2- Making Information Pay 2009 -- SHATZKIN, MIKE (Idea Logical Company)
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2- Making Information Pay 2009 -- SHATZKIN, MIKE (Idea Logical Company)

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Presentation Title: "The Publishing Climate 2009: Wrestling with change". Presented May 7, 2009 at BISG's 6th annual Making Information Pay conference (http://www.bisg.org/conferences/mip6.html).

Presentation Title: "The Publishing Climate 2009: Wrestling with change". Presented May 7, 2009 at BISG's 6th annual Making Information Pay conference (http://www.bisg.org/conferences/mip6.html).

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  • 1. The Publishing Climate 2009: Wrestling with change Mike Shatzkin The Idea Logical Company For Making Information Pay 7 May 2009
  • 2. How we got information • Online survey: about 250 respondents • Interviews with executives: about 15 • Survey not meant to be statistically valid; rather “fishing” for information and ideas 2
  • 3. Widespread consensus on what is declining • Brick-and-mortar retail: chains and independents • Advance orders from big accounts on big books • Library budgets • Most frequently mentioned as slipping: travel guides, hardcovers, trade paperbacks • Answers from trade and other segments about the same • Increasing nervousness about receivables • Smaller publishers (in survey) less pessimistic than larger (in interviews) 3
  • 4. Some things are growing • Children’s books are up • Ebooks: growth dramatic from very small base but currently >100% annually • Online book sales: Amazon always cited but other accounts grow too • Direct to consumer (some mail out, all web orders coming in) • Custom publishing (unique books for big accounts more than industrial) • Sales of digital content (very non-specific) • Mixed take on mass merchant channel: growing but troubled 4
  • 5. Sobering reality • What is diminishing is more substantial than what is growing • All adds pressure to already diminishing margins • Not clear where digital revenues come from and how much they will be 5
  • 6. Changes publishers are making • Printed catalogs declining (and an industry ecatalog initiative – Edelweiss – is launching) • Sales conferences being de-emphasized • Mission creep for reps beyond bookstores • More focused lists: steps toward verticalization • Reduced travel in general • Reduced presence at trade shows and conferences • Broader participation in social networking (editors and marketers) • Reduced traditional advertising (print) 6
  • 7. Threats to the business • Indirect competition (free stuff on the Net) • Reduced margins • Proliferation of free or very cheap book- or book-like content (Google-Sony deal; publisher promotion) • Maintaining ebook margins • Diminished review media (particularly for library market) • Rising illiteracy 7
  • 8. Actions required: this environment will accept change • Need to build stronger direct channels • Embrace digital sales and distribution • More effort on custom publishing • Analysis for mass merch and non-book outlet buyers who don’t live and breathe books • End or curtail returns • Get closer to both customers and authors • Develop alternative revenue streams • Tight controls on spending and overhead (which enable everything else!) 8
  • 9. Today’s presentations: all about the practical response • How to use BookScan POS and Bowker consumer data together • Dominique Raccah (Sourcebooks) on redirecting the publishing enterprise in digital times • Marcus Leaver (Sterling) on new marketing initiatives, and how to find the $s for them • Josh Marwell (HarperCollins) on changing catalogs from print to digital • David Thompson (Random House) on how data analysis can educate buyers who are not book specialists 9