Pub-Forum. One of the oldest lists. Pub-Forum is unmoderated and populated by experienced publishers. This is where the characters of book publishing hang out. Comments sometime get off-topic. Newbies are welcome as long as they have read at least one book on publishing and know the bare-bones basics of the industry (like how to get an ISBN). Pub-Forum is sometimes like a large cocktail party where a few of the publishers have had one drink too many.
Self-Publishing. Owned by SPAN. Advertising and rudeness are prohibited; signature lines are limited. All posts are read by the moderators (listmoms), and if any of them feel the post should not be allowed, it isn’t. Postings are clean and civil. This is a large and popular list of some 1,600 people; the overwhelming majority are new to the business.
Publish-L. The original (PMA) publishers’ list with a new owner. Publish-L is similar to the SPAN list but not moderated. It does have strict rules of behavior, however.
Smallpub-Civil. A newer list, run by Shel Horowitz and formed to be similar to the Pub-Forum list but with a “be civil at all times” rule that is enforced. Name-calling is prohibited.
Fiction_L. Covers fiction.
Ind-E-Pubs. Covers e-books.
The eBook Community. Covers e-books.
POD Publishers. A business discussion group for publishers of print-on-demand books.
Publishing Design. A place for authors, typesetters, designers, publishers, and others to exchange ideas about creating professional-looking books to compete with those produced by larger publishing houses.
Publishers tend to be helpful, friendly, and supportive. Because every book is unique, we do not compete with each other. We feel we are conspirators in book promotion rather than competitors in book publishing and openly share knowledge and experiences.
Discussion groups are populated by the best and the brightest in publishing, and their advice is free. Join some groups today!
Dan Poynter is a past vice-president of PMA and the author of The Self-Publishing Manual. For more information, visit http://parapub.com/getpage.cfm?file=/infokit.html.