Guest Column: Sizing Up a Changing Industry
Almost everyone in the book business will acknowledge that we are in the midst of the most interesting, challenging and promising period in the industry's history. But almost everyone has the same question: How can we better understand these new realities so they can support our strategic priorities?
Never has the need for accurate, consistent data about publishing and books been so important. We all recognize that transformative changes have occurred in the creation and distribution of content; tools to effectively track and comprehend those changes would allow us to make smarter marketplace decisions.
Our industry takes a major step in growing this knowledge base in July when the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Book Industry Study Group (BISG) jointly release the first annual edition of BookStats, a landmark statistical initiative capturing the size and scope of the total U.S. book publishing industry.
BookStats goes far beyond market size to provide a solid market intelligence infrastructure for the entire book industry. It is a statistical model built from the ground up, developed through due diligence across the publishing ecosystem; framed around never-before-collected source data; and designed to offer multidimensional, integrated analysis of content categories, distribution channels and platform formats.
In many ways, the development of BookStats and the philosophy behind its methodology mirror the current state of our industry and its potential.
The concept of BookStats emerged more than a year ago when AAP and BISG, independent industry organizations that historically produced separate annual surveys representing distinct segments of the supply chain, recognized that a new approach was vital to understanding our shared future. In an industry first, we partnered to create a new statistical model based on accuracy, integrity, credibility, frequency and customization.
Behind the Scenes
The project has been supported by a committee representing leaders in our industry including: Dominique Raccah, chief executive officer, Sourcebooks; Kenneth Michaels, chief operating officer, Hachette Book Group; Joe Gonnella, vice president, Adult Trade Merchandising, Barnes & Noble Inc.; and Kelly Gallagher, vice president, Publisher Services, Bowker.