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NEW - Digital Directions: Your Digital DNA
June 1, 2008

I started working with digital content 25 years ago, developing interactive products for publishers and other content organizations in New York City. I worked in small media and technology development firms, without much to speak of in terms of infrastructure. I imagined that the larger publishing organizations for which we developed products all had robust systems for the management of digital content. Ten years later, a large textbook publisher hired me to lead a media and technology group and I learned otherwise. There was no systematic approach to the management of digital assets. Following the printing of a textbook, digital assets were stored on

ABA and Ingram Announce Partnership to Underwrite Bookseller Education
May 9, 2008

The American Booksellers Association (ABA), a not-for-profit trade organization, has partnered with Ingram Book Co. and Ingram Publisher Services to underwrite bookseller education for the next three years. The partnership will begin with ABA’s Day of Education, which is being held May 29 in Hollywood, Calif., in conjunction with BookExpo America. “We present education to about 1,000 booksellers each year,” says Avin Mark Domnitz, ABA’s chief executive officer. “This strategic partnership will help us extend that reach, and importantly, keep education free to ABA members. This relationship is a boon to both ABA and Ingram.” In addition to the Day of Education,

Books Bound for Greatness
May 1, 2008

Printers generally like to talk about investments they’ve made in print technologies—offset or digital. Perhaps that’s because it suggests they’re doing well and that they’re investing in their customers’ businesses. Besides, talking about a slick, new machine that requires little to no makeready time and gets up to color with minimal effort is sexy. Well, comparatively speaking. The clunkier “back-office” equipment found in the typical finishing department is perhaps not as provocative, but talk to most any book printer or trade binder, and they’ll likely confide that the bindery machines are the real workhorses. Indeed, investing in the bindery is just as important

Gene Therapy
May 1, 2008

The publishing industry’s intensified movement toward going “green” was highlighted by recent reports from three major trade groups—the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF). In this column, I summarize the major features of each of these reports, as well as note a bit of contention on some of the findings, that point to the why and how of going “green” for publishers and book printers. (For an extensive and very useful backgrounder, check out the article “The Green Team,” by James Sturdivant, in Book Business, February 2008, also

Free E-Books Offered to Raise Industry’s Environmental Awareness
April 28, 2008

To commemorate Earth Day, which was celebrated April 22, is offering free e-books in partnership with and Abbey House Press. The partners are hoping the initiative helps spur the publishing community’s efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and protect forests, according to a statement issued by “Greenhouse-gas emissions can be dramatically reduced over time through the advance of e-books and other means of delivering content digitally,” says Bob LiVolsi, president of The free books were provided by Abbey House Press’ Abbey House Classics imprint and can be accessed through and at “Each year, approximately 30 million trees are used

Harlequin Readers Find New Ways for Romance with Technology from LibreDigital
April 25, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas– April 23, 2008 – Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. has selected the LibreDigital Internet Digital Warehouse solution to provide readers with new ways to access Harlequin titles across digital channels, including online and mobile. Beginning April 2008, Harlequin will make some of its most popular series—such as Harlequin Presents and books by New York Times bestselling authors like Debbie Macomber, Heather Graham and Mercedes Lackey— available for browsing online. “Romance readers are having a love affair with digital,” said Brent Lewis, Vice President Internet & Digital, Harlequin. “With technology from LibreDigital, we can give readers an experience similar to walking into a bookstore and

PMA Speaks Out Against Amazon’s POD Policy
April 11, 2008

PMA, The Independent Publishers Association, which represents more than 4,000 independent publishers, has issued a statement denouncing Amazon’s recent policy aimed at publishers who use print-on-demand (POD) technology to sell directly on The online retailer has directed that these publishers must either print their POD titles exclusively through Amazon’s BookSurge subsidiary for fulfillment of orders placed through its Web site, or incur additional cost to print elsewhere and maintain inventory with Amazon. “This policy imposes a significant financial burden on tens of thousands of small and independent publishers who can least afford it,” says Terry Nathan, PMA executive director. “Without the opportunity to

World Book Brings Content to Mobile Devices
March 28, 2008

Chicago-based World Book Inc., a publisher of reference products for adults and children, has announced the launch of World Book Mobile, a broad-based licensing program that will extend the volume of licensed content the publisher is making available to mobile application developers and distributors. World Book Mobile will feature content from more than 90 World Book titles. “World Book has a tremendous amount of content,” says Paul Gazzolo, president. “World Book Mobile is a logical extension of our digital content strategy enabling us to work with leading mobile application providers to deliver accurate, authoritative information wherever and whenever consumers want access.” Mobifusion Inc.,

Can Giving Books Away Pay Off? No Starch Press Publisher Bill Pollock on his decision to offer two of his key titles as free downloads.
March 28, 2008

Bill Pollock, publisher of No Starch Press, is taking a leap of faith that he hopes will pay off for his San Francisco-based company, which specializes in computing titles. After a long struggle against pirated versions of his titles appearing on peer-to-peer (P2P) filing-sharing services, Pollock made a decision last week to essentially give books away for free. He created an official publisher-provided torrent—an electronic file used in online file-sharing—of two of the publishing house’s key titles, author Leander Kahney’s “Cult of Mac” and “Cult of iPod,” available for free download on one of the world’s largest file-sharing communities, The Pirate Bay. As Pollock

OverDrive to Distribute MP3 Audiobooks Without DRM at Borders
March 28, 2008

OverDrive, a digital book distributor to online retailers, libraries and schools, announced that it will expand its catalog of download audiobooks to include titles in MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM). Borders Inc. will be the first bookseller to offer OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks without DRM, both online at and at Digital Centers inside select Borders store locations. These audiobooks will be compatible with nearly every mobile phone and MP3 player, including iPod and Zune. OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks will go on sale in May and offer thousands of titles from publishers including Random House Audio, Blackstone Audiobooks, Hachette Book Group and Books In

