On his “Publishing 2020” blog, Joe Wikert, general manager of O’Reilly Media’s Technology Exchange Division, mused recently about the long-term viability of the closely watched deal between Borders and HarperStudio, whereby the bookstore chain will purchase HarperStudio titles at a 10-percent to 15-percent discount in exchange for accepting a no-returns agreement. As a result, Wikert wrote, Borders will probably be less aggressive with initial buys and could find itself out of stock in the face of a hit—not a good situation for either party. On the other hand, having to sell all of the books it purchases most likely means Borders will more aggressively market HarperStudio titles—just the sort of incentive lacking in the current system.
Publishers of all sizes have to manage detailed and vital information about the rights they own, the rights they have sold, and the royalties they either owe or are owed. It can be a significant accounting undertaking. Especially with the burgeoning digital marketplace, book publishers are increasingly redistributing their content in any number of ways and thus, generating additional revenue––as well as the need to manage additional rights and royalties. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions on the market today, from services that help publishers license their content to those that help automate the tracking and payments process to save time and
Workman Publishing’s release of “The NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music” marks the culmination of author Ted Libbey’s 11-year odyssey. Libbey, known at one time to classical music fans and listeners of National Public Radio (NPR) as the station’s commentator on the popular “Performance Today” program, is one of the country’s most distinguished classical music critics. The book aims to be the classical music fan’s do-it-all resource—from educating readers on different terms, styles and genres to providing Libbey’s musical criticisms. Most notable, however, is the interactive element: Buyers are given a password that gives them access to a special Web site—run by Naxos, a
The U.S. book publishing industry consumed approximately 1.1 million tons of book paper in the year 2000. That required cutting down an estimated 25 million trees. Figures for 2001, published in 2002 by the American Forest and Paper Association, report 914,000 tons of paper were used for U.S. book publishing. Trees required to meet demand: 19 million. Yet the average recycled content level (by fiber weight) across printing and writing grades is only 5%. The disparity between the ecological impact of publishing versus the meager levels of recovered materials in paper is driving responsible publishers to be part of the solution, instead of the problem. To date,