Associations – Worth the Fee?

October 6, 2009 at 8:10 am | Posted in Book Publishing, Perspective | Comments Off on Associations – Worth the Fee?
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In tough economic times, everyone seems to draw back from spending money. Sounds like a reasonable thing to do. Save what you don’t need to spend because the economy is so challenging and business is getting tighter.

Generally speaking, unless books are required for classes or business purposes, most books are bought with discretionary income. They are impulse buys, not necessities. Well, maybe they are “necessities” for some of us who just can’t live without a book in our hands or on our e-readers. But, for the most part, books get bought with money that is left after the bills get paid.

So, if the book publishing industry is being adversely affected by a down economy, it seems logical that publishers would take a second or third look at all outflow of money to make sure it is being spent wisely. Logical. Very logical. To a point.

I’ve been a member of the Florida Publishers Association and the Independent Book Publishers Association for over six years. Both of these associations have given me untold benefits over the years. I’ve gotten an education about publishing unlike anything possible in grad schools. Real life, hands-on education and experience have been shared generously by members of FPA and IBPA. One cannot get that sitting in a college classroom. Sure, the principles are taught there, but the experience? Not often.

My memberships in these two associations have meant the difference between success and failure for me. Lessons learned from one-on-one talks, networking, seminars, newsletter articles, Publishing University, online courses, conferences, and so much more have proven to me beyond a doubt that my membership fees are worth every cent and much more.

In fact, I think my dues should be higher! That’s right, higher. For what I have gained from membership in FPA and IBPA would have cost me thousands of dollars had I been able to obtain it through college courses or other sources. When most associations are charging members $300, $500 or more for membership, these two associations charge a pittance in comparison.

Now, more than ever, is the time to be a member of an effective publishing association. Now, more than ever, is the right opportunity for publishers to pull together to share, support, educate, and network for our mutual benefit. The best place to do that for maximum results is in an association of like-minded people.

When my memberships in FPA and IBPA come up for renewal, I won’t have a moment’s hesitation about re-upping. For me, it’s simple. I get so much from my memberships that I would be foolish not to renew them. Right now, more than ever, is the right time to get involved, stay involved, and gain as much as possible from them.  And, it is the best time in the world to give back to those associations by being active, helping out where I can with what talents I can share.

Are associations worth the fee? You bet!


Florida Publishers Association Round Table

April 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Posted in Book Publishing | Comments Off on Florida Publishers Association Round Table
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Tomorrow I will be the keynote speaker at the Florida Publishers Association (FPA) Round Table event near Tampa. The Round Table is part of FPA’s continuing efforts to provide valuable education and networking for its members. The sessions start at 10:30 in the morning and last until 5:00 p.m.

The concept is to have attendees gather around a variety of tables where they can ask whatever questions they have about book publishing. At each table will be a “resident expert” from the FPA board who will offer their thoughts on each question. Everyone at the table will be asked to add their input, too. So, in a lively discussion, a great deal of information sharing will occur to the benefit of all.

During the lunch hour break, I will talk about the value and importance of  being an active part of FPA, especially during these challenging economic times. This is the exact time that we should “circle our wagons” to help each other through the ups and downs that come with market fluctuations, mortgage failures, changing government focus and all the other challenges facing us.

The second part of my keynote will look at how the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) can provide additonal benefits that result in real dollar savings, enhanced book production and marketing, and a wealth of network oppportunities on a national level. Those firms and individuals who are members of both FPA and IBPA gain increased savings and education by utilizing the combined talents and services offered through a long list of valuable benefits.

I have personally gained from my membership in FPA and IBPA. I would not be where I am today if it were not for what I learned from these associations. And, as importantly, I have gained some incredible friends who are always ready to lend a hand whenever it is needed.

FPA and IBPA, a winning combination!

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