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IBPA Member Spotlight: Judith Appelbaum, Former IBPA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Passed Away

Thursday, July 26, 2018   (2 Comments)
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Judith Appelbaum, whose more than 50 years in book publishing included nearly 20 years as editor of IBPA Independent magazine, died in her home on July 25, 2018. She was 78.
Judith Appelbaum was the long-time editor of IBPA Independent magazine and a past recipient of IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Lifetime Achievement Award.

Yesterday, the IBPA office received the sad news that long-time friend and colleague Judith Appelbaum passed away. We will miss her, as we know many of our members will. We invite you to share your stories about working with Judith in the comments section below.

Besides her nearly 20 years as editor of IBPA Independent magazine, Judith is best known for her book How to Get Happily Published.

Originally published in 1998, How to Get Happily Published helped authors do just that as it went through five editions, sold well over 500,000 copies, and was the genesis of her firm, Sensible Solutions, which she ran with her partner, Florence Janovic, and continued after Florence's retirement into the last few weeks. The target marketing they used for writers and publishers brought books to readers in innovative, direct, and commonsensical ways years before today’s everything-on-the-web world. "Publishers often complained that we were giving material away," said Florence, "because it was not yet recognized that exposure online could sell. Even books."

Judith, who won the Publishers Marketing Association (now the Independent Book Publishers Association) Lifetime Achievement Award and the Book Industry Study Group Lifetime Service Award, wrote the New and Noteworthy column for the New York Times Book Review, was managing editor of Publishers Weekly and on the faculty of the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver.

She served as an officer and on the Board of the Book Industry Study Group, chaired its Marketing Committee and co-chaired its Rights Committee. Born and raised in New York, she was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar, a member of the Authors Guild, PEN, Poets and Writers, and the Women’s Media Group.

“Going to work every day with Judy meant you would be challenged, provoked, and supported. There was never a petty, gossipy, or cruel word. Her calm, clear-eyed vision of the world was nothing short of inspiring,” said Florence.

"Besides being a vocal supporter of independent publishing throughout her decades long association with IBPA, Judith was a personal mentor of mine," said Angela Bole, IBPA Chief Executive Officer. "It was an honor to work with and learn from her through my tenure at the Book Industry Study Group, then again as CEO of IBPA. She will be missed."

IBPA member & IBPA Independent contributor, Danny O. Snow, remembers Judith Appelbaum

25 July 2018

IBPA friends:

Judith Appelbaum has passed away. She was for many years the editor of IBPA's [member] magazine, IBPA Independent.

As a career author-publisher-journalist, over the years I worked with editors of scores of books, magazines, newspapers and websites, including Publisher's Weekly, AARP's Golden Years and Huffpo, to name just a few. The stories I wrote for IBPA Independent all had one difference: they were better after Judith edited them.

As a working journalist, I always expected my writing to be edited before publication. (Only hobbyists write in concrete.) But sometimes the results were painful. I remember one instance when a feature story I wrote for the widely-read [redacted] Magazine appeared with a grossly misspelled word in the headline, immediately followed by my byline -- as if to say "Danny O. Snow can't spell!"

Every single change Judith made to my stories for IBPA, and for Wiley & Sons' book titled Digital Book Publishing for Dummies, made me look better rather than worse. With hundreds of published articles under my belt, I can't remember working with any editor as gifted as she.

"Goodnight, sweet Princ[ess], and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."




STEVE OKEEFE, Orobora, Inc. says...
Posted Friday, September 21, 2018
One thousand characters is not nearly enough to room to do justice to this magnificent woman of letters who inspired more than one thousand characters to write books and get them published. Judith Appelbaum, Editor at Large for the IBPA Independent, was my editor for many years. I have put my remembrance of her at Thank you!
Florrie B. Cooper, Patria Press, Inc. says...
Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Judy will be greatly missed. It was thanks to her that the IBPA Independent magazine became such an incredible resource for independent publishers. She was a gifted editor and, as Dan pointed out so eloquently in his tribute, the only one I ever worked with who always, always made my written pieces better. I loved her sense of humor and was honored to call her my friend in addition to my valued colleague. Florrie (Kichler) Cooper

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