LJNDawson.com, Consulting to the Book Publishing Industry
Book Publishing Industry Consultant

Digital Standards

Yesterday's meeting of the Digital Standards subcommittee of BISAC was actually less fractious and more consensual than I'd anticipated. (For starters, Google and Microsoft were on the same page regarding formats - neither is particularly interested in proprietary formats, but are looking to differentiate their services with their own search capabilities once files are delivered to them.)

The committee is chaired by Kent Freeman, of Ingram Digital Group, who's found himself in a Michael Corleone-esque position regarding BISAC: "Every time I try to get out, they keep pulling me back in!" Attendees ranged from Google/Microsoft to publishers (Random, Wiley), to service providers (Quality Solutions, FYI, Bowker, yrs truly) to distributors (Ingram). Peter Brantley of the Digital Library Federation also attended (by phone), as did Nick Bogaty of IDPF.

Essentially, Chris Hart of Random House discussed the issues he'd brought to AAP regarding digital distribution, and with his help the committee was able to divide issues into those around "discoverability" vs those around the actual content itself. Kent decided to keep us focused on discoverability and search at first, and gradually lead in to the sticky issues surrounding content delivery between trading partners.

Google presented its Book Crawl specification, which was really interesting but only in the beta-est of betas right now. All in all a terrific and informative meeting. You can join up here.
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