Monday, February 1, 2010

Professional Organziations for Authors and Publishers - SPAN

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the value of belonging to professional organizations and briefly mentioned those organizations of interest to authors who self-publish.  I promised to provide a bit more information about each of the organizations mentioned in the blog piece.  Small Publishers Association (SPAN) is the first of these organizations I am revisiting to offer a little bit more information about for those who are interested.

SPAN's Mission statement as listed on its website is provided below:

The mission of the Small Publishers Association (SPAN) is to make authors and independent publishers more successful. As a nonprofit trade association, SPAN provides education, group buying discounts, and advocacy for our members.

SPAN Members sell more books and make more money. They are more knowledgeable and have fewer problems with their book production and marketing. We guarantee it!

Three types of memberships are available each ranging in price and who that level of membership is intended for.  The most expensive is the $150 SPAN Professional Associate Member which is designed primarily for companies in the industry that qualify as a small publisher or offer services to authors and small publishers. The next level of membership is The $89 Professional Member and finally the $60 Professional Member Partner membership.

From what I can gather from the website, the organization is primarily intended to be an educational one for its members with the goal of making authors and publishers more profitable and to be able to run their businesses with fewer problems.

An example of one of the educational programs available to members is a workbook to help design an effective marketing plan to promote a book and increase its sales.  

The site also touts membership benefits that add up to a total of 24 benefits for members. Not every member will find all of the benefits listed of use and some benefits may be of more value to some members and not others. Still, it is a long list and several of the benefits have the potential to save the member enough money to recoup the cost of membership.

Check the site out and determine if membership is worthwhile for you and your self-publishing press.