Publishing News

General News

October 15-31, 2005 Edition GENERAL NEWS BISG Revenues,

Membership, Productivity

Continue Rapid Growth New York, NY/10/06/05—At its Annual Meeting and Fall Conference 2005, the Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG), reported unprecedented financial results, including a 26% increase in total revenue, a 78% increase in net assets, and the addition of over 40 new member organizations during the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2005.

“BISG has changed dramatically over the last three years,” Jeff Abraham, its Executive Director, told the publishing professionals at the meeting, which was held on September 28 in New York City and followed by the BISG Fall Conference. “We are now a much larger and more focused organization and we’re providing more value to the publishing supply chain than ever before,” Abraham observed.

More than 200 attendees representing all segments of the book industry supply chain came to this year’s event – double the number for 2004 and more than triple the number for 2003.

The accomplishments they heard about include:

Creating a Manufacturing Executives Interest Group to improve communication between publishers and manufacturers. Creating an ISBN-13 Task Force and developing support systems and educational programs to facilitate the transition to ISBN-13. Releasing key studies such as Book Industry TRENDS and Under the Radar: A Breakthrough, In-Depth Study of the Book Industry’s Underreported Segments and Channels. Improving and maintaining industry standards, such as ONIX, X.12 EDI, BISAC Subject Codes and shipping label guidelines. Starting an organization-wide strategic planning process intended to fine tune BISG’s high level of service and provide even more value to its members over the next few years.

Counting Used-Books Sales

To test the validity of anecdotal reports that used books represent a rapidly growing segment of the book market, BISG commissioned a study whose preliminary findings were unveiled at its fall conference.

Presented by Jeffrey Hayes, Research Director for InfoTrends and lead researcher on the BISG project, these findings include:

Sales of used books in the United States topped $2.2 billion in 2004. More than 111 million used books were sold that year. Used-book sales now represent 8.4% of total consumer spending on books.

The BISG study draws on data about used-book sales from the leading online book vendors and on extensive primary research with more than 500 booksellers and 2,000 consumers, including students.

Abebooks, Alibris,, Barnes & Noble,, Bowker, eBay, MIR, and Powell’s all provided sales figures for the study, which will be released this fall.

Toward Global Data Synchronization

“Although the acronym may not currently be familiar to everyone in the book business, GDSN – the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) – is, or will be, important to all its participants,” Jeff Abraham explained during the concluding session of the BISG fall conference, which provided the audience with an introduction to this global movement and with insights into why, when and how GDSN would become relevant to the book industry.

All presentations, including those on used books and GDSN are available at:

“Both changes that involve the used book market and developments with GDSN present major challenges and opportunities for all sectors of our industry,” Jeff Abraham says. BISG’s role, he notes, is to “keep abreast of these issues on behalf of our members and make sure they have the information they need for key strategic and tactical decisions.”

VNU, Gawker Media

Sign Deal to Publish

Gadget Weblog LONDON/10/08/05—VNU, a global media and information company, has joined New York-based Gawker Media to publish in a deal to publish more than a dozen weblogs, including the gadget weblog

The plan is to make the weblog the “ultimate European destination” for all sorts of products, including gadgets, gizmos and consumer electronics.

VNU will provide technology and marketing knowledge as well as its base of bloggers who will contribute to the network.

The Gizmodo site will be available in six European languages, enhanced by localized content for each market.

Dominique Busso, CEO of VNUnet, said the partnership with Gawker will help VNU beef up its blog publishing business.