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.
  • 05 Oct 2016 5:52 AM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    The Frankfurt Book Fair is the world's largest and most important publishing event with 7,100 exhibitors from over 100 countries, 270,000 visitors + 9,300 journalists and bloggers in attendance last year.  Displaying your book at Foreword's Independent Press Collective Stand is a smart way to get it on the radar of foreign rights agents and publishers who will be meeting us for appointments and/or browsing titles on the show floor.  

    By exhibiting in the Foreword cooperative booth, your titles stand to generate rights interest from any number of publishers (typically, a foreign rights deal includes a non-refundable advance and a royalty rate of 7–8%). So, with no out of pocket expense—except for the exhibit fee to have your title displayed at the Foreword booth—you stand to earn an unexpected windfall.  Representatives from Foreword will direct visiting agents and reps to the appropriate shelves (books are arranged by genre) and collect business cards/contact information when interest in a certain title is expressed.  Foreword will then pass on the contact info to the corresponding publisher or author.  One of the additional benefits is a lifetime listing for your book in Foreword's online Rights Catalog, a valuable resource before and long after the show doors close.  

    The per title exhibit fee is usually $215 - we're inviting IPNE members to take $25 off, so $190.  As the buchmesse is in just two weeks, reservations are due ASAP and 1 copy of each title (plus three copies of your sell sheet) are due by October 12th at the latest.  Simply click here to register then paste this discount code in at checkout: ibpa25

    Please contact stacy@forewordreviews.com with any questions, or if you need help during the registration process.  

  • 16 Sep 2016 9:43 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    Great news! 

    IPNE members are eligible to apply for IBPA's 2017 Publishing University scholarships, and CEO Angela Bole just let us know that the application process is now open.

    IBPA supports at least one winner from each affiliate in 2017...a great chance to meet fellow publishers from around the country!


  • 03 Sep 2016 10:02 AM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    Oops, it seems we "forgot" to turn off the IPNE Conference Summer Flash Sale (http://ipne.org/event-2029799) before we hit the road for the Labor Day weekend. It was due to expire Friday.


    That means anyone who registers for the Conference by the end of the day on Sept 6 still gets a great deal; and we even made it easier for you to bring along a colleague or spouse!

    So we encourage you to take this opportunity to invigorate your publishing at IPNE's 6th Annual New England Publishing Conference on Oct 21-22 in Portsmouth, NH! 

    At #IPNE16, you'll find interactive workshops, pithy panels, lively roundtables, and fascinating keynotes by industry experts like famed Boston publisher David Godine, IBPA's Angela Bole, and Endangered Alphabets' Tim Brookes & Maung Nyeu. And the networking with other indie publishers and authors will inspire and sustain you.

    But keep it to yourself, lol! And remember to register by Sept 6 at http://ipne.org/event-2029799 !

    Charlotte Pierce
    IPNE president

  • 27 Aug 2016 9:44 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    Wow, with all the book show and conference registrations flowing in (thank you!) the questions are coming thick and fast! We really try to respond quickly, but keep in mind there are a few self-serve ways to get answers if it's Saturday night and your valiant volunteer IPNE project team members are out with their families!

    1. A good share of the answers can be found by re-reading the event details and confirmation emails that you might have missed (we all do). Search is your friend! We're also continually updating the events in response to queries. If there's an error in the event description, we'll correct it as soon as possible.
    2. Post your question on the Member Forum (ipne.org/forum) where the answer will benefit others. The amazing Lisa is building an FAQ based on questions that appear there; coming soon. And always, feel free to make a suggestion about how the process could work better.
    3. Remember, you can usually find a knowledgeable team member on IPNE's daily Office Hours at 10 am. Click the permanent link (https://goo.gl/vinXlF) to join by webcam and/or audio. Still in your PJ's? Call 1-585-632-4805, and enter pin 39125 to join the conference call by phone! Try to RSVP if you can so we can ping you when we come on the conference line.
    4. If all else fails, post your question on Twitter @IPNE, or on this Facebook group or our Facebook page.
    5. We don't have paid staff  24/7, but we want to make sure everything is clear within a reasonable time. If all else fails, please do email or call, no worries.

    We  hope this helps you find the help you need! The way we look at it, you *are* IPNE, and your participation in the events is a huge vote of confidence. IPNE is gradually upgrading and standardizing systems so there is more clarity around event registrations. so please bear with us - and lend a hand if you can! Sign up at IPNE.org/Teams to "be the IPNE you seek" - and thanks again!

