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IPG Publisher Summit 2015

You are cordially invited to attend the newly expanded IPG Publisher Summit taking place on Monday, April 27 and Tuesday, April 28 at the Westin Michigan Avenue at 909 N Michigan Ave in Chicago. We are offering two full days of seminars lead by industry experts on topics of central importance to the book business.

Monday, April 27

9:00 Curt Matthews and Joe Matthews Welcome

9:30 Eric Heidemann from Fujii Associates: A Field Rep’s Perspective

10:30 IPG Digital: Digital Marketing, Emerging Opportunities & Trends

11:30 Angela Bole Understanding Metadata/BISAC

12:30 Lunch

2:00Jennifer Szunko from Foreword Reviews – Professional Book Reviews

3:00 Jonathan Kirsch, Attorney – Intellectual Property Rights

4:30 Rebecca Vnuk from ALA/Booklist – Library Market Overview & Updates

5:30 John Rubin from Edelweiss – Big Picture Book Industry Trends

6:30 Cocktail reception at The Grill on Alley

Tuesday, April 28

9:00 Deborah SloanMarketing, Promotion, & Publicity for Children’s Books

10:00 Carey Low from Canadian Manda Group – The Canadian Market

11:00 Meredith Baker from Faherty & Associates – Amazon Best Practices

12:00 Lunch

1:30 IPG Digital New Publisher Resources Tools & Print on Demand Services

2:30 Cynthia Sherry from Chicago Review Press – A Publisher’s Perspective

3:45 IPG Sales TeamMaximizing your distribution client service & experience

Presenter Bios

Curt Matthews is the founder and CEO of Chicago Review Press, Incorporated, which is the parent company of IPG. Now over 40 years old, IPG is the largest independently owned and operated distributor for independent publishers.

Joe Matthews coordinates with all departments to implement efficient workflows, improve communication and collaboration, and achieve company goals.

Angela Bole is Executive Director of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest book publishing association in the U.S. serving small presses and self-published authors. IBPA’s mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community by providing advocacy, education, and tools for success. Prior to joining IBPA, Angela served two years as deputy executive director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), an organization that fosters conversation and consensus across all sectors of the book business. Angela holds a Masters of Science in Book Publishing from New York University and currently serves on the board of directors for the Book Industry Study Group and the International Digital Publishing Forum.

Rebecca Vnut has a high profile in the library community as a librarian, speaker, and writer. She is currently the Editor for Reference and Collection Management at Booklist, where she covers reference materials and reports on library issues, including collection development. She has been widely recognized for her contributions to the field, receiving PLA’s Allie Beth Martin Award for excellence in Readers’ Advisory in 2010, and being named a 2010 Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2010 and 2008 Library Journal Fiction Reviewer of the Year. Vnuk has written books for library staff on the topics of Women’s Fiction and weeding, and has spoken at conferences and presented workshops extensively; her panels are among the most popular at ALA Annual and PLA meetings.

Jennifer Szunko has spent a decade in publishing in both trade and consumer magazines. She is the Associate Publisher at Foreword Reviews, a media company featuring the award-winning magazine and a website devoted to independently published books. In her position Jennifer most enjoys working with authors and publishers to identify what they want to achieve with their books then offering ideas to help them get there.

Foreword Reviews magazine features reviews of the best new titles from independent publishers, university presses, and noteworthy self-published authors. The Foreword Reviews website features daily updates: reviews along with in-depth coverage and analysis of independent publishing from a team of more than 100 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers.

Foreword celebrates the best of indie at the annual INDIEFAB Awards. Foreword'sIndie Press Collective represents a unique selection of titles for rights, distribution, and licensing/film options at BEA, ALA, and major international book fairs. Foreword Reviewsis sold at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million stores, or by subscription.

Deborah Sloan centers her professional life on connecting children's books, authors and publishers with their readers through her marketing and promotion firm Deborah Sloan and Company and KidsBuzz, a marketing service that lets authors speak directly to their readers via high-profile and big reach e-newsletters and more. For more than twenty-five years as a member of the management team at Candlewick Press, Trafalgar Square and now via her own companies, Deborah has established a reputation for inspired and compelling book marketing and promotion. She loves words, stories and wonderful art and cares about the people who create them. See her websites and, and follow her on Facebook ( and Twitter (@dsloanandco) to connect.

Meredith Baker has been the Amazon sales rep for IPG with Faherty & Associates for the past fourteen years. Previously she was the Amazon sales rep for Macmillan Technical. She has also worked at Ingram Internet Support Services—the company that morphed into Ingram Fulfillment Services—as well as MusicMatch, which was the first digital jukebox. At MusicMatch, she was the senior alliance manager to Amazon, Apple, Gateway, Microsoft and Nike. Meredith lives in Portland with her husband Brad, son Wyatt and dog Ginger and enjoys cycling, fishing and travel. She holds a Master International Management from Thunderbird and is slowly obtaining her Master Buddhist Studies at Maitripa.

