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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Onix 3.0 - Retrofitting the 200-Year-Old Structure of Legacy Publishing

Upgrading/Retrofitting the Publishing Industry
First, click the following link for a short background on Onix (Publishing Protocol), ONline Information eXchang.

Standardization has greatly simplified, streamlined, cut costs and increased profits for all manufacturing companies in the past - and it has accomplished this globally which has further increased international trade. 

Standardization makes parts interchangeable to fit better. When you go buy a 60 watt incandescent light bulb, for instance, you take for granted that it will screw into the standardized electrical outlet. The same goes for auto parts, electronic parts, building material parts, etc.

And the same is becoming a reality for ALL sectors of the publishing industry in both print and digital. 

Tonight's post explains how.

Key excerpts:

"... Retrofitting a 200-year-old structure—legacy publishing—with new metadata standards to improve commerce in the digital age is, at best, a complex process. For example, the now-ubiquitous ISBN took years to become an industry standard."

"Chris Sayor, metadata specialist at the metadata management company GiantChair (www.giantchair.com) and head of a newly formed BISG working group on Onix 3.0, says that the new standard is the “Esperanto of global publishing.” He adds, “It is multilingual, making possible communication of the same messages both across the industry and across the globe, whether in China, the U.S., or Latin America, in Mandarin, English, or Spanish.”"

"Pat Payton, senior manager of publisher relations and content development at Bowker, notes that until the millennium—and in some cases, to this day—publishers, printers, distributors, retailers, and librarians exchanged information about products through a variety of means, including spreadsheets, texts, and even non-Onix XML."

"... All of the major players—such as Ingram, Bowker, B&N, and Amazon—used different formats for gathering the critical metadata. Today, with the advent of digital products and global sales opportunities, sharing correct metadata is critical."

"Although its birth was somewhat chaotic organizationally (not unusual for a global standard), Onix is now governed by an international steering committee representing 15 countries, with oversight provided by the collaboration of Editeur, BIC, Bowker, and BISG."

"Moreover, it levels the playing field for small- and medium-sized companies, which can now use the significantly expanded and disciplined Onix 3.0 to reach a truly worldwide marketplace and take advantage of a much broader spectrum of online retailers."

I believe that the Onix 3.0 standardization will also make marketing your books instantly easier by allowing access to global/international markets/retailers not available before --- and do it posthaste!


Jim Lichtenberg provides more detail about Onix 3.0 in this article from Publishers Weekly:



Can Onix 3.0 Create a Global Digital Publishing Industry?

Publishers and their partners are pushing for widespread adoption of the new standard


Standards are like plumbing: they are only noticed when they don’t work. And like plumbing, retrofitting a 200-year-old structure—legacy publishing—with new metadata standards to improve commerce in the digital age is, at best, a complex process. For example, the now-ubiquitous ISBN took years to become an industry standard. Moreover, senior publishing executives have rarely focused their attention on metadata, choosing to leave the discussion of such issues to people responsible for production or IT. Onix 3.0 may change this point of view. Ken Michaels, global COO at Macmillan Science and Education, observes that, with version 3.0, “Onix has the potential to be the critical communication format that helps bind a fragmented supply chain across the full spectrum of titles, information sheets, catalogue information, and promotional materials.” He further notes that “editorial and marketing departments’ specific ‘knowledge’ about the authors’ or the content objects’ intent can be retained and passed on to all channel partners to help streamline commerce [globally], reduce costs, and optimize revenue.”

Chris Sayor, metadata specialist at the metadata management company GiantChair (www.giantchair.com) and head of a newly formed BISG working group on Onix 3.0, says that the new standard is the “Esperanto of global publishing.” He adds, “It is multilingual, making possible communication of the same messages both across the industry and across the globe, whether in China, the U.S., or Latin America, in Mandarin, English, or Spanish.”

