TOC Takeaways (Roundtable: 2/25/10)

#DBW RoundtableThe Roundtable is 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.

Topic: #TOCCON Takeaways

This episode of The Roundtable was webcast live at 1pm EST on February 25, 2010.

Subscribe to the audio podcast here. DBW Members can access the interactive video archive of The Roundtable here.


Laura Dawson, Publishing Industry Consultant
Bridget Warren, Former Co-Owner, Vertigo Books

Moderated by
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Dir. of Programming & Business Development, Digital Book World


Running Two Companies—Taking Book Publishing beyond Publishing Books
Dominique Raccah (Sourcebooks)

Book publishers are now running two companies simultaneously, the (old media) company which is their current business (and most of their revenue stream) and a (new media) company with new and often different business models. There has never been more opportunity (or greater challenges) for book publishers.

1. compete harder in fewer categories
2. greater need for partnership between authors, agents and publishers

we publish authors not books

Essentials of Digital Books from the Consumer’s Point of View
Jane Litte (Dear Author), Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books LLC), Angela James (Carina Press)

Every sale is the beginning of an opportunity for a reader/vendor relationship: don’t waste it! There are so many ways to interact and sustain conversations with readers, and most of them are incredibly simple to implement. But a warning: don’t do any of them if you don’t want to hear what we actually think!

“Please drop geographical restrictions. Its antiquated! I’m a legitimate customer, but being prevented from buying a book just because I’m not in an area makes me feel like a second-class customer.”

“US-based publishers need to recognize that the publishing world does not end at the border. If they wish to increase their sales, they need to increase the availability of formats available to other countries.”

“Bloody geographical restrictions! Isn’t my non-US currency good enough??”

Quick, easy licences, and why they matter
Arthur Attwell (Electric Book Works)

The mainstream book rights industry is based on manual, human-to-human license deals; in a web-based, on-demand world, these deals increasingly seem picky, clumsy and slow, and are hard to scale. They’re also often exclusive to territory, language, or medium, which can often hinder distribution as much as enable it. Most importantly, manual deals tend to lock out small players who, harnessed en masse, could provide a significant revenue stream.

Ramy Habeeb on the chaos and the opportunity in Arab publishing
Ramy Habeeb (Kotobarabia)

Ramy Habeeb, director and co-founder of Kotobarabia, discusses the current state of the Arab publishing market. What seems like chaos obscures the many opportunities on this level playing field.

ISBN is not dead in our world, it never existed.” – Ramy Habeeb

Twitter (As RTd by @DigiBookWorld):

@babetteross: #dbw the author is the expert, get the author’s expertise out there

@cmussi: #dbw publishers publish authors not books (via @draccah)

@babetteross: #dbw digital readers are borderless, geographical restrictions are antiquated, and foster piracy (via @dearauthor survey)

@babetteross: #dbw opps in developing countries; no easy access to bkstrs/libraries, [but] copyshops/comp cafes/mobile (@arthurattwell)

@babetteross: #dbw publishers need to be led less by device, more by data; metrics and analytics are important.

@crych: #DBW clearly need a way of aggregating and generalising publishing data, removing identifiers, by third-party research org.

@johnmaher12: #dbw Opps not just in developing countries; Spain is 4th, 5th largest pub industry in world, but isn’t at digital races yet

@QOfTheDayBook: $20-100k Book Apps? Asked around, got firm yesses AND no’s. Can cost far less; depends what UR going for. #dbw #toccon

@gotowebinar: We are currently working to resolve the current connection issues ASAP We apologize for the frustration ^GD (#dbw Sorry!) 36 minutes ago via UberTwitter

Thanks @ljndawson @vertigobooks and attendees for #DBW Roundtable; recap shortly. @gotowebinar noted tech issues, apologizes.

2 thoughts on “TOC Takeaways (Roundtable: 2/25/10)

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