Posts Tagged ‘Community’

The Optimist:

Digital Book World’s 7×20×21 at the Bowery Poetry Club last Wednesday gave seven industry professionals 21 seconds to show 20 slides. The evening was all about optimism: audience members were rewarded with free books if they shared a reason why their publishing glass was half full. In an industry increasingly overshadowed by doubt, the refreshing presentations featured humor, free drinks, and the occasional basketball metaphor. The festivities, hosted by Ami Greko and the charismatic Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, all boiled down to the following message: make publishing fun again, and we might just be able to save it.

“Making Publishing Fun Again” —

The Unicorn:

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, the audience development director at F+W Media and one of the coordinators of the upcoming conference, Digital Book World.

He talked about the upcoming conference, eBooks, eReaders, and the fabled Apple Tablet that many believe will be announced next week.

Gonzalez had a healthy dose of Tablet skepticism. Here’s an excerpt: “The image [Apple] used on the press invitation, it’s kind of a colorful Rorschach blot.

“The Apple Tablet Is One Big Rorschach Inkblot for Publishing — GalleyCat

The Audience:

Next week, the two-day Digital Book World conference gets underway in New York City at a moment when – for better or for worse – the digital tide may become a tsunami for the book publishing world. Ahead of the first-time conference, Chris Kenneally spoke with Conference Chair and industry pundit Mike Shatzkin of the Idea Logical Company and his DBW colleague Guy LeCharles Gonzalez for a special preview.

At Digital Book World, A is for ‘Audience’ — Beyond the Book

Are you ready for Digital Book World?

Register now for Digital Book World

Digital Book World's NYC 7x20x21 (PechaKucha)

January 13th @ 7 pm
Bowery Poetry Club, NYC

Join us for a fun night of publishing optimism, PechaKucha-style!

* 7 minutes * 20 slides * 21 seconds *

Stephanie Anderson, WORD Brooklyn
Ryan Chapman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pablo Defendini,
Joshua Simpson, Joshua Blake Photography
Debbie Stier, HarperStudio
Ward Sutton, Sutton Impact Studio

Hosted by Guy LeCharles Gonzalez and Ami Greko

RSVP now!

Digital Book World’s NYC 7x20x21 is a PechaKucha-style event with a couple of tweaks.

Pecha what…? Kucha who…?

PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and you talk along to the images. The presentation format was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture. The first PechaKucha Night was held in Tokyo in their gallery, lounge, bar, club, creative kitchen SuperDeluxe in February 2003. Klein Dytham architecture still organize and support the global PechaKucha Night network and organise PechaKucha Night Tokyo.

Sponsored by Digital Book World and Verso Advertising.

Register now for Digital Book World

“All in all, 2009 may have been the most painful year of a disruptive decade for publishers. But it was never dull.”
Publishers Weekly, Better Luck Next Year

The world of publishing is seemingly changing every week, and 2010 is unlikely to see the roller coaster coming to a stop any time soon.

Digital Book World is excited to announce the launch of The Digital Roundtable — a live, interactive webcast gathering some of the most outspoken industry professionals to debate the hottest publishing issues of the week, as being discussed in traditional media, the blogiverse and on Twitter.

From celebrity book deals to eBook rights and pricing to [insert YOUR pet topic here] — if it’s related to books, it’s on the agenda.

Live, interactive, opinionated, timely… every Thursday @ 1pm EST (10am PST), and best of all, it’s free!

Primary seats at the roundtable will be held by:

Laura Dawson, Publishing Industry Consultant
Pablo Defendini, Producer/Showrunner of
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Dir. of Audience Development, Digital Book World
Kate Rados, Dir. of Digital Initiatives, Chelsea Green
Bridget Warren, Former Co-Owner, Vertigo Books

Register now to take your seat at the table and join the conversation.

Register now for Digital Book World

by Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Director of Audience Development, Digital Book World

Yesterday’s webinar, Indie Booksellers and the Digital Transition: Opportunity Knocks?, was an enlightening conversation that covered a number of timely topics — from bundling print and eBooks to bookstores as a “third place” — and attempted to answer the ultimate question: how can publishers be better partners?

