February 21 – February 28, 2008 Edition

BISG to Explore

How Publishers

Cope in Digital Age

NEW YORK, NY/2/21/08–The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and The Idea Logical Company has launched a survey to understand how publishers are engaging in experimentation and innovation in the new digital age.

"As part of the project we want to collect data via a broad survey on what is now taking place in terms of experimentation and innovation, said BISG Executive Directory Michael Healy. "Using information obtained in the survey, we will then research and write up 8-10 case histories – accounts of experiments that have been tried, whether or not they were deemed to have ‘succeeded,’" he said. The results of the survey will be presented May 9 at the conference, Making Information Pay 2008, to be held at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium in New York.

When "business as usual" is not enough, some publishers strive to create new opportunities by investing in unproven product ideas, workflow methods, marketing vehicles, and commercial models, says the BISG.

Experimentation supported by technology is widespread today. Publishers are distributing book content on cell phones, developing new tools for authors, and setting up MySpace pages. They are selling books and digital downloads direct to consumers from their own web sites (with bundling and business model experiments sure to follow) and re-tooling their production processes.

Sometimes experiments succeed and sometimes they fail, but if they’re smart publishers always take away something of value. Making Information Pay 2008 will focus on the role of experimentation in a rapidly evolving publishing industry and include hard facts on where experimentation is taking place and where it has the greatest impact. Topics will include: how to define and measure success and failure (it’s not always about ROI); how to establish budgets and benchmarks for success; and how to evaluate results and transform them into innovations that fall to the bottom line.