Archive for Book Expo America
The first ever digital publishing hackathon took place over the weekend at The Alley in New York. Organized by Perseus Books Group and Librify, the event transpired over 32 consecutive hours and was attended by 200 people. Over 30 different teams sought to develop new ideas for digital book discovery.
“It was exciting to watch 200 people come together at one time in one space and grapple with the challenge of digital book discovery,” said Rick Joyce, CMO of Perseus and one of the judges. “Not only were fascinating solutions developed, but there was a lot for a publishing person to learn about the ways content is connected and discovered digitally from these talented designers and coders.”
The finalists have now been selected and the final award will be announced at Book Expo America. All of the selected entrants will also receive coaching from publishing and technology mentors and have 10 days to work on their project. We now have a copy of the finalists that have participated in the hackathon.
•Library Integration Challenge from NYPL – $1,000 was awarded to Visibrary (Sara Michener, Carrie Segal, Alessandra Nova, Iv Segal) for the best library discovery project or the best integration of library data.
•Children’s / Literacy Challenge from NYPL – $500 was awarded to the Evoke team (listed above) for the best project for children and adults that either (a) enables book discovery, (b) encourages a love of reading, or (c) facilitates literacy.
•Avalon Travel Discovery Challenge – $500 was awarded to BookCity (listed above) for the project that best promotes discovery books related to travel.
•Manuscript to Metadata Challenge from PublicAffairs – $500 was awarded to Publy.io (Megha Gulati, Rajeev Gulati) for the best approach to improving metadata from the manuscript.
•Pearson API Challenge – $250 was awarded to Evoke for the best use of either (or both) of Pearson’s APIs.
The IDPF is holding a two day event before the main Book Expo America Starts in late may. This is a major digital publishing event featuring the who’s who of the ebook, e-reader, and self-publishing world. The main speaker list has been finalized and one of the new executives to lead a session is Otis Chandler, Co-founder and CEO of Goodreads. He will share an update and tackle questions from the crowd, including: What’s next for Goodreads now that it’s owned by Amazon? What does the recent sale mean for the 17 million members, 530 million books and 23 million reviews?
Other speakers include:
- Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author and staff writer for The New Yorker will speculate on the digital future with Brad Stone, Bloomberg Businessweek writer and author of the upcoming The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.
- Paul Aiken, Executive Director of the Authors Guild, will speak out for his constituents in the sale versus licensing digital content controversy, sharing the stage with the other side, John Ossenmacher of ReDigi, moderated by former Tools of Change icon, Joe Wikert.
- Allen Lau of Wattpad, Kristen McLean of Bookigee and Anne Kubek of INscribe Digital will enrich the audience with tips on how to engage deeper with readers.
- Sylvia Day and Jennifer Armentrout will reveal their secrets on how to be a successful and bestselling hybrid author.
- Paul Belfanti (Pearson), Kent Freeman (VitalSource), Evan St. Lifer (Scholastic), Daniel Fountenberry (Borne Digital), Rebecca Tomasini (The Alvo Institute), Ken Brooks (Cengage), Diana Rhoten (Amplify) and more digital education pioneers will show us what 21st century learning platforms and classrooms should really look like and why.
- Steve Potash (OverDrive), Jeff Jaffe (World Wide Web Consortium) and John Wheeler (SPi Global) will cover the open web platform, EPUB 3 and HTML 5, while Markus Gylling (DAISY) and Bill Kasdorf (Apex CoVantage) will share the latest EPUB 3 developments and features and Liz Castro (Author) will put them into action.
- Chris Kitchener of Adobe and Steve Matteson of Monotype will explore how to enhance a reader’s experience through typography and fonts.
- Eve Hill (Department of Justice), George Kerscher (DAISY and 2013 Presidential Appointee) and Robin Seaman (Benetech) will cover accessibility in the digital world.
Registration remains open but the IDPF Digital Book Conference sells out every year. Register today at: http://idpf.org/db13. Paid admission to IDPF Digital Book 2013 includes free admission to the BookExpo America trade show and exhibit hall, including the Digital Discovery Zone by IDPF.