Begun in 1990, Onix (the Online Information Exchange) is a standard for the electronic transfer of rich product metadata about books across the entire supply chain. Pat Payton, senior manager of publisher relations and content development at Bowker, notes that until the millennium—and in some cases, to this day—publishers, printers, distributors, retailers, and librarians exchanged information about products through a variety of means, including spreadsheets, texts, and even non-Onix XML. Prior to 2001, Payton says, processes for getting data about each book from publishers to customers were inefficient because all of the major players—such as Ingram, Bowker, B&N, and Amazon—used different formats for gathering the critical metadata. Today, with the advent of digital products and global sales opportunities, sharing correct metadata is critical.

Despite difficulties in establishing Onix, everyone in the publishing industry is now at least aware of the standard. The first full version, Onix 1.0, was released in 2000, and different versions of the standard are currently widely in use throughout the book and e-book supply chains in North America, Europe, Australasia, and, increasingly, the Asia-Pacific region. Onix greatly reduces costs, as publishers no longer need to provide data in unique formats. In some cases, a single data feed is suitable for all of a publisher’s supply chain partners. And, by providing a template for the content and structure of a product record, Onix has helped to stimulate the industry-wide creation of better internal information systems, which bring together metadata needed for the promotion of both new and backlist titles.

As Firebrand Technologies’ website reminds its visitors, however, Onix is a format for transmitting data—it’s not the data transmitted using this format. More specifically, Onix is a standard XML format (a sort of digital bento box) that provides a consistent way to communicate among supply chain partners, allowing data to be exchanged between any number of databases. It is not limited to a single language, nor to the particulars of a specific national book trade. In fact, Onix gives publishers a standard format for the title, author, publisher, page count, pub date, even digitized cover art not only of books, but also serials (online subscription products, including e-books) and publication licenses. When used correctly, information is exchanged instantly once the Onix information has been entered, which diminishes the need for manual intervention and reduces human error.

Although its birth was somewhat chaotic organizationally (not unusual for a global standard), Onix is now governed by an international steering committee representing 15 countries, with oversight provided by the collaboration of Editeur, BIC, Bowker, and BISG. To some degree, each of these organizations still uses its own “flavor” of Onix, making it a useful standard... but not as useful as it could be. BISG has actively promoted an Onix certification program, and Payton estimates that Bowker receives “clean” data, using the current Onix 2.1 standard about 80% of the time.

The underlying problem facing the industry is that, with the onrush of new technologies (smart phones, tablets, sensors, social media, the cloud), Onix 2.1 structures have become too limited to handle new formats or marketing and promotional requirements. Thus, Onix 3.0—which began development in 2009 based on global user input—is a watershed for a number of reasons. It supports a wider range of data, including delivery format, DRM protection, pricing in different markets, rights and royalties information, as well as links to information outside typical book metadata (author videos on YouTube, etc.). Moreover, it levels the playing field for small- and medium-sized companies, which can now use the significantly expanded and disciplined Onix 3.0 to reach a truly worldwide marketplace and take advantage of a much broader spectrum of online retailers.

Curiously, larger publishers may be at a disadvantage when it comes to implementing Onix 3.0. As the number of people entering information into Onix in given company rises, inconsistencies occur more often, according to Payton. In addition, the sheer size of major publishers creates an even larger gap between those tasked with implementing Onix and those responsible for the strategy and direction of the company. This gap represents a vulnerability, especially as an understanding of technology becomes more critical to the formulations of strategic responses to changes in the marketplace. Sayor of GiantChair recalls that during a webinar organized by BIC and Booksellerthe last year, one of the publishers involved commented, “What we need is a metadata expert on the board of directors!”

