IBPA Independent Magazine – Article Archive

Article Archive

While IBPA members receive IBPA Independent’s award-winning content during the month of publication, we’re happy to post a limited selection of each issue’s articles below 2-3 months after publication.

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Independent Articles
Dr. Robert Sullivan, Author & Publisher, March 1997
Libraries — The “Perfect” Customer »

Regardless of whether you are working with a large publisher or a small press, every author should know that to make their book successful (that is, to sell a LOT of books) requires a continued involvement in the promotion and marketing of the book. Your distributor will probably take care of”traditional” bookstore sales (to the …

Jan Nathan, PMA Executive Director, March 1997
Small Press Week: March 24-30, 1997 »

Through a grass roots effort, we know that we can deliver the story of the independent press throughout the country. The theme of Small Press Week 1997 is “Hot Off the Press! Titles from Independent Publishers Offer a Pizzeria for the Mind.” The Small Press Center in New York and PMA have joined forces to …

John McCabe, author of Surgery Electives: What to , March 1997
The Interview From Hell! »

Today I was interviewed for a LIVE BROADCAST on a New York City radio show. Here’s how it went. As I wait to be interviewed, I hear them introduce the guest before me. Then all of a sudden that guest is connected to my phone line and not to the radio interviewer and we are …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, March 1997
What Should Things Cost? »

I am going to list here some prices that my publishing company has paid for various book-related goods and services during the last year or so. We all worry about being taken to the cleaners when we need to work with outside suppliers. My hope is that you can match some of these numbers with …

Ken Lee, Michael Wiese Productions , March 1997
A Journey Down the Amazon.com River »

In a year filled with frustrating statistics for the publishing industry (huge returns, low margins, another book by Howard Stern), a Seattle-based company has guided the book industry down an unknown path with an eclectic mixture of high-tech wizardry, marketing savvy, and a genuine passion for books. For those who haven’t heard yet, here are …

W. Paul Coates, February 1997
The Challenge of Publishing On Demand »

Last year, Black Classic Press took a giant leap of faith. We acquired an On Demand Publishing system and began shifting our production methods in order to take advantage of supposed lower inventory costs, less waste, and more specialized production of our books. A little background. Black Classic Press was founded in 1978 with the …

Jan Nathan, February 1997
Introducing Nancy & Don Tubesing Whole Person Associates/Pfeifer-Hamilton Publishers »

In an effort to assist PMA members in learning some of the tricks of the trade used by surviving publishing companies, I have decided to interview PMA members and share some of their thoughts, failures, and successes with you. Yes, even the successful ones have failures along the way. This month, we’re introducing two companies …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., February 1997
The Publishing Audit »

If an author has sold a reasonable number of books, it often pays to examine the records of the publishing company in order to verify the statements the author has been receiving. If the author is negotiating a new deal with the same publisher, it may also pay to examine the account on the old …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, February 1997
Publishers Weekly Meeting of Independent Press Distributors »

Last December, Publishers Weekly hosted at their New York office a meeting of the major independent press distributors. Many of us who have worked in this area were very pleased by this attention from PW, even if we felt it was a few years overdue. A cynic might suppose that the large number of ad …

Robert C. Brenner, M.S.E.E., M.S.S.M., February 1997
Reducing the (Perceived) Price with Coupons, Rebates & Discounts »

Cutting book prices can increase sales, but it could also encourage competitors to follow your lead, starting a price war. If you advertise your books at one price point and then cut prices, some past customers will suspect that they’ve been gouged. Value, not price, convinces a buyer. Customers want quality, but at a cheap …

., January 1997
New PMA Board Member Appointed »

Nominated to fill the University Press chair vacated by Don Ellegood, University of Washington Press, is Nicholas S. Weir-Williams, Director of the Northwestern University Press. Ellegood retired this year from the University of Washington Press after many years of actively building and enhancing the line of books produced at this university press. Weir-Williams will fill …

Ken Lee, January 1997
Haben Sie Sales Leads im Frankfurt, Bitte? »

I attended the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time last October and sauerkraut will never be the same. But more on that later. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest convention in the world where 8,000+ international publishers from over 100 countries go to sell and buy foreign rights for book titles. Our company, …

Patricia Troyer, January 1997
11 Essential Things to Know Before You Go on the Radio »

1) First and most important, be sure your book is really suited to radio and/or television. Not every book is. The broader and more general interest oriented your title is, the better your chances of being invited as a guest. Or you must tightly target the radio market you’re going after. Why would a radio …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, January 1997
Apples and Oranges: An Analysis and Comparison of Distribution Agreements »

I’ve had an opportunity to review the contracts of a number of the important distributors of books in the United States. Each contract contains many similarities and some important differences. The independent publisher is well-advised to review the agreement presented with great care for there are significant legal issues and costs involved in the process …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, January 1997
Working with Authors »

In simpler times, authors wrote the books, publishers touched up the spelling and punctuation, designed a suitable package, and published them. Except for literary books, this pattern no longer describes what successful publishers actually do. Instead, an author’s manuscript is usually just a promising beginning for a shaping process that will result in a strong …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, January 1997
Sample Publicity Worksheet »

We have put together this basic information sheet to demystify the process of book publicity for our authors. It is designed to empower authors with some general knowledge of Chicago Review Press’s approach, to maximize your opportunities for working productively with our publicists, and to minimize misunderstandings and disappointment. Please remember that Chicago Review Press …

Robin Quinn, December 1996
When an Author’s Ready to Talk, Here’s How to Get Shows Listening »

The environment of radio and television talk shows is fast-paced, and competition for appearances intense. How can authors and publishers seize the attention of production staff responsible for booking guests? During a lunchtime presentation at PMA’s October Mini Publishing University in Los Angeles, associate producer John Downey III of NBC’s Leeza show and publisher Stephen …

Jan Nathan, PMA, December 1996
Building a Community … At What Expense? »

A few weeks ago there was a discussion on the PMA-L listserv site which caused me to reflect upon a process that has been developing over the past few years … bookstores becoming more than places of sales, but becoming actual community gathering spots where people linger, read, chat, and eat. On the surface, this …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, December 1996
Foreign Publishing Deals, Part 2 »

In Part I of this article I wrote: “Additionally, it should be made clear that the license to the foreign publisher does not include the right to export from the territory into other territories. This is a subtle but important point since a local publisher may feel that because they own rights for the territory …

Craig Huey, December 1996
20 Special Insights Into Direct Marketing to the Mature Market »

The mature market, which I define as people over the age of 55, is so large that it can no longer be categorized as a niche market. This is an enormous group–the fastest-growing group of potential customers in the world. And they have incredible buying power. Because seniors prefer to be regarded as individuals, direct …

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