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Director’s Desk: Ask the Experts… You!

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Many times I get questions that I’m unable to answer, but normally I can find an expert who can help. Lately, I’ve started thinking that it might be interesting to involve more than the people I know in getting an answer to something that’s stumping someone. I’d like to develop an Ask the Expert area on our Web site where you as members could post questions and our group of experts would reply to your most pressing problems.

Here’s an example of a query I received recently. I really couldn’t think of an expert to whom I could refer it so I’m including it in my column this month and asking any of you who have experience in this area to share information with this person directly. I have included her phone, fax, and e-mail. Thanks in advance for helping her.

I’m a new member of PMA and trying to find a marketing fact that I need for planning. I was hoping you might have this information or be able to point me in the right direction.

How many books (on average) does a first book sell in the Fantasy category? In Young Adult? In Young Readers?

Our first book is a Fantasy book that I could market to anyone age eight and up (very similar to The Hobbit). It prints in January and I’m working on the marketing plan this month. I’m also casting about trying to find the right distributor for this book. For library and school sales, I am applying to Quality Books. But for the public market, I’m a bit overwhelmed by the number of distributors out there. Any guidance in this area would be most appreciated too. Yes, I have Dan’s îLyns, the Rosses’ books, Shel’s book, etc., but I’m missing plain old ordinary networking with other publishers in my area. Do you have any members who have been successful in the Fantasy/Sci Fi area? If so, please do send me their names so that I can e-mail or call them.

Thank you very much for any help or direction you can provide.

Best regards,

Diane Tinney, President

Moo Press, Inc., P. O. Box 54, Warwick, NY 10990

845/987-7750 • Fax 845/987-7845 • dtinney@moopress.com

PMA Board Meeting

I’m just back from the quarterly PMA Board meeting, which was held this time in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While we were there, we were given a tour of the McNaughton & Gunn printing plant in nearby Saline. To say it was informative is an understatement. We’d like to thank Ron Mazzola, who encouraged us to do this, Julie McFarland, CEO of M&G, who arranged our tour, and all the other people who either helped stage or conducted the tour for our group (J.P. Stando, Diane Waterhouse, Jonnie Bryant, Jim Clark, and Jim Gilbertson).

If you ever have a chance to tour a printing facility, I encourage you to place it on your agenda. Developments in the direct to plate area are remarkable, from sheet, to small web, to large web processing. You’ll be astounded by the process as well as by the amount of paper “wasted” until conditions are determined to be just right for printing a book. While the waste is recycled, there’s still lots of paper going through the web before printing can begin.

Watching PMS colors mixed on a marble slab that very much resembles the slab used in candy making (except that this one is filled with a variety of colors), seeing the gigantic rolls of paper in the warehouse, experiencing the smells and noise of the machinery, walking through the pre-press and final binding and cutting areas helps you understand more about the finished product.

It was also really interesting, walking through this plant, to recognize so many covers from so many members stacked on pallets waiting to encase finished books.

The Board is currently studying many new projects, which Don Tubesing, President, will address in next month’s Newsletter. We’re looking for new marketing ventures to present to our members and would welcome your suggestions about specific areas in which we do not yet assist you in your marketing efforts. Please e-mail your suggestions to me at jan@pma-online.org. We will consider them at our next meeting in February.


Benjamin Franklins

Don’t forget! This is the month that we need to receive your submissions in the Benjamin Franklin Awards competition. All books published in 2002 are eligible.

If you missed entering during the first Call for Entries for books published January 1-June 30, 2002, you can still enter them now. Please send your entries to us before the end of this month. If you need an entry form, talk with anyone at the PMA office at 310/372-2732 and they’ll fax or mail one to you, or visit our Web site at www.pma-online.org and click on the Benjamin Franklin Call for Entries Button. A complete entry form is there, and you can download it to your computer and print it as well.


Happy holidays to all PMA members and other publishers.

May 2003 loom bright and profitable on your publishing horizon!


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