IDPF Digital Book 2009 Twitter transcript

Here is a complete, unedited transcript of my Twitter posts from the Conference. Sorry I didn't use hashtags, but Twittering was difficult without any WiFi. Too much typing on a tiny keyboard. Hope you find it useful. Met some interesting people and will post about them tomorrow. One of the most important things I learned is that the correct usage is EPUB, all caps! PB IMG_0555.JPG Arrived at Digital Book 2009; presentation begins at 8:45am EST Met Andrew Sacher, CEO of Word-Player, the first ebook reader for the Android platform: he has 60K downloads Sony is a major sponsor of the conference. Will be presenting later Attendees from Canada, Brazil, UK, Spain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, India, Japan, Taiwan Lisa Mcloy-Kelley, VP Random House Content management: digital reading hit tipping point combination of new devices and increased content LIsa: part of general digital media convergence; every level of the organization now aware of ebooks Lisa: cookbooks, jewelry, craft books, etc. don't work in digital form - need to flip through pages Lisa: a year ago publishers not ready for EPUB cause too much work and retailers didn't want it cause not enough content Lisa: adopted DocBook as standard XML; working on project to check rights convert backlist titles Lisa: working to change every existing ebook to epub by end of year Lisa: working on digital distribution system; reviewing all their rights; testing earlier issue of ebook than print book Lisa: reflowable pages make people uncomfortable, but as much as you can int the XML Lisa: today's consumer very quality oriented in the end result of conversion

Bob Carlton, VP Marketing, LibreDigital: publishers not understand how to market ebooks yet

Carlton: PDF difficult to map to epub

Carlton: converted format is not exact replica of original text

Carlton: must embrace standards that are flexible and make reading engaging. Engaging is important

Carlton: in real world no one will be able to own whole supply chain from creation to distribution

Sandeep Dhawan: Aptara Vice President: from service bureau quality parameters not defined clearly

Dhawan: clean XML as the first part of the workflow is a must

Dhawan: automation in digital workflow is critical

Dhawan: quality assurance on actual reading device is essential

Dave Cramer: TexTech, XML Architect: currently ebook quality is terrible, epub is a very looks standard and you must be very specific ab …
Cramer: is a very loose standard and you must be very specific about what you want as an end user

Cramer: some books should not be ebooks, especially those where design is the point of the book

Cramer: many choices to be made in conversion process,

Cramer: conversion process is not just a button push

Crater: you absolutely must proofread the final product

Bob LiVolsi: President BooksOnBoard: 60percent of readers read on PC or Mac

LiVolsi : iPHONE is 7 percent of sales

LiVolsi: format 54 percent Adore, 20 percent Mobi; 17 percent MS Reader; 9 percent rEaders

Eric Lazzaro, Overdrive: Waterstones went 100 percent epub very risky but doing well

andrew Weinstein: VP Ingram Digital; ebook sales grew 50 percent year over year

Andrew: amount of content, content types and types of business partners increasing

Andrew: library business grew 2.5 times

Andrew: in retail title base and sales volume doubled, more retailers signed in last 1221 months then in last 24 months

Andrew; that’s last 12 months

WiFi not working well here am using Nokia phone now

LiVOLSI : customers not too price sensitive

LiVolsi : repeat rate up from 20 to 40 percent

LiVolsi : ebook cannibalizing print but when they go ebook they read more

LiVolsi : will be opening a UK office in next 30 days

Break till 11:30

Garth Conboy: President eBook Technologies: is spelled with all caps

Conboy: logo creation will start in a couple of weeks

WiFi still not working

Conboy: EPUB validator will be web accessible soon, embedded font examples on line

Adam Smith Director Product Management Google Book Search: new initiatives – buying and improving reading experience

Smith: vision is open platform for buying and reading books; on line reading via web, mobile and devices

Smith: will introduce product for direct sales and retail partnerships

Smith: develop application and device partnerships with open API for connected device access

Potash: will be an book zone at CES

Smith: pricing will negotiated with publishers

Roger Sperberg is Tweeting on his Kindle. Never thought of that!

Met Allen Lau of Wattpad very interesting story will write it up when I get back

Andrew Savikas VP O’Really Digital Initiatives: sell more digital books than print books on their website

Andrew: get free lifetime updates DRM free, PDF is most popular format, EPUB is second

Andrew: still see no reason for DRM

Angela James, Executive Editor Samhain Publishing: digital publisher. No DRM Successful

Angela: DRM doesn’t prevent piracy. Books are pirated. Feel that it increases customer dissatisfaction .

