IPNE Member Blog

News - Members, feel free to contribute! Please make sure that your posts relate to independent publishing, writing, or other topics of educational interest to IPNE members. If you are unclear about what type of material to post, please contact our biog editor.
  • 20 Jan 2016 4:01 PM | Deleted user

    Book marketing is like an iceberg where bookstores are the visible tip, and special sales the unseen, larger opportunity. Sell your books in hidden markets to increase your sales, revenue and profits. 

    Review the recording from Jan 21 to talk about how you can take advantage of special sales!

  • 15 Jan 2016 3:05 PM | Deleted user
    There is a unique way to trap monkeys in the islands of the South Seas. The natives drill a small hole in a coconut, hollow it out and fill it with rice. Once a monkey puts its hand in the coconut to get the food, it cannot remove its clenched fist. Refusing to let go of their prize, the monkeys are unable to escape.


    Book publishers can get caught in a similar trap if they become conditioned to avoid risks and persist in using strategies that were successful in the past, without evaluating whether they are still relevant today. Their grasp on this comfortable feeling of security yields the same result as that of the island monkeys. Instead of duplicating past efforts, introduce new titles using a different game plan, like selling to non-bookstore buyers.

  • 05 Jan 2016 9:46 AM | Deleted user

    As you finalize your 2016 marketing plan, try writing your goals differently to find new ways to reach them. A goal to “Sell X0,000 books by December 31, 2016” places your focus on selling books. If you say “Reach net revenue of $X00,000” you expand your focus to profitably selling your content through books, booklets or other formats. And you could increase revenue through corporate sales, consulting and/or speaking.

  • 23 Dec 2015 8:38 AM | Deleted user

    Planning is like laying track for a railroad -- it establishes a solid foundation, provides a path to your destination and controls deviation. And it helps you move forward when uncontrollable events occur. But just as the track does not propel you forward, neither does your plan. Your passion and productive action provide the fuel for the engine taking you on your journey to success. Create your plan for 2016 during this relatively slow period before the end of the year so you can start the new year full steam ahead.

  • 09 Dec 2015 5:38 AM | Anonymous

    IPNE member Barking Planet just negotiated a 3-book contract with a Chinese distributor. 

    "And now, our foreign rights rep, Deanna Leah, has contacted me about a deal with Storyplayr" bubbled Barking Planet publisher Robert McCarty.  Leah is US-based and attends the London and Frankfurt book fairs. She promotes books with a better world theme. 

    McCarty has found this rep to be "knowledgeable, hard working, honest and very good to work with." There is a fee involved. If you believe in the foreign rights potential of your books, he recommends starting with HBG.

    Deanna Leah
    HBG Productions & International Publishers Alliance
    PO Box 5560 Chico CA 95927
    (530) 893-4699

  • 15 Nov 2015 1:59 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    The New England Publishing Collaboration (NEPCo) Awards, which honor excellence in publishing collaboration, were held on November 10, 2015. Judges selected three winners, and an additional Audience Choice winner was selected by online voting at the event.

    The judging panel:

    Amy Brand, Director, The MIT Press

    Sanj Kharbanda, Senior Vice President, Digital Markets, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    Sanders Kleinfeld, Director of Publishing Technology, O’Reilly Media

    Amit Shah, Executive Managing Director, Six Red Marbles


    First Place: Harvard University Press (collaborating with archives across Massachusetts)

    Second Place: Aries Systems (collaborating with Copyright Clearance Center)

    Third Place: American Meteorological Society (collaborating with Second Nature)

    Audience Choice: Kudos (collaborating with several publishers, including Emerald Group and the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery)

    Finalists described their projects live on stage in rapid-fire multimedia presentations. Live judging followed, and winners were announced at the event. Special guest Ian Condry, author of The Soul of Anime, spoke at the event: Professor Condry’s book describes the role of cross-industry collaboration in the success of anime.

    Photographs of the winners are at www.nepcoawards.com, and presentation videos will be available soon.

    About Bookbuilders of Boston: Bookbuilders is a non-profit professional group founded in 1937 to serve the needs of New Englanders working in the publishing industry. Its mission is to provide educational and networking opportunities to members, which include publishers, vendors, and individuals. For more information about Bookbuilders, visit www.bbboston.org. For more information about NEPCo, visit www.nepcoawards.com.

  • 10 Nov 2015 7:07 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    After this year's dynamic 5th Annual Conference and blitz of successful cooperative marketing events, the IPNE Board Nominating Team was so pumped that we combed through the membership list and short-listed a few folks we had met during this period who we felt could contribute most to guiding IPNE through the exciting times ahead. We continue to invite any members with experience in the independent publishing field who can collaborate creatively with other board members, to join our pool of candidates for the Board or to sign up to lead one of our Project Teams.

    The number and quality of membership benefits and  new programs we can carry out will depend on the number of Board members elected and their commitment to serving full terms of 1-3 years. Our bylaws permit 11 members on the Board of Directors, and we currently have six. Just think what we could do with you on board! 

