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An Eco-Friendly Resource: Pinnacle Press’ new director of publishing is set to promote environmental initiatives
January 4, 2008

When book-component printer Pinnacle Press hired Deborah Bruner as its new director of publishing in late December, she also assumed an additional role: director of eco-friendly initiatives. Bruner says she will not only work with publishers in regard to their print needs, but she also will help them incorporate eco-friendly papers into their business without “blowing their bottom line.” She spoke with Book Business Extra about the growing trend of printers focusing on eco-friendly business practices and how she will support publishers who are considering using more recycled stock. Book Business Extra: What is your role going to be with Pinnacle Press? Deborah

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

Behind Simon & Schuster’s New ‘Green’ Initiative
December 1, 2007

The book publishing industry took another step forward in its ongoing efforts to lessen its environmental impact with the recent announcement that Simon & Schuster Inc. (www.SimonSays.com) has launched a major environmental initiative and paper policy. As a result of this new initiative, the New York-based publishing company will aim to increase the amount of recycled fiber in the paper used to manufacture its books. It follows in the footsteps of Random House Inc., which launched a similar initiative last year. For its books printed and bound in the United States, Simon & Schuster plans to increase from its current 10 percent to

34 Cost-Cutting and Time-Saving Production Tips
December 1, 2007

Publishers looking to cut costs and production time face a wealth of challenges, not the least of which is shaking off old conceptions. Putting the focus on content, rather than on books as manufactured objects, can paradoxically help to uncover new ways to speed up the workflow (or, more accurately, customize the workflow to meet the needs of individual projects), and do so in as cost-effective a manner as possible. Common themes among those who shared with Book Business their cost- and time-saving production tips are planning and adaptability, which depend on effective communication. Despite all the technological advances of recent years (and

22 Tips for Healthier Offshore Manufacturing Relationships
December 1, 2007

When the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) hosted its annual Publishing University conference in Chicago in early November, publishers, printers and vendors who attended the “Offshoring” session were provided with tips, advice and a few fair warnings about partnering with offshore manufacturers. Jennifer Butenschoen, director of production at Harvest House Publishers, which publishes Bibles, self-help titles and gift books, presented a 90-minute crash course on the topic, during which she offered tips that Book Business readers should find useful in evaluating their own offshore manufacturing strategy. More than 100 million Harvest House books have been sold worldwide since the company’s conception in 1974. Now

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

Gore Documentary Inspires Publisher to Produce First “Green” Bible: A Q&A with Thomas Nelson CEO Michael S. Hyatt
November 2, 2007

“An Inconvenient Truth,” the 2006 documentary that focused on climate change, won more than just two Academy Awards—as it turns out, it also won over Thomas Nelson’s Michael S. Hyatt. Hyatt, the president and CEO of the largest Christian book publisher in the world, took the inspiration he gained from viewing the film and carried the message back to work with him. Last month, Thomas Nelson published an industry first—a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified “green” Bible, which contains paper made with 10-percent post-consumer recycled fiber. Some industry experts suggest that the publication of “The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible” signifies a major

Two Major Developments on the ‘Green’ Front
November 1, 2007

As Kermit the Frog used to say: “It’s not easy being green.” While the beloved puppet was referring to his skin color, the saying has been applied to being “green” in the environmental sense. And, not to make light of a serious situation regarding our environment, the saying has been relevant in book publishing for years—many publishers have “good intentions” (as Book Business columnist Gene Schwartz suggests in this month’s “Gene Therapy”), but they struggle to balance those good intentions with negative impacts on their bottom lines and/or their lack of know-how for making their intentions realities. But as Kermit’s outlook changes in the

Gene Therapy
November 1, 2007

Longfellow’s celebration of the forest primeval finds its echo today in the green revolution taking place along the supply chain of the paper industry. Although—as I learned from interviewing people who prefer not be quoted on the subject—good intentions are ahead of actual practice, it is a harbinger nonetheless of the revolutionary transformations taking place in the paper industry’s business practices. Which brings me to the subject of this column: a snapshot of the globally transforming paper industry, the state of book-paper supply, and how the present outlook shapes your paper usage and purchasing strategies. As long as print products are foundational to the

Best Practices in Global Book Sales
November 1, 2007

When the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” series decided to go global with its newest edition, “The Remarkable … Revealed,” the company took a chance by tweaking the typical foreign publishing model. Rather than licensing full publishing rights, as many publishers do, Ripley chose to handle printing and work directly with foreign distributors. “We’re finding that, with licensing, [foreign publishers] don’t [always] have the commitment we do,” says Norm Deska, executive vice president of intellectual property, Ripley Entertainment. “We’re looking to better establish our brand with a high-quality annual book, and the only way to do that was to do it ourselves.” Ripley, whose

Does First “Green” Bible Signify Broader Shift Toward Environmentally Conscious Publishing? A Q&A with Green Press Initiative Director Tyson Miller
October 19, 2007