The schedule for IDPF Digital Book Conference is set for May 29th to the 30th at the Javits Center in New York. This event transpires every year right before the start of Book Expo America. It is the most definitive gathering of stalwart digital heroes and focuses on the trends in ebooks, self-publishing, e-readers, and what companies are doing.
The incredibly rich 2013 speaker list ranges from bestselling authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Sylvia Day, and Jennifer Armentrout; media masters like Brad Stone of Bloomberg Businessweek, Laura Hazard Owen of paidContent, Jeremy Greenfield of Digital Book World, and Phil Sexton of F+W Media; top executives from the Big 6 houses; the Author’s Guild and the US Department of Justice; top children’s and educational publishers like Scholastic, Cengage, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; industry visionaries, such as Matt McInnis of Inkling, Allen Lau of Wattpad, Kristen McLean of Bookigee, Richard Nash of Small Demons, Corey Pressman of Exprima Media, Mark Ury of Storybird, Hugh McGuire of PressBooks, Craig Mod, John Ossenmacher of ReDigi, Anne Kubek of InScribe Digital, Josh Schanker of BookBub, and more; and finally, industry giants Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Google. There are just too many speakers to mention, but the complete list can be seen here: http://idpf.org/digital-book-2013/speakers.
Paid admission to IDPF Digital Book 2013 includes free admission to the BookExpo America trade show and exhibit hall, including the Digital Discovery Zone by IDPF. Early bird rates are in effect through May 1, 2013. Registration is available at an incredible rate: $389 ($259 for IDPF members / $329 non-profits). To register, please visit: http://idpf.org/db13. Follow event updates on Twitter @digitalbook13.
Good e-Reader and the International Digital Publishing Forum have struck an agreement on a new sponsorship deal. Good e-Reader now joins Publishers Weekly as the companies media sponsor, covering all major IDPF events. The first major event that is happening in May, is the Digital Book show that is happening at Book Expo America.
IDPF Digital Book 2013 at BookExpo America is a two-day conference focused on all the key issues we face in advancing publishing in an increasingly digital world. Digital Book 2013 is designed to give executives, marketers and technologists practical information and tools to inspire and lead organizations in this time of rapid change. In-depth sessions will analyze key opportunities and pitfalls, highlighting compelling business strategies and actionable solutions.
This two-day conference will feature insightful keynote sessions and three parallel tracks of targeted in-depth content (business & marketing, technology and production, and education and professional publishing). There will be many excellent sessions that Good e-Reader will cover and bring you the biggest news that develops.Every year at Digital Book and Book Expo America, many major announcements are made.
Good e-Reader is proud to sponsor the IDPF. The company is mainly responsible for promoting and the development of electronic publishing applications and products that will benefit creators of content, makers of reading systems, and consumers. The IDPF develops and maintains the EPUB content publication standard that enables the creation and transport of reflowable digital books and other types of content as digital publications that are interoperable between disparate EPUB-compliant reading devices and applications.
Book Expo America continues to be the largest publishing and book fair in North America. Before the show actually kicks off, there is a two day digital conference that brings the movers and shakers in the industry together to talk about the current status and future of digital publishing. Today, the IDPF announced the full list of speakers that will be attending the event.
The final program is still under development, but featured speakers include the following experts: Chantal Restivo-Alessi (HarperCollins), Michael Tamblyn (Kobo), Jeff Jaffe (W3C), Paul Belfanti (Pearson), Matt MacInnis (Inkling), Ken Brooks (Cengage Learning), Samantha Cohen (Simon & Schuster), Dominique Raccah (SourceBooks), Hugh McGuire (PressBrooks), Josh Schanker (BookBub), Pip Tannenbaum (Parragon), Nicole Passage (Open Road Media), Sanj Kharbanda (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Liisa McCloy-Kelley (Random House), Richard Nash (Small Demons), Laura Hazard Owen (paidContent/GigaOM), Sanders Kleinfeld (O’Reilly Media), Mark Ury (Storybird), Phil Sexton (F+W Media), Micah Bowers (Bluefire), Liz Castro (author and noted EPUB 3 expert), Marc Aronson, Ph.D (Core Curriculum expert) and more. Special guest keynote speakers will be announced soon.
