Publishers University 2018 A Report by PWSD’s Scholarship Recipient, Jennifer K. Crittenden

After attending my first PubU (IBPA’s annual educational conference) on a scholarship from PWSD (Publishers Writers of San Diego) (thanks!), I can offer some excellent reasons to attend in the future.

You will make contacts you wouldn’t find otherwise. For example, I visited the Arc Manor Publishers table and was able to see the quality of their layout first hand. Shahid quoted me an affordable price, and they have just done an excellent job with the design of my new book. Yay! I would never have found them otherwise. Also, it was a pleasure to meet in person two people from Lightning Source with whom I have worked over the years. And, I made a new friend in Judy Parkinson, who inherited her father’s 30-year-old traditional publishing company.

The educational sessions offer many opportunities to pick up tips and ideas to try out. I came home with a whopping long To-Do list. After Stephanie Chandler scolded me for not monetizing my busy website, I went straight to it and installed Woo Commerce so I can sell books, articles, surveys, and an audiobook online. After one of the breakfast moderators told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to designate my own keywords for my Amazon marketing ads, I fixed them (indeed, the keywords Amazon had automatically assigned were surprisingly inappropriate) and sold over $150 worth of books in the next two weeks from my campaigns. Ka-ching!

Penn Wallace had given us some very good advice about how to grow and maintain a mailing list, and that was reiterated by several speakers at PubU. That prompted me to put up a little sign in my ATD Conference booth that asked attendees to “Join my Quest to Make Our Workplaces Better.” To my surprise, hundreds of people dropped their business cards in my basket!

Those are a few concrete examples of ways I became a better publisher because of attending PubU.