New Book Printing Products Unveiled at On Demand Conference
March 14, 2008

Nearly 25,000 publishers, printing industry professionals and others congregated at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center last week for the On Demand Conference & Exposition and AIIM International Exposition & Conference. The event featured product launches and announcements from a variety of companies, including those impacting the book publishing industry. Among those of interest to book printing professionals: Ultimate Technographics Montreal-based Ultimate Technographics unveiled its new Impostrip Book Stacker 2.0 at the conference and garnered a Best of Show Award in the Workflow Solutions category. According to the company, the product won “for its unique concept of automating and optimizing the production of

Winners of SustainPrint Leadership Awards Announced
March 14, 2008

The second-annual SustainPrint Leadership Awards have been announced, recognizing book and magazine publishers for their outstanding achievements in environmental sustainability. Scholastic Inc. and Chelsea Green Publishing are the 2008 winners in the book category. The awards are presented by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines and—which provides information on environmental sustainability in printing and publishing. The awards were presented on Monday evening at an awards reception during the Publishing Business Conference & Expo at the New York Marriott Marquis ( Scholastic Inc. won in the “Newcomer of the Year” category for book publishers and Chelsea Green won in the “Longtime Leader” category for

AAP Unveils New Environmental Handbook
February 29, 2008

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has unveiled its new “Handbook on Book Paper and the Environment.” The “Handbook” was developed by the AAP’s Paper Issues Working Group to assist publishers in navigating issues related to the development of environmental sustainability practices within the book publishing industry. Among the topics covered in the “Handbook” are recycling, including pre- and post-consumer recycled fiber distinctions; forestry certification standards; “chain of custody”; issues facing paper and recycling manufacturers; global practices and economic impacts; and “green” production efforts. The “Handbook” also contains a Frequently Asked Questions section and organizational contact information. According to the AAP, the “Handbook”

Thomas Nelson Launches Environmental Initiative
February 1, 2008

Thomas Nelson Inc. announced a new environmental plan and paper policy yesterday. Developed in consultation with the nonprofit organization Green Press Initiative (GPI), the initiative outlines measures to reduce the Christian publisher’s environmental impact, including reducing paper consumption, increasing the use of recycled paper, supporting best practices in forest management, and creating awareness and educational programs for employees, customers and suppliers. “As the world’s largest Christian publisher, it is our responsibility to protect the resources God has bestowed upon us,” says Michael S. Hyatt, president and CEO of Thomas Nelson. “Our vision is to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint over the next five years,

The ‘Green’ TEAM
February 1, 2008

According to one of the better-known accounts in the compendium of humankind’s greatest achievements, it was in the year 105 that a Chinese man named Ts’ai Lun invented paper, mashing up wood from a mulberry tree with fiber from bamboo. Thus was born a technology that would literally change the world, making possible artistic, scientific and religious revolutions, democratizing literacy and learning, and ushering humanity into the modern age. In recent times, paper production has played a role in changing the world in other ways. The book industry alone required 3 million to 4 million tons of paper over just the last three years,

Editor’s Note: Book Business Presents Free Webinar on Digital Distribution
February 1, 2008

Book Business magazine is presenting a free, live webinar on “Developing a Digital Distribution Strategy,” presented by Andrew Brenneman, manager, digital media group, University of Chicago Press, Books Division, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. (11 a.m. PST). The webinar will provide you with a useful, strategic framework for navigating the exciting and rapidly changing waters of digital distribution. Even if you can’t make it on Feb. 12, you can view the archived webinar for 90 days after the live event. Register now at

Editor’s Note: Environmental Awards Deadline Extended
January 18, 2008

The deadline to nominate a publishing company for the 2008 Awards has been extended to Feb. 1. To nominate a company, e-mail the company’s name and a description of the company’s efforts in environmental sustainability to Noelle Skodzinski, editor-in-chief of Book Business and (which is hosting the awards), at with the subject line “ Awards Nomination.”

Solutions Showcase: Covering All the Possibilities
January 16, 2008

The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” may be sage advice, but the publishing community knows better—that it is an intriguing cover that catches the potential reader’s eye. Indeed, a title’s cover is its most valuable marketing tool—an integral part of the publisher’s and author’s brand. So it makes sense that great thought typically goes into a book’s cover design and production. So was the experience for Walter T. Shaw, a first-time author whose nonfiction book, “A License to Steal,” is being published this year by Omega Publishing Group and manufactured by HCI’s print services division in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The

‘Green’ Publishers to Be Recognized: Call for Nominations Announced
January 10, 2008—the Web site for environmental sustainability in printing and publishing, co-produced by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines––has announced a call for nominations for its second-annual Awards. The awards recognize four publishers each year for their achievements in environmental sustainability. The “Newcomer of the Year” awards are given to one book and one magazine publishing company that have recently implemented significant environmental sustainability policies. The “Longtime Leader” awards recognize one book and one magazine publishing company that have a history of environmentally conscious publishing practices. “We established the Awards because we believe that publishers who have taken steps to improve their environmental

Scholastic Sets New Goals for Recycled and FSC-Certified Paper Use
January 9, 2008

New York, NY, January 9, 2008 – Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, today announced that the company is further strengthening its sustainable paper procurement practices by setting industry-leading goals to increase the percentage of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper and post-consumer waste (pcw) recycled paper it purchases. In consultation with the Rainforest Alliance, the Green Press Initiative and other environmental organizations, the company has set a five-year goal to increase its publication paper purchase of FSC-certified paper to 30 percent and its use of recycled paper to 25 percent, of which 75 percent will be post-consumer waste. The