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News & Press: Director's Desk

Latch On to the IBPA Affiliate Advantage

Tuesday, December 1, 2015   (0 Comments)
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By Angela Bole, IBPA Chief Executive Officer --

Angela Bole

Did you know that IBPA, as the largest national association of publishers, supports 24 regional affiliates that may be of benefit to you? This December, as you think about ways to make the next year a successful one for your publishing business, perhaps you could add “Join an IBPA affiliate” to your list of resolutions.

IBPA’s mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community by providing advocacy, education, and tools for success. Adhering to this mission helps create a world where every independent publisher has the tools and knowledge needed to professionally engage with all aspects of the publishing industry.

But we can’t do it alone. IBPA’s affiliate associations play an important part in helping achieve all the above

While IBPA is large enough to support marketing and educational programs at a national level, each one of our affiliate associations offers person-to-person proximity that can bridge you with colleagues at a local level. Affiliate associations often meet monthly, and when you join one you receive a discount on your IBPA membership and a chance to win a scholarship to Publishing University.

The book industry doesn’t discriminate against independently published books or even self-published books. It penalizes poor quality and, in the case of our downstream trading partners, limits access at multiple points of distribution in an overcrowded market. At a bare minimum, IBPA members must produce high-quality books, differentiated in the market by professional reviews, strong comparables, and documented author credentials, and distributed via trusted, widely used distribution platforms.

Literary Attorney Jean Makene packed the house at a recent St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA) meeting.

Of course, it is IBPA’s privilege to provide education, marketing, and networking resources that help members reach the standard of excellence described above. Still, local markets can be a strong factor in an indie publisher’s success, and your regional affiliate is your connection to all things local.

For example, here are a few things happening at affiliate associations (perhaps) near you:

The Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) can display your book at the New England Library Association (NELA) Annual Conference.

You won’t miss a beat with the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA). Because it covers 12 states, it now records its monthly member meetings and provides these recordings free to members who can’t attend in person.

In 2016, the Northern California Publishers Association (NCPA) will host its first conference since 2010. Volunteers welcome!

The Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA) can be counted on for its monthly in-person program series covering everything from book design to distribution options.

The Texas Authors Association (TAA) will host an Authors Marketing Conference on April 30 and May 1, 2016, in Austin. Again, volunteers welcome!

This list gives you just a small taste of what awaits you as an active member of an IBPA affiliate association. I hope you will consider joining one and then taking advantage of your IBPA member discount, as well—two birds with one stone!

Director's Desk is a monthly column written by IBPA CEO Angela Bole and originally published in the front pages of IBPA's monthly IBPA Independent magazine. Angela welcomes your public comments below and private comments to her personally at

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