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‘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.

Supply Chain Management
June 1, 2007

When it comes to improving the supply chain function in book publishing, the watchword is communication—between various components of the chain, and especially between manufacturing, distribution and retail. Saying this, however, is not saying nearly enough, as the quality of information and the way it’s used matter just as much as making the right connections. “Communication is the No. 1 supply chain issue,” says Rich Eby, director of inbound distribution at Thomson Learning, the Stamford, Conn.-based provider of educational, training and reference books for academic and corporate customers. For Thomson, that means anticipating shipments from manufacturers around the world for distribution in the

University Presses and the Digital Universe
June 1, 2007

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP)—an organization of nonprofit publishers whose members strive to advance scholarship through their offerings—believes that the university press segment’s fundamental mission has not changed since America’s oldest university press, The Johns Hopkins University Press, was founded in 1878. However, the landscape in which its members operate has changed greatly, and the forecast calls for additional change in the future. As throughout the rest of the publishing industry, driving this change are advances in digital technologies. A varying segment According to Steve Maikowski, director of NYU Press, the university press world is divided into four major sales groups

Piecing Together the Distribution Puzzle
June 1, 2007

If distribution means getting books into the hands of sellers, circulators or readers, then a true profile of the distribution business would cast a wide net, beginning at the binding line and continuing through to the ‘long tail’ of online portals, used bookstores and curbside pushcarts. However, if distribution, from the publisher’s view, means getting books to generate sales revenue, we can overlook all of the aftermarket, recirculation and reselling channels and focus solely on reaching stores, libraries, online and catalog warehouses and—increasingly, thanks to the Internet—direct marketing from the publisher to the consumer. In the article “Deconstructing Distribution,” in Book Business’

Bowker Partners With Lulu.com
June 1, 2007

Online independent-publishing marketplace Lulu.com and R.R. Bowker, the U.S. International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) agency, have partnered to provide Lulu.com users with the opportunity to purchase ISBNs for their self-published books. This is the first time that New Providence, N.J.-based Bowker, the sole distributor of ISBNs in the United States, has partnered with a company to offer individual ISBNs. These 13-digit, bar-coded numbers are used by publishers and retailers to facilitate the sale and distribution of books. Lulu.com, with headquarters in Morrisville, N.C., is offering the ISBNs for $50 per number through its “Published By You” distribution service, which allows authors to publish

Books By E-mail and RSS: Q&A With the Creator of DailyLit.com
May 18, 2007

DailyLit.com, a Web site based in New York that currently offers a free service allowing users to read entire books via e-mail and RSS installments, recently announced plans for aggressive growth. DailyLit currently allows visitors to sign up to receive more than 370 classic and contemporary titles, free of charge, in installments designed to be read in less than five minutes. The contemporary titles used are available via Creative Commons, a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright, built within current copyright law, that allows you to share your creations with others and use music, movies, images and text online that’s been

Océ Introduces New Book Maker
May 4, 2007

Océ N.V., an international provider of digital document management technology and services with North American headquarters in Trumbull, Conn., announced the introduction of its new BLM500 book maker. Designed to enhance the productivity of Oce’s current offerings of cut-sheet systems, the BLM500 is being marketed by the manufacturer as a complete booking system for digital print applications, as well as a fast, cost-effective alternative to perfect or tape binding. The book maker attaches to a cut-sheet printer to provide online finishing. “With the introduction of the BLM500, we can help ensure print operations have all the tools they need to maximize opportunities and profits

Lightning Source Is a Source of Innovation
May 4, 2007

At the 18th Annual Galaxy British Book Awards ceremony in London, Lightning Source UK—a subsidiary of La Vergne, Tenn.-based Lightning Source Inc., a provider of digital publishing support and print on demand services—was honored with the Nielsen Bookdata Award for Innovation in the Book Industry. The company was recognized for the success of its Pilot Large Print Initiative, which makes books available on-demand in large-print format for the visually impaired. The initiative is the first of its kind in the publishing industry. “We’re absolutely delighted to win the award for innovation in the book industry,” said David Taylor, senior vice-president of global sales for

Exclusive Interview: Jane Friedman, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers, Offers Insights On Motivation, Mentors and More
May 4, 2007

Jane Friedman, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers has been a driving force behind the creation of multi-media pronged author tours, Publishing Plus and more. Friedman has a 39-year career in publishing and is considered a mentor by many in the industry. Book Business Extra spoke with her in this exclusive interview. She shares insights behind her career accomplishments, motivation and advice to others. EXTRA: You are credited with creating the author tour in 1970 as a publicist who took cook and author Julia Child around to different store locations promoting her book. Can you explain the experience for our readers? FRIEDMAN: I actually

The View From the Top
May 1, 2007

HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, one of the five largest book publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corp., is strategically focused on a digital evolution that will shape the company’s goals and mission in the future. The foundation of this evolution can be traced back 10 years to when Jane Friedman was hired as the company’s president and CEO. According to Friedman, in the past 10 years HarperCollins has increased profits by more than 1,000 percent and its total revenue went from $600 million to $1.3 billion in 2006. The company publishes an average of 4,300 titles globally per year, with 3,100 employees

