It was only 26 years ago that Leonard Shatzkin, the legendary, former Doubleday manufacturing director and industry consultant, wrote that the book industry’s use of computers to “measure the effect of forces amenable to management’s control … is close to zero” (“In Cold Type,” 1982, Houghton Mifflin). The last 25 years have seen the deficiencies discussed by Shatzkin dramatically addressed, and he would have to be impressed at the pervasive uses of the computer today. In part one of this series (“From Book Proposal to Profit,” Book Business, February 2008), I described in some detail the integrated, computer-coordinated workflow-management systems perfected by two university
Simon and Schuster Inc.
Simon & Schuster (S&S) Children’s Publishing and Ball State University (BSU) have partnered to bring S&S authors and illustrators into more than 30,000 schools across the country through live, interactive Web broadcasts. The new program, called “Electronic Author Visits” (EAV), will utilize BSU’s existing “Electronic Field Trips” program to allow students and teachers to interact directly with authors and illustrators through live video, discussion forums and downloadable learning activities. According to S&S, the program intends to feature authors targeted to all grade levels, from picture-book authors and illustrators to middle-grade and young-adult novelists. S&S has formed a three-year agreement with BSU, and plans
The book publishing industry took another step forward in its ongoing efforts to lessen its environmental impact with the recent announcement that Simon & Schuster Inc. (www.SimonSays.com) has launched a major environmental initiative and paper policy. As a result of this new initiative, the New York-based publishing company will aim to increase the amount of recycled fiber in the paper used to manufacture its books. It follows in the footsteps of Random House Inc., which launched a similar initiative last year. For its books printed and bound in the United States, Simon & Schuster plans to increase from its current 10 percent to
As Kermit the Frog used to say: “It’s not easy being green.” While the beloved puppet was referring to his skin color, the saying has been applied to being “green” in the environmental sense. And, not to make light of a serious situation regarding our environment, the saying has been relevant in book publishing for years—many publishers have “good intentions” (as Book Business columnist Gene Schwartz suggests in this month’s “Gene Therapy”), but they struggle to balance those good intentions with negative impacts on their bottom lines and/or their lack of know-how for making their intentions realities. But as Kermit’s outlook changes in the
When the New York Times Best-Sellers list comes out next Sunday morning, Simon & Schuster will have its highest-ever one-week total of titles on the weekly chart. The company, a division of CBS Corporation, announced yesterday that it will have 21 bestsellers on the list, in the Dec. 24 edition of the Sunday Times Book Review section. Besides placing titles throughout eight of the 10 Times lists, Simon & Schuster claimed the top three slots on the “Hardcover Advice, How-To, Miscellaneous” category with “YOU: On a Diet,” “Mad Money” and “Joy of Cooking.” The total puts the number of Simon & Schuster bestsellers to appear on
With the launch of Bowker’s Pubnet Instant Response this week, book retailers can reorder books more quickly from several of the industry’s largest publishers. General Manager Charles Halpin chats with Book Business EXTRA! about the benefits of this new ordering program. Book Business EXTRA: How is Instant Response different from what was available before for ordering? Halpin: Pubnet Instant Response is a new service for book retailers that is offered with participating publishers—today, Random House, HarperCollins, Penguin, Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Holtzbrinck. Instant Response is different because it is lightning-fast. Instant Response is available to any publisher that utilizes both Pubnet and PubEasy, Bowker’s supply
If you like books, attending the Frankfurt Book Fair is like being a kid in an unimaginably enormous candy store. It is the publishing industry’s largest annual book fair—and this year’s event, held Oct. 4-8 in Frankfurt, Germany, showcased 382,000 titles, including 112,000 new publications. And even if you’re used to walking, wearing comfortable shoes is a must. Aisle after aisle filled 13 exhibition halls, showing the products of more than 7,200 exhibitors. Fair organizers say the event, which is in its 58th year, attracted the largest number of exhibitors ever. Fortunately, shuttle buses that ran from hall to hall helped ease the burden