Peter Hildick-Smith

Ellen Harvey is the associate/digital editor of Book Business and Publishing Executive.

Rob Eagar is a book publishing consultant, helping clients create three different types of New York Times bestsellers, including frontlist non-fiction, frontlist fiction, and backlist non-fiction. He is the founder of Wildfire Marketing, a consulting firm that has worked with numerous publishers and coached over 400 authors.

Social reading and discoverability are not the same thing, but they have something in common: They’re the things everyone is talking about at BookExpo America this week but nobody has solved.

Publishers don’t control engagement. Start off by assuming that social reading means being able to interact with a book through social media or with social features inside the book, and discoverability is the challenge of finding new authors and books. Part of the challenge comes from the fact that many of the parties trying to come up with solutions are startups or retailers rather than the publishers themselves.

BookExpo America, the U.S. book industry’s largest trade event, hits NYC next week. Here are a few themes to look out for. Discoverability and the move to B2C Publishers are realizing that to compete with Amazon they have to be able to sell directly to consumers. One way they can do that is by making their books more discoverable. Joint venture Bookish is now almost a year late and nowhere to be seen, so startups are trying to fill the gap — for instance,  Zola Books, a New-York based company that lets publishers and authors sell e-books directly, is launching

Professionals from all walks of the media industry—book and magazine publishers, analysts, tech company representatives—gathered in Tribeca in New York City for the inaugural mediaIDEAS Cabaret Meetup. Held this past Tuesday evening at the Macao Trading Co., the free event—sponsored by media research company mediaIDEAS and media partners Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines—brought together approximately 168 individuals who networked and discussed the present and future of the publishing industry.

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