The power of independence

Spending a few days at the Independent Publishers Guild’s Annual Spring Conference in early February gave us another reminder of something we have known for a long time: that independent publishers are some of the most inventive and creative companies around. 

The IPG’s Conference has become one of the biggest and best events of the publishing year, and there was an incredible diversity of businesses among well over 200 delegates. Stison is proud to have so many great independents on its client list, and they were out in force at the Conference. We couldn’t be prouder of those, like Oneworld and Pavilion Books, who won Independent Publishing Awards on the second night of the event. 

Listening to the several dozen speakers at the Conference, we were struck by three themes in particular.

First is the innovation of independents right across the publishing spectrum. As keynote speaker Terence Mauri told us, innovation needs to be an everyday thing rather than a one-off project, and case studies from several publishers at the Conference showed how independents achieve it. We hope Stison’s solutions help in this regard, by freeing up publishers to find new ways of producing, marketing and selling top content.

Second, the importance of digital discoverability. Consultants Alex Shaw and Glynn Davies showed the Conference the importance of getting found online through effective SEO; and the value of compelling website content that turns browsers into buyers. Our Web Manager gives publishers the tools to unlock both those things.

Third, the need to stay nimble and responsive to customers. Joe McEwan of the Innocent drinks brand gave the Conference a fine example of how even fast-growing companies can retain the kind of small business mentality that has made them successful in the first place. Being able to maintain a personal approach and treat every customer as special is something independents do especially well, and it’s something Stison always seeks to provide. 

Above all at the IPG’s Conference, we were impressed by the amazing generosity of publishers—by their willingness to help one another and freely exchange their advice and experience. This spirit of sharing is one of the great hallmarks of independent publishing, and it is something we can all be inspired by.