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Business Operations [clear filter]
Thursday, April 4


Preconference Session -- Publishing Standards: A Deep Dive into the Most Important Checklist Every New Publisher Needs (ADDITIONAL $59 FEE APPLIES)
  • This is a 4-hour preconference workshop. An additional $59 fee is required to attend.
  • Online registration closed at 6:00 PM Central on April 2, 2019. Please visit the conference registration table on the 7th floor of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile beginning at 10:00 AM Central on Friday, April 5, 2019 to register, add to, or change your schedule.

Back by popular demand! IBPA Advocacy Committee members Brooke Warner and Teri Rider present IBPA's Industry Standards Checklist for a Professionally Published Book. This 4-hour workshop is divided into two parts, focusing on (1) editorial and (2) production standards, and details everything a new publisher needs to consider in order to produce professionally published books. Brooke and Teri will include some of the most common mistakes they see new publishers make and will show how following standards can level the playing field for publishers everywhere. Specific examples drive the presentation.

avatar for Teri Rider

Teri Rider

Publisher, Top Reads Publishing, LLC
As a visual artist, everything is a spoke that touches the hub of my “art” wheel. I love nature, I rescue animals, I collect books, and my favorite smells are rain, woodsmoke, and used bookstores. I’m a mom and a book midwife.Quite simply, I love to work with authors to build... Read More →
avatar for Brooke Warner

Brooke Warner

Publisher, She Writes Press
Brooke Warner is publisher of She Writes Press and SparkPress, president of Warner Coaching Inc., and author of Write On, Sisters!, Green-light Your Book, What's Your Book?, and three books on memoir. Brooke is a TEDx speaker, weekly podcaster (Write-minded with co-host Grant Faulkner... Read More →

Thursday April 4, 2019 8:30am - 12:30pm
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (Room: Purdue/Wisconsin) 540 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Friday, April 5


Opening Keynote -- Rethinking Book Publishing: Innovation and Culture 2019, with Dominique Raccah
In an industry dominated by giant companies, Sourcebooks has grown from small to large while maintaining its independence. During this special keynote address, Sourcebooks' founder & CEO Dominique Raccah will share what she's learned in over 30 years of successful independent publishing. There's nothing Dominique hasn't thought about or tried. Because of this, her IBPA Publishing University keynote address promises to be both inspirational and practical. Start getting to know Dominique (and Sourcebooks) below...then join us for this unique keynote address.


Sourcebooks is coming off its best year ever. What sort of success did you enjoy, and to what do you attribute this success?
Sourcebooks finished 2017 up 18% in sales, compared to the publishing industry, which finished up 2%. We’re also up 18% in sales year-to-date, in an industry that is up 2%, and we’re anticipating a strong holiday season in the fourth quarter.

We have consistently experienced double-digit growth since the economic downturn in 2008. It was a time when most publishers were cutting back, on staff and acquisitions, but we decided, as a company, that we weren’t going to let what was going on outside our office affect what we were creating inside.

We called it “not business as usual,” and for the last decade, we have continued to meet on a regular basis and are completely transparent about what is going on with our business – the good, the bad and the ugly. Everyone in our organization is involved and is empowered to make an impact in how our business is run. The entrepreneurial spirit runs throughout the company, from my office to the shipping room.

Sourcebooks self-identifies as a company that embraces change. How do you incorporate this concept into your business model?

Most of the changes we’ve made as an organization have responded to a need, either from readers, authors or our retail partners. In the last 10 years, we’ve grown from a nonfiction business into a top 15 children’s book publisher, and a strong player in romance, young adult and adult fiction.

Our Jabberwocky children’s imprint came out of the success we saw in publishing poetry books for kids, our Casablanca romance imprint was born out of a retailer request for more Regency romance, and our Put Me in the Story personalized book program began after we saw that people were customizing our books themselves.

We are always looking for ways to innovate on behalf of authors and readers, and are driven by our belief that books changes lives.

