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Issues & Trends

Digital Books and the New Subscription Economy

Given the success of subscription services in the film, television, and music industries, publishing stakeholders have wondered how and when these services will affect book content distribution, and a survey of BISG members identified subscription models as the industry's next disruptive technology. This critical research project paints a clear picture of how content producers and others in the publishing value chain are reacting to new forces in the marketplace, and provides timely, relevant information to help answer questions such as:

  • Will there be a "Netflix of ebooks" or will more focused verticals develop?
  • Who are the major players in digital content subscription? What are the various business models they employ?
  • How have subscription services fared across different market segments (professional, scholarly, higher education, trade)?
  • What are the attitudes of agents, publishers, librarians, and others toward digital book subscription? What factors motivate or dissuade them from participating?

Results of Digital Books and the New Subscription Economy (2014) are available in the form of an Executive Summary or full 100-page PDF report.

The Development, Use, and Modification of Book Product Metadata

Success in book publishing continues to rely extensively on consistent preparation and use of product metadata.  As digital products grow and evolve, this is true now more than ever.  

The Development, Use, and Modification of Book Product Metadata (2012) illustrates critical metadata handoffs, documents how metadata is altered or discarded, and identifies the points at which changes and revisions occur (and, in some cases, don't occur). 

From Experimentation to Innovation in the Digital Age

Old practices, processes, and business models are rapidly giving way to the demands of digital publishing. Through 10 original case studies, From Experimentation to Innovation in the Digital Age (2008) describes how leading publishers like Hachette Book Group, Random House, and Harlequin created innovative responses to challenges posed by the digital world.

Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the US Book Industry

This pioneering research report provides an analysis of the book industry's environmental impact and assesses possible areas for improvement. It also makes specific recommendations for improving the book industry's carbon footprint.

Packed with nearly 40 charts and graphs, Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the US Book Industry (2008) contains statistics on companies with environmental policies, recycled paper usage, forestry certification preferences and energy usage throughout the industry. In addition, the report provides a unique carbon footprint and forest growth model for the US book industry, along with interesting case studies of companies making strides toward green business models.


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