Digital technology and changing consumer habits are helping drive growth in independent publishing. But as Scott Flora sees it, that success can be made stronger with an educational program that “creates a [new] class of independent publishers who are recognized for their professionalism and the excellence of their product.”
Certification is a common way for trade associations to show who’s professional in that trade: CFPs, RNs, MDs., etc. “Our idea,” says SPAN’s Executive Director, is to establish “a class of publishers that stand above the crowd.” With a working designation of Professional Independent Publisher (PIP), the program aims to overcome a number of problems well-known to the industry. “With the dilemma facing the media and the supply chain in identifying quality publishers and the difficulties of independent publishers in finding publicity and distribution, I am excited to have SPAN leading this important work,” Flora tells Chris Kenneally.
Winoca Book & Media founder Barbara Brannon seconds the notion. Certification, she hopes will inform “booksellers, and reviewers, and libraries, and ultimately readers that we’re in this, not only for the creativity, but for the purpose of producing a professional product.”