The Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group ("IBPPG") is an organization that aims to promote professional standards in independent book publishing (also known as "indie" book publishing), and provide support and recognition for the independent book publishing profession.
IBPPG co-sponsors the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the largest Not-for-Profit book awards program in the world for self-published and indie authors, which was established to recognize and honor the best independently published books of the year in more than 70 categories.
What Is Indie Book Publishing?
In an article at CNN.com titled "If it's cool, creative, and different, it's indie," journalist Catherine Andrews wrote:
"The term 'indie' traditionally refers to independent art -- music, film, literature or anything that fits under the broad banner of culture -- created outside of the mainstream and without corporate financing."
Although many independent book publishing companies are incorporated, they are independent of the major conglomerates that dominate the book publishing industry. Independent book publishers include small presses, mid-size independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.
Like other independent artists, many indie book publishers face challenges that the industry giants don't experience. We typically have to work a lot harder to get our books into retail stores (or our authors onto Oprah) and ultimately into the hands of readers. As Chris Anderson reports in his bestselling business book The Long Tail:
"More than 99 percent of music albums on the market today are not available in Wal-Mart. ... Same for any other leading retailer and practically any other commodity [including] books... The vast majority of products are not available at a store near you."
Yet independent book publishing is thriving in spite of the challenges.
According to Bowker's Books in Print database, more than 2.3 million new titles were published in 2012 (the most recent year for which complete figures are available). Of these, 86 percent (more than 2 million books) were "non-traditionally" published, including print-on-demand and self-published titles. The number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has grown 437 percent from 2008 to 2013.
The overwhelming number of new books, combined with the millions of titles already in print, makes it difficult for booksellers, librarians, and consumers to identify books that are worth buying and reading - especially when those books are not published by companies with multimillion dollar marketing budgets.
As Chris Anderson reports in his best-selling business book The Long Tail: "More than 99 percent of music albums on the market today are not available in Wal-Mart. … Same for any other leading retailer and practically any other commodity [including] books… The vast majority of products are not available at a store near you."