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Rave Technologies – Annual Publishing Conference 2016

Rave Technologies - Annual Publishing Conference 2016

On the 8th of November,  Karine and David, attended the Annual Publishing Conference 2016, hosted by Rave Technologies. David attended the morning and Karine the afternoon.

Speakers: Annual Publishing Conference

The Next 15 Years

David’s talk, amongst other things, was an interesting insight into the future of technologies and how this could benefit us or possibly hinder us.

He spoke about why some companies had failed in the last 15 years as they had not kept a breast with up to date technologies and why some had not because they had done! And the pattern would continue for the next 15 years if we all don’t get on board the rapid moving technological landscape.

Another point he raised is information/cyber security both in publishing (how there needs to be more awareness of it) and in our everyday life as the number of gadgets we use increase.

Implementing a Content Enrichment – The easy way, or the right way

Jason, Director, Platform Capabilities at Wiley gave guidance on how to implement a content enrichment strategy. The idea is to enrich digital content as to make it more valuable to the publisher.

This could include related article services to grouping together content so that it can be used for multiple purposes such as SEO and TDM services.

Going beyond Content is the Secret to your Success

Paul spoke about how to really know your customers through the enhancement of data and, by doing this, knowing what products your customers want (and will ultimately purchase!).

In a nutshell, this is done by analysing the digital footprint of your customer; what their purchase history looks like, their demographic etc. (the list is endless, these are just two examples), you then can tailor products, services and campaigns to they want.

What happens when you involve users in developing your products?

Sharon Cooper, Chief Digital Officer for the BMJ, gave an interesting talk on how their digital products need to be designed in line with user needs. But how do they know their individual user needs? What could be a good function for one may not be good for another.

Well, the conclusion to this, is to involve the actual users on their specific needs across the whole spectrum of the medical industry from student to GP and management. They are then able to get an idea of the requirements and build in the functionalities for the relevant level.

Secondly, hold a Design Sprint, where you take 5 people from different sectors of the business (sales, technology etc.) and take 5 days out to road map the product as follows:

Day 1: UNPACK

Share knowledge, common understanding of the design challenge and define metrics.

Day2: SKETCH

Generate ideas and variations, critique and weighted voting.

Day 3: DECIDE

Conflicts and assumptions, storyboard and plan prototype.

Day 4: PROTOTYPE

Build a realistic version of the storyboard.

Day 5: TEST

Validate with real users and determine how people understand your product.

Did you attend the Publishing Conference at Rave Technologies? If so let us know in a comment below or send us a message on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram!

 

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The London Digital Book Printing Forum

I recently attended an event for print and production professionals – the London Digital Book Printing Forum at The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

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The event give updates on the key trends and issues in the book market, looking at both  the supply chain and book manufacturing, including the status of digital printing. I made it to the afternoon session where speakers covered:

Market Evolution and Emergence of New Business Models: Some of the key players in book publishing, distribution, and manufacturing gave their insights on the changes occurring in print procurement and book distribution, and on the impact of digital printing on the streamlining of the supply chain.

Richard Fidczuk, Production Director at SAGE Publications spoke passionately about their use of digital – they publish 250 books a year and over 500 journals with most journals still being print rather than digital. They printed their first frontlist digital 4 colour title in March 2016 and most reprints are now printed digitally to reduce stock and print runs. In terms of the impact of digital on the supply chain, it means books never need to go out of print. They can also print locally in many different locations which is useful for new books with no sales history.

We also heard from Paul Major, Global Senior Procurement Manager, Oxford University Press and David Taylor, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisition International, Ingram Content Group.  All of the speakers agreed keeping stock in warehouses was much reduced nowadays due to print on demand options.

We also heard about some innovations from international publishers, the one that really caught my eye was Frédéric Mériot, Managing Director, Presses Universitaires de France (PUF) talking about sending a ‘statement of disruption’ to the market. They opened a shop in Paris to print their own list (and 3 million Google titles). It’s proved a huge success – you can go in, select a book, get a coffee and the Espresso book machine will print your book while you wait – and with a personalised message if you wish!

