October 2017 CIPA President’s Letter


By: Alexandra O’Connell

At the end of last week, CIPA members mingled with independent booksellers, exhibitors, and sales reps from the mountain west and nationwide at the Mountains and Plains Fall Discovery Show. CIPA had two tables at this year’s event and featured the books of 41 of our members in the Book Showcase, as well as eight authors at featured author signings through the Author Showcase.
Independent authors and publishers ask over and over again how to get their books into bookstores—actual brick and mortar establishments that are looking for quality independently published books. Trade shows such as Mountains and Plains are one answer. Our participating members interacted directly with bookstore decision makers and received on-the-spot feedback on what these sellers were looking to represent in the marketplace. This knowledge is invaluable! We at CIPA are excited to continue to offer our members such opportunities to increase their publishing success.

Speaking of success, this coming Saturday we are hosting a panel of current and former CIPA members who will share with us how they have gone about achieving success in the indie marketplace. I am excited to learn more about how Dom Testa, Elaine Dumler, Dr. Jeff Wells, and Mark Graham leveraged their experience, book topics, and different publishing strategies to break out, and I hope all of you will join me. Each of our four panelists has pursued different strategies, and there is sure to be actionable information for all of us.

Many of you have reached out in recent weeks asking how you can get more involved with CIPA. I love the enthusiasm I see in this group. Ways in which you can help us include:

  • joining the Board and being part of the discussion to lead our organization to the next level. We currently are looking for a dedicated Secretary and members to help with programs, which include our monthly meetings as well as other opportunities, and ideas you have that would benefit our members.
  • being part of the team that supports the 2018 CIPA EVVYs. We are already planning for our event next year, and we need members who can help with communications, shipping and managing books, judging, and more.
  • sharing information about CIPA with your networks, especially authors and others thinking about independent publishing and unsure where to start. CIPA is on Facebook, Twitter, Meetup, and LinkedIn—share us on the platform that you love best.

Email me at president@cipabooks.com or contact any of the Board members to get involved!

Plus, stay tuned for our next meeting in November, where we will welcome Len Vlahos and the Tattered Cover to talk to our community about what bookstores look for in accepting independently published books, and the best ways to connect with independent bookstores beyond Mountains and Plains.

To your success! See you on Saturday.

About Alexandra O’Connell

Alexandra O’Connell is Your Resident Wordsmith, a book editor and writing coach. She helps self-published authors create books that are engaging and editorially beautiful. Find her at www.alexoconnell.com.

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