A Wrap-Up of Digital Book World 2016

A Wrap-Up of Digital Book World 2016The 2016 Digital Book World Conference came and went this week and was a resounding success. All you have to do is search Twitter for #DBW16 to get a sense of how much tweeting and conversation was going on throughout the three-day event.

It all started on Monday, with the Launch Kids Conference, Nielsen sessions, masterclasses and workshops. Then on Tuesday, the event moved to the main stage with presentations from SEO wizard Rand Fishkin and USC Professor Jonathan Taplin, as well as a conversation with Barnes & Noble’s new chief digital officer, Fred Argir.

Then on Wednesday, Michael Cader of Publisher’s Lunch opened the final day with an overview of industry data before bringing onstage one of the biggest attractions of the week, Data Guy. The day also featured a fascinating discussion of gender equality in publishing and tech, as well as an impassioned presentation by Professor Scott Galloway on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Below are links to all of DBW’s coverage of the week.

Dominique Raccah: ‘The Surprise Transformation in Our Industry’
David Kleeman: Discovering Storytelling Possibilities with Technology
Librarians Say Kids Prefer Physical Books
What It Takes to Create Digital Learning Products for Kids
Andrew Rhomberg: How and Why We Measure a Book’s Audience
Finding Your Most Valuable Customers with Data
Jonathan Taplin: Platform—Not Content—Is King
B&N CDO Fred Argir: ‘We Must Win the Mobile Experience’
How Rodale Transformed Its Business in the Digital Age
Rand Fishkin on SEO: ‘Failure + Learning x Time = Success’
Audiobook Leaders Discuss Discoverability and Audible
What Today’s Investors Are Looking for in Publishers
4 Book Startups to Watch Out for in 2016
Michael Cader on a ‘Really, Really Complex Marketplace’
How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Are Changing Publishing
Virginia Heffernan: The Internet Changed Literacy
Female Publishing Leaders Talk Gender Equality at Work
How Publishers and ‘Hybrid’ Authors Are Working Together
What Publishers Need to Know About Copyright

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Fauzia Burke Talks New Book on Author Branding (DBW)
Fauzia Burke is the founding president of FSB Associates, an online publicity and marketing firm that helps build awareness for books and authors. Given all her experience, it makes sense, then, that Burke chose to write a book aimed at authors. Titled Online Marketing for Busy Authors (available in April), the book is a step-by-step guide that gives authors the tips and advice to effectively brand themselves while spending the bulk of their time on what they love most: writing their books. We sat down with Burke to learn more about her career, what made her write the book, and what some of her favorite personal branding techniques are.

DBW Turns Hostility into a Handshake (Pub Perspectives)
Digital Book World 2016 may have transformed an industry standoff into a cooperative exploration, an unusually deft bit of conference programming.

DBW Highlights: Women & Publishing, Finance, Tech (Pub Lunch)
Digital Book World’s second day of main stage presentations concluded with a panel discussion on women at the intersection of publishing, finance, and technology. Moderator Charlotte Abbott led off by reciting a number of alarming facts about the paucity of women in executive positions, the gender and diversity gap, and other matters (“On the bright side, there aren’t many instances of harassment in publishing, at least that I know of”) before turning the conversation over to Sourcebooks CEO Dominique Raccah, NetGalley President Susan Ruszala, Penguin Random House Senior Director of Apps Channel Katherine McCahill, and DeSilva+Phillips Managing Director Joanna Herman.

DBW Day Two: An Appearance from Data Guy (Bookseller)
Understanding industry data, and more on the “Four Horsemen” tech companies, headlined the second day of Digital Book World. The numbers session began with one of DBW’s conveners, Michael Cader, taking pains to explain what we already know: that data-gathering in the book business is full of annoying and alarming holes, thanks to the collection methods and incomplete spread of the Association of American Publishers, Nielsen et al., and the practices of players like Amazon, who never learned how to share.

Scribd Adds 6,000 Titles from Macmillan (DBW)
Scribd announced yesterday that it has added more than 6,000 titles from Macmillan. This is the third time the “Big Five” publisher has upped its number of titles available on the subscription service, and is the largest to date.

A Virtual Trip Through Amazon’s Physical Store (NY Times)
This week, Amazon revealed the location of its second brick-and-mortar bookstore, which will open in a few months in Southern California, at a mall near the University of California, San Diego. The online retailer seems to have big ambitions for its physical stores. On Wednesday, Nick Wingfield, who covers Amazon for The New York Times, visited the only Amazon bookstore in existence, in the University Village mall in Seattle.

Amazon’s Echo Brims with Groundbreaking Promise (NY Times)
Many of the world’s largest technology companies have spent the last five years searching in vain for the holy grail, a machine to succeed the smartphone as the next must-have gadget. They have made digital watches and fitness trackers, all manner of computerized glasses and goggles, and more doodads to plug into your TV than there are shows to watch on it. Yet at the moment, the most promising candidate for the Next Great Gadget isn’t made by Apple, Google, Facebook or Microsoft.

Have Journal Prices Increased Much in the Digital Age? (Scholarly Kitchen)
Over the last few weeks, one of the most vexing pieces of misinformation about journal publishing has been cropping up again and again. In stories about the Sci-Hub foofaraw, as well as this article, we are told, misleadingly, that journal prices have increased vastly more than the consumer price index.


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