Should there be an international conference for publishing professionals in the United States? It is a question numerous people have asked since the demise of BookExpo in 2020. It’s no secret that the bright-lights-big-city buzz that made BookExpo so much fun and so essential for so many years had fizzled out, and booksellers and publishers alike were finding it of limited value. When BookExpo and BookCon were “retired,” parent company Reed Exhibitions made it clear that it was cutting its losses; the company had previously ended production of the Tokyo International Book Fair and subsequently shut down the Salon du Livre in Paris. Reed continues to run the London Book Fair—but should it remain the primary book publishing conference for the English-speaking world? The simple answer is no. The U.S. is the biggest English-language publishing market it the world, yet it’s one of the few large countries without an industrywide conference.
Expressing concern for the environment and a desire to meet consumers’ communication preferences, the SEC has voted to allow fund companies to post documents on websites and tell shareholders how to access them electronically.
The move was a nod to a longstanding request from the mutual fund industry, which has pressed for email, rather than regular mail, to be the default method for disseminating shareholder reports, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Technically, the shift involved a rule change passed on a 4-1 vote that will allow funds to post the documents on websites and tell shareholders how to access them electronically.
The action culminated a years-long fight over semiannual reports the Journal said. These often run over 100 pages and include fee and performance charts as well as innumerable tables listing all of the securities owned by the fund. An earlier SEC proposal, allowing funds to email reports instead of sending hard copies through the U.S. mail, sparked a backlash from the nation’s paper industry.
In a survey of 400 investors conducted for the SEC in 2011, about one-third of respondents said they preferred paper copies of their mutual fund reports. An additional 17% of those surveyed said they would like a “print summary” of the report’s most important parts.