IBPA Independent Magazine – Article Archive

Article Archive

While IBPA members receive IBPA Independent magazine during the month of publication, we’re happy to post a limited selection of each issue’s articles below 3-4 months after publication.

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Independent Articles
Reid Goldsborough, July 1998
Computer Viruses: How Serious a Threat? »

How many times have you heard a comment like this: “My computer is acting up. It must be a virus.” Truth is, most computer glitches are caused by software conflicts or “user error.” Viruses do get a lot of publicity, and it’s easy to see why. They have an ominous and mysterious aura. But just …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., July 1998
The Agency Agreement »

PUBLISHED JULY 1998 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — So you have finally found an agent to represent you and your work. Congratulations! And now the agent has presented his or her “standard” agency agreement to you for your signature. Let me cover some of the important provisions of this agreement so that you might …

C. Scott Miller, author of the PDF Research Compan, July 1998
Adobe’s Portable Document Format: The Document Standard for Publishing’s Future »

The biggest challenge (and incidentally, the biggest opportunity) for publishers and printers in the next decade is dealing prudently with the rapid changes in publishing technology. To add some urgency to the matter, the rate of change is accelerating. The major milestones of publishing technology evolution have been separated by ever-shortening time spans-Gutenberg’s letterpress to …

Brian Jud, May 1998
Make Rejection Work for You »

Independent publishers must be self-marketers, constantly promoting their books and looking for new ways to increase sales. An unfortunate consequence of self-marketing often results in rejection by the majority of people you contact. Potential customers may not seem to have the time or inclination to read your letters or answer your telephone calls. However, you …

Jan Nathan, PMA Executive Director, May 1998
And the Winners Are »

Jan Nathan, Executive Director Years ago when these awards were started, the PMA Board wanted to honor those publishers who were producing excellent books. Whether or not the sales were fantastic was not going to be a factor. We wanted to honor excellence in the craft of publishing. We also had an ulterior motive. We …

Mike Mansel, CIC, May 1998
What You Need to Know about Insuring Your “In Home” Business, But Were Too Busy to Ask »

What do publishers, authors, cosmetic salespeople (Avon, Mary Kay, etc.), and multi-level marketers have in common? Many of them have “in home” businesses. Bingo! You were right. Evidencing the increased numbers, 43 million (according to the Bureau of Labor statistics) “in home” business owners shed bathrobes for casual attire, merely shuffling from the kitchen to …

Katherine Brandenburg, May 1998
Hiring a Freelance vs. an In-House Publicist »

Did you just see an author on Oprah discussing a subject that one of your books addresses and does a better job covering? Why was that author chosen and not yours? Chances are that the selected author has a publicist. Publicity is basically free advertising. Freelance publicists base their rates on what the publicity they …

Gail E. Farrelly, May 1998
Color Your Way to a Best-Seller »

“Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all the time,” advised General George S. Patton. It’s advice that can be applied to the business of selling books. Maybe the word “ostentatious” is a little strong; but if we want to be successful as booksellers, we must have our books (and ourselves) stand out from the …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review , May 1998
The 18 Habits of Successful Independent Publishers Press »

This will be my last “President’s Message”-I have reached the end of my term, and I hope I have been of service to you-so I am going to attempt some generalizations about the way successful independent presses tend to conduct their business. Over the years I have worked with something like 300 different publishing companies, …

Reid Goldsborough, May 1998
Beware When Buying from Computer Superstores »

If you’ve never bought a personal computer, it can be a scary experience. Your friends or coworkers will probably fire off strange technical terms in giving you advice. The money is sizable. And walking into a computer superstore-the most common way new users buy PCs-can be overwhelming. I recently followed the experience of a new …

Robert C. Brenner, MSEE, MSSM, May 1998
Keep the Cash Flowing: Publisher Strategies for Financial Stability »

As economic problems surface, buyers start pulling in their financial belts an additional notch. They start resisting the urge to spend. And they begin to delay payments. For the small independent publisher, cash is king, but getting customers to let go of cash can be increasingly difficult when times get tough. Nevertheless, maintaining a continuous …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, April 1998
Editorial: The Next Frontier »

Most PMA publishers now thoroughly understand the need for professional-looking covers on their books, and know that the only way to produce such covers is to hire a professional cover designer. Most also now understand the importance of high-quality interior design, which can only be achieved by hiring a professional or by very carefully imitating …

Arthur Niehoff, Hominid Press, April 1998
Why I Write »

I write for two reasons. The first is a personal one: of whatever skills I developed in my lifetime, reading and writing have been the absolute best. And second, of all the cultural achievements by humankind throughout history, reading and writing have been the absolutely most outstanding. As is delineated in my new book, On …

Kent Sturgis, April 1998
Do You Have Disability Insurance? »

In independent publishing, our limited time and resources seem to be devoted to keeping the company healthy, and too often we neglect to consider the consequences of personal health problems. Many of us have basic health insurance, but if we are considering additional coverage, too often we think about dental coverage before disability. Yet when …

Stephen J. Kerr, April 1998
Who Buys Publishing Companies And What Do They Pay? »

This is an article that I have wanted to write for some time. It may clear up some questions you have regarding the fair market value of your own publishing company in comparison to the deals that you read about in Publishers Weekly or Book Publishing Reports. At some time, if you are lucky, you …

Jan Nathan, Executive Director, April 1998
Why You Should Attend Trade Shows »

Just got back from the Public Library Association Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, where more than 8,000 acquisition librarians gathered to attend seminars and look for new product. The attendees of a library show are people who love books; therefore, when you leave this show, you are on a high note, since they love your …

Janis Paris, April 1998
Editing Your Index: A Guide for Project Managers »

So your book is camera ready and about to be shipped-and your index arrives hot off the e-mail. Take the time to read it thoroughly. A good index will help sell your book. Major Items to Check First, examine the length. Is it as complete as you wished? If not, you may have to settle …

Alex Lubertozzi, April 1998
Marketing by the Seat of Our Pants »

Small Press Selection Program Pays Off for High Tide Press On November 15, Chicago-based High Tide Press released Different Seasons: Twelve Months of Wisdom & Inspiration by Rev. Dr. Dale Turner, a pastor for 25 years at Seattle’s University Congregational Church and, since retiring from the ministry in 1982, a popular columnist on the Religion …

Reid Goldsborough, April 1998
Getting Realistic about Cable Modems »

For the last six weeks, I’ve been peeking into the future of the Internet, and I like what I see. I’ve been testing out the @Home cable Internet service, offered by Comcast, TCI, and Cox. Accessing the Internet through a cable modem is a totally different experience from accessing it through a conventional modem, even …

Rennie Mau, Chairperson, MPEC, March 1998
What Color Is Publishing? »

At a recent trade show, an executive from one of the major publishing companies upon seeing our Multicultural Exhibit was quick to say, “Oh no! Don’t you know the multicultural fad is over?” For the past eight years, the Multicultural Publishing and Education Council’s (MPEC) vision has been to educate and bring about “authentic multicultural …

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