by Samantha Cohen and Dana Hayward
With the ratification of the new EPUB 3 specification, publishers are eager to begin implementing the robust features that will bring new levels of interactivity and functionality to digital publishing. But a global industry standard is only as good as the platforms and devices that support and deliver the content to consumers. What new things are publishers doing with children's books? The look and feel of eBooks is a careful balancing act between what is in the book files and what the reading systems have to offer - who ultimately should control how books appear? Why working within the standard helps all industry participants and benefits consumers. This panel of experts from HarperCollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette will demonstrate the specific needs for integrating author and publisher goals and retailer support.
Forrester Research: Publishing industry forecast
James McQuivey, Vice President & Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
For Digital Book World 2012, we’ve partnered with Forrester Research to conduct the second annual Publishing Executive Survey, which asks book publishing leaders to measure and report on their digital strategies, hopes, and concerns.
The results of the 2011 Publishing Executive Survey, as presented by James McQuivey, PhD, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, will offer rare insight into critical areas including ebook pricing, publishing’s take on disruptive new businesses, staffing changes, and more. This survey will help publishing professionals benchmark their own plans and experiences against their industry peers and will provide critical information about the range of options available to publishers craft digital plans for the coming year.
365 days. 365 short days since our first CEO panel at Digital Book World 2011. Just one year in the media industry lifespan brought about the bankruptcy of Borders, new technology breakthroughs including the much-anticipated Kindle Fire, ebook library lending, and the prodigious growth of ebooks – what have we learned, and more importantly, what’s next on the horizon?
The popular, introspective, and somewhat controversial CEO Panel led by F+W Media Chairman & CEO David Nussbaum will present these questions at an exclusive panel discussion featuring senior executives from some of the largest, most innovative and successful media companies today.
Keeping to the core philosophy of Digital Book World, attendees will gain practical insights, innovative strategies, and real-world examples of what’s worked, what’s new, and how these business leaders will guide their companies into the next year and beyond.
by Kelly Gallagher
by Theresa Horner
by Angela James, Lori James, Raelene Gorlinsky and Liate Stehlik
Romance publishing is almost certainly the consumer segment most built out into a digital future. It has publishers as consumer brands, publishers selling direct, price experimentation, and a long history as a launching pad to more broad-based publishing success.
All Romance eBooks, the leading online retailer dedicated to romance ebook publishing, will be conducting a survey of its customers with the results to be presented at DBW 2012. We'll learn what devices their customers favor, what formats they like best, and what they think about DRM.
Through this data and a look at the history of romance epublishing, we hope to glimpse the future and discover what can be applied to other ebook marketplaces.
eBook complexity exists on a continuum. At one extreme is the straight narrative text ebook which only needs to be reflowed. Automated online tools enable anybody to create one at minimal cost, but without the right technical expertise form may be sacrificed for function. At the other extreme are apps and highly complex and interactive ebooks which only the most tech-savvy person can create and which can be challenging even to manage through a service provider. And in between are illustrated books which might be presented with a “fixed page layout” that imitates a print version, but which might not work on every size screen. eBook creation experts will help attendees understand the differences and what they need to get the ebooks they want at the right cost.
If you place an ad, that’s “expensed” marketing: you spend what it takes and then the impact is gone. But if you build traffic at a web site, subscribers to a mailing list, or get permission to email somebody about a future book, you have performed “investment” marketing where today’s spending pays off for years to come. Investment marketing requires a vertical publishing strategy, but it also requires the recognition that harvesting names and permissions is an outcome that pays dividends. A panel of publishers will talk about the marketing platforms they’ve built and how they pay off.
by Shyam Sekar S, Scott Lubeck, Gregg Sullivan and Andrew Malkin
The change to a digital workflow is challenging, but a number of companies have developed tools and expertise to make it easier for publishers to execute. These companies also develop “best practice” understandings; they bring experience of prior transformations to each new project they work on. A panel of leading service providers, all of whom have deep experience with building digital workflows inside publishing houses that had print-oriented workflows in the past, will explain what they’ve learned, what companies need to do to be successful at this shift, and how they can help.