Debbie Stier, SVP/Associate Publisher for HarperStudio and Director of Digital Marketing for HarperCollins moderated a lively conversation with a panel of veteran independent booksellers: Stephanie Anderson, WORD (Brooklyn), Patrick Brown, Vroman’s (Pasadena, CA), and Bridget Warren, Vertigo Books (College Park, MD).

Among the topics addressed was Clay Shirky’s idea of bookstores as social hubs, wherein he proposed “turning some customers into members, patrons, donors”, aka the NPR model. Brown’s response was succinct:

“Clay’s piece was interesting as a sort of think piece on theoretical bookstores of the future. I don’t really think that it’s all that feasible to implement many of his ideas for a bookstore that’s on the ground right now…

That tends to be how a lot of people go about it. They’re like, ‘Well, if I had a bookstore, this is how I would do it.’ But you don’t have a bookstore right now.”

Shelf Awareness has a great recap of the session, including some answers to “What can publishers do to help indies?”

Warren suggested, “Integrate sales so the reps we know and trust sell e-books. Publishers need to make sure their reps are comfortable selling e-books, and ease pricing disparity for indies.” Anderson wished for “Better communication, more openness, more back and forth. We have the same goal: we want people to buy good books.” Brown said, “Publishers [need to] recognize how important we are to the ecosystem. Shelf space is advertising space.”

Some of the highlights from our attendees via Twitter:

Kirtim reason harper studio doesn’t bundle? no major retailer does it #dbw is this the opportunity for indies?

DigiBookWorld “The bundle sounds easy, yet no one seems to be able to make a shopping cart that bundles a physical and digital product.” @debbiestier #dbw

DonLinn OR Books had a bundle of digital and print for GOING ROUGE. Sold only a couple of hundred copies. #dbw

KatherineBoG I’ve had ppl express interest in having hard copy of book + e-version. Unfortunately all who’ve said that to me are kindle owners. #dbw

katerados #dbw – interesting correlation b/w apple’s itunes dynamic pricing and ebook pricing. Get the early adopters at premium price?

changinghands #dbw Yes, online e-book purchases will be the norm. Our job to encourage customers to buy digital from indies. Price disadvantage crippling.

WendyHudson #dbw Does anyone here use Symtio cards in their stores?

Kirtim I would think Symtio cards would help towards a bundle idea -maybe just a barcode on the p-book? #dbw

changinghands #dbw Why is public expectation for e-books set at $9.99? Jeff Bezos decided for all of us. Fellow travelers who link to Amazon complicit.

thebookjournal #dbw so seeing as we can’t sell Kindle format ebooks, do we really stand a chance?

Kirtim interesting how convo for #dbw is no longer about content but about bundle and pricing. Seems a huge advance from a couple years ago.

WendyHudson #dbw I want a POD machine as soon as it’s feasible, but $, size, and staffing are big issues.

bookateur #dbw Espresso can be leased vs. outright buy.

emmittc was told by andrew pate with ondemand books (espresso) in october that they are “not currently leasing”…..#dbw

Kirtim Titles in Hamilton, Canada and University of Alberta have espresso and rave #dbw/news/7079.html#dbw

KSchechner More on indies using the Espresso Book Machine:

KatherineBoG Interesting: @bookavore’s argument that indies must make ebooks a local experience vs Sherman Alexie last week that it’s impossible. #dbw

ca_gordon Mobile devices allow people to bring the internet & social networks with them to stores with a physical inventory. via @vromans #dbw

KatherineBoG “use mobile technology to take advantage of our physical space” ex. foursquare. @vromans #dbw

KatherineBoG “Social media is a way to remind people of how wonderful it is to actually be in the store” @bookavore #dbw

DigiBookWorld “We have to focus on the things we can do that software can’t.” Patrick from @Vromans #dbw

changinghands #dbw Disagree with Patrick. Doing the things software can’t and incorporating the new not mutually exclusive. Do both.

The archive of the webinar is available here.

Register Today!

Register Today!

Question: Is Twitter a great tool to engage directly with readers, or is it just an echo chamber?