In one sense, however, experience with Onix gives all of publishing an advantage. One of the most disruptive technologies in the coming decade will be the so-called Internet of Everything (IOE). Cisco, the tech systems giant, estimates that there will be some 50 billion “smart” things that can communicate with digital devices and each other by 2020. The IOE will make it possible for machines, processes, and disparate systems to be interconnected across any value chain, linking end users and creators through an integrated network. In a sense, Onix is a forerunner of this, allowing the publishing industry across the globe to maximize its many networks to create new service opportunities, product differentiation, and revenue. As Michaels at Macmillan warns, however, the “metadata being right, and communicated correctly,” remains the critical factor. “Onix enables [all these benefits],” he advises, “only if everyone in the supply chain does this.”

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Publishing Model: The Latest News is Being Distributed on Social Networks and Consumed on Mobile Devices

Traditional, established media such as the Washington Post and the LA Times are being out covered and out valued by technology upstarts like BuzzFeed that 'uses technology to help come up with ideas for articles that will attract readers, and it has connected with advertisers because it creates sponsored stories for their brands—promoting Pepsi, for example, with animated images about staying cool in the summer.'

Seems to me, and some others, too, as reflected by my research, that there is a chance of mashing up advertising with legitimate news and other reporting. But, this may be the trend of the future and will bring in tons of revenue.

There are literally billions of dollars being created and attracted to the newer tech-laden publishing platforms that cater to the latest technological devices.

Tonight's post gives insight into some of the money valuations and exploding expansions coming into play --- especially Re BuzzFeed. 

Pertinent excerpt from tonight's research source: "BuzzFeed said Monday that the funding will let the company expand to Mumbai, Mexico City, Berlin and Tokyo and convert its video division into BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, which will focus on everything from animated online images to feature- length films."

This from Bloomberg news as reported in Crain's New York Business:


BuzzFeed's $850M valuation tops Tribune's
The site's $50 million cash infusion is a bet that the site can be more valuable than top traditional news media.

BuzzFeed, Inc. raised $50 million on a bet its mix of everything from animal lists to serious news is more valuable than the coverage produced by established media like the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.
The investment from venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz propelled BuzzFeed's valuation beyond those traditional big-name publications to about $850 million, according to the New York Times. While that's about half the market capitalization of the Times itself, it's in line with other Web startups at about seven times annual revenue, according to Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Andreessen Horowitz joins BuzzFeed investors Hearst Corp., SoftBank Corp. and New Enterprise Associates in wagering that the site can rank among the titans of media. BuzzFeed uses technology to help come up with ideas for articles that will attract readers, and it has connected with advertisers because it creates sponsored stories for their brands—promoting Pepsi, for example, with animated images about staying cool in the summer.
"There's a lot of potential for BuzzFeed, and it's well positioned to move into a lot of key areas," said Peter Krasilovsky, vice president of BIA Kelsey, a media research company based in Chantilly, Virginia. "They've put a lot of their money into figuring out which stories are being read. I can understand why you would want to invest in BuzzFeed."
BuzzFeed said Monday that the funding will let the company expand to Mumbai, Mexico City, Berlin and Tokyo and convert its video division into BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, which will focus on everything from animated online images to feature- length films.
'Effectively unbounded'
"We are very excited to work with everyone at BuzzFeed to help them realize their dreams of a profoundly important new media institution," Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, said on Twitter. The company's opportunity is "effectively unbounded," he said.
At the end of last year, the company had forecast revenue of as much as $120 million in 2014, people familiar with the matter said at the time. Ashley McCollum, a BuzzFeed spokeswoman, said she couldn't confirm the valuation.
The startup, which has more than 500 employees, is profitable, Chief Executive Officer Jonah Peretti said in September 2013. With the new investment, BuzzFeed has garnered almost $100 million in funding since the company debuted in 2006.
"The investment from Andreessen Horowitz really validates BuzzFeed, as a company and as an entity," said Mr. Sweeney of Bloomberg Intelligence. "BuzzFeed has really proven itself as a business."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Inside Intrigue at Conde Nast - Moving and Shaking Going On

Anna Wintour - One of the most
Powerful women in publishing
Conde Nast is a very influential publishing and mass media company with a lot of transformation going on. And tonight we are going to take a look at all the Conde Nast inside intrigue.