Topics include: The Evolving Digital Book, Digital Publishing in Transition, The Open Web Platform, From Textbooks to Learning Platforms (Implications for Early Education Publishers), The Changing Role of Authors, Enhanced Illustrated Digital Books, In-Sourcing vs Outsourcing, Best Practices, Reader Engagement, Selling vs. Licensing, Reading Systems, K-12 Content and Adapting to Early Learners, and much more.
Of course, Good e-Reader will be live on the scene for the entire conference, bringing you coverage of every single session. If you can’t attend BEA or the Digital Book show this year, you can live vicariously through us!
The largest publishing conference in North America is starting earlier next year. Book Expo America is finalized to run from May 30 to June 1 at the Javitz Center in New York City. The main factor in the change was to keep hotel fees down for attendees. Conference Day will take place on Wednesday, May 29th, and the show floor will be open Thursday, May 30th – Saturday, June 1st. The Book Blogger Conference will take place on Wednesday, May 29th, as will the Remainders & Gift Pavilions, just like the last 5 years.
“I am incredibly happy that we have been able to come to this arrangement with Javits,” notes Steve Rosato, Show Manager for BookExpo America. “This shift addresses the #1 issue that was out of BEA’s control which was the hotel prices in New York City. This works to everyone’s advantage … most notably, for our attendees, especially the ABA for whom hotel costs are a top priority. We are pleased to deliver this better alternative which will unequivocally deliver significant savings to all our participants in 2013. Simply put, BEA can provide more lodging at a lower rate and we are able to secure larger blocks in the most popular hotels with these dates.”
One of the big aspects of this date change is to give the public a better opportunity to check out the convention. 2012 was the first year in which the general public was able to attend and opening the Friday and Saturday block will give people the weekend to parlay with their favorite authors and scoop up some free books.
Amazon offers two platforms for self-published authors, the first being the Kindle Direct Publishing site that helps authors post their works to the Kindle store as ebooks, the second being the print-on-demand service CreateSpace. While both platforms help self-published authors make their books available to a larger public at little or no cost to themselves, their focus is about developing two distinctly different versions of the same book.
Romance author Theresa Ragan, a featured author through the CreateSpace platform who also publishes her mystery and thriller titles under the name T. R. Ragan, spoke to GoodEReader at BookExpo America last week about how both options are ideally suited for self-published authors. In the case of Ragan, who actually sold over 250,000 ebooks in her first year of indie publication, the attention her books received in terms of sales led to a contract for her books to be published by Thomas & Mercer, the mystery imprint of Amazon’s traditional publishing house, Amazon Publishing.
Ragan is one of the authors who has discovered that garnering a fan base for her indie works is what led to the attention of a larger, traditional publisher. “Self-publishing used to be the end of your career, but for me it’s been just the beginning.”
On the last day of Book Expo America 2012, Jim Hilt Vice President of eBooks at Barnes & Noble came all the way down just to speak with us! We talked about the growing success of their e-ink reader line with the newest edition to the family, the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. He shares with us the evolution of the hardware from the concept stage and what made them create it. He also explains the growing synergy between their retail locations and their digital content systems, and some things we can expect moving forward.
Barnes and Noble is very well known for the Nook Color and Nook Tablet line of reading devices. He stressed the importance of tuning the ecosystem to readers first. Other companies like Amazon seem to be very focused on signing up people for Amazon Prime, but B&N has tremendous success with Nook Kids, Nook Study, Lendme, and their Android Apps. We talk a bit about how libraries play a part in B&N’s lending strategy.
This is a great interview, and he seldom does them with media organizations, so we want to sincerely thank him for making the trip down to chat with us for over an hour!
