by Florrie Binford Kichler
It’s 2010. Do You Know Where Your Benefits Are?
. . . and are you taking full advantage of them? Year after year, Americans list “Get out of debt” as one New Year’s resolution on their top 10 list. Given the great economic meltdown of 2008–2009, it is safe to assume that many of us have taken on more debt than ever before, and will be spending the greater portion of 2010 (and beyond) trying to reverse that trend. What better way to do so than to look to your association’s more than 30 money-saving benefits that can help lighten the financial load?
Fellow IBPA member Penny Paine did and saved a bundle; here’s how:
I am writing to express my appreciation for the work of IBPA.
As a member since the 1980s I always look forward to the reports and current publishing information that IBPA offers. Last month I arranged for Paper Posie’s inventory to be moved from Santa Barbara, CA, to Boulder, CO, and this required a big truck! I called Yellow/Roadway, received immediate and excellent service and, with my IBPA membership, a $500 discount! There are very few bright points in publishing at the moment but that was one of them. Thank you.
Penelope C. Paine, Publisher
*Reprinted with permission.
Access to all the IBPA benefits is included in your dues. I’m a publisher myself, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s been a while since I’ve really looked at our benefits and asked myself how I can incorporate the savings they provide into my own business—thereby freeing cash for other uses.
The following highlights a couple of benefits I already use in my publishing company as well as some new ones that I intend to explore. I encourage you to take a look at all the money-savers listed in the Member Benefits section of this issue to see what’s right for your company. You too might be able to realize significant savings on activities that you perform daily as part of running your business.
Specifics on Savings
Freight and Shipping Services with FedEx and Yellow/Roadway—IBPA members save up to 68 percent
Publishers ship. Even if you publish only e-books or only via print on demand, you probably have to send some things from point A to point B. Whether you mail one package or 500 packages a week, why wouldn’t you take advantage of the opportunity to save some money on something that you have to do anyway? I can’t promise that you’ll always have the great results that Penny did with Yellow/Roadway, but over the course of a year, even a few dollars a week add up. This is one of my favorite IBPA benefits that saved me hundreds of dollars in 2009.
Constant Contact—IBPA members save 20–25 percent (10 percent more than the standard discount)
Constant Contact offers businesses a turnkey way of designing and mailing online communications, including surveys. With more than 400 templates and metrics that help you manage your mailing list and tell you everything from how many recipients opened your email to the number of bouncebacks and where they came from, Constant Contact can be a useful and time-saving addition to your communications efforts. At this writing, and depending on how many email addresses you have on your mailing list, if you prepay the first six months’ subscription, from $18 to $180 of the fee stays in your pocket, while prepaying the first year allows you to keep from $45 to $450. I’m a big believer in making it simple when it comes to technology, so by the time you read this, I will have already become a Constant Contact subscriber!
Nielsen BookScan—IBPA members enjoy an exclusive discounted subscription price
How is your book doing in bookstores in the southern United States? How is it selling in bookstores in California? What other books in the same category as your potential new release are already on the market, and how are they selling in the outlets BookScan tracks? Who is your biggest competitor in any given genre in those outlets? BookScan, an online service that tracks about 75 percent of retail trade-book sales in the United States (not including Wal-Mart or most nonbook stores), can help you answer all these questions and more. One IBPA member I spoke with touts BookScan as the best benefit offered by IBPA, with the potential of saving publishers a considerable sum due to the marketing intelligence it provides. Your mileage may vary, but take a look at BookScan and see if it might be right for your company.
Plumb Social—IBPA members save $300
If you’re still wondering how in the world to find time to climb aboard the social media juggernaut, Plumb Social may be able to help. This service customizes and integrates several social media tools, such as Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, and many others, into your own blog site (which Plumb Social will host), allowing you to enter your information just one time. Figure out what your time is worth, and Plumb Social may be worth the savings in time and money.
PW/SLJ/LJ advertising—IBPA members can save up to 50 percent
The industry’s most respected trade publications offer exclusive discounted rates to IBPA members for individual company advertising. In addition, twice a year IBPA’s cooperative ad packages for the cover and interior of Publishers Weekly provide members with the unique opportunity to promote their titles to the trade at an even lower cost. The saving from participating in the co-op ad vs. paying the normal price of a PW cover comes to literally thousands.
Acting on Information
These benefits are just a few I chose from the more than 30 listed in this month’s Independent. Certainly not all of these will work for you, and I caution you to perform your usual due diligence in checking whether these vendors, or any other vendors, are right for you. My purpose here is to simply remind you that IBPA benefits are available and have the potential to put a significant portion of your hard-earned dollars back in your pocket.
Are there specific benefits you would like to see IBPA pursue? Please tell Terry or Lisa in the IBPA office or let me know—we welcome and encourage your input. Benefits make up just one of the advantages IBPA offers you. In the months ahead, I will periodically feature additional ways you can make the most of your membership. And Penny, I guarantee that your board and staff will continue to work to ensure that IBPA is your and every member’s “bright point in publishing.”
Follow Florrie and IBPA on Twitter at twitter.com/ibpa. Join Independent Book Publishers Association–IBPA group on Linked In (linkedin.com).