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
Linda Carlson, January 2012
Book Clubs, Part 3: Preparing and Performing »

Skype can be a great tool for visiting book clubs without leaving home, as long as you prepare carefully. Book Clubs Part 3: Preparing and Performing by Linda Carlson We all want our books to be steady sellers for years to come, and authors can contribute to that success with book club visits (among other …

Marika Flatt, January 2012
Making It Easy for the Media to Meet Authors »

      Making It Easy for the Media to Meet Authors by Marika Flatt Working in Austin, a city renowned for an eco-friendly outlook, we like to keep up with the green trends that affect publicity tools too. Now that everything is digital—stores will ask if you want a paper receipt or one emailed …

Tarleton Gillespie, January 2012
Algorithms: The Siren Song of Objective Information »

  As more and more of our online public discourse takes place on a select set of private content platforms and communication networks, and as these platforms and networks turn to complex algorithms to manage, curate, and organize their massive collections, an important tension is emerging between what we expect these algorithms to be and …

Gordon Burgett, January 2012
Don’t Invest Until You Test: How to Find Out How Much You’d Make with a Niche Book (Before It Gets Written) »

  One of the huge benefits of niche publishing is that you can pretest to see if a book will sell (and roughly how many copies) before it exists. I backed into niche publishing about 15 years ago, and now most of my 40 published books are niche based. One field, dentistry, earned us about …

Christopher Robbins, January 2012
What We Learn with BookScan Data »

      THE TOOL CHEST What We Learn with BookScan Data by Christopher Robbins “God is in the details,” said the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. More than ever before, the publishing community has the ability to analyze and pay attention to the details, to get granular with data, to spot trends, identify …

Linda Carlson, January 2012
Building the Business: Thistle Hill’s Pictures-and-Partners Success Story »

      Thistle Hill published this book with help from a foundation and from an advocacy group focused on the trail it covers. BUILDING THE BUSINESS Thistle Hill’s Pictures-and-Partners Success Story by Linda Carlson Vermont’s Thistle Hill Publications is proof that it’s possible to survive—and have fun—by publishing coffee-table books without printing overseas, and …

Tanya Hall, January 2012
Build a Powerful Platform with a Simple Brand Audit »

      Build a Powerful Platform with a Simple Brand Audit by Tanya Hall Fundamentally, a book is a consumer product; and, as we well know in our industry, having a standout product is no guarantee of success. Book sales are predominantly author-driven. According to Verso Digital’s 2009 Survey of Book-Buying Behaviors, author reputation …

Frank Gromling, January 2012
Success with a Special Kind of Special Event »

    Success with a Special Kind of Special Event by Frank Gromling Ocean Publishing is a traditional book publisher doing nontraditional things to succeed in a difficult economic time. Sure, we do our best to produce high-quality books of interest to readers in our chosen fields—nature, marine life, environment, and conservation—but in today’s market, …

Florrie Binford Kichler, January 2012
President’s Post: Growing You »

PRESIDENT’S POST by Florrie Binford Kichler PRESIDENT, IBPA Growing You “Ten Ways to Grow Your Business” “How to Grow Sales in a Down Economy” “Six Ways to Influence Customers and Grow Sales” The foregoing are three results from the 179,000,000 that appear in response to a Google search on “grow sales.” A search on “grow …

Kirk Biglione & Russell Phillips, January 2012
DRM Decisions: Analyzing the Business Case / Why I Don’t Use DRM »

  When the phone rings in the IBPA offices, it’s often a call from a member who’s perplexed about whether to use DRM on e-books. When the board of a book-business trade association convenes, some of its members insist that DRM is essential and others insist that it does far more harm than good. Contributors …

Kimberly A. Edwards, January 2012
Lessons from Experience with Anthologies »

      Lessons from Experience with Anthologies by Kimberly A. Edwards When Suzanne Kamata talks about anthologies, she cites conventional wisdom: Anthologies are a tough sell; readers don’t buy them; reviewers avoid them; agents don’t gain; and publishers retreat. Nevertheless, requests for anthology submissions flourish, according to Kamata, editor of three anthologies (the latest, …

Joel Friedlander, December 2011
Let’s Hear It for the Long Tail »

      Let’s Hear It for the Long Tail by Joel Friedlander One of the most interesting stories in Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual (thebookdesigner.com/2009/09/book-every-self-publisher-should-own) tells how he became a book publisher. As an avid parachute jumper, Dan looked for but could not find a good basic manual for new people coming into his sport. …

Mark Bide, December 2011
Our Standards for E-commerce, Part 2: Complications, Comparisons, and Trends »

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2011 by Mark Bide, Executive Director, EDItEUR — Adjusting business strategies in the light of the “switch to digital” necessitates familiarity with the complex landscape of standards. As noted in Part 1 of this series describing that landscape …

Brian Jud, December 2011
Strategies for a Changing Market »

      Strategies for a Changing Market by Brian Jud The demise of Borders points up the fact that publishers who ignore changes in the industry and continue to rely on selling primarily through bookstores will run out of room to grow. On the other hand, publishers who adjust their strategies as e-book sales …

Patricia Fry, December 2011
Use the Power of Local Promotion »

      Use the Power of Local Promotion by Patricia Fry Yes, the Internet offers a wealth of marketing opportunities for books, but you can still generate a great deal of interest and spur a great many sales by marketing a book in selected physical communities, including regions, states, cities, and neighborhoods, that have …

Steve Gillen, December 2011
Trademarking and Your Brand Strategy »

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 2011 by Steve Gillen, Lawyer & Partner, Wood Herron & Evans Building a brand for your books is part marketing and part magic. Keeping competitors at a respectful distance from your brand is all trademark law. In the book publishing context, a trademark is typically the name of a publishing house or one …

Linda Carlson, December 2011
Book Clubs, Part 2: Identifying Groups to Approach »

Book Clubs, Part 2: Identifying Groups to Approach by Linda Carlson   This screen capture from novelist Meg Clayton’s Web site shows one of the ways she’s made the site book club–friendly. Book groups create buzz—and buzz helps sell books, sometimes years after they’re published. That’s why authors and others in publishing believe it’s often …

Kate Bandos, December 2011
A Book-Promotion Checklist: When to Do What »

In the same way that it takes planning, research, and follow-through to create a book, it takes planning, research, and follow-through to promote a book. The right promotional campaign for any book means choosing the right approach, contacting the right people at the right time, and understanding that doing it right takes time. This checklist …

Mike Shatzkin, December 2011
What We Do and Don’t Know About the E-book Revolution »

One could say (and I would) that the e-reading revolution has had its fourth anniversary, since it was late November 2007 when Amazon first released the Kindle. There had been dedicated e-reading devices before then, including the Sony Reader—in the market when Kindle arrived and still here, if not wildly successful—and the already defunct Rocket …

Florrie Binford Kichler, December 2011
President’s Post: What’s a Publisher? »

The Oxford English Dictionary defines publisher as “a person or company that prepares and issues books, journals, music or other works for sale.” In an era when e-frenzy reigns, content is king, and the speed of change is outstripping the speed of light, what does the term publisher actually mean? And how has the role …

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