It was also great to hear from some smaller publishers in the ‘Medium & Small Publishers’ Points of View’ section. Their workflows and requirements are often very different to the larger publishers but all were using digital printing and POD to some degree. Michelle Jones, Production Manager, IWA Publishing said they need to be flexible and open to new technology and they often select a print process on a book by book basis based on price, quality etc.  Claire Watts, Production Manager, Oldcastle Books agreed the POD option would be good for reasons of cost and the environment. Anne Beech, Managing Director, Pluto Press said her colleagues can tell the difference between a litho and digitally printed books (but it’s less likely the readers would) and that POD is the hidden saviour of the small publisher.  Daniele Och, Production Director, Zed Books said 90% of their frontlist and all backlist titles are printed digitally and it’s essential to their business to have good digital printing options.

And lastly Jane Hyne, Production Manager, National Gallery Company gave an insight into how she has been working with digital printing to produce high quality colour books.

Overall it was a good opportunity to catch up on production and printing news, terminology and what the future might hold.

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‘Publishing for Kids: how to reach book buyers online’ at BookMachine

Children's

For those of you that missed last night’s BookMachine event, here are a few notes on what we picked up from the four excellent speakers on the subject of ‘Publishing for Kids: how to reach book buyers online’

Steve Bohme, UK Research Director at Nielsen Book Research presented some interesting statistics on children’s online habits.

You Tube and video sharing featured consistently as the most popular online habit for 0-17 years-olds.  Use of WhatsApp and Netflix is also on the rise.

However, whilst children’s book buyers are more engaged in the online world than other book buyers and spend a lot of their online time on You Tube, only 33% of children’s books are purchased online and browsing video sites is very low on the list of places that kids discover books online.  Is there an untapped opportunity here for children’s publishers?

Next up was Claire Morrison, Senior Marketing Manager for DK Books, who confirmed that for this well-established brand, physical books were still their biggest seller with sales still on the rise.  DK is one of a few trade book publishers to have a search and analytics team and Claire described the work that this team carries out on identifying the personae of their buyers. Ensuring their content is in line with the consumer’s expectations is vital to maintaining DK’s strong and trusted brand. Claire stressed the importance of the brand’s online presence as a means of interacting with customers and DK prides itself on have a 100% rating on giving feedback via its social media channels.  Claire also introduced DK’s online encyclopaedia project DKFindOut!.

After a break and a mingle, Charlotte Hoare the Digital Marketing Manager at Hachette Children’s Books warned about the perils of static websites, which may seem a cheaper option than a proper CMS, but will prove more costly in the long run.  She also noted the tendency for marketers to set up websites for one short marketing campaign only for this website to be forgotten and not updated until a reminder arrives that the domain name is about to expire.  Her advice was to be braver and be wiser when devising digital marketing campaigns.

The final speaker of the evening was Sven Huber, founder and CEO of Boolino.  Boolino was launched in the Spanish market in 2011 and its vision is “to become globally the leading online platform about children’s books and reading, for both parents and all the people involved in the education of children aged between 0 and 12 years”.  The founders of Boolino realised that very few readers were discovering books online and most publishers find it challenging to connect with consumers online (and in particular parents).  In addition, they felt that the majority of children’s publishers were lacking in good segmented email marketing lists. By bringing together on their website content relating to children’s books and parents, Boolino aims to provide that age segmented data.  Boolino has created an ecosystem of more than 1000 bloggers and is attempting to simulate the discovery process you get in bookstores.

The next BookMachine event is BookMachine at The London Book Fair 2016 on April 13 @ 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm.  See you there!

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Scholarly Social

Alison and I headed over to King’s Cross on 19th May for the latest instalment of Scholarly Social.  It was our first time at this event and we’d really recommend it to anyone working in and around academic / STM publishing.  It was a really well organised (and free!) event with a great range of speakers plus the chance to network with your peers.

As they say, it’s ‘an open and collaborative space to share ideas and make connections. We host social gatherings where you can make new connections with people involved in scholarly communication or catch up with old friends.  You don’t represent your organisation, just your individual self, and everyone connected to scholarly communication is welcome, including publishers, librarians, researchers, consultants, intermediaries, and students.’

This event was in association with #futurepub (from Overleaf) who have hosted #futurepub 5 as part of the Pint of Science Festival.  We had the pleasure of 6 x 5 minute talks from mainly start-up companies focussed on the future of scientific publishing.

Thanks to Bernie FolanGinny Hendricks for organising. Contact Scholarly Social

Speakers were:

Eva Amsen, Community Strategy Manager for Faculty of 1000

F1000 has just launched F1000Workspace, where researchers can collect, cite and discuss scientific literature with their colleagues.

