The Next Chapter For Digital Book World
Yes, it's true. Digital Book World explored a sale, over the last three months or so.
We engaged our friends at The Fisher Company, who are well known leaders in publishing industry M&A activity, to explore what market was out there.
When we acquired Digital Book World in 2017, our charter was simple: restore this once proud IP and publishing asset to its former glory and utility to the marketplace. After multiple sold-out conferences, exponential increase in corporate sponsorship and partnership, and installation of year-round content and community: mission accomplished.
However, something interesting happened along the way: we started to enjoy it.
The "digital book world" has done nothing but grow. Far from just ebooks, the digital landscape now encompasses audiobooks, podcasts, and conversational AI, alongside AR/VR, interactive web, and even print/digital hybrids of books that we're now starting to see emerge.
The purview of Digital Book World has never been greater.
We've ended talks involving selling Digital Book World to another organization. We're re-committing to the task at hand:
Gathering the wide world of publishing.
The DBW FM and DBW AI lecture series will be executed periodically, providing a window into some important players and how they are supporting the publishing and technology industries. First up is tomorrow, with a conversation with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. (Registration is here.)
DBW West and Digital Book World 2021 will both focus squarely on conversational AI, and how voice/AI technology not only has the potential to streamline publishing operations today, but is radically re-shaping book marketing already with things like "Alexa, what should I read next?" and much more.
As I've said before publicly, the singular most important knowledge a publishing industry executive can have is knowing what conversational AI is and what it is capable of doing (and not capable of doing). The train is just now leaving the station on this - it will re-shape publishing for the next decade.
Digital Book World will be the home for this important emerging technology. With Project Voice and the other work we do, no one is better positioned to provide this.
We look forward to seeing many of you later this year.