Day One, TOC Conference, about 1200 attendees in the North and South Ballrooms of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Good lineup for keynotes this morning including: Peter Collingridge with Enhanced Editions, William Patry with Google, Skip Prichard from Ingram Content Group, Sameer Shariff from Impelsys, and Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post.
Andrew Savikas, Program Chair started us off with intros.
Highlights are below from each speaker.
Peter Collingridge, Enhanced Editions
3 points – background, set up, challenges
- Peter worked in UK publishing for 12 years and set up his own company, Apt in 2005.
- he has seen 2 major changes recently: value of the book has been driven down by companies who gained market share by decreasing the price of books and the impact of digital books, these have converged
wanted to be on the iPhone and based on competition that would be there, they decided to be premium. determined their mission, how do we bring books to the iPhone vs. how to get books on the iPhone.
features they implemented:
- use ePub – load and parse and ePub file for later use
- synchronize audio to text
- titles taylor made for the iPhone – listen or read or watch, without losing your place
next 3 – 5 years of publishing will be difficult/challenging, full of change, change will be monumental and irreversible
Enhanced Editions blurred the traditional linear structure of publishing, which is now iterative if not cyclical with feedback from all parties revolving around the title. EE provided a peek toward the future, one they are pursuing aggressively and experimentally.
The Death of Bunny Munro – check out this title on the iPhone app store.
William “Bill” Patry, Google
speaking as a copyright maven, not as a Google spokesperson
- Bill told some interesting copyright stories with his focus being that law should not be an answer to business problems
- “stronger copyright protection can not make a consumer buy something they don’t want to buy or watch something they don’t want to watch”
- you can’t sue your consumers to buy something from you
- copyright law – increase penalties and jail time, congress believes this will have a result. stronger laws will not help in the least
- copyright does not create economic value – story of giving architects copyright protection – “copyright isn’t fairy dust”
- copyright law has boomeranged like caffeine
- relying on law has become the business plan of companies – its a way to avoid innovation, to protect the status quo
- it takes a real manager to manage the downside of a product, he fears copyright is being used to eliminate the end of product cycles
- Example of Macmillan Dynamic Books via Course Smart
- will you give consumers something that has value to them and will they buy it?
Skip Prichard, Ingram Content Group
How do an NFL runningback, jar of jam, and a jazz pianist provide lessons for transforming publishing
- media habits are changing quickly, because of widespread bandwidth
- ebooks of today will be old news with new enhanced media versions
- innovation will transform content and redefine what a book is
- 1. growth of online retail – continuing to grow, changing the way books are bought and sold, there is no automatic right to survive (referring to independent and chain bookstores)
- 2. speed of innovation – stay focused on creating innovative products
- 3. the lines between print and digital are blurring
how do we engage the new generation?
3 suggestions – simplify, connect, and conquer
- simplify: what is your unique strategic value? one thing you do so good you are untouchable (example of Chris Johnson hiring a coach to find his specialty); too many choices can paralyze us (example of jam – too many choices can paralyze someone from making a decision); get back to the basics
- connect – know your customers inside and out, know who controls your destiny and focus on their needs relentlessly; watch the periphery, if it isn’t a big deal to someone else we can easily ignore that
- conquer: leave your comfort zones (that’s how we’ve always done it – limits you), new players can change easier b/c they don’t know how it’s always been done; what limitations do you put on yourself that shouldn’t be there? (example of jazz pianist who transformed the industry by playing the role of 2 pianists by himself)
Sameer Shariff, Impelsys
2 areas of focus – content development and audience development
he will focus on audience development, program later today on content development
social media phenomenon has opened up markets like never before. We can no longer have a business model that is a B to B model, we need to connect directly to our audiences and discover new behavior. Consumers make buying decisions based on reviews and opinions of others. They can influence your sales, risky to ignore them. have the right platforms, tools, and skill sets to reach your audience.
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post
Books don’t end in print, or with the printed page, books are conversation starters. We can do this online better than anywhere else.
You can’t enter into the same river twice. If we continue to do that we miss the golden age of where we are now. Readers want to engage with what they are reading, to talk back, to continue the conversation in a social network. The medium is not the message.
Huff Post – unplug and recharge – one month conversation about a book. They invite everyone involved with the book to go online and talk about it. Don’t have to start with a new book.
golden age of publishing – connect the old with the new
magical pub date – forget about it, start talking about your book early, convey your passion to potential readers, don’t be anonymous and hide behind your comments, write about what you love that is coming out. Sometimes reviews are conversation enders, and we want conversation starters.