Digital Book World Conference Looks at Business Challenges to Traditional Publishing

WRITERS. As aspiring authors, we don’t always view the world through the publisher’s eyes. We tend to think the “traditional publishing” route will always be an option. In reality, five years from now, there might not be anything “traditional” about the publishing business. While digital publishing has enabled authors to create, publish, promote, and distribute their own work, the digital transformation of publishing is forcing publishing companies to re-examine every aspect of how they operate.

That why some of the world’s most influential publishing executives will gather for the Digital Book World Conference + Expo January 15 – 17, 2013, at the Hilton New York Hotel in New York City. Now in its fourth year, Digital Book World discusses some of the business challenges that trade publishers are facing during the transition from print to digital media.

“Unlike some of our competitors, this is not a conference about technology. It is about business,” says Digital Book World Conference Council Chair Mike Shatzkin of The Idea Logical. “Specifically, it is about the business that has operated for a century, in which book retailers curate, present, and deliver the publishers’ output to readers.”

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Operate a publishing business in a digital environment.
  • Market and distribute content to a reader who has migrated online to shop.
  • Acquire and develop new staff and new skills.
  • Implement and use new technologies specificially for digital publishers.
  • Help authors become more proficient in online brand-building.

Even before the publishing industry was buzzing over the surprise Penguin/Random House merger, Digital Book World had planned sessions about consolidation. For example, technology analyst Benedict Evans will discuss how strategies being used by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft relate to publishing. Evans’ talk may help explain the Penguin/Random House merger because a frequently cited motivation for the merger was to gain greater strength to negotiate with Amazon and the other tech behemoths. On Wednesday, the chairman and CEO of F+W Media David Nussbaum will moderate a panel of CEOs who will share their view of the future.

Here are a few of the other sessions that will be presented:

  • Understanding and Managing Copyrights in the 21st Century
  • The Author’s View of the Industry
  • Straddling the Models: Authors Choosing to Both Self-Publish and Traditionally Publish
  • Best Practices of Author Training Today
  • New Business Model Experimentation
  • Libraries: More Important Than Ever for Book Discovery
  • The Changing Role of Editors
  • Developing an Agile Publishing Model
  • The Gamification of Children’s Books
  • New Tools and Technologies for Small- to Mid-Sized Publishers
  • E-Book Pricing
  • Publishing Meets Hollywood

The session on the changing role of editors will highlight some of the skills that editors will need beyond finding great books and signing and nurturing authors. Book editors now must know how to evaluate the author’s platform and figure out whether or not the author will be a good marketer. Editors also need to understand metadata and new ways that tags and links lead to discovery and marketing and what they and their authors can do to influence them. In the age of enhanced e-books, some editors may function more like movie or TV producers than editors.

In the session on author training, publishers will discuss how they train their authors to be more effective marketers.

During a case-study session, DBW Conference Chair Mike Shatzkin will interview self-published author Hugh Howey, whose best-selling “Wool” series started as a novella on the Kindle platform, grew incrementally to five novellas, and then was collected into a single file as a novel.

The conference is organized by F+W Media, Inc., which defines itself as “a community-focused, content creator and marketer of products and services for enthusiasts” who want to achieve success, profit from their passion, or find inspiration. In addition to publishing books and magazines (such as Writer’s Market and Writer’s Digest), F+W Media offers e-books, educational services, and instructional videos, organizes events, and conducts competitions.

Early discounted registration for Digital Book World Conference ends November 16. Group rates are available for companies that bring three or more people.


Digital Book World Conferenc & Expo

About Digital Book World

Program: Digital Book World Conference

About F+W Media


Upcoming Conferences for Digital Publishers and App Creators

If you want to learn how you can profit from digital publishing or app development, here are two conferences that might be helpful: Going Digital 2012 and the Media App Summit.

Going Digital 2012: The Digital Publishing Report Conference
November 8-9, 2012
Skytop Lodge Executive Conference Center; Skytop, Pennsylvania
Organized by The Joss Group

This conference is for anyone who wishes to publish content in a digital format. It doesn’t matter if you work for a traditional publishing company or not, this conference is for any organization that publishes short-form or long-form content, including e-books, magazines, catalogs, journals, or technical materials.

