July 2003 – PALA Update Newsletter


Volume 1, Number 1


It’s hard to believe that less than five months have passed since we began organizing an association for independent publishers in the Los Angeles area. We’ve accomplished a great deal in that short time, and with your help, PALA will just keep getting better and better.

Our first three general meetings have been outstanding, in my opinion. On May 27, we heard from Howard Fisher, a long-time publisher and now publishing consultant, on “The New Challenges for LA Publishers.” Consultant Tom Woll joined Howard to lead a discussion following the presentation. Our second meeting was a follow-up to BEA, with reports on presentations members had attended and sharing our experiences in leveraging the trade show. There also was a brief presentation by Tim Morrell, owner of Take One Books (the host of our last two meetings), on how sales reps and publishers present titles to him. The July meeting topic, “Working With Freelancers” led to a lively give-and-take among those attending.

I can reveal now that the Steering Committee had no idea if anyone else would show up for the kickoff reception at the Wilshire Grand. That more than thirty publishers, designers, publicists, editors, and others involved in this business have taken the time to attend each of our meetings is extremely gratifying. Obviously, there is a strong need for a publishing organization serving the needs of Los Angeles publishers.

I want to go back to something I said in passing. PALA is not the Steering Committee’s organization. It is not the Board’s organization. It is most definitely not Jeff Black’s organization. It is your organization — you, our members and others who are receiving this newsletter (who we encourage to become members). We need your ideas, your participation, and your assistance to make PALA work. Please feel free to contact me or any of the other officers with suggestions or feedback.

See you in September. — Jeff Black


Getting books into bookstores — and not getting them back as returns months later — has always been one of the major challenges for independent publishers. With some distributors going bankrupt and others requiring higher discounts from smaller publishers, it’s become even more difficult. Our next meeting will address those issues.

We have confirmed Miriam Bass of National Book Network, the second largest independent book distributor in North America, as one of the featured speakers. She will be joined by a Southern California sales rep. More details to follow. Please plan to join us.

WHEN: September 23 or 24*


WHAT: $5.00 paid at the door

*We will send out a meeting notice as soon as date and location have been confirmed.

In October we will address the ins and outs of marketing on the Web — e-mail newsletters, selling online, mainataining a low cost Web site, buying keywords on search engines, and more. We’re also working on a session with John Kremer for a program early next year. Details of both those meetings — and others — will be announced as they are firmed up.

The Steering Committee meets one hour before each general meeting. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. This is when committee work is discussed.


SMALL PRESS MONTH isn’t until March, but we need to start planning for it soon. Imagine . . . displays of books from LA-based independent publishers at bookstores throughout the area. Seminars led by PALA members for prospective authors and/or publishers. If you’d like to get involved in planning for Small Press Month, please make yourself known!


Prior to the July 23 meeting, PALA had 27 members. Thanks to these founding members for their support of this new organization:

Nancy Miller/ CPM Systems
Carol Amato/Stargazer Publishing Co.
Millie Szerman/Stairwell Press
Dennis W. Neder/Remington Publications
Linda Lange/Communication Unlimited
Shirley Ann Parker/Topaz Cove Creations
Dan Poynter/Para Publishing
Peggi Ridgway/Wordpix Solutions
Les Boston/Stone & Scott Pubising
Gary Young/Calabash Press
Patricia MacKay/Ones & Zeros Media
Carolyn Martin/American Historical Press
Ralph Pine/Quite Speicific Media Group
Jo Condrill/GoalMinds, Inc.
Carolyn Allen/Sunshine by Design
James Davis/Riggs & McClane PR
Sharibeth Mandel/Concept Media
Sylvia Kreng/Bartlett Publishing
Sherry Smith/Infinite Love Publishing
Susan Goland/EquiLibrium Press
Yvette Stern/Michael Daniels Publishers
Jeff Black/Lone Eagle Publishing
Lois Rose Rose
Ellen Reid/Little Moose Press
Sharon Goldinger/PeopleSpeak
Bobby Tan/Integrated Communications
Gwen Feldman/Silman-James Press
…and new members joining at our July meeting include:
Dotti Albertine/Albertine Graphic Design
Lori Barsness/Rand
Hilary Burg/Burg and Burg
Monica Faulkner/Faulkner Editorial Services

Haven’t gotten around to joining yet? We have good news for you: The special $50.00 introductory membership rate has been extended through the September meeting date. After then, annual dues will be $75.00.

Please show your support of independent publishing in Los Angeles by joining PALA now. The application form can be downloaded from the new PA-LA.ORG website or by using this link: Click Here. Bring your application form and check to the next meeting, or mail it to:
Carolyn Allen. 7742 Redlands Ave. #3041, Playa del Rey, CA 90293


At a Steering Committee meeting earlier this year, the following officers and chairs were approved:

President — Jeff Black
Vice President/Membership Chair — Susan Goland
Secretary — Les Boston
Treasurer — Carolyn Allen
Programs — Sharon Goldinger
Newsletter — Carolyn Allen

Would you like to create and/or chair a committee or project? Please contact any Board member and make yourself heard! And if you would like to assist with the work of PALA, please volunteer for one of the committees or projects. This organization will succeed best when a large percentage of members pitch in where they feel an interest!


Our website http://www.pa-la.org is up and being loaded with information, including a complete listing of PALA members. Please check the listing for your company to be sure that it is accurate. Go to the “Email Newsletter Subscription” and use your subscribing email address to access your account profile.

A members-only directory will be added in the near future. To make this a helpful networking tool, we are asking all members to submit a 50-75 word description of their companies. Please email them to Susan Goland, Membership Chair, pala@equipress.com.

BOOKMARK your PALA Website and check it often as we share information that will be helpful for your business and professional success.


Thanks to Yvette Stern for setting up a PALA message board on Yahoo! Though it’s been pretty quiet so far, we hope this list will become an active forum for PALA members to share news, resources and information. To sign up, go to http://www.groups.yahoo.com. If you’re not already registered with Yahoo, you’ll need to do that first (it’s free). Then search for PA-LA (don’t forget the hyphen). Follow the instructions for joining the list.


The PALA Board has been busy getting the organization’s legal standing and banking set up. We also have a draft of proposed Bylaws online for your review and input. The Bylaws committee includes Les Boston (PALA Secretary) and Sharon Goldinger (PALA Programs Chair). If you would like to assist, please contact one of these committee members.



This annual event, which drew 45,000 visitors last year, includes a “Book Village,” exhibiting a wide variety of books (in English and/or Spanish) for both adults and children. We may want to consider putting together a coop booth for next year’s festival. Booth prices are quite reasonable, especially for nonprofits. This also might be a nice dry run for a future PALA booth at the L.A. Times Festival.

We hope that some PALA members will attend this year’s Latino Festival and report back. It will be held at Exposition Park, 3939 S. Figueroa (in front of the Sports Arena) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.


California Authors is a new website focused on West Coast publishing. The webmaster is interested in hearing about PALA, and invites publishers to add their listings to the site: http://www.californiaauthors.com.


Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to other publishers and suppliers in the greater Los Angeles area. Ask them to subscribe by going to the PALA website.