Following last year's revision of its dues structure in an effort to accommodate small book publishers, the Association of American Publishers is launching a broader campaign to attract small independent publishers into the association.

AAP president and CEO Pat Schr der noted that 70% of AAP's members have annual sales of less than $5 million, emphasizing that "their diversity and unique perspective give us a better understanding of publishers' concerns."

At the 1999 annual meeting in Washington D.C. in March, the AAP will present several new initiatives for small publishers. Among them are: a special full day small publishers annual meeting, to be held prior to the AAP annual meeting on March 17. It will focus on such industry topics as online book sales, sub rights, audiobooks, and wholesalers from a small and independent publishing perspective. The AAP also plans to add a seat to its board of directors (a publisher with sales under $20 million) to represent smaller publishers. There are also plans to offer a variety of cost-saving benefits to prospective members.

This year's annual meeting, the AAP revised its dues structure, establishing a flat membership rate of $195 for publishers with annual sales under $1 million; and a simplified rate of $1 per thousand dollars for houses with annual sales up to $40 million. For more information contact Tom McKee at (212) 255-0200 ext. 263; email:

The AAP also announced plans to launch Get Caught Reading Month in May at the BEA show in Los Angeles. The program is designed to encourage reading and book buying among 18- to 34-year-olds. Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell will serve as celebrity book readers and will be featured in a series of magazine ads in space donated by members of the Magazine Publishers Association of America. The ads will also show up in the catalogues of several publishers.

Shr der said the effort was intended to "to get the book industry together to promote the sheer joy of reading."