"The Future of the Book: How to Stay in the Game," a webinar presented by Book Business and sponsored by HP, will be presented Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. EST. Moderated by Barb Pellow, group director, InfoTrends, the webinar will discuss the changes sweeping the book publishing industry, and what publishers and printers need to do to participate in this dynamic and evolving media world.
One night recently, I woke suddenly, due to a horrifying dream about … do I dare admit it? … Twitter. The dream made no real sense; I was tweeting—or posting, for you non-Twitterers—quotes from various people in the book publishing industry, one quote after another, but I couldn’t post them fast enough. I have similar work/stress-related dreams quite frequently, but I was amazed that I had one about Twitter—tweeting is one of the simplest things I do. So why the tweet dreams?
From multimillion-dollar acquisitions to multimillion-dollar best-sellers, powerful women stand at every pivotal, decision-making point in the book publishing process. Book Business’ first annual “50 Top Women in Book Publishing” feature recognizes and honors some of these industry leaders who affect and transform how publishing companies do business, and what—and how—consumers read.
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.
I recently attended the Book Industry Study Group’s Making Information Pay event (more coverage on pages 7 and 32), where Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Marketplace and Publishers Lunch, offered publishers simple, yet pertinent advice on engaging their audiences: “Leverage the damn book.” One example he gave: His son read a book from the “Alex Rider” series, so Cader went to the store to buy the series’ next book. To illustrate the point he was going to make, he projected a slide featuring the cover of every book in the series. There was nothing that told consumers which book to read next. The
“To resist change, at this point, is true foolishness,” says HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide President and CEO Jane Friedman. Under Friedman’s direction over the last 11 years, HarperCollins has gone beyond not “resisting” change; the company has, in fact, been a pioneer of change, several paces ahead of the industry in many of its endeavors regarding digital content creation and distribution, marketing and audience-building. This year, the company—one of the largest English-language publishers in the world—has been named as book business’ Publishing Innovator of the Year in recognition of the company’s leadership and innovation. The first-annual award was presented to HarperCollins at an awards reception