Industry Standards Checklist Raises the Bar


To give both authors and book industry professionals an at-a-glance method by which to gauge the professional presentation of a book, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) – – has released a 2-page Industry Standards Checklist for a Professionally Published Book. The checklist is broken into two sections, content and production, and provides an unbiased measure by which to critique published books.

As part of the IBPA Advocacy Committee, Senior editor Elizabeth Turnbull helped write the checklist alongside committee chair Brooke Warner of She Writes Press, committee member Karla Olson of Patagonia Books, and Angela Bole, CEO of IBPA.

“A book should be judged by the quality of the book, not by the business model with which it was published,” Elizabeth says. “But with so many books being published each year under a range of models and with a large variance in quality, evaluating all books can seem daunting to professionals. I think this is why so many default to a blanket answer based on the type of publisher. The Industry Standards Checklist for a Professionally Published Book gives an objective way for professionals to evaluate a book.”

The standards set by the checklist cover topics such as what must be included as part of a book’s interior content, the grammatical standards for a published book, and the design protocol for books.

“The checklist has been established to level the playing field between indie publishers and large-scale conglomerates,” said Angela Bole, CEO of IBPA. “Too often, IBPA has noticed a bias against self-published authors, independent publishers, and hybrid presses when it comes to choosing titles or authors for review consideration, book award contests, association memberships, and inclusion on independent bookstore shelves. IBPA’s Industry Checklist for a Professionally Published Book will help industry professionals and independent publishers and authors bridge this gap by offering a structured means by which to ensure that books be judged on merit and quality rather than on the business model used to produce them or the size of the publisher.”

We encourage other industry professionals––including small presses, hybrid presses, author-publishers, bloggers, reviewers, writers groups, and contest organizers––to join us in pledging to reduce unfair bias against independent publishers by adopting the Industry Standards Checklist.

“Just as publishers, self or otherwise, are responsible for producing books that adhere to industry standards, the book industry as a whole is responsible for creating an environment that allows for equal evaluation of all published works,” said Brooke Warner, chairperson of IBPA’s Advocacy Committee.

Learn more about the Industry Standards Checklist for a Professionally Published Books and Download the List

We Want to Hear from You

If you have a book ready to be published, we’d love to take a look at your book and see how we may be able to work with you to bring your book to the world. Review our publishing options, and if you think we’d be a good fit for each other, we’d love to review your manuscript.

Continue Reading

Authors – Do Not Read This At Home

As an author, you've probably been told time and time again that great authors read great books. You can't write if you don't read. And as an author, you probably always have a book by your bed, one on the kitchen table and another in the living room. Books lined up...

How Do You Know You Are Ready To Publish?

How Do You Know You Are Ready To Publish?

Sometimes, knowing when you're ready to publish is as hard as writing the manuscript. There are always final edits, and you could have a thousand final drafts. (FinalDraft.doc, ReallyFinalDraft.doc, ReallyReallyFinalDraft.doc, OkThisOneIsItFinalDraft.doc.) Sound...

How to Get a Book Published – Exploring the Paths to Publication

How to Get a Book Published – Exploring the Paths to Publication

Most authors, after typing “The End” for the first time on their manuscript, very quickly learn there’s a lot more to the publishing industry than meets the eye. After all,  their cousin is making decent income from the book they published on Amazon, and authors like Steven King and J.K. Rowling have brought publishing into the public eye. Why shouldn’t they have that same type of success?

But the deeper they dig, the more there is to learn about the publishing industry, and it turns out there are a lot of ways to get a book published.