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Farewell to 2018
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Posted by IPG
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine looks back on another busy year for independent publishers and the IPG
As we draw towards the end of 2018, we hope it has been a successful and enjoyable year in independent publishing for IPG members.
From where we stand, our sector leaves 2018 in very good health. Independents have punched way above their weight throughout the year, and have contributed enormously to the UK’s cultural, social and academic diversity. There have been challenges too, of course—not least relating to Brexit, the consequences of which will be a major concern as we start 2019; and, for academic publishers, issues around Open Access and Plan S. But from the bestseller lists down to the most specialist of markets, we have seen an incredible variety of passionate, ambitious and successful publishing.
This strength is evident right across the IPG’s membership, which has just reached a new high of 650 companies. As we noted at the time, the pioneering independent publishers who founded the IPG could never have imagined that we would one day embrace so many members, nor such a diversity of output. New companies continue to pour into independent publishing, and it is a huge pleasure to see them grow and become active members of the IPG.
We hope that our record membership also reflects the many benefits of belonging to the IPG. It has been our busiest year yet, with our Spring Conference and Autumn Conference both bigger than ever before. Our other highlights have included the growth of the IPG Skills Hub into a rich source of training and professional resources, and hosting dozens of members on our collective stands at the London and Frankfurt Book Fairs. Alongside all our ongoing services like special offers, Special Interest Groups and weekly ebulletins, we hope that we have provided good value for membership in 2018, and given you cause to enjoy another year with the IPG in 2019.
The vibrancy of independent publishing at the moment was recognised this week by The Bookseller, with the introduction of a new Small Press of The Year Award from 2019. As The Bookseller’s editor Philip Jones said: “There has been an explosion of independent publishing across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland in recent years… We are delighted to not only recognise this, but also to throw much-needed light on the many authors and books that are now in play thanks to the hard work of these publishers.”
We are delighted that smaller IPG members have this extra opportunity to raise their profile, alongside our own Independent Publishing Awards—entries for which will open promptly in the new year. We hope you will make your submissions one of your first jobs of 2019, and help us to start the year as we mean to go on: by celebrating success.
The IPG team wish you a very happy Christmas, a well-earned break and a prosperous new year.

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