Bookview, June 2006

PEOPLE
Libby Jordan, SVP Associate Publisher, Collins will be leaving the company at the end of June. She may be reached at [email protected] or 917.855.8377. Meanwhile, Marion Maneker announced that the Collins Business imprint has hired Ethan Friedman, from St. Martin’s, as an Editor, and Genoveva Llosa as an Associate Editor. She was at Crown and before that at Harvard Business School Press.

Deborah Dugan has resigned as President of Disney Publishing and has been succeeded by Russell Hampton, Jr., also reporting to Andy Mooney, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products. Hampton comes from DCP, where he was EVP of global Home and Infant business as well as GM of The Baby Einstein Company. Dugan can be reached at 917.331.0091.
Warner Twelve has hired Cary Goldstein as Director of Publicity and Acquiring Editor, starting in mid-July. Goldstein has been Assistant Director of Publicity and Director of Web Publicity at FSG. New publicists at St. Martin’s, where Steven Troha has been named Associate Director of Publicity. He had most recently been at Hilsinger-Mendelson. Colleen Schwartz has been named a Senior Publicist. She had been Associate Publicist at Workman, and Random House.

Markus Hoffmann has joined the Regal Literary agency as Foreign Rights Manager. He has been Director of International Scouting at Maria B. Campbell Associates. Meanwhile, Scherz, Krüger, Fischer Taschenbuch and Schatzinsel (children’s books) announce the appointment of Maria Campbell as their U.S. based literary scout effective July 1. Barbara Perlmutter continues to scout for Fischer.

Tim Parker
left St. Paul, Minnesota-based specialty publisher MBI Publishing in March where he was Senior VP Publishing, a position he held for 20 years. He can be reached at [email protected]

Jeanne Finestone, recently named Executive Director of the Capital Campaign for WNYC Radio, has left the organization. She had previously been at McGraw Hill Children’s Publishing.

Interweave Press has hired Tricia Waddell as Editorial Director of the book publishing group. She had worked at F+W, most recently as editorial director for craft, home and lifestyle books.

EARLIER IN MAY

Betsy Groban was named VP Publisher of Children’s Books at Houghton Mifflin. She had previously been at WGBH and prior to that, at Little, Brown. Linda Magram was promoted to the new position of Director of Marketing for the entire children’s book group, adding responsibilities for such imprints as Kingfisher and Clarion. And Joe Monti, B&N‘s buyer for Young Readers and Teens joined HM as Children’s National Account Manager.

Oxford University Press announced that VP Publisher Ellen Chodosh ([email protected]) and VP Chief Sales Officer Michael Burkin ([email protected]) have left the company, following a reorg that puts academic and trade under Niko Pfund. A new department responsible for all sales and marketing activities in OUP USA excluding Higher Ed) will be created, and a new Sales and Marketing Director appointed, according to the announcement. Word is more reorgs will follow.

Weldon Owen Publishing, newly acquired by Bonnier Publishing, has appointed Christopher Davis, formerly Publisher at Dorling Kindersley, as its Publisher-at-Large to help grow its international co-edition business.
In the AMS musical chairs, Gary Rautenstrauch was named President and CEO, replacing Bruce Myers, who left in April. He has been replaced as CEO at Blackwell by Susan Peterson, who was most recently running her own firm, Strategic Team Partners, and previously was at Baker & Taylor and Lightning Source.

Following Tami Booth‘s resignation from Rodale Books, and VP Publisher Liz Perl‘s assumption of her duties, Perl has also been given oversight of the international trade books and rights business. President of Rodale International, Gianni Crespi, has left the company.

Gregg Sullivan has been appointed Director of Marketing and Promotions for ReganMedia/HC. Sullivan, who came from St. Martin’s, reports to Judith Regan, CEO and Publisher.

Jennifer Griffin has left Workman, where she was Executive Editor, for a position as a literary agent at the Miller Agency.

Karen Mender has joined the group working with the Quills Literacy Foundation and on this year’s Quill Awards. She was most recently at Atria.

Triumph Books, recently sold to Random House Group, will continue to be based in Chicago. Jeff Rogatz has been named President, reporting to Bill Takes, who was just promoted to SVP, Executive Director, Business Operations and New Business Development.

Barrie Rappaport has left Ipsos and is now Director of New Product Development – Consumer Data RR Bowker, LLC. In April Annie Callahan was named President and CEO of the company.

Michele Jacob has left Free Press to become Director of Publicity at Basic Books following Jamie Brickhouse‘s departure. Meanwhile, ex-VP, Assistant Publisher, and Director of Publicity at PublicAffairs, Gene Taft has relocated to Washington, DC and set up his own public relations firm, GT/PR. He may be reached at [email protected]

Peg O’Donnell has left NBN, to go to Chelsea Green Publishing, as Sales Director. Beau Friedlander also recently joined Chelsea Green Publishing as Marketing Director. He was most recently at ReedBusiness.
Elissa Altman has resigned as Senior Editor at Clarkson Potter to focus on freelance food/gardening/lifestyle editing and writing. She can be reached after May 25th at [email protected]

PROMOTIONS

Carrie Feron has been promoted to VP, Editorial Director of Avon. She will also continue her role as Executive Editor, William Morrow. Earlier in May, Adrienne DiPietro was promoted to VP, Director of Marketing Avon Books. Carolyn Bodkin returned to HC as Manager of Foreign Rights, reporting to Juliette Shapland. Rachel Bressler joined the National Accounts team as National Accounts Manager for the Harper, Ecco, San Francisco, Amistad and Perennial imprints selling to B&N. She was at Morrow, where she was Associate Director of Marketing.

Kathryn Court announced the promotion of Ali Bothwell Mancini to Editor for Penguin and Plume. She reports to Stephen Morrison.

Cecily Kaiser is moving from Scholastic Book Clubs to Scholastic Trade Publishing, to become Executive Editor for Cartwheel Books and the Licensed Publishing Group, reporting to Ken Geist, VP, Editorial Director, Cartwheel Books and Orchard Books.

JUNE EVENTS

June 15th is the postmark deadline for entries for the 2006 National Book Awards. Go to www. nationalbook.org for more information.

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) will hold its second annual conference on “WOM Basic Training (WOMBAT) June 20-21 at the Hilton San Francisco. Panels are made up of speakers from companies with names like Brains on Fire, Naked Conversations, and Voodoo Vox. Interestingly, a recent survey finds that 92% of word of mouth conversations take place offline (71% face-to-face and 21% by phone). Just 6% of word of mouth took place via email, IM, blogs, and online chat rooms. Go to womma.org/wombat2.com

DULY NOTED

AAP President and CEO Pat Schroeder, reports that the Belgrade Book Fair (see calendar) has named the US this year’s Guest of Honor. The US Embassy will take a booth and will be featuring “Culture and Democracy,” and what that means in a multi ethnic country like the US. If publishers have relevant books or catalogues they would care to donate, please contact the AAP Washington office for more information.

BEA‘s Lance Fensterman announces that they are offering free Podcasts of “approximately 24 of your favorite events” from this year’s show, and will release them as podcasts over the next couple of months. “Plus, our roving reporter has captured some special interviews in his quest to find out “What’s the Buzz” at BEA this year.” Go to www.bookexpocast.com where you can subscribe to the podcasts by email, iTunes or other podcast software.

