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How to Be a Bigger, Better Book Publisher
May 1, 2006

What does it take to achieve marked growth in the book business? The answer is as varied as the publishing companies in the market today. But a few core factors, such as acquisitions, international licensing and monetary support, can represent elements vital to extensive growth. Tapping into a bit of creativity and adapting to specific market needs also help. Dan Oswald, president and publisher of M. Lee Smith Publishers, LLC, and Rich Wohl, vice president of publishing for Wolters Kluwer Health and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, have seen this firsthand. Here, they talk about the keys to their companies’ significant expansions and offer tips

A Step-by-Step, SeamlessOnline Integration
May 1, 2006

Imagine you’re a medical student and, like all students, you’re facing major textbook expenses. Enter Thieme Medical Publishers Inc., New York, a unit of Thieme International. Last year, this 27-year-old medical textbook publisher put its books for medical students online and is using the Internet to grow its business. The publisher wants to triple or quadruple its revenue from this market segment over the next three years, says Brian Scanlan, managing director of Thieme International, a division of the Stuttgard, Germany-based Thieme Publishing Group, founded in 1886. While the Thieme Publishing Group is a $150 million company, Scanlan declined to disclose revenue contributions and market share

26 Tips for Licensing International Rights
May 1, 2006

“Wide open and full of potential” is how Anne Landa, rights and exports manager for Sourcebooks Inc., characterizes the market for licensing international rights. “It is simply about placing the right books with the right people and seeing the whole thing through,” Landa—who works out of her home office in San Diego, Calif.—says about selling licensing rights to publishers around the globe for Sourcebooks. International licensing rights increased 20 percent last year at the Naperville, Ill.-based publisher. Sourcebooks, an independent publisher of more than 900 trade titles, has had books translated into 36 languages and published in 34 countries. Landa says she expects the upward

Book Business Conference‘Strikes Chord’ With Publishing Executives
May 1, 2006

Not even a George Clooney sighting could disrupt the 2006 Book Business Conference and Expo, which took place March 20-22 at the Hilton New York. The celebrity was filming his latest picture just feet away from the conference’s registration area and—predictably—attracted all sorts of ogling from attendees and passers-by, but it was the conference and expo that were the stars of the week. Much like the industry it serves, the conference found itself in an unprecedented state of evolution when it kicked off on Monday, March 20. In its 10th year and amid revolutionary changes in the world of book publishing, this year’s conference

ref•er•ence pub•lish•ing n :industry segment faced with dramatic change
May 1, 2006

It used to be that an encyclopedia salesman knocked on your door in hopes of selling you the latest 12-volume series of books brimming with factual information about everything from binary cell division to Benjamin Franklin. And your only option for finding the definition of onomatopoeia used to be to lug the dictionary off the shelf and thumb through its pages. Those days are, to some extent, history. As a result, reference publishers face significant challenges—reflected in a significant drop in new titles released in 2005—as they strive to adapt to new trends in the market. Paul Kobasa, editor in chief for World

Book Readers: A Dying Breed?
April 1, 2006

Some interviews stick out in an editor’s memory long after the story has been sent to press. My interview with Dominique Raccah, president and CEO of Sourcebooks, will be one of those (page 33). Her energy and enthusiasm leaves little question as to how she built a multimillion-dollar business, and why her books continue to see double-digit sell-through increases. But she did leave me with another question: With the primary book-reading audience (baby boomers) aging, what will happen when that audience is gone? A year and a half ago, the National Endowment for the Arts released the results of a survey called “Reading at

Marketing a New Title on Peanuts
February 1, 2006

Fantagraphics, publisher of "The Complete Peanuts," had a limited marketing budget. Here's how the company turned the comic strip into a best-selling book series without spending big bucks.

Quality Sales Materials on the Fly
February 1, 2006

Thomson West is a leading provider of integrated information solutions to the U.S. legal market, selling legal books and online services to law students, lawyers, and law librarians. It has 2,000 sales representatives, tasked with promoting the company brand and selling a wide range of legal products. As in any company, each sales representative relies on marketing material to help him achieve his sales goals. These materials can include: direct mail, product collateral, and event invitations and signage that is customized for their target audiences and product lines. Traditionally, the sales representatives would work with Thompson West’s creative services department to create marketing pieces

Search and Sell
February 1, 2006

Oxford University Press implements a new system to launch new products quickly, reducing 3 weeks of work to a single search command.

As You Like It
February 1, 2006

As professors begin creating their course plan for the year, often they’ll select a title that they once used during their days as an undergrad or graduate student, not realizing that the title has been pulled from the backlist of the publisher as ‘out of print.’ The advent of short-run digital technology has allowed publishers to offer books that are no longer in print in quantities anywhere from one to a few thousand. The technology in recent years also has opened up custom publishing divisions at major educational publishers. Pearson Education is one of several large educational book publishers to offer such a

Maybe Greatness Is in the Genes
October 1, 2005

Anthony Crouch has a long line of publishing blood in his family, and now a major industry award under his belt. Anthony Crouch has lived and breathed publishing all his life. "I was drawn to the world of print and publishing through strong family connections," Crouch recalls. "My grandfather was a typesetter … and my grandmother was a bookbinder. My parents were both heavily involved in publishing." As an adolescent, Crouch founded a newspaper for his middle school. He was a bit apprehensive, however, when it came to pursuing publishing as a profession. "I tried several other possible career paths in England before

