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Are you Growing as an AUTHORity? I am!

Are You Growing as an AUTHORity? I am. I did a lot of growing at the recent Publishing University (PubU) sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Last month, I had an AMAZING experience at the Independent Book Publishers Association, Publishing University 2023. This is one example of growing as an AUTHORity and I want to share some of my experiences with you.

At Enhanced DNA Publishing, we have a strong desire to DEVELOP and NURTURE authors so they can ACHIEVE their goals. Over the past several years, we have developed a proven 5 Step Process and we use that process with every author that we publish. As the Founder/CEO of Enhanced DNA Publishing, I recently attended the PubU2023 – Publishing University of the Independent Book Publishers Association. If you have heard me speak about our 5 Step Process, I have a huge focus on Step 5: Stay Connected; Keep Growing. By attending the IBPA Publishing University (PubU2023), that is exactly what I am doing. I believe that it is important to not only stay connected in your target audience, but it is equally important to stay connected and keep growing within your area of expertise, which for me, is in the area of publishing. I learned SO MUCH and made so many new connections that I can’t share it all here, but over the next several months, I plan to share lots of what we discussed by sharing tips, tools and knowledge that can help aspiring authors, new authors as well as seasoned authors, stay connected and grow. This is a part of our mission to “develop and nurture”.

Okay, so where do I start. That’s right, the beginning.

Many of you may not be aware of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and their Publishing University (PubU). IBPA is the largest not-for-profit trade associate for independent publishers, hybrid publishers, self-published authors and association presses. They provide educational programs, cooperative marketing, informational resources, networking and has established the IBPA Book Publishing Standards for professionally published books.

IBPA PubU had a significant focus on growth of Independent Publishers and the impact we are having in the publishing industry and a huge focus on DEI at the in-person event in Coronado, California. IBPA provided a combination of keynotes, workshops, networking and the ever-popular “Ask the Expert”, speed-dating style sessions where experts met with those of us learning and growing and with the ability to ask any questions that would assist in that journey.

Pre-Conference Workshop – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Amazon (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Ian Lamont and Kelly Peterson

WOW! Is all I can say! Ian Lamont from i30 Media Corporation is an Amazon Expert/Encyclopedia and Kelly Peterson, Director of Digital Strategy, IPG (Independent Publishers Group) is the ultimate example of best practices on Amazon (and so much more). This workshop provided data, some of those best practices and so many resources that I have already begun to implement.

Legends of Black Independent Publishing: Learning From the Best – What do you do when your community is under-served, under-represented, and under-published? Serve, Represent and Publish! This session allowed participants to learn from the journey's of some of the successful African American publishers in the business.

Dr. Haki Madhubuti founded the Third World Press Foundation in 1967, and as an author has published over 36 books including the bestselling Black Arts poetry book and the nonfiction Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous? The African American Family in Transition, that sold over 140,000 copies.

W. Paul Coates started Black Classic Press in 1978 (and added BCP Digital Printing in 1995) with a focus on republishing obscure and significant works by and about people of African descent. He received national attention in 1996 when best-selling author Walter Mosley selected Black Classic Press to publish Gone Fishin'. Walter Mosley is also the author of Devil in a Blue Dress!

Kassahun Checole established Africa World Press and The Red Sea Press in 1983 with a mission to provide high quality literature on the history, culture and politics of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Wade and Cheryl Hudson published their first book, AFRO-BETS ABC Book in 1987, selling 5000 copies in less than three months. A year later, they launched their children's book publishing company, Just Us Books.

This panel was moderated by Troy Johnson, founder of the African American Literature Book Club in 1997, the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books by or about people of African descent.

It was such an honor and privilege to have been in the presence of the “Legends of Black Independent Publishing” that shared their combined 100 plus years of publishing experience. And then to get to meet the infamous author Walter Mosley was just icing on the cake. The struggle, the lessons, the legends! Thank you IBPA!

Want more? Stay tuned to our social media during the month of June for more highlights of the 40th year anniversary Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) PubU!

Also, if you have a desire to grow as an author, please continue to follow Enhanced DNA Publishing on Facebook and on our website. If you want to join our author community, check out the Enhanced DNA Publishing Academy. Don’t miss your opportunity to grow as an AUTHORity!

Denola M. Burton is the Founder and CEO of Enhanced DNA: Develop Nurture Achieve, LLC and Enhanced DNA Publishing. ThroughEnhanced DNA, Denola develops and nurtures individuals and organizations to achieve their Leadership, Communication and Performance goals and objectives. Denola is also an author and publisher and through Enhanced DNA Publishing, assists new and newer authors in publishing their books according to the standards of the Independent Book Publisher's Association (IBPA). Denola retired from Eli Lilly and Company after 27 years where the majority of her career was focused on Employee Relations/Human Resources. Interested in becoming an author? Check out Denola' s award-winning book, Enhancing Your Author DNA: Step-by-Step Publishing Guide.

You can connect with Denola on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN and Twitter at Enhanced DNA or send a message to


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