So, I was astonished earlier this month to find myself elected president of BAIPA — the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.
You may call me Mr. President.
Born in the early, heady days of the desktop publishing revolution, BAIPA is a wonderful collection of folks involved in various parts of the non-corporate end of the publishing industry who get together to swap knowledge and offer services and listen to expert speakers give information about the esoterica of the publishing craft. We’ve got authors, editors, designers, publicists — if it’s got to do with the creation of books (in whatever form) and their sale, there’s someone there who can help. The collective is capable of creating books that are every bit as polished and attractive as those put out by the Big Five publishers. (Is it still five, by the way?)
I’ve learned a lot at BAIPA meetings. I’d like to think I’ve also managed to share some helpful information.
Meetings always start off with a free-form Q&A session. It gives people the chance to ask whatever burning question they may have up front; the BAIPA hivemind then sets about answering the question.
A few weeks ago, at the first meeting that I ran as president, no one had any questions to ask up front. This sometimes happens, so I threw out a question that I hoped would spark some interesting conversation: What exactly is an independent publisher? Continue reading What’s an Independent Publisher?