    There will never be a better time to step up as a member of the Board of Directors or one of our key Project Teams to assist as your organization helps its members navigate the fast-changing world of publishing.

    What is expected of a Board member?

    You are not expected to "do it all" yourself. Board members choose specific areas of focus and build teams of rank-and-file members to carry out IPNE programs and fulfill our mission. A Board member's willingness and ability to reach out to members and to build and coordinate effective Project Teams will determine the amount of time and energy they will need to devote to the Board position. 

    Board members should be familiar with the Bylaws; demonstrate their commitment by paying for their own membership; attend one online board meeting per month; field incoming communications as necessary for their focus area; and attend the Annual Meeting in early December. When elected, Board members commit to a either a one, two, or three-year term of service.

    If you're not quite ready for Board service, IPNE Project Teams like Membership, Partnerships, Vendors & Sponsors, Events, Special Projects all have openings for facilitators and members.

    What do Board and Project Team members receive for service?

    We anticipate that each of you will recognize the enhanced networking and collaboration that serving as a Board member can bring, in terms of contacts with industry experts, members, and vendors. We predict you'll find that "paying it forward" with IPNE Board service will always come back around to benefit you, if you are mindful of how to appropriately leverage these opportunities. 

    In addition, after one year of completed service, Board members receive one complimentary registration for the Annual Conference. After two years of service, we add a complimentary exhibit registration for one book at NEIBA, the Boston Book Festival, or NELA; and after three or more years of service, we add complimentary exhibits for one book each at all of the "Big Three" shows. 

    We can just about guarantee Board and Project Team service will be fun, rewarding, and the work well distributed, if we all adopt the spirit of "Collaboration Is the New Competition," our IPNE theme for 2015-2016. This theme has already resonated with many members since the Conference, and was featured in a Shelf Awareness column by Conference speaker Robert Gray.

    Okay, I'm in. What's the next step?

    We hope you are able to respond to this invitation with a resounding YES!!! If so, please fill out the form, which asks you to confirm your nomination and identify your skills, passions, experience, and preferred roles. 

    The Nominating Team will begin interviewing Board nominees who accept this invitation starting on on Monday, Nov. 9, and continuing through Nov. 20. The IPNE Annual Meeting is set for Dec. 5 at 10 am in Charlestown, Mass., when in-person elections will be held, along with a yummy lunch and workshop (topic TBA). Electronic voting will start on Nov. 20 and wrap up on Dec. 4. Electronic votes will be added to the live votes cast on Dec. 5.

    The newly elected board will convene in January 2016 to elect officers. All current board members and and our merry band of seasoned IPNE volunteers will be available to get new board members up to speed so we can quickly move this dynamic organization to the next level of fabulousness!

  • 10 Nov 2015 9:10 AM | Deleted user

    Before you publish your book, think about the form in which you will deliver your content. Dunkin Donuts sells coffee for $8.99 per one-pound bag. Keurig sells coffee for $36 per pound, one K-Cup at a time. Similarly, you can deliver your content in an ebook for $4.95, in a printed book for $19.95 or through a seminar for $195 (per person).

  • 05 Nov 2015 7:57 AM | Anonymous

    In Days Gone By...Oral tales, songs, and poems reflected the lives of the people. They were stories and songs of wonder and dreams. They were told and discussed around the hearth, the marketplace, the spinning room, and in the taverns --wherever people gathered. They helped people to cope with wars, hunger, poverty and religious conflicts that characterized their lives.

    In the 16th and 17th centuries, Giambattista Basile, a Neopolitan  soldier, courtier and writer (1575-1632), collected and rewrote, in the language of ordinary people, 50 tales of wonder. They were called the Tale of Tales or the Pentamerone.   Now, for the first time, several of these tales have been adopted into a landmark Italian fairy tale film, the Tale of Tales.  -- (From our Barking Planet children's literature blog)    


  • 18 Oct 2015 11:01 AM | Deleted user

    It is our pleasure to highlight IPNE member and children's author Elizabeth Lorayne for this edition of Learn from Your Peers. Elizabeth will be at the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 24th for an IPNE author signing event

    When did you know you were a writer?

    I think my personal acknowledgment that I am a writer came from realizing that I tend to communicate better through writing and that my desire to then share those thoughts, stories, characters, and visuals was truly a part of who I am. I have been writing since childhood, often stories inspired by dreams. As I got older, I took to journaling and writing poetry as ways to express myself. My writing abilities became more refined through numerous writing courses in high school and college and just simply with practice.

    Writing haiku, as how I’ve written the book, came from a need to get back to being creative. At the time I started writing haiku, my daughter was six months old and we were deep in an all-consuming house restoration. There was no real access, time or energy for my usual art — collage and printmaking. I had started a blog and through the Wordpress community I was reconnected with haiku. I researched the traditional forms of haiku, how they are usually about nature and have a surprise twist or ending. From there, I let myself play and experiment.

    What does your writing process look like?

