles annually, and as small as Mermaid Press and Keynote Publishing Company, producing 1-10 titles per year.
In keeping with IBPA’s educational mission, each entry of the more than 1300 this year (and every year), received a written critique from the judges with suggestions for improvement and/or compliments for a job well done.
Kudos to the following finalists for their achievement! One winner in each category will be announced at the Benjamin Franklin Awards™ Gala on Monday evening, May 24, at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. A complete list of the finalists may also be found on the IBPA website

Good Rabbitkeeping, TFH Publications, Inc.
The Official Horse Breeds Standards Guide, Quayside Publishing Group
World Atlas of Dog Breeds, TFH Publications, Inc.

Arts (Art/Music/Photography)
Clint Eastwood, Icon, Insight Editions
Human Documents: Eight Photographers, Peabody Museum Press
Stone Offerings, Lightpoint Press

Hemingway’s Cuban Son: Reflections on the Writer by His Longtime Majordomo, The Kent State University Press.
Luna’s Life – A Journey of Forgiveness and Triumph, Caros Books
Me and the Biospheres: A Memoir by the Inventor of Biosphere 2, Synergetic Press Storm of the i: An Artobiography, Art Review Press

Audiobook – Children’s
The Bossy Gallito, Lorito Books Inc.
Letters From A Window In The Sky (A tribute to Astrid Lindgren and Pippi), NYS Theatre Institute
The Pigman, Graymalkin Media

Kipling’s Cat: A Memoir of My Father, Protean Press
Theodore Roosevelt, Hunter-Conservationist, Boone and Crockett Club
Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman, Quayside Publishing Group

Doggy Business 101, TFH Publications, Inc.
Managing, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Seven Turning Points, Fieldstone Alliance

Emotional Intelligence 2.0, TalentSmart
A Life in the Law: Advice for Young Lawyers, American Bar Association
Post Office Jobs – 5th edition: Explore and Find Jobs, Prepare For the 473 Postal Exam, and Locate ALL Job Opportunities, Bookhaven Press LLC

Children’s Picture Book
One Child, One Planet: Inspiration for the Young Conservationist, Emerald Shamrock Press
Pingo, Deseret Book Company / Shadow Mountain
Urban Animals, Star Bright Books

Children’s Book & Audiobook Set
The Belly Button Fairy, Best Fairy Books
For Baby, For Bobbie, Dawn Publications
We Eat Food That’s Fresh, Our Rainbow Press

Coffee Table Books
Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock, Voyageur Press, an imprint of Quayside Publishing Group
Spanish Mustangs in the Great American West, Fine Art Editions Gallery & Press
Tropical Homes of the Eastern Caribbean, Ozone Zone Books

Orange County Fare: A Culinary Journey Through the California Riviera, Junior League of Orange County, Inc.
TOSCANA, Simple Authentic Italian Recipes, Killer Pizza Enterprises, Inc.
Under the Fig Leaf, Under the Fig Leaf

Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts, Willow Ridge Press
Fibreart Montage, Dragon Threads Ltd.
Quilts: Unfinished Stories with New Endings, FPI Publishing

My Dog Bites the English Teacher: Practical Grammar Made Quick and Easy, Aviary Publishers, Inc.
Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness, Quillrunner Publishing LLC
The Wolf Pack Classroom Management Plan, Butterfly Sky Press

Gift Books
Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender, Anchor Distilling
Facing Death: A Companion in Words and Images, Health Professions Press
I Wish, A Good Book for Pondering, Willis Harding, LLC

Popular Fiction
Christmas on Mill Street, Shadow Mountain
Cottonwood Spring, Fletcher House
The Middle of the Air, John F. Blair Publisher

Historical Fiction
Dead Weight, Joggling Board Press
Falling from the Moon, Windy City Publishers
In the Land of Cotton, Outskirts Press

The Bone Chamber, Poisoned Pen Press
In Their Blood, Oceanview Publishing
Jump, Poisoned Pen Press

Poetry/Literary Criticism
All Man! Hemingway, 1950’s Men’s Magazines, and the Masculine Persona, The Kent State University Press
In Praise, Lost Horse Press
Lucifer: A Hagiography, Lost Horse Press

