Previous BIC Breakfasts 2018-2019

September 2018 BIC BREAKFAST 
Think You Know about Book Industry Returns? Think Again.
Thursday 27th September 2018, 9-10:30am

Sponsored by:  Batch logo

The book Industry Returns Initiative (IRI) is a cross-industry standard designed to reduce the cost of returns processing. Most organisations in the book industry now understand and accept the need for overstock returns and agree that the industry-wide “Rule Book” which has been implemented in computer systems across the industry, has been responsible for huge cost reductions in returns administration. This automation of returns authorisation combined with Batch Returns and other communication mechanisms enables booksellers to request permission to return books and receive a rapid response based on product metadata as sales history. 

In June 2018, BIC published an extensive revision of the IRI Rule Book* plus other accompanying documents including An Introduction to IRI for Booksellers, Distributors & Publishers* and a document detailing the Benefits of IRI*. Providing an update on the BIC IRI Review project and the lessons learnt, this BIC Breakfast demystified IRI, detailed the clarifications that have been made to the IRI Rule Book, explained the importance of the third message in facilitating the returns process, and demonstrated exactly what is meant by the 3-15 month returns window.

Our speakers informed delegates about the importance of adopting IRI. We heard from Colin James of Penguin Random House UK on the importance of IRI to publishers and distributors; Jonathan King of Batch provided an introduction to Batch Returns; and Vincent Bull of Waterstones and Alex Milne-White of Hungerford Bookshop explained the benefits of IRI for retailers and end-consumers alike. 

*Further information about IRI, as well as access to all the documentation produced by the BIC IRI Review Task & Finish Working Group, can be found on the BIC website, here.

This BIC Breakfast will be of interest to all publishers (traditional and independent), booksellers, distributors, data aggregators, systems vendors and many more.

Hosted by: Alaina-Marie Bassett, Business Manager, BIC

Our speakers included: Colin James, Penguin Random House Distrubution UK; Jonathan King, Batch Ltd; Vincent Bull, Waterstones; and Alex Milne-White, Hungerford Bookshop.

BIC Breakfast Slides - Think You Know about Book Industry Returns? Think Again.


The Unprecedented Rise of Audiobooks
Wednesday 25th July 2018, 9-10:30am

Sponsored by:  Bowker logo

With audiobook sales having almost doubled over the past 5 years and audiobook purchases accounting for 5% of consumer book sales in the UK*, we agreed it was high time that BIC dedicated a BIC Breakfast session to this important format which is actively bringing fresh customers into the book market.  

This BIC Breakfast session provided an introduction to what is trending in audiobook publishing. We heard from Nicholas Jones, Strathmore Publishing, regarding the popularity of audiobooks (in their varying formats), how publishers can engage their target audience(s) and how they are innovating this field of publishing; Chris Saynor provided an update on the existing ONIX 3.0 fields that are available specifically for audiobooks and how to use them; and last but not least Miles Stevens-Hoare, W.F. Howes, provided an overview of retailers' / libraries' requirements for audiobooks in order to achieve a good level of discoverability and, ultimately, increase sales. 


This BIC Breakfast will be of interest to all publishers (including traditional, independent and, of course, audiobook publishers), booksellers, digital distributors, data aggregators, libraries and many more.

Hosted by: Alaina-Marie Bassett, Business Manager, BIC

Our speakers included: Nicholas Jones, Managing Director, Strathmore Publishing; Chris Saynor, Standards Editor, EDItEUR; and Miles Stevens-Hoare, General Manager, W.F. Howes.

BIC Breakfast Slides - The Unprecedented Rise of Audiobooks, July 2018


Creative Classification: Using Thema to Augment Your Metadata Beyond the Capabilities of BIC Codes
Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 9-10:30am

Sponsored by:  Nielsen logo

With hundreds of thousands of books being published around the world every year, subject classification has a huge role to play in the discoverability of your products. This BIC Breakfast session aimed to inspire organisations to be more creative when classifying with Thema – the international book subject classification scheme – focusing on what organisations should consider (in terms of the functionality currently available in Thema) to ensure that their products reach their intended audience.

Thema is the only subject classification scheme used by the trade that allows organisations to combine Fiction codes with relevant Non-Fiction codes; this effectively allows the creation of thousands of detailed terms for describing specific types of Fiction books. This BIC Breakfast session informed delegates about the hugely expanded range of options for Fiction in Thema and much more. 

We heard from Howard Willows of Nielsen Book, Chris Saynor of EDItEUR and Kieron Smith of Blackwell’s, with a view to explaining why adopting Thema and/or disseminating Thema codes in 2018 is more relevant to your organisation than ever before. 

Hosted by: Alaina-Marie Bassett, Business Manager, BIC

Our speakers included: Howard Willows, Senior Manager of Data Development, Nielsen Book; Chris Saynor, Standards Editor, EDItEUR; and Kieron Smith, Digital Director, Blackwell’s.