In a relaxed, yet focused learning environment, you can learn how to design and manage the digital-publishing process and maximize profit opportunities from digital publishing projects and businesses.

Conference organizer Molly Joss recognizes that “Publishers of all kinds are under pressure to understand and adopt digital technology. Print is not dead, but every publisher today must also consider digital.” She believes very little practical information and help is current available to help small- to mid-sized businesses make the most of digital publishing technologies. This is particularly true for companies and organizations whose main sources of income don’t come from traditional publishing.

Topics that will be discussed during the program include:

  • Nitty-gritty of How to E-Publish
  • Digital Rights and Copy Protection: options, priorities, and necessities
  • Workflows and Staffing Issues: what needs to change and what can stay the same
  • Distribution Options: newsstands, private servers, e-mail, and more
  • Making the Most of Digital Formats by Making Use of Audio and Video
  • Sales and Marketing Metrics

The keynoter on November 8 will be Bryan Yeager who leads InfoTrends’ digital marketing and media practice. He will talk about how emerging trends in short-form (magazine) digital publishing will affect all publishers.

On November 9, David Renard of MediaIdeas will talk about how publishers can take advantage of the possibilities in reader and tablet technology to improve their success in digital publishing.

The Joss Group, founded by Molly Joss, publishes The Digital Publishing Report, a monthly newsletter that talks about the technology, techniques, strategies, and plans publishers are using to develop their digital publishing efforts.


Going Digital 2012: The Digital Publishing Report Conference

Media App Summit
December 3, 2012
The New Yorker Hotel; New York, NY
Organized by Media Bistro

The conference unites book and magazine publishers, developers, digital content strategists, editors, authors, and entrepreneurs for an extensive look into the cutting-edge world of media app design, demographics, and distribution. Learn how to build apps within budget, make them discoverable, and monetize content across all media platforms.

Here are some of the topics and featured speakers:

New Distribution Models for eBooks and Apps
Evan Ratliff, co-founder and editor of Atavist , explores how to maximize the social media presence and cross-platform exposure of your app. Panelists will discuss some of the tools and strategies which are now available to market and publicize apps and ideas.

Maximizing Discoverability and Profitability in Book App Marketplaces
Matthew Cavnar, VP of business development at Vook , shares advice for making your app more discoverable in vast online destinations. Learn how to create eye-catching content, rise up the Top App lists, and promote your app in the right places.

App-Centered Outreach for Non-Profits and Institutions
Learn how non-profits are using mobile technology to build brand awareness and get the fund-raising message out, without breaking the bank.

Multi-Platform Publishing for Mobile News and Magazine Content
Hear how leaders behind successful magazine apps are setting up subscriptions, budgeting for the app, building a subscriber base, negotiating royalties, and managing app updates.

New Distribution Models for E-Books and Apps
This panel will discuss some of the tools, strategies, websites, and services that can help you market and publicize your app.

From Download to Domination: Engaging Mobile App Users with Analytics and Targeting
As users acquire more apps, the amount of time they spend with each one goes down. Learn ways to move beyond the download and acquire the right users, use engagement metrics, and re-market to your high-value users.

Exploring Apps and Educational Publishing
The marketplace of education apps is exploding. This panel will explore different aspects of the educational app field, including digital textbooks, app-based study guides, and flashcard-making tools.

Self-Publishing Across Multiple Platforms
Experts and best-selling self-published authors share tips for working with the Kindle Store, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Case Study: Mobile Advertising
This panel will focus on how to use rich media mobile ads to engage users and drive conversions.

Media Bistro provides networking opportunities, career-development resources, and education to anyone who creates or works with content, or who is a non-creative professional working in a content/creative industry. That includes editors, writers, producers, graphic designers, book publishers, and others in industries including magazines, television, film, radio, newspapers, book publishing, online media, advertising, PR, and design.


Media Bistro Mobile App Summit