Blogs

Transforming the Textbook Publishing Industry with Digital Print

Just a few years ago, there was panic among the education book publishing segment, especially with book printers. Tablets and e-readers were all the rage. Large school districts were distributing iPads and other tablets to students en masse. A 2012 Pearson Foundation survey found that 63 percent of college students and 69 percent of high…

Should Educational Publishers Be Disruptors?

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve never warmed to the idea that disruption is a good thing in business. I’m not a fan of companies that set out to disrupt the industries in which they operate (take that, Jeff Bezos and Elizabeth Holmes) and I am particularly skeptical about those that set out to disrupt education,…

Classified! Does "The Bestseller Code" Divulge Its Secrets?

The Bestseller Code is already the most talked about insider’s book on the writing and publishing industry. Who wouldn’t want to know if a computer can predict whether a manuscript will be a bestseller? What author wouldn’t want to know if there’s a scientific formula for plotting and writing novels that will propel them onto…

Other Staff Bloggers
Printing & Manufacturing

Just a few years ago, there was panic among the education book publishing segment, especially with book printers. Tablets and e-readers were all the rage. Large school districts were distributing iPads and other tablets to students en masse. A 2012 Pearson Foundation survey found that 63 percent of college students and 69 percent of high…

The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016. Given this historic milestone, it seems appropriate to talk about how publishers can sell books through gift shops at parks and historic sites. Gift shops offer a significant opportunity to publishers, particularly those that create educational content about local history. Millions of consumers visit national…

Once you’ve got a clutch of titles on order, all approved and ready to go to print with stores eager to put your books on the shelves, the process of distribution can create challenges that unfortunately might be recognized too late in the supply chain. You’re probably all too familiar with the stress of having…

Sales, Marketing & Data Intel

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve never warmed to the idea that disruption is a good thing in business. I’m not a fan of companies that set out to disrupt the industries in which they operate (take that, Jeff Bezos and Elizabeth Holmes) and I am particularly skeptical about those that set out to disrupt education,…

The Bestseller Code is already the most talked about insider’s book on the writing and publishing industry. Who wouldn’t want to know if a computer can predict whether a manuscript will be a bestseller? What author wouldn’t want to know if there’s a scientific formula for plotting and writing novels that will propel them onto…

Taking its cue from media giants like Netflix, Facebook, and YouTube, startup Bibblio recognizes that high-quality recommendation is the future of content consumption. Bibblio wants to improve the quality of publisher recommendations by using artificial intelligence (AI) and transforming how readers discover learning content. The startup offers a B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool that enables education…

Ebooks & Digital Media

What if publishers could sell more books by learning the secrets of selling chicken sandwiches? In my hometown of Atlanta, GA, Chick-Fil-A is the dominant fast-food restaurant chain. Started in 1967, the company’s annual sales now eclipse over $6 billion. In addition, their stores generate more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain in…

An analysis of the Future Today Institute report, summarizing key technology trends and what they mean for book publishing.

As a consultant whose primary business focus is educational publishing, I try to read as widely as I can about developments in K-12 education and educational technology. Three articles I read recently, addressing seemingly unrelated topics, led me to draw some conclusions about the future of K-12 education publishing. The headlines of these articles (which…

Business Strategy

Marshall McLuhan, the famous social scientist, told us more than 50 years ago that newer and more powerful means of communication have turned the world into a "global village," something that brings people together at one level, but at another level, complicates social relationships. A bigger, worldwide, audience increases the number of people who might…

This post examines the latest quarterly financial reports from the big 5 book publishers and tries to draw some conclusions from the data. The big 5 are, of course, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. These companies are often seen as emblematic of the state of traditional trade book publishing in…

My first career job out of college was working for a husband- and wife-owned press in Berkeley, California. Though both Berkeley and that press had a bit of a radical past, I wouldn’t realize until years later that the business dealings I was exposed to at that press would end up challenging people’s notions of…

News

Scholarly publishing is a technology business. That’s been true for some time, of course. Yet the technology-driven approach to business is profoundly and fundamentally different from traditional publishing practices. How can scholarly publishers reconcile that dichotomy? How should a publisher utilize today’s technology in order to drive innovation? Those were the questions recently put to…

Remember the excitement surrounding the launch of Amazon’s Kindle eight years ago? It was a clunky device, even by 2007 standards, but it was revolutionary. One of the original Kindle’s breakthrough features was the ability to download books via cellular network. The e-Ink display and extremely long battery life also led to its popularity despite…

In a trendy coffee shop called Elixr, on a side street off of Philadelphia’s toney Rittenhouse Square, there is funky décor, loud music, strong coffee, and, by the door, a small vending machine. From this machine, for two dollars, one can purchase not cigarettes or candy or any of those other typically unhealthy vending machine wares, but, instead, a short story.