The Silver Lining
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” —Thomas Jefferson
It’s not difficult to get a bit down about publishing lately. Manufacturing and distribution costs have skyrocketed (squeezing already tight profit margins), staffs must do more with less, there is less and less shelf space at bookstores to sell your books, digital publishing brings opportunity, but also risk as we venture into new territory, and today’s economy doesn’t help.
But this issue of Book Business shows a silver lining. It points out stellar achievements and celebrates the truly collaborative nature of publishing.
First, it commemorates the career of Francine Colaneri, this year’s book-industry inductee into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame (story on page 10). Reading about Colaneri’s involvement in manufacturing the “Harry Potter” books is inspiring when you think about the hundreds of millions of children (and adults) across the country whose lives were touched by those books. How many children were enticed by those books to read, to sit quietly and calmly on their couches or in their beds (or right on the floor of the bookstore, as Colaneri recalls), for hours on end, processing each and every word, and then while they slept, dreaming of Hogwarts, of Harry and Hermione, and waking up anxious to read more. How millions of copies of the final book in the series were delivered nationwide (and to 90 countries around the world) to bookstores and other retailers, and put on sale at exactly midnight, where scores of people lined up and waited for this historical moment. How for weeks and months on end, people asked their friends and family members, “Did you read it yet?” And add to this the fact that the series’ last book was printed on the largest-ever purchase of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper (meaning it meets FSC standards for responsible/sustainable forestry), a feat in which Colaneri was instrumental as well.