Donor Profile: Lee Wind and the IBPA Community

cover of IBPA's Fall 2021 "Indie Titles for Your Consideration" Bookstore Catalog, featuring the Binc logo surrounded by seven books highlighting the range and diverstiy of the books inside
IBPA’s Fall 2021 “Indie Titles for Your Consideration” Bookstore Catalog, featuring the Binc logo surrounded by seven books highlighting the range and diverstiy of the books inside

The IBPA Fall 2021 catalog, Indie Titles For Your Consideration for booksellers, featuring more than 100 books from independent publishers raised $2,560 for Binc. We are pleased to introduce you to IBPA’s Lee Wind and share more background on this successful and innovative fundraiser that has done so much to raise money and awareness for Binc.

Binc: Please tell us a little about your organization.

Lee: IBPA – the Independent Book Publishers Association ­– was founded back in 1983 when about a dozen independent publishers in southern California teamed up to send one representative to New York city to present all their books to the librarians and booksellers attending that big trade show. Trade shows were (and still are) expensive, and joining forces made it more affordable for all. That representative, by the way, was our founder, Jan Nathan. At the time, we were called the Publishers Marketing Association.

Over the years, we added lots more cooperative marketing programs to help indie publishers get the word out about their books – our tools for success. We also added education to help make sure the quality of books published by our member independent publishers, hybrid publishers, self-published authors (we call them “author publishers”), university presses, and association presses is as professional as anything coming out from the major publishers. And we added advocacy to better have each book be judged by the quality of that book, rather than on who published it or what was the business model behind it. Those are our three pillars: Advocacy, Education, and Tools for Success. We have over 3,700 members, which if we’re getting braggy, makes us the largest publishing trade association in the U.S.

IBPA doesn’t think a world where only four corporations decide what gets published is the answer. And that foundational belief is a place, as our CEO Angela Bole puts it, where “the bookselling community and the independent publishing community can come together.” We need all the passion, vision, and diversity independent publishers bring to the cultural conversation, and all of us at IBPA are excited to help that happen. And honestly, indie publishing is cool – it should be seen as cool as indie music, or indie film!

IBPA's Lee Wind
IBPA’s Lee Wind

Binc: Please tell us a little about your role with your organization.

Lee: I’ve been at IBPA for over four years now – starting as the director of marketing and programming, and just recently shifting to be the director of education and programs. I’m excited to reorganize and build on our educational offerings for our publisher members, and expand our cooperative marketing programs to the trade. We’re even looking at adding some consumer marketing programs in 2022.

Binc: How did your organization get involved with Binc?

Lee: Just weeks after mailing out our quarterly bookstore catalog – Spring 2020 – the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. We were looking at the impact on bookstores, and wanted to help. So instead of printing a Summer 2020 catalog of our members’ titles, we just made a donation to Binc. $900. We’re a nonprofit ourselves, it was as much as we could afford. While it wasn’t a huge amount, it was a way to help.

Then, when it looked like many bookstores might start to reopen in the Fall of 2020, we wanted to figure out how we might help in a larger way…

Binc: And that leads us to your Binc fundraiser, right?

Lee: Yes! We thought that maybe the bookstore catalog could serve two purposes at the same time. If we made the bookstore catalog a fundraiser (by taking a portion of what our members pay to have their books included and set it aside for Binc) we could help booksellers and at the same time show booksellers our members’ titles as well as their support.

We combined the Fall and Winter 2020 catalogs into one, took $40 a page and donated $2,880 on behalf of IBPA members to Binc. (And we gave every book that had been in that Spring 2020 catalog a second chance listing for free.) You can see our Fall/Winter 2020 IBPA “Indie Titles for Your Consideration” Bookstore Catalog here:

We got a lovely email from the folks at Binc thanking us, and honestly, we were hooked on doing good. It felt (and feels) like a win for booksellers, a win for our publisher members, and a win for readers who will hopefully get some great indie published titles at their bookstores.

Our next three bookstore catalogs were also fundraisers for Binc:

“We hope you feel the support, and the love.”

IBPA CEO Angela Bole

With the Spring 2021 IBPA Bookstore Catalog our members donated $1,660 to Binc – you can see that issue here:  

With the Summer 2021 IBPA Bookstore Catalog our members donated $1,440 to Binc – you can see that issue here:

And with the Fall 2021 IBPA Bookstore Catalog our members donated $2,560 to Binc – you can see that issue here:

Binc: What are you most proud of or most excited by in the Fall IBPA catalog?

Lee: The Fall 2021 catalog brought the total donated to Binc by IBPA and our members to over $9,500 – all to help bookstore owners, booksellers, and comic store employees and owners in need though the amazing work that Binc does. As a nonprofit, we could have never afforded to just write a check for that much money. But, in a way, just like how IBPA started, when independent publishers come together as a community, we can achieve a lot!

As our CEO Angela Bole says in her greeting letter at the top of the Fall 2021 bookstore catalog, “We hope you feel the support, and the love.

Binc: What’s coming next for the IBPA catalog?

Lee: We’ve teamed up with We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) to help raise money for their Internship Grant Program that aims to diversify the publishing industry by providing supplemental grants to interns from marginalized backgrounds. So far, they have supported 83 interns in the program’s seven years. The more money they raise, the more interns they can support! By changing who is at the publishing table, WNDB’s goals align with IBPA’s DEI commitment towards a publishing industry where everyone can tell their story and find themselves in the content they read.

We’re excited to help get the word out (to our members and to the bookselling community) about the great work WNDB is doing, and we’re delighted to raise funds for this program. The IBPA team is designing the Winter 2021-2022 Bookstore catalog now, and we just locked the page count at 52. So we’ll be donating $2,080 to WNDB’s Internship Grant Program! We’ll have to see how much our Spring 2022 bookstore catalog can raise for WNDB as well.

cover of picture book, Red And Green And Blue And White

Binc: What’s the last book you read that you loved?

Lee: I just finished my friend Paula Yoo’s From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement. It was long-listed for the National Book Award, and it’s a book that should be read by everyone – it reads like a page turner of a novel – but it’s nonfiction! It’s outrageous, and upsetting, and fascinating… And by the end I felt like I understood more about the Asian American experience, and maybe that can help me be a better ally to Asian folks, and maybe a better human all around.

Binc: What book or books are you giving as gifts this holiday season?

Lee: I’m the author of two books out this year from IBPA member indie publishers. Since it’s taken me 17 years of working at it to finally be traditionally published, I thought I would give away some signed copies to friends and family. No Way, They Were Gay? Hidden Lives and Secret Loves published from Zest Books/Lerner Publishing Group in April. It’s a book that would have totally changed my life if I’d read it back when I was a closeted gay teen. And my debut picture book, Red and Green and Blue and White published on October 19, 2021 from Levine Querido. It’s beautifully illustrated by Caldecott medalist Paul O. Zelinsky, and is all about how when we stand up for ourselves and others, that’s the true meaning of community… And the true meaning of the holidays. I’m excited about both!

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