More than 135 million adults visited American public libraries last year, and students made 1.5 billion visits to school libraries during the school year, according to the first-ever “State of America’s Libraries” report from the ALA, released during National Library Week.
Among other findings: Almost 90% of Americans surveyed in a poll report are satisfied with their public libraries. Some 62% of adult Americans have library cards, and circulation of public library materials has climbed every year since 1990.

The 2006 New Orleans Bookfair takes place Saturday, October 28th at Barrister’s Gallery in New Orleans. The bookfair is an annual celebration of independent publishing featuring small presses, zinesters, book artists, authors, anarchists, weirdos, and “lots of good times.” To learn more check http://www.hotironpress.com/bookfair.htm.

Book View, May 2006

PEOPLE

Betsy Groban has been named VP Publisher of Children’s Books at Houghton Mifflin. She had previously been at WGBH and prior to that, at Little, Brown. Earlier this month Linda Magram was promoted to the new position of Director of Marketing for the entire children’s book group, adding responsibilities for such imprints as Kingfisher and Clarion. And Joe Monti, B&N‘s buyer for Young Readers and Teens joined HM as Children’s National Account Manager.

Oxford University Press announced that EVP, COO Barbara Wasserman, VP Publisher Ellen Chodosh ([email protected]) and VP Chief Sales Officer Michael Burkin ([email protected]) are leaving the company, following a restructuring that puts academic and trade under Niko Pfund. A new department responsible for all sales and marketing activities in OUP USA excluding Higher Ed) will be created, and a new Sales and Marketing Director appointed, according to the announcement.

Weldon Owen Publishing, newly acquired by Bonnier Publishing, has appointed Christopher Davis, formerly Publisher at Dorling Kindersley, as its Publisher-at-Large to help grow its international co-edition business.

In the AMS musical chairs, Gary Rautenstrauch has been named President and CEO, replacing Bruce Myers, who left last month. He was replaced as CEO at Blackwell by Susan Peterson, who was most recently running her own firm, Strategic Team Partners, and previously Baker & Taylor and Lightning Source.

Following Tami Booth‘s resignation from Rodale Books, and VP Publisher Liz Perl‘s assumption of her duties, Perl has also been given oversight of the international trade books and rights business. President of Rodale International, Gianni Crespi, has left the company.

Jennifer Griffin has left Workman, where she was Executive Editor, for a position as a literary agent at the Miller Agency. . . . Elisa Petrini joins InkWell Management after two years at ViglianoAssociates.

Karen Mender has joined the group working with the Quills Literacy Foundation and on this year’s Quill Awards. She was most recently at Atria.

Triumph Books, recently sold to Random House Group, will continue to be based in Chicago. Jeff Rogatz has been named President, reporting to Bill Takes, who was just promoted to SVP, Executive Director, Business Operations and New Business Development.

At Scholastic, Elizabeth Whiting joined the company at the beginning of the month as national account manager for Borders and Walden. She was at Perseus.

John Siciliano has been named Editor of Penguin Classics. He was an associate editor at Vintage/Anchor, where he also acquired classics for the Everyman’s Library. Elda Rotor was recently named Executive Editor of Penguin Classics. She had been most recently Senior Editor at Oxford University Press.

Barrie Rappaport has left Ipsos and is now Director of New Product Development – Consumer Data RR Bowker, LLC.

Michele Jacob has left Free Press to become Director of Publicity at Basic Books following Jamie Brickhouse‘s departure. Meanwhile, ex-VP, Assistant Publisher, and Director of Publicity at PublicAffairs, Gene Taft has relocated to Washington, DC and set up his own public relations firm, GT/PR. He may be reached at [email protected]

Peg O’Donnell
has left NBN, to go to Chelsea Green Publishing, as Sales Director. Beau Friedlander also recently joined Chelsea Green Publishing as Marketing Director. He was most recently at ReedBusiness.

Robb Pearlman has been hired in the position of Senior Editor, calendars, children’s books, and licensing at Rizzoli. Pearlman was Associate Director, licensing and brand management at S&S.

Earlier this month Hachette Book Group announced various moves: Jill Cohen left Bulfinch, where she had been Publisher. Bulfinch and Springboard are now part of HBGUSA; David Ford, Publisher of Little, Brown’s children’s division resigned “to follow his dream of returning to London.” Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Megan Tingley has taken Ford’s position. Andrew Smith went to LB children’s from Candlewick, taking over from Bill Boedeker as VP of Marketing and Associate Publisher.

Following Scott Watrous‘s move to Globe Pequot as President and Publisher, he has named Michelle Lewy as VP Sales. Lewy had been acting Sales Director. Meanwhile Adams Media announced changes following Watrous’ departure: Sara Domville, President of the book division of F+W, named Gary Krebs, Karen Cooper and Jeanne Emanual to a three-person executive team.

Laurie Chittenden joined Morrow as Executive Editor, reporting to Lisa Gallagher. She was previously at Dutton.…Sarah McGrath was appointed VP and Executive Editor of Riverhead Books. She was Senior Editor at Scribner. Also leaving Scribner is Lisa Drew, who started her own imprint at Macmillan/ Scribner in 1993. She retires June 30.

Elissa Altman has resigned as Senior Editor at Clarkson Potter to focus on freelance food/gardening/lifestyle editing and writing. She can be reached after May 25th at [email protected]

Gregg Sullivan has been appointed Director of Marketing and Promotions for ReganMedia/HarperCollins. Sullivan, who came from St. Martin’s, reports to Judith Regan. Suzanne Wickham of Wickham-Beaird Public Relations has taken the position of Director of Publicity, Los Angeles for ReganMedia, following the departure of Justin Loeber (who has taken a PR job out of publishing).

This BEA, marks Lance Fensterman’s debut as Show Manager. He had been the store manager at R.J. Julia Booksellers in New Canaan, CT and reports to Courtney Muller, Group VP at Reed Exhibitions.

Earlier this month Farrin Jacobs was named Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, working mostly on teen fiction for Elise Howard. She was most recently at Harlequin and is autographing her new book (with Sarah Mlynowski) See Jane Write at Quirk’s booth at BEA.

Also at HC, May Wuthrich has joined the HarperMedia group as Editor. Greg Chaput, formerly at HC, has joined SparkNotes as Editor, reporting to newly promoted Editor in Chief, Laurie Barnett.

Kara LaReau joined Scholastic as Executive Editor, Scholastic Press. Most recently, she was a Senior Editor at Candlewick Press. Stacey Lellos rejoined Scholastic as Director of Licensed Publishing, reporting to Ellie Berger, SVP, Trade. Julie Amitie has joined Scholastic as Director of Retail Marketing and Brand Management. Most recently, Amitie was Director of Marketing for S&S Children’s Publishing, At S&S Children’s Mark Von Bargen was hired as Director of National Accounts. He had previously been Director of Merchandising for children’s books at Baker & Taylor. David Carroll also has joined S&S as Director, Distributor Sales and Retail Marketing, reporting to Anne Zafian. Most recently he was VP of Sales at Media Bay‘s Radio Spirits division. . . . Carol Lazare has been named Director of Subsidiary Rights at Other Press, working part-time. She was previously Director of Subsidiary Rights for Doubleday/Broadway.

