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
Bob Erdmann, Publishing Consultant, January 1998
Building a Winning Relationship with Your Distributor: Part III »

  Editor’s Note: This is the third and final installment of this series (the first two appeared in the November ’97 and December ’97 issues) on making life with a distributor successful. With this installment, we now have examined this relationship from its beginnings through its tenure. In the first two installments, I discussed the …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, January 1998
Discount Creep »

Fifteen years ago, a typical independent-press retail discount schedule looked something like this: 1 copy 20% 2-5 copies 40% 6-49 copies 42% 50-99 copies 44% 100+ copies 46% (FOB publisher) The point of the sliding scale was to induce the booksellers to order more copies. Individual publishers set the discount thresholds at levels that reflected …

Reid Goldsborough, January 1998
Is the Mac Still a Good Buy Today? »

It’s no secret that Apple Computer, maker of the “insanely great” Macintosh personal computer, is facing some hard times. The computer manufacturer, based in Cupertino, California, has been losing money for the past several years and has laid off thousands of workers. Top executives have been resigning en masse. Does it make sense to buy …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D., January 1998
Book Club Clauses in Publishing Contracts »

PUBLISHED JANUARY 1998 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — Book clubs can be a source of additional and even substantial income to both the author and publisher. Book clubs can also provide opportunities for the author to reach an audience that might not otherwise know of the author’s work and, in the process, perhaps enhance …

Robert Holt, January 1998
Three Cardinal Rules of the Book Business »

Cardinal Rule #1: Respect requests of publishers who assume the financial risk of your book. Why do so many intelligent authors court disaster by making emotional decisions instead of business decisions? Among local fellow fiction authors, two recently had “15 minutes of fame” similar to my ’88 experience. For privacy, I refer to these authors …

Bob Erdmann, Publishing Consultant, December 1997
Building a Winning Relationship with Your Distributor: Realistic Expectations; Recognizing When Things Are Going Wrong »

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a three-part series on making life with a distributor successful. We will examine this relationship from its beginnings, through its tenure.   Last month I discussed the importance of making your selection of a distributor a good one right from the start. I gave you twenty-five tips …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, December 1997
Content »

This space and much of this newsletter in general are usually devoted to marketing considerations-as it should be; this is, after all, the Publishers Marketing Association. I sometimes fear, however, that the question of content is in danger of getting lost in all the marketing hoopla. The oldest and maybe the best marketing adage is …

Robert C. Brenner, MSEE, MSSM, December 1997
PMA-Sponsored Survey Profiles Small Independent Publishers: Results Provide Fascinating Insight Into Industry »

A tough market and changing paradigms are reflected in the average revenues of PMA publishers according to a survey conducted recently by a research and information provider, the Brenner Information Group. The intent of the PMA-sponsored survey was to develop a profile of small independent publishers and to determine the operating characteristics of this segment …

Michael E. Cafferky, December 1997
Thirty+ Things to Put on Your Website to Build Word of Mouth »

Word of mouth, the princess of informal promotional media, receives commendations for being the wings under every successful book that takes off. These accolades are well deserved. Word of mouth is the most compelling form of promotion in every culture. Publishers and their authors who successfully tap into this, the book world’s best advertising, find …

Jan Nathan, PMA, November 1997
A New Look … An Old Theme »

Change . . . it’s a key word for me during this month. In December, I typically reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the past year, as well as on what we have yet to achieve. If the plate seems equally full on both sides, I feel a bit of satisfaction, but not complacency, since …

How One Publisher Grew Despite Heavy Returns, November 1997
Bob Erdmann, Publishing Consultant, November 1997
Building a Winning Relationship with Your Distributor »

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a three-part series on making life with a distributor successful. We will examine this relationship from its beginnings, through its successful tenure. Whether or not a book will be successful is determined, to a large extent, at the time the publisher decides to publish it. Hopefully, the …

Contact Information, November 1997
Regional Booksellers’ Shows »

Great Lakes Booksellers Association (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois) 509 Lafayette, PO Box 901 Grand Haven, MI 49417 616/847-2460 or 800/745-2460 Fax 616/842-0051 email: glba@aol.com http://www.books-glba.org Mid South Booksellers Association Arkansas, Louisiana,Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas) PO Box 750043 New Orleans, LA 70175-0043 Tel/Fax 504-895-6546 Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, adjacent …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, November 1997
Handling Unsolicted Material »

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 1997 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — Publishers who find themselves the recipients of unsolicited material may frequently be tempted to ask “What’s in the envelope?””Can this one be the ‘big one’?””Is there something calling me from inside the manila package?” Finding out the answers to these questions requires a formal operating procedure …

Reid Goldsborough, October 1997
For PCs, a Little Maintenance Goes a Long Way »

For years personal computer users, consultants, and manufacturers have debated the best maintenance steps to take in protecting a PC and prolonging its life. I don’t claim final authority, but here’s what has emerged as the most commonly recommended procedures. Powering Up You PC Turn on your PC when you begin computing on any given …

The Industrial Performance Group, October 1997
The 10 Most Common Mistakes Manufacturers Make »

and How to Avoid Them Editor’s Note: I came across this article recently. Though it is written for the general industrial manufacturer, it contains much valuable information that also applies to publishers’ relationships with distributors so I decided to arrange to publish it in our newsletter. If you are a manufacturer who has decided to …

Lynella Grant, October 1997
Watch for Problems that CauseDelays at the Printer »

The following is an excerpt from Lynella Grant’s book, The Business Card Book, What Your Business Card Reveals About You . . . And How to Fix It. Watch for Problems that Cause Delays at the PrinterTime gremlins lurk in any project, causing complications that throw it off track. Such situations are frustrating for both …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, October 1997
Electronic Publishing and the Potential Loss of First Serial Rights »

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 1997 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — The Internet offers the publisher and the writer the freedom to post articles to a website, to news groups, or to writing groups for the purpose of critiquing a work. The question then arises whether or not such activities prevent the author or publisher from subsequently …

Greg Godek, Casablank Press, an imprint of Sourceb, October 1997
Greg Godek’s Top 14 Tips for Talk Shows »

As the author of the bestseller 1001 Ways to Be Romantic (and nine other books), I offer the following special tips to people who want to promote their book, product, or service on radio and television talk shows. 1. Give away books. I always offer radio and television stations free books to give away on …

Art Evans, Photo Data Research, October 1997
Advertising & Repetition »

One of the many benefits of belonging to PMA is to be able to take part in their cooperative mailings and catalogs. The price of participating is a fraction of what it would cost if we were to purchase lists and do the direct mailing ourselves. The Power of Repetition In Psychology 101, we learned …

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