James Harwood, Co-founder of Penelope (automated manuscript screening)

Penelope is an automated tool that helps authors improve their work before submitting to a journal. Penelope scans manuscripts for common reporting errors and suggests improvements along with links to relevant resources. In doing so, she makes sure that all manuscripts meet journal standards before landing on an editor’s desk.

Richard Smith, founder of Nowomics

The new Nowomics website allows scientists to ‘follow’ biological terms to create a personalised news feed of new papers. With inline abstracts, search and altmetrics it aims to make content discovery simpler than sifting through email alerts and tables of contents.

Nowomics

Sabine Louët, founder of SciencePOD (raising the profile of research, via on-demand popular science articles)

SciencePOD delivers Science Prose On-Demand by translating complex scientific ideas into articles written in an accessible language. It then publishes this high-quality content in a slick magazine format and distributes it widely.

Science pod

Karl Ward, principal engineer at CrossRef (CrossRef’s REST API: All-you-can-eat Scholarly Metadata)

CrossRef’s REST API provides free and open search of metadata covering over 70 million journal articles, books and conference proceedings. Find out how anyone can build services using CrossRef’s metadata, including basic bibliographic information, funding, award and license data for published works and more.

Cross ref

Giorgos Georgopoulos – product, delivery, and business development at Futurescaper

Futurescaper is a tool that connects people’s thinking on complex issues, and is being used to help coordinate teams of researchers working on long-term, multi-author projects. We were given an example of how a team of analysts used Futurescaper to make sense of 300+ citations, collected over 3 months by 24 environmental researchers, in just a day.

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BookMachine event Starring: Sam Missingham

Really enjoyable event from BookMachine featuring an engaging, honest and thought provoking talk from Sam Missingham, Head of Events at HarperCollins – and at a venue I hadn’t been to (@AdamStreetClub) so that was doubly exciting.

Sam gave us the lowdown on the recent virtual romance festival, www.romance-festival.com an inspired idea for a publisher agnostic event organised by a publisher.  It was great to hear of the achievement of getting the idea up and running from nothing and with no budget.  It became a successful global social media 2 day event with 122 authors involved including lots of big names (as well as giving a forum for lesser known authors).

Interestingly Sam’s much loved twitter emerged as the less effective medium and Facebook allowed a much more structured format for questions and answers.  Also Google Hangout worked well for several people globally to be involved in Q&A sessions (we love Google Hangout here at Atwood Tate for our multi office meetings in London, Oxford and Plymouth!).  Saying that there were still 4599 tweets using #Romance14 with a potential reach of 17.9 million users – most impressive!

There were some interesting insights in the summing up from Sam:

  • It’s vital to have a strong email list to market to about the event and afterwards
  • WordPress struggles with too much content on and too many visitors
  • The virtual festival is a great template to roll out for other genres (although it’ll be interesting to see if some of the bigger egos in crime writing will be quite so generous with their time and sharing air space!)

Thanks Sam and best of luck with the next one…

 

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Narrative… Text… What Next?

The Oxford Publishers Society (OPuS) recently held an event looking at Transmedia publishing in a Brave New World, and Charly (one of the committee members) has once again very kindly done a little post-game analysis for those of us who couldn’t go. Over to her!
Charly Ford

November’s OPuS event, Narrative… Text… What Next? Transmedia publishing in a Brave New World, showcased interesting and dynamic approaches to storytelling.

First up was White October, held in high esteem for the award-winning online tool Lambeth Library Challenge (winner of a Nominet Internet Award 2013). Dave Fletcher entertained and informed the audience by showing us the interactive documentary Pine Point, online feature Snow Fall (available via The New York Times website) and an extraordinary Arcade Fire music video. All of these were not only fascinating but also gave an insight into creative ways in which technology can be harnessed to give the consumer an interesting experience with content.

Graham Nelson and Emily Short gave a presentation on interactive fiction – fiction that the reader is able to control to some degree. We enjoyed a live demo of the ‘Inform’ system and gained an insight into the Versu ‘living stories’ that are being developed by Linden Lab. It was interesting to see a digital playing-out of the classic ‘choose your own’ concept and it certainly gave the audience food for thought.

Richard Fine’s talk focussed on video games. A game developer himself, Richard showed us a sneak preview of his current project Infection – last rites and explained the idea of ‘Ludonarrative dissonance’ – essentially a concept that means a video game player won’t always act within the story that the game wants to tell. This is definitely worth further investigating for anyone interested in the gamification of content.