  • 26 Aug 2016 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    This philosophical question had been nagging me for the 15 years that it took me to research and write my novel.  The ubiquitous "they" say that one should know one's audience.  Well, I wrote this novel for myself. I was tired of not seeing characters like mine. I was tired of publishers ignoring people like me. I was tired of reading characters whose identities are wrapped up more in their accoutrements and wealth. Wealth is not a bad thing, mind you. But not all of us live with it. 

    I wanted to create a black female character who is inherently proud of her blackness, but who is also aware of the fact that she is a minority in a country that extols whiteness. She is not bitter about it.  Lula Logan lives her life. She does the best she can to achieve in her chosen field, forensic anthropology, and has dedicated herself to learning her craft. She is a professional. She is not arrogant about her knowledge. She is comfortable with herself.  Period.  Unlike so many female protagonists (of all races) nowadays, who are awash in aspirational upper-income trappings of owning designer-labeled this and that, Lula doesn't equate her worth with what she owns, and, like most women, appreciates fashion, in her own style. She doesn't subscribe to fashion magazines, as she has no time for that.  She likes attending concerts, listens to music of all kinds, and usually has it playing in the background. She is a quiet intellectual.

    Lula Logan is navigating through life alone, in search of the right partner, but not letting the world stop for lack of a soul mate.  She has dated different men, preferably of her race, but has not succumbed to an Afrocentrism that prevents her from seeing the merits of men from other backgrounds.  She lived in Oakland, growing up, but went to majority white colleges and universities.

    Lula is a university professor at a majority white college, and works in a small rural town doing slave burial research in an open field where she works in a solitary atmosphere. She has few friends where she lives, as the town, though interracial, is segregated, and has not met people of her educational background.  She doesn't live a life of quiet desperation, but she's also waiting for something.  Her boyfriend is a Creole police officer with whom she has a comfortable relationship; the chemistry is there, but she questions whether the relationship is going anywhere.  

    As far as protagonists are concerned, she prefers to blend in rather than draw attention to herself. She is strong in her resolve, but not dictatorial. She's not angry, disillusioned, or unhappy.  She's living her life on her own terms. My quest was to create a character that eschews the negative stereotypes of the "boss bitch," "the temptress," "the monstrous hellion," in books that make it to the shelves for Black masses quicker than you can say, "urban fiction." As my earlier blog post discussed the issue, I'm not totally dismissing rap, hip hop, or urban fiction as sources of entertainment, but not all Black writers can successfully write the urban fiction genres,  nor do we want to contribute to their already crowded shelves. 

    That's the back story of my character.  But that's not the novel's plot.

    The novel is about a scientist whose work entangles her in the intersecting quirky worlds of macho police officers, wealthy eccentrics, and struggling working-class inhabitants in real town America-- who are trying to live their small town normal lives as well as they can.  I like to think that I am writing about real people, living in real time. 

    So, here's my dilemma: does creating a black protagonist seal the deal in putting me on the shelf among other black writers?  I ask this, rhetorically, because when I read my first Alex Cross mystery, I swore that James Patterson, the author, was Black (although a couple of phrases or explanations didn't exactly jibe with me).  Does the fact that the famous author is not Black give him "cultural waiver" that allows him to be considered merely a "novelist?" I asked the question on a website for independent writers and was pilloried for race-baiting (I thought I was opening up a discussion from which I could learn, too, actually). I do think it's an interesting question, nevertheless.  I also asked whether it was best to get a Black agent for my novel about a Black protagonist. The answers were that I should. Yet, again, I wonder if James Patterson has a black agent. 

    Don't get it twisted. I am not running from my own Black race in asking this question. I hope that my Black brethren voraciously consume what I have to say. But the story that needs to be read need not only be read by Black people. We know our Black lives. We live them.

