Here is the lineup for this year’s Making Information Pay session on “Shifting Sales Channels”, to take place at McGraw-Hill on May 7.
The first half of the show is about “the state of the market.” The second half is about “what publishers are doing about it.”
We’ll start off with a report on the state of publishing from Leigh Watson Healy, Chief Analyst of Outsell, based on conversations she has had with many leading publishing CEOs in the past several months. Leigh is the lead for Outsell on the BISG Publishing Trends report, which will be coming a couple of weeks.
Then I’ll do a review of what we learned from our industry survey and interviews Ted Hill and I did preparing for this conference.
The highlight of the first half of the show will be a coordinated presentation from Jim King of BookScan and Kelly Gallagher of Bowker, showing how BookScan’s POS data and Bowker’s consumer data can be used in tandem for greater analytical insight. This is, we believe, the first coordinated presentation ever by these two companies, which in many spheres are competitors.
The second half of the show will kick off with BISG co-chair Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks, talking about the many changes that have taken place in her company over the past couple of years. Dominique herself has become a dedicated online marketer (which anybody following her in Twitter knows very well), but she has installed a digital workflow, changed her company’s title mix, and, in general, tried to react quickly to changes in trthe digital age.
One of the trends we’ve found is a de-emphasizing of printed trade catalogs. Leaders in this effort are HarperCollins, and the President of Harper’s sales division, Josh Marwell, will describe his company’s moves toward their own e-catalog as well as their participation in an industry effort called Edelweiss. Harper will not be issuing a printed catalog this Fall.
We have also observed big changes in how publishers are spending their marketing dollars, but none are changing more than Sterling. CEO Marcus Leaver will describe those changes: where he has put additional spending and where he found the dollars to cut to pay for the growth he saw was necessary.
The program will conclude with a lesson from Random House’s VP, Sales Analysis Dave Thompson, who will pick up where King and Gallagher left off. Thompson’s focus will be on using the available data — and he sees great value in the combination of POS and consumer data — to educate buyers in accounts that are notsteeped in the book business, like mass merchants. This is one of the growth areas some publishers have identified for the years to come.
All in all, a jam-packed program that should be of value to any publisher trying to improve its sales in difficult times. I’m proud of what we’ve put together and I hope any of you who haven’t signed up yet will grab one of the remaining tickets.