Merriam-Webster

Preparing for the Industry’s Future
April 16, 2008

The 2008 Publishing Business Conference & Expo—held March 10-12 in New York City— was the setting for a meeting of many of publishing’s top minds. With more than 1,000 book and magazine publishing industry executives in attendance, the Publishing Business Conference & Expo featured two-and-a-half days of intensive conference sessions addressing the biggest issues facing publishers today. Held concurrently, the expo hosted more than 100 exhibitors showcasing publishing technologies and services. The show, which this year featured its new Publishing Business brand, is produced by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines and follows in the footsteps of the BookTech Conference & Expo. “The evolution

Risky Business
April 16, 2008

Book publishing is not commonly identified with the sort of risk-taking that one would associate with, say, the Sergey Brins and Steve Jobses of the world. And, the last company one might expect to see out on a proverbial limb would be a publisher of dictionaries (a tradition-bound format if there ever was one)—yet it was no less a player than the stalwart Merriam- Webster that over a decade ago risked it all, so to speak, by putting its dictionary online for free. “One of the reasons we [offered early on] our biggest best-seller on the Web is that, if we take seriously that

SPECIAL REPORT: Embracing the ‘Kindle Effect’
January 1, 2008

2007 might well be remembered as the year when, a few months after the final installment of “Harry Potter” hit the shelves to blockbuster acclaim, the “To Read or Not to Read” report was issued by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The report raised serious concerns about the future of reading in this country: Amount and proficiency are on the decline, the report found, especially among young adults and older teens. Then, there are new U.S. Census numbers, released in December 2007, that show that the number of hours per person spent reading consumer books has been basically flat over the

Publishing Business Conference and Expo Announces Conference Chairs
November 16, 2007

The Publishing Business Conference and Expo—the annual event produced by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines for thousands of book and magazine publishing executives—has announced its two Conference Chairs for 2008: John Morse, president and publisher of Merriam Webster Inc.; and Bill Amstutz, a top publishing consultant with a strong background in magazine publishing strategy, audience development and manufacturing. The 2008 Publishing Business Conference and Expo is scheduled for March 10-12 at New York’s Marriott Marquis, Times Square. Morse and Amstutz, who have both attended and spoken at the event for the last several years, offer a wealth of industry experience, insights and

Webcasts: A Hot Marketing Tool
August 1, 2007

The June release of British writer Ian McEwan’s “On Chesil Beach” was accompanied by screenings of a 28-minute film profiling the author at dozens of bookstores in the United States. According to producer Powell’s Books, the film aimed to go beyond the traditional author reading to inspire “spirited discussion about great new books and their impact on readers’ lives.” This was, perhaps, an innovative and effective tool for promoting McEwan. But if proponents of the emerging tool of webcasting are proven right, the logistical challenges accompanying such an operation (and those inherent in luring a finite set of audience members to bookstores to watch

The Value of Partnerships
April 1, 2007

Make friends everywhere you can. Sure, it’s simple advice your mother probably gave you, but this and other pointers given during an hour-long look into the world of book publishing partnerships at the Book Business Conference and Expo helped shine a light on the increasing importance of collaboration throughout the industry. Merriam-Webster President and Publisher John Morse took the reigns of the afternoon session that included Tad Crawford, Allworth Press’ president and publisher, and David Borgenicht, president and publisher of Quirk Books. The panel launched into a step-by-step breakdown or how to care for and feed partnerships. From working with cell phone companies to

Does Quality Count?
April 1, 2007

We’re just back from the 2007 Book Business Conference and Expo and planning for next year’s event. If you missed this year’s conference, check out some of the highlights on pages 10-14. It was humbling to be a part of this gathering of brilliant publishing minds, both speakers and attendees. But with this year’s conference frenzy winding down, we head into another busy and exciting time of year, with our Gold Ink Awards competition. If you’re not too familiar with the Gold Ink Awards, it’s the nation’s most prestigious print competition, founded 20 years ago, to recognize the finest in print production. We receive

Gold Ink Winners, Hall of Famers Honored at Banquet in Chicago
November 1, 2006

Hundreds of industry executives turned out Oct. 16 to honor North America’s finest print production projects at the 19th Annual Gold Ink Awards Banquet in Chicago. Attendees also witnessed the induction of four new members into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame, including David Pelkey, Merriam-Webster Inc.’s director of manufacturing and a 21-year veteran of the graphic arts industry. More than 1,500 pieces were entered into 45 different categories for the 2006 Gold Ink Awards, and the gala—held during October’s Graph Expo at McCormick Place—recognized the winners for their achievements during a cocktail hour and dinner. Each of the Hall of Fame inductees