News & Trends: Publishing University 2009 Explores Thriving in a Digital Future
What’s the most cost-effective way to market to libraries? How do I find and work with a distributor? Does a social media marketing plan make sense for my company? How do I make more money with special sales?
More than 200 publishers varying in experience from 0 to 25 years in the industry explored the answers to these questions and more throughout 60+ educational sessions at the Independent Book Publishers Association’s (IBPA) Publishing University. The event was held over two and a half days, prior to BookExpo 2009 in New York.
The theme of this year’s IBPA Publishing University was “The Future of Publishing: How to Thrive in a Digital World.” “De-Mystifying Google Book Search” and “Give the E-Readers What They Want” were the topics served up at the keynote luncheons, featuring Roland Lange of Google Book Search, and a panel representing a range of e-reading technologies—Dan Albohn of Sony E-Reader, Mark Coker of Smashwords and Neelan Choksi of Stanza (recently purchased by Amazon).
Both days, the key messages were clear: The digital revolution is here, and in order to give readers as many options as possible, both new and experienced publishers need to transform their content into e-books—now.
Other speakers included Sara Nelson, former editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly, Sourcebooks Publisher Dominique Raccah and Square One Publishers founder Rudy Shur, who kicked off IBPA Publishing University with an opening point/counterpoint presentation on “The Future of Publishing: Two Publishers—Two Views.” Ninety-five percent of books are sold in paper form, noted Shur. Technology is not the future of publishing, but rather provides the tools of publishing. “The future of publishing is publishers—me and you,” he said.
Raccah remarked that we are experiencing an explosion of content, and iPhone applications will become even more critical in the future as a mechanism for reaching readers.
With seminars ranging from “Everything You Wanted to Know About Web 2.0 and Social Media,” to “Speed-Dating Your Distributor,” Publishing University offered a variety of formal publishing education as well as the ability for attendees to network informally with one another face to face. For more information and to listen to free audio of selected sessions from the IBPA Publishing University, visit ThePublishingUniversity.com.
Florrie Binford Kichler is president and founder of Patria Press Inc. and president of IBPA.