Independent publishers can feel overwhelmed by changes from outside the industry—higher printing costs, for instance, or changes in warehousing. When confronting changes that have a negative impact on your bottom line, how do you adjust?
Not to be overly dramatic, but to a publisher it can often seem like pretty much everyone is looking to take something from your bottom line. Your printers want more, outside vendors want more, freight costs rise, your retailers, wholesalers, and distributors want more, and of course authors and illustrators would like an extra cut too.

So as a businessperson – rather than as a publisher – you have to continually be looking for efficiencies and savings to offset the increased costs you can’t control.

At Sourcebooks, we’ve implemented a relatively open book structure for finances that ensures every person in the company knows they can have impact on the bottom line. Simply put, every penny counts, and every individual can make a difference. And for the things you can control, I highly recommend doing some reading and taking courses in negotiation, including getting comfortable with difficult conversations and conflict. Publishing people and booklovers tend to be friendly folks. And we should be. But that doesn’t mean we can’t aggressively control the bottom line.

In an industry dominated by giant companies, Sourcebooks has grown from small to large while maintaining its independence. What sorts of business planning strategies do you recommend to publishers who want to do the same?

It’s pretty wild to look at the company I started in a spare bedroom of my house 31 years ago with just one book and see it become a Top 15 U.S. publisher and the largest woman-owned publisher in North America. We have over 100 employees and publish hundreds of books each year in a variety of categories.

As a publisher, it often feels like you’re wrong more than you’re right. The challenges we have experienced helped turn Sourcebooks into the company it is today. I would urge other publishers to embrace their failures as an opportunity to learn something new, something that can help push you forward.

We’ve also threaded “growth mindset” throughout our corporate culture. It’s meaningful when every person on the team is pushing themselves to recognize that “you don’t know what you don’t know” and strive to understand something new. Mindset can get you to some pretty wild and unexpected places.

Publishing is also a business that’s been way too rooted in the notions of “taste” and “instinct.” Taste and instinct are great, but I’ll take data over my gut any day of the week. Gather and learn from data wherever possible, even if it’s on the smallest of scales. We use data in every single department of the company, and yes that includes (and starts with) editorial.

Finally, I’d recommend publishers continually look to diversify themselves, not only in what they publish but in how they publish as well. We recognized long ago that publishers are often limited by their own vision – and in many cases by their own reading tastes. But our job isn’t to deliver our own tastes to the market. Our job is to connect authors with readers, and that means we’re continually probing what lights readers up and finding ways to help authors deliver that excitement. It’s really the best job in the world, and the only limitations you’ll face are your own!

avatar for Dominique Raccah

Dominique Raccah

Founder & CEO, Sourcebooks
Dominique Raccah is the entrepreneurial Publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, the company she founded from her home in 1987. The publisher has since created scores of New York Times bestsellers, hundreds of national bestsellers, and #1 selling titles in perennial categories. Sourcebooks... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 12:50pm - 1:50pm
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (Room: Grand Salons 2-3) 540 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA


The Ten Habits of a Successful Publisher
In this 60-minute introductory program, 40-year-publishing-veteran Kathleen Welton will share proven principles that deliver top results for those involved in the book publishing industry. A combination of inspirational stories and case studies will illustrate the ten habits a successful publisher must utilize on an ongoing basis to build and expand his/her publishing program, including:

  1. Asking the Right Questions
  2. Building a Team
  3. Connecting with Customers
  4. Developing Editorial Roadmaps
  5. Finding Your Story
  6. Giving Back
  7. Minding Your Own Business
  8. Monitoring Trends
  9. Nurturing Authors
  10. Remaining Curious

avatar for Kathleen Welton

Kathleen Welton

Publisher, aka Books
Kathleen is currently Publisher of aka Books. She has served as Director of Book Publishing for the American Bar Association, Director for H&R Block, VP & Publisher for IDG Books, VP & Publisher for Dearborn Trade, Senior Editor for Dow Jones-Irwin, Editor for Praeger Publishers... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (Room: Lincolnshire) 540 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA


