April 3 – April 10, 2008 Edition

Random House

Buys Sony

Readers for Staff

NEW YORK, NY/4/1/08–Several hundred Random House employees will soon be equipped with their own Sony Readers. In an effort to cut paper waste and speed up the manuscript processing, Random House is giving the e-book readers to editorial, marketing and sales staffs.

For example, manuscripts will get to Random’s out-of-town sales reps faster and without any costly shipping of paper, saving the publisher not only ink and paper, but also shipping costs. The average cost of shipping a 400–page manuscript is $7.

Random House is not the only publisher to equip staff members with the devices. Hachette, St. Martin's, and Simon & Schuster all are using the readers. Most major publishers are now accepting digital manuscript submissions, then when a project is accepted it is distributed to various publishing staff members on the readers.

Major publishers seem committed to cutting paper waste. In March 2008, a new report, from the Green Press Initiative and Book Industry Study Group, revealed that the U.S. book industry emits more than 12.4 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, or approximately 8.85 pounds of carbon for the average book (.89 lb), with most of the impact connected to forest carbon loss. The report-Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the US Book Industry-also reveals an industry in the midst of a positive environmental transformation.

As reflected in the report, the book industry's use of recycled fiber has increased six-fold in the past few years, and many companies in the book business are developing environmental policies and setting goals to increase their use of recycled and certified paper, improve impacts on forests, reduce energy consumption, and lessen their overall carbon footprint.

Approximately 45% of publishers now have meaningful environmental policies in place, with concrete goals and timelines. In fact, four of the top 10 publishers-including Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Thomas Nelson-have joined 160 smaller publishers in making significant public commitments in this arena.