Why, my friends and family ask me when they hear I’m the new president of the PubWest board, is the busiest person I know taking on yet another responsibility? True, I already run a full-throttle, perpetually understaffed publishing company, plus I’m on another board, plus I have a large and vibrant community of family and friends and community members that demand my time.
Here’s why: I have gotten so much more out of PubWest than I’ve ever put in, and I’ve put in a fair amount. I honestly believe that Prospect Park Books would not still exist today if it wasn’t for PubWest. It’s where I’ve found my publishing spirit guides, where I’ve discovered quality, honest, fairly priced vendors, where I’m made good friends, and, most of all, where I’ve learned countless things, large and small, that have made my business stronger. When I first started Prospect Park thirteen years ago, I’m sure I thought I’d know it all by now, but in fact, I came home from the most recent conference with more ideas, inspiration, and action-plan items than ever before.
If you are new to PubWest (or just investigating us)—welcome! You have found the best association of book publishers in North America. We offer many opportunities to get involved, including:
- Conference. Every February, we gather to listen to mind-expanding speakers, learn from one another at roundtables and panels, meet new people, and improve our businesses.
- Design Awards.This competition showcases the best books made by our members. Designers take pride in being recognized by PubWest. The annual display of award-winners is a conference highlight and an inspiration to us all.
- Vendors.PubWest has a rich pool of associate members: designers, distributors, printers, editors, digital experts, and more. Find them in our directory, at the conference, and at PubWest-sponsored happy hours.
- Pub501.This new online education program has launched with a great tutorial on P&Ls; look for more on distribution and production in the coming year.
- Mentorship.The veterans are here to help the newcomers.
- Roundtables, Happy Hours, and BookLores. These are regular opportunities to get together via phone calls, video conferences, and even at regional events throughout the year, including happy hours (organize one near you!).
I encourage you to join if you haven’t, and if you’re already a member, get more involved. We are truly stronger together.
Colleen Dunn Bates
President, Board of Directors