ForeWord Magazine

The Perfect Storm
December 1, 2008

Two events occurred recently that some have called the biggest news to hit the industry in decades. First was the announcement of the settlement between Google, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors Guild, regarding Google’s controversial Book Search tool. The settlement allows Google to make millions of books available for consumers to read or buy through Google Book Search; but the big news is that Google will provide compensation to publishers and authors for their works. The settlement also established a Books Rights Registry (supported by the $125 million settlement paid by Google), which will monitor such compensation as well as work to resolve any additional disputes.

Are You the Weakest Link?
March 1, 2007

As I was preparing for this column, I came across the following statement in a brochure prepared by Strategos, strategic planning consultants, that I picked up at an event a few years ago: “What’s amazing is how often top management is surprised when dramatic external change happens. Why the surprise? Is it that the world is violently turbulent, changing in ways that simply cannot be anticipated? Perhaps. But we call them ‘inevitable surprises.’ Think about it. In retrospect, you could have anticipated most of the disruptions in your industry. You can build this capability into your organization. You can be prepared—before your competition.”

Ready to Print
February 1, 2007

Amazon bolstered its print-on-demand (POD) book division and consequently put the rest of the industry on notice that retail distribution is continuing to change, after it made a significant push to add new digital color presses to its operations. The leading online retailer would not publicly disclose the number of Hewlett-Packard (HP) presses that it purchased or the price paid, but said several HP Indigo presses and production manager controllers were installed and put into operation in a number of the company’s fulfillment centers, when the announcement was officially made in December 2006. Never Out of Stock The move is an effort to fulfill

Warehouse Practices: How Do Yours Measure Up?
February 1, 2007

Publishing executives and warehouse managers in companies large and small, with highly diverse and targeted products and marketing channels, can benefit for the first time from a new Warehouse Benchmarking System. The program was tested last year by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and is now being rolled out to the industry. Participants can measure their productivity and improve the effectiveness of their warehousing practices. It is an easy-to-use, and highly powerful program that relies on comparative peer-group data. “Participants use their [Web] browser to enter the appropriate data in a convenient, tabular format,” says Professor Leon McGinnis at the School of Industrial

Book Business Conference‘Strikes Chord’ With Publishing Executives
May 1, 2006

Not even a George Clooney sighting could disrupt the 2006 Book Business Conference and Expo, which took place March 20-22 at the Hilton New York. The celebrity was filming his latest picture just feet away from the conference’s registration area and—predictably—attracted all sorts of ogling from attendees and passers-by, but it was the conference and expo that were the stars of the week. Much like the industry it serves, the conference found itself in an unprecedented state of evolution when it kicked off on Monday, March 20. In its 10th year and amid revolutionary changes in the world of book publishing, this year’s conference