The Independent Book Publishers Association will hold its annual Publishing University in Chicago in just a few weeks, on April 26th and 27th. The organization was founded thirty years ago by what president Florrie Kichler calls a “group of small publishers who couldn’t get their books out anywhere into the trade.”
The six major annual book design shows listed above continue to anchor our industry in its traditions of craft, even though painfully unadorned ebooks and cluttered multimedia platforms proceed apace, charting their own course. Whatever the wide range of book show presenting criteria, as shown in the survey that follows, ultimately the purpose of book design is to enhance the readability and message of the book itself.
Print will survive and thrive in those areas where it continues to fulfill that purpose. Where digital media prevail, irrepressible design aspirations will soon follow.
While some shows are beginning to provide digital edition categories (mostly fixed format and multi-media), print editions continue to be foundational platforms for book design and organization — at least for the time being. Leading edge designers are exploring ways to bring design criteria into the reflowable formats.
For 36 years, an undaunted Irwin Zucker, himself a public relations professional, has been hosting bi-monthly meetings of the Book Publicists of Southern California, bringing together at each event a hundred or so published authors and authors on the way: to share ideas, display their works, and to learn how to sell more books.
As with IBPA -- which started a few years later as the Publishing Association of Southern California (PASCAL), with then former PW Publisher Dick Bye as President and Jan Nathan as Executive director. It then became PMA and is now IBPA, a 3,000-member strong national organization -- Zucker reveled in the trenches of book publishing outside the mainstream channels. He brought enthusiasm, hope and know-how to equip authors with the tools to work around barriers to entry and, eventually, if they found a strong enough audience, to find their way into the mainstream; or, more often, to stay independent and pocket the proceeds and the glory on their own.
Over the decades that I have been going to BEA and its predecessor, “The ABA Show,” a full regime of floor walking was at the base of the experience. This was followed by a full box or two of books that went out the expo door with the freight forwarder of the year. It became the ballast that found its way to my garage and shelves.
This year I came away with a USB stick in my pocket and 10 new titles on it in e-Book format. A few choice paperbacks in my carry-all. No cartons of books—too much work. But I also noticed that something more important had changed aside from my take-aways:
In book publishing, there is no element of fundamental practice and best practice that is not simultaneously under siege by opportunistic practice.
It is a difficult time to be an independent book publisher. Fractured distribution models, soaring manufacturing costs, technology changing at breakneck speeds and the ongoing global recession are just a few of the threats coming at indies from all directions.
From multimillion-dollar acquisitions to multimillion-dollar best-sellers, powerful women stand at every pivotal, decision-making point in the book publishing process. Book Business’ first annual “50 Top Women in Book Publishing” feature recognizes and honors some of these industry leaders who affect and transform how publishing companies do business, and what—and how—consumers read.
As Steve Potash, CEO of Overdrive and president of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), said last spring at IDPF’s annual meeting: The world of digital books is expanding, and there is a steady flow of major publishers and technology providers adopting the .epub standard. What we’re going through now is a ramping-up stage during which it can’t be either/or—nobody is saying that we will accept or deliver only in .epub. Accepting only .epub formats is likely to be the first move that’s made, because the advantage to publishers is that they will have only one electronic book version with one ISBN of which
With the advent of electronic ink, or e-ink, the Sony Reader, the Amazon Kindle and the .epub formatting protocols, the era of the e-book in the United States may be on its way. If you are a publisher or book producer, sooner or later you will be delivering electronic versions of all of your titles for distribution through a burgeoning network of electronic channels—if you’re not already doing so. It may be tomorrow, it may be next year or possibly later, but I guarantee the need to do so will be thrust upon you by the marketplace. While it is true that complex
“Today the book business stands at the edge of a vast transformation, one that promises much opportunity for innovation: much trial, much error, much improvement.” —Jason Epstein (“Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future,” Norton 2001) That was seven years ago, and today, innovation and experimentation—trial and error—is the theme of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) report “From Experimentation to Innovation in the Digital Age.” The report contains the results of a survey on the industry’s attitudes and actions pertaining to experimentation (more on page 7). It also contains case studies—based on interviews conducted by Mike Shatzkin, founder/CEO of The Idea Logical Co.,
At a cocktail reception to be held on Friday, May 30 during BookExpo America, PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association (formerly the Publishers Marketing Association) will celebrate its 25th anniversary and a new name: IBPA, The Independent Book Publishers Association. According to the organization—the largest association of independent publishers in the United States—it is changing its name to reflect an expanded mission. IBPA assists in marketing its membership’s titles to the industry, educates publishers in all aspects of the business, and acts as an advocate for publishers’ rights. “Growing from a few visionary publishers in 1983 to more than 4,000 members today, our