You’d think you were at Market Day in Ganges there’s such PANDEMONIUM out there. Everyone’s talking about Product Identifiers—live twitter discussions, position papers staked by major organizations, and the BISG has no less than two dedicated industry groups (maybe three) discussing issues around ISBNs, e-Books and ISTC to make sure that their supply chain perspective is heard.
I’m lucky enough to be able to participate in some of the BISG discussion, quietly like a good Canadian will, but I know the Canadian supply chain wants to know what to do. Right now, the answer is participate. But maybe to give a flavour of what’s being talked about here’s some jottings from a recent meeting—points that came up that are being thought about, things that aren’t answered yet:
- Using product identifiers in a closed system like Kindle or Nook, vs open systems where the identifier is actually traded to identify the product. What’s the best practice for each?
- Libraries need to be able to buy for specific e-readers that are supported by them institutionally and are unable to because of a lack of unique identification and data. Library wholesalers are developing kludges to add the missing link.
- Sales tracking: if nothing else, amalgamated sales for Bestseller lists? How can this info be combined… (ISTC discussions ensue)
- Identifier BLOAT! No, wait: there’s DATA bloat too… (think about it: they are different and both real). It all costs and costs too much—this is about driving sales (or decreasing costs)
- One record = One Product Identifier OR Hierarchical data? Who says we have to repeat everything all the time, endlessly just because version 2.8 of Dirty Sock Reader was released?
- Sales rights: the responsibilities of 3rd parties to not sell when they shouldn’t, and the responsibilities of publishers to inform others about a book’s status.
- Are we just building a giant disconnect? What is a product anyway—it really isn’t that clear in the digital supply chain…
- GDSN / DOI / ISTC: Does DOI belong on this list? Discuss!
You get the idea. This is important stuff even if it tastes like thick dust. BookNet Canada is Canada’s publishing supply chain organization—but we answer to your pulls on it. This is how your business does business with other businesses—EDI, your records, your royalties are all wrapped up here. If what’s happening doesn’t support your need to communicate with your business partners, let us know.