Change . . . it’s a key word for me during this month. In December, I typically reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the past year, as well as on what we have yet to achieve. If the plate seems equally full on both sides, I feel a bit of satisfaction, but not complacency, since there’s still lots to do.
Some of our special accomplishments this year include:
o The implementation of the Ingram Express Program, providing publishers who have fewer than 10 titles an opportunity to expand their distribution capabilities. Through this program, two copies of each title are stocked in Ingram’s superwarehouses in LaVergne, Tennessee and Roseburg, Oregon. In addition, the title is listed on Ingram’s CD database, so that stores requesting a specific title will now have the opportunity to find it. Eddie Thornhill is the Publisher Relations Manager of this program and can be reached at 615/287-5351.
o The PMA Publishers’ Liability Insurance Program offered through Argo Insurance. This program provides liability insurance to publishers at an extremely low premium rate with excellent coverage, including Errors and Omissions. We have been searching for years for a program such as this that all publishers could afford. It is available to members in all states. Mike Mansell is the contact for this program at Argo Insurance. He can be reached at 510/682-7001, ext. 119.
o The implementation of Small Press Week in March 1997 in conjunction with our partner, the Small Press Center in New York. This program brought increased visibility to the independent publishers both nationally, through the support of Barnes & Noble, and regionally, through the support of many of the PMA affiliate groups, libraries, and local bookstores who accomplished only what a “grassroots” effort can. We were so successful in generating print and radio publicity, as well as signings, visibility, and sales for our products, that we are expanding the Small Press Week to be the Small Press Month (March 1998). If you would like to help us work on this project in your area, please e-mail, fax, or write us and we’ll start that grassroots effort rolling again!
o Successful lobbying, through the auspices of the Media Coalition in New York, to prevent various forms of censorship from infiltrating the publishing industry. Lloyd Jassin, a New York based attorney, has been attending many of the meetings on behalf of PMA and will be providing a report on the actions of this committee in a future newsletter article.
o The completion of one survey (see the front page story in this issue) and the implementation of another survey through the Book Industry Study Group. Ron Mazzola, PMA board member, will be working on this study of the independent press community which, hopefully, will cause more visibility for more independent publishers in 1998.
o A new look for our newsletter. Keeping current and keeping new is always a challenge, but a few years ago we decided to utilize the design services of one designer, so that the PMA look would be consistent. John Webster and Francine Droll of Abacus Graphics in Carlsbad, California have taken PMA to new and consistent images. This newsletter is one example of their redesign work. The Benjamin Franklin Call for Entries (inserted in this issue) is another example of eye-catching design.
o The PMA Mini-Publishing Universities, presented so far in Denver, Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Seattle and scheduled for 1998 in San Diego, Phoenix, Charlottesville, and Chicago. This was in answer to many people who told us they couldn’t afford to attend or didn’t have appropriate titles to attend the Publishing University just prior to BookExpo America. We’ve seen 50-80 people at each location so far and the educational sessions along with the networking opportunities have been superb! Thanks to all the attendees, the speakers, and the regional representatives in each area: Suzanne D’Avalon (Denver); Eileen Haavik (Baltimore); Kent Sturgis (Seattle); and Doug & Kate Bandos and Chris Roerden (Indianapolis)!
A Look at What’s Ahead
Even with all that’s been accomplished, there’s more on the way. Here’s some of what you can look forward to in 1998:
o The 1998 Publishing University will take on a new look. It will be presented the two days prior to the BookExpo America in Chicago, Illinois (May 28-29, 1998), but the location will move from the traditional hotel site to McCormick Place. We’re moving for two reasons. First the move will help support the BookExpo and also make it easier for our attendees. Many of them will want to both set up their booth on the floor and attend our classes. Transportation will be provided from hotel sites on Thursday and Friday for our attendees. We look forward to a great new show at a wonderful new location!
o More PMA member benefits. Kent Sturgis is the PMA member-services committee chair and is currently studying a variety of insurance options, including dental, disability, and even some retirement benefit possibilities for our membership.
o New programs are planned with the University Presses across the US, as well as new marketing opportunities for our members in the academic, electronic, and corporate arenas. Nicholas Weir-Williams, PMA board member, will be working on many of these new areas of growth.
o Regional group development through our affiliate programs and through our new SIGs, overseen by Aron Trauring, PMA board member. Through this type of networking, new avenues for marketing opportunities develop and sales of product occur.
o And there’s lots, lots more that we’re working on daily.
We, at the PMA office-Terry, Andrea, Michele, Rick, Sherri, and Ray-want to wish you all a joyous holiday season (personally and professionally). We thank you for your support during this past “year of returns” and focus on the future and growth for all of us!