    I wonder aloud if my quandary will be resolved once I decide whether to label it crime fiction or a mystery (I've yet to discern the difference between the two genres). I have a hint, however. In doing research about the labeling of Black writers, of course, the most famous Black mystery writer around, comes to mind: Walter Mosley.  Mosley is half-Black and half-Jewish (the latter of which was news to me), surely an asset to both groups to which he belongs. But even Wikipedia explained the dilemma of on what shelf to put him:
    In 2010, there was a debate in academic literary circles as to whether Mosley's work should be consideredJewish literature. Similar debate has occurred as to whether he should be described as a black author, given his status as a best-selling writer. Mosley has said that he prefers to be called a novelist. He explains his desire to write about "black male heroes" saying "hardly anybody in America has written about black male heroes... There are black male protagonists and black male supporting characters, but nobody else writes about black male heroes.”[8]
    Even Time Magazine had to give him his due that he belonged to a hallowed category of ethnic writer's whose work "transcends category and qualifies as serious literature." I know it's a compliment, but it speaks volumes, essentially, saying, "Even though he's Black, we accept him as one of us." Which is offensive.  I've heard no Black critics exclaim that "Alex Cross has crossed the line to become Black like us." Can we not be Americans of different persuasions, without meeting a litmus test for acceptability because some of us might be ethnically different than the rest of our writing breed?  

    “A writer whose work transcends category and qualifies as serious - See more at: http://www.waltermosley.com/#sthash.07Fs8BRO.dpuf
    “A writer whose work transcends category and qualifies as serious - See more at: http://www.waltermosley.com/#sthash.07Fs8BRO.dpuf
    “A writer whose work transcends category and qualifies as serious - See more at: http://www.waltermosley.com/#sthash.07Fs8BRO.dpuf
    “A writer whose work transcends category and qualifies as serious
    I am neither a journalist nor a professor; such  cache that would give me entree as an author worth of serious consideration.  So what happens to novice Black writers? How can we appeal to a larger audience? Do we sit on a shelf and hope a non-Black person walks by, or must we wait for Black celebrity status to be considered noteworthy for the masses?  I suspect that my literary identifier will become, like for most of my race, my pigmentation, rather than my strengths as a writer.  Other than being a descendant of slaves, slave-owners, and a half-Irish, half-Native American great-great grandmother whom I never met, I, like so many other Black Americans, are the amalgam of slave ownerships through the centuries, of forced sex, abuse of power, and perverse desire stigmatized by history's transgressions. But we're trying to live in the now.  That's what I write about. The now of being an educated Black woman in America.  The living day to day. 

    I am pretty sure that I won't have a photo on my ebook or hardback cover, because I don't think my face will sell novels.  Furthermore, my novel's jacket will likely not show colorful people or African mosaics publishers like to use as the code for "ethnic"--so you'll just have to keep your eye out for my title, I guess.  I might lose readers. But it's more important to me not to pander to the racial definition of what book is or is not shelf-worthy--merely based upon my pigmentation.

    Don't get me wrong. I am going to be marketing the hell out of this book to a largely Black American audience and will welcome any attention my own people give to my writing. But the question still stands: can an intelligent writer "of color" get equal footing in America as a writer without waiting for a green light by Whites? Do white people visit the ghettos of the Black shelves in bookstores? Especially if you are not Black, share your thoughts. You will not be pilloried for your thoughtful answers.

    I was invited to re-publish this blog post that I wrote in January 2015 for IPNE readers. I appreciate Charlotte's interest in the topic.

  • 21 Aug 2016 3:42 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    IPNE Membership Benefits

    • NEW! FOREWORD REVIEWS: Click here for a full list of member discounts from ForeWord Reviews, including ALA representation, review services, and more!
    • CO-OP MARKETING: IPNE members receive special rates for exhibiting at regional trade shows and conferences.  See our events page for upcoming shows.
    • PRIORITY BOOKING on IPNE's live-streaming Face The Book TV and weekly Ask the Experts.
    • IBPA DISCOUNT, receive a $30 discount off the Independent Book Publishers Association membership -  just for belonging to IPNE. Click here to visit IBPA's website and see their various membership fees.
    • APSS DISCOUNT: You save $35 off of the standard $115 annual membership fee, and pay only $80 annually. Click here to visit the site for the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS), headed by former IPNE board member Brian Jud.
    • MEMBER PROFILE: List your company in our online directory, and link to your web site, blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Keep your profile up-to-date here.
    • NEWSLETTER: The IPNE quarterly newsletter keeps you abreast of all the latest IPNE developments, including new vendor discounts, reports on book shows and regional gatherings. Members are invited to contribute to the newsletter by posting on the blog.
    • ANNOUNCEMENT LIST: Receive IPNE exclusives and breaking news from the publishing world. Send an email to talktous@ipne.org with "Please add me to the Announcement list" in the subject line.
    • EDUCATION: IPNE hosts regular publishing workshops and presentations and other meetings and events. Members get in free or receive a discount, depending on the speaker fee and other costs. This is about you - feel free to propose a topic for an expert or yourself to share live or online with IPNE members!
    • GUEST BLOGGING PRIVILEGES: Contribute to the IPNE blog and discussion groups and increase  your visibility! IPNE will amplify your message through its social media platforms.
    • AFFILIATIONS: Enjoy representation and advantages through IPNE’s official affiliations with Independent Book Publishers Association, and many other regional and national organizations and groups
    • AND MORE! When you join the Independent Publishers of New Englandyou learn what you need to know about the business, meet new business contacts, and make new friends!
    • TIME TO JOIN? >> Click here to access the online application form.

