You know that evening after you move house, when every muscle hurts and you are covered in dust and grime, and all you want is a glass of water but you can’t find the box with the kitchenware? Perched on a box you hope isn’t filled with breakables, you just stare at the blank walls, contentedly thinking about the future. Well, that was me in December, when we launched the vastly improved IBPA Website.
Throughout the Website renovation project, I used the analogy that we were moving to a new house. Most people haven’t experienced the complete revamping of a rather large Website, but just about everyone has moved at some point, and the pain points are analogous. Trying to figure out what stays and what goes, finding unexpected boxes, and underestimating just how much work will be necessary are all part of both experiences.
Of course, the work is never truly done. We’re already moving a few things around and realizing we need a few additional closets, but the foundation is solid. The Website is (and should be) a work in progress, and it is becoming the hub of all our online activity. Now we are looking for additional ways to enhance the site and make it provide even more benefits for IBPA members.
With board member and social media expert Deltina Hay heading up the Social Media Marketing Committee, work has begun on the next phases. In a sense, we have built a swanky new house, and Deltina is now going to help make sure the house stays full of visiting friends and family who are happy to go there and be there.
The Site as Step 1
One thing that is becoming clear as we all move further and further into the digital future is that having a Website is just the start.
At the Digital Book World Discoverability and Marketing Conference this past fall, the big takeaway was that having a Website, and even a robust social media platform, isn’t enough anymore. To be truly successful, publishers (and other organizations) need to understand the underpinnings of their platforms and analyze the efficacy if possible. Many tools and statistics are available for publishers to use. For those who don’t use them, marketing will be superficial at best.
Another major point was that modern marketing takes time, and also takes a human touch. The days of simply throwing money at print advertising or sending out blind press releases are over. Now it’s clearer than ever that you have to truly know your audience to be able to serve your audience.
With that in mind, we need to know more about our members. As part of the Website overhaul, we got a new membership management database, which gathers much-needed data and will help IBPA serve you even better.
Who Are You?
This information you provide will help our community flourish and will also ensure that we understand your needs and are providing the right services. Would you please take a moment out of your busy day to update your member profile in the new system?
Just log in to the IBPA Website, ibpa-online.org/login.
That will bring you to the member login page, where you can either use the drop down navigation in the upper right corner or click “membership profile” in the text.
Then all you need to do is fill out and update your profile. As you’ll see, we are now capturing social media information (e.g., Twitter handles), and we’ll be using it to help build the IBPA online community.
As a token of appreciation, we will send a thank-you gift to all members who update their profiles. Expect to see an email soon about the gift.
For now, please fill out your member profile and come on over and visit the new Website. The door is always open, so make yourself at home.
Davida G. Breier works for The Johns Hopkins University Press, managing its distribution division, HFS. She serves on the IBPA board and the board of No Voice Unheard, an independent publisher.