The Book Industry Study Group

BISG releases policy statement on assigning ISBNs to digital products
December 9, 2011

This is an important matter that has created quite a bit of controversy in the industry.  From the press release: The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) announced today the publication of a new Policy Statement detailing best practices for assigning ISBNs to digital products. Developed over the past 18 months within BISG’s Identification Committee, BISG Policy…

What's Greener? E-Readers or Print Books?
December 4, 2011

Dilemma: When it comes to reading, what's kinder to the environment - an e-reader or books?

Of course I'll: Stick with traditional books. Yes, they use paper and ink, but at least I don't need to plug them in.

Trade-off: There are carbon emissions in the production of books too, not to mention the loss of carbon-gobbling trees felled for paper.

Then I'll: Use the e-reader; as much as I read, it's bound to be a better choice over the long run. Trade-off: At the rate technology evolves, the e-reader I buy today will probably be obsolete within a few years.

[NYT] European E-Book Sales Hampered by Tax Structure
December 1, 2011

Across most of Europe, e-books are taxed at full national value-added rates, which reach 25 percent in Sweden, Denmark, Hungary and other countries. Printed books, benefiting from an industry lobby, are taxed at a fraction of the full rates — and not at all in Britain.

It seems, Mr. Seaman said, that the value-added tax gap “discourages traditional publishers from innovating by effectively subsidizing them not to.”

9 Things You Need to Know About ePub3
November 1, 2011

Ignoring your digital readership potential is not an option; and treating e-books as an afterthought by offering up a recycled printer's PDF is not a digital strategy. For some types of highly formatted content, a PDF version may be useful, but if that's all you do, you'll be leaving significant distribution and enhancement options (aka revenue) on the table.

Surviving Volatility
September 1, 2011

If predictability is a qualification for success, I suggest to you that we are, as an industry, in for a bit of a roller coaster ride for the next several years.

Are There Too Many Books?
August 24, 2011

It was probably a coincidence, but on one Sunday in July, two New York Times luminaries wrote columns complaining about books. Bill Keller, the outgoing executive editor, had a piece in the magazine headlined "Let's Ban Books, or at Least Stop Writing Them." In the Sunday business section, Bryan Burroughs, a regular reviewer and himself the author of multiple bestsellers, took on the preponderance of business books in an essay called "Compelling Tales, Rarely Told Well."

Sizing Up a 
Changing Industry
July 1, 2011

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.