IBPA in the Springtime in Salt Lake City!

This past weekend, I was in Salt Lake City, where the annual Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Publishing University was held at the Marriott City Creek across from the huge Salt Palace Convention Center. Speaking at the conference on CREATE YOUR 30-SECOND PITCH was the lure that got me there PLUS catching up with publishing PALS, connecting with PUBLISHING PROVIDERS and providing over 20 MINI-CONSULTS with attendees … whew!

Without a “rush” on me to get to the hotel when I landed at the airport from Denver, I took the scenic route, bypassing the typical cab ride (and $25 fare). Instead, I walked a 1,000 feet or so after picking up my luggage (I love the easy wheel stroll that the newer ones create) and headed to the light rail. Eureka—for only $1.25, I had a quick and comfortable ride to within a block of my hotel destination. Stepping of the train, I was greeted with a glorious spring display of flowers—in fact, everywhere I turned, there were pots of flowers … yes! 


As I got to the hotel, I discovered it was directly across the Salt Palace … a place I’ve spoken many times within over the last two decades. My best, all-time record of sales after a gig was there: a total of 563 books sold after a keynote to a nursing conference within a five hour period of time. I loved the number of books sold (gosh, who wouldn’t?) … but here’s the best part: I got all the moneys that afternoon in excess of $16,000. Yes, you can make a living with your mouth and your words!

Angela Boles, CEO and Executive Director of the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) had invited me to teach a session on How to Pitch Yourself; Your Book. Reviews for yours truly were excellent and one of my personal highlights as a presenter was the superb support from Mimi Le, IBPA’s project coordinator. Approximately 200 attended with another 18 vendors.

One of the highlights was the revealing of the winners for the annual Ben Franklin Book Awards. It’s a long evening, yet Angela made it fun and was a master at transition through the 54 categories. The harp accompaniment as each winner was announced was lovely—I won’t forget Puff the Magic Dragon as the book on Cannabis floated on the screen as the winner in its category. Hobie Hobart and I were there to cheer on one of the joint (I can’t believe I just wrote this after the last sentence) books we worked on, Kim Curtis’ Money Secrets that picked up the Silver for her beautiful and important book. Money secretspng

I can’t stress the value of “IN-PERSON … FACE to FACE” attendance for anything. Yes, we can do so much in the virtual world… but the ahas that are generated with a personal contact; an exchange of a few words that can leap frog into a myriad of ideas; hearing a line or a phrase from a speaker that all of a sudden syncs with something that you’ve been thinking about … or hadn’t … is literally priceless. I’ve always loved the energy generated with being surround by other “like-minded” and being at publishing and author events gets the creative juices flowing and the ahas/what-ifs kicking in.

Two of the huge benefits to me is the reconnecting with the publishing providers I work with from all over the country and meeting new ones.

  • I met for the first time with the awesome David Dunham of Book Grabbr. Wait until you see how this awesome marketing tool works. We will have a “special” available to the AuthorU members and David will be at the Extravaganza in September.
  • Stacy Price is one of the outreaches from Foreword Reviews, the top reviewer of indie books with a significant link to the library world. If you are a member of AuthorU.org, did you subscribe to get your first year free to Foreword Reviews? Stacy would love to get yours to your snail mail box.
  • Robin Cutler is the voice of IngramSpark. She and Nathan Pabst shared the latest and greatest from the IS world. I’ve had her several times on the AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing radio show; is someone that I can connect with almost instantly; is joining the AuthorU Board and will be at the Extravaganza in September.
  • Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer, presented a session on Book Launching—we hugged, waved and then were each immersed in a sea of participants who wanted to pick our brains. Joel will be at the Extravaganza in September.
  • It’s always wonderful to connect with Maria Smith and Jerry Friends of Thomson-Shore, Sandy Gould of Color House Graphics, Charlie Tlapia, Meg Souza and Darrin Sappenfield of Total Printing Systems, Dick Hampton of DH Freight Consultants – people and companies that I happily refer my own clients and AuthorU members to knowing that their printing and shipping services produce results that authors are happy with. All will be at the Extravaganza in September.
  • I was thrilled to finally connect in person with Kobo–the “e” platform that all authors should also be positioned on, especially if International sales are in their midst. They are taking it back to Marketing to see if there is anything left for trade shows for 2016–if so, hello Extravaganza!

Our post dinner after it was a hoot that included BookGrabbr’s David Dunham and new friend Charles Rosenberg with Rose Printing based in Florida and Jonnie Bryant of McNaughton Gunn AND Maria Smith and Jerry Friends of Thomson-Shore, Sandy Gould of Color House Graphics, Charlie Tlapia, Meg Souza and Darrin Sappenfield of Total Printing Systems, Dick Hampton of DH Freight Consultants . It was Publishing, Eating and Drinking at the Round Table!


  • I loved hearing Kwame Alexander … he’s a poet who has sold OVER 1,000,000 books with poetry as his core. Last year, he picked up the John Newbery Medal for The Crossover. Passionate, fun and telling it like it is—he gets indie publishing—his roots are embedded in it. He’s a strong believer in what I call the GOYT Factor … Get Off Your Tush and market your books.
  • I got a demonstration of Hummingbird, an interesting new platform that booksellers, conferences, writers, bloggers, online merchants or anyone with sufficient traffic can use to set up their own storefront to sell ebooks and audiobooks—I’m hoping that they will come to the Extravaganza in September



My session on book and self-pitching went well … I love it went there is high interaction with participants and look forward to staying connected with them. If authors are going to be successful … mastering their pitch; knowing that it will need to be tweaked with different audiences; and the necessity to keep it SHORT, SUCCINCT and generate the 3 magic words that lead to full CONNECTING is essential for personal author and book success. AuthorU.org did a full workshop/expanded version (you can only do so much in an hour—and the AuthorU session allowed for Hot Seats for everyone attending) on this topic earlier this month.

If you want to get PITCHING down to a no-brainer and take you and your book to the next, next level, make sure you attend the next AuthorU.org Saturday meeting. I have my personal 3-day event popping June 23-25: Judith Briles’ Book Publishing Unplugged. It’s in-depth, it covers a huge array of how-tos and book marketing strategies, it’s fun and it’s kept small so you get one-on-one coaching throughout. Held in Denver, get registered on my site: TheBookShepherd.com now.

signature-full TRN





Ashography Event Photography

Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing
about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 34 books including
 Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #34 was published this summer: The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers. Get your copy.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.


header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen