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Teri Case Champions Fellow IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ Finalists

Thursday, April 25, 2019   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Christopher Locke
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IBPA member Teri Case supported her fellow IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award finalists' books in the "Popular Fiction" category by reading and reviewing their books.

Since IBPA’s motto is “Helping Each Other to Achieve and Succeed,” we’re always delighted when we see members taking this to heart.

After IBPA member and author publisher Teri Case learned that her novel, Tiger Drive, had been nominated for an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ in the “Popular Fiction” category, she decided to read the books of her fellow nominees (Better Than This by Cathy Zane, Float Plan by Rob Hiaasen, and Guarding Savage by Dave Edlund) and post reviews about them. IBPA was so impressed that we spoke to Teri about her inspiration.

“I was inspired for two reasons,” says Teri. “First, the creative trenches can be lonely. When I saw my novel being compared to three other authors’ works, my first instinct was one of comradeship. I wanted to know more about the authors, what their books were about, and how I could support them. I know how hard it is to spread the word about a novel and collect fair and honest reviews, so I knew reading their books was the best place to start. Plus, it was the most polite, and legal, way to stalk them.

“Secondly, I wanted to understand to which works Tiger Drive was being compared. It was a validating and positive experience. I was prepared to walk with the silver.” (Teri’s book ended up winning gold.)

Teri’s thoughtful gesture proved to be a fruitful experience. “The first positive outcome is I read three 5-star books—is there a better way to spend time?” says Teri. “Second, once I read all three books, I recognized a common theme: the power of hope and embracing change. It was humbling to contribute to this message.

“I’ve connected with two of the authors and have two new friends—both of whom have reciprocated the support and reviews. I will read and review every book Dave Edlund and Cathy Zane write. I’ve already gone down a rabbit hole catching up with Dave Edlund’s Peter Savage series. Cathy is working on her second novel now.

“Rob Hiaasen, the author of Float Plan, was killed in the June 2008 Capital Gazette shooting and a portion of the proceeds of his novel are donated to gun safety. Carl Hiaasen, a columnist at The Miami Herald, a best-selling author, and Newbery Honor Winner, is Rob’s brother. Carl shared my review of Float Plan on his Facebook page with 78,000 followers. As a result, there were over 40 shares and 70 comments, most saying they were ordering Rob’s book! How awesome is that? My heart was full.

IBPA member Teri Case's new novel, In the Doghouse: A Couple’s Breakup from Their Dog’s Point of View

“And the most rewarding outcome? I’m a better person for having read Rob Hiaasen’s, Dave Edlund’s, and Cathy Zane’s books.”

Teri’s decision to support her fellow indie publishers is a perfect representation of how the IBPA community can propel each other to success, and we couldn’t put it better than Teri’s words: “Independent publishers don’t need to compete with each other, they need to help each other rise above the noise and share quality works, and this applies to all books across all publishing paths. Every time we identify a 4-plus star indie novel, we should all cheer and post reviews everywhere we can. Together is the only way we will change the stereotypes around indie and self-publishing.”

Teri just published her second novel, In the Doghouse: A Couple’s Breakup from Their Dog’s Point of View, on April 16, 2019, and in the fall, she has the first book of a “cozy” mystery series available with co-author, Lisa Manterfield. Then in 2020, her third book, Imogene, will be released.

Four Questions with Author Publisher Teri Case

IBPA: Tiger Drive won gold in the “Popular Fiction” category of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™. What was that experience like for you?

Teri Case (TC): Winning the award provided closure that I didn’t expect or even know I needed. Since I had read the other three novels, I honestly didn’t think I’d win, but I wanted to be there to cheer for my comrades. When Tiger Drive flashed on the screen, larger than life and as the winner, I immediately was fifteen years old again, struggling to find the means to pay for college, and terrified I’d never “get out” of my family’s dysfunctional lifestyle. The narrative in my mind was, “Me? Teri Case? Teri Case from 41 Tiger Drive?” With each step I took toward the stage, that scared fifteen-year-old girl faded. We’d “made it” together, but I let go of the past, then and there.

IBPA: Can you briefly describe the history of how you became an author publisher?

TC: I first drafted Tiger Drive in 2011 over four months. Over six years, I rewrote Tiger Drive thirteen times, incorporating feedback I received from agents’ rejection letters and beta readers.

Finally, in 2017, I reached a point where I knew the book was the best I could write it at that stage in my life, and I didn’t want to give up control and rights to my novel or wait a year or longer to put Tiger Drive out into the world. It was time to make “someday” today, so I decided to indie publish under BZCE Publishing. I hired professional editors, proofreaders, and designers. I invested in software that would allow me to compete with traditionally published books. After my time and investment, I knew that no one could represent and publish my novel better than I could.

IBPA: Can you list three key lessons you’ve learned about how one can succeed as an independent publisher?


  1. Find your team of professionals and embrace collaboration—it takes a village to remain informed and to publish a novel.

  2. Be professional, considerate, and generous in your interactions with readers, cover designers, editors, reviewers, distributors, publishers, authors, and organizations.

  3. Care about the quality of your product and how you are asking readers to invest their precious time and money.

IBPA: How has it been beneficial to you to be a member of Independent Book Publishers Association?

TC: IBPA offers a tremendous amount of resources that have helped me become an informed publisher. With the IBPA Industry Standards Checklist, I knew how to publish Tiger Drive like the Big 5. Thanks to the online webinars and IBPA Publishing University, I can stay on top of best practices. Also, IBPA has affiliations and affordable discounted prices with organizations such as NetGalley.

I recently used NetGalley for the first time via IBPA to collect advance reviews of In the Doghouse. In the first month, over eighty reviewers downloaded the book, offered interviews, and have begun sharing reviews via social media and their website blogs.

Finally, IBPA offers exposure to other indie authors, publishers, and a wonderful community.

IBPA: Thank you, Teri, for sharing your independent publishing journey and expertise with the IBPA community!

Click here to learn more about Teri Case’s books!

Share your own publishing news with the IBPA community! Send news about events or accomplishments to 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 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!


Catherine G. Nickell, Twenty-Eight Creative says...
Posted Thursday, April 25, 2019
What a wonderful example of supporting fellow authors. Teri Case is such an inspiration; reading this article points out that I can do even more to give the kind of support that Teri offers. This has been one of my favorite Member Spotlights that I've seen IBPA publish. Thank you!
David J. Theroux, Independent Institute says...
Posted Thursday, April 25, 2019
This story made my day! As a young editor at Harper I was granted a huge travel and expense budget because I was always bringing my authors together for a meal so they could meet each other and provide support for each other. The results were immediate, a new network was created and new projects came my way, and publisher/editor loyalty helped facilitate the growth of my stable of authors. In fact, I am doing that very kind of gathering tonight (4/25/19) with two authors whom I published at my former small press in Berkeley. I hope this story motivates others to help each other because it really is a very important dimension of successful independent publishing.

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