At today's Book Industry Study Group annual meeting in New York, board chair Ken Michaels unveiled the 40-year-old organization's new and expanded mission statement after months of work:
"BISG's mission is to facilitate innovation and share solutions for the benefit of all companies and practitioners that create, produce and distribute published content, and the organizations that support them."
That new statement quite specifically omits the word "book," which tells you something about the likelihood of a name change on the way for the organization as well. Towards the end of the presentation Michaels noted BISG "really isn't a group that studies the book industry" anymore, with a broader focus on standards and processes for content, "so expect to hear more on our brand discussions soon."
We asked about a missing word from the new statement -- "sell" -- and the short answer was that "distribute was meant to be all-encompassing" and "capture a variety of business models that will be emerging in the future."
Michaels, along with executive director Len Vlahos earlier in the morning, laid out a number of continuing plans and new initiatives for the group as well. They will get back into the industry forecasting game (e.g. guessing at the future), for the first time since they abandoned the ineffective forecasting that was a component of their annual Trends statistical reports (now replaced by the more data-driven BookStats).
The data studies measuring consumer attitudes towards ebook adoption are being retired, while new work includes a white paper on subscriptions model for selling books. An expanded events roster will include their first international conference, set for Brazil in 2014 -- and the moving of their Higher Ed conference, which will become a co-located event as part of the enlarged umbrella of Digital Book World next January. That Higher Ed event will turn into a full-day conference as a result.
On that point, we'll remind you that the very best price on tickets for Digital Book World 2014 is available right now and through October 7 only -- and the very best discount on that price is available exclusively for Publishers Lunch readers, through this link.