If you're doing what many Americans do this month, you're spending at least some of your time sitting on the beach reading a book. The "beach read" is an essential element of vacation planning, and we publishers work hard to get our books in those suitcases or on those not-quite-sand-proof ereaders. I suppose the quintessential beach read is a "trashy" novel, but for many it's just a good work of fiction, a compelling non-fiction read, or perhaps a trip back to the classics. Middlemarch, anyone?
After beach reading season passes, we'll plunge right into the busy fall selling season. It is for this season that publishers were heavily prepared this past June with their Book Expo displays, presentations and giveaways. As we do every year, we at Book Business wore out our soles and replenished our souls at BEA, gathering info on forthcoming publications, featured authors and important business trends.
Some authors whose new books I'm looking forward to reading include Jayne Anne Phillips, Alice McDermott, Donna Tartt and Jonathan Lethem. My beach reading will be focused on some books by Philly locals, including Jon McGoran's Drift (a thriller about GMOs — who can resist?!) and The Violet Hour, a debut novel by Katherine Hill.
I'll be reading these books between intense bouts of conference planning. Things are heating up for our big fall show, the Publishing Business Conference & Expo, which will be held from Sept. 23 to 25 at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square. Our theme this year is "Building Bridges Between Content, Technology & Business," and making connections and breaking down siloes is going to be a big part of our focus. To our regular two tracks, one for book and one for magazine publishers, we're adding an important new track for STM (Scientific, Technical & Medical) and Scholarly publishers. We'll feature sessions that will allow you to pick and choose between tracks, with the opportunity to learn new approaches from your colleagues in other segments of the publishing world.
The book track will feature an appealing array of sessions. We'll address all-important questions about discoverability and workflow, and look at the evolving role of the editor during this era of "content explosion." You'll be able to attend a "Futurist Panel," where start-up experts will tell you what's coming down the road. You'll hear announcements about important new studies from SIMBA, BISG, Bowker and others, and hear from experts from the Copyright Clearance Center, Yale University and a range of publishers large and small.
One of our keynote speakers, Gary Shapiro, President & CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, will bring transferrable wisdom gleaned from his time in the consumer electronics industry about managing digital disruption. Author of the book Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses (Harper Collins, 2013), Shapiro believes one must "innovate or die."
And of course, we'll be there, you'll be there and we'll take advantage of a plethora of networking opportunities to meet and chew over the state of the industry, lessons learned and challenges yet to come. Find out more at www.publishingbusiness.com (and see page 25 for more info). See you next month in New York!