Scott Flora is the executive director of the Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN). He has a 25-year background in marketing, sales, and nonprofits.
Stay tuned for the second part of this interview later in the week.
1. SPAN has its annual conference coming up in San Mateo, California. Can you give us a run-down on what publishers should expect to see?
SF: SPAN (Small Publishers of North America) is having our 11th Annual Conference this year. We pride ourselves in having more than terrific speakers, a great trade show and a supportive, community atmosphere. We work hard to create the framework for each attendee to come away from the conference with a concrete marketing action plan. Our goal is to have them develop a document with tasks and deadlines they will use to take their publishing and marketing to the next level.
What should they expect to see? They should expect to see an integrated community where speakers, exhibitors, staff and attendees interact to share their enthusiasm for publishing both in the general sessions and outside of them as well. They should expect to see discussion groups where attendees can work in a smaller setting to learn from each other and create their marketing plan. They should expect plenty of social time to meet and greet fellow publishers.
2. It is easy to see what the advantages are for the publisher of more than one book. Why should a one-book publisher attend?
SF: The conference, the discussion group, and the Marketing Plan Workbook provide a framework for updating or developing a new plan. The book world is so competitive that publishers of all sizes should keep marketing to the forefront of their efforts. With so many daily details that arise from running a business, it is common for marketing to fall to the bottom of the list. Making an action plan creates commitments that get things started and completed.
The speakers, fellow attendees, and exhibitors provide the hundreds of marketing ideas. The discussion groups and the Workbook provide the focus and structure for developing a custom plan that is right for each individual publisher.