By Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Chief Executive Optimist, Digital Book World
For all the talk of disintermediation, real and exaggerated, New York City is still the metaphorical heart, if no longer the primary physical home, of the publishing industry. All of the major publishers and myriad smaller ones are based here, and despite the increasing amount of influence intermediaries like Amazon and their Silicon Valley competitors have, they’re no strangers to NYC airports.
Starting today and running through next Wednesday, more than 1,500 authors, publishing professionals, booksellers, librarians and technologists will be gathered at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Manhattan for the 2011 Writer’s Digest Conference and Digital Book World 2011. While I may be a little biased, few could argue that the attendee lists for both events are as impressive as their respective speaker lists. I have the great fortune of participating in both events, giving a couple of presentations and moderating a couple of panels, all with one common thread: engaging readers.
Besides my direct participation, I’m also looking forward to sitting in on a number of sessions at each conference, but these five are my can’t miss sessions:
- WDC11: Opening Address: The Future of Publishing: Don’t Give Up On Books – Richard Curtis
- WDC11: Do-It-Yourself Publishing – Patricia V. Davis, David Carnoy, Moriah Jovan, April Hamilton, Jane Friedman
- DBW11: Transmedia Development for Editors and Authors (and Marketers and Agents) – Alison Norrington
- DBW11: Indie Bookstores Still Count: What We Can Do for Publishers, and What Publishers Can Do for Us – Nicole Magistro (Bookworm of Edwards), Stephanie Anderson (WORD Brooklyn), Andy Laties (Eric Carle Museum Bookshop), John Mutter (moderator)
- DBW11: Connecting with Kids: Strategies and Challenges for Building Engaging Communities – Jacob Lewis (Figment.com), Deborah Forte (Scholastic Media), Lyle Underkoffler (Disney Publishing Worldwide), Sara Shandler (Alloy Entertainment), Kristen McLean (moderator)
Beyond the sessions, the best part of any conference is being able to spend time talking to smart people from a variety of backgrounds, and both WDC11 and DBW11 are sponsoring fun gatherings to accommodate that:
- WDC11 Tweetup: Friday, 7:30-9:30pm @ FACES AND NAMES, 159 West 54th Street (right around the corner from the Sheraton)
- DBW11 Opening Ceremonies: Monday, 5-8pm @ the Sheraton Hotel & Towers
If you’re attending either conference, please be sure to introduce yourself. I’ll be a little less frantic at WDC11 than DBW11, but no matter what I’m in the middle of, I always enjoy putting faces to names (and avatars) so don’t be shy!
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez is the Director of Programming & Business Development for Digital Book World, and a published poet, writer, and active blogger since 2003. An old and new media pragmatist, social media realist, and marketing strategist, he views publishing as a community service, and is optimistic about its future.