I just came back from Salt Lake City, where the most recent version of the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) Publishing University was held over the last few days.
It’s been many years since I was in Salt Lake City, and I was struck again by the crystal clear air and the setting amidst a ring of mountains. (The last time was many years ago on a trip cross-country driving a rather large truck with a Chandler & Price handpress in the back. Another story.)
Angela Bole, CEO of the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) had invited me to teach a session on book launches, which I was happy to do. The event was well attended, as always.
I love the collegial atmosphere of these events, and the way they bring together a wide range of people involved in publishing, from people who have the idea of starting a press, to the professionals with decades of experience. And everything in between.
One of the pleasures and benefits of trade events is the opportunity to meet people and find out what’s new in your industry. Here are some random notes of people and companies I ran into while there:
- I met for the first time Joshua Tallent, ebook genius, and someone who I’ve “known” online for years. That’s always a treat.
- Robin Cutler was there for Ingram, and we talked a bit about the templates we supply to Ingram authors.
- Judith Briles of AuthorU who is also a Contributing Writer on the blog, was there teaching and consulting with authors, too.
- I was excited to meet Shari Stauch of Where Writers Win, where they provide a variety of services to indie authors.
- While talking to Shari, I also met Ellie Maas Davis of Pressque, a supplier of editorial and other services who I hadn’t known about before. I think we’ll be hearing from both Shari and Ellie in the near future.
- It was good to chat again with Maria Smith of Thomson-Shore, a file short-run book printer in Michigan, and where I’ve printed most of my offset books for many years. They have acquired a full-service bindery, and can now offer slipcases and presentation boxes of all kinds.
- Fellow designer Shannon Bodie of Bookwise Design was there, and we compared notes and re-connected.
- I got a demonstration of Hummingbird, an interesting new platform that booksellers, conferences, writers, bloggers, online merchants or anyone with sufficient traffic can use to set up their own storefront to sell ebooks and audiobooks More to come.
Benjamin Franklin Awards
Since the Benjamin Franklin Awards were given out on Friday night at the annual awards dinner, I got to attend for the first time. It was a thrill.
Angela ran the evening with grace and wit, not a small accomplishment since she also had to show the finalists, and award gold medals, in 54 categories. Yes, it took a while.
Overall, the covers we saw on screen looked great, and many of them are from independent publishers small and large.
I was thrilled when both Steve Piersanti of Berrett-Koehler, for whom I created many books in the 1990s, and Mark Rubinstein, a novelist and client of mine, won gold medals in their categories. Congrats!
Book Launches and a 4-Day Special
The session on book launches at IBPA went very well, and there was a lot of engagement with the audience.
I called the session: Book Launch: The Agony & The Ecstasy, because although they are exciting, launches can be horribly complex, take months to get ready for, and can frazzle your nerves in many ways.
In conjunction with the annual Publishing University, we’ve put our Book Launch Toolkit on sale this week.
This digital product, introduced last year, is one of our most popular downloads, and I can see why. Just the time you save in researching all the tools in the Guide, not to mention Kimberley Grabas‘ expert tutorial on building your writer platform, will help you power your own book launches.
Here’s what’s included in the Standard Edition of the Toolkit, the reason so many hundreds of authors have downloaded it and already started using the tools and techniques included:
- The 103 page Guidebook in PDF format and includes a complete tutorial on building your writer platform, plus 20 book launch tools and strategies complete with instructions, links and additional resources)
- 7 Worksheets (in Word/Pages and Excel/Numbers and PDF (printable) formats)
- 4 Cheat sheets (in all the same formats)
- An interactive launch plan that allows you to create your own customized pre-launch, launch and post launch plans
But don’t take my word for it.
Check it out while it’s on sale, because the sale will be over on Thursday night at midnight Pacific time.
Here’s the link:
We’ve posted the video recording of the last webinar we did with Kimberley, and you can watch it this week. It’s called “Secrets of a Flawless Book Launch” and it’s packed with content. Here’s the link: “Secrets of a Flawless Book Launch” webinar replay