IBPA Incoming Board of Directors Spotlight: Publishers Weekly's Seth Dellon
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Posted by: Christopher Locke
Get to Know Publishers Weekly’s Seth Dellon: IBPA Board Member to Serve Second Term
This is the third article in IBPA’s series where we shine a spotlight on our seven esteemed incoming Board Members for fiscal year 2020 and 2021. All seven of these candidates were voted in by members during the IBPA Annual Meeting & Luncheon on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at IBPA Publishing University. The two-year term for these newly-elected Board Members will begin July 1, 2019.
Today, we showcase Seth Dellon who is the Director of Strategic Development at Publishers Weekly and has already served his first two-year term on the Board of Directors. Seth also recently moderated a much-loved Keynote panel, “Defining the Current and Future Meaning of ‘Publisher’” at IBPA Publishing University 2019 with fellow Board Members, Homebound Publications’ Leslie Browning, IPG’s Kelly Peterson, and Burnt Cheese Press’ Kathy Strahs.
“Now is a really exciting time for indie publishing,” says Seth, “and being on the board of IBPA is an awesome place to experience our part of the industry.”
IBPA: What are some of the accomplishments that you are the most proud of from your first two-year term on the Board of Directors?
Seth Dellon (SD): Wrapping our heads around BookExpo was really enlightening. BookExpo is an important event and advising our members that now’s not the right time to invest in it was a tough but important decision.
IBPA: What are some of the things you are interested in working on as a board member for this new term?
SD: New member recruitment. IBPA serves a lot of different types of publishers and it’s exciting to think about how we’d recruit all of them.
IBPA: What is your background in the publishing world, and how does this background bring a unique perspective to the Board of Directors?
SD: My first gig in publishing was as an intern at Atheneum Books for Young Readers. I thought for sure I’d be an editorial assistant by the time I reached the fall after I graduated college, but it never panned out. I ended up getting a job at Combined Book Exhibit, which gave me the opportunity to travel around the world to different book fairs and see a side of publishing I didn’t know existed. I’ve been in publishing since 2006 and have seen a lot of changes, especially in the indie space. Having a broad view of the industry—particularly from my current role at Publishers Weekly—gives me a good perspective that I hope brings value to our membership.
IBPA: How has it been beneficial to you to be a member of IBPA?
SD: The biggest benefit I’ve found from IBPA is meeting members and being inspired over how punk rock indie publishing is.
IBPA: How do you think it would benefit independent publishers and author publishers to be members of IBPA?
SD: Being part of a group of people experiencing the same challenges is hugely valuable, not only as a learning experience, but also in advocating for the needs of our sector of the industry. To that end, having the advocacy committee figuring out where to put IBPA’s considerable strength in numbers is a huge benefit for all of indie publishing.
IBPA: Can you share three key lessons you’ve learned about how one can succeed as an independent publisher?
SD: Three things I strongly believe in for indie publishers:
- Use your freedom as an indie publisher wisely. You have no one to answer to, so don’t do anything that compromises your vision.
- It’s worth pushing back a pub date to get more time before the book comes out to create buzz.
- If you’re going to pay for a book review, be mindful of the review source’s platform. If they’re not going to provide you publicity with your review and/or they don’t have a strong following themselves, their review doesn’t hold as much sway as they might make you think it does.
IBPA: What inspired you to work in the publishing industry as a career?
SD: Reading Harry Potter.
IBPA: What is your favorite book?
SD: My current favorite is The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker.
IBPA: What was your favorite book as a kid?
SD: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.
IBPA: Thank you so much for sharing your publishing journey with the IBPA community, Seth! We look forward to your continued contributions to the IBPA Board of Directors!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Publishers Weekly’s Seth Dellon. You can read a short introduction to all seven incoming Board Members 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 incoming members for the Board!
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