BIC Breakfast Slides - Creative Classification, May 2018


Acessible eBooks
Wednesday 25th April 2018, 9-10:30am

Sponsored by:  ADD Company logo

Approximately 10% of the world’s population have a disability*. For many, this is a ‘reading disability’, resulting in the inability to read the content of a book, or to hold a book and turn the pages. The book industry continues to innovate solutions to produce accessible publications which can be enjoyed by all. Providing an overview of eBook accessibility, this BIC Breakfast informed its attendees about what is involved in the production of accessible, digital products and what organisations should consider when producing them. It explained how to communicate your organisation’s products’ accessibility features to ensure that those with disabilities know that the product is suitable to their individual requirements and that retailers can communicate this information to everyone’s benefit.

We heard from Emma House, Deputy Chief Executive of The Publishers Association, regarding the reasons why ensuring the accessibility of digital products is so important, particularly in the academic publishing market; Chris Saynor, Standards Editor of EDItEUR, regarding ONIX Code List 196 for e-Publication Accessibility Details; and Richard Orme, Chief Executive Officer at the DAISY Consortium, regarding DAISY’s tools that enable organisations to validate their eBooks / EPUB files against internationally-recognised standards for accessibility.


This BIC Breakfast explained the fundamental importance of producing accessible, digital products. Publishers (of all types, but particularly educational and academic), self-publishers, digital distributors, data aggregators, libraries and many more benefitted from attending.

Hosted by: Alaina-Marie Bassett, Business Manager, BIC

Our speakers included: Emma House, Deputy Chief Executive, The Publishers Association; Richard Orme, Chief Executive Officer, DAISY Consortium; and Chris Saynor, Standards Editor, EDItEUR.

BIC Breakfast Slides - Accesible eBooks, April 2018


International Identification for Authors, Publishers & Imprints: Using the ISNI Standard to Improve Discoverability & Rights Management across a Range of Creative Industries
Wednesday 28th March 2018, 9-10:30am

Sponsored by:  Nielsen logo

International Standard Name Identifiers (ISNIs) facilitate the identification of millions of contributors to creative works and those active in their distribution, including researchers, inventors, writers, artists, visual creators, performers, producers, publishers, data aggregators, and more. Assigning an ISNI can reliably prevent the problems caused when two contributors have the same name, and help to pinpoint each contributor’s respective works for correct attribution, rights management, and discoverability. 

The ISNI system holds public records for over 9.5 million identities around the world – consisting of 8.85 million individuals and a growing number (over 700,000, to date) of organisations* – demonstrating the level of adoption of the ISNI standard and its relevance to multiple industries (including the music and film industries). Aiming to encourage the adoption of ISNIs further within the UK book industry supply chain, this BIC Breakfast discussed the ongoing development and adoption of the ISNI standard, providing updates on ISNIs for authors, publishers and imprints, the creation of a registry of ISNIs for organisations, and plans for ISNI metadata in Linked Data format. 

We heard from Graham Bell, Executive Director of EDItEUR (who was kindly spoke on behalf of Tim Devenport, Executive Director of the ISNI International Agency), Andrew MacEwan of the British Library and Héloïse Lecomte of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. In particular, Héloïse provided insight into the Bibliothèque Nationale de France’s current ISNI initiative with Hachette and other French publishers, explaining why organisations should assign ISNIs to ensure the discoverability of their products. 

* indicates that this figure currently stands at 708,298 organisations (January 2018).

This BIC Breakfast explained why the development of the ISNI standard is as timely as it is necessary for the whole of the book industry supply chain and beyond – as such publishers, self-publishers, data aggregators, distributors, libraries and many more benefited from attending.

Hosted by: Alaina-Marie Bassett, Business Manager, BIC

Our speakers included: Graham Bell, Executive Director, EDItEUR (speaking on behalf of Tim Devenport, Executive Director, ISNI International Agency), Héloïse Lecomte, Deputy Head of Authority Control, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and Andrew MacEwan, Head of Content & Metadata Processing, The British Library.

BIC Breakfast Slides - International Identification using ISNIs, March 2018


A word about our sponsors...

The Accessible Digital Documents Company has specialised in PDF accessibility since 2003 and in eBook accessibility since 2012. We offer a range of document remediation and testing services, including auditing, image description, ARIA and accessibility metadata. We also offer in-depth training in accessible PDF and eBook production.

Batch logo

Batch is the secure electronic payments and information system that was specifically designed by The Booksellers Association of the UK and Ireland (BA) to save booksellers time and money. 

Users can see all their invoices, credit and delivery notes online and print copies as needed. They can also make claims online, creating a permanent record that is visible to retailers and their suppliers. Batch can provide free EDI feeds for integration into stock control systems and other accounts packages. 

Batch Returns takes the strain out of the process. Instead of waiting for a publisher’s rep to authorise returns, booksellers send a list electronically and get an answer within hours. The returns messages, just like everything that Batch does, can be provided in different electronic formats. All our services are free to BA members.


Bowker logo

Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. The company is focused on developing various tools and products that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience. Bowker, the US ISBN agency, manages UK bibliographic data and delivers a comprehensive UK data source to book information researchers and buyers.


British Library logo

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.


Nielsen logo

Nielsen Book is the leading information and research company in the book industry.  Its portfolio includes: business Intelligence, consumer research, discovery and commerce solutions. Nielsen Book provides unique identifiers; comprehensive, enriched bibliographic data; integrated services for book selection, electronic ordering and business messaging; it measures and analyses print and digital book sales and provides consumer research on purchasing behaviour and collects library borrowing data for UK public libraries.