Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The London Book Fair passed in a blur of activity, most of it productive, all of it interesting and useful. No time to relax now, however: we have a slew of BIC events and activities to work on through the next few months.

First, we are putting on a second New Trends seminar at RIBA on Tuesday 28 June. The first one, last year, was an attempt to showcase some of the BIC work which had been going on which might not have been on the radar for some members not directly involved in our committee activity; and very successful it proved to be. This year's is similarly wide-ranging, taking on strategic and practical issues which will be important for our membership now and in the future: presentations on standardising data flows for digital products by Ruth Jones of Ingram, the future of distribution by Sheila Bounford of NBN International, developments in content accessibility by Sarah Hildersley of EDItEUR, the impact of EPUB.3 on e-book publishing by Peter Rogers of Aptara, as well as updates on BIC's current work on identification and price and availability. Registration is now open; and you can sign up here.

Our other big innovation of the year is the start of our training programme. We shall be organising three pilot one-day courses in the early autumn in collaboration with the Publishing Training Centre. If they go well, we will repeat them at regular intervals in the future. We have selected the three subjects which were voted most important in the survey we carried out earlier in the year; and you can find full details and registration forms here.

In between, we are enjoying some important discussions emerging from ad hoc groups: on the deficiencies of price and availability information; on identification of digital products and systems requirements of the future; and the use of SANs in the supply chain.

We now publish a calendar of future of events on the web site, updated on a monthly basis. Apart from meetings which are necessarily limited to specific individuals, most of our committees and working parties are open to all. Just let me know if you want to be involved in any area of work.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Whether or not because the volcanic dust deprived attenders of their annual LBF fix last year this year's fair looks like being the busiest ever for me. Though I'm not a great fan of book fairs or of Earls Court LBF does provide opportunities to catch up with a lot of people very quickly and a focus for getting things finalised which might otherwise drag on unresolved.

Apart from the Supply Chain Seminar on Wednesday morning and the regular book fair meetings organised by EDItEUR, including the ONIX International Steering Committee, there will be meetings with colleagues and friends from the UK and overseas to catch up with developments in the trade and spread the word about BIC and its ever-expanding work programme. We hope to finalise our plans for training courses beginning in the early autumn - more on this to come - and to make headway with the growing international interest in the BIC standard subject categories, among many other things. And we shall be providing supply chain guidance to IPG members in a 90-minute 'speed-dating' session.

So, a busy - and, I hope productive - week in store. We look forward to seeing many members over the three days.