Cynthia Sherry, publisher of Chicago Review Press, has been with the company since 1989. As publisher she acquires books and oversees the editorial and book production of about 65 titles a year under five total imprints, including Lawrence Hill Books, Ball Publishing, Zephyr Press, and Academy Chicago, along with managing an editorial, production, and publicity staff of 14. Cynthia spearheaded many successful series, including the For Kids series, A Kids Guide series, and the Oddball Travel series and has acquired the perennial bestsellers, Backyard Ballistics, My Bloody Life, and World War II for Kids, and many others.

Johnathan Kirsch is an attorney specializing in publishing law and intellectual property. He an adjunct professor on the faculty of the Professional Publishing Institute at New York University, and has long served as general counsel for the Independent Book Publishers Association. He is the author of Kirsch’s Handbook of Publishing Law and Kirsch’s Guide to the Book Contract, which are now being revised for publication in an updated single volume.

Jonathan Kirsch is also the author of 13 books, including The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat and a Murder in Paris (Norton/Liveright), a long-time contributor of book reviews to the Los Angeles Times and other publications, and book editor of the Jewish Journal.

Carey Low has been an employee at Canadian Manda since 1997 and a 50% part owner in the business since 2007. Prior to working at the Manda Group, he was the only Canadian sales representative for Routledge where he travelled the country extensively. Prior to that he worked at a regional sales agency, and prior to that he was a bookseller at Nicholas Hoare Bookshop in downtown Toronto. Carey graduated from Queen’s University in 1992 with a BA in philosophy. Carey lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

Eric Heidemann lives outside of St. Louis, MO and covers Eastern Iowa, Missouri, NE Arkansas, and key accounts in Chicago and Central Illinois. Eric specializes in Educational Wholesale accounts. Some of his key Retail accounts are Anderson's, Prairie Lights, Left Bank Books, Rainy Day Books and Reading Reptile. Some key Wholesale accounts are Cowley Distributing, Booksource and Hertzberg New Method. He began his publishing career in 1995 as a House Rep for National Book Network. He joined Fujii in 1998 and in 2011 he took over as Owner and Managing Partner, working closely with Don Sturtz.
Eric graduated from the University of Georgia in 1993 with a BS in Agricultural Economics and a History minor which he applied at his first job in the publishing "field", maintaining the grounds at the Baker and Taylor distribution center in Commerce, GA. His battles with Kudzu were epic.

John Rubin is the founder and President of Above the Treeline, LLC, the U.S. company behind the Edelweiss interactive catalog service. Before starting Above the Treeline in 2001, John spent 10 years as a management consultant for Fortune 500 companies. John grew up in the bookselling world—his mother sold her Independent bookstore in the Chicago area in 2013 after owning it for 32 years.

Lauren Klouda joined IPG in 2010 to help launch IPG’s new website and her background in social media and online marketing has significantly increased traffic and direct-to-consumer sales. Now as the Digital Marketing Manager, she markets ebooks across the globe, developing lasting relationships with major vendor partners, negotiating features and promotional opportunities, and increasing digital discovery and sales for IPG publishers.

Mallori Bontrager joined IPG as an intern for the Data Department in 2011. Now, as the Digital Production Manager, she oversees the production side of the Digital team, and works with client publishers throughout the ebook submission process, from creation and submission to transmission to IPG’s vendor partners.

Clark Matthews As VP of Digital Services, Clark Matthews tends to the present and future needs of IPG’s titles in the digital realm. Whether it be e-books, considerations of POD, or the sale of publisher content via branded online shopping carts, Clark oversees the people and technology necessary to make it work together.

Anna Toman is the Digital Production Associate at IPG and facilitates enrollment and title submission—including processing and approving all files and data-for the POD and E-book programs. Anna works closely with IPGs printing partners and would be happy to answer questions about getting involved in the POD program!

Jeff Palicki is the Director of Trade Sales and manages a dynamic team of both in-house and field sales reps that sell into the traditional retail trade and library markets.

Mark Voight is the Executive Vice President of Sales and manages IPG’s major trade account presence as well as coordinates IPG’s sales efforts across all channels.

Michael Riley is the Sales Director of Special Markets at IPG and oversees all specialty sales, including the in-house special sales team, the gift market field sales force, and IPG’s presence at several specialty trade shows.


In addition to these dynamic presentations, a number of our vendor partners will be joining us at Publisher Summit, including:

  • ALA/Booklist - Publicity & Marketing from the American
    Library Association
  • Bang Printing - Offset Printing
  • BitLit - Print + Ebook Bundling App[ebooks]
  • Edwards Brothers - Offset & POD Printing
  • Epic! - Children's Subscription App [ebooks]
  • Foreword - Reviews, Marketing & Publicity services
  • Hoopla - Digital Content Provider to Libraries [ebooks]
  • IBPA - Independent Book Publishers Association
  • IPG Digital - IPG's Digital Production & Marketing Team
  • Meadows Wye - Overseas Freight Services
  • NetGalley - Pre-publication Review Services
  • Nord Compo - End-to-end prepress composition and digital services
  • PA Hutchinson - Offset Printing
  • PW - Publishers Weekly Reviews, Marketing & Industry News
  • Pubmatch - Foreign Rights Sales Services
  • Slicebooks - Content Re-purposing & Publishing Tools [ebooks]

Getting to the Summit

By Car
The Westin Michigan Avenue is ideally situated in the heart of bustling Chicago just off Lakeshore Drive. It’s also only 1.5 miles from 90/94 (exit on Ohio St and take Ohio east until you reach Michigan Avenue and then head north).

