Why I’m Sending My Staff to PUB501

by Bill Fessler, American Traveler Press

Last year, PubWest made a bold move to shift our annual conference from November to February. There were lots of powerful reasons we did this. Sure, finances played a part in it, but we were primarily motivated by the opportunity to move away from the crazy September-October-November schedules most publishing houses find themselves in, especially those who have distributor meetings taking place during that time. So, when Tools of Change was discontinued and February opened up, we grabbed it — and are planning to make it ours. The PubWest Conference and February will become synonymous. The same great conference you (and everyone else) loved, now in February, and often somewhere warm!

But what about the rest of the year?

Between Frankfurt, London, BEA, regional trade shows, distributor conferences, and the craziness surrounding end-of-year sales, we found little time available for PubWest to better serve members. But–look! Smack in the middle of the year, we saw June just sitting there, ripe for an education program. It’s early in the summer, the calm “eye of the hurricane” that is the publishing year. By June, the winter and spring trade shows have ended, and it’s not quite time to ramp up for the fall meetings and book launches. You, the boss, should see this as a great time to invest in your staff. And the PubWest PUB501 Summer Sessions are the perfect opportunity to do that.

What does PUB501 offer?

Well, it’s a chance to elevate your staff’s understanding of one another. While you may be off and running from one trade show to the next or meeting with the big distributors or chain store buyers, your staff has been sitting at their desks most of the year, doing the same thing over and over again…

  • Sure the marketing person knows where the editor sits, and maybe the finance department enjoys their control over the money that will be spent on this year’s catalogs, but do they understand what the other people in the office really do?
  • What decisions do they make that have an effect on the book’s outcome?
  • Does the designer realize that the photographer has a fixed-rate contract for the book, and that might affect how many images this book should have?
  • Does accounting know how much four-color artwork really costs, and what effect a black and white catalog will have on sales?
  • Marketing knows editing is an important part of the process, but do they really understand editing — and why it seems to take so long?

Send them to PUB501, an opportunity to learn each other’s skills and decisions. They’ve been working in their own little fiefdom for a few years, they need a better understanding of what the other departments have to accomplish.

PUB501 isn’t going to create cover designers out of your marketing personnel, nor an editor from your acquisitions team, but they will come home with a much greater appreciation for what happens in the process of making a successful book. They should come back to the office and be more in tune with each other’s jobs, more appreciative of the decisions made by others, and more willing to work with one another on future projects.

In other words, they will produce better (and better selling!) books.

PUB501 will be June 19-20 in Denver and June 26-27 in Portland. Each city will share the same course, just on different dates, drawing from the experienced PubWest volunteers who also produce each PubWest Conference. Split up your employees and send some to Colorado, the rest to Oregon. Use PUB501 to create a better team.

Visit the PUB501 page for details, costs, and learn how it will make your February trip to Pasadena cost less, too.

We can’t wait to meet your crew!

Bill Fessler
Publisher, American Traveler Press