Peter Balis

A book is a book is a book—is it not?  Not in the hall at the former Church of Christ, Scientist, now turned into the magnificent home of the Internet Archive on Funston Avenue at the edge of the Presidio in San Francisco. The Archive, established in 1996 with the goal of offering permanent access to records that exist in digital format, is the venue for the annual Books in Browsers conference, which took place on October 24th and 25th. This reporter attended this year for the first time, and had her mind blown.

We're pounding the hard concrete floors of the Javits Center today — it's day 1 of our Book Expo coverage, as we juggle sessions at two compelling events packed with content: IDPF Digital Book 2013 and Publishers Launch. My colleague Lynn Rosen and I have each gathered snippets of wisdom to share with our readers from presentations we have heard today.

This morning at the International Digital Publishing Forum's Digital Book 2013 Plenary Session, Laura Hazard Owen of interviewed Chantal Restivo-Alessi Chief Digital Officer of HarperCollins in a session titled: Digital Publishing In Transition: Steering a Course in the Middle of A Storm. Restivo-Alessi, who comes to publishing from the music business, noted some differences between the two industries, notably how music is more about selling individual songs rather than albums (not as much of a concern in book publishing). She noted great areas of opportunity in catalog reinvigoration through price promotions, but saw bigger gains to be made in product innovation, both with apps and with enhanced books.

Scribd, a San Francisco-based social publishing Web site, has announced a partnership with John Wiley and Sons Inc. to market and sell thousands of e-books through its Scribd Store, which was launched earlier this year to offer professional publishers and independent writers and artists an option for selling their works. Scribd, which currently is partnered with more than 150 professional publishers, also recently signed agreements with Sterling Publishing, Chronicle Books and University of Chicago Press.

Registration is now open for Book Business magazine's first-ever Publishing Business Virtual Conference & Expo—Digital Content Day @ Your Desk—which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29. The virtual show is free to all registrants and will offer a full day of interactive conference programming, including live and on-demand educational sessions and audio and e-chats with industry-leading digital-content experts.

More U.S. adults had read an e-book (15 percent) than had actually paid for an e-book this year, according to Michael Norris, senior analyst at Simba Information, based on the results of a recent Simba study called, "Trade E-book Publishing 2009."

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