by Florrie Binford Kichler
Don’t Just Wait—Affiliate
The first one was born almost 20 years ago.
Now, siblings range from the Pacific Northwest to New England, from New Mexico to Florida, from Missouri to Minnesota, and exist at many points in between.
Staffed by über-volunteers, they stand on the front lines of the book industry, providing training and support to the publishers in their regions.
Meet our Affiliates—28 regional and virtual groups that bring publisher education and advocacy to the grassroots level. Like spokes radiating from the IBPA central hub, the Affiliate groups are critical to your national association’s ability to communicate, educate, and advocate. Staffing regional bookseller show exhibits across the country and hosting mini-Publishing Universities in their areas are just two examples of the many ways Affiliates support and connect their members with IBPA national—and vice versa.
Once a year, your board of directors hosts an Affiliate Retreat, a one-and-a-half-day conference in a centrally located city where affiliate leaders can gather and exchange best-practice information with one another. It was my pleasure and honor to attend the most recent Retreat—I say honor, because as I listened to the 13 affiliate representatives addressing issues such as membership growth and retention, financial viability, geographic challenges, newsletter development, and leadership transition, I was struck by the incredible generosity and dedication of these folks to the publishing industry, their members, and each other. The wealth of ideas and solutions that came out of the Retreat embodied our association’s motto—“to help each other achieve and succeed.”
Is there an affiliate group in your area? The names, locations, and Web sites or phone numbers of each group in the IBPA family appear at the end of this column. Why not investigate the one closest to you? To encourage you, I present:
The Top Five Reasons to Join an IBPA Affiliate
5. Take advantage of educational opportunities where you live—it’s a rare affiliate that doesn’t provide at least one educational conference, seminar, or program for its members throughout the year. While I always encourage you to attend the granddaddy of them all, IBPA’s yearly Publishing University, publishing education that is close to home and held at other times of the year is equally valuable and can only add to the success of your business.
4. Benefit from networking with colleagues in your region—face to face. Five minutes of one-on-one conversation is worth a thousand emails. Meeting publishers in your area, sharing problems and solutions, supporting local vendors, chatting with local media, and actively participating in monthly meetings will help grow your publishing company in ways that you never dreamed possible.
3. Participate in regional cooperative marketing programs. More and more, IBPA is partnering with local affiliates to staff our exhibits at the regional bookseller shows. What better way to market your regional titles than to the booksellers that serve your area? In addition, many affiliates create catalogs and do regional mailings, set up exhibits at their home state’s school and public library conferences, and even create bookselling events at their own state’s fairs. As a national association, IBPA helps you market on a macro level. Your affiliate markets on the micro level, and you need both to grow your sales.
2. Apply for the Publishing University scholarship program. Each year IBPA national offers each affiliate the opportunity to nominate one of its members for a scholarship that covers all Publishing University tuition fees plus $500 for expenses. Join your affiliate, and you may find yourself attending the University—on us!
1. And the number-one reason I encourage you to join an IBPA Affiliate is
becoming part of a community. The longer I am in this business, the more I am convinced that there are no more generous and big-hearted folks than independent publishers—and that goes double for those who lead and participate in our association’s affiliate groups.
I call it the personal power of publishing—the building of real-life groups with common interests and experiences that exist solely to help one another grow and succeed in the often challenging, sometimes frustrating, but always stimulating business of book publishing.
The IBPA hub offers you the marketing programs, advocacy, and educational opportunities that the strength of 25 years and more than 4,000 members can provide. The affiliate spokes furnish the regional perspective, the opportunity for hands-on participation in local marketing activities, and the chance to meet and learn from publishers in your area.
Hub and spokes—both are critical for the wheel to go round.
Arizona Book Publishing AssociationTempe,AZ
Association of Authors and PublishersHouston, TX
Bay Area Independent Publishers AssociationCorte Madera, CA
Book Publishers NorthwestSeattle, WA
Colorado Independent Publishers AssociationDenver, CO
Connecticut Authors & Publishers AssociationAvon, CT
Consortium of Northern PublishersFairbanks, AK
Florida Publishers AssociationHighland City, FL
Great Lakes Independent Publishers AssociationRoyal Oak, MI
Greater New York Independent Publishers AssociationNew York, NY
Hawaii Book Publishers AssociationHonolulu, HI
Independent Publishers of CanadaCalgary, AB
Independent Publishers of New EnglandGloucester, MA
Michigan Black Independent Publishers AssociationLansing, MI
Mid-Atlantic Publishers AssociationBaltimore, MD
Midwest Independent Publishers AssociationMinneapolis, MN
Minnesota Book Publishers RoundtableMinneapolis, MN
New Mexico Book AssociationSanta Fe, NM
Northern California Publishers and Authors AssociationSacramento, CA
Northwest Association of Book PublishersWilsonville, OR
Organization of Book Publishers of OntarioToronto, ON
Publishers and Writers of San DiegoSan Diego, CA
Publishers Association of Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA
Publishers Association of the SouthPanama City, FL
Small Publishers, Artists and Writers NetworkOjai, CA
spawn.org (online only)
St. Louis Publishers AssociationCreve Coeur, MO
Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors AssociationGaylord, MI
My virtual door is always open. Please share your comments, thoughts, and ideas by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.