IBPA Incoming Board of Directors Spotlight: LifeTree Media’s Maggie Langrick
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Posted by: Christopher Locke
IBPA Incoming Board of Directors Spotlight: LifeTree Media’s Maggie Langrick
This is the fourth 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 highlight Maggie Langrick who is the CEO and Publisher of LifeTree Media, Ltd.
“I first got to know IBPA when I visited IBPA Publishing University for the first time in 2017,” says Maggie. “After hearing Angela Bole speak at the first timers’ orientation, I knew right away that I had found a very special organization that I wanted to be part of. It stood out from other publishing industry associations for its inclusiveness, its emphasis on education, and its dedication to high standards in publishing.
“As the barriers to publishing have come down in the digital age, so too have certain industry standards and norms, making it harder for newcomers and smaller publishers to identify and follow best practices. The IBPA is leading the charge for excellence and innovation in independent book publishing, serving the community with critical education, advocacy, and peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing opportunities. I am proud and excited to join the IBPA Board of Directors, and look forward to contributing my experience as a publisher, long-time editor, and former journalist to their thoughtful stewardship of our community.”
IBPA: What are some of the things you are interested in working on as a board member?
Maggie Langrick (ML): The IBPA membership base is an incredible community of passionate independent publishers and author publishers. I’ve been privileged to interact with a cross-section of our membership, both as a speaker and attendee at IBPA Publishing University, and over email in my capacity as a member of the IBPA Advocacy Committee, and have been consistently impressed by our members’ enthusiasm for the craft of publishing and their thirst for learning.
As a board member, I am interested in improving the ways in which we identify and serve the needs of this diverse group, which ranges from solo author-publishers to mid-sized houses with multiple imprints. In addition to furthering the IBPA’s excellent efforts in education and advocacy, I’m interested in bringing forth initiatives that can help all types of publishers build more successful and profitable businesses. Hybrid publishing, partner publishing, and technology are areas of particular interest.
IBPA: What is your background in the publishing world, and how do you think this background will bring a unique perspective to the Board of Directors?
ML: I started my publishing career as a writer and editor for magazines and newspapers, with a special focus on custom and corporate publishing. At the peak of my career in journalism, I served as the Arts and Life Editor for the Vancouver Sun newspaper, where in addition to directing the paper’s Arts coverage, I also spearheaded a number of editorially-driven sponsored content initiatives. In 2013, I moved into book publishing when I founded my hybrid publishing company LifeTree Media.
Throughout my career, my specialty has been in developing new revenue models and profit-generating opportunities for print content. These projects were always designed and managed in a way that put editorial excellence and a great reading experience front and center, while also bringing in critically needed incremental revenue to support the broader mission of the organization. I believe that my ability to balance business objectives with editorial integrity will inject fresh ideas—that support our members’ success—into the Board’s strategic initiatives.
IBPA: How has it been beneficial to you to be a member of IBPA?
ML: Community is paramount to me. I have benefited greatly from the generosity of my peers in IBPA, and have also appreciated the opportunity to contribute my own knowledge and insights toward the issues that matter most to our community.
IBPA: How do you think it would benefit independent publishers and author publishers to be members of IBPA?
ML: Publishing can be a lonely activity. Many of us work in home-based businesses and have limited opportunity to network with and learn from each other. The IBPA is simply the best home base and resource for any small to mid-sized publisher who wants to raise their game and succeed in this industry.
IBPA: Can you share three key lessons you’ve learned about how one can succeed as an independent publisher?
- With the retail market facing great challenges and online audiences more fragmented than ever, it is increasingly important for independent publishers to find new ways to generate profits if they wish to thrive and grow. From building new revenue models to cultivating reader communities to developing ancillary products, the opportunities to think beyond the bookstore are numerous, and indies must proactively investigate and pursue them.
- Book marketing is now author marketing. In a digital-first world driven by personal brands, it’s critical that authors – and their publishers – understand and exploit the power that every author has to be the driver of their book’s success.
- Quality matters. We are a time-starved and over-stimulated society, confronted by a glut of content coming at us from every direction. As publishers, we can no longer take our audiences’ attention for granted. If we want our books to be bought, read and recommended by readers, we need to serve them with books that truly enhance their lives in some way.
IBPA: What inspired you to work in the publishing industry as a career?
ML: I’m just a word nerd at heart. I grew up with my nose in a book at every opportunity, and my passion for the written word has only increased over time. I love ideas and I love language. These are the aspects of human life that fascinate and delight me, and I feel privileged to work with them every day.
|The Famous Five by Enid Blyton
IBPA: What is your favorite book?
- For the heart: A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
- For the head: Good to Great by Jim Collins
IBPA: What was your favorite book as a kid?
ML: The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton was my favorite escape. The adventures were thrilling, the girl characters were just as compelling and important to the plot as the boys, parents were nonexistent, and every story featured lashings of ginger beer and slabs of bread and cheese. Yum.
IBPA: Thank you so much for sharing your publishing journey with the IBPA community, Maggie! We look forward to the contributions you’ll make on the IBPA Board of Directors!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about LifeTree Media’s Maggie Langrick. Check out the other profiles we’ve done so far on the incoming board members:
You can also 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 of the Board!
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!