Software for the Publishing Office: Finding the Product that Fits Your Needs

May 2000
by Mayapriya Long

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Every state in the US has anywhere from 500 to 2,000 publishers,
doing one to perhaps hundreds of books a year. While no two
publishers are alike, the one thing they all have in common is the
need for back-office software to do the order-entry, invoicing,
inventory, and sales/finance reporting. It’s not the “glamorous” part of publishing, but it is one of the most
necessary, as well as the most dreaded. Some publishers are
left-brain driven, and for them, the accounting tasks of publishing
are not that unpleasant. But I suspect that among small independent
publishers, more are right-brain driven—writers as well as
publishers—and for right-brain people, accounting work can be
brain-numbing. No lyrical sentences, thoughtful metaphors, or
attractive colors anywhere. I can feel my brain begin to
short-circuit just thinking about it. But fortunately for us, those
left-brain software developers have come to our rescue—making
the unpleasant, not so terribly bad after all.

Why is software needed? There are three answers: efficiency,
finance, and taxes.

We have two very different divisions at Bookwrights. Our design
studio designs and produces books for other publishers. For years,
we have used Quickbooks for our billing and it works alright
for us—not ideal—but certainly adequate. It is way too
much program for the design studio’s needs but I am
comfortable with it. However, when we tried to handle o…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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