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News & Press: IBPA Member News

Get to Know IBPA Affiliate: Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA)

Thursday, September 3, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christopher Locke
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Members attend a November 2019 Publishers Association of Los Angeles meeting (held prior to the COVID-19 health crisis) about book publicity with the following panelists (left to right) Emanuela Cariolagian, Desireé Duffy, IBPA’s Lee Wind, Kathleen Kaiser, and moderator Steven Sanchez.

IBPA is proud to support multiple regional and specialty independent publishing associations across the United States. IBPA members find that networking within these groups benefits their success in the independent publishing industry, and helps them build connections on a more local level. As a nice bonus, when you’re a member of an IBPA supported regional publishing association, you receive $30 off your annual IBPA membership!

This month, IBPA is pleased to showcase Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA). Since PALA is a special interest group of Independent Writers of Southern California (IWOSC), this link will take you to their page for more information. IBPA spoke to Gary Young, president of PALA's parent organization, IWOSC, and Sharon Goldinger, PALA liaison, to get an in-depth look at their association:

IBPA: Can you briefly tell us the history of how the Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA) came to be?

Sharon Goldinger: PALA (originally called PMALA—the local Los Angeles area affiliate of the Publishers Marketing Association) was organized on March 15, 2003, at the PMA Headquarters in Manhattan Beach, California, by twenty-four Los Angeles PMA members—20 years after local publishers braved stormy weather to found PASCAL (The Publishers Association of Southern California, predecessor of the Publishers Marketing Association, today known as IBPA). Our launch was at PMA's Publishing University, in Los Angeles, on May 27, 2003. Our original goals—providing networking, education, and resources to publishing professionals—are still our goals today.

IBPA: How long have you been with PALA? What is your current role and how long have you been (and will you be) in this role?

Gary Young and Sharon: Sharon Goldinger was one of the original twenty-four Los Angeles Area PMA founding members. She has served in almost every position and today is the PALA liaison to IWOSC and IBPA; Gary Young joined later in 2003 and is currently the President of PALA's parent organization, IWOSC.

IBPA: What are the benefits for independent publishers/author publishers to being a member of PALA? What makes your regional association unique?

Sharon: PALA offers independent and author publishers a place to learn, network, find resources and experts, learn about the publishing industry, expand your professional publishing network, ask those questions that you didn't know whom to ask, and bring together like-minded, like-goaled individuals and companies.

IBPA: What is the cost of membership, and how can someone sign up to be a member?

Sharon: Cost of membership: $85 (renewal $65). There is no additional cost to attend regular monthly meetings; some workshops and seminars charge a fee.

You can sign up for membership here.

IBPA: Does someone have to live in the Los Angeles region to be a member?

Sharon: The majority of our members are located in the Greater Los Angeles area, however, we have members throughout the country (especially since so many of our current meetings and events are online).

IBPA: How often do you have meetings?

Sharon: We typically have monthly meetings and monthly seminars as well as periodic Brainstorming sessions, satellite meetings, intensives and workshops.

IBPA: How is it beneficial for an independent publisher/author publisher to be a member of BOTH PALA and IBPA?

Sharon: While our primary focus is on independent and author publishers in our area, IBPA is a national organization with many more resources and educational opportunities. Membership in both groups is strongly recommended. Our members can benefit from both organizations' offerings, including IBPA Publishing University and marketing webinars, cooperative marketing programs (IBPA’s), and a great newsletter (IBPA’s).

All of this information—from both organizations—will aid independent and author publishers in making better decisions and taking advantage of more opportunities.

IBPA: Are there any new initiatives/events/programs in 2020 about which you're particularly proud?

Gary: Our program with Scrivener and our biannual Brainstorming sessions went very well. PALA's conversion to Zoom has in some ways made everything new. We are now able to more easily affiliate with vendors to present free programs for our members and reap a finder's fee for sales made by the vendor, offsetting web costs, etc. We are careful not to imply endorsement and we fully disclose our affiliate donation from the vendor. Also, we are proud that our footprint and numbers have increased via Zoom. Our meetings are enjoying record attendance and our reach includes all of the United States (including participants from Hawaii and New York) as well as Poland and Australia.

IBPA: How has the COVID-19 health crisis affected you as an association? How have you adjusted your association to weather the crisis?

Gary: It has enhanced our 21st century presence, added to our membership, given us larger numbers at meetings and more direct contact, even if not physical. As the crisis continues, we will see how that plays out. While Zoom allows us to physically distance, it also allows us to connect and network (albeit in a bit more limiting way versus one-on-one networking).

IBPA: Can you share a few tips for other associations about how to retain and grow membership?

Gary: Even with the interruption, which will be with us for a long time, it is important and actually easy to stay current.

We do that via our newsletter and the Zoom meetings. We list many of our members' books and news updates on Facebook and Twitter, as well as any articles that may refer to their books. We have found that our free Zoom training sessions not only help our members keep up with the technology but have also brought in new members. Some of the new members are not in the Los Angeles area but want to be part of our organization since we will continue with the 21st century online experience in addition to our in-person meetings once this crisis is over. Our Brainstorming session is more important than ever, addressing members' individual publishing issues and promoting participants during the meeting. And we are responsive to the ideas from our members.

IBPA: Do you have any upcoming events?

Gary: Some of our upcoming meetings include: “How to Monetize your Book;” an interview with T.C. Boyle; several "drop-in" meetings to discuss the first few pages of a member's book, design, titling, distribution, electronic and POD conversion and realities of this changing landscape; Zoom training for people who want to host a meeting; WordPress. Future meetings we're working on include a self-publishing intensive, a marketing intensive, a panel with Los Angeles and New York agents, writing and publishing in the new reality, and panels with major POD and electronic players.

IBPA: Thank you Gary and Sharon for giving us insight into Publishers Association of Los Angeles!

Click here to learn more about Publishers Association of Los Angeles and their parent organization, IWOSC.

Share your publishing news with the IBPA community! Send news about events or accomplishments to For more details about the types of stories we're seeking, click here.

Keep in mind that we reserve Spotlights for major news (such as, you published a book about space exploration and now it's being read in a live video feed by astronauts from the International Space Station), unique news (such as, you published a book about cycling and now the author is riding a bike across the U.S. for their 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, your book's genre, 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!

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