As I enter the second and final year of my presidency of PMA, I would like to report to the membership through this column
how I see the current state of the association.
Essentially we are in the best shape that we have ever been. This is reflected in an all-time high membership, a strong
financial situation which has enabled the association to build a reasonable reserve (as all not-for-profit trade associations
should have), and more status within the trade as a whole than we have ever had. This last point is thanks largely to the
publication of the PMA/BISG study “The Rest of Us” which brought some statistical heft to bear on what many of us have known
for some time. That is that the independent sector of book publishing is growing rapidly and forcefully. PMA is by far the
largest and most effective of the associations representing this sector of the industry, and increasingly the opinions of the
officers of this association are being sought by those making major decisions that affect the industry as a whole.
Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Jan Nathan and her team, and those of your Board, we have successfully implemented a
number of new programs over the last 12 months, with many more in stages of preparation. These include the Dispute Resolution
Program, which has already had four submissions to it in its first month; the addition of a new staff member with a specific
brief in member liaison at the PMA office; the new arrangements providing a liaison person with Ingram (Jeannie Smith now
handles over 400 accounts of PMA members who previously had no links with anyone at Ingram); the Baker and Taylor review
program, which launches this fall; the parish program, which ensures that every member of PMA in every state has a link with
one Board member who represents their part of the country; a number of new and important member benefits, including publisher
liability insurance; a new curriculum at Publishing University, which in 1999 was larger and far more successful than ever
before; the publication of the first of a series of “White Papers” designed exclusively for PMA members, on Distribution; a
widening of the makeup of the nominating committee and improvements in the way members can stand for election to the Board; and
increasing recognition for the Benjamin Franklin Awards at a national level.
The Board agreed at their meeting in Baltimore at the end of September to initiate a study of PMA’s marketing activities,
both in terms of the appearance of the materials and further research into their reception and utility by those receiving them;
to look into redesign of both the PMA Website and this newsletter; and to continue work on a strategic plan that will guide the
association most effectively through the next five years in a way that will be of maximum benefit to its diverse and growing
membership. With this specifically in mind, I would like to invite all members to submit direct to me (by e-mail only please,
at email@example.com) their views of what PMA can and should become over the next five years. I already have the
direct replies to the survey in the newsletter from earlier this year which form part of the deliberation process already, so
those respondents can choose to submit further thoughts if they wish. I am less concerned for this exercise with your opinions
of specific programs now offered, more with how you see the shape of the independent publishing sector in the years to come and
how PMA can best represent you.
I look forward enormously to serving my final term as your President with pride and anticipation.
Contact the PMA office at <A
HREF=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com for a copy of a brochure describing the Dispute
Resolution Program. For more information about mediation and arbitration, contact Phil Tamoush at <A