Friday, June 30, 2006

Industry News Tidbits


After today the year is officially half over. Where’d it go?

First, some news updates for me.

1. Starting next Friday the first twelve chapters of Violet Dawn will be serialized on the Kanner Lab Web site. This will run for seven weeks, with one to two chapters posted each week. You can sign up
here to receive email notification each week when the new chapters are up. For every 20 people who sign up, one will win a free copy of Violet Dawn. So send all your pals on over.

2. The Scenes and Beans blog goes live less than a week from today! Wednesday, July 5, to be exact. Hope you all will join in reading. Most of you know at least one person writing for the blog.

Now, some tidbits from the latest Christian Retailing magazine:

1. Fewer New Religion Titles in 2005. Bowker, the agency that assigns ISBNs, projects about 18,000 titles less for 2005 than in 2004. (Final numbers will be released in December.) Remember that religion titles include all “religious” books. Overall this is seen as a market correction after a high growth rate. Zondervan reduced its frontlist by 5% from 2004 to 2005, and will trim another 5% in 2006. Categories in CBA appearing to take a downturn are biography/autobiography and contemporary issues. Tyndale forecasts a 10% reduction in titles for 2007, with its biggest drop in juvenile fiction. Whereas other publishers are also cutting some, Thomas Nelson has increased its output by 3% in its latest fiscal year, which ended March 31.

2. Christian Living, Fiction Lead The Way in CBA Growth. Christian Living continues to be the largest category in nonfiction. Its sales tend to be driven by well-known authors such as Max Lucado and Beth Moore. The Purpose Driven Life also has a lot to do with enlarging this category even further in the last few years. Within fiction, suspense stands out as the growing genre. As one example, Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line, which launched in July 2005 with two books a month, is already expanding to four a month, beginning next February.

3. New 13-digit ISBNs Coming. Starting January 1, 2007, each ISBN (International Standard Book Number) will expand to 13 digits in order to get in step with worldwide publishing. The three extra digits will signify the country in which the book is published.

All the numbers in a bar code mean something, by the way. Example: bar code for Violet Dawn: 0-310-25223-7. 0=English language. 310=Publisher. 25223=Title. 7=Check digit. The new bar codes will place the three country digits at the very beginning, before the language digit. 978=USA.

And now if you’re wondering what the check digit’s all about—it’s a mathematically obtained number to check if the bar code was keyed in or scanned correctly. For ISBNs the check digit is computed by multiplying each digit by its place in the line. (For Violet Dawn, 0x1, 3x2, 1x3, 0x4, etc.), then adding these answers (=173), then dividing that sum by 11 (=15, remainder 7). The remainder is the check digit. If the remainder happens to be 10, an X is used instead.

Now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about ISBNs . . .

Have a great fourth of July weekend. Well, sort of. With a Monday in the middle. I’ll be posting Monday, then take the 4th off. Then Wednesday it’ll be Forensics and Faith—and Scenes and Beans.

Tomorrow we take off to spend the 4th in Coeur d’Alene. Naturally. No one does fireworks like Cd’A—set off from barges in the water just off the resort. We have a perfect view from our backyard. (Although we usually get up as close as we can in the boat. Preferably blasting Creedence or the like.)

8 comments:

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Have a great holiday and be safe!

Katie Hart said...

"Now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about ISBNs . . ."

I'm actually fascinated by stuff like this. Very cool.

Katie Hart said...

BTW, I quoted from your blog on my post today. Do you know if the check number on all current books change with the country code added to the ISBN?

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Katie, I imagine the mathematical formula will change with the addition of three numbers--but this is for books published after Jan. 2007. I don't know what it is--however, it's probably already in place, as other countries have already gone to the 13-digit ISBN.

I don't think current ISBNs will change the check digit printed on the book (say, for new printings). But I'm no expert on this. As I understand it, new scanners will be able to convert the current 10-digit numbers to the new 13-digit standard.

Kristy Dykes said...

Have a great time, Brandilyn, celebrating the Fourth. Sounds wonderful.

We'll be in Celebration, Florida, the Disney-created city, watching Disney-created fireworks. They're always good.

But me begs to disagree with your statement, "No one does fireworks like Cd’A—set off from barges in the water..."

My town, Jacksonville, sets off DOUBLE fireworks over the majestic St. John's River, and with the fireworks reflecting in our glass-encased skyscrapers, it looks like dozens of fireworks. Oh, my, my heart pounds thinking about them.

We usually watch them on New Year's Eve and do something different on the Fourth. Some Fourths, we spend at the beach, sitting on blankets on the sand, our heads like bobbly things on dashboards taking in both Jacksonville Beach's and Atlantic Beach's fireworks which are reflected in the deep blue surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

Awesome.

Happy Fourthing, BGs.

Patricia W. said...

Thanks for the lessons in publishing and news about the ICRS.

Enjoy the holiday!

Readin N Writin with Patricia

Tiff/Amber Miller said...

"Now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about ISBNs..."

I'm with Katie. I am also fascinated by tidbits like this. Working in a Christian bookstore for a little over 10 years now, I deal in ISBNs, UPCs and SKUs. We'll also be getting a new computer system and disposing of the dinosaur relics missing from the Smithsonian exhibit that we have now. :) PRAYING real hard we'll be able to *scan* inventory when it's received rather than keying it into the computer.

And as for fireworks, methinks you're a bit biased. My favorite so far is the dueling barges in the middle of Baltimore's Inner Harbor signifying the Battle of Fort McHenry where our Star-Bangled Banner was written. Great show!

Not sure where I'll be this year. Everyone stay safe and have a great holiday.

D. Gudger said...

I'm feeling a litte fireworks envy - Colorado is canceling and banning fireworks left and right due to extremee fire danger. The ones the city and a few random golf courses shoot are okay, but not like what you guys are describing!