Special Report: The 2010 Publishing Business Conference
With a trying 2008 and 2009 behind us, most publishers who attended the 2010 Publishing Business Conference & Expo (PublishingBusiness.com), March 8-10, seemed, at the very least, less worried about the future than they were last year, and, in fact, most were quite optimistic. The conference theme, "Publishing at a Tipping Point," was the unifying force behind more than 60 educational sessions presented by 150 speakers from all walks of the publishing industry. The presentations and discussions focused on industry shifts and practical information to help publishers adapt and thrive.
The show, held at the New York Marriott Marquis, Times Square, drew more than 2,000 registrants, and registrations to the conference program were the highest in the show's history. The exhibit hall was filled with leading technology, solutions and services providers serving the publishing industry.
"I think that this year, publishers realized that they really needed to come together to address the major issues we're all facing and to develop concrete plans for moving forward successfully," said Noelle Skodzinski, editorial director of Book Business and Publishing Business Conference director.
Skodzinski also commented on the generous support from the industry in pulling off an event that exceeded expectations. "The support we received from industry thought-leaders, our conference chairs, our advisory board, our exhibitors and sponsors, and our attendees was amazing," she said. "It proved that there is a strong need for this type of strategic, hands-on programming, integrated with the industry's largest trade show showcasing vendors who can help publishers not only to save time and money, but also to move into the next wave of publishing technologies and media. People (including me) were excited to be a part of it."
The conference was chaired by Clint Greenleaf, president and CEO, Greenleaf Book Group, and Evan Schnittman, vice president, global business development, Oxford University Press. Speakers hailed from companies such as Scholastic, Springer Science + Business Media, Chronicle Books, Chelsea Green, Hachette Book Group, Daily Lit, Melville House Publishing, Baker & Taylor, ScrollMotion, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Macmillan and many others.
"With so many examples of innovative things publishers are doing today, shared by both presenters and attendees, I left the show, as did many attendees who have called and sent e-mails, feeling completely revived about [the] future," said Skodzinski. "Sure, a lot is changing … and change is scary; but there is also a lot of opportunity for publishers out there that didn't exist before."
"I found the entire conference to be eye-opening for me in terms of where the publishing industry is going now and in the future," said Lisa Ross, founder of Massachusetts-based Sweet Dreams Publishing. "The contacts I made were invaluable."
Sessions covered everything from "The Book Publishers' Social Media Strategy Guide" to "Verifying and Auditing Digital Sales Transactions," "The Sales Spectrum: From Discoverability to Pricing," "Rethinking Author Contracts for the Digital World" and "The Point of No Returns: Following a Different Path."
Of "The Sales Spectrum" session, David Heath of Red Leaf Press said, "Google, Kobo and Ingram together in the same room on the same panel. What a great opportunity to learn about the marketplace."
Of "The Point of No Returns," Gail Bock of Discipleship Resources' publishing arm said, "Wow! To be able to implement this business model would help our bottom line. A totally new way of seeing the business."
Nicole Shell of Bridge Publications said of the "Social Media" session, "If you want to learn how to successfully social network, this is the conference to attend."