by Florrie Binford Kichler
IBPA Ask the Experts Online: Now Open for Members
“. . . an outstanding opportunity.”
“The things I learned from the experts will sustain me for the next couple of years (and next couple of books).”
“Being able to speak to experienced, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic experts was priceless for both my publishing and writing efforts.”
These were just a few of the reactions to IBPA Publishing University’s newest offering, Ask the Experts, which let attendees make appointments for one-on-one consultations with book industry professionals in every area from social media to e-book production—and beyond.
The OED defines expert as “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.” You won’t be surprised to learn that some topic areas had waiting lists of publishers eager to take advantage of the knowledge and skills the IBPA publishing experts generously offered.
Now the wait is over.
Introducing IBPA Ask the Experts Online—the only program of its kind that gives you 24/7 access to a pool of experts for answers to your publishing questions. A natural expansion of IBPA’s in-person event, IBPA Ask the Experts Online creates an IBPA community where information is not just exchanged by Q&A from member to expert, but also shared in an archive for future reference by topic.
And you don’t have to leave your office to participate.
IBPA Ask the Experts Online FAQ
Is there a charge to access IBPA Ask the Experts Online?
No. IBPA Ask the Experts Online is another benefit of your IBPA membership.
How do I ask a question?
Visit ibpa-online.org and follow the link to IBPA Ask the Experts Online. There you can choose the best general topic for your question from an extensive list—for example, “Distribution,” “E-book Conversion,” “Social Media,” “Legal,” “Selling to Libraries”—and then enter the question.
Taking both the topic of your question and the question itself into account, the IBPA staff will submit your question to the one of the appropriate experts.
How long will I have to wait for an answer?
IBPA is grateful to all our volunteer experts, who are generously donating their time. We ask our experts to respond within five working days, since we want to make sure your questions are answered in a timely fashion, and we also want to respect our volunteer experts’ day-job commitments.
How do I find the IBPA Ask the Experts Online archive of questions and answers?
Members can access the archive from the IBPA Ask the Experts Online page at ibpa-online.org.
Will I know who’s answering my question, and will they have my contact information?
Yes and no. The expert who answers your question will provide a short bio and contact information with the answer. Your contact information will be available only to the IBPA staff and will not be shared with the expert.
Can I ask questions about my particular publishing company?
We encourage all kinds of questions. Since the goal of this program is the free exchange of information to benefit all members, we ask that you make elements of each question general enough so that others can learn from the answer.
When you are deciding on a question, you may also want to keep in mind that questions and answers may be viewed by all members.
(Remember, using another benefit of your IBPA membership, you can always call the IBPA office to ask questions about specific issues related to your business.)
How do I participate as an expert?
Check the “IBPA Ask the Experts Online” section of ibpa-online.org for guidelines and an application. All experts must be IBPA members.
IBPA Ask the Experts Online is the first of two programs designed to enable and encourage IBPA members to learn from one another.
Coming soon: One on One Mentoring. This program will match publisher members who need more specialized individual counsel and advice with publishers who are able and willing to provide that kind of help.
Both these programs will be works in progress as the IBPA staff strives to continually improve their value to you, our members. If you have suggestions on how to improve these initiatives—or any other IBPA benefit of membership—please do get in touch with Terry, Lisa, or me.
“Helping each other achieve and succeed” is IBPA’s motto. I encourage you to make it your own and take part in IBPA Ask the Experts Online program now, and/or the One on One Mentoring program soon.
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).