Perfection in Print
September 1, 2005

The 18th annual Gold Ink Awards honor the truly exceptional among more than 200 pieces submitted in the book categories. As the weather heated up in the early part of June, so did the excitement around the offices of North American Publishing Co. (BookTech's parent) as judges from varied backgrounds in the graphic arts industry convened to judge the 18th annual Gold Ink Awards. This year's judges had their work cut out for them as almost 1,500 entries were submitted into the competition, with 203 pieces entered into the eight book categories alone. Over the course of four days, the esteemed judges pored over

U.S. Book Production Reaches New High of 195,000 Titles in 2004
May 24, 2005

NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J.--May 24, 2005--Bowker, the leading provider of bibliographic information in North America, today released statistics on U.S. book publishing compiled from its Books In Print database. Based on preliminary figures, Bowker is projecting that U.S. title output in 2004 increased by 14 percent to 195,000 new titles and editions, reaching another all-time high. The catalyst for growth in 2004 was adult fiction, which reversed a three-year plateau and increased a staggering 43.1 percent, to 25,184 new titles and editions, the highest total ever recorded for that category. Adult fiction now accounts for 14 percent of all titles published in the United

There's Growth in Them There Stacks
February 1, 2005

Book publishers are keeping their fingers crossed that 2005 will be the year the industry shakes off the period of stagnation that has coincided with the U.S. economic downturn. The domestic market continued to remain essentially flat in 2004, but industry insiders are hopeful that the market will soon show growth. The shift toward more flexible production schedules, and resurgence in educational and reference titles will likely be the engines that drive any industry upswing. Another trend in 2005 will be publishers aiming to enhance profitability by leveraging the cost benefits of digital printing and international sourcing. Setting the Stage for Growth

CIP4 Names Advisory Board and Board of Directors
December 1, 2004

The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) named its advisory board and board members at its annual meeting held at the Graph Expo and Converting Show, in Chicago. The members of the board are charged with extending JDF to cover broader areas of interoperability, and provide improved education and communication for printers, prepress services and other users of JDF-enabled process automation solutions. The new appointees are Martin Bailey, Global Graphics Software; Tim Daisy, Networked Graphic Production Partners; Stephan Jaeggi, PrePress Consulting; Pat McGrew, Pitney Bowes; Matthew Outram, Fujifilm Electronic Imaging; John Sweeney, Integrated Color Solutions Inc.; Jacques

Turn End-of-Life Titles into Profit
August 1, 2004

Life was good for The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. The company had grown to become one of the largest independent publishers and distributors in North America. It employed hundreds of people in seven locations. And, it had printed more than 20,000 new books in its 29 years. But, life was about to get even better—as the company tapped a new, multimillion-dollar revenue stream. THE RELATIONSHIP BUSINESS James E. Lyons, Rowman & Littlefield president and publisher, had shared a concern of many modern-day publishers: excess inventory. The company typically ordered offset print runs that would last two years, but, occasionally, more books were printed

CtP's Progeny
June 1, 2004

In an age of on-demand cable, print-on-demand and instant messaging, it's no wonder publishers say the most important aspect of computer-to-plate technology is faster turnaround times. Over its 10-year life span, CtP technology has brought the industry as close to on-demand turnaround times as possible, shortening production time and streamlining the manufacturing process. It means publishers can drop pages in their printers' laps knowing they'll be turned around quicker than Barry Bonds swinging at an 0-2 fastball. Time-sensitive subjects are now brought to market faster. What Martha Stewart knew or didn't know about the stock price of Imclone, or what President Bush knew

Digital Paper Pitfalls
February 1, 2004

The paper selection process for books printed digitally differs radically from that of books destined for offset. What designers and production managers should know. Choosing the right paper for a book printed digitally can make or break such on-demand publishing projects. Digital paper has unique reflective, color, sensory, and operational characteristics compared to paper destined for, offset or other printing technologies. For example, digital paper has increased moisture, is smoother, and more dimensionally stable. The more precisely the edges are cut, the more efficiently the paper moves through the press. Digital papers are smoother than offset papers for good toner

Inside the Digital Paper Labs at Xerox and HP
February 1, 2004

Scientists compete to make certain their company's papers don't stick, curl, jam, or smear. But even the finest papers can send a print job amok if environmental conditions are ignored. We take paper sheets for granted, never giving a second thought to the ream of paper we load into the short run digital press, laser printer, or copying machine. But the company that sold the paper is probably obsessed with every scientific detail there is to know. That, in a nutshell, explains why digital press and related vendors are going to great lengths to develop, manufacture, and sell paper that doesn't foul

Prepress Bloopers
May 1, 2003

Digital prepress, the conversion of electronic information about text and graphics into output-ready form, is a crucial aspect of book manufacturing. But it takes more than looking good on a computer screen for titles to translate from bytes to ink on paper. When things go well, prepress production reflects modern technology at its best. But incorrectly prepared electronic files wreak production havoc, and are the top cause of production delays, surcharges, and missed delivery dates. Here are the most common causes of prepress problems, as nominated by a team of technical experts at R.R. Donnelley, in New York. If your organization hasn't been tripped