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News & Press: Independent Publishing Now! eNewsletter

October 2017: Independent Publishing Now!

Sunday, October 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Caitlin Walker
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Welcome to Independent Publishing Now!, IBPA's monthly newsletter featuring the hottest news and information from IBPA and its members.

Every month, IBPA brings to the book industry current news of our members' achievements. In addition, each Independent Publishing Now! e-newsletter includes free resources that help independent publishers and self-published authors run their publishing ventures better and smarter.

We're counting on you to let us know about your accomplishments and events. Got a photo of your publishing company in action? Recently been featured in a news story? Send your accomplishments to us and you might find yourself featured in a future issue! Contact Caitlin Walker at for more information.

Member News: October 2017

Welcome to the October 2017 edition of Independent Publishing Now!, IBPA's monthly e-newsletter featuring the latest news and information from IBPA and its members.

We're thrilled to announce that IBPA CEO Angela Bole, and IBPA board member and founder of She Writes Press Brooke Warner, have each received BISG Industry Awards!

On behalf of She Writes Press Brooke accepted the Industry Innovator Award, which is given to a company or individual who boldly reimagines what publishing is and can be. Angela was honored with the  Industry Champion Award, given to an individual whose efforts have gone beyond the requirements of his or her position to advance the book industry.

IBPA is proud of Brooke and Angela, and their dedication to creating a community that is open to all publishers, regardless of the name or size of their press.


  • Registration for Pubishing University 2018 is open. Don't wait until it's too late - Pub U 2017 sold out! (read more)
  • Registration is open for ongoing (and free) "Ask an IBPA Board Member" webinar series (read more)
  • IBPA's The Language of Publishing: An A-to-Z Glossary of Book Publishing Terms is available as an Epub. Members can download it for free! (read more)

    Now, on with the show! IBPA is pleased to share our members' accomplishments below. Have member news to share? Email Caitlin Walker at to submit your information. We look forward to giving you a shout-out on TwitterFacebook, or featuring you in a future issue of Independent Publishing Now!

    Thank you for being part of our IBPA community!

    Your IBPA Staff:
    Angela, Terry, Lee, and Caitlin

  • Actor LeVar Burton and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama read The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm to a group of school children.

    A few weeks ago, Courtenay Fletcher and Susan Schaefer Bernardo gave a free talk at the Sherman Oaks Library titled "Shoot for the Moon... You Might Land on the Space Station: Crowdfunding and Indie Publishing Your Children's Book." Bernardo and Fletcher, the author and illustrator team behind Inner Flower Child Books, met at a local Mommy and Me class when their kids were toddlers. Years later, they independently published their first book, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs, which promptly lead to a collaboration with LeVar Burton on The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm. The picture book helps families cope with trauma, and was even read aloud by Michelle Obama and sent via rocket to the International Space Station for an innovative STEAM program called Storytime from Space. Bernardo and Fletcher's most recent title The Big Adventures of Tiny House celebrates small homes and sustainable living."                      

    Marika Flatt is one of the founders of PR By The Book.

    It’s not easy for a small business to reach the 15-year mark... but IBPA members PR By The Book have done it! Founded by Marika and Doug Flatt in 2002, the PR firm works to represent and market titles through traditional media relations, social media, book tour support, and brand consulting. "Our 'little engine that could' and our work family here at PR by the Book have really evolved into decades of experience, professionalism, and passion," Marika says with pride. "Today, we have a super strong team of nine that work hard day in and day out to land media hits... and be good stewards of our clients’ time and budgets." Congratulations!






    Izzard Ink's latest book, Let There Be Light, written by author Dan Gordon.

    IBPA members Izzard Ink are seeing their hard work pay off - on and off the big screen! On October 17th they released their latest book Let There Be Light which is based on the upcoming movie of the same title starring Kevin Sorbo. Sean Hannity, who worked as the executive producer of the film, wrote the book's foreword and will be helping to promote the novel as well. The story follows the journey of a successful man who, after suffering an overwhelming tragedy, has lost his faith. But after a near-death experience, the course of his life is changed forever. The response has been enthusiastic. "Let There Be Light is a story of eternal hope… how it meets and transforms us in the midst of our most profound pain and suffering." says reviewer Pastor Ken Foreman. "I highly recommend it!"


    Valerie Pfundstein tells the story of a real American hero to an attentive group of elementary schoolers.

    While teaching kindergarteners in 2011, Valerie Pfundstein realized that there were no children's books about veterans, and very few celebrating everyday American heroes. This realization inspired Valerie's Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood, a rhyming picture book for kids, honoring those who have proudly served our country. After McGraw-Hill purchased non-exclusive rights to the books Valerie decided to create her own publishing company - and Pfun-omenal Stories was born! Pfundstein now publishes nationally, focussing on children's stories that honor American Heroes. "I believe that we need to share an enthusiastic patriotism with our children," says Pfundstein, "They need to know that heroes walk among them every day." Currently, Pfun-omenal Stories has published Lucky Him: He's the Fireman, written by Pfundstein and illustrated by FDNY fire lieutenant Josef Fischer, and Flash Max: Fire Safety Superhero, written and illustrated by Fairfax, Virginia firefighter Michael Furman. Looking forward, the press has two more projects set to be published in 2018 and 2019.

    Tim and Debbie Bishop, the husband-and-wife team behind Open Road Press.

    Open Road Press' Tim and Debbie Bishop found great success with their 2016 book Wheels of Wisdom: Life Lessons for the Restless Spirit, which won a National Indie Excellence Award for Inspiration earlier this year. But the journey still continues for the Bishops: On October 10, 2017 – The Readers’ Favorite 2017 International Book Award Contest recognized Wheels of Wisdom as the gold medal recipient in the Christian-Devotion/Study category. Once submitted, books earn scores that qualify them for award levels (therefore, not all categories acknowledge gold medalists). Wheels of Wisdom was the only book in its category to receive a gold medal. The Bishops, who volunteer on TheHopeLine to coach people who struggle with life issues, are incredibly thankful. “I was so excited when I saw Wheels of Wisdom on the contest website,” Debbie Bishop said. “When I looked closer, I noticed it had a gold medal below the cover. I was amazed and grateful that the judges selected our book for such an honor.” Currently, Tim and Debbie have coauthored four books about their mid-life bicycling adventures.

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