The IPG Conference – Spring 2014

Well, that was a conference to beat all others for news!

Yes, many of the usual fine features of previous conferences, including some outstanding winners of the IPG awards (more later) however, the BIG news came a few days later when the incoming Chair – Rebecca Smart, CEO of Osprey Publishing Group – had to vacate the position as she has been appointed as the new MD at Ebury Press, part of Penguin Random House. A great loss for the IPG but a major coup for PRH!

The introductory key note speech by Faber CEO, Stephen Page got the conference off to a cracking start with a speech designed to make us think, particularly about building fan bases and doing things ‘faster’ (reminiscent of Rebecca Smart’s speech at Futurebook).

This was followed by an interesting session with James Daunt, defending business with Waterstones and a claim that Waterstones adds to ‘discoverability’. Not too worried about Amazon, amazingly!

John Dyer, Domino Records gave an amusing talk on the parallels with the music industry with a particular reference to the issue of ‘who owns the rights’! Totally forthright but an enjoyable speaker who talked from experience – not from notes.

There followed several useful workshops covering trends in the growth of social media usage, Nielsen sales data and an important move forward in D2C sales potential through a workshop with the Osprey team of Richard Sullivan and Mike Ramalho.

From the Wednesday evening informal dinner with guest star – Chinese Elvis (a surprisingly entertaining and musically gravelly performance, only interrupted by a Jolly flame throwing exhibition! Ask me about that later) we moved on to a star studded (well Suzy Astbury and Donald Smith were there!) evening of the IPG Award winners 2014.

Everyone a deserved winner but no doubt at all that it was an evening of celebration for the children’s publishing world with Nosy Crow scooping the LBF International Achievement Award and the Nielsen Digital Marketing Award while Usborne Publishing swept up the IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year and the star prize of IPG Independent Publisher of the Year. Usborne’s founder, Peter Usborne, gave us a short, but heartfelt thank you speech and was very proud of the fact that in 40 years publishing, no one has ever been made redundant from the company. Good enough for an award itself.

With many networking – or coffee breaks – the IPG conference is one of the very useful places where likeminded publishers can talk fairly openly together and is a real opportunity to build profile in this industry. Movers & shakers were plentiful!

We can look forward to IPG 2015 – but who will be Chair?

Full list of IPG Award winners:

IPG Independent Publisher of the Year – Usborne Publishing

IPG Trade Publisher of the Year – Summersdale

IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year Usborne Publishing

Frankfurt Book Fair Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year – Edward Elgar Publishing 

Librios Education Publisher of the Year – Crown House Publishing 

PrintOnDemand Worldwide Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year – Absolute Press

The Nick Robinson Newcomer Award – Critical Publishing

The London Book Fair International Achievement Award – Nosy Crow

 Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award – Faber & Faber

Nielsen Digital Marketing Award Nosy Crow

IPG Diversity AwardAccent Press

IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year – David Henderson, Top That! PublishingGBS Services to Independent Publishers Award – Compass Independent Publishing Services

Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter


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