PROMOTIONS
New Press has promoted Ellen Mastromonaco Adler to Publisher, and Mark Favreau to Editorial Director.

With John Glusman ensconced at Crown, Eric Chinski has now officially been named as the new editor-in-chief at Farrar, Straus. He has been an executive editor there since 2003.

Kathryn Court announced the promotion of Ali Bothwell Mancini to Editor for Penguin and Plume. She reports to Stephen Morrison.

Cecily Kaiser is moving from Scholastic Book Clubs to Scholastic Trade Publishing, effective May 15th, to become Executive Editor for Cartwheel Books and the Licensed Publishing Group, reporting to Ken Geist, Vice President, Editorial Director, Cartwheel Books and Orchard Books.

Many HC promotions: Adrienne DiPietro has been promoted to VP, Director of Marketing Avon Books. Carolyn Bodkin has returned to HC as Manager of Foreign Rights, reporting to Juliette Shapland. Rachel Bressler has moved from Morrow to National Accounts Manager for the Harper, Ecco, San Francisco, Amistad and Perennial imprints selling to B&N. Lynn Grady has been promoted to from Marketing Director to VP, Associate Publisher for the HarperEntertainment, Eos and Morrow Cookbooks lists. Jill Schwartzman has been promoted to Editor. She was previously Associate Editor, Michael McKenzie has been promoted to Director of Publicity of Ecco. Tracey Menzies has been promoted to VP, Creative Operations. Marjorie Braman has moved over to Morrow, acquiring for Morrow and Harper Entertainment and reporting to Lisa Gallagher.

Sue Fleming-Holland has been promoted to VP, Executive Director Consumer and On Line Marketing at S&S. She was VP, Marketing Director. At Scribner, Brant Rumble has been promoted to senior editor.

JUNE EVENTS
June 15th is the postmark deadline for Entry Form for the 2006 National Book Awards. Go to www. nationalbook.org for more information.

DULY NOTED
More than 135 million adults visited American public libraries last year, and students made 1.5 billion visits to school libraries during the school year, according to the first-ever “State of America’s Libraries” report from the ALA, released during National Library Week.

Among other findings: Almost 90% of Americans surveyed in a poll report are satisfied with their public libraries. Some 62% of adult Americans have library cards, and circulation of public library materials has climbed every year since 1990.

BEA Panel Preview

As we ready ourselves for this year’s capital convention, we’re once again on the look out for that-which-will-make-this-year-stand-out-from-all-the-rest. Rather than focus on the perennial party previews, this year we thought we’d take the astute route, and highlight some of the must-see panels sponsored by the AAR.

The one likely to create the most industry ire is US/UK Turf Wars: The Defining Rights Issue of our Time and we urge all internationalists to attend. The age-old Whose Territory is it Anyway continues to loom large as we move into an increasingly digital world. The dramatic rise of discounting and consequent margin-plummeting in the UK has led to a stealth campaign to expand the so-called traditional Schedule-A UK exclusive distribution area. Although publishers rather than agents are in a better position to negotiate English language distribution, for agents it is becoming a no-win situation as each side digs in its heels over what now constitutes exclusive distribution territory (especially with the UK claiming the new European Economic Area in addition to hanging on to the Empire – via India etc.). Copyright and intellectual property issues continue to arise, and piracy is becoming a way of life (See page 4-5).

“This panel grew out of the fact that American agents are watching many of our clients’ chances of being published in half the English-speaking world destroyed over an increasing intransigence by both US and UK publishers to negotiate the territories that comprise the “open market’,” moderator Brian deFiore says. Turf Wars will take place 2.30pm-5pm Friday 19th May, Room 204B, Panelists include S&S‘s Carolyn Reidy and Hachette‘s Tim Hely-Hutchinson.

Immediately following, there will be another edifying seminar for agents who wish to master the complexities of book marketing today – little of which includes running that proverbial ad. According to moderator Geri Thoma (Elaine Markson Agency), agents complain of disappearing ad budgets, and the death of the author tour, while publishers complain that agents don’t understand the time, effort, and resources they put into new ways of selling (e.g. front table space at chains and independents, book club guides). The panel will examine what has changed and what agents and authors can expect will change further. Panelists will include Morrow‘s Publisher Lisa Gallagher and David Poindexter of MacAdam-Cage.

Finally, don’t miss Beyond the Code: Building the New Fact-Filled Fiction Genre where veteran author Steve Berry (THE TEMPLAR LEGACY, THE THIRD SECRET) and newcomer Jed Rubenfeld (THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER) will discuss – along with a bookseller, a reviewer and a marketing director – the sales and marketing implications and opportunities of Dan Brown‘s success for fact-filled fiction. The panel will be moderated by PT‘s own Constance Sayre, and will take place Saturday 1.30pm-2.30pm Room 202A.

International Bestsellers: Risky Business

Copyright Conundrums in Iran, Swedish Suburbs & Chilean Death

Publishing in Iran is a tough business. Just last year, Publishing Trends reported on the international stir caused by the Iranian government’s banning of Coelho‘s THE ZAHIR (PT June 2005). Eventually, the ban was lifted and Coelho turned up on Iranian bookshelves all over the country. However, it appears the government’s cooperation may have been more related to the upcoming election and placating the public rather than an acknowledgment of the importance of free speech. Soon after elected, President Mahmoud Abmadinejad appointed the ultra-conservative Hussein Saffar Harandi to the position of Minister of Culture and since then, few, if any, licenses to publishers for the publication of new books have been issued and all previous licenses are up for review as well.

Arash Hejazi, publisher at Caravan Books in Iran, says, “The new government has put a harsh censorship program [on] any book (Iranian or translation) containing sex, politics, promotion of other ideas or religions, etc. … The government can stop us from reprinting the books at any time.” All books have to go through the censorship protocol, which entails obtaining permission from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of final proofs and of bound books before distribution.

The publishing process, both of Iranian books in other countries and translated books in Iran, is fraught at every step. If the Iranian government approves the publication of a translated book, it’s likely the book will be so mutilated by censorship that it might not even resemble the original. And to the dismay of agents, publishers, and authors around the world, chances are Persian language rights to the original have not been purchased. Of the top ten translated fiction bestsellers in Iran, only three have been confirmed as authorized editions (THE ZAHIR, THE DESERT, and BRIDA). Five are unauthorized (LOVE, LIVING TO TELL, TIMEQUAKE, THE DA VINCI CODE, and ORACLE NIGHT). The remaining two agents could not be reached by press time.

To complicate matters more, even when Iranian publishers have the best intentions and do seek authorization from a foreign author, sometimes the author or agent require so much bureaucratic hoop-jumping that the process can go on for years. Arash Hejazi, who worked to bring Coelho legally to his country’s readers, spent another three years translating and introducing Le Clézio, negotiating for one year with Gallimard. While publishing without authorization should be avoided at all costs, he still hopes to legalize Caravan’s edition of Márquez’s Living to Tell. Often, several unauthorized translations and editions of the same book are available in Iran which makes the market “very complicated and unhealthy,” comments Hejazi. He adds that any agreement with the original agent or author is “only an act of goodwill and does not help us in the competitive market.”