I believe this kind of analysis gives all aspiring writers, authors and indie publishers insight into the current day evolving industry that will empower them in their future endeavors. 

First, what is a mass media company (Conde Nast has grown into one over recent years)?

Secondly, a little history of Conde Nast: Condé Nast, a division of Advance Publications, is a mass media company headquartered in the Condé Nast Building in New York City. The company attracts more than 164 million consumers across its 20 print and digital media brands: Allure, Architectural Digest, Ars Technica, Bon Appétit, Brides, Condé Nast Traveler, Details, Epicurious, Glamour, Golf Digest, Golf World, GQ, Lucky, The New Yorker, Self, Teen Vogue,Vanity Fair, Vogue, W and Wired.
The company launched Condé Nast Entertainment in 2011 to develop film, television and digital video programming. The company also owns Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM) and its portfolio of comprehensive fashion journalism brands: Beauty Inc.Footwear NewsMStyle.com and WWD.
The company was founded in 1909 by Condé Montrose Nast and has been owned by the Newhouse family since 1959. Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr. is the chairman and CEO of Advance Publications, Charles H. Townsend is its chief executive officer and Robert A. Sauerberg is its president.


And now this from Crain's New York Business by  :


Anna Wintour consolidates her power at Condé Nast

An executive transition also gave President Bob Sauerberg new responsibilities.

  A long-expected executive transition took a step forward at Condé Nast on Wednesday with the announcement that President Bob Sauerberg would assume new responsibilities and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour  will have no rival in her role as creative director.
Editorial Director Tom Wallace will leave the company. Though he is not being replaced, his job was considered redundant after Ms. Wintour was named creative director last year. John Bellando, a 15-year veteran who was both chief financial officer and chief operating officer, is also leaving the company, to be replaced by an executive from Time Inc.
Mr. Sauerberg, appointed president four years ago Wednesday, will "assume a leading role in all revenue generation activities," CEO Chuck Townsend wrote in a memo to staffers. That leading role will include overseeing Condé Nast Media Group, the division that handles the large corporate advertising sales that have traditionally produced 80% of the company's ad revenue.
Brought in following a brutal advertising recession, Mr. Sauerberg was charged with finding new sources of revenue, and already oversees consumer marketing, digital operations, business development, corporate administration and the new television arm Condé Nast Entertainment. He is also the heir apparent to Mr. Townsend, who is 69.
Mr. Townsend acknowledged the power shift in his memo, noting that "Bob and I have worked side by side as CEO and president to ensure we prepare the company to reach new heights." The changes announced Wednesday begin "this seamless transition."
As part of the transition, Mr. Sauerberg added to his corporate team, bringing in David Geithner from Time Inc. to replace the well-liked Mr. Bellando, who was considered "Chuck's right arm," according to a former Condé Nast executive. Mr. Geithner will report to Mr. Sauerberg, as will Lou Cona, president of Conde Nast Media Group.
Ms. Wintour's ascension was no surprise. 
"Anna really has more power than Bob and Chuck combined," said the former executive. "She's the person everyone sees as a visionary and as having a huge amount of influence inside and outside of the building."
Condé Nast—part of the privately held, Newhouse family-owned Advance Publications—still has its own way of doing things, with roles that are not always clearly defined. For instance, some publishers report to Mr. Townsend, while others report to Mr. Sauerberg. With Wednesday's announcement, they will all report to Mr. Sauerberg, according to a person familiar with the matter, although one publisher was unaware of any change.
"At a company like this it doesn't matter," he said. "You have very little oversight either way."
Correction: All Condé Nast publishers will report to President Bob Sauerberg. This fact was misstated in a previous version of this article, published online July 23, 2014.





