What Goes Around Comes Around

July 2004
by Kent Sturgis

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As we struggled at Epicenter Press this spring with the unpleasant effects of two years of declining sales (sound familiar?) while fine-tuning hopeful forecasts and contemplating what may be a modest comeback in 2004, Jan Nathan called.

The nominating committee wanted to know, would I be willing to serve a two-year term as PMA president? This was an easy decision.

Reflecting on our 15 years of membership in PMA, I realized how much PMA had helped our company, based in Kenmore, Washington, grow to become a regional trade publisher with more than 100 Alaska Book Adventures™ focusing on the romance, history, rich cultures, and larger-than-life characters of the far north.

Now it was payback time.

In 1987, we were a fledgling press newly founded in Fairbanks, Alaska. In our first year, while we looked for material, my partner, Lael Morgan, and I each published a title of our own under the Epicenter logo. This was before e-mail became the tool that it is today. The term Internet held little meaning. Telephone calls to the Outside, as Alaskans call the Lower 48 states, cost $1 a minute. FedEx had not yet removed the disadvantage of being, to quote one of our titles, On the Edge of Nowhere. Alaska lacked an infrastructure–no book editors, no book designers, no book printers.

Enter PMA. Through its newsletter, regional and national seminars, and generous mentoring from Jan and her staff, the association gave us a helping hand…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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