The rights holder of a pirated title has little recourse on the global front. In 2005, an estimated $76.5 million was lost due to book piracy in the Middle East and Africa alone according to a recent report of nations on the Priority Watch List of copyright piracy published by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA). The U.S. Copyright Office states “There is no such thing as an ‘international copyright’ that will automatically protect an author’s writings throughout the world. Protection against unauthorized use in a particular country basically depends on the national laws of that country.” The possibility of remuneration exists only if the foreign nation has participated in an international copyright convention (the two principals being the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention). Iran has participated in none.

Perhaps preoccupied with other Iranian issues, the U.S. government has yet to take a stand against copyright piracy there. Recent raids of copyshops and publishers in Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong undertaken by the AAP‘s International Copyright Protection Program and spearheaded by Patricia Judd, the Anti-Piracy Program’s head, have all been successful.

Towards a less contentious topic, we shift to Sweden. If precedent is any indication, the new Jonas Gardell novel, Jenny, to be published in May, will create the same sensation that his previous endeavors have. A cultural icon at 43, Jonas Gardell reigns as the king of all media in Sweden. He is to his native country what David Sedaris is to the U.S., times ten. His new novel takes place 25 years after an end-of-school-year party in a suburb of Stockholm at which the class’s unpopular and frumpy scapegoat, Jenny, suffers a terrible disaster. Her best friend and the only student absent from the party, Juha, puzzles over what happened on that crucial day. His classmates remain silent and hostile even after Juha receives a mysterious letter hinting at what took place. Since his first novel, The Passion Play, was published in 1985, Gardell has been a powerhouse of cultural production, writing seven plays, 13 novels, and a handful of screenplays in addition to starring in a talk show and selling out arenas in Europe with his stand-up comedy act. Substance, however, is not sacrificed in his prolificness. Critics along with film and theatre festival juries adore him. About his nonfiction musings on the nature of God, ABOUT GOD (2003), one critic said “No one but Jonas Gardell would dare to do this,” a comment that testifies to the intimate and trusted position Gardell holds in the Swedish public consciousness. According to Bari Pearlman, an American who undertook the translation of WANNA GO HOME (1988) as a labor of love and admiration while living in Sweden, Gardell is immune to taboos and writes with a simplicity that reveals both the humor and tragedy of everyday life, often with female protagonists. Rights to the translation along with English language rights to his other works remain though his previous books have been sold in thirteen languages. Contact Johanna Kinch ([email protected]) for rights or Bari Pearlman ([email protected]) for a translated excerpt of WANNA GO HOME..

On the other side of the world, the debut novel of Pablo Simonetti, one of the major new voices among Chilean writers, continues to tear up the bestseller list after 43 weeks, seesawing in sales with the other Chilean book phenomenon of the year, WOMAN OF MY LIFE (see PT March 2006). MOTHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN (Planeta) deals with women’s history while doing justice to the strength of character found in resilient women through the reflections of the protagonist, Julia, as she dies. The daughter of Italian immigrants, Julia contemplates her relationships with her parents and children. Her gay son, Andrès, passes through the novel, but the first person narration eclipses the actual events of the story. In an interview, Simonetti says “The way she saw her story was much more interesting to me [than the story itself].” Trained as an engineer in Chile and at Stanford, Simonetti was heretofore known for his short stories which are collected in VIDAS VULNERABLES. Rights to MOTHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN have been sold to Argentina (Planeta), Brazil (Planeta), Netherlands (Sijthoff), Italy (Gruppo Editoriale Mauri Spagnol/Corbaccio). Contact Piergiorgio Nicolazzini ([email protected]) for more information.

Getting Searched

The throngs of marketers attending the five program tracks at Search Engine Strategies 2006 last month clearly demonstrated that every industry – including book publishing – is going after this burgeoning branch of online marketing.

Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer mapped the terrain: $15.6 billion will be spent on online advertising in 2006 – more than double the spending of three years ago – which will double again by 2009. Search advertising now represents 41% of online ad spending, with branding close behind at 38% – yet all online ad spending still represents less than 5% of the total advertising dollars.

What’s fueling the growth? Bryan Eisenberg, chairman of Web Analytics, cited one meaningful stat: people are now spending 25% of their time on the Web. While Ramsey noted that only 5% of this time is spent on search, more than 67% of Internet users conduct online research before making a purchase.

Search engine strategies begin with how you present your content, how your pages link, and whether the keywords you use lead to your site. Conference organizer Danny Sullivan, editor of searchenginewatch.com, emphasized that whether you call them “free listings, or organic, or editorial or natural,” your site can rank high on a results page – without any advertising expenditure – if it has great content, quality links, and good traffic. To find out how they stacked up, participants eagerly had their own sites critiqued by such well-regarded experts as Shari Thurow, author of the popular Search Engine Visibility (searchenginesbook.com).

Tips and tricks abounded, here are a few important tidbits to keep in mind:

Link building is an art in itself. Search engine crawlers will score your pages higher if your site links to other high-traffic sites. From Debra Mastaler, SES New York: Link to non-competitive sites that appear on your search results pages; Rankings are based on both outbound and inbound links. From Eric Ward (ericward.com): keep these links as close to the home page as possible, so that the search engine crawlers can find them. He claims to have added 90,000 links by simply changing the url for his news page from the complicated www.urlwire.com/2005/july/week1/story to the simple www.urlwire.com/news.

Keyword optimization. Submit your site and a well-thought out list of keywords to the search directories. But, warned Sullivan, “Be sure to test your own keywords on your site. If you can’t find them, neither will your customers.”

Vertical search is huge. For several years, vertical search has been dominated by the smaller specialized search engines that focus on a particular industry (Indeed.com, Jobster.com, Answers.com, Become.com). Big companies however, have caught on – LookSmart changed its business model in 2004 and now has more than 180 vertical search engines (e.g., autos, cities, education, food, health, etc.); Amazon entered the field in 2003 with a9.com (a separate company that offers search, yellow pages and maps products); Google now places its top three “relevant” vertical search results in a “One Box” listing at the top of the results page.

Paid search. The average cost of a search clickthrough rose 11% to $.40 this year. Blue Nile, FTD, and eBay have reported finding the cost of the top spot for their keywords now too high. Keep your search cost down by using negative match on Google and Yahoo to weed out misleading keywords. And focus on conversions, not clickthroughs.

As web users tire of banner ads and spam, every web site owner interested in increasing web traffic and sales needs to invest the time required to customize pages for visitors from search engines, to build links to quality sites, to experiment with new advertising opportunities on the latest search sites, and to analyze and optimize paid search results. It’s what you need to keep getting searched.

