Bulletins from the Board Meeting

December 2005
by Kent Sturgis

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Working with Amazon

A face-to-face meeting with a
delegation from Amazon was a highlight when PMA’s board of directors gathered
in November in blustery Seattle. This surprisingly friendly and constructive
session may yield new ideas for improving communications between Amazon and
independent book publishers and addressing mutual problems more quickly and

I say “surprisingly friendly”
because the delegation from Amazon, led by Ed Moninger, senior manager for
vendor management, might have anticipated a bit of a critical attitude among
PMA directors in light of problems some publishers have had as well as
difficulties communicating with the giant online bookseller. And I must confess
we did come with a laundry list of issues.

Because few of us had dealt with a
live human being at Amazon, we had wondered if its representatives would be
willing to engage in a serious discussion about real issues beyond a Power
Point PR presentation. Willing and able they were, and the two-hour session
created a lot of positive energy and ideas for cooperation between Amazon and
PMA that our executive director, Jan Nathan, will pursue with Erin Eaves,
Amazon’s manager for small-publishing sourcing.

I am optimistic. Positive
developments will, I believe, come out of this breakthrough meeting. One quick

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