We are members of the IPG. It represents an overhead cost that we have to meet every year and we don’t get to as many meetings as we would like to. However, their site is full of interesting and useful information and this year they offered an online conference. I was able to attend some of their sessions.
The working of a virtual conference
It did replicate a real life conference. There were lectures and seminars, discussions with breakout rooms and opportunities for networking. Also there were “goody” bags which took the form of promotional codes. We thereby managed to get some money off some of our printing.
There were also key note speeches.
All of the networking links are still on the site but you have to be a member of the guild to access them.
I attended a discussion of how trade has been affected by the pandemic and Brexit. At the time of the conference (11-12 May 2021) it was about 40% down on normal. Much of this was to do with the changed rules not being understood by couriers and exporters. We sell mainly to the home and American market. We sell a few books in Europe – a few of our writers are based in EU countries but we still sell more of these books in the UK and the US.
Fortunately Ingram’s and Amazon look after all of the technicalities for us.
We have, however, had to raise the cost of our books in the EU – the exchange rate has rendered printing costs higher in Europe.
On the whole, though, we have noticed little difference in our sales patterns.
This is the go-to platform for sales from your own web-site. The presentation was very interesting and it all looks very professional. However, I decided against using it for our online book shop.
· The monthly cost would be an overhead we would struggle to cover
· Out book shop is meant to offer a variety of ways for customers to purchase books.
I watched a presentation by a company that produces audio books. To date we’ve used one of Amazon’s own narrators, and used a couple of narrators we’ve sourced ourselves whom we’re paying on a royalty basis. With this company, we would pay a one off fee then all of the profit from the books would go to the authors and to our company. This seems fair all round. We are now negotiating for two of our picture books to be made into audio books.
We are gradually easing out of the pandemic now and life is returning to something that looks a little like normal. However some of these online events have been excellent and often offered an opportunity for joining something one would not normally be able to attend. Is our intention to carry this on to some extent? I do hope so.