Beijing Meets Big Data

Pace Publishing Welcomes
the China Publishing Group

Kirsten D. Sandberg

Mr. Zhou of China Publishing and Media Holdings introduces his colleagues to Prof. Sandberg and Prof. Lian.

For three weeks, from May 14 to May 30, Pace University hosted a delegation of Chinese publishing executives and engineers from the Beijing-based China Publishing Group. They came to meet their counterparts in New York and attend Book Expo at the Javits Center.

Co-directed by Professors Xiao Chuan Lian and Kirsten Sandberg, the three-week program focused on how to use big data across the publishing value chain and how to launch subscription-based educational podcasts, which are wildly popular and increasingly profitable in China.

The publishing program’s relationship with the Chinese publishing industry is a strong one, largely because of the tireless efforts of Professor Lian, who also serves as senior staff associate, and Professor Sherman Raskin, founder and former director of the Pace M.S. in Publishing Program. (For more on the China Publishing Group and its operating units, please click here.)

Mr. Ma of the Commercial Press explains what his team is doing with data analytics.

The publishing program’s new director, Manuela Soares, welcomed the delegation and expressed her support for Pace’s relationships with Chinese publishers and scholars. On behalf of Professors Lian and Sandberg, she extended her thanks to the many members of the New York publishing community who participated:

  • Bloomberg News gave the delegates a guided tour of Bloomberg headquarters in Manhattan
  • Ken Brooksnew chief content officer of Wiley Knowledge and Learning, took a deep dive into data analytics and provided a mental toolkit for making data-driven decisions in every function of publishing.
  • Michael Cairns, author of Personanondata and managing director of Digital Prism Advisors, detailed the ongoing leadership challenge of digital transformation. Publishing as an industry driven by both culture and technology will remain in a state of perpetual change.
  • Peter Costanzo, digital publishing specialist at The Associated Press (aka “the man who introduced Donald Trump to Twitter“), described how AP uses its content across media and formats, using the work of legendary photographer Nick Ut (#NapalmGirl) as an example.
  • Erin Edmison, partner at Edmison/Harper literary scouting, and Bridget Marmion, founder and CEO at Your Expert Nation, shared their expertise in the use of data to make publishing, acquisitions, and reprint decisions.
  • Mark Fretzeditorial director at Radius Book Group, took a passionate problem-solving approach to his presentation so that he could itemize the many benefits of a well-formed XML document and workflow.
  • Peter Hildrick-Smith, president of the Codex-Group, reverse-engineered the marketing strategies of online book retailers to inform new product development. His research provided fascinating insights into Amazon’s own imprints.
  • Richard Johnson, vice president of sales, marketing, and business development at Lion Forge comics and founder of Brick Road Media, gave an overview of bookselling in the United States and the use of sales data.
  • Rick Joyceformer chief marketing officer at Perseus Books Group, explored the art and science of tuning into the reading public’s Zeitgeist. He shared his experience with such big data tools as CrimsonHexagon, Hootsuite, and Twitter analytics by Union Metrics.
  • Paul LevitzEisner-award-winning author at DC Comics, explained how comic book publishers were telling stories through transmedia, meaning across multiple formats and platforms.
  • Professor Lian, co-editor of Publishing in the Digital Age, applied Moore’s Law to the publishing industry and discussed how the rate of technological change has influenced every aspect of the business.
Mary McAveney, Chief Marketing Officer, Open Road Integrated Media.
  • Mary McAveney, chief marketing officer at Open Road Integrated Media, explained ORIM’s direct-to-consumer approach to marketing and demonstrated how her team translates data into strategies that deliver results for readers, authors, and publishing partners.
  • Peter McCarthy, director of OptiQly at Ingram Content Group, illustrated how marketers can use predictive analytics to interpret multiple market signals and ranking factors that influence sales performance at online retailers and then increase sell-through of books.
  • Thad McIlroy, the Yoda of metadata and author of The Metadata Handbook, connected the dots between the fields of metadata and the utility of search engines in increasing trade book discoverability. It is clearly a discipline and requires discipline!
  • Michial Miller, account manager for the NPD Group, provided a data sweep of children’s publishing with such jaw-droppers as 37% of 0-2 year-olds using smartphones and 11% already gaming!
  • Jim Milliot, editorial director of Publishers Weekly, gave his annual “state of the US market” address, which covered trends in trade and academic publishing by the numbers.
  • Richard Nash, serial entrepreneur, digital media consultant, and start-up advisor (see Readercoin), showed how machine learning could help readers to dig up books published decades ago and what artificial intelligence can (and can’t yet) do for publishers.
Richard Nash in the Pace Publishing Media Lab.
  • Brian O’Leary, executive director of Book Industry Study Group and founder and principal of Magellan Media Partners, discussed the benefits of ONIX3 and explained how its adoption as a standard could increase efficiency and margins in the publishing supply chain.
  • Professor Sandberg, editor-in-chief of the Blockchain Research Institute, previewed how blockchain technology will affect trade and scholarly publishing over time and walked through smart contracts and applications of distributed ledgers in the publishing space.
  • Joshua Schwartz, CEO of Pubvendo.com, presented an intriguing case study: how RosettaBooks and Pubvendo used audience engagement data to increase sales of David Margolick’s The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Arthur Klebanoff, CEO of RosettaBooks.com, hosted the session.
  • Mike Shatzkin, CEO of the Idea Logical Company and author of The Shatzkin Files, spelled out “Shatzkin’s Law” of book inventory, that “all spreadsheets are one calculation short of useful.” No one else makes stock turns so riveting!
  • Eric Swenson, senior director of product management for Elsevier’s Scopus, and Kane Wu, product manager for Elsevier’s Engineering Village content and research, overviewed tools for minimizing research fraud, identifying predatory journals in scientific publishing, and increasing research productivity.
  • David Wanpresident and chief executive officer of Harvard Business Publishing, explained how his team is keeping one of the world’s oldest and most valuable knowledge brands fresh, relevant, and engaging.
  • Veronica Viviana Wilson, director of business development for Nielsen, took a deep dive into Nielsen’s digital measurement platform for customizing audiences, activating ad programs, analyzing results, and adjusting campaigns to maximize sales of books.