Although the first epublishers, Rosetta Books and eReads, are over a decade old, we have seen more digital-first publishing operations spring up more recently: Jane Friedman’s Open Road, Harlequin’s Carina imprint, and Rich Richter’s Ruckus Media for children’s books spring to mind. eBook-first or –only publishers avoid the costs of inventory and the overheads associated with it, but they also give up print sales, or at least much of the margin on print sales. Do we expect to see more ebook-first publishing in the future, and will it come from upstarts or from established houses? A panel of ebook-first publishers will explore those questions.
Amazon Singles and The Atavist were two relatively early examples of the emergence of short-form content being monetized at prices that wouldn't work in the print supply chain. Apple has just announced a similar initiative called Quick Reads. In fact, when Kobo was created, it was called “Shortcovers” in anticipation of this trend which has, since then, gained steam. Short-form publishing challenges conventional book publishing economics but it offers opportunity to deliver timely content quickly and to satisfy authors, two objectives most publishers see as valuable. This is a subject we think every publisher needs to be thinking about and we’ll assemble a panel of people who have gotten started with it to discuss it.
by Iris Blasi and Lori Culwell
When an author, agent, or small publisher starts selling ebooks, they face a series of marketing challenges and opportunities that are different than they are for print. How do you reach ebook reviewers and bloggers? What’s the role of the author’s and publisher’s web sites? What does the do-it-yourself author need to know about SEO (search engine optimization) and metadata? Marketers who have worked with authors and publishers across the spectrum of knowledge and experience will discuss how any publisher, even one with only one book, can be effective, and cost-effective, in their marketing efforts. They’ll highlight concrete examples of successful marketing campaigns and offer practical insights to help get any ebook in front of potential readers.
ACX turns your audio rights into audiobooks. With the ubiquity of smart phones, tablets, and MP3 players -- all of which play digital audiobooks – the audiobook business is booming. An online marketplace developed by Audible, ACX (the Audiobook Creation Exchange) directly connects rights holders (authors, agents, publishers) with audio narrators and producers to get audiobooks produced easily. On ACX.com, rights holders can turn their books into audiobooks either by hiring a producer (often a narrator with a professional home studio) or partnering with a producer in a shared royalty structure (therefore incurring no upfront costs). ACX offers some new financial models, including generous royalties and sales acceleration tools, to make it easy and rewarding to participate. At this Publishers Launchpad session, ACX Head Jason Ojalvo will explain how the service works and how authors and publishers alike can use it to gain entry to the rapidly growing and increasingly important digital audio market.
by Sarah Cardillo, Joan O'Neil, Dylan Hoke and Matt LeBlanc
Two of the more high-profile successful implementations of digital workflow have been at Big Six publisher Hachette and the innovative independent Sourcebooks. For this discussion, we will feature a panel of publishers who have done this workflow transformation so they can report on what was hard, what was not, and what they learned that could be helpful to publishers still facing this change.
In these days when you’re just not in the game if you don’t have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, every publisher and author is supposed to be a marketer creating their own followings. New opportunities to connect with readers and add social elements to books crop up every day. What works best? And how do publishers best navigate the opportunities to both build their own marketing capability and support authors in building theirs? A panel of publishers and social marketing tool-creators will share their experiences to help us all to a better understanding of what efforts are worth the trouble, what tools and services exist to make it simpler, and what’s a waste of time.
Every day seems to bring a new report from a literary agency about their digital services. Digital Book World 2010 was the first conference to cover agents at a general event on digital change. Is agent-run publishing a competitor to publishers, or is it just another step on the ladder from unpublished author to a starring role with a major house? Is there really a difference between agents publishing their authors and advising them about how to self-publish using other people’s operations? Is there a potential conflict of interest authors and agents need to be concerned about? With the rate of growth in this kind of activity just increasing, we'll put some agents on to talk about it.
by Susan Ruszala, rick joyce and Liz Perl
Even with big publishers starting to market by vertical topic and genre, most books offered by general trade houses require an individualized marketing effort. What does that look like as we get deeper into the digital age? For one thing, marketers are increasingly focused on metadata management and improving the flow of information across the supply chain. But the process of finding endorsements and influencers is also changed by the web.
A panel of publishing marketers will discuss the challenge of finding cost-effective ways to market individual titles.
We are in the midst of a shift that is much larger than publishing as more and more IT functions, including enterprise software, is being offered from the cloud as an SAAS (software as a service) model. There is the potential here to change IT completely, from being primarily about building, implementing, and maintaining customized solutions to making best use of standardized ones. Maintenance and development go down in this scenario, but the need to conform workflows and operations to the software (rather than the other way around) go up.
