PUBLISHED AUGUST 2016
by Angela Bole, CEO, Independent Book Publishers Association
This month’s “Director’s Desk” is special to me because in it I get to introduce you to a fantastic new member of IBPA’s office staff, Mimi Le.
Mimi joined IBPA in May 2015 as our new project coordinator, member benefits specialist. Many of you enjoyed working with her predecessor, Molly Farragher. After a generous notice period, Molly left IBPA to embark on a tour of Europe. We’re excited for her. If my stars were aligned differently, I’d jump at a long tour of Europe myself. Instead, I’m holding out for the postcards.
The thing about life is—get ready for it—nothing is permanent; everything is subject to change. Once we knew about Molly’s plans, we also knew we needed to start looking for a detail-oriented project coordinator with a penchant for excellent customer service, a good sense of humor, and the ability to dive right into the deep end.
Project Coordinator Mimi Le
They say you should hire the right personality and provide the time needed to learn the skills of the job. In this case, I believe we were lucky enough to hire the right personality complete with the skills.
I could share many compliments about Mimi, but I think I’ll let a piece of member fan mail speak for all of them. After two weeks on the job, Mimi made the trip to New York City for BookExpo/BookCon with Terry Nathan, IBPA’s chief operations officer, and me. After the convention we received this e-mail:
Mimi—This is O’Brien Browne, author of the novel My Back Pages, published by Black Rose Writing. I had the great pleasure of meeting and working with you at the recent BookExpo/BookCon in New York City. I would like to thank you once again for your excellent, warm, friendly, and highly efficient and effective service. I greatly appreciated how you, with charm and grace, funneled people to my book-signing stand and gave so much of your time and energy to make this event both joyful and successful. With deep thanks and gratitude once again, O’Brien.
It’s so pleasing to watch someone jump right in and make a splash.
Welcome to the IBPA family, Mimi Le!
Four Questions for IBPA’s new project coordinator
What were you doing before you joined IBPA?
I had been a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, where I majored in sociology and was an undergraduate research fellow and a peer mentor to community college students. After graduating from UCLA, I spent a year working as a project coordinator for a startup tech company in El Segundo. It was there that I learned valuable project management skills, which helped me acclimate smoothly to my new role at IBPA.
What made you want to work for an organization like IBPA?
I decided to apply to IBPA the moment I saw the mission statement: “To serve and lead the indie publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success.”
In sociology, one of the first topics you learn about is social inequality. In every industry, there will always be top dogs and underdogs. However, with advocacy, education, and the right tools for success, you can help level the playing field and close the gap between the two groups.
IBPA puts into action everything I found most interesting and exciting about my sociology studies. Most important, IBPA allows me to make a difference by working with indie publishers and self-publishers directly, on a daily basis. I am honored to be working with such a great team and association.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to read, spend time with family, and go outside. Luckily for me, I have been able to do these three things frequently, and often simultaneously. Recently, my most favorite activity has been visiting the dog park with my Siberian husky, Mellie.
I also have seasonal hobbies: I snowboard regularly in the wintertime, occasionally hike in the springtime, swim when the weather is too hot not to in the summer, and dedicate most of the fall to keeping up with new shows on Hulu.
Which IBPA projects excite you most?
I am most excited about Publishing University Online. It’s a huge privilege to interact with leading experts in the publishing industry and work with them to create informative webinars geared to helping indie publishers.
I am also very excited about working on our cooperative book catalogs, which aim to expand the reach of IBPA members’ books and to help them gain traction in the competitive book industry.
Just before Angela Bole became IBPA’s Chief Executive Officer, she was Deputy Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG), which fosters conversation and consensus across all sectors of the book business. Before that, Angela served for two years as BISG’s Associate Director and two years as its Marketing and Communications Manager.