Monday, May 26, 2008

Book Expo Session

I am hosting a Panel discussion at BookExpo this week. Please join us for an interesting look at digital content and how publishers are learning to experiment with social networking and consumer interaction.

Feel free to contact me if you are attending BookExpo and would like to meet. (michael.cairns @

Here is the panel description and some background on the panelists.

Digital Bundling: Considerations, Combinations & Costs
1:00AM - 12:00PM (Thursday, May 29, 2008)

Most publishers are committed to allowing consumers access to electronic versions of their books whether on their own account or via programs such as the Google Book program. Some publishers are going a step further and are allowing consumers to interact with and create their own products using the publisher’s content. As publisher’s build their content databases, digital bundling will become a significant part of the product mix and will change the concept of the customer – from bookstore to consumer - and the concept of the product – from book to service. Rapid improvements in technology will enable ‘mass customization’ of publishing products and will fundamentally change the relationship with customers. While many publishers are still tentative in their e-book experiments others are already experimenting with digital bundling. As these publishers experiment, what are their experiences, what are the issues and what costs exist as these publishers engage their customers in new and revolutionary ways? Hear from publishers who are experimenting or are contemplating launching making their content available to consumers for new and exciting products.

Panelists and Bios:

Sheila Clover English – CEO of Circle of Seven Productions, Executive Producer of Reader’s Entertainment TV and author of the ebook entitled The Book Trailer Revolution Book Marketing and Promotion Through Digital Video

Mrs. English is a member of the Association for Downloadable Media where her video performance rating system has been a topic of conversation, shared at the ad-tech convention and now under review with the Internet Content Syndication Council where Circle of Seven Productions has joined the likes of CBS, Associated Press, Google, Reuters, Studio One, NBC and other top media companies that will help shape the future of online video syndication.

Mrs. English has been interviewed by NPR, Newsweek Magazine and most recently The Wall Street Journal regarding book trailers and will be featured on the Robert Scoble Show this July talking about book trailers and online distribution.

A multi-award winning copy writer and executive producer and a member of the International Academy of the Visual Arts, Mrs. English has pioneered many milestones for digital video in the publishing industry. Her company, Circle of Seven Productions created the first book trailer to play in a movie theater, mall screens and the first to win the prestigious Telly Award.

Tom Hall is a Senior Digital Product Manager at Lonely Planet in Melbourne, Australia. For the past 2 years, he's been responsible for the development and launch of Pick & Mix, a program which allows consumers to buy, download and print individual chapters from Lonely Planet guidebooks. Prior to this, he managed the home page and the ThornTree travel forum.

Tom has a long and checkered background in leading software projects and products. Prior to joining Lonely Planet in 2003, he was an IT Consultant to the Egyptian Ministry of Health in Cairo, and a Supervising Producer at Ninth House, a San Francisco eLearning startup. He has degrees in American Literature and and Writing from the University of California, San Diego.

Laurie Petrycki is the General Manager of the Head First and Missing Manual divisions at O’Reilly Media, Inc., where she oversees the development and creation of all products and services. In the Head First division, she and her team shape content to cultivate passionate users by making learning easy and fun for the brain. With the unique Missing Manual format, the goal is to respect readers' intelligence and help them get stuff done. As part of the publishing community for almost 20 years, Laurie has expertise in all sides of the business-- including editorial, production, and manufacturing--and has published on various technological and educational subjects.

David Wilk is an independent consultant and marketer ( with broad experience in publishing, book packaging, sales, distribution, e-commerce and marketing. He has the privilege of working with authors, publishers and their books, in all formats, at the intersecting points of creativity, technology and cultural change. All applied to the traditional matters of art and commerce.

He has lately been working as a publishing industry consultant to Shared Book, a “reverse publishing” technology that enables content rich websites to give their users a broad array of publishing tools. Shared Book is inherently a mass customization and personalization engine. It is also somewhat chameleon-like, insofar as its many features can be deployed in different configurations, depending on the specific market needs of its site partners.

For example, children’s book publishers are using Shared Book to create extremely simple (and highly profitable) personalized versions of some of their classic titles, printed one at a time, with no changes to the essential art and text of the original books. Random House was first with Poky Little Puppy, the success of which was sufficient for them to be adding another 50 titles to the program this month.

Content rich sites including magazines that have extensive digitized and tagged content sites are enabling newly developed quick tagging tools which allow their site visitors to assemble a customized book from any article or photograph that sits on their site. and several other cooking sites give their users the ability to create customized and personalized cookbooks using either site supplied materials, or user generated content or both.

And there are even more complex uses possible with Shared Book’s sophisticated annotation engine – academic publishers and social networking sites are looking at an application that will allow professors to create custom texts for small or large study groups.

The applications of the highly evolved electronic publishing platform that Shared Book has created will enable traditional and nontraditional publishers to serve customers with the content they want in easily created customized and personalized forms.

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