Last, but not least, were Jen Porter and Kirk Bowe from BeyondTheStory (only hours before their presentation at the Futurebook conference in London). BeyondTheStory focuses on dynamic storytelling experiences and we were given a preview of their work with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and heard about the success of their The Almighty Johnsons companion app. Anyone involved in digital publishing should keep their eyes peeled on Porter and Bowe’s work – it will be interesting to see the ways in which publishers will continue harnessing technology to maximise their content.

So, what indeed is next for publishing? We can’t be entirely sure but I’m confident that all of these ideas, and other influences from surrounding creative industries, will play a significant role in shaping the next stage of our industry’s progress.

A big thank you to Charly for taking the time to write this post. I highly recommend you sign up to receive the OPuS newsletter and we’ll hopefully see you at future events!

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FutureBook 2013: publishing isn’t dead

Atwood Tate - Proud Sponsor of Futurebook

Last week, people from across the book business attended FutureBook 2013, The Bookseller’s digital conference. It was a fantastic day of ideas, presentations, arguments, gossip, good friends, and great conversations.

Absolutely oodles of coverage has already been written, so rather than reinvent the wheel, I just want to point some of the best out to you –

  1. On the FutureBook Blog, there is a breakdown of session-related news items, along with a round-up of other pieces around the net
  2. PublishingPerspectives has written in depth on the closing “Big Ideas” panel
  3. Michael Tamblyn from Kobo gave a fascinating talk on erotica, self-publishing, and Kobo Writing Life. The full text, audio, and slides are now online. Have a listen. You’ll be forced to think about business, censorship, public perception, and brand. Plus technological challenge. Fascinating!
  4. And the #fbook13 hashtag is still alive and well

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you have a good read and think on everything that was discussed. As ever, get 650 publishing professionals in one space and you will have 650 differing opinions, but all are fascinating and a sign that our industry isn’t dead – to paraphrase Matthew Cashmore, we’re just working out what to do with our huskies…

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What is happening in the supply chain?

The Oxford Publishers Society (OPuS) recently held an event looking at how the supply chain is changing, and one of the committee members has very kindly done a little post-game analysis for those of us who couldn’t go. Over to her!

Charly Ford has worked in the editorial department at Osprey Publishing since December 2008 and is currently a project manager specialising in the development of new digital products. She is also Oxford’s BookMachine event representative, arranging social and speaker evenings that bring together a range of people connected to Oxford’s thriving publishing industry. In 2013 Charly also became involved with the Oxford Publishing Society committee.

Charly Ford

The day of the OPuS talk ‘What is happening in the supply chain?’ (sponsored by Ingram Content Group) coincided with an absolutely glorious sunny spell. Turnout was most impressive in spite of the weather and I admire Oxford’s publishers for putting OPuS ahead of the first barbecue of the season!

In my day-to-day involvement with publishing I don’t have a great deal of contact with the people directly involved in the supply side of the business. As I work in editorial/digital, I am most content with content. That being said, it was most interesting to spend an evening listening to people who operate at the other end of the publishing chain, and to hear the ways in which publishing’s recent evolutionary leaps have affected the sales/distribution side of things.

We were treated to talks from Random House-owned GBS (Andy Willis and Colin James) and from Gardners (Bob Kelly). They all explained how much the role of the distributor has had to change and adapt, keeping up with the times and moving with the progress being made within the book business. New ways of working, and the development of whole new services to publishers and retailers, have had to be created. It was fascinating to hear how they have had to adapt to the same changes that have affected the way we work at the start of the publishing chain. Digital and the internet, among other factors, have really impacted on the entire industry – I’ll be honest and say that I had never really appreciated the extent to which distributors, a middle link in the chain between product creation and sale, have had to pivot and react to changes we are all encountering.

I cannot do the speakers justice by trying to relay all their points, thoughts and observations, so instead I will urge anyone who has not been to OPuS talks before to come along to an evening or two. A wide range of topics are covered and they all offer opportunities to learn a bit more about the industry as a whole. And as the subject of this particular evening reflects, we’re all part of a chain. There are lots of us connected, we just happen to be located at different points.

A big thank you to Charly for taking the time to write this post. I highly recommend you sign up to receive the OPuS newsletter and we’ll hopefully see you at future events!

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