And, not incidentally, IT departments would probably require fewer people and certainly control much less spending.
A panel of publishers who have begun to embrace SAAS solutions explore how far this trend can go and what competitive advantages can flow to publishers that master this new way of building a tech infrastructure.
by Michael Cader
Most of the big ebook sales channels can be accessed through a web portal: Kindle Direct Publishing at Amazon, B&N’s PubIt!, and Smashwords for many others, including Apple and Sony, have served tens of thousands of authors. But hitting them all is a lot of work; that’s why there are companies (including Smashwords) that offer services to put ebooks on sale across a range of outlets. Some, like BookBaby, provide primarily an automated solution. Others, like Constellation, Ingram Digital, Donnelly’s new acquisition LibreDigital, and BookMasters, provide a human-mediated one. How hard is it to do it yourself? At what size or complexity does a service make sense? And what is the real difference in cost between the various solutions? Michael Cader of Publishers Lunch has looked under the hood of the various digital service offerings, categorized them, and enumerated the points a careful shopper for these services needs to check. He will describe the landscape of these services and answer specific questions about the best approach for fledgling ebook publishers of various sizes and descriptions.
by Kelly Gallagher, Diane Naughton and Kristen McLean
In this session, Kelly Gallagher of Bowker will present the latest findings of an ongoing national children’s consumer study from the US that seeks to shed understanding on– and provide assessment of the market for children’s digital consumer book products.
The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion among participating publishers in the study.
by David Houle
David Houle is “the CEO’s futurist”, with a background as a media executive (MTV, CNN), who has been putting our times into a historical and conceptual context for several years through his blog, Evolution Shift, and several books. At Digital Book World, David will explain his big picture of three overarching trends -- The Flow to Global, The Flow to the Individual and Accelerated Electronic Connectedness -- and explore how they relate to the book business. David’s address will be followed by a Q&A breakout session for DBW attendees that want to further explore his views and their implications for publishing.
by Russ Grandinetti
Russell Grandinetti of Amazon will reveal some of what Amazon has learned during this holiday season, including an update on its global expansion and what the addition of Kindle Fire has yielded for categories such as illustrated books and children's books. And he'll offer some thoughts on what to expect from Kindle in 2012.
by Oren Teicher
A top-of-mind concern for trade publishers is the survival of the bookstore network, and today that largely means the survival of independent stores. Oren Teicher is the CEO of the American Booksellers Association, and he will talk about how indies fared during the 2011 holiday season, one without competition from Borders but with ever-growing competition -- especially in the digital realm -- for consumers' discretionary time and money. Teicher will also talk about a number of ongoing tests involving new business models that include ABA member stores, and what these experiments might teach us all about how the entire book industry can adapt to the rapidly changing world in which we live.
by Giovanni Bonfanti and Marco Ferrario
The global consulting firm A.T. Kearney's Milan office combined with Italian ebook retailer Bookrepublic to examine the state of digital transition in publishing markets around the world last January. They updated their data to report at the Publishers Launch Frankfurt conference. And they will be updating their data again for Digital Book World. They will be reporting on device penetration, online purchasing patterns, and ebook uptake in markets all over the world, giving American publishers a fix on where they can expect to be growing their sales abroad in the year to come.
by carolynpittis, Michael Pietsch, Simon Lipskar, Joseph Mangan and Madeline McIntosh
The wide distribution of color ereaders and tablets (the lines between which are blurring) means that devices that can handle illustrated book content are in the hands of many consumers. At the same time, the shelf space on which illustrated books are sold is shrinking because the migration to digital reading for straight text shows no sign of abating.
Will consumers be as satisfied with illustrated books on devices as they have become with straight text? Will a "fixed format" layout, perhaps with the ability to spread and pinch illustrations, deliver an experience that consumers will embrace? Are there particular topics or types of illustrated books that will be most commercially successful? Will different sized screens present difficulties for publishers, or can those challenges be easily overcome? And can illustrated ebooks be delivered for costs that make sense in what is still an experimental market?
A panel of publishers working with the challenge of delivering illustrated books to digital devices, along with a provider of services and tools for creating illustrated digital books, will discuss the challenges and expectations for illustrated books in a digital environment.
23rd–25th January 2012