French Publishers’ Sustainable Paper Consumption; Bowker Partners With Book+Main

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French publishers find that 93 percent of their paper is now recycled or green-certified, up from 73 percent in 2012. And Bowker’s new data client is a self-styled book discovery platform called Book+Main.

Image: Syndicat national de l’édition

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Publishers Using 205,600 Tonnes of Paper This Year

France’s publishers’ association, the Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE), has issued a report from its committee on environmental and manufacturing issues, establishing that 93 percent of the paper used in new books by French publishers today is either recycled or “certified paper,” the latter being paper sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner.

This compares to 73 percent of paper used in 2012 being recycled of certified, meaning that, as the SNE’s statement puts it, “a real turning point has been produced” in this decade’s paper usage in France’s books.

The new survey is a follow-up to one from 2013 and comprises input from 56 publishing houses which together comprise more than 300 imprints and represent roughly 72 percent of the print copies of books published in France in 2016.

In addition to the ecologically promising character of so much of French print publishing, several other notable facts about the industry’s output are surfaced.

  • The average consumption by French publishers of paper in a year, according to responses to SNE’s survey, is 185,000 tonnes (US tons 203,927).
  • An overhaul of textbooks mandated by a school program reform in 2016 has resulted in a higher tonnage for 2016, 205,600 tonnes (US tons 226,635).
  • The textbooks produced in 2016 in the new program are entirely made of recycled or certified paper.
  • In usage of “bouffant paper”—a bulky paper with a rugged texture—90 percent of the content is sourced from European forests.

The SNE committee’s special program to monitor and report on issues of environmental sustainability is chaired by Pascal Lenoir of Éditions Gallimard.

The SNE overall has a membership comprising more than 670 affiliated publishers.

New Book+Main Partners With Bowker

Bowker, the US ISBN agency and a metadata affiliate of ProQuest, has announced a new partnership in which it will supply data to the social media company Book+Main.

Book+Main‘s work is meant to support readers in engaging with authors, according to press materials. Its platform, called Book+Main Bites, is focused on romance—of course—and is described by the company as a book-discovery tool for readers, matching content to their interest. As such, promotional material says, it’s a sales and marketing tool for authors who use it to raise their visibility among readers.

Book+Main launched in November and is based in Chicago. In a prepared statement, its CEO, Tracey Suppo, is quoted, saying, “One key component of our platform is the ability for authors to add their catalogs to their profiles.

“Given Bowker‘s comprehensive coverage of the ISBN universe, their Web Services API has proven to be a great fit. Since partnering with them, we’ve been very impressed with their customer-centric focus and attention.”

Bowker’s Global Books in Print database—which includes US, Canadian, European, New Zealand, and Australian publications—is part of the agreement as is the company’s “value-added content data” which includes more than 100 years of bestseller cover images and citations from The New York Times and Publishers Weekly.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. Prior to that he was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, a channel at The Bookseller focused on digital publishing. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.

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