With no government bailout in sight to rescue their ailing industries, more than 1,200 book- and magazine-publishing executives convened at the 2009 Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York City, March 23-25, in search of strategies to help them weather the worsening storm. And while much of the discussion centered around cost-cutting, the topic of innovation took center stage throughout the event, which featured nearly 60 educational sessions and more than 125 speakers.
Publishers’ “green” efforts took center stage at the 3rd Annual SustainPrint Awards Dinner, held March 23 at New York City’s Marriott Marquis Times Square, during the Publishing Business Conference & Expo. Two book publishers were recognized for their significant achievements in environmental sustainability: Melcher Media—winner of the Newcomer of the Year Award in Book Publishing (awarded to a company that recently implemented significant environmental sustainability efforts)—and the University of California Press—winner of the Longtime Leader Award in Book Publishing (awarded to a company with a significant history of environmental sustainability). Boho magazine and Ogden Publications received this year’s SustainPrint Awards in magazine publishing.
Two decades ago, as an entry-level editorial assistant, I was asked to sign form rejection letters with the name “Edith D. Wilson.” Edith was a fictional creation whose name my then-employer used exclusively to reject manuscripts. When “rejected” writers sent angry mail, phoned or worse—visited the publisher’s office—the use of Edith’s name at the reception desk would alert all to draw the shades or reach for the security buzzer. The message was clear: Editors, and the publishers they work for, need to be as hard to get to as possible. Publishing authority and position demanded “reclusivity.” Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Profound, technology-driven changes in the content marketplace have presented publishers with a mandate for transformation, to change the manner in which value is delivered, how it is monetized, and the tools and skills necessary to do so. At present, this is seen most strikingly in the world of print. Seismic events are regularly occurring that herald the dawn of new models of content distribution and the twilight of the old.
When espresso was first popularized in America, in the 1950s, it had all the qualities of a fad—commanding a lot of attention, then quickly fading out. The drink roared back into popularity in the ’90s on the back of a killer app called Starbucks, proving itself indispensable among a digital generation partial to need-it-now energy solutions. Who today can imagine life without it?
Massachusetts printer Ames On-Demand is making publishing history in North America.
“There’s nothing like a hot book to make things happen,” observes Peter Osnos, founder and editor-at-large of New York-based publisher PublicAffairs, a member of the Perseus Book Group. When Scott McClellan’s “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” got consumers fired up last spring, Osnos responded by utilizing digital print-on-demand (POD) technology. Here, Osnos provides eight tips for digital-printing success by recounting PublicAffairs’ experience with this overnight best-seller:
The world of content is in the midst of a nearly perfect storm. Decisions are required, but missteps are costly. These are not “bet your job” decisions. They are “bet your company” decisions. Many of these critical decisions pertain to the digital realm. Here are the top 10 ways to kill your business by making the wrong choices in digital strategy:
With a battered economy dragging down just about every retail sector, a salient fact making headlines has been the ability of discounters to maintain sales growth—a sure sign that the “Wal-Mart Effect” has permeated every corner of the business world, and that raising prices is probably not the way to realize profits. This leaves cost-cutting, which, for obvious reasons, book publishers would like to pursue aggressively without sacrificing either product quality or valued employees. Here are some tips from a cross-section of the publishing world for reining in costs without sacrificing too much in the process.
Imagine being able to tell your grandkids that you worked on the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album, or on “Star Wars”—playing an important role in the creation of a cultural phenomenon that anyone would be proud to claim as the capstone of their career. Francine Colaneri, the book industry’s 2008 Publishing Executive Hall of Fame inductee, is just that lucky. As vice president of manufacturing and supply chain at global children’s education and media company Scholastic Inc. (New York), she was instrumental in coordinating the manufacture and distribution of all seven books in the “Harry Potter” series published in the United States. “We