During a long childhood
illness of mine that required complete bed rest, my Aunt Mary brought me an
orange-covered book entitled Amelia Earhart, Kansas Girl. I devoured it and begged for
more books in the classic children’s book series fondly remembered by
schoolchildren of the 1950s and 1960s as the “orange biographies.”
Fast forward nearly 40 years to a
time when—as a would-be publisher with nothing but a dream (sound
familiar?) to bring that series back into print—I joined what was then
the Publishers Marketing Association. Three years of learning, research, and
support resulted in the founding of my company, Patria Press, specifically to
reintroduce those orange biographies, now renamed the <span
Series, to today’s kids.
Like many of you, I submitted my
first title to PMA’s Trade Distribution Program, and it was accepted.
Like many of you, I have
participated in countless cooperative PMA Target Marketing and Catalog
Like many of you, I have worked
and exhibited at PMA booths at BEA, ALA, and the regionals.
Like many of you, I have attended
and learned from the best in the business at the annual Publishing University.
For the past four years, it has
been my pleasure and honor to serve on your board of directors with an
incredibly dedicated, experienced, intelligent, creative, and all-around
terrific group. As your new president, I am as excited to have the opportunity
to learn from all of you as I am to continue working with both past and new
board members. To be able to give back to PMA, the Independent Book Publishers
Association—to you who have given me the education, foundation, and
courage to start and run a publishing company—is a privilege.
The Power of 4,000-Plus
We are an Independent Book
Publishers Association, but more important, we are independent publishers. Each
one of us brings a special blend of strengths, weaknesses, dreams for the
future, and lessons from the past. Going forward, I challenge you to think of
how you can bring your unique gifts to PMA to strengthen our
· Suggest an article for <span
better yet, write one.
· Join your regional
affiliate—or better yet, start one.
· Participate in a Special Interest
Group (SIG)—or better yet, organize one.
· Take courses at a regional
mini-PMA-U or the “big” PMA-U—or better yet, teach one.
· Exhibit with PMA at the next trade
show—or better yet, work one.
As my mother aged, she would
complain about dealing with aches and pains, and always end by saying, “Old age
is not for sissies.”
Neither is publishing.
But when we suffer the ache of
returns and the pain of distribution (or lack thereof), we have PMA, your
Independent Book Publishers Association, a network of thousands of publishers
with the collective experience of many lifetimes who can at least ease the pain
with an “I’ve been there,” and often help with a “Now go this way.”
Imagine harnessing the wisdom and
experience of 4,000-plus independent publishers working to make your publishing
business run better, smarter, and more profitably. No need to
dream—you’ve got ’em right here in your own association. But do they have
you? Begin today—if not the article for the <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>Independent, write a letter to the
editor; if not a new affiliate, contact the one closest to you for membership
In the next few weeks, your board
and staff will begin setting goals and priorities for your organization for the
next year and beyond. We will be answering the question, Where do we want to go
today . . . next month . . . next year . . . in the next five years to help
you, our members, achieve and succeed?
Where do you want to go today,
next month, next year, in the next five years? How can PMA, the Independent
Book Publishers Association, help you achieve your goals? More important, how
can you help PMA help you?
My virtual door is always
open—I encourage you to share your comments, thoughts, and ideas by
emailing me at email@example.com.