Michael Ross - 2002 Hall of Fame Books Inductee
Despite these advances, Ross feels that one of the biggest challenges the industry faces today is distribution. "There is a problem getting quality product into the market in a way that is fully supportable and provides the best value to the customer," he offers. "To a large degree, technology will help. People can sample more now than they have ever been able to. But the industry must continue to work hard at educating people on the sources to trust."
Ross offers the following advice to fellow production professionals: "Be sure to have at least a meaningful core competence in the areas that are critical to your business and strategic in the long term. Similarly, outsource as much as possible in areas that are variable and not central to what differentiates you in the market."
Looking forward, Ross feels that any progress publishing enjoys will be due to the production of quality products. "We need to encourage creative people to come into the industry and stay in it," he says. "In addition, the partnership between publisher and vendor is a critical one, and these relationships need to be flexible enough to sustain constant fluctuation in the market. If we continue to work on the principles of win-win, there will be no problem because we have an insatiable market."