Resource article:
http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140723/MEDIA_ENTERTAINMENT/140729938/anna-wintour-consolidates-her-power-at-condeacute-nast

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Marketing Test for Your Book? --- You KNOW You Need One, Right?

A lot of talk about book marketing has been going around lately --- Actually, talk about marketing books has been going around since the beginning of ‘book time’ --- It has just taken a 
more center stage in this new era
where more writers are acting as their own publishers.

We all come to realize sooner or later that writing the book is just phase one of the book project. Getting the damn book in front of readers, phase two, is also of paramount importance to its success and, by extension, the writers sense of achievement (not to mention financial reward).

‘If you’re writing for a major publishing house, you will probably pass the marketing test before your book gets accepted. Books are chosen based on marketing appeal as well as the author’s writing skill and timeliness of topic.’ --- Cathy Goodwin, Phd.

When do you start your book marketing strategy? When you first start laying out and diagramming your new book storyline; even before you write the first word!

You do this by designing a marketing checklist that you apply as you build your new storyline. An example is defining or fine tuning your story so it fits into a particular genre; this lends your book to easier marketing trends/strategies and placement in bookstores. This singular built-in marketing concept will also invite more professional reviews and reviewers.

Nonfictional books already have a built-in marketing checklist, of sorts, in the form of their ‘Book Proposals’, which must be submitted before approval by major houses. Book proposals address such things as: Market for your story and demographics of proposed readership, why your book is different from others of similar subject matter, table of contents of your proposed book, proposed summary of the chapters of your nonfiction work, etc.

Now, this by Cathy Goodwin, PhD, published author, copywriter, writing coach, top reviewer and speaker.


Does Your Book Pass the Marketing Test? A Reviewer’s 7 Point Checklist


  
Authors frequently think of “book marketing” when the book is printed and ready to hit the shelves. In fact, nonfiction book marketing begins before you write the first line. After your book has been written and published, you and your marketing team will have to look for marketing copy, reviewers and more.
If you’re writing for a major publishing house, you will probably pass the marketing test before your book gets accepted. Books are chosen based on marketing appeal as well as the author’s writing skill and timeliness of topic. When you write for yourself or for a smaller house, of if you don’t have a promotion budget, you are on your own.
Before you come to the final moment when you say, “This book is finished!” here are 7 points to check off.
1. Your book belongs to ONE genre and you know ONE place where it belongs on a bookstore shelf. Mixed genres (such as self-help plus memoir) rarely succeed in the marketplace.
If you’re not sure what genre is, or what genre best characterizes your book, you’ll need to visit a bookstore, talk to some people and get some professional advice. Without understanding “genre,” you can’t market you book or get reviewers.
2. Your book has a simple theme that you can state in a sentence or two. When someone asks, “What’s your book about?” you can’t go on for ten minutes. You need a concept statement that lets the reader know exactly what the book is about. You’ll need this statement when you look for book reviews.
For instance, my relocation book’s theme was “the psychological aspects of moving.” Sometimes I would add, “Lots of books tell you how to pack a box; this one tells you how to pack your life.”
3. Your book fits together with a simple unifying premise that can be explained easily. For instance, my relocation book was premised on, “Relocation changes your identity in three ways.”

4. Your chapter titles expand the theme and also read like copywriting headlines. Readers will pick up your book and skim the table of contents. You’re selling them on the importance of digging in.

5. Each chapter has hooks that grab the reader’s attention. When you hook the reader in the first paragraph, you’ve probably got a reader who will finish the chapter and continue to the next one, until the book is done.

6. You know what the book adds to the existing possibilities. If asked, “How is your book different?” you have a clear, accurate response.

7. Your book is written concisely. Recently I was asked to review a memoir with a fascinating premise. But when I saw the book was 500 pages of tiny type, I gave up. A few books can get away with monumental size, usually if the author is famous to the point of notoriety. Most will end up as doorstops.

When your book passes this checklist, you’re likely to get awesome reviews, and you won’t have to struggle to get them.