All Screwed Up, Benu Press
The Golden Age of Gay Fiction, MLR Press, LLC
I Told You So, Beacon Press

3-Step Vegetable Gardening, Creative Homeowner
California’s Olive Pioneers, Robert Mondavi Institute (RMI)
Rain Gardening in the South, Eno Publishers

Health (Wellness/Nutrition)
American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies, Second Ed., American Cancer Society
Easy Gluten-Free Baking, Lake Isle Press, Inc.
The New Heart Disease Handbook, Quayside Publishing Group/Fair Winds Press

The California Missions, Getty Publications
Charles Fritz: 100 Paintings Illustrating the Journals of Lewis and Clark, Farcountry Press
Theodore Roosevelt, Hunter-Conservationist, Boone and Crockett Club

All In A Day’s Work for Real Estate Agents: Humorous and Heartwarming Stories, Work Like A Dog Books
Roastbeef’s Promise, Smack Books
The Wheel of Nuldoid, Pointless INK Publishers, LLC

Juvenile/Young Adult – Fiction
Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, Deseret Book Company / Shadow Mountain
The Kalevala: Tales of Magic and Adventure, Simply Read Books
Zillah’s Gift Beaver’s Pond Press, Inc.

Juvenile/Young Adult – Nonfiction
The Power of the Penny, Spencer Publishing
Transforming Lives, Star Bright Books
Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland, Carolrhoda Books

Another World Lies Beyond, Huntington Library Press
Half Spoon of Rice, East West Discovery Press
Layla’s Head Scarf, Star Bright Books

B is for Bufflehead, PhotoHutch
Giant Lizards (2nd Edition), TFH Publications, Inc.
Plundering Appalachia, Earth Aware Editions

New Age/Metaphysics/Spirituality
Gita Wisdom, Mandala Publishing
ReBecoming: The Way of Opportunity, Dassana Press, LLC
Transforming Practices, 10th Anniversary Edition, American Bar Association

Get Out! 150 Easy Ways for Kids and Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
The Highly Intuitive Child: A Guide to Understanding and Parenting Unusually Sensitive and Empathic Children Hunter House Inc., Publishers
Raising Twins From Pregnancy to Preschool, American Academy of Pediatrics

Political/Current Events
Hope: A Collection of Obama Posters and Prints, Zenith Press, an imprint of Quayside Publishing Group
Just Coffee Caffeine With A Conscience, Just Trade Center
Lost American Principles, Outskirts Press, Inc

Anatomic Basis of Neurologic Diagnosis, Thieme Publishers
The Articulate Advocate: New Techniques of Persuasion for Trial Lawyers Crown King Books
Garner on Language and Writing, American Bar Association

Brothers and Sisters in Adoption: Helping Children Navigate Relationships When New Kids Join the Family, Perspectives Press, Inc.
Redeeming Our Treasures: Finding Joy In the Shadows of an Abusive Past, Edict House Publishing Group, LLC
Uprooting Anger: Eliminating the Emotion that Kills, Life Transitions Consulting

Chasing Moonlight, John F. Blair, Publisher
Golf, Naked – The Bare Essentials Revealed, Pick It Up Publishing, LLC
LeBron James: The Making of an MVP, Gray & Company, Publishers

The Book Collector’s Guide to L. Frank Baum and Oz, March Hare Books
Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 16th Ed., SIL International
World Atlas of Dog Breeds, TFH Publications, Inc.

People of the Land: Legends of the Four Host First Nations, Theytus Books
Steel Pier: Showplace of the Nation, Down The Shore Publishing Corp.
Voices of the American West, Fulcrum Publishing

Big Picture of the Bible – New Testament, Big Picture Ministries, LLC
Gloria’s Miracle, San Juan Publishing
Welcome Them Home — Help Them Heal, Whole Person Associates

California’s Olive Pioneers, Robert Mondavi Institute (RMI)
Everyone’s Guide to Atoms, Einstein and the Universe, Real Science Publishing
Marine Aquarium Handbook, TFH Publications, Inc.

Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle, Greenleaf Book Group Press
Redeeming Our Treasures: Finding Joy In the Shadows of an Abusive Past, Edict House Publishing Group, LLC
Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness, Quillrunner Publishing LLC

The Complete Walt Disney World 2010, Coconut Press
Photographing Oregon, Graphie Int’l, Inc.
Yellowstone Treasures: The Traveler’s Companion to the National Park, Granite Peak Publications

Cover Design, Fiction
The Hole in the Sky, Sea Turtle Publishing
Issa: The Greatest Story Never Told, Snow Mountain Press (An imprint of Summit University Press)
Personal Demons, Medallion Press, Inc.

Cover Design, Small Format
Kipling’s Cat: A Memoir of My Father, Protean Press
Letters to Zerky, a Father’s Legacy to a Lost Son and a Road Trip Around the World, Nickelodeon Press
Look Great, Live Green: Choosing Beauty Solutions That Are Planet-Safe and Budget-Smart Hunter House Inc., Publishers

Cover Design-Large Format
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Thirty Years of American Landscapes, Quiet Light Publishing
Steel Pier: Showplace of the Nation, Down The Shore Publishing Corp.
Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage, The Kent State University Press

Cover Design-Children’s/Young Adult)
The Art of Planet 51, Insight Editions
The Belly Button Fairy, Best Fairy Books
Famous Figures of Ancient Times: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble, Figures in Motion

Interior Design-1-2 Color
Beehive Reader 1, Takeaway Press
Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft, RCR Creative Press
You Don’t Have To Learn the Hard Way, BenBella Books, Inc.

Interior Design, 3 or More Color
Steel Pier: Showplace of the Nation, Down The Shore Publishing Corp.
Treasures through Six Generations, Huntington Library Press
World Atlas of Dog Breeds, TFH Publications, Inc.

Interior Design, Children’s/Young Adult
Nico & Lola: Kindness Shared Between a Boy and A Dog, Genuine Prints LLC
The Princess and the Kiss: The Three Gifts of Christmas, Warner Press
What Does It Mean To Be Global?, Little Pickle Press LLC

Most Improved Redesign
Born to Win, Breed to Succeed, BowTie Press
The Gold Standard MCAT, Ruveneco Inc
World Atlas of Dog Breeds, TFH Publications, Inc.

The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Fiction)
Kingdom of Simplicity, Skywriter Books
Shadwell’s Slaves – Escape to Freedom, Discover’N Publishing
Shakedown, Lenox Road Publishing LLC

The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Nonfiction)
The Healthcare Survival Guide, Health Advocate Publishing, Inc.
The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt: War Through a Woman’s Eyes, 1939-1940, Aquila Polonica Publishing
The No-Diet Obesity Solution for Kids, AGA Press

The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Children’s/Young Adult)
Chippy Chipmunk Parties in the Garden, Celtic Sunrise
My Savings Book & Journal, Community Services Press
The Star of Christmas, Winterlake Press

IBPA Reality Show–Publishing University 2009: The Video

May 19, 2010

I could write a billion words about Publishing University (and sometimes I feel I have!) but it would never come close to communicating the energy and excitement of the event that this video does. Take 4 minutes of your time and find out why you need to be there. Scroll down at to “Live Video from Publishing University 2009.”

Publishing University 2010: The Guts to Change

April 10, 2010

Quit the wrong stuff
Stick with the right stuff
Have the guts to do one or the othe
—The Dip by Seth Godin

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

In other words, posits the old adage, it’s a mistake to try to improve something that works.

In the past two decades, IBPA’s Publishing University has educated thousands of publishers about the business of publishing. Since the 1990s, the University has offered 50-plus sessions on all aspects of publishing during a two- to three-day event prior to a four-day BookExpo, usually held in large (and expensive) cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and New York City.

“I made great connections, I learned a boatload, and most importantly, I really learned the areas where I needed to improve our capabilities,” remarked a 2009 Publishing University attendee. IBPA’s flagship educational program has consistently provided top-notch classroom instruction and, even more important, publisher-to-publisher networking and learning.

That hasn’t changed, but almost everything else about the 2010 Publishing University has, and by the time you read this, you’ll know how.

But why? Why “fix” an event that has a tremendous reputation in the industry for world-class publishing education and is consistently praised by attendees as a career-changing experience?

