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IBPA Turns 35!

Thursday, November 1, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christopher Locke
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It’s Our Birthday! IBPA Celebrates 35 Years of Education, Advocacy, and Tools for Success
Some fond memories of IBPA through the years!

35 years ago today, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) was formed.

As the story goes, back in 1983 about a dozen independent publishers from California couldn’t afford to go to the American Booksellers Association (ABA) Convention and Trade Show on their own…so they pooled their resources and sent all of their books with one representative—IBPA’s founder, Jan Nathan.

Jan returned from the ABA convention enthusiastic about possibilities and formed a group of independent publishers initially called PMA, or Publishers Marketing Association, to focus on additional cooperative marketing opportunities. Over the years, PMA grew and matured as a membership organization. In 2008, it became clear that a name change was needed to reflect the members’ increasing concerns beyond cooperative marketing programs. So, in that same year, PMA became the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).

Through it all, the PMA/IBPA focus has remained on empowering you—the organization’s over 3,100 independent publishing community members. With your support, we move closer every day to IBPA’s vision of a world where every independent publisher has the access, knowledge, and tools needed to professionally engage in all aspects of an inclusive publishing industry.

To celebrate where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and where we’re going, IBPA reached out to current and former PMA/IBPA Board Chairs/Presidents for some reflective and celebratory remarks (below).

Have your own remembrances to share? We'd love to hear them! Please add your remembrances to the comment section below....


“I’m so proud to be affiliated with IBPA. As an author advocate and ally, I know I can steer anyone to IBPA with complete confidence that the organization will give them honest advice and professional direction. IBPA has been and is a place of learning, advocacy, and integrity. It gives me great comfort and relief to know that there’s an organization out there, that’s withstood the test of time, actively working to support publishers to be their best.” —Brooke Warner, Publisher, She Writes Press & SparkPress. Chairperson, Independent Book Publishers Association, July 2018 – Present.

“For 35 years PMA/IBPA has been providing its members with affordable tools and smart strategies to succeed as book publishers. No association has served its members better or provided better experiences, resources, and leadership for navigating the changing book-publishing landscape." —Peter Goodman, Publisher, Stone Bridge Press. Chairperson, Independent Book Publishers Association, 2015 – 2017.

"The staff at IBPA has always excelled at fulfilling the needs of independent publishers. They certainly helped me to succeed with Quill Driver Books. I was grateful to have been able to return the favor as an IBPA Board member."  —Stephen Blake Mettee, Publisher, Quill Driver Books. Chairperson, Independent Book Publishers Association, 2011 – 2013.

“My experience with IBPA has spanned more than 30 years. I attended their marketing seminars when they were PMA (Publishers Marketing Association), attended many of their Publishing Universities, and served on their Board. IBPA provides invaluable services to independent publishers and self-publishing authors. What I have found most valuable from IBPA is the networking opportunities with other publishers who are facing similar issues in this industry. I appreciate how IBPA has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of those in publishing today. Congratulations on your anniversary. Keep up the good work!” —Carlene Sippola, Publisher, Whole Person Associates. Chairperson, Independent Book Publishers Association, 2009 – 2011.

"To the many dear friends and colleagues at PMA and IBPA it has been my pleasure to work with through the years,
To the intrepid Jan Nathan and visionary publishers who helped transform the Publishers Marketing Association into the Independent Book Publishers Association and
To the current leadership and members who are guiding IBPA so skillfully and thoughtfully into the future,
Congratulations on 35 years of enriching lives and providing the education and support for countless publishing careers." —Florrie Binford Cooper, retired publisher, Patria Press, Inc., Chairperson/President, Independent Book Publishers Association/Publishers Marketing Association, 2006 – 2009.

"It was a singular honor to be on the Board of the (then) PMA for four years and to have served as its President for two. It's no exaggeration that the pioneering work begun in Southern California by the extraordinary Jan Nathan and those early members of PMA spawned the entire independent and self-publishing revolution that has so transformed this industry. When the constraints of ink-on-paper printing and a restrictive supply chain disappeared in the early years of this century, this organization was strong and active and ready to take its members to the next level.” —Nick Weir-Williams, Publisher, Continuum International. President, Publishers Marketing Association, 1998 – 2000.

“I’ve been in book publishing for more than a half century and many of my fondest memories are those experienced during my tenure as president of PMA/IBPA. The most memorable are the true professional and personal long-lasting friendships that I was privileged to develop during those very enjoyable years.” —Bob Erdmann, President, Columbine Communications & Publications. President, Publishers Marketing Association, 1990 – 1992.

With our vision for the future in mind, IBPA’s mission continues to be to lead and serve the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success.

Here’s to your future, and to getting there together. Thank you all for being part of the wonderful IBPA community!


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