  • 21 Aug 2016 8:28 AM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)
    IPNE members - did you know you have an IPNE profile that exists to help you make the most out of your membership? There are public, members-only, and admin-only sections.

    An accurate and up-to-date profile (HINT) is the most effective kind. 

    Here's a few of the ways that IPNE uses the information in your profile.

    • To create exhibitor catalog inserts when you exhibit with IPNE at book shows;
    • To add you to our lists on social media (photo) and amplify your postings;
    • To contact you when we have questions about your books or account;
    • To refer you to clients and readers based on your listed skills and genres;
    • To include you in our Featured Members rotation on our website;
    And while you're at it, take a tour of your other social media profiles to make sure they reflect your IPNE membership!
  • 28 Jul 2016 4:07 PM | Deleted user

         E-commerce is changing the way we shop.  And nowhere is this more evident than the subscription box craze.  With minimal effort, one can find a subscription box service for any niche market.  Dog moms, doomsday preppers, chocolate fiends, expectant mothers, teachers, artists, motorcycle enthusiasts, crafters, sailers, and… book lovers.  Each month, fans of every genre pay to have beautifully wrapped, book-themed boxes delivered to their front doors.  And the subscriber base is growing every single month.

         As these companies strive to fill their boxes with fresh writing and rare book-themed gifts, indie publishers find themselves with a unique opportunity: a direct line to an already existing genre-loyal market base.  By partnering with subscription box companies like Uppercase, the Dark Book Club, and Owl Crate, indie publishers can expand their reach with minimal costs.  These companies pride themselves (and sometimes stake their reputations on) their ability to discover new goods and talents.  Most of them welcome unsolicited pitches.

         To increase your odds of forming a successful partnership, create a pitch that offers something special.  Offer signed or limited edition copies, or consider throwing in bookish extras like author notes, bookmarks, or free ebook downloads.  Or even create a box of your own.  

  • 17 Jul 2016 10:51 PM | Anonymous
    Boston hosts three major speculative fiction-related cons every year—Arisia in January, Boskone in February, and Readercon in July. They are all annual celebrations of SF, fantasy, horror, and slipstream. Of the three, Readercon is the more ‘academic’ in that most of the panels discuss literary or scientific aspects of the field, rather than fan-based and media material.

    This is a series of tweets I made after returning from Readercon. This is the fourth year I’ve been invited to attend Readercon as a guest and consider it an honor.


    Some thoughts re #Readercon & diversity. This was my 4th & there were definitely more POC attendees & panelists 1/

    But there was too little diversity on any of the panels I was on. Mostly white faces on stage. 2/

    There seemed to be more gender balance on panels than in the past, which is good, but not enough. 3/

    I though the mods on my panels all did a good job - I didn't experience any 'splaining where I have in the past. 4/

    I was grateful for an audience member for talking about race & the female protag. The panel would have been richer w/a WOC on it. 5/

    I felt uncomfortable at the omission, though I had nothing to do with org the con. The way panels are staffed may need to be changed 6/

    #Readercon panels are chosen thru guests given a HUGE questionnaire to fill out. I think it ends up being a self-selection process BUT 7/

    I have no idea who gets invited, but it makes sense if more POC were on the list, there would be a greater representation on more panels. 8/

    Which leads to richer conversations & more consideration of intersectionality & how that affects SF&F. #Readercon 9/

    I appreciated the diversity of views & comments in the panels I participated in, but it wasn't enough. #Readercon needs more. 10/10

    And if that means I'm not on program next year in favor of a POC, that's more than OK. #Readercon#Diversity makes it better for all. 11/10

    Over the past four years, I’ve definitely seen a greater focus on diversity in the invited faculty and on the individual panels. In past years, I have been on and been in the audience for panels where a majority of white male panelists monopolized conversations. I think it’s a holdover from when SF was very much a man’s world. In addition, panel moderation is a challenging skill, especially when there may not be much pre-planning among panelists.

