Are You Ready for the Future
The one thing that remains constant in the book publishing industry is change. That seems to be the underlying response from book publishing industry leaders interviewed by Book Business magazine in various market segments—trade, educational, professional, scientific, technical and medical, university presses among others. These top executives describe the challenges they foresee in the industry, and their strategies for making the years ahead profitable:
• William J. Pesce, president and CEO, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
• Lisa Holton, president, Scholastic Trade Books and Book Fairs
• Philip Shaw, managing director, Elsevier Science and Technology Books
• Eric Beck, vice president of sales and marketing, Continental Press
• Tina Weiner, publishing director, Yale University Press
• Jim Jordan, president and director, Columbia University Press
• Patricia Schroeder, president and CEO, Association of American Publishers.
William J. Pesce is president and chief executive officer of John Wiley & Sons Inc. (www.Wiley.com), a position he has held since 1998. The Hoboken, N.J.-based company is a publisher of print and electronic products, specializing in scientific, technical and medical books and journals; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and textbooks and other educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students. Among Wiley’s most well-known books are the highly successful “Frommer’s” travel guides, the “for Dummies” books, including “Home Buying for Dummies,” “Home Networking for Dummies,” “Troubleshooting Your PC for Dummies,” and hundreds of others. The company has published thousands of e-books.
What are some of the challenges you anticipate will impact the book publishing industry during 2006?
Pesce: Some of the challenges facing publishers include customer concerns about price and value, the ongoing evolution to the digital world, the impact of world events, and changing ordering patterns by intermediaries.
What are your strategies for making the year profitable?
Pesce: Wiley’s strategies include exploiting our global positions and brands by collaborating across organizational and geographic boundaries, and constantly striving to improve the quality of our products and services around the world; capitalizing on the connections among our core businesses to better serve customers and drive growth; pursuing partnerships and alliances with highly regarded organizations to add content, services and capabilities to our portfolio; building on our successful track record with acquisitions by consummating transactions that are strategic and financially responsible, and executing our integration plans effectively by adhering to a best-practices approach; and leveraging our investments in technology to create value for our customers, facilitate communication with our stakeholders, and increase productivity throughout the company.