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Directors Desk: IBPA Donates to Support Indie Bookselling

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by Angela Bole, CEO, Independent Book Publishers Association —

Angela Bole

How IBPA’s partnership with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) helped indie bookstores during COVID-19.

The theme of the July/August 2021 issue of IBPA Independent — “Joining Forces: Indie Publishers Partnering for a Purpose” — is meaningful for so many reasons. You’ll find many great collaboration stories in this issue. I wanted to share one more.

Each quarter, over 100 unique independently published books are featured in IBPA’s “Indie Titles for Your Consideration” bookstore catalog. It’s one of many ways small presses can tell brick-and-mortar bookstores about the availability of their titles. Members participate by placing quarter or full-page ads in a catalog that IBPA designs and shares with over 3,500 chain and independent booksellers across the US.

The cover of the Summer 2021 “Indie Titles for Your Consideration” bookstore catalog.

Through this catalog, I’ve witnessed how IBPA members’ passion for sharing unique and diverse stories provides a bridge that the indie bookselling community can cross hand-in-hand with indie publishers. It’s a beautiful collaboration in its own right, but then our world was hit with a once-in-a-century pandemic that changed the face of brick-and-mortar bookselling for more than a year. Bookstores, particularly indie bookstores, began hurting—and, in some cases, closing their doors for good. It was within this new reality that IBPA decided to partner its bookstore catalog with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), arranging to donate $40 per catalog page to the chartable organization for a total of over $7,000 donated since March 2020.

For many years, Binc has been helping bookstore owners, booksellers, and comic store employees and owners with unforeseen emergency financial needs. Current Binc initiatives assist book and comic store employees and owners who are affected by COVID-19 with serious medical expenses, eviction prevention, funeral expenses, disaster assistance, domestic violence survival, utility shut-off prevention, unexpected loss of household income, and more.

At IBPA, we understand that the world of ideas and stories is best served when more than just the largest corporate voices are heard. This happens when independent publishers, independent booksellers, and readers come together through the power of partnership and community. As our world opens up following the COVID-19 crisis, IBPA plans to continue supporting indie booksellers and the great work they do in our communities. We’re confident our members will, too.

To learn more about IBPA’s bookstore catalog program, please contact Lee Wind at lee@ibpa-online.org.

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