Publishing University

Book Publishers Northwest News recommends Independent Book Publishers Association for those seeking a larger national group of independent publishers. For many years, IBPA has provided scholarships for independent publishers seeking to learn more about the business. Look for information about applications for next year’s scholarship in the fall.

More On Publishing University

From a Northwest scholarship recipient.

Tidbits and Tricks for an Old Dog, or The Best Lessons I Learned at Publishing University

by MaryAnn F. Kohl

If prizes besides the Benjamin Franklin Awards had been given at IBPA’s 2011 Publishing University, I would have won for “Publisher With The Most Questions.” After 26 years as a profitable confident publisher, I feel like an old dog learning more than a few new tricks. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this wide-eyed “huh?” feeling; I witnessed the glazed looks in the eyes of more than a few publishers like me.

With the explosion of e-books and everything digital, I learned a lot of other tricks.

And Now …

The IBPA Publishing University is many things to many people, including us old dogs. The highlight of this gathering for me was being with colleagues and our best tricks and ones that need reworking. The tricks I learned at IBPA University offered me a mind-blowing awareness of the e-book revolution and everything digital.

To follow up, I’m going to turn up the heat on my metadata, investigate social media tools, and polish my existing digital books to take advantage of the latest options and meet the current standards.

But at the end of the day, I’m going to curl up in bed with a real paper book, and as I drift off to sleep, delight in the aroma of printer’s ink. When I wake up, my human battery won’t need re-charging, and if the power goes out, I’m still good for a great day of reading by my window.


MaryAnn F. Kohl ran Bright Ring Publishing, Inc. established in 1985 and also writes for Gryphon House, Inc. She published or written 20+ titles on the topic of art for children, teachers, and parents. Chicago Review Press has acquired her 11 Bright Ideas for Learning titles in 2017. Kohl continues to work as an author, literary agent in the education genre, and publishing mentor.

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