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Meet Your Publishing Community at IBPA Publishing University 2020

Tuesday, January 28, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Just Announced! Barnes & Noble, Inc. CEO James Daunt to deliver the opening keynote address at IBPA Publishing University 2020 in Redondo Beach, California. Read more here.

By IBPA Board Chair Brooke Warner

(Manhattan Beach, CA - January 28, 2020) -- If you’re an IBPA member and/or regular reader of IBPA Independent magazine, you know about the annual IBPA Publishing University. If you’re lucky, you’ve had the privilege of attending in the past. I certainly hope you’re attending this year.

IBPA Publishing University 2020 will be held on IBPA’s home turf: Redondo Beach, California. The IBPA Board of Directors gets to spend one weekend in Redondo Beach each year for our annual summer meeting, so I’m not exaggerating when I say it has one of the loveliest coastlines in the country. This means those who want to take a break to mull over all the amazing tidbits they’re picking up at IBPA Publishing University can stroll in the soft white sand and dip their toes in the ocean, because the weather will be good enough for that in Los Angeles in early April.

Registration for IBPA Publishing University 2020 is now open online.
Visit for more information.

IBPA Board Chair Brooke Warner (Publisher, She Writes Press and SparkPress)

Most important, though, is that Redondo Beach is where publishers-in-the-know will flock to IBPA Publishing University April 3-4 to convene, network, share resources, celebrate their wins, commiserate about how hard this industry can be, and walk away inspired and re-energized. I know all these things will happen because this will be my seventh IBPA Publishing University, and I’ve witnessed each and every year how much it matters for independent publishers to spend a weekend with other independent publishers, and how the connections and information from that single weekend provide sustaining energy for the entire year to come.

To me, the most valuable part of being an independent publisher is my community, and I’m grateful and oftentimes in awe of the generosity of the community of publishers that are part of IBPA. We support one another, share resources, open doors for one another, prevent hardships by steering each other toward better decisions, trusted vendors, and potential partnerships. And we’re fun, too. If you’re like me, you don’t have enough people in your everyday life who like to crack publishing jokes or engage in publishing singalongs. This is the one time during my year that I look forward to both.

As an independent publisher, most of my day involves troubleshooting, assuring anxious authors that everything is OK and on schedule, project managing, and trying to ensure things are running smoothly. I don’t often enough give myself the gift of socializing with my publishing community. I don’t often enough reach out to others for help unless I’m in acute crisis. My years going to IBPA Publishing University, however, have provided me a network of publishers I can reach out to if I need to, a much-needed sounding board for making decisions—from printing costs to distribution questions to best practices across so many aspects of the industry.

And even more important than that is that this community is invested in each other’s success. At IBPA, other publishers’ success represents the collective success of our community. Independent publishers celebrate the wins of other independent publishers, and this reminds me what a good decision I made when I decided to enter into the publishing industry. I love being surrounded not only by book people—because we all are—but book people who genuinely advocate for other book people.

But don't just take my word for it! Listen to what other IBPA members have to say in the highlight video from IBPA Publishing University 2019 below.

If you are an active part of the IBPA community, you already know how amazing it is, and I hope we will see you at IBPA Publishing University this year. If you’ve been on the outskirts a bit and it’s been a while since you’ve attended IBPA Publishing University, come back. With the hectic pace of our lives and our industry, giving yourself the gift of time, space, and community is one of the best things you can do for yourself this year. And it really doesn’t hurt that IBPA Publishing University 2020 is happening in sunny Los Angeles. We invite you to take a walk on the beach, have a cocktail at Literature and Libations, join a power breakfast meeting, and hobnob with other publishers—and you’ll quickly see why folks in LA are so good at mixing business with pleasure. It just comes easy there.

As your board chair, and on behalf of the entire IBPA Board of Directors, I hope you will join us in Redondo Beach. And I’ll offer you a fun challenge that I’ve tried at past conferences I’ve attended and which can give some helpful structure to your time:

  1. Do (or sign up for) one thing you’ve done in the past and enjoyed;
  2. Do (or sign up for) one thing you know nothing about; and
  3. Do (or sign up for) one thing that pushes you out of your comfort zone. This community is here and waiting for you to make it that much greater. I look forward to seeing you in LA.

Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Write On, Sisters!, Green-light Your Book, What's Your Book?, and three books on memoir. She is a TEDx speaker, weekly podcaster (Write-minded with co-host Grant Faulkner of NaNoWriMo), and the former executive editor of Seal Press. She’s the current board chair of the Independent Book Publishers Association.

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