On May 22 (Melbourne) and May 24 (Port Macquarie) independent publishers met to establish a national association. Prior to these events www.naip.com.au was registered and both groups agreed to retain NAIP as the acronym for the National Association of Independent Publishers.
Attendance for the Melbourne event was disappointing, with 16 publishers confirming but only 6 arriving on the day. That said, the intimacy enable efficient brainstorming and the output was high. At Port Macquarie 18 publishers thrashed out the logistics of establishing an association. Publications represented ranged from as far north as Warrick (Qld), west to Coonamble (NSW), and south to Canberra (ACT ) and Torquay (Vic). Types of publications included paid for and free newspapers, weeklies, monthlies and seasonals. A number of publishers had mutliple mastheads. The minimum average pages was 16 and the maximum over 100 pages.
Both gatherings agreed to form a Steering Committee to build the attraction of an association and thereby drive membership. All attendees at both events agreed to be on this committee. A detailed report from these events will be emailed later this week. While it was generally accepted that the "Big Boys" will soon know about NAIP and will easily assess its purpose and no doubt much of our obvious strategy, these sort of reports are confidential and do not need to be posted online for general viewing. Members are encouraged however to contribute as many articles and comments as they can to the site, in order to keep energy and interest high.
Australia’s independent publishers are all invited to the next meeting to be held in Sydney on September 13 – 14, after a steering committee follow up meeting on Friday afternoon, September 12.
Congratulations to all attendees of both events, without whose energy and early commitment NAIP would not get off the ground. NAIP’s first award, "Getting there…" goes to Michael Graham from Coonamble Times, who drove from Coonamble to Dubbo, caught a plane to Sydney, then Sydney to Melbourne, then a $45 taxi to the event, only to leave his wallet on the back seat of the taxi! Despite the negative prognosis offered by his city-slicker company, Michael’s protestations that people are still mostly good paid off and his wallet was returned to his hotel that afternoon! Thanks for making such a BIG effort Michael.