One of the panels presented at this year’s FutureBook conference addressed the concerns of the future for publishers. Essentially, the presenters asked the question, “Are we telling readers what they will read, or are we creating content that they want to read?”
Stephen Page, CEO of Faber&Faber, addressed how some of the business models happening in publishing today are exciting, such as the recent merger of Penguin and Random House, while Rebecca Smart, CEO of mid-sized publisher Osprey Group, addressed how they are responding to feedback from their own consumer readers to drive the development of new titles.
Dominique Raccah, CEO and founder of Sourcebooks, spoke on how interactivity is creating a more engaging learning experience for students, even at the risk of creating a reading experience that involves more than just the text.
“Motivation is ground zero,” she quoted from a classroom teacher’s feedback about the recently New York Times-reviewed interactive Shakespeare series that Sourcebooks launched earlier this year.
Raccah continued by providing a demonstration of the newly launched Put Me in the Story platform, one that Raccah feels is far more about education than about books.
“We listed the Put Me in the Story platform under the category of Education rather than Books on the iTunes store because we feel that strongly about how these books can engage readers,” Raccah told GoodeReader.
The final speaker on the panel was author Will McInnis, who made a very interesting statement that as an author, he’s somewhat of an outsider to the publishing industry, a very telling statement about where the publishing industry used to be. This future envisioned by the panelists and the attendees no longer views the creators of the content itself as being outsiders, just as they are now recognizing that it is the readers who should be the focal point for what books come to market.