Putting aside the long form for a moment, here are five questions I’d love content-conscious associations to ask themselves at least once a quarter:
- What’s my book strategy? Good publishers are adept at linking content and markets. EVERY association should have a book publishing strategy.
- Do we really need to print this? Print-on-demand makes sense for many, likely most associations. Creating inventory that becomes obsolete is so, 1980s. Create a file and print it when you have an order. Seriously.
- Is there a for-profit publisher who can help us here? If you are not feeling up to speed on books, print-on-demand or content in general, ask for help. What trade publishers are strong in your space? Pick up the phone and ask for a meeting.
- How important is it that we control this business? If the for-profit publisher is interested, you’re going to face a sticky question of control. Try to get your arms around that early. Serving members is not always the same as control.
- What do we know that nobody else knows? Associations do own one thing no one else can claim: a view of their membership and their concerns. The point of view provided from that perch often untapped when it comes to content. Trade control for the ability to deliver insight – that’s the real promise of association publishing.