IPG members tell us what they are looking forward to most at the IPG Autumn Conference on 19 September
Jonathan Harris, IPG President and Autumn Conference Chair
It's been my pleasure as IPG President to chair the IPG Autumn Conference for the last two years, and I'm really looking forward to doing so again this year. The Autumn Conference has developed a great reputation as an opportunity for independent publishers to learn, to think and to network, all with the single aim of enabling us to do better business. The central London venue is accessible and welcoming, the programme is always packed and ranges from inspirational contributions from outside publishing to success stories and practical workshops from IPG members, and the number of delegates has grown significantly in the last couple of years, so it's also a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new people.
This year I'm particularly looking forward to our keynote speaker, Richard Huntington from Saatchi & Saatchi on branding, and to some of the breakout sessions such as Di Speirs from Radio 4 on getting your books on the radio, or IPG Patron Martin Woodhead on governance. And we'll be welcoming 30 independent booksellers to the conference, an IPG first, which will give us a unique opportunity to share experiences with some of our bookselling partners.
Sam Hutchinson, bsmall
I’m especially looking forward to meeting the independent booksellers and talking to them about their relationship with their customers and how we can work more closely with them to promote our own books. As an independent publisher working from home, I’m most excited about getting out of the house and networking with my fellow passionate publishers!
Katie Caunt, Carcanet Press
I’m looking forward to the sessions geared towards marketing and publicity: the case study of publishing excellence with Tim Williams, and the sessions on selling more books through newspapers and getting your books on the radio. I’m currently trying to break the mould in terms of the way we think about marketing here at Carcanet, and there are so many innovative and creative things we could be doing to push our brand and rake in new audiences—so I’m looking forward to being inspired by the sessions focussed on those topics.
Lesley Crooks, Allison & Busby
The keynote and breakout session on publishing excellence both reference building brands, so insights on that will be very interesting. I’m hoping to get some fresh ideas from speakers including Facebook’s Ed Couchman, and looking forward to the general rejuvenation that often follows IPG gatherings!
Philip Tatham, Monsoon Books
As a new IPG member, I'm looking forward to my first IPG conference, especially meeting IPG staff and other publishers. Monsoon Books has been publishing fiction and narrative non-fiction for 15 years out of Singapore, but we are newcomers to the UK scene so I am keen to learn the issues faced by independent booksellers at the conference, as well as attending breakout sessions on selling more through newspapers and getting books onto radio.
Ivan O’Brien, The O’Brien Press
I’m really looking forward to meeting independent booksellers, something it’s difficult for us to do directly, no matter how good our sales forces are. Martin Woodhead is experienced and wise, so I am confident there will be some pearls of wisdom in his session on corporate governance: an unsexy but critical part of any business, particularly an arts business!
John Hudson, Historic England
I always enjoy the case studies from other publishers at IPG events, particularly when they are relevant to our own publishing, so I’m looking forward to hearing Tim Williams of Edward Elgar Publishing. As they are Independent Publisher of the Year I’ll have my ears peeled and be genuflecting at the same time, which may be anatomically challenging. Mandy Hill’s presentation on change in academic publishing is another I’ll be aiming to catch.
I always come away from IPG conferences revitalised and with a load of new ideas, and reminded of how fortunate we are to work in this industry, and in the independent sector. I’m pleased that some of my colleagues will be attending too – as we’re based outside London some of us can miss out on these things, but it’s always worth making the trip when we can.
Priscilla Hannaford, Brilliant Publications
I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends and networking at the Autumn Conference. At IPG events, I always find the coffee breaks and lunch as beneficial as all scheduled sessions. Having said that, there is a great line-up of speakers for this year’s Autumn Conference. I am particularly looking forward to hearing Diane Glass speaking about educational publishers can grow their sales to overseas schools. I am also looking forward to Ed Couchman sharing his tips for marketing on Facebook.
Alison Shaw, Bristol University Press
The best one day conference in the publishing calendar!
The IPG Autumn Conference takes place on Tuesday 19 September. For the full programme and bookings, click here