We’re taking a short break over Christmas but will be back early in the new year. In the meantime …
I am presently the member of two Australian trade associations (APA, SPN), and one international (the Independent Book Publishers Association). Now, professional associations generally have two conflicting mandates, firstly they have a responsibility to act on behalf of their members, a responsibility which will often have them acting like a cartel or a labor union (trade union) for the members of the profession, though this description is commonly rejected by the body concerned. Secondly professional bodies often act to protect the public by maintaining and enforcing standards of training and ethics in their profession. (Source Wikipedia). One of the primary methods by which this second is achieved is by the development, maintenance, and enforcement of a code of ethics for its members.
Without a Code of Ethics it is difficult for an organisation to discipline or expel a member for acting unethically, as without a code it often difficult to determine whether someone is a fit and proper person to be a member. This is because the question of fitness will differ across occupations, and the matter will often end up in court. With a Code of Ethics the question is simpler, as the expectations of the behaviour of its members is set out in that Code. While the matter may still end up in court, the fact that the Association made a determination against a code of ethics specific to its occupation and membership will make its decision to discipline, suspend, or expel a member is much easier to justify. And personally I can definitely confirm that it makes sacking an unethical employee so much easier.
Which should make it of concern that until recently none of these three associations appears to have had a code of ethics, although this has now changed with the release of IBPA’s first Code of Ethics. Continue reading
Click Image to Enlarge Image Source: AuthorMarketingClub.com
In my last blog I discussed a poll conducted by USA TODAY and Bookish, a website designed to help people find and buy books. The poll found that a majority of those surveyed (57%) cited their own opinion of the writer’s previous work as the major factor in creating interest in a particular book for them. Opinions of a relative and friend (publishers call that “word of mouth”) came in second at 43%. Lower on the list of major factors: professional reviewers and other writers (each 17%), the book cover (16%) and Internet opinions by non-professionals (10%).
This week I wanted to share with you the results of another recent survey by ebookfairies which confirms many of the USA today survey’s results. The ebookfairies survey was conducted from June 1-30, 2013, via Survey Monkey, and as many as 2,951 people replied to most of the 44 questions formulated by more than a dozen authors.
Some of the more relevant information from the survey include: Continue reading