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
Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, February 1997
Publishers Weekly Meeting of Independent Press Distributors »

Last December, Publishers Weekly hosted at their New York office a meeting of the major independent press distributors. Many of us who have worked in this area were very pleased by this attention from PW, even if we felt it was a few years overdue. A cynic might suppose that the large number of ad …

Robert C. Brenner, M.S.E.E., M.S.S.M., February 1997
Reducing the (Perceived) Price with Coupons, Rebates & Discounts »

Cutting book prices can increase sales, but it could also encourage competitors to follow your lead, starting a price war. If you advertise your books at one price point and then cut prices, some past customers will suspect that they’ve been gouged. Value, not price, convinces a buyer. Customers want quality, but at a cheap …

., January 1997
New PMA Board Member Appointed »

Nominated to fill the University Press chair vacated by Don Ellegood, University of Washington Press, is Nicholas S. Weir-Williams, Director of the Northwestern University Press. Ellegood retired this year from the University of Washington Press after many years of actively building and enhancing the line of books produced at this university press. Weir-Williams will fill …

Ken Lee, January 1997
Haben Sie Sales Leads im Frankfurt, Bitte? »

I attended the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time last October and sauerkraut will never be the same. But more on that later. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest convention in the world where 8,000+ international publishers from over 100 countries go to sell and buy foreign rights for book titles. Our company, …

Patricia Troyer, January 1997
11 Essential Things to Know Before You Go on the Radio »

1) First and most important, be sure your book is really suited to radio and/or television. Not every book is. The broader and more general interest oriented your title is, the better your chances of being invited as a guest. Or you must tightly target the radio market you’re going after. Why would a radio …

Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D, January 1997
Apples and Oranges: An Analysis and Comparison of Distribution Agreements »

PUBLISHED JANUARY 1997 by Ivan Hoffman, Publishing Attorney — I’ve had an opportunity to review the contracts of a number of the important distributors of books in the United States. Each contract contains many similarities and some important differences. The independent publisher is well-advised to review the agreement presented with great care for there are …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, January 1997
Working with Authors »

In simpler times, authors wrote the books, publishers touched up the spelling and punctuation, designed a suitable package, and published them. Except for literary books, this pattern no longer describes what successful publishers actually do. Instead, an author’s manuscript is usually just a promising beginning for a shaping process that will result in a strong …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, January 1997
Sample Publicity Worksheet »

We have put together this basic information sheet to demystify the process of book publicity for our authors. It is designed to empower authors with some general knowledge of Chicago Review Press’s approach, to maximize your opportunities for working productively with our publicists, and to minimize misunderstandings and disappointment. Please remember that Chicago Review Press …

Robin Quinn, December 1996
When an Author’s Ready to Talk, Here’s How to Get Shows Listening »

The environment of radio and television talk shows is fast-paced, and competition for appearances intense. How can authors and publishers seize the attention of production staff responsible for booking guests? During a lunchtime presentation at PMA’s October Mini Publishing University in Los Angeles, associate producer John Downey III of NBC’s Leeza show and publisher Stephen …

Jan Nathan, PMA, December 1996
Building a Community … At What Expense? »

A few weeks ago there was a discussion on the PMA-L listserv site which caused me to reflect upon a process that has been developing over the past few years … bookstores becoming more than places of sales, but becoming actual community gathering spots where people linger, read, chat, and eat. On the surface, this …

Craig Huey, December 1996
20 Special Insights Into Direct Marketing to the Mature Market »

The mature market, which I define as people over the age of 55, is so large that it can no longer be categorized as a niche market. This is an enormous group–the fastest-growing group of potential customers in the world. And they have incredible buying power. Because seniors prefer to be regarded as individuals, direct …

Peter Goodman, Stone Bridge Communications, December 1996
A Learning Experience »

Having attended two meetings in San Francisco recently, I thought I would share valuable information with the membership. The first meeting was on “the future of distribution” and featured the marketing director of NBN and Susan Reich of PGW and Harper SF. Some interesting comments: Unless you have $15 million in sales, you will need …

Robert Erdmann, Publishing Consultant, December 1996
Observations on Successful Publishing: Controlling Your Own Destiny »

Many veterans of publishing tell us of the monumental changes that have occurred within our industry over the past few years. As a 35-year participant in this industry, I suspect I would concur. But as we approach a new millennium, we can see many, many other changes all around us. Has the automobile industry changed? …

Jeffrey Dobkin, December 1996
How to Create a Winning Direct Mail Package »

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 1996 by Jeffrey Dobkin, author, How to Market a Product for Under $500! The secret of not losing your shirt in a direct mail campaign is to run a test. This is the beauty of direct mail–you never, ever need to lose big money. You can test the response to any package you …

Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press, December 1996
What’s In a Niche? »

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 1996 by Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press Of course we all know now that as independent publishers we should exploit niches and practice niche marketing of our books. But what exactly is a niche, and how can you tell a good niche from a bad one? A useful place to start is with a …

Judith Appelbaum and Florence Janovic, Sensible So, November 1996
A Low-Cost System for Marketing Novels Is Not a Work of Fiction »

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 1996 by Judith Appelbaum and Florence Janovic, Sensible Solutions The very same people who know that target marketing works for nonfiction are often surprised when we report that it works for fiction too. “How do you identify the people likely to be interested in a novel?” they always ask, and “How do you …

Howard W. Fisher, Fisher Books, November 1996
How Distributors Can Get Wrung Out & Hung Out to Dry »

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 1996 by Howard W. Fisher currently, Partner, Fisher Books Several years ago I joined a distributor, and over the course of 18 months, I learned firsthand what can go wrong in an exclusive publisher distribution business from the distributor’s point of view. The intent of this article is to provide a look over …

Nancy Field, Dog-Eared Publications, November 1996
Finding and Expanding Your Niche When Traveling »

PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 1996 by Nancy Field, Dog-Eared Publications Reprinted from the Aug. – Sept. 1996 MAPA (Mid-America Publishers Association) newsletter. Traveling becomes even more interesting and fun when you find business opportunities along the way. It is possible to create some contacts before leaving on a trip, however unexpected opportunities make it even more fun. …

Dianne Jacob, October 1996
Should Your Company Make a CD-ROM? »

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 1996 by Dianne Jacob, Publishing Strategist The CD-ROM market has many similarities to book publishing. It’s a huge, multi-million dollar business. It’s dominated by large corporations. There’s lots of money to be made if you get good distribution and have the right formula. These days, the right product is almost always a game, …

Curt Matthews, Chicago Review Press, October 1996
What Should I Call My Book? »

PUBLISHED OCTOBER 1996 by Curt Matthews, Chicago Review Press How important is it to come up with a good title for your book? How much will a bad title hurt your book? Of course the title is just one of many variables that can affect a book’s success, but recently I have had an occasion …

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