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.