The Book Industry Study Group

BISG Publishes Document on Identifying Digital Book Content
February 1, 2008

The Book Industry Study Group Inc. (BISG) has announced the publication of “The Identification of Digital Book Content,” a new document exploring how digital publications should be identified. The publication was commissioned by the BISG and the Book Industry Communication (BIC), a London-based industry organization, and written by industry consultant Michael Holdsworth. According to the BISG, the publication is intended to stimulate debate throughout the book industry on how digital book content should be identified, and to encourage the development and implementation of identification standards for such content as more books are made available in digital form. “The idea for a discussion

The Book Industry Unites on ‘Green’ Issues
January 1, 2008

Thoughts of major publishing houses such as Random House, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster are often accompanied by thoughts of high competition and rivalry; camaraderie, on the other hand, is not usually top of mind. However, today there is a challenge facing the industry that has united these and many other publishers into a unified front. That challenge: climate change, and the book publishing industry’s impact on it. The industry’s interest in facilitating change is growing. No doubt about it. Nearly 160 publishers have signed on to the industry’s “Treatise on Responsible Paper Use.” More small and mid-size publishers are joining the likes

Gene Therapy: From Book Proposal to Profit
January 1, 2008

Chris Anderson’s ironic farewell to the retail bookshelf is a harbinger of how direct distribution in the supply chain is bypassing the traditional foundations of bookselling—as well as library patronage­—and is also flowing into nonprint formats. But while that transformation is nibbling around the edges of distribution, the fact remains that the book publishing industry’s supply chain model has as its primary target a physical book on a physical bookshelf. In this special two-part series, I want to discuss how digital data management drives workflow through the operations, acquisitions, development, production and distribution supply chain; in particular, how use of the Online Information Exchange

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

18 Tips for Environmentally Conscious Publishing
December 1, 2007

1. Make “green” publishing company policy. That may sound daunting, but it can be done. Tyson Miller, director of the nonprofit Green Press Initiative (GPI), which helps publishers make informed environmental choices, suggests publishers make a commitment that demonstrates to printers, suppliers and mills that the market is shifting, and they will need to invest in developing new papers to meet the growing need. “Publisher commitments have been instrumental in the development of 24 new environmental sheets in North America within the last four years. The policy or commitment also serves to reinforce environmental responsibility as a priority in addition to creating cohesion within

12 Profitable Book-Production Tips for Publishers and Printers
December 1, 2007

Book-production management is, in many respects, an act of faith. For some, faith in the universality of Murphy’s Law—if something can go wrong, it will. Or, faith that virtue is its own reward—if you do everything right, things will always come out right. Old hands come to realize that “trust but verify” is probably the most prudent maxim to apply in managing workflow. Without systems in place and proven procedures, we’d have to reinvent the wheel every time. But without an occasional revisit to the last batch of XBIT transactions or Job Definition Format (JDF) specifications sent through, that error in the PMS color

Industry Statistics: Looking Behind the Numbers
October 1, 2007

Ever since the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) hit upon the theme of “Making Information Pay” for its annual spring event several years ago, it has been filling the room with industry analysts and marketing and business development executives eager for new insights into the mysteries of our industry’s operation, well-being and future. The attendees are generally more interested, I think, in road signs pointing to where we’re going than in measures of where we are—more acutely aware that, in some ways, the information camera may not focus as well on today’s industry snapshots. Useful and reliable industry information always has been hard to

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.

BOOK INDUSTRY SALARY GUIDE
August 1, 2007

ou may be sitting at your desk wondering if the stressful job that is giving you gray hair and ulcers is worth it. Or, you may be perfectly content in your current position, but just a little bit curious as to whether your salary is competitive. You also may be wondering whether you are paying your staff enough to keep them from exploring other opportunities. Now, using Book Business’ first “Book Industry Salary Guide,” you can see how your salary and your staff’s salaries compare to others in similar positions at other book publishing companies. The guide is based on data compiled from

A Lesson in E-Literacy
August 1, 2007

The education market has made major technological strides—but in some ways, it’s still a bit behind the learning curve. You hear it all the time—the joke that kids these days come out of the womb with a laptop. More than making for a painful birth, it signifies that the Internet is the future of business, in both sales and marketing. Still, most educational publishing orders are made through paper channels, and direct mail continues to be the major method to attract sales. Then again, teachers are making these purchases much more frequently than the more tech-entrenched students. “You’d think the Internet would be the main