'Exponential' growth for international rights
Publishers are maximising i...
Knight appointed PA vice-president
Palgrave Macmillan chairman...
Mollet: publishers have proved 'up to the challenge'
Innovation, international s...
LBF: Trade needs new entrepreneurs
People who understand techn...
PA launches site 'to attract brightest and best' into industry
The Publishers Association ...
IPG members balk at PA scheme
01.05.09 | Catherine Neilan
Members of the Independent Publishers Guild have questioned attempts by the Publishers Association to encourage small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to its fold.
The PA's initiative is to be led by Nick Robinson, chair and publisher of independent Constable & Robinson, who is joining the PA Council in order to set up an SME forum. Robinson said: "I'm a member of both [organisations] because we get different benefits from them. I cannot imagine being the member of one to the exclusion of the other."
But existing IPG members were sceptical about the benefits of joining the PA. Alan Mahar, publishing director at Tindal Street Press, said: "The IPG serves its members very energetically, with numerous initiatives and conferences . . . It wouldn't really make sense for us to join [the PA] as well as IPG."
Corinne Souza, director at Picnic Publishing, described the PA as "playing catch-up". She added: "For a tiny outfit, the IPG can run rings around what the PA are trying to offer." Simon Flynn, m.d. at Icon Books, said: "It's not really clear what about [the PA's] offer is different."
However, Emma Barnes, m.d of Snowbooks, said she was planning to become a member of both. While applauding the IPG, she said that sometimes it was necessary to be part of an organisation, "big enough to work on a global industry level".
Simon Juden, chief executive of the PA, said that more than half of its current membership were eligible for the new SME rate. He added: "We're very clear that the PA and IPG are organisations with separate aims and objectives. The PA has supported the IPG, and still does." Juden said the PA had been working on the initiative since before the IPG recruited publishers such as Bloomsbury and Walker. Juden pointed to the PA's advocacy role on issues such as copyright. He added: "The PA has immense relevance to the largest and the smallest."
Bridget Shine, executive director of the IPG, said: "The PA will no doubt do its best for its members and the IPG will continue to provide the best and most appropriate services for ours."
* The PA's SME membership, which was announced at the London Book Fair, offers a tiered annual subscription rate according to a company's turnover. The lowest rate is £250
(+VAT) for companies with turnover of up to £250,000, increasing to £1,995(+VAT) for those with turnover between £1m and £2.5m.