One of the best parts of my job is picking the brains of some of the most intelligent and forward-thinking leaders in the book industry and learning how they drive success in their businesses. Whether it's forming direct relationships with their readers or exploring new digital products and services, these publishers are pushing the envelop of what it means to be in the book business. Following, I've compiled the best interviews we conducted last year in the hopes that you can apply what we learned to your successful evolution in 2015.
Today the reference industry is undergoing another transformation -- a shift from large desktop screens to small mobile displays. Reference users expect dictionary access on their smartphones and within their ereaders, which has spurred Merriam-Webster's meticulous development of dictionary apps and ebooks.
Scores of our generation's most celebrated authors have famously waxed poetic about the joys of using the original 20-volume "Oxford English Dictionary." David Foster Wallace, for instance, had a well-documented obsession with the OED. Simon Winchester wrote not one, but two nonfiction books about the dictionary's history. Even J.R.R. Tolkien, who briefly worked on the OED (he was assigned to the letter "W"), spoke fondly of his time there.But the simple fact is this: When I need to know the correct spelling of, say, "onomatopoeia," or "conscientious" or "hierarchy," there's a decent chance I'll be heading straight to Dictionary.com.
In a time of significant flux in the industry, publishing executives are faced with more pressure than ever to examine their businesses and make decisions that will lead them to a profitable future. Book Business checked in with the leaders of publishing companies of various sizes and scopes—from Scholastic to Springer to Merriam-Webster to Triple Crown—to find out what their best business decisions of the year have been.
In the feature "21 Tips for Developing Your Mobile Game Plan," Merriam-Webster President and Publisher John Morse makes a really interesting point.
Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines, producers of the industry-leading Publishing Business Conference & Expo, have announced the editorial advisory board for their second-annual Publishing Business Virtual Conference, called "Digital Content Day @ Your Desk," on Sept. 16.