I have some news to share: I have been named to the board of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) for a two-year term, beginning July 1, 2015. The IBPA press release has more details.
I first learned about IBPA after submitting a book to the Ben Franklin Awards program operated by IBPA. The book did not win an award, but I gained something even more important: membership in an organization that is truly aligned with the needs of the independent publishing ecosystem.
While I have worked in various media ventures for decades, I am relatively new to the world of books and ebooks, and still have a lot to learn. Thanks to IBPA’s excellent Independent magazine and the IBPA LinkedIn group, I was able to get up to speed on so many aspects of this industry, especially those related to the business of publishing. The authors of the articles and the IBPA members I have interacted with are true professionals, and the information and advice they shared was invaluable.
I also began to take advantage of the many member benefits offered by IBPA, such as:
- The cooperative display for IBPA members at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This was a low-cost way to showcase In 30 Minutes titles to prospective foreign licensees without having to travel to Germany. It resulted in a foreign rights deal being signed late last year, based on the boilerplate licensing documentation that IBPA provides to its members for free.
- Various marketing programs aimed at libraries and booksellers. This was a chance to get titles in front of librarians and independent retailers in the United States.
- Discounts for Ingram/Lightning Source International, one of the largest print-on-demand services in the world.
- Discounted membership in IPNE, a regional affiliate of IBPA. Joining IPNE helped me connect with other publishers in New England and take part in IPNE activities.
Through these and other activities such as Publishing University I began to understand that IBPA’s motto, “to help each other achieve and succeed,” is not just a well-meaning phrase. It manifests itself in the many ways the organization conducts its affairs and serves its constituents.
Serving on the board is a way to give back to IBPA and its members, through assisting with IBPA programs, reviewing strategic plans and the organization’s financial health, contributing to the setting of future priorities, outreach, and other activities. It is an honor to be named to the board, and I look forward to serving as a director.