    That really depends on what kind of writing I’m working on, but in general my process includes quieting my mind and not overthinking — just writing. For the haiku in The Adventures of Piratess Tilly, I have found that for the more educational pieces, simple information or visual references are more than enough for me to create the haiku. As for the pieces I’ve created on my own, I simply interweave bits of my own childhood and younger self into the overall story. One of the reasons I feel the haiku works so well for a children’s picture book is because it can be descriptive and yet open ended. It gives the reader and audience a great deal of room for their own imagination even alongside the beautiful artwork. It gives the reader their own sense of involvement and I love that!

    Tell us about your book, The Adventures of Piratess Tilly.

    The Adventures of Piratess Tilly follows a young adventurous and compassionate girl, Tilly, on her sailing quest to document the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. Her crew consists of seven orphaned boys from around the world and her best friend Yuki, a koala she rescued in Australia. As budding naturalists they spend their time on the ship reading Charles Darwin, sketching, painting, and documenting their nature finds. Once they arrive, they see the beautiful landscape and spot several animals. They even come upon pirates! And those pirates just happen to be smuggling baby Giant Tortoises. So of course Piratess Tilly, Yuki, and the brothers create a plan to rescue them and return them to their family!

    The story was greatly inspired by my upbringing: bike riding, boating, and exploring the shorelines of the Pacific Northwest, as well as from studying primatology, and anthropology as a young adult.

    And once I had a daughter, I realized how much I wanted to create and share a strong, independent, curious, intelligent, and compassionate female lead. I wanted my daughter to grow up reading about a young female captain, who was intelligent and perfectly capable of adventure and leadership. And this is certainly not the last story with Piratess Tilly! I have finished writing the second book and have begun the illustration process with Karen Watson. We have all set sail for Easter Island! So please stay tuned!

    Why did you choose to self-publish?

    I primarily chose to self-publish because I wanted full control over the book. I wanted to find the illustrator myself and work with her closely. I also wanted to build my own publishing company in hopes expanding one day to include publishing other girl-empowering works by women. I suppose I’ve always been someone who never fit the mold and I knew that what I had created was out of the norm, and therefore to me, that much more worthy of publishing it myself.

    What roadblocks or obstacles did you face?

    I think the actual book production was the biggest obstacle. I wanted to print in the U.S.A, but the costs were prohibitive for what I wanted with my book: hardcover with dust-jacket, offset printing, 32 pages, 8 1/2” by 11 size, and a smaller run.

    How do you balance being a mom with writing and promoting a book?

    Honestly, I’m not really sure. I somehow get a lot accomplished in several two minute increments throughout the day! My daughter is now just over three years old so she is attending a morning program, which allows me the focused time I need for promotion, research, writing blog posts, or creating the graphics for postcards and social media posts. I’ve found though, that if I’m in haiku writing mode, I tend to be very distracted for those few days; however meals always need to be made and everyday life still goes by regardless. I allow for those everyday routines to give my mind time to mull over ideas. It all seems to work out in the end and everyone gets what they need!

    Other than IPNE, what are some other valuable resources for children's authors and publishers?

    I became a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators right away when I felt my story was ready and that I was serious about publication. They are a fabulous organization and I highly recommend joining. They have bicoastal and regional conferences as well as meet-ups and online forums. It was through them that I found the illustrator, Karen Watson!

    I also suggest taking a class on writing for children. It isn’t as easy as people tend to first believe. Having an understanding of those guidelines is definitely helpful. I had taken a course in college on writing for young adults. Although that isn’t the same as picture book writing, it still helped me.

    How did you choose the illustrations for your book? How did you structure your working relationship with the illustrator?

    Working with Karen Watson was absolutely wonderful! I gave her written descriptions of how I wanted each page. She not only executed my ideas perfectly, she also added so much fine detail and on a particular page I was stuck on, she came up with a wonderful setting. As I had never done this before, Karen guided me through her own process. I loved getting an email with several pages worth of initial sketches, then line drawings, and finally the finished painted pages. Her work is both meticulous and whimsical, which is perfect for Piratess Tilly, who is studious and fun-loving!

    What advice do you have for other indie publishers? How can we find your book?

    Don’t give up! If you believe in your book and what you’ve created gives you a sense of pride, then do whatever you can to get it into the hands of readers and supporters. Also, be creative with marketing, think outside of the box. For instance, I donated a few books to the Galapagos Conservancy, where the proceeds will go to benefitting their many programs. Not only does that tie into the book, it supports something important and there is no saying what that relationship will become. Also take chances! No matter how nervous I was, I sent The Adventures of Piratess Tilly for a Kirkus Review and was overwhelmingly relieved they understood and appreciated the book! Because of that I felt confident to send the book to Publishers Weekly and got another good review. I believed in the book and the overall product of what was created! Go for it!

    You can find The Adventures of Piratess Tilly on the book’s website: http://piratesstilly.com and on Amazon. Feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or the blog for more updates on local stores and more sites. 

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