IPG, the 51-year-old Chicago-based distribution company, has launched a third brand, IPG Publishing, which will focus on co-publishing and licensing projects, as well as proprietary and custom publishing. The imprint joins Chicago Review Press and Triumph Books under the Distributor Publishing umbrella.
IPG Publishing is led by Richard T. Williams, vice president of development, publishing and licensing, who explained that the imprint gives the company the ability to use all of its existing resources – its internal teams of Publishing, Sales and Marketing, its Print Relations and Digital Print Center – to publish books that showcase the IPG brand.
The new brand debuted in June with the release of Don McLean’s American pie: a fable, a children’s picture book based on the 1972 song. It was published in partnership with music and film producer Spencer Proffer’s media production company, Meteor 17, with an initial print run of 10,000 copies. The 18th edition of Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbookwith his classic red plaid jacket, will be released, with an initial print run of 60,000, on October 25 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Better homes and gardens magazine. The cookbook is published in conjunction with Dotdash Meredith (formerly Meredith) and reflects that company’s decision to cease publishing its own titles in favor of licensing agreements. In November, IPG Publishing will release another youth album in partnership with Meteor 17: broadway baby by Russell Miller and Judith A. Proffer.
Williams said IPG Publishing caters to customers who want more than just distribution services and whose content cannot register under the CRP or Triumph imprints. He pointed to BH&G’s cookbook – “which didn’t seem to work” with CRP’s quirky roster or with Triumph, which specializes in sports books – as the perfect fit for the new imprint.
In its role as a publisher, IPG Publishing is able to obtain better printing rates for its clients’ titles, while giving them more visibility with accounts that recognize the IPG brand. “A lot of it is about being well-marketed and branded across the industry.” said Williams. “We use our brand as a distributor to publish a book which we then guide through the process on our own, in addition to distributing it.”
The addition of high-profile licensed books published under the IPG Publishing imprint enhances IPG’s overall distribution mix, Williams added. “Not only do we have the Better homes and gardens cookbook here, and our existing clients there – we also have the program with Spencer Proffer which allows us to expand in all directions and get better exposure for anything on the list.
IPG Publishing already has a number of titles scheduled for release in 2023: two or three books will be released in partnership with Meteor 17, “including links to additional legendary songs,” Williams said. He also signed licensing deals with Dotdash Meredith’s southern life review for a Southern cocktails book, and with coastal life for a Eat at the beach recipe book. There may also be “a few other exclusive publishing projects” that represent “a new area for us”, he acknowledged, especially as they involve the IPG editorial team developing content .
Speaking of his vision for IPG Publishing, Williams said the company’s goal is to employ “different models – different ways of using IPG to continue to grow our services by reimagining what a distributor is meant to be. “. As IPG Publishing asserts itself in a changing industry, he added, “its future is open. We are excited to know where this will take us. Maybe a partner will come along and give me ideas that I haven’t even thought of yet, but are worth exploring.
A version of this article originally appeared in the 09/19/2022 issue of Weekly editors under the title: IPG expands its publishing activity