The Writers Welcome Blog is available on your Kindle here :)))







Article resource: http://wordpreneur.com/16532/does-your-book-pass-the-marketing-test-a-reviewers-7-point-checklist/

Friday, June 20, 2014

What 'Realistically' Makes a Successful Writer?

What makes a successful
Writer? I'll tell you.
An interesting question. One thing for sure is that you first must be alive in order to enjoy new experiences to interpret and write about.

And this leads me into a short explanation of my longer than usual absence. I wrote about my latest experience very briefly on Facebook a few days ago only as a means to notify my family and others of my impromptu hospital adventure --- after the fact.

My 6/12/14 Facebook entry:

"Got proactive about my health; suspected something was not quite right from my interest and research of related things on the Net and insisted on getting a stress test. Test showed a little irregularity on left side so Doc set up an Angiogram on 5/29/14. He went in with camera, saw, withdrew, piled me in ambulance and transported me to Colorado Springs for double bypass heart surgery 


All went well :)) 

AND, because I was proactive I had no heart attack or stroke. I was in and out in a few days.

The Doc had found I had a 92% blockage at a crucial point (called a widow-maker) and a couple other lesser blockages!!

Somebody up there loves me :))))"

I have been navigating some rather thick forestry of late!

My first major surgery of ANY kind; and after the surgery, I felt like I had been run over by a Mack truck  :(

So, I haven't felt like writing, but, I feel much better now with a lot more energy pouring into my body (new oxygenated blood, I guess). 

Perhaps this is the next step in my personal journey to being a successful writer --- By the way, the journey never ends.

Pertinent excerpt from tonights research source: "You have to learn to understand before ever attempting to cause others to understand. When do you reach your goals? It isn't over until it’s over. Never stop reaching for higher goals."

Now for more unique insights into what makes a successful writer:

Jerry Slauter writes this for Wordpreneur - A different angular insight:


"What Makes a Successful Writer"



Writing, like life, is a self-determining status. You are successful when you reach your goals.
I have known many people in various professions who have dreamed about writing their personal memoirs, professional insights, a self-help book, an adventure novel or a love story. I have not known of any writers who have dreamed of being anything other than a better writer.
What are your goals? Do you want to entertain others through your writing? In this age of Internet marketing for fun and profit, do you want to sell products or optimize search engines? Do you want to convey news, challenge perspectives, write the American novel, or win the Pulitzer Prize for literature?
These goals might or might not be realistic, but you will never know until you put the pen to paper and perfect your abilities to observe, feel, imagine and communicate. You have to learn to understand before ever attempting to cause others to understand. When do you reach your goals? It isn’t over until it’s over. Never stop reaching for higher goals.
Although not exhaustive or all-inclusive, some writing goals to consider are: Finding your voice; Establishing your genre; Publishing your work; Reaching your audience; and, Considering the type of life style you hope to achieve.
Finding your voice. What interests you? What do you spend your spare time reading, observing or following? Although writers, in the short term, must often write about topics that are of little to no interest to them personally, they find ways to make the topic interesting to the reader. For the long term, begin keeping files of your interests. Take an inventory of the books you read. What is your passion?
Establishing your genre. Ideally, you will begin to find the topics that are interesting to you. You will have already been collecting research notes, articles, books and other information about these topics. Write articles, papers, essays or books about these topics.
Publishing your work. The pessimists would say, “There is already a flood of information out there. There is no way to have your voice heard.”
Realistically, there are more opportunities to publish your work than there ever has been. On the Internet, you can write an article this morning and see it in print this afternoon. It is easy to find a plethora of article submission directories in every genre and interest. There are still trade journals, newspapers, letters to the editor, publications for local, state, national and international organizations. If people were not reading this information, there would not be so much effort for the publishers to get it out there.
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Resource article: http://wordpreneur.com/16425/what-is-a-successful-writer/