Book Expo America 2012 has come and gone and this was one of our first trips where we had all hands on deck! Mercy, Peter, and myself were all live on the scene and covered IDPF and the entire BEA conference.
If there is anything that is abundantly clear, it’s that digital books and technology played a very minor role at the conference. Scholastic, Harper Collins, Harlequin’s Karina Press, and many of the big six publishers had a non-existent digital presence. In many cases when we talked to some of the executives, they did not even have anyone from their ebook division at the conference. It goes to show, as much as these companies hype the fact that digital distribution is the future, they really did not show it.
Here are our thoughts of the best things to come out of the Book Expo and the most noteworthy news we covered during the entire week long event.
We were invited to a Thought Leaders Breakfast on the eve of Book Expo, where the company unveiled its Writing Life Platform. They had popular authors such as Kevin J Anderson in attendance to give us their experiences in beta testing the platform.
On the first day of BEA, we talked with Michael Tamblyn, Vice President of Content, Sales, and Merchandising, about Writing Life. This new program basically allows you to self-publish with Kobo and sell your books in all of the markets that the company has a presence. The big hyping factor is the real time sales and statistical information it provides you. Many self-publishing companies give you data at the end of the month or every quarter. With Writing Life, you can experiment with price, cover art, and marketing to see what works. If you go on a book tour to San Fransisco and don’t notice a spike in your sales, the information can help you decide if further trips might be worth it.
Writing Life will be available in a few weeks and roll out internationally soon thereafter.
I would have thought Amazon would have had a larger presence at BEA, but only Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing were in attendance. I really wanted to speak with someone from Audible, or Kindle Singles, but there was no one there. Amazon used the conference to announce their new program that helps you use your Createspace books and submit them to Kindle Direct Publishing.
Barnes and Noble
B&N did not have an official booth at BEA, but they had sent a number of high ranking executives to the conference to meet with us and talk shop with other publishers. We met with the Director of Business Development, Stephen Mcdonell, who is basically the man in charge of Android Development. He gave us some key points that really set the record straight in terms of why B&N held the London Event in April and what sections of the store do very well. It seems that the London event was to meet up with the UK developers and get them to submit their apps to the Nook App Store. We can expect to see such notable games as Flick Golf hitting the app store soon. He also told us that Kids Apps and Lifestyle apps are doing really well.
Next, we met with Jim Hilt, Vice President of eBooks at Barnes & Noble. He gave us a great interview on the success of the Nook Glow, what we can expect from NFC, and more synergy in their retail/digital environments.
We got invited to an exclusive Disney event with only 20 other people from the industry in attendance. The representatives showed off the new iPad app based on the movie Brave and some new Marvel apps. The most important thing we took away from this company’s presence at the show was how they are able to produce such high quality apps. It seems Pixar, Marvel, and Disney all share art assets with each other. When they decide to make an app, they have access to the feature film video, character art, their entire sound library, concept art, and tons of other assets. They said, the average high quality app takes around five months to make, and Disney is able to do more in less time because they share assets with all of the departments.
Overdrive was at the show, and we landed an interview with the Chief Marketing Director David Burleigh. We talked at length on the aquisition of Booki.sh and how the online HTML5 reading app is a game changer, for ease of use. We also talked about the new touchscreen terminals that will make searching for books and sending them to your device via QR codes much easier. He shared some very interesting statistics on how digital book lending is looking in all of the different markets Overdrive is in. We also talk about publishers’ reluctance to share books with the company.