PT thanks Rich Kelley, New York-based writer, editor, and publishing marketer, for contributing this report. He can be reached at [email protected]

Deliverance: Distributors Go for Special & Strategy

Yes, Random House is still aggressive and aggressively seeking new clients. And, yes, this year continued the increased competition that has come to define the distribution biz. Yet, open warring and panic has died down, making 2005 a steady and (gasp) successful year for many. With the exception of pro-growth Ingram, Consortium and RH, many distributors are choosing not to expand and in some cases even decrease their client lists – focusing instead on sniffing out non-traditional markets and increasing marketing & sales support.

Norton‘s Dosier Hammond emphasized that focused, measured growth is key, or distributors risk “diffusing” themselves. NBN sister co, Biblio took this mantra to heart and majorly downsized – to 550 clients from last year’s 850 – in order to pay more focused attention to their remaining clients. “We really take our consulting role with clients seriously,” NBN’s Marianne Bohr said. “From cover treatment, to editorial direction…we offer them as much or as little as they need.”

In the vein of more focused selling, many distributors have been paying acute attention to their non-traditional channels. At the recent BISG Making Information Pay Conference, Mark Suchomel repeatedly emphasized IPG’s commitment to expanded coverage and availability. “We judge reps on the number of accounts they sell to, rather than the number of units they sell,” he said.

IPM’s Jane Graf emphasized that the right market for their client’s books is no longer just bookstores. “Especially with smaller presses with specialty books, more and more sales are going other places,” she said. IPM distributes Sheldon Press, publisher of Coping with Gout. “We sell 4,000 copies a year,” Graf said. “It’s just a tiny little $12.95 paperback, but it’s gotten into pharmacies and other places that have a big turnover. A year ago the demand wasn’t there, but now it is.” Increased interest in non-traditional markets is coming from both sides – reps and retailers. “There’s really been a shift in the way that sales reps are thinking about retail outlets,” she said.

Jim Fallone of Andrews McMeel talked about their “channel managers” pushing to get their books into as many smaller channels as they can, and Abrams also had big successes in non-traditional markets this year. In an innovative move, Norton recently consolidated a portion of their sales force with Workman – they now share 2 reps in the southeast for blanket coverage.

According to Julie Schaper, Consortium is in the process of adding a gift sales force – with a gift catalog in the works as well. The gift/non-traditional market has been growing steadily, Schaper said – at Consortium it just needed more of a focus. “Certainly we find that the gift reps are already paying off,” she said. “Moribund accounts are coming back to us, and last month we added 60 new accounts.”

Diamond started Diamond Select Gift, a new division focusing on the gift market and have hired 144 commission reps to service the channel, according to Kuo-Yu Liang.

Rich Freese says, “[PGW has] invested in multi-channel sales capacity – special and international markets.” Although he acknowledged that distribution has continued to become increasingly competitive as publishers bulk up their distribution services, he said that when the market is soft, it’s actually a better time for distributors, because client-publishers have time to examine their costs in depth. But client-publishers and publisher-distributors aren’t slowing down. HarperCollins, for instance, lured Tokypop away from CDS by offering them a publishing partnership.

For publishers, the outsource/insource decision is bound to come up according to Banta‘s Dave Schanke. Since the answer is so complex Banta, together with the University of Wisconsin, developed a financial (“totally objective”) model this year to determine which option is more cost-effective. Schanke says that one of the greatest benefits is that the model enables a “conversation” between publisher and distributor about what the key issues and costs are within their program. “There’s a lot of complexity right now as publishers sell products across multiple channels,” Schanke said. “Our business is helping them deal with that complexity.”

Eric Kampmann at Midpoint Trade had a different angle – a free book that Midpoint is now offering to all of their clients (both current and incoming) – The Midpoint Handbook: 7 Keys to Publishing Success. The 124 pp. book will be given to independent publishers “of all stripes” both through Midpoint and at BEA according to Kampmann, before being released as a trade book (albeit under a different title, with a few add-ons) later this year or next. “There are tons of books about publishing, but most come from a non-sales background,” Kampmann said. “Here we show that it is interrelated and progressive…Are you an author or a publisher? Many of our clients aren’t sure, and this will help them make the decision.”

Bookview, May 2006

PEOPLE

Betsy Groban has been named VP Publisher of Children’s Books at Houghton Mifflin. She had previously been at WGBH and prior to that, at Little, Brown. Earlier this month Linda Magram was promoted to the new position of Director of Marketing for the entire children’s book group, adding responsibilities for such imprints as Kingfisher and Clarion. And Joe Monti, B&N‘s buyer for Young Readers and Teens joined HM as Children’s National Account Manager.

Oxford University Press announced that EVP, COO Barbara Wasserman, VP Publisher Ellen Chodosh ([email protected]) and VP Chief Sales Officer Michael Burkin ([email protected]) are leaving the company, following a restructuring that puts academic and trade under Niko Pfund. A new department responsible for all sales and marketing activities in OUP USA excluding Higher Ed) will be created, and a new Sales and Marketing Director appointed, according to the announcement.

Weldon Owen Publishing, newly acquired by Bonnier Publishing, has appointed Christopher Davis, formerly Publisher at Dorling Kindersley, as its Publisher-at-Large to help grow its international co-edition business.

In the AMS musical chairs, Gary Rautenstrauch has been named President and CEO, replacing Bruce Myers, who left last month. He was replaced as CEO at Blackwell by Susan Peterson, who was most recently running her own firm, Strategic Team Partners, and previously Baker & Taylor and Lightning Source.

Following Tami Booth‘s resignation from Rodale Books, and VP Publisher Liz Perl‘s assumption of her duties, Perl has also been given oversight of the international trade books and rights business. President of Rodale International, Gianni Crespi, has left the company.

Jennifer Griffin has left Workman, where she was Executive Editor, for a position as a literary agent at the Miller Agency. . . . Elisa Petrini joins InkWell Management after two years at Vigliano Associates.

Karen Mender has joined the group working with the Quills Literacy Foundation and on this year’s Quill Awards. She was most recently at Atria.

Triumph Books, recently sold to Random House Group, will continue to be based in Chicago. Jeff Rogatz has been named President, reporting to Bill Takes, who was just promoted to SVP, Executive Director, Business Operations and New Business Development.

At Scholastic, Elizabeth Whiting joined the company at the beginning of the month as national account manager for Borders and Walden. She was at Perseus.

John Siciliano has been named Editor of Penguin Classics. He was an associate editor at Vintage/Anchor, where he also acquired classics for the Everyman’s Library. Elda Rotor was recently named Executive Editor of Penguin Classics. She had been most recently Senior Editor at Oxford University Press.

Barrie Rappaport has left Ipsos and is now Director of New Product Development – Consumer Data RR Bowker, LLC.

Michele Jacob has left Free Press to become Director of Publicity at Basic Books following Jamie Brickhouse‘s departure. Meanwhile, ex-VP, Assistant Publisher, and Director of Publicity at PublicAffairs, Gene Taft has relocated to Washington, DC and set up his own public relations firm, GT/PR. He may be reached at [email protected]

Peg O’Donnell
has left NBN, to go to Chelsea Green Publishing, as Sales Director. Beau Friedlander also recently joined Chelsea Green Publishing as Marketing Director. He was most recently at ReedBusiness.

