At the beginning of the year, Søren Peter Sørensen joined the management board, replacing Teuvo Sankila who had been serving the board for many years, three of them as the chairman of the board.
The current members are:
  • Kina Andreeva from Prosveta in Bulgaria
  • Carmo Correia from Texto Editores (Leya) in Portugal
  • Søren Peter Sørensen from Systime in Denmark
  • Frank Thalhofer from Cornelsen in Germany (chairman)

Søren Peter, coming from a digital publishing house, has a particular interest in (and a keen eye for) websites. Therefore, under his guidance, the management board decided to have the BELMA website modernized and made more customer friendly. The specifications for the new design were done with internal resources and at low costs. You can see the results

However, since the costs had not been budgeted for at the Frankfurt AGM, the budget was slightly revised, and the new version can be found online in the members' section.

The other main points that we discussed at the board meeting were:
  • Possible re-location of BELMA to a different venue from Frankfurt: After long discussions this decision was postponed. Frankfurt still seems to be the meeting place for publishers and related businesses, even if they do not have a stand themselves. The costs at BETT that we researched are far too high in comparison, and not enough people attend the London book fair (as was also shown by the What Works conference). All other fairs are either too global (worlddidac) or too regional (Didacta ). We are therefore monitoring the options and will discuss this again at the AGM.
  • New BELMA price structure: To attract more non-members to the award, the price for non-mebers was lowered to 500 Euros for the first entry and 400 Euros for the second. The price for members was slightly raised to 300 Euros for the first entry. This policy seems to work well, since 30 per cent of this year's entries came from non-members. Of course, we are also looking at the BELMA to attract more members for the EEPG.
  • Network meetings - costs: since the last networks have been very well attended (at no cost to members), and the EEPG is spending more money for renownded Keynote speakers, it was decided that a small fee will incur if members send more than two participants to the network meeting. These costs can vary (up to 80 per person depending where the network takes place), but are mainly used to cover for catering costs.
  • How to attract more members to the EEPG:
    While we have a fairly comprehensive list of publishers from many nations, we have not been successful in attracting anybody to join. These are the publishers we have approached several times:
    • Denmark: Condidact
    • France: Editions Belin
    • Georgia: Bakur Sulakauri Publishing
    • Germany: CC. Buchner
    • Hungary: Mozaik
    • Italy: Eli
    • Italy: Erickson
    • Netherlands: ThiemeMeulenhoff
    • Poland: Nowa Era
    • Romania: Editura All
    • Spain: Editorial Bruño
    • Spain: Santillana
    • Sweden: Folkuniversitetets Förlag
    • Turkey: Birey
    • UK: Mantra Lingua

      So, if you have any personal contacts at those publishing houses and/or have contacts in others, it would be good if you could actively lobby for EEPG and also send us your contact details.