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Digital Book Distribution, Standards Gain Momentum At Several Conferences

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May 17 – May 24, 2007 Edition

Digital Book Distribution,

Standards Gain Momentum

At Several Conferences

NEW YORK, NY/5/17/07–In its fourth annual Making Information Pay conference May 10, The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) unofficially hinted that it would team up with the Association of American Publishers to establish a common standard for online book searching­without relying solely on Google. A formal announcement of the joint effort is anticipated in early June at BookExpo America in New York.

The topics at the half-day conference clearly pointed to the need for developing such standards. Mike Shatzkin, founder and CEO of The Idea Logical Company, Inc., focused his talk on publishers’ growing use of digital asset distributors (DADS), companies that store, convert, and deliver rights-protected digital content. He told publishers that DADs would allow them to shift from large-scale to niche marketing and from spending money on advertising to investing in online reading communities. He encouraged publishers to increase their digital efforts as a way of interacting with their readers.

Two publishers, Random House and O’Reilly Media, shared the agenda with Shatzkin, to demonstrate how they are using technology. Random House, which recently unveiled its Insights initiative to help authors “sell beyond the book,” has a huge investment in technology, said Chris Hart, vice president of publishing and sales applications. The company is exploring a variety of business models including the sale of digital pages and chapters, subscription-based services, special licensing deals and other models. Hart said an industry-wide standard for book searching, and content delivery both in-house and through third parties, is essential to selling books in today’s environment.

Allen Noren, online marketing director for O’Reilly Media, sells books, subscription services, and even PDFs of its titles on its website, Safari Books Online, which has become one of the largest online book selling channels, with some three million unique visitors a month. More than 40% of its PDF sales are generated in the international market.

O’Reilly will have its own technology conference Tools of Change for Publishing Conference, on June 18-20, in San Jose, California, where attendees will learn how leading publishers are transforming their editorial, marketing, and distribution processes while reaching new audiences and becoming more profitable. Publishers will learn about: XML: What Publishers Need to Know; Digitizing Your Backlist; Publishing for the Next Generation Web; Incorporating POD into a Profitable Publishing Strategy; Adding Multimedia to Your Books; Evaluating & Implementing Tools & Processes for a Digital Workplace; SEO for Book Publishers; RSS to Drive Traffic and Improve Sales, and Web Analytics that Work To Build Your Business

Among key speakers at the June conference will include: John Ingram, Chairman, Ingram Book Group, Lightning Source Inc., & Ingram Digital Group, Vice Chairman, Ingram Industries Inc.; Brian Murray Group President, HarperCollins Publishers; Kurt Beidler, Senior Manager of Business Development, Amazon.com; Michael Healy Executive Director, Book Industry Study Group, and Tim O’Reilly

Founder & CEO, O’Reilly Media

About Book Industry Study Group, Inc.

The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the U.S. publishing industry’s leading trade association for policy, standards and research. The mission of BISG is to create a more informed, empowered, and efficient book industry supply chain. Membership consists of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. For 30 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community.