Focusing on Workflows: Interview with Brian O'Leary and Rachel Comerford

BISG (Book Industry Study Group) and Publishing Workflows

NISO's Director of Content, Jill O'Neill, sat down recently with Brian O'Leary, Executive Director, BISG and Rachel Comerford, Senior Director of Content Standards and Accessibility, Macmillan Learning to discuss the impact that the pandemic is having on the book publishing community and how buyers and consumers may benefit as a result. 

As noted in the 2019 BISG White Paper, Fixing the Flux, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) created a standing Workflow Committee to consider, advise, and direct studies of workflow challenges and opportunities. In its initial meetings, the committee identified a range of environmental challenges affecting businesses across the book industry supply chain. As a result of a survey put in the field in the early weeks of the global pandemic, appropriate resources and tools are being identified and implemented to enhance a variety of workflows and deliver content more efficiently and effectively.

Click below to listen to the recording:

What Gets Discussed?

Together Brian and Rachel respond to the following questions: 

  1. Please talk about the survey that BISG launched in March of 2020. What was the objective behind the survey and what was your response rate?

  2. At a high level, what did the survey reveal about the impact of the pandemic on the publishing community?  What were publisher perceptions of the impact on them and on their customers?

  3. How did the survey results fuel decisions about publisher workflows and on-going work at BISG?

  4. You learned from the survey that there were concerns surrounding the need for and information about tools and resources pertaining to workflow. What approach has the BISG Working Group on Workflow adopted in responding to those needs? 

  5. What benefits might these enhancements bring to the book buying public, whether buying patterns in libraries or those of ordinary consumers?

  6. In the wake of the pandemic, how long might it take BISG members to implement some of these enhanced workflows? Is that timeline apt to differ, depending upon the particular sector of book publishing?

  7. What might book publishers want their library customers to know about the industry and the services it provides?