June 4, 2007 Edition

New BISG Committee
To Create Standards
for Digital Content

NEW YORK, NY/5/31/2007–The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has announced that it will team with the Association of American Publishers (AAP), to form a new Digital Standards Committee. The purpose of the committee is to develop – with input from all relevant constituencies – industry-wide standards for the online discovery, browsing, search and distribution of books and related content in digital form. The BISG Digital Standards Committee will begin work in June 2007. All members of the Book Industry Study Group are invited to participate.

As the distribution of digital book content online proliferates, BISG is continuing to represent the interests of all parties in the U.S. book industry by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain. Over the past 30 years, BISG has focused on such standards as ONIX, ISBN-13 and EDI. As a new digital supply chain emerges, BISG is committed to expanding its programs to respond to a changing marketplace.

What’s next?

Repositories of content – like those featured during BISG’s recent Making Information Pay conference – have already been established by publishers, booksellers, search engines, and wholesalers, and many more are planned. With demand for digital content growing as these repositories develop, companies in all sectors of the book business see new opportunities for promoting, marketing and selling content online.

Managing these opportunities poses challenges for all parties in the supply chain. Searching, discovering and delivering book content is not as easy, consistent and affordable as it could be. A multiplicity of rules and interfaces, many of them proprietary, make it hard to exchange content simply and cost-effectively, and the lack of widely accepted standards make distributing digital content unnecessarily complex and inefficient.

The BISG Digital Standards Committee – which will include experts from all parts of the U.S. and international book industries – will address these challenges by developing open, consensus-based standards that will facilitate online book content being searched, browsed and distributed more easily and effectively.

The committee will work to find solutions that will benefit the entire book industry – publishers, retailers, search engines, authors, wholesalers and distributors – by improving the process by which online book content reaches consumers.

To expedite standards development at a time when the book industry is moving rapidly forward, the Committee will start its work using a briefing paper, requirements, and draft specification that were developed within AAP to serve as frameworks for further work.

Anyone interested in joining the BISG Digital Standards Committee should contact Michael Healy, Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, by e-mailing Those who register for the new committee will be sent the initial documents and details of the meeting schedule.

As with all BISG committees and working groups, participation in the Digital Standards Committee is open only to those who are members of BISG. Anyone wishing to join BISG should contact Angela Bole at