Emerald Publishing - IBS Bookmaster is a real gem

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The company selected IBS Bookmaster for the Editorial and Book Production module Emerald is now moving forward rapidly with new ventures

In addition to Editorial and Book Production, Emerald also selected IBS Bookmaster’s Royalties Management system. Rebecca Marsh is the Publishing Director for Emerald Group Publishing and she explains, “By selecting IBS Bookmaster, a tried, tested and high quality system to manage the production and royalty requirements of our new book series, we have sent a very positive message to the market. It reassures our channel partners that we have the capabilities in place to handle the entire process of bringing books to market effectively and efficiently.

Following the acquisition of titles from Elsevier, Emerald looked at a number of potential solutions for handling its new requirements for book publishing. “With IBS Bookmaster, all the functionality we needed is already there. There is nothing that we have had to design ourselves,” says Marsh. “In addition, IBS provides the software as a completely hosted solution, meaning we don’t have to worry about purchasing hardware or having the internal resources necessary to run and support it. The IBS solution fulfils all our day-to-day operational and business requirements, but with low capital outlay and minimal impact on our business resources.”


Deployment of IBS Bookmaster began in February 2009 with the Editorial and Book Production system. It was ready to go live in June and from then until the end of October, Emerald ran the system in parallel with its existing manual systems. Sarah Kennedy, Emerald’s project manager for the IBS Bookmaster implementation, comments, “Running the two systems together has given us huge confidence in IBS Bookmaster. It has given us plenty of time to learn the system properly and make sure it fits precisely with our requirements. When the time came to switch off the previous system, we knew that it would have no impact on the business other than to free up even more resources.”

Working with IBS Bookmaster Editorial and Book Production

The IBS Bookmaster Editorial and Book Production system will allow Emerald to manage the entire process of producing books and related items and covers the following: Planning (publishing schedules), Specifications, Estimating & Budgeting, Cost Management,  Project Scheduling, Resource Management; Amortization, Paper control and Reporting. The system is driven by publishing-specific business rules, making it extremely flexible and suitable for Emerald’s book production requirements.

As a hosted system, most of the implementation was carried out remotely. In the future this will include integration with external CRM and finance applications allowing Emerald to maximise the benefits of the system by submitting advance bibliographic, title and marketing information to its channel partners, such as Neilson.

When a new book is commissioned by Emerald a proposal is submitted and basic information is entered as a project into IBS Bookmaster. As the proposal develops, more information is recorded, making it a central repository for all bibliographic information about that book. When the project is ready to proceed and manuscripts are received, the system manages and tracks the project from start to finish, from copy editing and typesetting through to warehousing and purchasing. Once this has been completed, all the production and sales information is held as backlist information so there is a permanent record of all titles in the Emerald portfolio.

More automation

Meeting bibliographic requirements for titles can be a labour-intensive and often complex task,” says Kennedy, adding, “With IBS Bookmaster, we can capture all the key elements, such as Library of Congress Classification Codes, in the right format. This information is then seamlessly transmitted to our partners’ systems, ensuring a fast, accurate and comprehensive resolution to an issue which, as a journal publisher, was not something we had before.”
The system handles multi-national and multi-currency pricing information and ensures this is captured and distributed quickly and correctly. It also holds financial information for each title, including budgets, typesetting costs, author’s fees and marketing campaigns, against each title. “Previously we had to do all this with Excel spreadsheets. IBS Bookmaster gives us instant, real-time visibility and control over all aspects of book production, ensuring we deliver mandatory information to Nielson in the format they require.  By automating the entire process, IBS Bookmaster has halved the cost to manage book production,” Kennedy adds.

On-going developments

Emerald is currently implementing the IBS Bookmaster Royalties Management system. This is a powerful system that automates even the most complex rights and royalty provisions. It provides a host of integrated functionality that will allow Emerald the flexibility to define, change and manage Royalty contracts.
“Implementation of Royalties Management is going ahead smoothly and we expect to be live on time. Due to complex issues of version control, definitive lists and duplication, we currently use a number of different excel sheets to calculate royalties. We predict IBS Royalties Management to reduce our efforts by about 50 percent as well as ensuring we operate a more efficient and profitable business,” she says.

Sarah Kennedy concludes, “We are very happy with IBS Bookmaster. We have complete confidence that it is capturing and handling all the necessary information accurately. So far, the system has allowed us to cut at least 50 percent of the time and effort needed in tracking titles and sourcing information on titles. The hosted solution works extremely well and there has never been any loss of connectivity. Also, the IBS consultants have been very supportive and have helped us ensure we have implemented a system that fulfils our requirements and drives our book publishing business forward.”

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