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IBPA Honors Outgoing Board Members

Thursday, June 28, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Caitlin Walker
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IBPA Honors Outgoing Board Members

IBPA Board members reflect the association's varied membership and serve two- to four-year terms during which they strive every day to represent the best interests of IBPA members. On June 30, 2018, IBPA says goodbye to four outgoing Board members - Rob Price (Gatekeeper Press), Shannon Okey (Cooperative Press), Jim Milliot (Publishers Weekly), and Keith Garton (Red Chair Press) - who have dedicated their time to helping the IBPA community thrive.

Gatekeeper Press' Rob Price poses with incoming IBPA Board Chair Brooke Warner.
The Founder and Publisher of Gatekeeper Press, Rob Price has been a consistent champion for independent publishers throughout his career. After pursuing a law degree and being admitted to the bar, he realized shortly after that his real passion was for writing and publishing. In 2001, Rob founded Price World Publishing, now an internationally recognized publishing house with more than 250 titles available. Fourteen years later, in 2015, Rob expanded his work with the founding of Gatekeeper Press, a full-service publishing house and distribution aggregator (or, the 'middle man' between authors and the larger platforms.)

Rob's work on the IBPA Board of Directors, first as an at-large-Director, then as Treasurer, and most recently as Chairperson, has allowed him to continue giving back to the indie publishing community. "[Serving on the IBPA Board] has been far and away the single most rewarding experience in my professional career," said Rob. "Working closely with like-minded individuals who share a love for independent publishing has led not only to my betterment as a publisher and professional, but also to lifelong friendships."

Shannon Okey of Cooperative Press and IBPA CEO Angela Bole.

Like Rob, Shannon Okey began her publishing career as a writer. Though she had previously sold several of her manuscripts to major publishers, her title The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design caused her to make the switch to indie publishing. As a book targeted towards knitwear designers, many traditional publishers did not know how to successfully market it to such a niche audience. Rather than continue arguing the merits of this unique book, Shannon founded Cooperative Press as a place where innovative knitting books could thrive. "Cooperative Press authors enjoy much more creative control and higher royalties than they would with any other publisher," explained Shannon. As her work on the IBPA Board of Directors concludes, Shannon said she will continue to be an active presence in the publishing industry. "[Serving on the IBPA Board] has been a real privilege for me because the association is filled with smart, dedicated, devoted people who want to make a difference in publishing. It's been a real inspiration."

Publishers Weekly's Jim Milliot and Angela Bole.

Jim Milliot, the Editorial Director of Publishers Weekly, was also inspired by his time on the IBPA Board. "The most notable thing I take away from four years on the IBPA Board is how important attention to detail is for becoming, and remaining, a successful publisher. It is easy to get caught up in the big issues and trends that are impacting publishing and lose sight of what it takes to publish not only a successful list, but even just one book," said Jim. "I have been very impressed with how innovative indie presses are, something that allows them to compete with much larger companies. Many of the people I met in IBPA were very in tune with their customers and know how to publish the books they want."

Keith Garton of Red Chair Press and Angela Bole.

Someone who truly fits this bill is Keith Garton, Founder and President of Red Chair Press. Keith came onto the IBPA Board with marketing and business development expertise. He established Red Chair Press in 2009 with a mission to inspire children to become leaders and bring positive contributions to their community. "[At Red Chair Press], we never talk down to children, and we try to make learning new things enjoyable as well as stimulating," said Keith.

Part of what makes the IBPA Board of Directors special is the way it brings together industry professionals with diverse specialties who use their unique perspectives to lead conversations about indie publishing and help IBPA provide its members with tools for success. "In this ever-changing industry, being creative and adaptable is key," explained Rob. "So is knowledge. The more we can learn about publishing, the better positioned we'll be to succeed."

Thank you, Rob, Shannon, Jim, and Keith for your generosity and service!

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Find out more about the IBPA Board of Directors here. And, if you are a current IBPA member, get to know them during our monthly "Ask an IBPA Board Member" webinar series.


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