One night recently, I woke suddenly, due to a horrifying dream about … do I dare admit it? … Twitter. The dream made no real sense; I was tweeting—or posting, for you non-Twitterers—quotes from various people in the book publishing industry, one quote after another, but I couldn’t post them fast enough. I have similar work/stress-related dreams quite frequently, but I was amazed that I had one about Twitter—tweeting is one of the simplest things I do. So why the tweet dreams?
With no government bailout in sight to rescue their ailing industries, more than 1,200 book- and magazine-publishing executives convened at the 2009 Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York City, March 23-25, in search of strategies to help them weather the worsening storm. And while much of the discussion centered around cost-cutting, the topic of innovation took center stage throughout the event, which featured nearly 60 educational sessions and more than 125 speakers.
Judging from the prognostications that Pat Schroeder remembers hearing at publishing conferences a decade ago, most people today ought to be reading e-books and regarding print as a quaint relic of the past. That hasn’t happened, of course, and the president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) sees that fact as a useful caution when trying to predict the future of the industry. It’s easy to identify key factors, but misjudge their effect; trends that seem vitally important now could fade into obscurity, and the course of publishing could be shaped by things currently on no one’s radar screen.
Representatives of the book industry's leading trade groups say the pending agreement brokered last week with Google over the Internet search giant's controversial Book Search tool will benefit the U.S. publishing industry for years to come.