Half a case for Onix lite?

Just reviewing some feedback given to some publishers in the UK that we work with from Nielsen Bookdata. These publishers are really trying to conform to the standard but are having a genuine struggle to sort their title information into just the form required. With feedback from Nielsen ranging from incorrectly formatted telephone numbers to too many words in a particular marketing blurb to requirements for a mass of pricing information.

I just wonder if it may be just a little bit too much of a leap. Many publishers in my experience (in the UK at least) are literally used to photocopying some title information sheets and sticking them in an envelope once a month to Nielsen. And having no real feedback about the form and quality of the information. To go from that to having to produce a quite complicated XML file with requirements that leave many of them quite frankly confused seems a bit of a jump.

Their are only a 17 or so publishers accredited by BIC in the UK. And once you remove the larger usual suspects that is woeful.

So, is there a case for an Onix lite to ease people into the standard. At a level that is realistic and doesn’t make it so much of a jump?

In the UK although the BIC and e4Books websites have a wealth of information compared to what they used to have even not so long ago there is still little practical guidance for the confused publisher.

A good start would be some time and thought spent on the documentation. This is an excerpt from the BIC website giving guidance to the publishers. I have worked in publishing technology for just about all my professional life and I struggle with it so what it must be like for a resource short publisher just trying to tell their trading partners about some upcoming books I can only imagine.


And, although it is to the credit of BIC et al that they have all kinds of new initiatives with all kinds of information perhaps going to back to basics a little with some simple step by step guides would be helpful?


Filed under: Onix, Publishing

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