It’s a trick question, of course, but if response to Electric Literature’s experiment with Rick Moody is an indicator, the answer might not be one social marketing evangelists want to hear.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Speakeasy blog picked up on the negative reactions to the initiative yesterday, noting “Rick Moody’s Twitter Short Story Draws Long List of Complaints“:

Titled “Some Contemporary Characters,” the story revolves around a man and a woman who meet through an on-line dating site. The criticisms of the piece are less with content than distribution. In addition to Electric Literature’s Twitter feed, several partners agreed to co-publish the story, like Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena. As the L.A. Times’ Jacket Copy blog points out, these feeds tend to share followers, so some Twitter users have been inundated with repeat tweets of Moody’s story. One bookseller wrote “Please, please stop the madness.”

The decision of some co-publishers to publish Moody’s story while continuing their normal tweet flow also means the narrative is continually being disrupted by unrelated tweets – the Web equivalent of an audience  standing up during a speech and carrying on cross-conversations while the speaker continues to talk. Michael Cader wrote a piece for Publishers Marketplace outlining these issues with the subtitle “Moody’s Twitter Story Backfires.” He said the criticism “underscores how extremely sensitive audiences are — especially on social networking sites, where communication feels very personal and is always immediate.”

One of the story’s co-publishers was the California independent bookseller, Vroman’s, who abruptly ended the tweets mid-story, shortly after the Speakeasy post. Today, Vroman’s webmaster Patrick Brown had an insightful post asking, “The Rick Moody Twitter Saga: What Are We All Doing Here?

The Moody Twitter experiment (and Moody wasn’t to blame for its failure, though I’m sure the first couple comments will be “ZOMG!1! Rick Moody is teh suck!1!!1″) depressed me for a number of reasons.  First, it made me wonder what we’re all doing on Twitter.  If so many of my followers are book industry people, am I wasting my time with it?  All this time, I’d hoped I was reaching customers.  To be sure, Twitter is useful for talking to colleagues in the book industry, and I’ll continue to use it for that purpose, but if it doesn’t have a reach beyond that, I’m not sure what the point is.  So much of the dialog that happens on Twitter and on the literary blogs feels masturbatory to me.  It’s the same couple hundred people talking about the same issues to the same audience.  Is that what I’ve been doing these past few years?  Is that what the book business is at this point?  If it is, then to quote the modern day philosopher Bunk Moreland “We ain’t about much.”

The book business is in major decline, and while we can all howl about the reasons why, the main one, it seems to me, is that not enough people read (and those who do, read less than they used to).  There are more ways than ever to get your entertainment and information, and books are having a lot of trouble keeping up.  Those of us who rely on selling books for a living need to devote a lot of time to finding people who are not readers.  We have to grow our market, or we are in for a very dark future indeed.   The reaction to this Twitter experiment seems to indicate to me that we’re not all that interested in doing it.  Or maybe we are, as long as it doesn’t interrupt our conversations about ebook formatting and the National Book Awards.

The comments to the post (as of 5:30pm EST) make for interesting reading and together raise a number of interesting questions for publishers and booksellers alike:

  1. Is Twitter a great tool to engage directly with readers, or is it just an echo chamber?
  2. Was Electric Literature’s experiment an epic failure; an innovative idea lacking on execution; or  a successful publicity stunt?
  3. How can publishers and booksellers engage casual and non-readers effectively in an age where response comes in real-time and criticism flows more freely than praise?

That last question is one we’ll address next week in Indie Booksellers and the Digital Transition: Opportunity Knocks?, a FREE webinar that will discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead for independent booksellers, and what a digital future means for them.

Debbie Stier, SVP/Associate Publisher for HarperStudio and Director of Digital Marketing for HarperCollins will moderate a lively conversation with our panel of veteran independent booksellers: Stephanie Anderson, WORD (Brooklyn), Patrick Brown, Vromans (Pasadena, CA), and Bridget Warren, Vertigo Books (College Park, MD).

Feel free to leave questions here that you’d like the panel to consider and we’ll make sure they see them.

Register Today!

Register Today!

Rick Moody’s Twitter Short Story Draws Long List of Complaints

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