Free (updated) • 31 March 2009 • The SnowBlog

Free (updated)

//updated with extra words for, I hope, clarity// You may recall that we co-founded Onix Central at the start of this year with Robin Tobin. It's been going really well. Click 'continue reading' to read the note I've been sending to people. It's amazing how many of them say 'Really? I need to know how to do that. Yes please, tell me how I can use my ONIX data.' It's always been nice to work on books that require no selling because they speak for themselves; I'm finding a continuation of that with Onix Central. The reason for posting now, anyway, is to say that we have just launched a free tool which allows you to store all the fields required by the BIC product excellence scheme. I've explained a little more about what that means below the cut. Here's more information about their scheme, and here is our little offering. Did I mention it's free? Email me if you want it (PC or Mac, doesn't matter.) Here's the note I've sent to people: "You can take ONIX bibliographic data either from our own ONIX Central Title Store or your existing ONIX database and use it as the source any time you display bibliographic data. That means your website, AIs, catalogues, order forms, retailer spreadsheets, your Amazon Advantage updates, your author sheets, title verso pages and your press releases, for example, are all populated at the touch of a button or two by ONIX. You can imagine the time, cost and frustration savings weve seen publishers enjoy. The catalogue alone has gone from being a three month job, no exaggeration, with constant re-setting and re-proofing, to a ten minute one from sitting down at my desk to pressing send on the email to the printer. Along with Robin Tobin, the founder of Anko Publishing Software, and Rob Jones, the chairman of Snowbooks, Ive founded ONIX Central to help publishers to put their ONIX to work. If youd like us to explain more do let me know, or visit our website where there are things like free code, examples of our work, tutorial videos, screenshots and commentary on all things ONIX. If you are not yet ONIX compliant, we can help with that too. We offer the ONIX Central Title Store, ONIX consultancy, training, databases and assistance with the migration and cleaning of your data - again, there are more details on the website. The ONIX Central Title Store is packed to the rafters with tools to save time. For instance, at the touch of a button you can upload your covers to Nielsen, Amazon and whichever other supply chain partners you like, via FTP. You can generate excel spreadsheets in exactly the right format for the buyers at Waterstone's, Borders, Gardners, and Amazon. You can export an ONIX message both to send to Nielsen and also to populate your website, catalogue, AIs and other marketing materials. You can contain all your title information in one place, including pdfs, jpgs and other files, so you don't have to search around for the scan of that really good review from six months ago. And the interface is clean and crisp because, let's face it, data entry is boring - so you may as well be looking at a beautiful, easy to use interface. Try not to think about the dull data entry and think instead that you'll only have to do it once - not once to Nielsen, again to each retailer, again in you catalogues, again in your AIs, again to Amazon Advantage and so on." Explanation of "a free tool which allows you to store all the fields required by the BIC product excellence scheme." The tool I'm talking about is a database. Like all databases it has fields, which we've set up to store specific information about books. The book industry has come together to agree what the most important book-related information is. It includes things like the title of a book, the author, the ISBN number and so on. Sharing this sort of data in a standardised format helps the data to flow around the industry, from publisher to distributor to wholesaler to retailer. Our database contains fields which, when filled in by the publisher, provide a record of all the most important data as agreed by BIC - the people who are responsible for ensuring the book trade is as efficient as possible. We're offering this database for free. You don't need any special software, just a computer (Mac or PC) and your fingers to fill in the fields. The database comes as standard in our more complete database product, the Onix Central Title Store, which allows publisher to contain and organise a lot more data, and export it into an ONIX message. For more about ONIX, click on the link on the left, there, under everything else, marked Reference Documents. The Onix Central Title store costs 315 which is blooming good value. Do let me know if you need more info!


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