IPG chief executive Bridget Shine looks back on an eventful and successful year for independent publishers and the IPG
How has 2017 been for you? For many IPG members it has been another rollercoaster of a year in publishing, with change continuing apace and opportunities and challenges presenting themselves at every turn.
It has also been characterised by independent publishers punching way above their weight and leading the way on many big issues. To take just two examples, it was nice to see reports in the last few weeks note that independent publishers are doing fine work on promoting diversity
and fostering literary fiction
. “Independent publishers… have long been weaving inclusivity into their lists,” reported the Guardian; and there’s “A flowering of new independent presses devoted to literary fiction,” according to an Arts Council England report. Independents certainly excel here: four of the last six Man Booker Prize winners, and half of the shortlisted titles, have been published by IPG members.
Independents make incredible contributions to other areas of publishing too—not least in academic, professional and specialist sectors—and there has been so much to be proud of. The winners of our 2017 Independent Publishing Awards
, led by overall Fox Williams Independent Publisher of the Year Edward Elgar Publishing, are just some of the many examples of success. That’s not to say that the year has been a bed of roses though, and issues like Brexit and Open Access, among many others, have kept everyone on their toes.
For our part, 2017 has been the IPG’s busiest ever year, and we hope we have helped members take advantage of their opportunities and tackle their challenges. As well as hosting our Spring and Autumn Conferences—both of which drew record numbers—our biggest project of the year has been the launch of the IPG Skills Hub
, our major new portal of training and professional resources. It has proved a great way of disseminating knowledge and advice, and has been very well received by many members. If you have not yet explored it we warmly encourage you to do so; you can find ideas for making the most of it here
Beyond that, we have put on more events including Quarterly Meetings and Special Interest Group dinners, taken lively collective stands to the London and Frankfurt Book Fairs, dispatched our weekly ebulletins and hosted hundreds of free job ads
. Through our many special offers and discounts
we hope we have saved members a lot of money too. One member recently told us that he has saved hundreds of pounds on one deal alone—and another that he had increased his profits by tens of thousands of pounds as a result of a chance encounter at an IPG conference.
As we enter 2018, there is a lot more for us to look forward to. Bookings for our Annual Spring Conference and entries for the Independent Publishing Awards will both open in the first week back after Christmas. After that we will be heading off to The London Book Fair and into the thick of some exciting new events—watch this space for more details. We’ll be adding more content to the IPG Skills Hub too, and addressing in particular the major changes that GDPR will bring in the spring. We'll be brokering new deals to save members even more money and time. And above all we’ll be nurturing the very special sense of community and camaraderie that so many members tell us they enjoy within the IPG.
We hope that all this gives you reason to enjoy another year with the IPG in 2018. All members should by now have received their subscription renewal forms, and we hugely appreciate your ongoing support of the IPG. It has been a pleasure to spend 2017 in the company of so many brilliant independent publishers, and we look forward to even more great times together in 2018.
Everyone at the IPG wishes you a very merry Christmas, a well-earned break and a happy and prosperous new year.