Robb Pearlman has been hired in the position of Senior Editor, calendars, children’s books, and licensing at Rizzoli. Pearlman was Associate Director, licensing and brand management at S&S.

Earlier this month Hachette Book Group announced various moves: Jill Cohen left Bulfinch, where she had been Publisher. Bulfinch and Springboard are now part of HBGUSA; David Ford, Publisher of Little, Brown’s children’s division resigned “to follow his dream of returning to London.” Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Megan Tingley has taken Ford’s position. Andrew Smith went to LB children’s from Candlewick, taking over from Bill Boedeker as VP of Marketing and Associate Publisher.

Following Scott Watrous‘s move to Globe Pequot as President and Publisher, he has named Michelle Lewy as VP Sales. Lewy had been acting Sales Director. Meanwhile Adams Media announced changes following Watrous’ departure: Sara Domville, President of the book division of F+W, named Gary Krebs, Karen Cooper and Jeanne Emanual to a three-person executive team.

Laurie Chittenden joined Morrow as Executive Editor, reporting to Lisa Gallagher. She was previously at Dutton.…Sarah McGrath was appointed VP and Executive Editor of Riverhead Books. She was Senior Editor at Scribner. Also leaving Scribner is Lisa Drew, who started her own imprint at Macmillan/ Scribner in 1993. She retires June 30.

Elissa Altman has resigned as Senior Editor at Clarkson Potter to focus on freelance food/gardening/lifestyle editing and writing. She can be reached after May 25th at [email protected]

Gregg Sullivan has been appointed Director of Marketing and Promotions for ReganMedia/HarperCollins. Sullivan, who came from St. Martin’s, reports to Judith Regan. Suzanne Wickham of Wickham-Beaird Public Relations has taken the position of Director of Publicity, Los Angeles for ReganMedia, following the departure of Justin Loeber (who has taken a PR job out of publishing).

This BEA, marks Lance Fensterman’s debut as Show Manager. He had been the store manager at R.J. Julia Booksellers in New Canaan, CT and reports to Courtney Muller, Group VP at Reed Exhibitions.

Earlier this month Farrin Jacobs was named Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, working mostly on teen fiction for Elise Howard. She was most recently at Harlequin and is autographing her new book (with Sarah Mlynowski) See Jane Write at Quirk’s booth at BEA.

Also at HC, May Wuthrich has joined the HarperMedia group as Editor. Greg Chaput, formerly at HC, has joined SparkNotes as Editor, reporting to newly promoted Editor in Chief, Laurie Barnett.

Kara LaReau joined Scholastic as Executive Editor, Scholastic Press. Most recently, she was a Senior Editor at Candlewick Press. Stacey Lellos rejoined Scholastic as Director of Licensed Publishing, reporting to Ellie Berger, SVP, Trade. Julie Amitie has joined Scholastic as Director of Retail Marketing and Brand Management. Most recently, Amitie was Director of Marketing for S&S Children’s Publishing, At S&S Children’s Mark Von Bargen was hired as Director of National Accounts. He had previously been Director of Merchandising for children’s books at Baker & Taylor. David Carroll also has joined S&S as Director, Distributor Sales and Retail Marketing, reporting to Anne Zafian. Most recently he was VP of Sales at Media Bay‘s Radio Spirits division. . . . Carol Lazare has been named Director of Subsidiary Rights at Other Press, working part-time. She was previously Director of Subsidiary Rights for Doubleday/Broadway.

PROMOTIONS

New Press has promoted Ellen Mastromonaco Adler to Publisher, and Mark Favreau to Editorial Director.

With John Glusman ensconced at Crown, Eric Chinski has now officially been named as the new editor-in-chief at Farrar, Straus. He has been an executive editor there since 2003.

Kathryn Court announced the promotion of Ali Bothwell Mancini to Editor for Penguin and Plume. She reports to Stephen Morrison.

Cecily Kaiser is moving from Scholastic Book Clubs to Scholastic Trade Publishing, effective May 15th, to become Executive Editor for Cartwheel Books and the Licensed Publishing Group, reporting to Ken Geist, Vice President, Editorial Director, Cartwheel Books and Orchard Books.

Many HC promotions: Adrienne DiPietro has been promoted to VP, Director of Marketing Avon Books. Carolyn Bodkin has returned to HC as Manager of Foreign Rights, reporting to Juliette Shapland. Rachel Bressler has moved from Morrow to National Accounts Manager for the Harper, Ecco, San Francisco, Amistad and Perennial imprints selling to B&N. Lynn Grady has been promoted to from Marketing Director to VP, Associate Publisher for the HarperEntertainment, Eos and Morrow Cookbooks lists. Jill Schwartzman has been promoted to Editor. She was previously Associate Editor, Michael McKenzie has been promoted to Director of Publicity of Ecco. Tracey Menzies has been promoted to VP, Creative Operations. Marjorie Braman has moved over to Morrow, acquiring for Morrow and Harper Entertainment and reporting to Lisa Gallagher.

Sue Fleming-Holland has been promoted to VP, Executive Director Consumer and On Line Marketing at S&S. She was VP, Marketing Director. At Scribner, Brant Rumble has been promoted to senior editor.

JUNE EVENTS

June 15th is the postmark deadline for Entry Form for the 2006 National Book Awards. Go to www. nationalbook.org for more information.

DULY NOTED

More than 135 million adults visited American public libraries last year, and students made 1.5 billion visits to school libraries during the school year, according to the first-ever “State of America’s Libraries” report from the ALA, released during National Library Week.

Among other findings: Almost 90% of Americans surveyed in a poll report are satisfied with their public libraries. Some 62% of adult Americans have library cards, and circulation of public library materials has climbed every year since 1990.

Bookview, March 2006

PEOPLE

On the heels of news that Emily Loose has left Penguin Press to become a Senior Editor at The Free Press comes news that Ray Roberts is retiring from Viking, after 40 years in the business. Meanwhile, Executive Editor Michael Millman is leaving Penguin, where he focused on Penguin Classics. He may be reached at [email protected] Caroline White, also at Penguin Classics, left in January.

Ex-Penguinites Julie Grau and Cindy Spiegel hired Michael Mezzo, from Little, Brown, as Editor, and Chris Jackson away from Crown, to be Executive Editor. Sean Desmond is going to Crown as a Senior Editor. He was at Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin‘s….And Jason Pinter has left Warner to become an editor at Three Rivers Press.

Roger Cooper has been named VP Publisher of CDS Books/Perseus. He was EVP at iBooks/Byron Preiss Visual Publications.

Carole Baron has entered into an agreement with Knopf to acquire and edit books for the company while continuing as SVP and Publishing Director of Bookspan.

Leah Spiro has left HarperCollins where she was a Senior Editor specializing in business books. She may be reached at [email protected] . . . Michael Broussard has joined ReganMedia as a Senior Editor, reporting to Cal Morgan and Judith Regan. He had been an agent at Dupree/Miller & Associates.