We spoke with Tom Mercer, who is really the man in charge of the 3M Cloud Library. He shared what exactly they do that is different and gives some history on the evolution of his company and how they intend on Combating Overdrive. The main things we took out of talking with them is the hardware investment that libraries have to make to do business with 3M. Libraries would have to fork over around $3500 for their touchscreen discovery terminals and then more for their official e-reader to lend out to patrons. The e-reader they have is not provided by Txtr, but instead is the Pocketbook 612 e-reader that is rebranded as their own. Txtr played a role in developing 3M’s Android app.
eBooks and the fragmentation of formats
We talked to every major company involved in ebooks! Smashwords, Karina Press, Disney, Kobo, Intel, and tons of others. If one thing is clear, ebooks have a wild west feel and no one can agree on a universal standard. We have EPUB, EPUB3, EPUB4, Kindle Format 8, HTML5, PDF’s and standalone apps to deliver content. There were copious amounts of companies, such as LULU and Bookbaby, hyping their ebook conversion services and many people were disappointed that there is no universal standard for ebooks. The lack of any standard is creating walled gardens, where if you want to tailor your content for Amazon, it is hard to make an Android App out of it. Seldom do people even know the differences between all the different iterations of EPUB and what the advantages are. The one thing the industry as a whole needs to address is a universal standard for text based books and books that have video/audio and multimedia content. Companies spend too much time trying to adapt to the technology, and in doing so they are losing focus on the actual content.
BEA was very light on digital, but the people we met up with were totally amazing! It was very refreshing to put faces to names and talk shop with them before we did the format interview. I would like to thank Barnes and Noble, Kobo, 3M, Overdrive, Disney, Smashwords, and many others for taking to time to do video interviews with us and talk shop for hours. It was electrifying to be among peers where their eyes do not glaze over when you talk about the current state of affairs of digital publishing and the future of ebooks and distribution.
Only a few years ago, the publishing camps were firmly divided about digital publishing’s place in the world. While supporters declared ebooks to be the “death of paper,” critics dismissed digital reading as a flash in the pan. When it seemed like these newfangled ebooks were actually gaining popularity, both sides became just as divided on where digital fit in the publishing clubhouse.
Now that the flames have died down some and most in the industry can agree that both print and digital will still have their place, a new attitude has been adopted. At this year’s BookExpo America and IDPF Digital Book event, the same thematic buzzwords kept getting tossed around with an infectious eagerness. Terms like experimenting, risk-taking, and disruptive models were everywhere, with industry leaders looking past whether or not anyone should digitally publish to what the next step in digital will have to be.
Eric Hellman, founder of Unglue.it, seeks to “unglue” books in order to have them enjoyed on any device and by any reader, spoke to GoodEReader after an IDPF breakout session on the disruptive business model. In other words, what kind of out-of-the-box thinking is required to take the current state of e-publishing to a whole new level?
BookExpo’s Digital Zone held no shortage of new reading platforms for both iOS and Android, but Bluefire Productions was on hand to demonstrate its “white label” branded app that lets publishers concentrate all of their content within their own easily identifiable app. This feature is becoming more important as reading consumers are taking notice of the types of books that each publisher releases, especially in the case of smaller press or boutique publishing houses.
Cliff Guren, Vice President of Business Development of Bluefire Productions, demonstrated the latest version of the Bluefire Reader. “BR is a feature-rich reading environment…to make it a pleasurable reading environment that supports both ePub and PDF content in a beautiful page display.”
As the business of children’s digital content is booming, a small handful of companies are still known as the originators of dynamic educational-yet-entertaining content. At this year’s BookExpo America and IDPF Digital Book conference, GoodEReader caught up with Woody Sears, president of zuuka, whose award-winning iStoryTime line of enhanced ebooks feature favorite children’s stories from DreamWorks’ popular kids’ movies.
Sears demonstrated the latest addition to the iStoryTime family, the Madagascar 3 app, which precedes the movie’s mid-June launch. This version incorporates the kids’ novelizations of both of the previous movies in the series within the free app, with the third title being available for purchase within the app.
While this version still incorporates the popular features from other iStoryTime titles, like read-aloud narration and highlighted text, the appearance of this set of titles has shifted a little to reflect the data on how kids use ebooks. With the majority of young readers taking advantage of the read-to-me option, the developers put more text on the same screen, giving the book that “big kid book” image; that will be incredibly important as elementary readers begin to make the transition to chapter books.