    This year, there was significantly greater gender balance on the panels I took part in and the moderation on those panels was more effective than it has been in the past. Conversations were richer and included more voices. I know Readercon has done a lot to give moderators resources and information on their roles.

    And while there was more diversity among attendees this year, it didn’t seem to translate to diversity on panels.

    One of the roles of speculative fiction is to focus a lens on what our society is struggling with currently. There is no doubt that identity is an issue that is defining our time. There is no greater example of this than examining the Nebula award winners for this year. Nearly all the winners of this prestigious award were woman, including women of color and LGBT women. And many of the stories touch on issues of feminism, racism, and the intersection of gender roles, gender identity, and society.

    If speculative fiction itself is changing, then so must the conferences and conventions that celebrate it. As I said in one of the final tweets, diversity of voices, opinions, and experiences will make the discussions richer for all of us and help shape the speculative fiction of the next century.

    So, would I recommend attending Readercon? Absolutely. Without hesitation. Panels I participated in included discussions of futurism’s blind spots, why women become protagonists, whether humans will colonize Mars, and what one book would I save from an apocalypse. There were panels on tired tropes in genre fiction, a short story clinic for the novelist, dystopias and utopias, how language influences thought, the SF of human biology and many, many more. In addition there were readings and intimate coffee hours with writers. If you are a writer of speculative fiction or a reader/fan of the genre, attending Readercon (and any of the other area cons) can be a feast for the imagination.

    Given the changes I’ve seen over the past 4 years, I suspect that future years will include more diverse voices and a greater awareness of the importance of those voices.

    LJ Cohen is a novelist, poet, blogger, ceramics artist, & relentless optimist. After 25 years as a physical therapist, LJ now uses her clinical skills to injure characters in SF&F novels. She lives outside of Boston. Her 6th novel, the 3rd book in her Halcyone Space series, Dreadnought And Shuttle, was published in June, 2016. LJ is a member of SFWA (The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and Broad Universe. http://www.ljcohen.net contact: Lisa@ljcohen.net

  • 08 Jul 2016 12:13 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    IPNE membership pays for itself when members get involved and take advantage of their benefits. Now, we've also set up a way for you to actually earn back your membership fee!
    Please use the Member Forum to log activities performed on behalf of IPNE. Hours logged will be applied toward IPNE membership credits and other rewards!

    Examples of relevant activities:

    • reviews of members' books on your blog and social media
    • promotion of IPNE activities on your blog and social media
    • production crew for Office Hours, Ask the Experts, or Face The Book TV
    • participation in Project Teams
    • volunteer staffing at cooperative book exhibits
    • more to be announced!

    REQUIREMENTS: Membership rewards are activated after 3 consecutive months of service, and you must be a current, active member at the time of service. Board members are not eligible; their rewards are intangible! 

    REWARDS: 12 hours= 3 months membership extension; 24 hours=6 months; 48 hours=9 months. The primary coordinator for each major book show receives complimentary exhibit for up to 2 books, plus expenses according to a budget submitted in advance.  Please let us know when you are eligible!

    Because book show exhibit fees are one of IPNE's main revenue sources, we cannot grant complimentary exhibiting to anyone other than the primary coordinator at a show. 

    PLEASE NOTE: This is a pilot program and logging is on the honor system. Please include any relevant links to blogs, websites, where IPNE is mentioned. Thanks for proving that "COLLABORATION IS THE NEW COMPETITION."


    Here's a format you can use for entering hours. Just copy the table and paste into a new reply on the relevant Forum topic:

    Date  Task  Link (if available)  Hours
     7/5/2016  NELA Registration  nelib.org 2
       Event materials assembly  ipne.org 1
       Office Hours participation  ipne.org/ipnelive 1
     7/8/2016 Website maintenance   ipne.org/forum  1

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