Right-Sizing Your Publishing Business
The pandemic has placed extraordinary pressure on publishing operations and P&Ls, lending more urgency to the perennial question about what the appropriate operational profile is for publishers at different stages of development and levels of revenue.
David Lamb's presentation will look at three different scales of trade publishing—micro, small, and medium-sized—in an attempt to establish some broad gauges for expenditure levels in key expense categories: distribution/fulfillment, sales and marketing, and G&A. For each of the three publisher echelons, several immediately actionable tactics for optimizing operations will be proposed.
He will be joined by David Hetherington, CMO of knk Business Software in a dialogue about when and how to right-size a business.
David Hetherington is Chief Marketing Officer of knk Business Software. Mr. Hetherington’s publishing portfolio reflects a broad range of responsibilities, including both VP of Manufacturing as well as VP of Financial Planning for Simon & Schuster’s Higher Education Group. He has held other key positions in finance, operations, and sales at Reader’s Digest, Wolters Kluwer Health, Columbia University Press, and Baker & Taylor, as well as Chief Operating Officer of Klopotek North America.
David Lamb is an investment banker and consultant with four decades’ experience in publishing and the information industry. In the consumer book publishing sphere, David has operated since 2015 as Book Advisors LLC with partner Susan Reich. Together they have completed transactions with The McEvoy Group / Chronicle Books, Counterpoint Publishing, Hachette Livre, Rowman and Littlefield, and Laurence King Publishing. Book Advisors has also represented major publishers, including Penguin Random House and DC Thomson & Co. Ltd. (Scotland) in consulting and buy-side engagements. In academic and scientific publishing, David collaborates with Joe Esposito and Michael Clarke as STM Advisers. Recent STMA clients include the American National Standards Institute, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Astronomical Society, and the Mathematical Association of America.
Earlier, as president of GSL Publishing Associates from 1996 to 2009, he executed significant sell-side transactions; his completed transactions include Motorbooks to Quarto plc (2007, $35 million), Timber Press to Workman (2006, undisclosed), Sterling Publishing to Barnes & Noble (2003, $122 million, co-broker), Avalon to Perseus (2007, undisclosed), Publishers Group West to AMS (2002, $38 million). David’s buy-side and consulting clientele included assignments from Penguin Random House, Workman Publishing, Chronicle Books, Egmont, HarperCollins, Publishers Group West, and Beacon Press among others. From 2009 to 2012 he owned and operated Vantage Press, a consumer self-publishing company.
Lamb began his career as a consultant and Director of New Media at Link Resources, an IDG company. He holds an A.B. from Harvard College.