IBPA Board of Directors Candidates Spotlight: Ripple Grove Press’ Robert Broder
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Posted by: Christopher Locke
Get To Know Ripple Grove Press’ Robert Broder: IBPA Board of Directors Candidate
This is the first in IBPA’s series of articles where we will shine a spotlight on our seven esteemed candidates for the IBPA Board of Directors. Each article will give a closer look at the candidate’s experience in the publishing industry and what they hope to bring to the Board.
IBPA members will be asked to vote in the candidates during the IBPA Annual Membership Meeting on April 6, 2019 at IBPA Publishing University in Chicago, Illinois.
For the first article, we’re highlighting Robert Broder. He founded the children’s picture book company, Ripple Grove Press, with his wife Amanda in 2013. You can learn more about their independent publishing company by clicking here.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to serve on the IBPA Board because of their vibrant dedication to helping independent presses and self-published authors,” says Robert. “I look forward to getting to know everyone better and meeting new people who are as passionate about publishing as I am. I also look forward to working with CEO Angela Bole and COO Terry Nathan and the other board members in the next couple of years to share what I’ve learned from the ground up in publishing, my wins and mistakes along the way, and my passion for making beautiful books with wonderful stories.”
IBPA: What are some of the things you are interested in working on as a board member?
Robert Broder (RB): I am interested in forging a strong connection of affiliates with IBPA and fostering a stronger membership. I look forward to helping IBPA plan and execute a vibrant and educational IBPA Publishing University each year with exciting workshops and programs.
IBPA: What is your background in the publishing world?
RB: I started Ripple Grove Press from the ground up with my wife Amanda. We did not have previous publishing experience, only the heart to make beautiful and timeless picture books. I had previous preschool experience which led me to storytelling, and Amanda had an art history degree. So when we started reading picture books to our daughter, we would discuss them each night after we read to her—our likes and dislikes and what works and what doesn’t. Everything we know, we learned while building our press; and a lot of that was with the help of IBPA and their resources.
IBPA: Follow up: How does your background in the publishing world bring a unique perspective to the Board of Directors?
RB: I have learned so much since the release of our first book. We’ve dealt with many challenges and have made mistakes along the way, but we have also had some really exciting moments over these years. We have met some really wonderful and talented people. Through my experience building Ripple Grove Press, I will bring my outsider knowledge. You have a unique viewpoint of the industry when you’ve had to figure out each portion on your own, from manuscript selection, to story-boarding, to contracts, to PR, to distribution, to printing, to reviews, and to networking.
IBPA: How has it been beneficial to you to be a member of IBPA?
|March/April 2019 issue of IBPA Independent magazine
RB: IBPA was instrumental in the success of Ripple Grove Press. I came from a background in sales, with only a passion for children’s books, and IBPA was there to provide resources or send me to someone who could help me with any questions I had. And the discounts are great too! I have learned a lot from their IBPA Independent magazine. I found our lawyer and distributor because of the IBPA Independent and have reached out to some authors who have written articles to follow up on their topic.
IBPA: How do you think it would benefit independent publishers and author publishers to be members of IBPA?
RB: The same way it benefited me—to gain the knowledge and networking needed to take your place in the publishing industry.
IBPA: Can you share three key lessons you’ve learned about how one can succeed as an independent publisher?
- Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. If you don’t like the way the project is going, say something. The goal is to make the most beautiful book possible, so if you pass on something important to you, you can’t make it up once it goes to print.
- Have a clear mission and set of goals and stick with them. If things get shifted once things get rolling, it could alter your brand and what you initially wanted to accomplish. Let the “buyer” know your brand. What type of genre you are publishing. We have considered other lines, like journals or greeting cards or even early reader chapter books… but for now we’re building our brand as a children’s picture book press.
- Find stories you absolutely love. If you think the stories are just ok, it will show in the work. Find talented artists that resonate with the story. That “get it.” Because then the characters and story will shine.
IBPA: What inspired you to work in the publishing industry as a career?
RB: I have always loved children’s picture books. Not only are they creative and fun but they provide a child’s first introduction to storytelling, literature, and art. They can open up so many doors for young minds.
IBPA: What is your favorite book?
RB: A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead and illustrated by Erin Stead, and Lucy by Randy Cecil.
IBPA: What was your favorite book as a kid?
RB: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.
IBPA: Thank you so much for sharing your publishing journey with the IBPA community, Robert! We appreciate your interest in serving on the IBPA Board of Directors and your contributions to the independent publishing world!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Ripple Grove Press’ Robert Broder. You can read a short introduction to all seven candidates here, and keep an eye out in the IBPA Independent This Week e-newsletter as we continue this series to learn more about the other six candidates for the Board!
Be sure to register for IBPA Publishing University to meet Robert and other IBPA leaders in Chicago, Illinois on April 5-6, 2019.
Share your own publishing news with the IBPA community! Send news about events or accomplishments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that we reserve Spotlights for major news (such as, you’re a cookbook author who won a national cooking competition), unique news (such as, you wrote a book about cycling and now you’re riding a bike across the U.S. for your book tour), or human interest stories (such as, you visit shelters every weekend to read books to the dogs and cats there).
Though launching a new book isn’t the focus of our Spotlights articles, IBPA is happy to share that exciting news on social media. Please contact email@example.com with the launch date, your book cover, your book title, a link to where readers can learn more about your book, and your Twitter handle.
For good news in general about your publishing company (your book received a wonderful editorial review, you have an upcoming speaking engagement, etc.), use the hashtag #IBPAmemberGoodNews on Twitter and IBPA will amplify your good news!
Whether you have news or not, all of us at IBPA are cheering you on!