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.)