BEA Show Notes: Day 2
We're pounding the hard concrete floors of the Javits Center again — it's day 2 of our Book Expo coverage. Today saw the continuation of the IDPF Digital Book 2013 conference, BEA educational sessions and the opening of the expo hall (free galleys! author events!). Below are some snapshots of what we saw today.
Today started early with a quick lap around the expo hall, scouting out author events, checking in with favorite houses and, of course, scanning the carpeted floors of the myriad booths for uncorrected proofs. Among the swag: Neil Gaiman's Fortunately, The Milk (Harper Collins Childrens), Lyranda Martin Evans and Fiona Stevenson's Reasons Mommy Drinks (Three Rivers Press), Brian Lavery's The Conquest of the Ocean (DK), Nicoholson Baker's Traveling Sprinkler (Blue Rider Press), Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement (HarperCollins) and a poster for Ian Doescher's William Shakespeare's Star Wars (Quirk).
We checked in with Impelsys CEO Sameer Shariff (check tomorrow's BEA Spotlight for our video interview) who shared some news about the forthcoming 5.0 version of iPublishCentral, as well as a program with Douglas County Libraries. (http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2013/02/14/523679/10021557/en/Impelsys-Introduces-eBook-Ordering-System-for-Libraries.html)
Over at IDPF, Sanders Kleinfeld of O'Reilly Media gave a fascinating talk on "Engineering Next-Generation Publishing Workflows."
Starting with a very simple question — "How do you write a book?" — Kleinfeld broke down the ways O'Reilly has been attempting to develop its future workflows. "For a long time, up until the last five years, the answer was really simple," said Kleinfeld, describing the manuscript to typesetter to printer process.
But the question has evolved to "How do you write a 'book'?" to "How do you 'write' an (e)book?" to "How do you develop an (e)book?".
Kleinfeld provided five key principles for a modern ebook workflow:
1) Semantic markup matters
2) Single source must provide multiple outputs
3) Automate your headaches away
4) Versioning is the new spellcheck (just as writers would never write without spellcheck, publishers should not publish without version control)
5) Always think digital first (there's a huge difference between "digitized text" and "digital text."
Kleinfeld's talk was full of practical information (recommendation for tools, explanation of types of markup) as well as future think (an example of a digital-first "book" programming book O'Reilly produced.
At a later session, Josh Schanker of BookBub and Michael Tamblyn of Kobo talked about price promotion. Schanker's data showed that price promotions increase visibility so that when the title returns to full price, it experiences a bounce wherein more copies sell than before the price promotion.
Schanker's data also showed that while most discounts are effective, $0.99 promotions maximize response while $2.99 promotions maximize revenue.
On the show floor, we talked with Copia EVP Ben Lowinger and CEO & Founder of the Alvo Institute, Rebecca Tomasini. We discussed their innovative K-12 pilot program at the Los Angeles Unified School District (the second largest school district in the country) that, according to preliminary and mid-pilot results, has the potential to mitigate problems that can arise for students who have difficulty reading.
Deadline calls, as do parties (last night we hit the Bookrageous party at Housing Works Books and hobnobbed with the staff of Diverson Books). We'll be back tomorrow with more!
Related story: BEA Show Notes, Day 1, Brian's Take