IBPA Members Share Their Best Independent Publishing Strategies for 2019
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Posted by: Christopher Locke
The new year is upon us! What better way to set up your independent publishing venture for success in 2019 than by laying out clear strategies for your business? Perhaps you’d like to explore the booming audiobook market, or maybe you’re looking for ways to diversify your roster of authors. If you create a list of goals and then ways to achieve those goals, you’re well on your way to making them happen.
It’s always helpful to learn from your peers, so Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) asked the community:
Please describe the independent publishing strategy that you are most excited to implement in 2019.
We think you’ll find the below responses from your fellow IBPA members inspirational and helpful as you set your sights on the year ahead.
“We're exploring the idea of transforming a few short story series from our digital pulp fiction magazine into old-fashioned radio dramas, and hosting them on SoundCloud as podcasts. We have a team of actor/musician/writers ready to go, and are blessed with studio space and equipment. Now we just need to find the time!” – T. Martin Crouse, Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Sic Semper Serpent Books
“To more carefully edit and proofread, as boring and tedious as such efforts are: read your finished writing out loud. Forces you to read every single word and avoid the unconscious skimming and glossing over what is all too familiar. This makes it easier to spot typos and grammatical errors and further assists to edit your writing, as you get a reader’s feel for the flow of your writing. Think about how negative you feel when you encounter typos or obvious grammatical errors in a published work. Remember how terrible you feel to find the same in your writing.” – Alex S. Avitabile, Author Publisher
“We have been working with individual authors. We decided we wanted to bring more diversity (mostly foreign via translators, women, and people of color). The best way for us to do this is by doing more anthologies.” – Lucinda Clark, Founder and Publisher, PRA Publishing
“As someone who spent 25 years in the TV business before I wrote my first novel (now three), I discovered how so few author video book trailers are effective. Last year I gave workshops at two writers conferences on how to do better book trailers and how to use them more effectively. They were a hit. There is a need for that kind of training so this year I'm going proactive. I have scheduled more workshops, guest blogs, a "how-to" ebook for authors and more, to leverage my video marketing expertise to help others while raising my own author profile in the process. It should be fun.” – Larry Brill, Publisher, Black Tie Books
“I'll be doing second and third editions of some of our most popular titles that are getting a little long in the tooth (published in 2015 or earlier). For utility nonfiction, regular updates are a requirement, and for small companies such as i30 Media Corp., a quicker update cycle allows our titles to stand out as being "fresher" while titles by large traditional publishers linger for 5-10 years between new editions.” – Ian Lamont, Founder and President, i30 Media Corp
“In 2019, we've partnered with a new distributor and expanded our publicity agreement. We are very excited to see how this strategy helps us as we continue to mature and evolve. We are also introducing a 12-month strategy, where we are working at least one year out--we believe this gives us more foundation to our vision, more support for our authors and projects, and room to take advantage of opportunities that come up over the course of the journey from reading a submission to seeing a book on tour.” – Lindy Ryan, Owner and Publisher, Black Spot Books
“While continuing to apply for applicable awards and sending press releases if/when recognition is received, I’m going to contribute one submission-quality article/month to my blog; more aggressively contact child-friendly festivals, schools, libraries, and museums, offering (in some cases, paying) to bring the book and related STEM activities to as many children (and parents) as I can; and make and post more child-friendly videos related to the book. In short, I am going to start exercising my belief that it is just as important to sell myself and my mission as it is my book.” – Melissa B. Rooney, Author Publisher, The Fate of the Frog
“We have a special campaign for Some Stories: Lessons from the Edge of Business and Sport by Yvon Chouinard (April 2019). We are selling signed copies exclusively to independent bookstores. The book will be available for the same price, but will be signed by the author. We are doing 500 copies for the indies, and they need a special ISBN to order. They can order in cases only (but in this case it is a big book so there are only 8 to a carton). To get the copies signed, we printed the endpapers in advance, and we will have Yvon sign those, which will then be bound into the book.” – Karla Olson, Director, Patagonia Books
We hope that these strategies sparked some ideas for your own business plans. We’d love to hear what strategies you’re intending to implement for your own independent publishing company in the comments below.
IBPA wishes you all the best on achieving grand success in the new year, and we’re happy to help you reach those goals! Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office at 310-546-1818 or email@example.com with questions about how we can help your indie publishing company reach its maximum potential.
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 (you’re a cookbook author who won a national cooking competition), unique news (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 (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!