IBPA STANDARDS: ASSURANCE OF OUR VALUES, QUALITY
This week, Front Edge Publishing signed the Independent Book Publishers Association pledge of standards for quality Hybrid Publishing—a commitment that assures our authors and publishing partners that we adhere to industry-wide values in the work that we do.
Why is this commitment to national standards so important?
As the publishing industry is rapidly evolving, the crowd of men and women drawn to this emerging business model includes not only top media professionals who have always adhered to well-established ethical standards in editing and publishing—but also predators designing websites to hawk dubious publishing services under a trendy banner. Even among well-meaning professionals, this Hybrid Publishing model can spark confusion.
According to a recent IBPA article on this trend, Hybrid Publishing is growing so quickly that responsible publishers collectively need to establish a set of common criteria—a foundation for our developing segment of the industry. In making this point, the IBPA quotes Authors Guild Executive Director Mary Rasenberger:
Hybrid publishers provide a good and important alternative for authors today. They fill a demand from authors that neither traditional publishers nor self-publishing services currently meet. Yet, there is still a good deal of confusion around hybrid publishers and how to differentiate a reputable hybrid publisher from a vanity press. IBPA’s Hybrid Publisher Criteria provides much-needed clarity, sets strong author-friendly standards for hybrid publishers, and will no doubt encourage authors to consider hybrid publishing with greater confidence than before.
To put it simply: Here at Front Edge Publishing—we agree!
In fact, we were promoting these values even before the new standards were released by the IBPA. Here’s one of our earlier columns about Hybrid standards.
Now, anyone can read (and download) the IBPA Hybrid Publishers Criteria. The major distinction in setting these standards is that a true Hybrid Publisher is not merely a pay-to-publish-anything shortcut to producing books. Responsible Hybrid Publishers are building on the foundations of long-established values in professional publishing, including: “Define a mission and vision for the publishing program.” We do! And: “Vet submissions. Publish to industry standards. Ensure editorial, design, and production quality. Provide distribution services.” And so on.
We thank the IBPA for establishing this new set of standards. We have signed the IBPA pledge as a quality Hybrid Publisher. We welcome collaborative conversations with authors and other professionals who also are working to improve and expand our mission of publishing quality books.
Our founding promise remains: Great media builds healthy communities.