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Holiday Wishes &Holiday Gifts

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Right now, I’m getting “wish lists” from my grandchildren for the upcoming holiday season. It’s always nice to know someone’s heart’s desire, and it’s even better if you can help fulfill one of their wishes.

So I thought I’d make a wish list this year for our industry and hope that somewhere someone will read this and help make at least some of the wishes come true.

Wish #1: For all struggling publishers and authors out there, I wish that Amazon.com would stop listing used books right next to our frontlist titles. Sure, I know that there are used bookstores that do sell our product again and that we don’t receive remuneration on these books. However, that’s not the same as having your brand new copy priced at $24.95 competing with its slightly used version for $10.95 in the exact same area. This is similar to having Barnes & Noble carry your frontlist and used book on the same shelf! Doesn’t Amazon realize that if publishers don’t receive sufficient money for their frontlist titles (which translates also to dollars for their authors), there may not be any frontlist in the future?

Wish #2: I wish that Ingram would help find a solution to “not carrying titles from independent publishers unless they are represented by distributors.” We all recognize that there are not enough distributors out there to handle all the publishers currently bringing titles into print. There must be another solution. It’s understandable that Ingram, as a profit-making company, needs to set some guidelines, but dropping all independents who are not currently re>
ented by distributors is not a solution.

Wish #3: That every publisher member of PMA would take the time during these holidays to write a business plan for themselves, their company, and their titles (if they don’t already have such a plan).

Wish #4: That the holiday season proves fruitful for book publishing and that the month of January does not turn into the month of dreaded returns. I remember one publisher who told me a few years ago when returns were hitting 40%-plus in January: “Each time I hear a truck drive up in front of my building, I shudder, thinking it will be bringing back all my damaged returns. I sometimes consider even locking the door and hiding until next year!”

Wish #5: What else?–peace. I’d even forgo above Wishes #1 through #4 if Wish #5 could come true!


And Now for the Gifts

PMA ran a membership sweeps during the month of October and the following people/companies are this year’s big winners:

Third Prize: A full year’s participation in every PMA exhibit for up to five titles per show. And the winner is: Kathy Olivas, SunSeeker Publications of Pahrump, NV.

Second Prize: A full year’s participation in every PMA Library Program mailing. And the winner is Earl R. Phelps, Phelps Publishing, Cleveland, OH.

First Prize: Airfare to and attendance at PMA’s 2002 Publishing University. And the winner is Janet Chapple, Granite Peak Publications, Pawtucket, RI.

Grand Prize: Full year’s participation in all PMA Marketing Programs. And the winner is Carol Layman, Still Waters Press, North Vernon, IN.

And the best gift of all is always saved for last. The following gift of a discount has been offered to all current PMA members by Carl Lennertz and the people of the ABA’s Book Sense program. In a correspondence with PMA, he writes: “We would like to officially make you an Associate Partner with Book Sense. Thank you for all you’ve done, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to work this out with you. And… your members can participate in Advance Access for half off–$50 per title, versus the just announced $100. Hope that’s good news…”

Use the contacts listed in Carl Lennertz’s letter on page 43 and let the ABA know that, as a member of PMA, you’d like to take advantage of this discount.

Joyous holidays plus peace and prosperity in the coming new year from all of us at PMA!

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