Yet, without stellar content, journalism 2. Everything journalism was, is and will be rests on our ability to tell a story. And every story starts with an idea.
This is because the not-for-profit supply chain agency is responsible for so much in the Canadian publishing infrastructure: BNC and its host of projects were born out of a combined industry and government initiative in that realized the Canadian book industry supply chain needed a neutral, dedicated third-party to seek and implement technological solutions for industry issues.
The time spent without accurate sales data may have exacerbated these and other supply chain issues that plagued what already is a tough industry to make profits in.
While practices such as mass returns still occur and cause disruption today, the data landscape SDA provides makes it much easier to identify, track, and avoid supply chain issues.
Despite the clear benefits of this aggregated data pool, which allows the Canadian book industry to conveniently access comprehensive and reliable data about its own size and market position, Canadian publishers and retailers are still wary about sharing their sales data in such a small and writing and publishing program sfu sis business environment, and of having one government-funded entity in control of such a significant data set.
BNC acknowledges and addresses such trepidation by keeping neutrality at the forefront of all of its decisions and actions. Data—and what it can reveal—is sensitive and BNC has faced a long and hard road in the process of creating a more open data system for the book publishing industry; today, SDA does not track about twenty-five percent of Canadian trade book sales  because many retailers have held back from contributing data.
For these retailers, the question of whether to share data or not is decided by balancing the perceived value of what they expect to get out of the system such as market research with the perceived risk associated with giving away their proprietary sales information.
My interest in this topic began during the four months I interned at BNC, where I gained an intimate knowledge of SDA through sales analysis projects such as compiling research studies  and creating bestseller lists and by user-testing the system.
It became clear that SDA has had a significant impact in a short amount of time, but that the system is still growing. These measures succeeded in halting an encroaching Americanization in content as well as ownership of Canadian publishing, allowing domestic publishers to truly flourish.
None of us really knew what was selling out there, except anecdotally. We had no idea what stock levels were, what returns levels were likely to be, or what reprints would be needed until it had reached a panicked state and reprints of books for Christmas were delivered in January, which was no use to anybody.
CTA was involved in all of the stuff that BNC got to be involved in, except there was no will to make it happen. The Committee sought information from a variety of sources, including book industry representatives, in order to gather background knowledge and develop an understanding of the issues affecting Canadian publishing.
For example, Recommendation 6. The Committee recommends that the Department of Canadian Heritage establish a five-year technological transition program to strengthen all segments of the Canadian book industry. This must include authors, publishers, distributors, wholesalers, marketers, retailers, and libraries.
At least some of the elements of the program need to include the industry as a whole, regardless of ownership, size or language. For example, developing a workable system for the electronic exchange of information EDI will require agreement on a common standard that can be supported by publishers regardless of ownership and bookstores regardless of size.
The Committee recommends that the Department of Heritage offer to co-fund with the industry a study for the French and English language book markets that examines the mechanics of setting up an efficient, timely collection of sales information for the book selling industry, including sales through non-traditional book retailers e.
This realization occurred after increased consolidation in the retail sphere resulted in the formation of Chapters Inc. Chapters became known for aggressive business practices that put its own interests first and last in its dealings with competitors and suppliers.
For example, the chain sent publishers an abnormally high percentage of book returns, which threatened the cash flow of many firms. Not content with being solely a bookseller, in Chapters opened a wholesaling division called Pegasus.
Pegasus demanded from them a wholesaler discount of fifty-percent plus, in place of the forty-five to forty-eight percent they had been giving Chapters. When Chapters started playing dangerous games with credit notes and returns, GDS was directly in the line of fire.
Between delayed payments and extraordinary returns levels, GDS started running out of cash and was unable to pay its own publishers, eventually filing for bankruptcy in April, One final factor opened the door for BNC to enter and re-work the supply chain: Consolidation into one dominant player made people look a lot more at standards and technology development.
Indigo is a fairly forward-thinking company, and when it merged with Chapters it started to look for cost savings by doing things in standard ways. The other side of that coin is that the independents had to standardize in order to keep up.
So if changes were going to be pushed for Indigo, they would have to be viable for the whole market. Therefore, the Steering Committee recommended the creation of a not-for-profit agency: The new agency would also serve as the industry facilitator for the exchange of electronic documents between trading partners.
And lastly, the agency would encourage sales tracking.
Peter Waldock was the Canadian Book Wholesalers representative. When asked how people responded to the new agency in those early days, he states: The decision to build BookNet Canada and to run it like a business was unlike that of a lot of other initiatives in our industry, where we worked with dedicated amateurs and results were commensurate with the inability to spend money on professionals to work on the projects.
I was previously involved with CTA, but we had very little money. With BNC we determined that we wanted to go full-bore and spend a lot of bucks of professionals like Michael Tamblyn, and the rest is history.
Instead of some dumb committee from one of the associations that gathers once every three months, this was a full-time occupation for a whole bunch of people.
The agency launched in December and quickly got to work fulfilling its goals to ensure the industry had access to a cost effective and efficient electronic communications platform, improve the quality and accessibility of commercial databases, provide point-of-sale aggregation services, and explore a scheme for group buying of supply chain enhancing products and services.
We rarely do things without going to talk to them first; they are our bellwether. They could do it in the UK and US without government support, but here it was absolutely vital.BibMe Free Bibliography & Citation Maker - MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard.
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