In children’s, lots of changes: Ken Wright, VP Editorial Director at Scholastic, is leaving as of March 10 and may be reached at [email protected]. . .Little, Brown Marketing Director Bill Boedeker went to Africa for 3 weeks and “had some time to think/reflect.” The result is that he has quit his job and will travel in Australia and volunteer in Africa, and return at some indeterminate time, possibly to “grown-up books.” Following Jean Feiwel‘s recent move, Liz Szable has been named VP, Editor-in-Chief of the new, unnamed children’s unit at Holtzbrinck. She had been Editorial Director at Scholastic Press since 1998. Holtzbrinck also announced it is creating a merchandise sales division under Steve Kleckner, who will hold the new position of VP, Director of Merchandise Sales, reporting to Alison Lazarus. Kleckner has been at TokyoPop. . . . Scholastic will start an audio program, run by Publisher Jennifer Feldman, who reports to Alan Waldman, SVP and GM of Interactive Products. Feldman was previously VP Publisher BBC Audiobooks. . . . . And Tracy van Straaten will join Scholastic at the end of March in the new position of VP, Trade Publicity, reporting to VP Trade Marketing, Suzanne Murphy. Von Straaten has been Executive Director at S&S Children’s. . . . Robin Corey has gone to Random House as a VP of her eponymous imprint. She was previously an EVP at S&S’s Children’s…

In other news, Elizabeth Sheinkman has been named senior agent and Director of the book board at Curtis Brown. She had worked at the Elaine Markson Agency and most recently in London. . . .Laura Mazer has been name ME of Seal Press/Avalon. . . . Michele Matrisciani has joined HCI as Editorial Director. She was previously an editor at McGraw-Hill Trade. And Andrea Gold has joined HCI as an editor. She was previously an editor at LRP Publications, also in Florida.

NYT publishing reporter Ed Wyatt is leaving with his wife, Jennifer Steinhauer for LA, raising the periodic question of who publishers will have to educate next.

Julie Merberg announced Pam Abrams has joined Downtown Bookworks as SVP. Most recently, she was VP/Editor in Chief of Parent and Family Publishing at Scholastic. Merberg, who had formerly been a partner at Round Table Press, started Downtown last spring.

Trish Lande Grader has joined Touchstone Fireside as Senior Editor. Most recently she had been Executive Editor at Morrow. . . . Clarkson Potter hired Chris Navratil from Chronicle as Editorial Director of Potter Style. Doris Cooper went to Clarkson Potter as Editorial Director in January.

OUP announced that Laura Brown, President of the US division, has stepped down and will be succeeded by Tim Barton, who has been MD of Oxford’s Academic Division since early 2004. He will continue his previous responsibilities.

With Chris McCabe leaving, Courtney Muller will oversee BEA until she names McCabe’s successor. She has been named a Group VP at Reed Exhibitions, and will once again be working with hubby Roger Bilheimer, who took over many of Tina Jordan‘s duties when she left for the AAP. He remains a consultant to Reed.

The Association of Booksellers for Children has hired Kristen McLean as Executive Director, taking over from Anne Irish. McLean was Marketing Manager for Houghton Mifflin‘s Kingfisher Publications.

David Moench has joined Ballantine as Publicity Manager for Del Rey. He had been a senior publicist at Holtzbrinck‘s Tor, Forge, and Starscape imprints.

Heather Drucker has been named to the newly created position of Publicity Director at Bookspan. She was at Kodansha America.

Zoe Fishman has been named Foreign Rights Director at Lowenstein-Yost Associates. Fishman was previously at Atria and Pocket Books as Subsidiary Rights Associate.

Irv Myers joined PGW as COO/ EVP. Most recently he was EVP and COO for Rowman Littlefield Publishing Group and NBN.

Jericho Communications, the PR agency, is closing its doors. Greg Mowery and Maryann Palumbo will continue working from their respective homes.

Rich Kelley has left his position as Director of Marketing and Membership for the New York Academy of Sciences and may be reached at RichKelley@ nyc.rr.com.

PROMOTIONS

At Harcourt, Editor-in-Chief Becky Saletan has been given the additional title of Associate Publisher.

Marion Maneker has been named VP and Publisher of Collins Business.
Group SVP and Deputy Publisher Libby McGuire has been made Publisher of Ballantine, continuing to report to group President and Publisher Gina Centrello. Director of Marketing Kim Hovey becomes Associate Publisher at Ballantine. Nancy Miller has given up her title as Editor-in-Chief of Ballantine, and now has the title of SVP, Executive Editor for the Random House imprint, reporting to Dan Menaker.Villard will now be part of the Ballantine list and Bruce Tracy and Caroline Sutton are now Executive Editors at Ballantine, reporting to McGuire. Random House Associate Publisher Tom Perry, moves to Ballantine, and now reports directly to Centrello. Sally Marvin becomes Publicity Director for the Random imprints, and Brian McLendon becomes Publicity Director for Ballantine both reporting to Perry.

Penguin announced that Paul Slovak has been named Publisher of Viking. He was previously VP and Associate Publisher. And Wendy Wolf has been named Editorial Director of nonfiction, while Molly Stern has been named Editorial Director of fiction. Both retain their roles as executive editors. All three will continue to report to Clare Ferraro.

VNU Business Media
has announced the promotion of Kelly Roman to Sales Director of VNU US Literary Group. Roman will oversee marketing and sales efforts for VNU’s Kirkus and The Book Standard properties. Roman will report to MD Jerome Kramer.

Jane Dentinger has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief, Mystery GuildCarol Mackey has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief, Black Expressions.

At PGW, Eric Kettunen has been promoted to VP of Marketing, focusing on current client publishers and catalog production. Heather Cameron has been promoted to Director of Marketing, reporting to Kettunen, as will Directors of Marketing Tracy Fortini and Sarah Rosenberg. Kevin Votel was promoted to VP, business development, reporting to Rich Freese.

MARCH EVENTS

March 2006 is the tenth anniversary of Small Press Month and is co-sponsored by the Small Press Center and PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association and CLMP. Additional support has been provided by Book Sense and ABA. For details go to www.smallpressmonth.org.

Book Tech‘s Conference and Expo takes place March 20-22 at the NY Hilton. For information, go to booktechexpo.com

DULY NOTED

From the Chicago Tribune: Gallup finds only 9% of Internet users say they frequently read blogs, with 11% reading them occasionally and 66% never reading them. Those numbers put blog-reading last among Gallup’s measures of 13 common Internet activities. E-mailing ranks first (with 87% of users doing so frequently or occasionally), followed by checking news and weather (72), shopping (52) and making travel plans (also 52).

Crains New York reports that Bookspan agreed to pay $680,000 to settle charges that it made telemarketing calls to tens of thousands of people on the National Do Not Call Registry. The FTC said that Bookspan and companies it hired made more than 100,000 calls to consumers on the national registry from October 2003, when the law went into effect, and August 2004. Bookspan typically made the unwanted phone calls to current or former book club members, attempting to sell them products or re-enroll them in clubs from which they had dropped out, according to the FTC.

The Course that Ate the Textbook & Other Adventures in Educational Publishing

In olden days, a faculty member huddled with a publisher’s sales rep and picked a new textbook, which eventually resulted in its purchase by a student. Today, every link in that chain is under reconsideration – some might say under attack.

