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A New Look and a New Location: Continuity Meets Change

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by Florrie Binford Kichler


A New Look and a New Location: Continuity Meets Change

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.—Winston Churchill

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Leave well enough alone.

Prime Minister Churchill would have recoiled in horror at either adage. You may disagree with Winnie, but when it comes to IBPA service to our members, resting on laurels, no matter how well deserved, simply isn’t an option. As the publishing industry hurtles through the most significant changes since movable type, two of IBPA’s best-loved and most-lauded benefits, the Independent and Publishing University, are undergoing dramatic changes—and, we hope you’ll agree, improvements—of their own.

The Independent—A New Look

“The Independent is my lifeline in a sea of what seems extraneous information for authors and publishing.”—Donn Levie, Jr., Kings Crown Publishing, Austin, TX.

You hold in your hands a redesigned four-color magazine that serves as a worthy showcase for the five-star publishing tips, insights, and information that editor Judy Appelbaum, reporter Linda Carlson, copy editor Judith Stein, and a generous and knowledgeable group of industry professionals serve up to support you in your publishing efforts.

Never fear, only the container is different, not the content. The articles and features will continue to meet and exceed the high standards that you expect, deserve, and receive from the Independent, month after month.

So why bother to change?

The goals of the redesign were twofold: First and most important, to create a dynamic look that enhances the subject matter within, improves readability, and communicates information effectively and clearly to our members; second, to convey through design as well as content a level of professionalism and commitment to excellence that has always been the hallmark of the Independent for IBPA members and the publishing industry at large.

Explore the pages of this issue. Let us know what you think. We look forward to your feedback.

My thanks to editor Judy Appelbaum; designers John Webster, Francesca Droll, and Donna Young of Abacus Graphics; board chair Steve Mettee and the IBPA board of directors; and Terry Nathan, Lisa Krebs, and Patti Grasso for the many hours they spent (and will continue to spend) to make sure that the Independent is the very best it can be for you, our members.

IBPA Publishing University—A New Location

“IBPA’s Pub University should be a must-attend for any small press that aspires to being relevant and profitable on both a traditional and a digital basis.”—Jeanne Devlin, The RoadRunner Press, Oklahoma City, OK

For more than 20 years, we have held our annual Publishing University in conjunction with BEA. As BEA moved from Las Vegas to Chicago, to Washington, DC, to Los Angeles, IBPA’s Publishing University followed, choosing speakers from the vast array of industry experts gathered for BEA and bringing the event’s unique blend of education, networking, and community to members and other independent publishers throughout the country.

Since 2009, BEA has taken place in New York City, and it will continue to do so until at least 2015. When the show moved yearly to different regions, IBPA was able to serve its members in different areas simply by moving along with it. We are still, of course, delighted by the chance to see so many friends, members, and attendees from the East Coast in conjunction with BEA, but we are also aware that many members in other parts of the country do not have the time or budget to take advantage of IBPA Publishing University in New York.

In this era of constant change, when publishing education is more critical than ever, how can IBPA ensure that every member has an equal opportunity to benefit from our educational offerings?

By taking IBPA Publishing University on the road. The University is heading west to the San Francisco Bay Area in early 2012!

By the time you eat your Thanksgiving turkey, the program will be set, the speakers booked, and registration open. Not a “mini” or “regional only” version, this full-featured IBPA Publishing University will have the high caliber of publishing industry experts and practical information-packed sessions to help publishers succeed now that have been the trademarks of the event since it began 28 years ago.

Given the number of IBPA members in the western United States (700-plus in California alone), and our new location in a hotbed of independent publishing as well as the heart of Silicon Valley, we’re looking forward to a robust and exciting IBPA Publishing University 2012.

Of course IBPA will participate in BEA 2012 to enable all our members to take cost-effective advantage of exposure of their titles in the largest publishing industry trade show in the country. The IBPA booth space is booked in the usual prime location on the BEA show floor, and we’re looking forward to welcoming crowds of visitors as big as those that came to our booths in 2011 and made our member-exhibitor author signings such a success.

In addition, the Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony will take place in New York during BEA 2012, and we’re exploring ways to provide innovative educational opportunities to our members during the show.

What We’re Surely Keeping

IBPA’s Independent, Publishing University, and participation in BEA have continued for many years; and you, the IBPA members, have consistently reported that they all add value to your IBPA membership. But sometimes what’s valuable alters as fast as the publishing industry does, and “leaving well enough alone,” even for IBPA’s most popular programs, just doesn’t cut it in today’s book business.

Which is why one thing will not change—ongoing evaluation by your board and staff of IBPA programs and services to make certain that your association delivers the support, education, and advocacy that you need both today and in the future.

Follow Florrie and IBPA on Twitter at twitter.com/ibpa, and on IBPA’s blog at ibpablog.wordpress.com. Join Independent Book Publishers Association–IBPA group on Linked In (linkedin.com).



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