The publication of the book publishing industry’s first recognized “green” Bible earlier this month by Thomas Nelson, the sixth-largest trade publisher in the United States, may suggest that a major shift in environmental thinking is underway in the publishing world. The publisher worked on the project with paper manufacturer Domtar as well as the Green Press Initiative (GPI), a nonprofit that has worked for the past five years to help the book industry conserve environmental resources. GPI Director Tyson Miller spoke with Book Business Extra about Thomas Nelson’s publication and how it fits into the “Treatise on Responsible Paper Use,” an industry-developed agreement that

New Books on Demand Service Enables Self-Published Authors to Sell Through Amazon.com
September 7, 2007

An interview with CreateSpace Co-founder and Managing Director Dana LoPiccolo-Giles on her company’s new service Founded in 2002 as an on-demand distributor of DVDs, CustomFlixLabs Inc. was acquired by Amazon.com in 2005 and later added a CD on Demand service to its growing portfolio. Last month, the company experienced another growth spurt, announcing a new company name, CreateSpace, as well as the launch of a new Books on Demand service for self-publishing authors. The service allows authors to offer their works for sale through Amazon.com, the CreateSpace.com site and via their own free, customizable eStore without inventory, setup fees or minimum orders. CreateSpace manufactures on-demand

2007 Gold Ink Awards
September 1, 2007

The 20th year of the Gold Ink Awards—the industry’s most prestigious print competition—featured some of the storied awards’ most impressive and highest-quality submissions to date. A talented team of judges poured through more than 1,400 entries in this milestone year, awarding Gold, Silver, Bronze and Pewter honors in 46 categories spanning a wide variety of printed products. Printers and publishers submitted their finest pieces, and more than a dozen judges rolled up their sleeves to scrutinize and examine the entries’ each and every detail over four days in May at the Philadelphia headquarters of North American Publishing Co.—parent company of Book Business and Publishing

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.

Muller Martini U.S.A. Releases New Gluing Solution
August 3, 2007

Muller Martini U.S.A., a book-manufacturing equipment provider, headquartered in Hauppauge, N.Y., has released a gluing solution to meet a wide range of bookbinding needs. The company’s Collibri backgluing machine allows bookbinders to glue-off thread-sewn books in a variety of ways, using dispersion glue, hotmelt or PUR (polyurethane adhesive) and applying the glue once or twice. The Collibri is available in two different lengths and with one or two interchangeable gluing stations. The Collibri with one gluing station is offered in two versions: one for melting adhesives and one for dispersion glue. The machine with two gluing stations was designed to enable highly flexible

Distribution Goes Digital
August 1, 2007

“We are leading the pack by building a digital warehouse, which is the digital equivalent of our print warehouse,” commented Jane Friedman, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers, in the May issue of Book Business. This is the ultimate sign-off on the industry’s embrace of the future, and its take-back of content control from trailblazers such as Google, Amazon and Yahoo. For some years now, various technology vendors have enabled publishers to deliver electronically formatted versions of their titles for special purposes. These have included applications such as conversions to XML formats (e.g., Publishing Dimensions), proprietary e-book reader formats (Mobipocket), sight-impaired applications (National

‘Harry Potter’ Serious Business When It Comes to Early Shipping
July 20, 2007

The New York Times is reporting that Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of the “Harry Potter” series, has sued an online bookseller and its distributor earlier this week for “flagrant violations of their strict contractual obligations” by shipping copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” before the time and date set by the publisher. A breach of contract suit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois, in which Scholastic accused Infinity Resources, which owns the online retailer DeepDiscounts.com, of shipping books to some customers up to a week before the on-sale date, according to The Times. Levy Home Entertainment, a

Baby Boomers Driving Online Used-Book Selling
June 15, 2007

AbeBooks.com—one of the world’s largest online marketplaces for new, used, rare and out-of-print books—has released survey results pointing to evidence that the majority of online used-book sellers in the United States are Baby Boomers. Between October 2006 and January 2007, AbeBooks polled 1,949 U.S. booksellers that sold through its network of Web sites. “Hard work is the key to successfully selling secondhand books on the Web,” said Hannes Blum, CEO of AbeBooks.com. “Although this profession is relatively new, it requires dedication to build up an online inventory of books and considerable effort to find books ideal for the Internet. We’re seeing a commitment to

Top 30 Book Manufacturers
June 1, 2007

If 2007 goes down as “The Year of RR Donnelley,” it will do so as a result of a 65-day span at the turn of the year during which the conglomerate announced it would acquire three industry stalwarts: Perry Judd’s, Von Hoffman and Banta Corp. But the past year has been about more than consolidation and leveraged buyouts. North American printers continue to grapple with the mounting menace that is offshore manufacturing, fluctuating paper prices amid a series of mill shutdowns, and the ever-evolving technological demands of their customers. And yet, despite these challenges, there are also a number of opportunities facing the market.