Monday, April 7, 2014

10 Things I Learned at the Independent Publishers of New England Conference

"The Website in the Stream" with Jeremy Allmendinger, 
Alison Atondo and Sarah Frazier, of Champlain College
Publishing Initiative.
I attended the Independent Publishers of New England Conference in Southbridge, Massachusetts this weekend. IPNE is a nonprofit with members in the publishing field: publishers, authors and others that support the publishing trade. One part of IPNE's mission is provide opportunities for education and networking for those engaged in independent book publishing and related activities in the six New England states. This event was particularly successful in that goal. I decided last week to use this week's blog to describe ten things I learned at the IPNE annual conference.
They were:
Islands of Time by Barbara Lawrence
  Literary Fiction Book Award
1. That Islands of Time by Barbara Kent Lawrence was a finalist in the category of Literary Fiction in IPNE's first annual book award contest. With great reviews and outstanding reader comments, the book deserved to be in the final round.
2. That no book should be without a website. Many of my authors have websites but a few do not and I'm going to work on remedying that this year. Of note would be Robert Chute's series of mysteries that deserves more readers and notice. A couple of my older titles, histories of towns, Lovewell's Town: From Howling Wilderness to Vacationland in Trust and Frontier to Industrial City: Lewiston Town Politics 1768-1863 deserve their own websites. I'll work on each of these. If an author has a website and we have a book page, that might be enough, but the workshop leaders really thought each book needed its own website.
3. A new definition for publishing: the act of making public.
4. The purpose of websites and blogs are to begin and sustain a conversation with the public.
5. Wordpress helps people find larger audiences for blogs. This was something new for me. I've seen so many ugly Wordpress sites that I thought Wordpress was something to avoid. 
6. Using an email form is better than having a link because everyone doesn't have the click on the link opening up an email compose page. Creating a "Contact Us" form makes it easier for people to connect. This helps with beginning and creating the conversation.
Maung Nyeu
7. Maung Nyeu who spoke at the conference about the importance of education. I listened to his presentation and afterwards talked with him, learning much about his childhood hiding from the military while he grew to adulthood, striving to go to college and surviving to leave his homeland to attain an education. He now lives in Harvard where he continues his education. He is working to help the children in the Chittagong Hill Tracts attain an education. Read more here:
8. Six word memoirs. I wrote mine. Poverty enlists Navy becomes Maine publisher.
9. Burlington Book Festival is according to its website: The Queen City’s annual celebration of the written word offers readings, book signings, panels, workshops, demos, family activities, and special events
featuring literary luminaries from around the world and just around the corner. I'm hoping to participate with my books and authors September 19-21, 2014. FMI:
New friends from the conference
10. This last learning was a reminder that I love people. I met colleagues in the publishing business with whom I hope to stay in contact. I can learn from them and they from me. The students from Champlain College Publishing Initiative taught me a lot about my business. It was rapid fire learning at its best. Sara Frazier, Alison Atonda, Jeremy Allmendinger talked about the next generation websites. Websites must be more than interactive they must form community. Tim Brookes and another student (I did write down his name and he was the videographer of the event) talked more about the future of websites and how to produce the next generation for publishing. I loved talking with the students. I loved their energy, their sharpness and their willingness to answer questions.

Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, publishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project—building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly:

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