Angela: none of their authors ever asked them to go back and add DRM

Sameer Sheriff CEO Impelsys: self serve on line publishing and marketing and delivery system

The hall is packed. No free seats.

Sameer: experiment with different pricing in different markets. There is no specific ebook price

Susan Danziger, DailyLit President: not possible to add DRM to installments . Publishers consider installments as form of DRM.

Susan: still no WiFi.

Robert Nell Director Business Development, Sony: believe if give customers more choices, thru open standards, will sell more Readers

Robert: doing well in UK, France, Germany. Strong sales in US. Last holiday had 3K outlets, expect 6K this holiday

Robert: touching machines in stores leads to sales. Over 100K titles in store

Robert: working with public libraries. Libraries carry both EPUB and PDF. Doing this thru Overdrive

Robert: for EPUB retailers if they promote the Reader Sony will do co-marketing

In answer to a question said are working on wireless. Avoided any details.

Still no wireless my fingertips are getting sore!

Michael Santangelo, Brooklyn Public Library: use PDF and Mobi. 7K ecopies. Ebooks surpassing audio books. Romances are biggest category

Sarah Wendell: Smart Bitches: Typical purchases 500 dollars/year. Readers want wireless, large screen, adjustable layout and text.

Sarah: onboard light, simple setup, durable, device based organization

Sarah: want ebook released same time as paper, one format, priced same as paper edition, no DRM, ability to share ebook with friends

Malle Vallik Director, Harlequin: going to do non-fiction soon; font size more important than people think

Malle: backlist very important. Want to read on multiple devices.

Update from Bookeen: Laurent Picard. Sold in 70 countries. Expect 50K units in 2009. Coming to US.

I saw the new small Bookeen device and its really neat. Has an accellerometer to switch from portrait and landscape.

Neelan Choksi, COO Lexcycle: Pan Macmillan contacted Stanza to get on board the day after Stanza was released

Jordan Christensen: Product Manager, Shortcovers: Shortcovers will be available on Android soon.

That is it. Conference over and I will put up the Tweets on TeleRead late tonight or tomorrow.

5 Comments on IDPF Digital Book 2009 Twitter transcript

  1. Paul, are there any photos of the small Bookeen device? Does it look like the photos on MobileRead? Does it have a hard cover like the PocketBook Netronix device? Any info on a release date?

    Not everyone is interested in a big honking device. :-)

  2. “LiVOLSI : customers not too price sensitive”


    From what I read/hear the vast majority of folks are price sensitive on ebooks and WON’T pay the same price as a paper copy.

  3. Nope, no cover and no info on release date. They are looking for a US distributor, by the way. Post a url for the MobileRead pictures and I’ll take a look.

  4. Evan Leibovitch // May 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm //

    On Bookeen:

    There are now three north american resellers.

    1) Archambault, one of Québec’s largest book/record chains.

    2) Booksonboard —

    3) CyberRead —

    I’m not sure what the issue is regarding release dates because Bookeen has been making readers for the european market for quite a while. They told me that they are updating firmware for earlier systems that couldn’t read ePub.

    On ePub vs EPUB and logos:

    I think the point came into sharp focus during a workshop the day before the conference, where someone hinted that Amazon might be claiming a not-quite-compliant format the were calling “ePub plus”. This illustrates the need for IDPF to not only make a logo but assert epub as a trademark. That’s the only way to prevent things like “epub plus” from happening.

    On the Twitter coverage:

    Despite all the tweets, I’m amazed that not a single one mentioned the single biggest moment of the day … when Sarah Wendell played the famous clip from “When Harry Met Sally” (the second half of followed by her description of the “orgasmic ePub moment”.

    I continue to be unimpressed by the actual utility of Twitter as opposed to the use of blogs (which convey whole strings of thought rather than shrapnel). I still think that Twitter is simply this decade’s version of CB Radio and will live about as long … but that’s for a different forum.

  5. Despite all the tweets, I’m amazed that not a single one mentioned the single biggest moment of the day … when Sarah Wendell played the famous clip from “When Harry Met Sally” (the second half of followed by her description of the “orgasmic ePub moment”.

    I’m glad you liked it and that it made an impression! It was actually the end of my presentation, using it to show DRM-free as the “yes” moment your readers will shout to the world, even if you don’t publish erotic content.

    I have pictures of the new Bookeen device, but was asked not to share them until an “official” announcement. I believe they were going to announce at the conference but ran out of time.

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