The Book Industry Study Group

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

Pressing Matters Face the University Press Market
June 1, 2006

The university press has always been about more than just turning a profit. There’s the contribution of enabling scholars to write about unusual subjects, professors expanding on their classroom teachings and the overall extension of the university’s mission. Still, in a time when college budgets are dealing with further cutbacks and digital publishing is becoming more of a factor, university presses have never felt more pressure to produce economically, as well as educationally. “We’ve always relied on the credibility of what we publish to keep us afloat, but we need to expand our market to the mainstream,” says Ivar Nelson, director of the Eastern

New Study Shows Steady Growth for Publishing Industry
May 26, 2006

NEW YORK -- A new study by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), a book standards, policy and research organization, makes a case with results from its new study that the book publishing industry continues to experience steady growth, predicting that net revenues will top $40.4 billion by 2010. The 2006 edition of “Book Industry Trends” estimates that total publishers’ net revenues in 2005 reached $34.59 billion, up slightly more than 5.9 percent over 2004’s total. According to the new report, sales for the juvenile trade category rose 9.6 percent in 2005, to $3.34 billion. Religious book sales also continued to grow, increasing 8.1

Best Practices in Fulfillment and Distribution
May 1, 2006

Len Kain, vice president of marketing,, knows firsthand how much of a gamble fulfillment can be in the book business. While he’s figured out a system for just the right level of inventory, he concedes it can be a roll of the dice. As a small publisher, he’s learned to play the game of fulfillment and returns to his best advantage—to reduce losses and increase gains. For him, as for larger publishers and also distributors, developing efficient warehouse fulfillment and return procedures can involve a healthy run of trial and error. So what is working and what isn’t? Book Business interviewed two

Fast Stats
May 1, 2006

Fast Stats Used-book Sales Top $2.2 Billion Sales of used books in the United States topped $2.2 billion in 2004, representing more than 111 million copies sold and 8.4 percent of total consumer spending on books. Source: Book Industry Study Group E-book Unit Sales Flat E-book publishers reported a 23-percent increase in e-book revenues in 2005, over 2004. However, there was no change in the number of e-book units sold. The number of e-book titles published increased 20 percent over 2004, to 5,242. Publishers reported approximately 1.7 million e-book units sold and $11.9 million in revenues for 2005. The figures

Global Sourcing and Piracy
September 1, 2005

No region in the world is safe from piracy. That's the conclusion of Patricia Judd, executive director of international copyright enforcement and trade policy at the Association of American Publishers (AAP) in Washington, D.C. "Piracy is a worldwide phenomenon," Judd says. The AAP estimates losses to its members of more than $600 million a year in about 67 markets across the globe. As more book publishers explore their offshore book manufacturing options, foreign book manufacturers are boosting efforts to lure American publishers. It's all in the name of lowering costs. But does this offshore manufacturing activity put publishers at an increased risk of

Our Indusry's 'Green' Leaders
June 1, 2005

A look at pioneers in improving the industry's environmental impact. When San Francisco publisher Chronicle Books decided to improve its environmental impact, it didn't waste any time. It formed an internal eco task force and spent 2004 researching its paper options with its U.S. and Asian printers. It enlisted its merchants and mills in the process. And it pushed all of its suppliers to join in its commitment to print on better paper. As a result, it was able to obtain eco-friendly paper without paying a higher price. By 2005, Chronicle was ready to make a formal commitment to the goals of

The State of the Industry
April 1, 2005

For some, 2004 wasn't exactly easy on the blood pressure. For others, some gains planted seeds of optimism for 2005. Meanwhile, new business models are emerging incorporating print-on-demand. New technologies are being sought out to streamline workflow and cut costs. Cross-media publishing is starting to feel somewhat like the Gold Rush. Paper prices are rising, and demand in some grades could get tight this year. And that's just the beginning. The industry is also amidst a historic transition to a 13-digit ISBN number. E-books and handheld mobile devices are crossing the schoolyard and taking a seat in the classroom. Radio technology

Will Print Be Extinct ? Again?
January 4, 2005

It's been more than a decade since the first mass of commercial Web sites were launched and far longer since people began predicting the extinction of print. In March 1999, Princeton University history professor Robert Darnton wrote an article in the New York Review of Books that read: Marshall McLuhan's future has not happened. The Web, yes; global immersion in television, certainly; media and messages everywhere, of course. But the electronic age did not drive the printed word into extinction, as McLuhan prophesied in 1962. McLuhan, an English professor, media analyst and book author, predicted the demise of the printed word 43 years

Do Cover Enhancements Enhance Profits?
August 1, 2004

Consumer spending on books will reach $44 billion by 2008, and publishers will be serving up a menu of more than 2.3 billion books from which readers can choose, predicts a recent study by the Book Industry Study Group, a nonprofit industry organization. With so many titles vying for a piece of the pie, each book's cover becomes increasingly important to catch the book-buyer's eye, despite the old caveat about judging a book by its cover. But does pomp and circumstance help sell books? Beauty Is Only Cover Deep, But It's The Cover That Buyers See Many in the industry agree that a