Distribution

Two Major Developments on the ‘Green’ Front
November 1, 2007

As Kermit the Frog used to say: “It’s not easy being green.” While the beloved puppet was referring to his skin color, the saying has been applied to being “green” in the environmental sense. And, not to make light of a serious situation regarding our environment, the saying has been relevant in book publishing for years—many publishers have “good intentions” (as Book Business columnist Gene Schwartz suggests in this month’s “Gene Therapy”), but they struggle to balance those good intentions with negative impacts on their bottom lines and/or their lack of know-how for making their intentions realities. But as Kermit’s outlook changes in the

Best Practices in Global Book Sales
November 1, 2007

When the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” series decided to go global with its newest edition, “The Remarkable … Revealed,” the company took a chance by tweaking the typical foreign publishing model. Rather than licensing full publishing rights, as many publishers do, Ripley chose to handle printing and work directly with foreign distributors. “We’re finding that, with licensing, [foreign publishers] don’t [always] have the commitment we do,” says Norm Deska, executive vice president of intellectual property, Ripley Entertainment. “We’re looking to better establish our brand with a high-quality annual book, and the only way to do that was to do it ourselves.” Ripley, whose

Does First “Green” Bible Signify Broader Shift Toward Environmentally Conscious Publishing? A Q&A with Green Press Initiative Director Tyson Miller
October 19, 2007

The publication of the book publishing industry’s first recognized “green” Bible earlier this month by Thomas Nelson, the sixth-largest trade publisher in the United States, may suggest that a major shift in environmental thinking is underway in the publishing world. The publisher worked on the project with paper manufacturer Domtar as well as the Green Press Initiative (GPI), a nonprofit that has worked for the past five years to help the book industry conserve environmental resources. GPI Director Tyson Miller spoke with Book Business Extra about Thomas Nelson’s publication and how it fits into the “Treatise on Responsible Paper Use,” an industry-developed agreement that

New Books on Demand Service Enables Self-Published Authors to Sell Through Amazon.com
September 7, 2007

An interview with CreateSpace Co-founder and Managing Director Dana LoPiccolo-Giles on her company’s new service Founded in 2002 as an on-demand distributor of DVDs, CustomFlixLabs Inc. was acquired by Amazon.com in 2005 and later added a CD on Demand service to its growing portfolio. Last month, the company experienced another growth spurt, announcing a new company name, CreateSpace, as well as the launch of a new Books on Demand service for self-publishing authors. The service allows authors to offer their works for sale through Amazon.com, the CreateSpace.com site and via their own free, customizable eStore without inventory, setup fees or minimum orders. CreateSpace manufactures on-demand

First Environmental Impact Survey of the U.S. Book Industry
August 17, 2007

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and the Green Press Initiative (GPI) have announced a partnership for a study designed to establish a baseline for tracking climate impacts and progress toward environmental improvements through-out the entire U.S. book industry. The “U.S. Book Industry Climate Impacts and Environmental Benchmarking Survey” will target printers, manufacturers, paper mills, publishers, retailers and wholesalers for participation. According to Michael Healy, executive director of BISG, the survey is the first of its kind. Organizations interested in the study can visit BISG.org. The results of the study will be published by BISG and GPI in December 2007.

Distribution Goes Digital
August 1, 2007

“We are leading the pack by building a digital warehouse, which is the digital equivalent of our print warehouse,” commented Jane Friedman, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers, in the May issue of Book Business. This is the ultimate sign-off on the industry’s embrace of the future, and its take-back of content control from trailblazers such as Google, Amazon and Yahoo. For some years now, various technology vendors have enabled publishers to deliver electronically formatted versions of their titles for special purposes. These have included applications such as conversions to XML formats (e.g., Publishing Dimensions), proprietary e-book reader formats (Mobipocket), sight-impaired applications (National

‘Harry Potter’ Serious Business When It Comes to Early Shipping
July 20, 2007

The New York Times is reporting that Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of the “Harry Potter” series, has sued an online bookseller and its distributor earlier this week for “flagrant violations of their strict contractual obligations” by shipping copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” before the time and date set by the publisher. A breach of contract suit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois, in which Scholastic accused Infinity Resources, which owns the online retailer DeepDiscounts.com, of shipping books to some customers up to a week before the on-sale date, according to The Times. Levy Home Entertainment, a

Baby Boomers Driving Online Used-Book Selling
June 15, 2007

AbeBooks.com—one of the world’s largest online marketplaces for new, used, rare and out-of-print books—has released survey results pointing to evidence that the majority of online used-book sellers in the United States are Baby Boomers. Between October 2006 and January 2007, AbeBooks polled 1,949 U.S. booksellers that sold through its network of Web sites. “Hard work is the key to successfully selling secondhand books on the Web,” said Hannes Blum, CEO of AbeBooks.com. “Although this profession is relatively new, it requires dedication to build up an online inventory of books and considerable effort to find books ideal for the Internet. We’re seeing a commitment to

Supply Chain Management
June 1, 2007

When it comes to improving the supply chain function in book publishing, the watchword is communication—between various components of the chain, and especially between manufacturing, distribution and retail. Saying this, however, is not saying nearly enough, as the quality of information and the way it’s used matter just as much as making the right connections. “Communication is the No. 1 supply chain issue,” says Rich Eby, director of inbound distribution at Thomson Learning, the Stamford, Conn.-based provider of educational, training and reference books for academic and corporate customers. For Thomson, that means anticipating shipments from manufacturers around the world for distribution in the

University Presses and the Digital Universe
June 1, 2007

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP)—an organization of nonprofit publishers whose members strive to advance scholarship through their offerings—believes that the university press segment’s fundamental mission has not changed since America’s oldest university press, The Johns Hopkins University Press, was founded in 1878. However, the landscape in which its members operate has changed greatly, and the forecast calls for additional change in the future. As throughout the rest of the publishing industry, driving this change are advances in digital technologies. A varying segment According to Steve Maikowski, director of NYU Press, the university press world is divided into four major sales groups