Publishing Hackathon to Solve Book Discovery

[Press Release]



CONTACT: Michele Jacob The Perseus Books Group
(212) 340-8161

New York, NY (April 15, 2013) — To address the challenge of book discovery in a digital world, a group of major media industry participants led by The Perseus Books Group, Librify, BookExpo, The AlleyNYC and William Morris Endeavor (WME) announced today the industry’s first-ever hackathon, an ambitious collaborative digital programming event.

“Books and authors are a vital and indispensable part of our media landscape, and we see tremendous room for growth and invention in how books are discovered digitally by consumers,” said Ari Emanuel, Co-CEO of WME. “At WME we have always believed in supporting innovators, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be part of this event.”

“We believe convening the best minds in both digital and publishing can only spur better thinking and solutions for the industry as a whole, something we are always keen to be at the forefront of,” said David Steinberger, CEO of The Perseus Books Group.

Called the Publishing Hackathon, this innovative event invites digital designers, engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs to spend 36 hours together in teams to develop new approaches to digital book discovery. The Publishing Hackathon will take place on May 18th and 19th at The Alley NYC, the leading digital co-working space in New York. The participants will be briefed by a cross-section of book publishing leaders, and then will form teams to create apps, websites, programming or businesses that can address the issue of book discovery in this rapidly evolving landscape. At the end of the weekend, a team of judges from publishing, technology, media and venture capital will identify the 3 to 5 most promising finalists from dozens of teams participating.

These finalists will have the opportunity to present at BookExpo on Friday May 31st at 3PM. BookExpo is the largest and most prestigious book publishing event in the U.S. with over 1000 exhibitors from around the world and over 20,000 attendees from all facets of the industry. The finalists will take the stage and pitch their solutions to a distinguished panel of judges that includes Jennifer Rudolph Walsh (head of the Literary Department at William Morris Endeavor), David Steinberger (CEO of The Perseus Books Group and Chairman of the National Book Foundation), Stephen Evans (Director SilverLake Capital) and others.The winning project will receive a $10,000 prize, and the opportunity to pitch their idea at a breakfast meeting with Ari Emanuel, Co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor.

“We look for ways to highlight and support the evolution of the book industry,” said Steve Rosato, Event Director of BookExpo. “And hosting the Publishing Hackathon finals at BEA not only brings attention to how important technology is in publishing and that tech is such an important aspect of BEA, but this also brings together venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, publishers, agents and others at BookExpo to discuss the digital future and the multitude of opportunities.”

“With the book industry changing so rapidly, it is a great time for new innovation and disruption,” said Joanna Stone Herman, co-founder and CEO of Librify, a social reading platform. “Bringing together the best developers and industry insiders will lead to some exciting out-of-the-box thinking and technology solutions to help revolutionize the industry.”

“These kinds of events have become indispensable vehicles in a range of industries to kickstart new thinking and focus the attention of the design and programming communities on the issues and opportunities in industries as diverse as Music and Fashion,” said Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of The Alley NYC, which is hosting the Publishing Hackatahon weekend. “We look forward to hosting this first-ever publishing hackathon, and to pull in the best and the brightest digital players to participate.”

More information can be found at, which in the next few weeks will be announcing additional sponsors, judges, industry mentors and technology partners involved in the Publishing Hackathon.

Leading entertainment and media company WME represents elite artists from all facets of the industry, including motion pictures, television, music, theatre, publishing and physical production. WME also advises some of the world’s most recognized consumer brands to create entertainment-based marketing solutions and invests in companies across the digital media landscape. WME is headquartered in Beverly Hills with offices in New York, London, Nashville and Miami.

The Perseus Books Group is an independent company committed to enabling independent book publishers to reach their potential, whether those publishers are Perseus-owned, joint ventures or owned by third parties. Perseus publishing imprints include Avalon Travel, Basic Books, Basic Civitas, Da Capo Press, Da Capo Lifelong Books, PublicAffairs, Running Press, Seal Press, and Westview Press, as well as partnerships with The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company, The Nation Institute, and The Weinstein Company. Through Consortium, Perseus Distribution, and Publishers Group West, as well as through its Constellation digital service offering which also supports Argo Navis Author Services and Faber Factory Powered by Constellation, the Perseus Books Group is the leading provider of sales, marketing, distribution, and digital services, serving nearly 400 independent publishers. For more information, visit our websites at,

BookExpo America (BEA) is North America’s largest gathering of book trade professionals attracting an international audience. It is organized with the support of association partners including the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA). BEA is recognized for the media attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the convention itself. Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer. In 2007 Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organized by 39 fully staffed offices. Reed’s portfolio of over 500 events serves 47 industry sectors.

Founded in late 2012 by publishing industry veterans and based in New York City, Librify is a membership model service providing a new kind of social reading experience, using beautiful design and innovative technology to bring the joy of discovering, organizing and sharing books with friends to all platforms and devices. Librify is working with major publishers, independents and individual authors and will launch its first commercial product in Fall, 2013.

AlleyNYC is a 16,000 square foot entrepreneurial hub where teams and individuals can grow their businesses
surrounded by like-minded people and work collaboratively in a supportive environment. The amenities we
offer at AlleyNYC are tools to support entrepreneurship and assist with the growth of businesses in all different verticals. To learn more visit


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