Membership of the Independent Publishers Guild has hit a "record high" of more than 600 companies which is "proof of the flourishing state of independent publishing in the UK at the moment," the organisation has said.
According to the IPG, the number of members has been "steadily rising for several years now" but this is the first time it has reached the 600 mark, due to a "flurry" of publishers signing up at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair.
As well as emphasising the popularity of independent publishing, the milestone illustrates the "burgeoning reputation" of the guild, which offers its members more events, resources, benefits and networking opportunities than ever before, the IPG said.
"The IPG’s membership continues to diversify as well as increase, and members now cover the whole spectrum of publishing, from trade and children’s to academic and professional to education and specialist consumer sectors," the organisation said. "While some members have left the IPG over the years—very often as a result of being acquired by larger publishers—they have consistently been outnumbered by new publishing start-ups joining the fold, as well as many existing independent publishers signing up for the first time. A growing number of individuals and companies, offering services in numerous different aspects of publishing, have also opted to join the supplier member category."
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine added: “It is a real thrill for us to see membership of the IPG reach the landmark of 600 companies. The rise in our member numbers has been in tandem with an increase in the activities and resources we provide, and we like to think there are more reasons to belong than ever before. But of course it is independent publishers who make the IPG what it is, and we are truly thankful for the support of so many outstanding companies and talented individuals over the years. I have no doubt that the IPG and independent publishing in general will continue to go from strength to strength.”
IPG chair Oliver Gadsby said the fact the milestone had been reached was "remarkable".
"When independent publishers first got together to form this wonderful organisation more than half a century ago, they could never have imagined that 600 companies would one day belong to it," he said. "The IPG is one of the most vibrant and energetic organisations in the books business, and its phenomenal success is testament to the exceptional support it gives its members and the tireless hard work of our chief executive Bridget Shine and the IPG team.”