Is the YPC Right for You?

You may not think of yourself as a “publishing professional.” Perhaps you’re an author, or work for a small press. The way I see it, we’re all in this ever-changing business together, and the more you can learn, the more successful you’ll be.

The YPC is a great tool for folks across the publishing spectrum. Check out a few of the testimonials below—you’ll see the YPC isn’t just a place for the Big Six.

“Operating a small press from Portland, OR, I have often felt on the periphery of the publishing industry. YPC gave me the tools to better understand and participate in the larger publishing community. This will no doubt equate to increased revenues!”

—Rhonda Hughes: Publisher, Hawthorne Books, OR

“My week at the Yale Publishing Course re-energized me. It may be ‘anxious enthusiasm’ I have now for the future of book publishing, but enthusiasm it is! I learned so much from not only the top leaders in the business but also from my peers in the course, with whom I shared problems, ideas, goals, and an excellent esprit de corps!”

—Pam McClanahan: Director, Minnesota Historical Society Press, Borealis Books, MN

“A spectacular course. It was the single richest week of my professional career—filled with informative, engaging speakers, new publishing colleagues and friends, and incredibly thought-provoking ideas. Throughout the rich, balanced, jam-packed week, I kept pinching myself that I was fortunate enough to attend.”

—Jen McLaughlin: Publisher's Agent, First Church of Christ, Scientist, MA

“The best publishing program of its kind in the United States: ever evolving, ever new.”

—Kevin DiCamillo: Freelance Editor, NY

“The Yale Publishing Course helped me see the connections between the history of publishing and its future, providing me with the tools not only to successfully manage my business but also to play a role in the larger publishing community.”

—Martin Burton: Founder & President, London Town Press, CA


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Summer School 2013

What's New at the Yale Publishing Course

We’ve told you a lot of great things about the Yale Publishing Course over the past three years. From the incredible speakers to the beautiful campus and fantastic attendees, the YPC is five days of learning, networking, and fun for publishing professionals.

The 2013 program will be no exception. The Book Publishing section runs from July 21–26 (July 14–19 for the Magazine and Digital Publishing component), and features speakers from Apple, Random House, Publishing Perspectives, Google, and many more. (See the full list here.)

But don’t be intimidated by those big names. Attendees will hear from speakers in all walks of publishing—indie publishers, the Big Six, librarians, university presses, digital gurus—and will also find that great variety among their peers. The program is an incredible resource no matter where you fall on the publishing food chain. (Check out the sidebar to learn more!)

I spoke with YPC Director Tina C. Weiner about the new and exciting elements of this year’s event. Read on to see why the Yale Publishing Course is the best place publishers, authors, and agents can be this July.

IP: What are some of the new elements of the program?

TW: This year there is a greater emphasis on management techniques; becoming an international publisher; financial strategies; integrating print and digital in the business plan; managing change; and rethinking relationships with libraries, agents, authors, readers and your own staff. The Course focuses not only on providing knowledge and best practices to enable publishers to be prepared for the disruptions that have already happened, and will certainly continue to occur, but how to think about the future and embrace it with enthusiasm and optimism.

IP: How much of the program will focus on digital initiatives and technology?

TW: The transition to digital and the idea of the co-existence of print and digital is a theme that runs throughout the program. Each speaker approaches the topic from their own perspective. Among the great variety of sessions are ones on: how to manage the staff during times of transition and its inherent disruption; how to construct a business plan that incorporates all formats; what skills are needed as new positions are created; the challenges of digital discovery; digital workflow; creating a digital strategy; how digital has changed the rights landscape; and many more.

IP: Why should people outside traditional publishing houses (such as indie publishers, authors, and other publishing-related companies) consider attending YPC?

TW: The program gives those attending the opportunity to step away from their own particular silos and day-to-day routines and focus on the most pressing issues facing everyone in the publishing and publishing-related industry. YPC gives them the chance to hear a very diverse group of speakers, each an expert on the topics they are discussing, address a wide-variety of issues. The goal of the carefully-constructed curriculum is to provide the information and perspective to make them better able to understand the complexities of the publishing landscape today. The cumulative effect of this intensive immersion in the business and future of publishing, will certainly help the participants do their jobs better and with more confidence and lead their companies more effectively.

IP: What are a few of the benefits attendees get outside of the classroom?

TW: During the five days of the Course, there is ample opportunity to network and mingle with the other participants and the faculty during meals, breaks, receptions, and special events. The atmosphere is informal, and the sessions are highly interactive with lots of time for Q and A and lively dialogue. Given the fact that the attendees come to New Haven from all over the world, the Course provides a unique opportunity to learn about how business is conducted in other markets, be exposed to new ideas, and different perspectives, and form friendships with people one would not otherwise ever meet. It is not unusual, in fact, for the participants to form new business relationships with colleagues they have met at Yale. I constantly hear from alumni of the class how much they value what they have learned from the classmates, who have very different job responsibilities than they do and come from a company that has a completely different profile. I love the diversity of the class and I too learn a lot from each individual who attends.


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Jillian Bergsma Manning is a contributing editor for Independent Publisher. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English. She welcomes any questions or comments on her articles at jbergsma (at) Follow her at @LillianJaine.