Absurdity

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Again, how long have we been at this Onix thing?

Came across this article from Book People in the UK with a contribution from Anko -April 2003 feels like a very long time ago:

‘Next stop: ONIX compliance
Gary Bowerman, marketing director, Anko Publishing Software, warns publishers to prepare now.
Amid the frenetic talk at this year’s London Book Fair, several salutary statistics were circulating. Here are three that might make you wince:
• Typically, 20% of a publisher’s titles make up 80% of its revenues.
• Seven out of 10 books published are unprofitable.
• Nearly 30 out of every 100 books a publisher pays to print go unsold.
Such figures explain the LBF’s “It’s time to talk business” sub-title. Whether you sit on the “with a pinch of salt” or the “no smoke without fire” side of the statistical fence matters little. Publishing is experiencing a sea change.
Technological advances. Shifting patterns of consumer demand. Uncertain economic times. Blame whichever causal factor you prefer, but this year’s buzz phrases – “lower costs”, “reduced wastage”, “more efficiency” and “shorter print runs” – tell their own story, and that hitherto unpalatable term “print-on-demand” was hotter than ever.
However, one topic conspicuously absent was the ONIX (online information exchange) standard. As e-commerce asserts greater influence and improved product information is required throughout the publishing supply chain, the common ONIX “language” for bibliographic information will impose itself upon publishers. Late last year, a leading US book retailer was reportedly preparing to charge publishers US$12 per title for imperfect title data. In the UK, the BIC is committed to promoting ONIX as the “standard means of communication of product information across the UK book trade”.
The technical smokescreen surrounding ONIX and uncertainty as to when it will become fully operational as a standard remain confusing, but the reality is stark. Publishers must prepare for ONIX. Now. Bibliographic information delivery to the entire publishing supply chain will soon have to be ONIX-compliant. And that involves both advance planning and data conversion.
For more information on ONIX and the Anko ONIX Generator software, visit Anko online at http://www.anko.co.uk or e-mail enquiries@anko.co.uk’.

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