After what will be sixty adventurous and memorable years come this January as a fly on the wall in the printing and publishing industries, about which I have also been writing intermittently for over thirty of those years, I am retiring my shingle as a regular columnist at the end of the year. I will remain a Book Business contributor in some form or other yet to be determined.
Eugene G. Schwartz
By Eugene G. Schwartz Where is the book industry going; what will my workplace and career opportunities be like; what do I need to know to keep up with the times? Or, in a more cosmic vein, what does the future hold? In an effort to answer these questions, publishers have settled each year into [...]
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Where is the book industry going, what will my workplace and career opportunities be like, what do I need to know to keep up with the times? Or, in a more cosmic vein, what does the future hold?
In an effort to answer these questions, publishers have settled each year into a series of industry meetings of general interest. Each has a unique theme, as noted below. They make the effort to bring together a cross section of publishers, associations, service providers and media professionals to connect with audiences ranging from first-time aspirants to seasoned managers and executives in every channel and of every level of responsibility.
Following is my own overview of the events with which I have become familiar through the years. I would say that a judicious choice of BEA or ALA and any one of the others whose focus comes closest to your own would provide a more than satisfying menu. If I had to attend only one: (a) I would pick BEA or ALA if my interest was in authors, reading, content and publishing as an enterprise, and (b) if my primary concerns were business development and operating management, I would choose any of the others from whose quality of attendee profiles and lists of presenters, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors I would expect to learn the most.
One of the concurrent conferences under the BookExpo America umbrella, the International Digital Publishing Forum's (idpf) Digital Book 2012 has, for the last two days, tackled the digital reading from a multitude of angles, and with specific emphasis on Business & Marketing, Technology & Production, and Education & Professional.
As we eagerly anticipate Book Business blogger extraordinaire and general man-on-the-scene Eugene G. Schwartz to weigh in with his detailed conference recap and analysis, we'll provide some quick takes from the two-day conference.
At the BISG ninth annual Making Information Pay Conference, held at the McGraw Hill auditorium on May 3, seven expert presenters took the assembled 200 industry professionals through a fast-paced three-and-a-half-hour session slicing Big Data down to manageable bites.
Not for the faint of heart, the event was focused on the message that Angela Bole, BISG Deputy Executive Director opened with. Citing a McKinsey Institute study’s warning of a critical shortage of expert analytical information workers she said that “It’s our belief that, as an industry, we need to harness the awesomeness of ‘deep analytical expertise’ in order to create the kind of book industry that’s truly capable of the innovation necessary to stay relevant over the coming years.”
Big Data, she said, “refers to the act of ‘taming’ the volume, variety and velocity of massive datasets.” It is what takes us to a place where we’re now able to develop holistic approaches to full-scale strategies that are analytical in the deepest sense of the term.”
An energized Publishing Business Conference and Expo, Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines’ annual event at the Times Square Marriott Marquis, March 19-21, was grounded in optimism and realism, and primed for a promising future in the digital age for book manufacturing and print-based book production.
Addressing the overflow audience at the Marriott's Astor Ballroom, our very own Joan of Arc at the ramparts, Editorial Director Noelle Skodzinski—fully armed with the arguments of comon sense and history to support her—sounded a much-needed balancing and defiant keynote to prevailing “stiff upper lip” scenarios about the decline of the publishing industry. She reminded us, paraphrasing from both Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the Encyclopedia Britannica blog’s notice that it had discontinued its venerable print edition, that publishing is not dead, change is okay, and that the future is alive with new opportunities in our pursuit of continued success and excellence in the publishing business.