Digital Book World 2014 Conference Schedule

Digital Book World’s sessions strive to offer you the most practical, relevant and actionable programming on everything from eBook publishing and internet marketing to digital solutions for selling and marketing your books.

If you want to eavesdrop next week on this, the now preeminent New York City publishing conference, I believe the hash tag is #DBW14. For the third year running, there’s going to be a library-focused panel, and it stars Cloud librarian Jamie L. Watson of Baltimore County PL, not to mention a certain indie Minnesota publisher who just might be going live with us in the near future.

While that’s going on, I’ll be tweeting when possible from La Jolla, CA, site of the annual Educational Book and Media Association conference, EBMA for short.

Ebook Publishing for Everyone: How Non-Book-Publishing Companies Can Profit from Ebook-Publishing Initiatives

This coming Monday, January 13th, I’m leading a workshop with publishing journeyman Jack Perry on how any company, large or small, can quickly ramp up publishing capabilities, and profit from ebook publishing initiatives. To put it in Mike Shatzkin’s words, this is a workshop about the opportunity in atomization. Here’s the description:

With lowered barriers to entry and increasing popularity among consumers, publishing ebooks is now an attractive possibility for many companies – from media companies and non-profits to law firms, museums, consultants and beyond. The benefits are obvious: reach consumers in a new way, extend brand into a new marketplace, and generate new leads. Brands and organizations of all kinds who are content- and idea-rich are now harnessing the power of ebooks as the ultimate in content marketing.

In this three-hour workshop, you’ll learn what’s happening in this fast-moving market, discuss case-studies of successful initiatives, and be given the tools to capitalize on this fresh opportunity. And you’ll meet a raft of experienced vendors who can help you along the way.

If you run a blog, edit a magazine, head up marketing for a consulting firm, do outreach for a non-profit, or work in any other role that has you developing and delivering content to expand your brand’s footprint, drive leads, or spread a message – you should be publishing ebooks. This workshop outlines the logic of ebook publishing, suggests best practices, and gives you the tools necessary to get up and running swiftly.

Sign up here, http://bit.ly/1fsaoXE, and use the code WKS10 for 10% the registration fee. Hope to see you there. 

#dbw14 LeVar Burton didn’t call my name to win, but #rocketchairmedia was a finalist for a #publishing #innovation #award and that is pretty cool, too! Thanks to everyone that helped me get there! #illustrated #interactive #kafka ’s #themetamorphosis for #iPad #readingrainbow #childhoodheros #kuntakinte #community #digitalbookawards #latergram

Prices Will Rise as Publishers Convert

Over 50% of children’s books bought in store; buyers also purchase online. Children’s ebook prices going up, YA down. @nielsen #dbwlaunchkids

— Lorraine Shanley (@LWShanley)

January 13, 2014

In my unhumble opinion, consumers are shouldering the cost of digitization and the move toward fixed format epub, a high-quality, though expensive format that maintains the layout, and therefore storytelling, of the work.

Going on Now: Digital Book World Launch Kids

I meant to say in my last post that running concurrently with EBMA is Digital Book World (#DBW14 on Twitter). Today is dedicated to children’s book publishing (good data about the consumer market thus far), and you should follow Lorraine Shanely’s Twitter stream. She is @LWShanley.


Risk-takers, Rule-breakers, Engineers: Agents in Transition

The first-ever agents gathering at Digital Book World happens this coming Monday, January 13th: “Driving Agency Growth,” a morning of conversation, coffee and camaraderie, with a mix of ideas and perspectives from agencies large and small. The list of attendees and participants promises a lively discussion of trends, strategies, and new tools.

Here’s a preview: 6 Agent Success Stories we’ll be discussing during our morning of discovery, inspiration and preparation. The representatives of these firms will be pulling back the curtain on their work, sparking a conversation about risk, growth, and the fresh challenges facing agents today.

1. The Risk-taker: a small firm experiences a recession-busting period of growth, doubling in staff size and expanding author support services, while never straying from their core work of seeking and selling big books to big publishers.

2. The Rule-breaker: a young agent launches out on her own, establishing a hybrid company that provides representation services as well as full-scale marketing and publicity campaigns for authors both in and out of her stable.

3. The Fence-jumper: a former executive editor at a major imprint leaps the gap from big house to independent agent, building books for media brands and individual authors

4. The Brand-manager: a small, focused agency takes on the global relaunch of a bestselling author brand–building website, managing social media, executing promotional strategy on top of managing rights sales.

5. The Engineer: literally. An agency brings a software engineer in-house to provide full-time digital support to author stable, from web development to self-publishing and beyond.

6. The Packager: an agency that once specialized in book-packaging efforts returns to its roots, but with a refreshed digital emphasis, leveraging its legacy knowledge and infrastructure to move into the future by way of the past.

Join us Monday morning to meet these agents of change, and to engage with author reps from firms around town and around the world. The day kicks off with a fireside chat with Brian DeFiore, Chair of the AAR’s Digital Rights Committee, discussing experimentation, agency infrastructure, growth, risk, and what might come next. The rest of the morning will be a rich buffet of ideas, case studies, strategies, best practices and equipment.

Sign up here (and WKS10 for 10% off).

You can’t view the 2014 Digital Book World schedule very well above, but if you could, it would read as follows:

Future of Libraries [January 15, 2014, 2:45-3:35 pm]


Brian Kenney

, Library Director, White Plains Public Library

Jamie Watson

, Collection Development Coordinator, Baltimore Public Library

Meredith Schwartz

, Senior Editor, News & Features, Library Journal

Chris Fischbach

, Publisher, Coffee House Press

Christopher Platt

, Director of BookOps, New York Public Library


When Andrew Carnegie created public libraries, for many communities in the US libraries didn’t exist, distribution of books at retail was sparse, and even the middle class had little access to books. Now we’re in a digital age where anybody with an internet connection has access to more books for free or very cheap than most libraries could ever hope to hold. Meanwhile, libraries have expanded their missions as community centers.

But is that a viable future for libraries? What can they do to sustain their viability in an age whn access to many books is a click away for most people? Are publishers correct in seeing ebooks at libraries as a threat to sales, or wrong in failing to appreciate the library’s role in evangelizing books? A panel of librarians, joined by at least one publisher with faith in the libraries’ ongoing role, will discuss the future of public libraries in the digital age.

Congratulations to Cloud librarian Jamie Watson for representing! Ditto to my former Library Journal colleagues Brian Kenney and Meredith Schwartz. And, hey, I am a huge fan as well of Christopher Platt and Chris Fischbach, who heads up another indie press I’ve been wooing.

Stay tuned for more news in the New Year, which I think will see more library-publishing alignment.