Deconstructing Distribution
May 1, 2007

The recent collapse of San Diego-based wholesaler Advanced Marketing Services (AMS), and its distribution subsidiary that it took down with it—the much esteemed Publishers Group West (PGW) that it acquired only five years ago—reminded me of the remarkable way in which our industry sorts through 180,000 new titles a year and the millions more in print. Somehow, in a timely manner, the industry moves books into stores, superstores, specialty stores and gift shops, big-box discounters, grocery and drug store chains, and libraries of all kinds—aggregating more than 100,000 accounts that someone has to bill and collect on. Dramatic though the PGW collapse is, drilling

Going Mobile or Already Gone
April 6, 2007

The book industry is writing a new chapter, as Moka LLC, a “personal mobile knowledge assistant provider,” announces Moka mBooks—which delivers a selection of writings from best-selling books directly to cell phones or e-mail via Short Message Service (SMS) text-message and e-mail technology. SMS is available on most digital mobile phones and a steadily increasing range of other devices (including Pocket PC, desktop computers and some fixed phones) that permit the sending of short text messages between these devices. It is now offering text from 76 introductory titles from authors including Sylvia Browne, Dan Millman, and Wayne Dyer. “We are proud to be bringing

Transcontinental Offers 100-Percent Recycled Paper at Price Parity
April 6, 2007

Transcontinental Printing’s Book Group, part of Transcontinental Printing, Canada’s largest printer and the sixth largest printer in North America, circulated a marketing brochure to book publishers this week to promote its latest offering: a new paper made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled material. This marks the first time recycled papers are available from Transcontinental at price parity. The environmentally friendly option, known as “Enviro 100 trade,” can be used by trade publishers short through long runs, or in specialty publications. According to Transcontinental using environmentally friendly options no longer means you have to sacrifice quality and pay top dollar. Until recently these environmentally friendly choices

Tapping the Supply Chain Opportunity
April 1, 2007

In Part I of this series, I described how supply chain thinking can be applied to business and career decisions. Correctly identifying your “value proposition” is the key to being able to diagram where in the chain of buying and selling relationships you can be most effective. Building on your core competencies, and recognizing that you need to manage your supply chain relationships becomes the business proposition. Chances are that when you first examine your supply chain, you will find that you have been a slave to it, rather than a master of it. I also noted that by rethinking and realistically recasting your

An Exhibition of Optimism
April 1, 2007

In the months following the Sept. 11 attacks, museum admissions declined sharply, exhibitions were cancelled, and in the turbulence, administrators began examining whether they could continue to publish books as a result. Today, “there is generally a very optimistic feeling, which is not to say it’s easy. It’s still very difficult, but it’s an exciting time, and I feel really good about our future,” says Yale University Press Publisher Patricia Fidler. “No one was saying that a few years ago.” Currently, her art and architecture division publishes 120 books annually, of which roughly 60 percent stem from Yale’s museum partners. Stephanie Medlock,

Random House and Lantern Books Honored as Environmental Leaders
April 1, 2007

Random House Inc. and Lantern Books were recognized for their achievements in environmental sustainability, taking home the first-ever SustainPrint.com Leadership Awards in book publishing. The awards were presented Mon., March 5, during a special reception at the Book Business Conference and Expo, held at the New York Marriott Marquis, Times Square. The SustainPrint.com Leadership Awards recognize book and magazine publishing companies for their achievements in environmental sustainability. Fast Company magazine and the National Wildlife Federation were recognized as magazine publishing leaders. The awards are presented by SustainPrint.com—a Web site developed by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines to provide a central location for

Bringing Life to Your Backlist
April 1, 2007

Springer Science + Business Media does not view Google Book Search as a detriment to its business, but rather as a valuable marketing tool for its popular science, technology and medical (STM) titles. Paul Manning, vice president of book publishing for Springer, attributes much of the recent growth of the company’s back catalog of older titles to its participation with the controversial program. With more than 30,000 titles available in Google Book Search, the publisher saw more than 1 million views in a one-month period, and 20 percent of its “buy this book” clicks on the search were for titles older than 10 years

Random House, Lantern Books Among ‘SustainPrint.com Leadership Award’ Winners for Environmental Sustainability Efforts
March 26, 2007

The first-ever SustainPrint.com Leadership Awards were announced Mon., March 5 at the Book Business/Publishing Executive Magazine Conference and Expo in New York. Random House, Inc., Lantern Books, Fast Company magazine and the National Wildlife Federation took home the inaugural awards, which recognize book and magazine publishing companies for their achievements in environmental sustainability. They are presented by SustainPrint.com, which was developed by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines to provide a central location for information and resources on environmental sustainability in printing and publishing. Two book publishers and two magazine publishers were recognized with inaugural honors. “We believe that leaders in environmental