A group of education industry investors gathered in Miami recently to hear about new business models and technology formats that are transforming the $3.5 billion textbook business (estimated by some to be closer to $10-$13 billion with the inclusion of K-12 and Higher Ed). In place of textbooks and a library, the biggest player in for-profit education, University of Phoenix (UOP), offers rEsource, a portal of digital content licensed from leading educational publishers such as Pearson, Thomson, McGraw Hill, and John Wiley. In fact, because of UOP’s centralized curriculum, it has quickly become one of the largest customers for textbooks. Beth Aguiar, head of Apollo Publishing, the parent of UOP, noted that the rEsource strategy has brought the cost of textbooks down from an average of about $400 per student to about $170. And in place of the linear, text-only book is a fully searchable, digital reference source that integrates interactive elements such as simulations, and can also be easily updated. For content outside of textbook formats, Google‘s Book Search has opened the door to the ultimate desktop library, with the added benefit of an option to purchase books direct from the publisher or other booksellers. The result is also an important new marketing platform for publishers, says Tom Turvey, head of Google Book Search partnerships. Google can provide deep marketing intelligence to its publishing partners, including the ability to test price points and subscription models with newly launched features for Google Book Search partners. Google Book Search returns search results with books and points to publisher’s and retailer’s websites, which has the potential to give new life to those elusive but important backlists – the so-called “long tail” effect. Turvey argued that within Google’s normal Google Book Search experience, its digital rights management tools protect authors and publishers since the books are limited in their usage (they cannot be printed, for instance, and no more than 20% of a book can be viewed in a month). The argument that browsing leads to buying is fundamental to the Google pitch to publishers, just as it has been for Barnes & Noble superstores for years. Offering something for free also underlies the success of Barnes & Noble’s popular SparkNotes. Dan Weiss, head of Spark Publishing, noted that content ubiquity is the ultimate goal, as young readers will consume content on the desktop, on iPods, on cell phones, and still continue to purchase books that they have read as bit and bytes in other formats. Spark Publishing has expanded into each of these formats, and also offers test prep and college admissions information to its young audience. The highly trafficked website is supported by ad sales as well as sales of content.

What does this mean for textbooks and publishers? Other universities have yet to embrace UOP’s undeniably efficient centralized curriculum development and content portals. Custom publishing and flexible course packs have not exactly pushed print textbooks off the shelf. And the publishing industry – education and trade – continues to struggle with the shift to consumer-controlled content, just as the recording industry has. So far, same old, same old. But if rEsource and Spark Notes and Google Book Search are bellwethers, the moral of the story is that content will continue to build value for authors and publishers – but content will reach its audience through different channels, and will look awfully different when it gets there.

PT thanks Ann Kirschner, head of Comma International, for helping us to continue our current obsession with all things digital. Kirschner attended the Education Industry Investor Conference in Miami from March 21-22. She consults for universities and media companies, and is most recently the author of Sala’s Gift (Free Press, Fall 2006).

eLusive eStats

Digital Publishing Goes Mainstream. PT Attempts To Make a Meal Out of the Proverbial ePie

This month we decided to tackle the Sisyphean task of coming up with eNumbers – stats for the digital side of the biz. For the Book Publishing industry, eBooks are the most literal digital translation – books, in every sense of the term, simply supplanting paper with screens. The past seven rollercoaster years however – with the steady vacillation between eBooks as savior and eBooks as failed hype – have left publishers with a collective stomach ache. Ever device-conscious, eBooks are once again on an upswing with the Sony Reader dancing on the horizon, but publishers have learned to temper their enthusiasm.

“I avoid the word eBook like a plague,” Meg Fisher, Director of Domestic Rights at Oxford University Press said during an eBook panel at Book Tech. “I like to call it digital media.” Fisher’s viewpoint – moving away from looking at eBooks as the digital publishing market to looking at eBooks as comprising a part of the digital publishing market – is one that more and more publishers are starting to share. Digital audio, PDF downloads, online reference, mobile licensing, pay-per-use, monetized search, podcasts, chunking – the digital publishing market as a burgeoning profitable force is just warming up.

“When it comes to the delivery of digital content, the industry is still at the blind man and the elephant phase,” says Lightspeed‘s Jim Lichtenberg. “eBooks? Online Journals? Part of the problem is that nobody really owns it as a whole – it’s springing up in different ways and everyone is looking at different parts of the beast.”

Disparate definitions breed specious statistics and reports vary widely as to digital publishing’s pull. Ask any publisher in the digital media division to talk about their slice of the industry and they all start off the same way – “We’re still really new…what did everyone else say?” Take eBooks for instance: Current estimates of the overall eBook market range from $3 million to upwards of $30 million. Officially, Nick Bogaty, Executive Director of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), estimates the eBook market to be between $12-$15 million, with eBooks defined as downloadable DRM-ed complete books encrypted by the publisher and functioning similar to an i-Tune.

Vincent Janoski, Business Manager at SparkNotes, ventures a higher estimate, placing the industry around $21 million based on a 40-50% growth rate (generally cited as the estimated increase of both revenue and offerings) from $10 million in 2003. According to Janoski, limiting the market to DRM-ed eBooks narrows the field quite a bit by excluding non-encoded PDF downloads like SparkNotes Literature guides, downloadable directly from both their website (www.sparknotes.com), and partner sites like MBS. “Our PDF downloads are fast approaching $500,000 in sales,” he said. “In the context of a $15-20 million market, that is a pretty big share that is not captured in the IDPF stats.” Going even further, if one were to expand the definition of eBooks to include the more loosely defined eDocument (or eDoc) numbers would dramatically increase, at least in terms of units and titles (Amazon has over 1 million eDocs up for sale).

Digital Audiobook downloads comprise another well-publicized and growing piece of digital publishing. Again, overall revenue is difficult to track, but according to the Audio Publisher’s Association, downloadable audio (or eAudio, as some publishers are referring to it) accounts for about 6% of the overall audiobook market that currently hovers somewhere around the $1 billion mark.

While eBooks and eAudio are the most obvious manifestations of print media in a digital age – whole “books” sold through the e-equivalent of traditional retail channels – other parts of the digital publishing market, like online reference, represent the growing trend of “chunking” information – breaking it apart and allowing consumers to become the architects, rather than leaving construction to publishers. Since consumers don’t buy chunks in the same way they buy whole content (although up-and-coming programs like Amazon Pages, and Random House’s initiative to monetize individual pages are testing this fact) other models such as subscription, rental, pay per view, and ad-supported content have cropped up.

As business models shift and settle, one of the most difficult dividing lines to draw in order to estimate the overall digital publishing market is the line between monetization and marketing, according to Lichtenberg. “Since the market is in its infancy and on a quest to convert print consumers into digital consumers, business models are still emerging,” he said. For now, marketing and merchandising spill into each other – free Podcasts advertising pay audiobooks, Holtzbrinck‘s up-and-coming RSS-delivered Chapter Feeds enticing customers to buy both print and digital, the innumerable bundled digital incentives educational publishers are using to gain leverage.

Offically, no one collects statistics about the overall digital publishing market. Unofficially, we’ve attempted to clarify the emerging market, in order to begin to define the digital pie, the pieces of the elephant, the elusive estats. Take a look.