So after missing last year’s DBW (Digital Book World) I was able to attend this years. I didn’t make it to all the sessions, ended up in a lot of meetings and connecting with people from twitter, linkedin and other places that I have had conversations about publishing. Overall it was great, I was able to meet many in the publishing industry I either talk with on a regular basis via social media or follow via their blog, websites, tweets or some other way. I was really impressed by the attitude of those there, it was energetic, fast paced and people were quite positive in regards to the state of publishing and it’s future. I think this is great, it’s exactly what is needed, passionate people involved in what they love.
Obviously not everything is rainbows and sunshine in the industry nor was it at the conference. It wasn’t the conference itself I had issues with it was the texas two steps some of these heads of publishing did around questions. Specifically about eBooks and libraries, the messages were great spins on basically them saying we have no clue but we aren’t going to ask you or anyone with knowledge about how to implement it in the best way. Now I understand, you are the head of a publisher, your expected to know everything, but you know what, you don’t and you never will. You need to realize that there are people smarter then you out there that know what they are talking about. You want to work with eBooks and libraries? You want to understand how best to get your content in front of those eyes at public libraries, k12 schools and the list goes on? Simple, hire me… No seriously, get a hold of me and I help you implement, my fees are reasonable. :) Now normally I don’t pimp myself out this way but I’ve sat and watched, listened and commented many times on eBooks and libraries, I even have a group on linkedin - eBooks in Libraries devoted to digital and libraries. Why, because I still believe they hold a place in the digital world and I’ve seen what many libraries throughout the U.S. spend on eBooks, it’s crazy. You know why, because patrons want them. I understand it’s about profit, ROI, where to take a chance, all of that, but pushing it further and further out will only do one thing.. backfire on you and lose sales, no ROI and the list goes on.
Now that I got that out of my system, I feel much better. I’m a passionate person by nature and even more so when it comes to literature, publishing, eBooks and education. I’ve worked with all of these areas well over a 15 years, which is saying something since I consider myself still pretty you, mid 30’s. I met many other people passionate at DBW, I mean, why not, that’s the point of the conference in my opinion, bringing together passionate people that want to change the course of the industry. Lead it, develop it and being on the edge of thinking within the industry… that excites the hell out of me honestly. The people I met, such as Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Laura Dawson (although only briefly, my fault), Scott Walker, Babette Ross, Dan Wallek (lerner publishing), Liza Daly, Susan Neuhaus, Tina Henderson, Joshua Tallent, Colleen Cunningham, Andy Weissberg and the list goes on. These are people who want to understand better, form relationships and most of all, they want to do it right. They don’t cut corners and they are some of the most passionate people who are vocal about things. They get involved and they help others, which isn’t something you see in many industries, usually everyone is trying to take everyone else down, I think were all above that and realize that we can’t do it alone and we need each other, helps drive us all to do better and innovate.
Now this list isn’t extensive, I could go on and on and there are so many more I would have loved to connect with, need a day just for that. At the end though I was more excited and felt like I wasn’t the only one out there with these crazy ideas that publishing will still survive and that it isn’t dead.. some parts maybe, but I believe those needed to be changed years ago and were just now admitting it. 2011 is a year that I think will really reflect and affect the publishing industry like no other, because people aren’t sitting back and letting publishing decide the course, were pushing the course and guiding the industry and in some respects that hasn’t been done in many many years. There are innovators out there that are not happy with the status quo, I’m one of them, I don’t like stagnant and I don’t like no or having things put in a box, it shouldn’t be done any more in publishing. You need to be diverse, flexible and a hell of a risk taker; think that’s why I started another company and have a business partner and looking to challenge what is perceived as the way to do things. I think that is why many people have done the same way, they aren’t seeing it done some where else and figure if it needs to be done, then we do it ourselves. We build the stage and become our own starts so to speak, write our own stories, be our characters…. have I thrown in enough cliches yet for your liking?
In the end publishing will still be here, being led by the innovators and those out of the box thinkers some call crazy, I call them my colleagues and some friends. Who wants to go rock publishing’s world?