Seth Godin, mega–marketing guru and bestselling business author of Linchpin, The Purple Cow, The Dip, and many other books will be our keynote speaker at the 2010 University. In his inspirational and practical book The Dip, he defines dip as “any rough patch you have to get through before achieving your big goal.”

While the mission of the University—to educate new and experienced publishers—remains the same, the publishing industry and the economy most assuredly have changed. Recovery from the economic meltdown of 2008 is as slow as the changes in our industry are swift, and to say that publishing is going through a “rough patch” is like calling Hurricane Katrina a thunderstorm.

Our “big goal” as your trade association is to support, educate, and lead you through the tough stuff. To achieve that goal, business-as-usual won’t cut it. Your board of directors recently completed a comprehensive survey of you, our members, using both written and phone interviews, to learn what your needs are in terms of education and how IBPA can best fulfill those needs.

The following changes for Publishing University 2010 arose from the results of that survey.

Publishing University 2010: You Spoke, We Listened

What you asked for: Lower cost and less time away from the office.

How IBPA responded: In 2010, the University will begin on Monday afternoon and end after a full day on Tuesday. A Monday afternoon start time will allow people in at least two thirds of the country the opportunity for same-day travel. And ending the University late Tuesday will mean just one hotel night is necessary, instead of two.

The Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony will be held on Monday night to give all University attendees the opportunity to attend.

Pricing has been adjusted to reflect the new format; our goal was to bring education within the reach of all budgets while still maintaining the standard of excellence you have come to expect from Publishing University.

What you asked for: Expansion of educational opportunities to include more advanced programs.

How IBPA responded: In the past, our tracks have treated publishing from a topic-based perspective—Marketing, Publicity, Editorial, etc. As you know, the “leaner, meaner” 2010 Publishing University offers three major tracks, focusing on the three major transitions in a publisher’s lifecycle.

For those new to publishing and those trying to decide the best path to take:

• Getting Started: Where Am I Now, Where Do I Want to Go, How Do I Get There?

For those who have started their companies and need strategies for profitable publishing:

• Making a Living: How Do I Build My Company Without Breaking the Bank?

For established publishers poised for growth:

• Growing Your Business: How Do I Take My Company to the Next Level?

Within each of these tracks, sessions will address the four key aspects of publishing—production, finance, legal, and marketing–custom-tailored to attendees’ experience level.

What sets Publishing University apart from all other conferences is the concentration on the full scope of running a publishing company.

Now you can take full advantage no matter where you are in the publishing spectrum.

What you asked for: “Hard reality” information from “publishers like me.”

How IBPA responded: IBPA’s Publishing University is the only conference created by publishers, for publishers.

In 2010, in addition to industry experts, all panels will have at least one publisher who has “been there, done that,” which means that theory will be backed up by real-world examples and case studies that you can take back to your office and use to your advantage.

“How-to” has always been a hallmark of Publishing University; 2010 will deliver that and then some.

The Right Stuff

Publishing University’s 2010 theme—“Transitions: How to Start, Grow, and Succeed in Publishing’s New World”—applies to IBPA and the publishing industry as well as to the event.

As our industry struggles with the challenge of change, so must IBPA seek new ways to give you, our members, the help and support you need to meet the future. And how better to find those ways than to ask you, our members, for direction? We did, you answered, we responded—and we’ll look forward to your reaction to the new Pub U.

In remarks at this year’s O’Reilly’s Tools of Change conference, Tim O’Reilly, as reported by Publishers Lunch, noted that “it was impossible for publishers to ‘be the winners in a technology race.’ So publishers should spend less time chasing what’s cool and what’s new and focus instead on the nuts and bolts of nurturing audiences and sales channels and delivering authors’ work.”

Change for change’s sake does not a successful publisher (or Publishing University) make. The key to thriving as a publisher is recognizing, planning, and executing the fundamentals needed to prosper in an environment that will continue to transform.

The basics of publishing are the “right stuff.” IBPA’s Publishing University has been teaching those basics for more than 20 years, and, in addition to changes designed to bring you the very latest of what you need to know now, we will continue to bring you the basics in 2010 and beyond.

Preceding was first published in the April 2010 issue of the IBPA Independent