Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Toward Better Industry Sales Stats

The AAP and BISG announced their plans for the collection of sales data and will be using Bowker's industry leading data collection tools to power the work. In a jointly written letter and press release AAP and BISG have embarked on an effort to encourage wide participation and support for the initiative. Sales data collection in the US publishing market has long been rife with under reporting, limited participation and flawed logic. This combined effort represents an attempt to address all the failures of the old methods will also enabling some new analytics and value add.

From the press release:

Our efforts to improve the accuracy and quality of data collection rest primarily on the commitment and engagement of the entire industry. Book publishers’ data submissions are critical to the success of the final product. We hope we can count on your participation leading into the New Year. We have a target rollout date of May 2011.

The new data product, to be released annually in its first phase, will provide a comprehensive view of book publishing sales aggregated by revenue, units, categories, formats and distribution channels. For a review of the first cut of the data model please visit AAP OR BISG.

The industry’s response to the new joint venture has been overwhelmingly positive, due to the critical need for accurate industry data to assess changes in the marketplace. We expect the rate of publisher participation to increase exponentially, with data being provided by all vertical markets (trade, academic, professional). Moreover we are actively seeking the full engagement of large, mid-sized, small, and niche publishers. When final, the new data set will be delivered in print as well as by means of a data warehouse that will provide sophisticated tools for more detailed data access and customized analysis.

Finally, we are developing a new algorithm to estimate the size of the industry, which will complement actual reports from participants. This new methodology will incorporate data from non-publishing partners including other industry data collection services, associations, retailers, distributors and wholesalers.

We’re pleased to announce that the joint venture has retained the services of Bowker as the data collection provider for the new joint venture led by industry statistics veteran Kelly Gallagher, Vice President, Publisher Services. Kelly will be working closely with the BookStats Steering Committee comprised of Kenneth Michaels, Chief Operating Officer, Hachette Book Group; Dominique Raccah, CEO, Sourcebooks; Joe Gonnella, Vice President, Adult Trade Merchandising, Barnes & Noble, Inc; Scott Lubeck, Executive Director, Book Industry Study Group, and Tina Jordan, Vice President, Association of American Publishers. Kelly will also be assisted by longstanding AAP statistics provider Management Practice, Inc. for additional support.

We encourage you to contact the AAP’s Tina Jordan, BISG’s Scott Lubeck or Bowker’s Kelly Gallagher to participate in the data submission process. Tina can be reached at (212) 255-0275 or via email at Scott can be reached at (646) 336-7141 or via email at; and Kelly can be reached at or 908/219-0063.

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