Leonard Shatzkin, former book publishing executive and industry critic, died May 11 of congestive heart failure at his home in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. He was 82. After spending World War II developing patented processes used to make uranium for atomic bombs, Shatzkin began his publishing career as production manager for the Viking Press in 1946. He moved to Doubleday in 1951, where he was appointed director of research. While there, he was responsible for innovations that became industry practice, including standard book sizes for production efficiency, maintaining a nationwide sales force and methods for stocking stores.
In 1961, Shatzkin left Doubleday to launch a new paperback line for Crowell-Collier. In the next decade, he ran Planned Production, a book production service, and founded a book distribution company called Two Continents. He wrote In Cold Type, an analysis of the American trade book publishing business, published in 1982, and a monograph, The Mathematics of Bookselling, in the 1990s.
Most recently he worked as a consultant to book industry firms in Brazil, Venezuela, Malawi and elsewhere. Through his newest company, Shatzkin Systems, he developed an inventory management system called Oris, currently being tested by the Northshire Bookstore. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor, his son, Mike Shatzkin, a well-known publishing consultant, and two daughters, Nance, who continues to direct Shatzkin Systems, and Karen, a lawyer.