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Dispute Resolution Program
to Be Introduced August 1

PMA-thanks to our Membership Chairperson, Kent Sturgis-has finally put into place a Dispute Resolution Program. We hope to be able to better serve all of our members who have reached an impasse when trying to resolve a problem.But before you jump into this program (see page XX for a detailed description), please make sure that you have read your contract with the person with whom you have a dispute to ensure that there truly has been a breach of contract.So many times we receive phone calls at the office regarding disputes and one of following happens. After spending hours, days and sometimes even weeks in attempting to understand the actual problem, we find that the vendor is operating in a proper fashion, and has not breached the contract. Or, in other instances, we learn that the whole story was not told to the office when the person first issued the complaint.

An Example of a Past Dispute

Recently we received a complaint from publisher member about an offshore printer. We were informed that the vendor had been paid 50% of the fee but had slowed down the job. The publisher was concerned that he may never see his finished product. He explained that he had made some changes at blueline, but he felt that they were not major. When we approached the printer, the story we received was a bit more complicated. This book, which was nearly 100% 4-color, had been presented to the printer as a series of slides shot by the publisher/author. The slides needed great doctoring, according to the printer. Also the printer said that the PageMaker file presented on disc was erroneously paginated and had to be completely changed after all the seps had been made. Then many changes were made at blueline, which set back the production schedule drastically.In addition, the publisher stated that he was planning to make the final payment from the dollars he gathered from the sale of his book. The contract read that the final third of the payment was to be made to the printer within 30 days after delivery of the job. When the printer heard that, he commented, “We can’t deliver if the final payment is dependent upon sales of product. We are printers, not publishers, not willing to take the publisher liability.” As you can see, the issue became very cloudy, at best. When we contacted the publisher with the printer’s response, he agreed that some of the comments were accurate but others were not.

Proposed Resolution

We suggested that the publisher place the remaining due dollars in an escrow account to be able to be accessed by the printer 30 days after delivery of the accepted product. That way, the publisher would receive his product for which he had already paid two-thirds and the printer could rest assured that he didn’t have to wait for the sale of the publisher’s books for the final payment.

PMA’s Annual Budget

At the June 1999 board meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Board approved the following operating budget for PMA’s 1999/00 Fiscal Year, which begins July 1, 1999.


Program Anticipated Revenue Anticipated Expense
Benjamin Franklin $ 82,700 $ 66,650
Direct Mail Programs $208,800 $135,350
Exhibits $302,600 $284,400
Library Mailings $126,540 $116,913
Membership $222,644 $ 58,800
Newsletter $179,400 $145,860
Resource Directory $ 85,000 $ 43,800
Seminars $151,850 $127,850
Trade Advertising $157,800 $135,900
Trade Distribution $ 8,800 $ 3,700
Administration $108,000 $536,300*
Totals $1,660,934.00 $1,653,523.00

*Administration Expense includes Supplies, Telephone, Postage, Institutional Advertising, Board Travel Expenses, Management, Affiliate Support, Design, Insurance, Dues & Subscriptions, Accounting, Web Site, Research, Small Press Week, Storage, Ingram Program, Strategic Planning, Taxes, Bad Debt, and Papers/Studies.
This article is from thePMA Newsletterfor July, 1999, and is reprinted with permission of Publishers Marketing Association.

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