The board of directors of the Independent Book Publishers Association recently approved a Code of Ethics that it would like its membership to abide by. Among the five points in the code is for publishers to “pursue editorial, design, and production excellence” and to “observe all copyright laws and conventions.”

IPBA board member and founder of Stone Bridge Press Peter Goodman says he agreed to help draft the code because he believes it is important that the many new people entering the industry be made aware its standards and conventions. The IBPA, whose members include independent publishers as well as self-publishers, is the natural organization to provide guidance on publishing expectations, Goodman says.. “I think the Code of Ethics positions IBPA clearly as a kind of interlocutor between the vast community of people embracing publishing and the industry itself, with all its barriers and safeguards. The Code of Ethics is, in a sense, a kind of navigation device, or a key to industry access,” Goodman says.

For her part, IBPA executive director Angela Bole says the code “helps people understand what IBPA stands for as a professional trade association serving independent publishers and self-published authors. IBPA is a community of people who believe in upholding the highest standards of our industry.”

The code appears of the IBPA Web site and under the About Us tab.

The Code of Ethics reads as follows:

As part of the independent publishing community, we pledge . . .

To uphold the highest standards of our industry, to create works of lasting financial and/or cultural value, and to pursue editorial, design, and production excellence.

To respect the rights of authors and other creators and stakeholders, to observe all copyright laws and conventions, and to never knowingly publish plagiarized work.

To reward authors and contributors for their work, to be honest in our financial dealings, to write contracts in understandable language, to resolve all disputes promptly and fairly, and to foster equal opportunity in our workplaces.

To not mislead readers or buyers with false promises, inflated sales data, or manipulated reviews.

To recycle and reuse and to follow green practices.