The Many Facets of Educational Publishing
Education is one of the book industry’s leading market segments. K-12, life-long learning products, and community and corporate training materials are glimpses into the lucrative and fulfilling world of educational publishing. Richard Lena of Brattle Publishing, Ian Lamont of i30 Media, and Karen Pavlincin-Fragnito of Elva Resa Publishing have had significant experience publishing for different segments of this market and approach learning from their own unique perspectives. In this session, they will share their strategies for entering various facets of the market, instructional design and development practices for products and services and marketing and distribution outlets. They will also spend time answering your questions about this significant portion of the publishing industry. The session is intended for intermediate participants who are seeking to learn about educational publishing and considering expanding into an education segment.

avatar for Ian Lamont

Ian Lamont

Founder, i30 Media Corporation
Ian Lamont is the founder of i30 Media Corporation and the creator of the Lean Media framework. His company publishes IN 30 MINUTES Guides, EASYGENIE genealogy forms, and a line of technology cheat sheets. His media career has spanned more than 25 years across three continents, including a stint in the British music industry and... Read More →
avatar for Richard Lena

Richard Lena

President & Publisher, Brattle Publishing Group
Richard-Anthony Lena is the president and publisher at the Brattle Publishing Group, an independent publisher and full-service development house. He is a curriculum developer and an instructional designer specializing in print-based and digital learning experiences for diverse audiences... Read More →
avatar for Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito

Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito

Publisher, Elva Resa Publishing
Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito is the publisher of Elva Resa Publishing, a traditional independent publisher specializing in books for military families. Elva Resa uses niche go-to-market strategies to drive its primary business model of bulk sales to military, education, and nonprofit organizations... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (Room: Northwestern) 540 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA


The Ins-and-Outs of Book Distribution
Book distribution models range from DIY to full-service. How do you get a distributor? How do you know which distributor is best for you or when it’s time to make a change? This expert panel will offer lively discussion and plenty of time for q and a. It looks at all the possibilities for distribution and examines their risks and benefits. Managing expectations is key to a successful relationship with your distributor, and to do that you need to know what services a distributor does and doesn’t provide, what are the costs and chargebacks, and how to keep the lines of communication open.  

avatar for Robin Cutler

Robin Cutler

Director, IngramSpark
Robin Cutler, Director of IngramSparkRobin Cutler leads the development of IngramSpark as an Ingram Content Group service for indie authors and publishers. During her career, she has published over 1000 books as Assistant Director at USC Press, and CEO and founder of her own trade... Read More →
avatar for Peter Goodman

Peter Goodman

President & Publisher, Stone Bridge Press, Inc.
Stone Bridge Press' president and publisher Peter Goodman is a graduate of Cornell University and lived in Tokyo, Japan for ten years, where he worked as an editor for English-language publishers Charles E. Tuttle and Kodansha International. He has served as in-house editor, ghost... Read More →
avatar for Miriam Warren

Miriam Warren

Associate, The Fisher Company
Miriam Warren is an Associate at The Fisher Company, a mergers and acquisitions firm specializing in the publishing industry, and is also the Publications Manager at No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks & California Bill’s Automotive Handbooks in Tucson, Arizona.Miriam has more than... Read More →
avatar for Richard T. Williams

Richard T. Williams

Vice President, Publisher Development, Independent Publishers Group (IPG)
Richard T. Williams is the Vice President, Publisher Development, at IPG, where he reviews publisher submissions, pursues new publisher business, and manages a team of experts to help existing clients plan and develop their lists. He is a former sales rep at IPG and was the director... Read More →

Friday April 5, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (Room: Lincolnshire) 540 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Saturday, April 6


Panel Keynote -- Defining the Current and Future Meaning of "Publisher"
This keynote panel is produced and presented by the IBPA Board of Directors.

