In our last post, we started a discussion of why you should consider signing up for CIPA’s educational offerings, otherwise known as CIPA College.  This is our list of the top 5 reasons!

  1. Find out what you need to know about independent publishing, when you need to know it.
  2. Become a better-informed consumer of publishing services.
  3. Save money.
  4. Save time.
  5. Work smarter, not harder.

Today we will talk about the second great reason for signing up.

2. Become a better-informed consumer of publishing services.

All of the CIPA College courses scheduled for Feb. 12th and 26th will answer questions you may already have and many that you don’t even know that you need answered before you agree to use someone’s services. It’s a “buyer beware” world out there, and unfortunately, there are companies and individuals who are more than willing to sell you services that you may not want or need. And even if you do need these services, the fees charged can range widely. Find out the right questions to ask, and what it will cost before you agree to work with any service provider.

The 100 topics identified by CIPA College as relevant to independent publishing usually have vendors who are willing and able to provide services in these areas. And CIPA offers a membership category called Associate Service Providers specifically for companies that offer those services.

One of the things you will observe with the College offerings is that the faculty who are teaching these courses often are members of CIPA as Associate Service Providers. One great reason to sign up for a particular College course is that you will to get to know the person who is teaching the course before you engage them to assist you with your publishing efforts.

Take marketing as an example. CIPA has lots of people listed as service providers in the “Marketing and Merchandising” category. There actually are 10 companies listed there. How do you decide who to call? What all is involved in marketing a book, and when do you start planning your marketing campaign? What kinds of marketing services do they provide?  And what do they charge for their services? One of the courses offer in February will be very helpful to start answering these kinds of questions: Basics of a marketing plan.

While CIPA College presenters are chosen because they have expertise on the topic, they will not be giving a commercial on their services during their presentations. They will be presenting information that will help you make more informed decisions about what kinds of services you need, when you need them, and who may be a good provider at a reasonable price. And, more importantly, it will help you avoid unnecessary expenses by buying services you don’t need.

Have a look at all the CIPA College courses scheduled for Feb. 12th and 26th that will answer a lot of your questions.

Basics of copyright

Basics of a marketing plan

Comparison of publishing options

Establishing & promoting your brand

Create a website that sells books

Blogs, blurbs, Twitter, and other noise

Basics of e-book devices, formats, retailers

E-book distribution systems

Strategies for launching your new book

Integrating social media into marketing

Watch for three more reasons to sign up for CIPA College courses!