Wednesday, April 15, 2015

IBPA Publishing University Lessons

I recently attended Publish University, a long-time annual event put on by Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), in Austin, Texas.  Some 280 people attended, seeking out knowledge, connections, and direction.  Events like this one and organizations like IBPA offer a wonderful opportunity for those in the industry, from first-time authors to book printers, to learn from one another.

I was there to represent the book publicity firm that I work for and to harness new relationships while building on existing ones.  It was the ideal place to be, as a book promoter, speaking with hundreds of potential clients or referral sources.

 It’s important to attend conferences such as these, especially for writers who feel isolated or publishers and industry professionals who wonder what’s out there.  By talking, watching, and listening to others, we grow not only our business, but our awareness and knowledge base.

IBPA is a good organization for helping writers and publishers to feel connected and informed.  But the in-person gathering is something that truly gives depth to our online interactions.  I don’t see the role of conferences diminishing in the near future, even though we are told the Internet will make gatherings of people in a room unnecessary.

The event had breakout sessions on topics of concern to today’s indie publishers and authors, including:

·         Producing high-quality ebooks on a budget.
·         Building author platforms with social media and publicity.
·         Let’s edit that out (loud).
·         The act of making books.
·         Making the most of book awards.
·         Profitable sales beyond bookstores and libraries.
·         Copyright clarity.
·         What you need to know to get your ebook distributed (with or without Amazon).

What people come away with from such conferences is usually a good, inspired feeling.  They feel back on a path, filled with renewed motivation, direction, and a sense of purpose.  Maybe that’s what’s best – aside from the benefits stated earlier.

The book publishing industry is one of ideas and content, but it’s also very much one of people and personalities.  When we get a huge room filled with the intelligent, passionate, and creative people of our industry, you are bound to come away richer for it.  Seek out a conference that’s right for you – you’ be glad for doing so.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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