While indie bookstores selling print copies are thriving once more, emerging technologies and platforms like smart speakers and content subscriptions are making writing available to consumers in new ways. As publishers consider their business models for now and the future, it begs the question: what does it mean to be a publisher?

avatar for Leslie Browning

Leslie Browning

Founder & Publisher, Homebound Publications
L.M. (Leslie) Browning is a TEDx Talker and award-winning author of twelve books. In her writing, Leslie explores the confluence of the natural landscape and the interior landscape. In 2010, she debuted with a three-title contemplative poetry series. These three books went on to garner... Read More →
avatar for Seth Dellon

Seth Dellon

Director of Sttrategic Development, Publishers Weekly
Seth Dellon is director of strategic development at Publishers Weekly where he oversees the digital media department, including social media, digital audience and business development, and new digital initiatives. His career is publishing is long enough to make him feel old and has... Read More →
avatar for Kelly Peterson

Kelly Peterson

Director of Digital Strategy, Independent Publishers Group
Kelly Peterson is Director of Digital Strategy at Independent Publishers Group (IPG), and brings 20+ years of marketing and merchandising experience to her current role, helping major trade publishers, university presses, independent publishers, agents and authors maximize their eBook... Read More →
avatar for Kathy Strahs

Kathy Strahs

Founder, Burnt Cheese Press
PaniniHappy.com, CookingOntheSide.com, and SunnyDaysGoodFood.com. A former marketer with an MBA from Stanford, Kathy founded Burnt Cheese Press, a food-focused independent publishing company, in 2015. Its first release, The 8x8 Cookbook, received the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Gold Award for Best First Book-Nonfiction. Its... Read More →

Saturday April 6, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (Room: Grand Salons 2-3) 540 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA


Research-Driven Business: How Small Publishers Can Use Academic Research to Gain a Competitive Edge
Although marketing and editorial departments increasingly require hard data to justify decisions, it can be difficult for small publishers in particular to have access to data that can inform such decisions. Industry data can be very costly, and therefore often inaccessible to small publishers. But academic research about book publishing is free and can be used to help inform business decisions. Come learn more, from a panel of researchers and publishers who have used research to gain a competitive edge, about how to utilize this research for your own business!

avatar for Rachel Bell

Rachel Bell

Co-Founder and VP of Marketing & PR, Overcup Press
Rachel Bell is Co-Founder and VP of Marketing & PR at Overcup Press, an award-winning independent publishing company in Portland, Oregon. Rachel and her partner started Overcup Press because they have a passion for beautifully designed books that focus on art, travel, epicurean, travel... Read More →
avatar for Roy Carlisle

Roy Carlisle

Director of Publishing, PageMill Press
Roy is Director of Publishing at PageMill Press, a new publishing house sponsored by the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology Foundation. Roy is a veteran of scholarly and commercial book publishing with 44 years in the industry.
avatar for Rachel Noorda

Rachel Noorda

Director of Book Publishing, Portland State University
Rachel Noorda is Director of Book Publishing at Portland State University. Her research interests include twenty-first century book culture, diaspora communities, Scottish publishing, small business marketing, international marketing, and entrepreneurship. She has been published... Read More →
avatar for Brian O'Leary

Brian O'Leary

Executive Director, Book Industry Study Group
Brian O’Leary is executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, a U.S.-based trade association that disseminates information, creates and implements standards and conducts research to benefit the book publishing supply chain.Before being named to this role in 2016, O'Leary... Read More →

Saturday April 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (Room: Northwestern) 540 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA


Redefining ROI
Within the ever-evolving world of publishing, financial remuneration and how you can capture value from what you publish is constantly expanding. This course will begin by explaining creative and diverse methods for generating ROI and capturing value beyond traditional sales. It will then offer a blueprint for how to pursue these various opportunities. We will finish the class with an interactive discussion on how to decide what opportunities to pursue based the projects of those who attend this class.

avatar for Jared Kuritz

Jared Kuritz

Managing Partner, STRATEGIES Public Relations
Jared Kuritz is a Managing Partner of STRATEGIES Public Relations, a firm that works with clients on literary and publishing development, business modeling, and public relations and marketing. Jared is also the Director of the La Jolla Writers Conference—an annual three-day immersion... Read More →

Saturday April 6, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (Room: Northwestern) 540 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA