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President’s Post: A Winner on the West Coast: Publishing University 2012

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by Florrie Binford Kichler, Executive Director, Independent Book Publishers Association —

Florrie Binford Kichler

Florrie Binford Kichler

The City by the Bay was rocking as

IBPA Publishing University came to the West Coast for the first time in five years.

Just ask the close to 300 attendees, speakers, and industry partners who filled the Sheraton Hotel in San Francisco to bursting during IBPA’s West Coast edition of Publishing University on March 9–10, 2012.

IBPA made a giant leap of faith by holding Publishing University in California after an extended run in New York, and West Coast publishers—as well as many who traveled from further away—could not have been more supportive and enthusiastic.

“Exceptionally exciting and informative,” “Incredible speakers,” “Great energy and vibe” were just a few of the comments overheard as attendees rubbed elbows with (and learned from) the more than 50 experts from major players in the industry including Google, Amazon, Apple, Goodreads, O’Reilly, Berrett-Koehler, Bowker, Ingram, and many more.

Memorable Moments

This year’s Publishing University featured 24 breakout sessions with topics as varied as “Crash Course in the Basics of E- and Print Publishing,” “Book App Basics,” and “Marketing to Libraries in the 21st Century,” along with our popular “Ask the Experts” one-on-one consultations with industry professionals.

Other highlights included:
  • an opening address by Steve Piersanti, founder and CEO of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, who explained (among other things) “The 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing (And How Publishers Can Respond)”
  • a luncheon hosted by Michael Wolf of GigaOm and featuring Otis Chandler, founder of Goodreads (and Hardy Boys fan), whose keynote talk provided tips on how publishers can reach the more than 7 million readers who call Goodreads home
  • “Emagination,” the panel of “e-prognosticators,” hosted by Christopher Kenneally of the Copyright Clearance Center, discussing the latest in social media trends
  • “Secrets of Successful Amazon Selling” showcasing two small author/publishers, Bela Andre and Aaron Patterson, whose combined sales total tens of millions of books
  • Early morning sessions: “Opportunities—Taking Advantage of Book Industry Changes,” offering Dan Poynter’s unique perspective, and “Breakfast with Google,” featuring the latest tools for publishers from the search engine giant.

Who Made It Magic

The magic of IBPA Publishing University lies not only in offering the hottest topics, tips, and techniques for publishing success but in creating an atmosphere that invites attendees to make friends, meet colleagues, and establish a network of mentors and peers that will continue long after the event has ended.

And it takes many magicians to make that happen. IBPA Publishing University simply would not be possible without the generosity of the volunteer speakers, course organizers, onsite helpers, and IBPA board members, as well as the hard work and dedication of our staff and industry sponsors.

Thanks to all those listed below for their time and commitment to the independent publishing community. And watch for another edition of IBPA Publishing University coming soon to your region!

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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