By Air
Whether you’ll be joining us from O’Hare international Airport (ORD) or Midway International Airport (MDW), you will have a number of options to choose from to reach the conference hotel:

Taxi: Rates vary by the amount of time you’ll have to spend in the taxi (traffic can shift between light to extremely heavy) but the average will be around $50 USD (including tip) - add $1 per additional rider and no luggage fees. Average trip time: 45 minutes (not during rush hour)

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA): O’Hare: You can take the CTA Blue line from O’Hare towards Forest Park, which runs every 5-12 minutes, and transfer to the Red Line at Jackson. Take the Red Line towards Howard and get off at Chicago. Walk east 2 blocks on Chicago to Michigan Avenue, then north 2 blocks. Average trip time: 1 hr 5 mins

Midway: You can take the CTA Orange Line from Midway towards the Loop, running every 12 minutes, and transfer to the Red Line at Roosevelt. Take the Red Line towards Howard and get off at Chicago. Walk east 2 blocks on Chicago to Michigan Avenue, then north 2 blocks. Average trip time: 47 mins

Meet & Mingle

IPG cordially invites you to join other Summit attendee publishers, presenters, exhibitors, sales reps, and staff for a fun evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and stimulating conversation at The Grill on the Alley at 6:30 pm, Monday.

Want to visit IPG or the Distribution Center?

If you would like a tour of the IPG offices (located at 814 N Franklin St) or our distribution center, please contact Mark Noble to schedule that visit. Time and space will be limited so please try to let Mark know as soon as possible.

Experience Sweet Home Chicago

Our staff has compiled a list of nearby favorite spots to eat and see while you are with us here in the Windy City to ensure you see and taste the very best our town has to offer!

Eat & Drink

There are so many wonderful places to try in Chicago, you really can’t go wrong!

Near the hotel:

  • The Signature Room at the 95th ($$$) – Fine dining and a jaw-dropping view of the city.
  • Signature Lounge ($$) – On the 96th floor of the John Hancock building, enjoy a fine cocktail and a spectacular view!
  • The Cheesecake Factory ($$) – Across the street from the Westin w/ a menu the size of a book.
  • Lou Malnati’s Pizza ($) – Chicago style deep dish w/gluten free options.
  • Pizano’s Pizza ($$) – Oprah’s favorite chi-town pie.
  • Giordano’s ($$) – Known for their buttery deep dish crust.
  • Mike Ditka’s Restaurant ($$$) – A great meal from da’ best coach.
  • Farmhouse ($) – Locally sourced delicious food and libations from the Midwest.
  • Headquarters ($$) - Enjoy free vintage arcade & pinball games as you sip craft beers.
  • Untitled ($$$) - This swanky joint is a secret underground speakeasy that boasts great drinks & Jazz.
  • Purple Pig ($$) – Small plates: voted 1 of the 10 best new restaurants in America…just saying.
  • Slurping Turtle ($$$) – Noodle bar offering Japanese comfort food that is hip, welcoming & sumptuous.

A cab away, but totally worth the ride:

  • Pequod’s ($) – This literary nod does deep dish in a whole new way. Hint: caramelized cheese Crust.
  • J Parker ($$$) – On a warm night the stunning rooftop views and signature drinks are unforgettable.
  • Randolph Street ($-$$$) – Hop in a cab and tell your driver “To Randolph and Halsted” and you will be dropped in one of Chicago’s current food meccas. Staff favorite include Haymarket ($), Green Street Meats ($$) and the Girl and Goat ($$$) – Little Goat is great too if too crowded or too pricey.
  • Yuzu ($) – This BYOB sushi & robata spot is a super secret gem. Eat the whole menu, it’s all wonderful.

See & Do:

  • The Art Institute ($$) – A world class exhibition of incredible artwork from across the centuries.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art ($) – One of the world’s largest contemporary art venues & just down the street.
  • BLUES on Halsted ($) – A Chicago classic dive worthy of its abrupt descriptive name. This is real Chicago.
  • iO or Second City or Zanie’s ($-$$) – Chicago is famous for our sense of humor so take in a improv or standup act while you’re in town.
  • Harold Washington Library (free) – In true literary fashion, this massive landmark is gorgeous. Be sure to check out the roof.
  • Green Mill ($$) – Historic jazz bar in Uptown with live music nightly.