Editor's Note: On The Road To Find Out
On my way to work one recent morning, I saw a beautiful old stone house with two white panel vans parked in the driveway, the sort used by contractors. As the owner of a leaky, creaky old house myself, I appreciated that someone was making an investment in fixing up a lovely old home. As my bus passed by, I caught only a quick glimpse of the sides of the vans and, in that hasty glance, it appeared as if the words stenciled there in bright red all caps, instead of what was most likely the contractor's name, read: EDITORIAL.
The image made me smile. What a good idea, I thought: an emergency service for times when one needs an edit, or has, perhaps, grammatical leakage, or poorly structured sentences, or paragraphs that don't flow smoothly. A service to call when in need of a good idea. One would telephone and the van would come racing up the driveway, large red letters promising editorial rescue—a sort of Red Cross of letters.
We here on the editorial team of Book Business think of ourselves that way, riding a figurative white panel van, sirens blazing, rushing to the scene of the latest book publishing happening. We come when you call us with news or concerns; we come when we hear of important developments. Once on the scene, we use our specialized training and tools to analyze news and trends and to unravel and clarify publishing business challenges and opportunities for our readers.
In this issue we do exactly that. Metadata got you puzzled? Thad McIlroy, co-author of The Metadata Handbook, tells you everything you thought you knew about metadata but were afraid to ask. Guest columnist and publisher Theodore Savas shares what inspires his innovative marketing strategies. Our regular columnists provide you with their trademark insight: Jesse McDougall on getting higher-ups to buy into a new content marketing strategy and Andrew Brenneman on creating a good environment for technology talent. Editor-in-Chief Brian Howard gives us some trenchant analysis of the potential Random House Penguin merger, and, in our Corner Office interview, Michael Pietsch discusses his plans for Hachette as he prepares to take the reins as CEO.
In our cover feature, we introduce something we’re calling Identity Publishing. We believe that by focusing on branding, publishers can solidify and expand their market position. As Wharton Professor Jerry Wind says, branding is “a great opportunity for the more innovative publishers really to establish themselves.” Our story shows you how a number of publishers have already begun to make a priority of building a brand.
And speaking of branding, this month we’re introducing a new brand ourselves. The Publishing Business Group is our new name for our family of products, which includes Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines, our daily e-newsletter Publishing Business Today, the Publishing Business Conference & Expo (this year from Sept. 23-25), and other events and webinars. You’ll see our new brand on the cover, in our newsletter, on whitepapers, on everything we touch, really, along with our fresh new Book Business redesign, which is evident through the magazine (check it out in our digital edition).
Our mission at Book Business is to provide the strategic and the practical information you need to stay ahead of market trends, confront change proactively and run your business successfully and profitably. As it says on the cover, we’re your source for publishing intelligence. And in 2013, we’re planning to take our metaphorical Editorial van on the road to follow along the continuing path of industry growth and change, presenting you with our trademark brand of insightful strategic analysis (and helping you keep your house in order!). Do join us on the ride—I promise the views will be terrific!