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Director’s Desk: Committee Members Are the Backbone of IBPA

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by Angela Bole, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Book Publishers Association

Angela Bole

Welcome to the meetings and conventions issue of IBPA Independent!

After consultation with this magazine’s Editorial Advisory Committee, a good deal of effort went into building an issue focusing on all aspects of planning for and attending the book publishing industry’s best meetings and conventions. I hope you will save this issue and refer back to it as needed.

If you’re a self-published author just starting out, Smashwords’ Jim Azevedo’s piece on page 18, “10 Tips for Conquering an Industry Conference,” should provide the 101-support you need to tackle your first year of conference attendance in a way that prioritizes your time and success.

For the more established indie presses, Victoria Sutherland of Foreword Reviews breaks down the Chinese publishing market starting on page 24. While book markets in the West are flat or declining, China is still experiencing phenomenal growth … and there’s no reason for US indie presses to be left out in the cold. IBPA partners with Foreword Reviews to ensure member representation at the Beijing Book Fair and the China Children’s Book Fair in Shanghai. Contact Member Benefits Liaison Joanne Kenny at joanne@ibpa-online.org for more information.

And who isn’t budget conscious nowadays? Not us! At IBPA, we consider our conference participation very carefully, and we know you do, too. That’s why we included a short checklist of suggestions for obtaining valuable information for little or no cost (page 22) and Nielsen Book’s Kristen McLean’s creative strategies for investing in the right publishing events for you (page 32).

For my part, as I considered what this Director’s Desk should focus on to pay tribute to a meetings and conventions issue, I fell on it right away: IBPA’s member committees. For those who don’t know, IBPA hosts a growing list of committees that connect the association with the attitudes, expectations, and real-world needs of its members. In addition to the Board of Directors, IBPA currently supports three governance-focused committees and two member-focused committees.

These committees represent, involve, and serve the members. They also provide an important training group for future independent publishing leaders. Any IBPA member in good standing is welcome to apply for a seat on a membership-focused committee. Only members of IBPA’s Board of Directors may serve on a governance-focused committee. Serving on an IBPA committee provides individual members with an opportunity to make tangible contributions to the IBPA community while affecting change within the independent publishing community at-large.

To say IBPA couldn’t do what it does without the support and guidance of these wonderful committee members wouldn’t be strong enough. They are pivotal to the success of this association, and I’d like to personally thank them, not only for their time and tireless efforts, but for the considered and crucial counsel they provide to me and others on the IBPA staff.

Advocacy Committee

IBPA’s Advocacy Committee is responsible for positioning IBPA as a leader in the industry by championing the causes of independent publishers.

Editorial Advisory Committee

IBPA’s Editorial Advisory Committee is responsible for brainstorming content for IBPA Independent magazine both on a monthly basis and thematically as part of a larger strategy. Committee members suggest diverse contributors for articles and departments/columns and provide feedback on submission ideas—all while ensuring the practical nature of the magazine’s content remains a top priority.

Executive Committee

IBPA’s Executive Committee is responsible for providing high-level support to IBPA’s chief executive officer —functioning as a sounding board between official meetings of the IBPA Board of Directors.

Member Benefits Committee

IBPA’s Member Benefits Committee is responsible for developing a portfolio of membership benefits that are attractive to independent publishers. Each quarter, the Member Benefits Committee, with assistance from an online Member Benefits Jury made up of at-large IBPA members, reviews existing benefits and recommends new or revised benefits. The Member Benefits Committee also recommends the disbanding of benefits when necessary. All Member Benefit Committee recommendations must be approved by IBPA’s Board of Directors.

Investment Committee

IBPA’s Investment Committee is responsible for developing and executing an investment policy with the following three objectives: 1) ensuring that IBPA has sufficient cash or cash-equivalent investments to meet its operating expenses for at least six months; 2) allocating a percentage of remaining surplus funds to expand ongoing IBPA programs or launch new IBPA programs; and 3) investing a percentage of remaining surplus funds in short- or long-term investments with the goal of preserving their value while earning the highest possible rate of return with low to moderate risk growth.

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.

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