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Director’s Desk: Moving the Conversation

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by Angela Bole, CEO, Independent Book Publishers Association —

Angela Bole

If you look closely, you’ll notice something different about the masthead on this issue of IBPA Independent magazine.

Starting this year, IBPA Independent will be published bimonthly as opposed to every month. In your hands, you hold the January/February issue focusing on “the state of the industry.” Your next issue will ship in the beginning of March 2018.

Why Switch IBPA Independent to a Bimonthly Publication?

Whether or not to move to a bimonthly publication cycle is something the IBPA Board of Directors debated for several years. The decision to pull the trigger for 2018 was based on several factors. Mostly, however, it stemmed from a desire to diversify our communication efforts.

Right now, nearly 100 percent of IBPA’s communication efforts go into developing and shipping a monthly magazine. Switching to every other month frees time for the development of other means for sharing insight and education with members. In 2018, for example, you can expect original members-only content at ibpa-online.org on the months in which the magazine doesn’t ship. In addition, the IBPA Board of Directors is in the process of developing a podcast series featuring one-on-one interviews with industry professionals across all areas of book publishing. Neither of these initiatives would be possible if we continued to work on a monthly magazine publication cycle.

Investing in various communication channels should help IBPA become a leaner and more digitally oriented association. It will also help move us in a more environmentally friendly direction, something our approved Code of Ethics mandates. These two things are good on their own, of course, but I’m also interested in how this move opens an opportunity to nurture member-generated content via IBPA’s online SocialLink platform.

SocialLink as a Supplemental Resource

I know from IBPA’s annual member surveys that members value IBPA Independent magazine because it helps them understand the business of publishing. This won’t change. In the meantime, if you’re looking for ways to engage with the association on off-publication months (and original online content and podcasts aren’t doing the trick), I invite you to move the conversation from the printed page to SocialLink, IBPA’s relatively new online discussion boards.

I wrote all about SocialLink in the November 2017 issue of the magazine, so I won’t unpack it again here. I will, however, invite you one more time to give it a go! If you have questions, I’m reachable—as always—at angela@ibpa-online.org.

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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