The recent PubWest Best Practices Survey asked association members to share details on what works best for them in sales, marketing and distribution. In a discussion with CCC’s Chris Kenneally, PubWest executives Kent Watson and Zoe Katherine (Katie) Burke shared highlights that reflect the dynamic, if agitated business environment.
The global communications potential of social media. Libraries as a sales channel more sizable than Amazon. Director-to-consumer marketing that sells books faster and easier than ever. Such are the pleasures of independent bookselling in 2015.
Respondents also gave vent to the pain of indie publishing, too. Concerns that the noise level online overwhelms their messages and their products. Fears of Amazon’s “near monopolistic” power. And central to every house, small or large, the question of relevance in the digital age.
Kent Watson just celebrated his 25th year in publishing. He is currently the executive director of PubWest, whose members include a wide range of small independent presses, university and collegiate presses, and publishing companies with global operations, although most members are based in the western United States and Canada. In addition, Kent is an adjunct professor at Portland State University teaching Book Selling, and a book marketing consultant.
Zoe Katherine (Katie) Burke is the president of the board of directors of PubWest. She is also the publisher and vice president of Pomegranate Communications, an art book and gift product publishing company based in Portland Oregon. As Zoe Burke, she is the author of two Annabelle Starkey mysteries, published by Poisoned Pen Press, and has written the text for a half dozen children’s picture books published by Pomegranate.
“A Passion for Books,” the PubWest Conference 2016 takes place February 4–6, 2016 at the La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico.