Mike Shatzkin

Mike Shatzkin is Founder & CEO of The Idea Logical Company, Inc., a consulting company that also provides data management services to the publishing industry. The company also owns BaseballLibrary.com, the largest aggregation of narrative writing on baseball history.

Mike's first job in publishing was as a sales clerk at the brand-new paperback department at Brentano's Bookstore on 5th Avenue in 1962. Since then, he has authored five books and worked at virtually every step in the publishing value chain: editorial, production, sales, marketing and distribution. He served as Director of Marketing for The Two Continents Publishing Group in the 1970s and has been a consultant since 1979.

Another Position: XML Alone is Not Enough

George Lossius, the CEO of Publishing Technology PLC, wrote a very thoughtful post about our StartWithXML project for the new UK blog, BookBrunch. He comments after a report on the presentation I did at Frankfurt about our project. George's point is that XML "is not enough." Books will live in a larger world also using XML and highly internal standards…

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For a Workflow Change, Support from the Top is Required

Last week Laura Dawson and I spoke about StartWithXML to a group of IT and operations people from publishers at the User Group meeting for Global Turnkey Systems, a company owned by one of our lead sponsors, Klopotek. We got some great questions afterwards. On reflection, we realized that they touched an important theme: the need for CEO-level support for…

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Respond to the StartWithXML Survey Before It Closes on Friday!

We are very pleased that over 125 people have already responded to our StartwithXML industry survey, which you can find here. We will start blogging a bit about the results later in October. Complete results will be published in our Research Paper, which will debut at the Forum on January 13, 2009 at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium. There's no attempt to…

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The Future of Chunk Sales … Today!

The blog PersonaNonData pointed us to a new model that might bring the future into tighter focus for some publishers. At AcquireContent.com, a new Web site from Gale, they have made their content available for sale through "customer pull" transactions. We have tried to make the points that new revenue opportunities will be small dollars and we've suggested that XML-structured…

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Visualizing the Advantages of StartWithXML

Here are two ways to think about why a StartWithXML workflow can be important and valuable: 1. Until very recently, we lived in a world where the book was the sun and everything else orbited around it. Now the CONTENT, the IP, is the sun, and the book is relegated to one of the satellite bodies (still often the biggest,…

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StartwithXML: Doing a Lot of it Already in Word

The question of how much authors can participate in the world of StartwithXML is a matter of legitimate debate. The skepticism about the subject, based on historical evidence, is certainly not unfounded. But it isn't like publishers aren't already aware that how authors deliver to them matters! Poking around the Web for other reasons, I found instructions to prospective authors…

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Can the Author Really Help?

A very experienced former book packager who has moved on to become an industry observer and critic of some note pushed back on my suggestion on Friday that authors could be involved in tagging content for contextual meaning. "Not in this lifetime," was his comment, and he suggested that copy editors or managing editors might be the more likely candidates…

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What Makes IP an "Asset"?

For several years in the 1990s, I had the pleasure of working closely with Mark Bide on Vista's "Publishing in the 21st Century" program. Since then, Mark has largely left the book business to attack digital problems of other content industries as well, but I value the opportunity to sit down with him because I always learn something. He was…

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Beginning the "StartwithXML: Why and How" project

Today we start an exciting new industry research and education project: "StartwithXML: Why and How." No publisher of any size or scope can be beyond the XML conversation that is now taking place across the industry. That content must be kept in a repository of XML files has become common understanding. And all the content-generation tools we use — Word…

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