Feb 052012

Over 1,000 people attended the DBW 2012 conference.



I attended the Digital Book World Conference in New York City toward the end of January.


It was held at the Sheraton Towers on 7th Avenue, just down the street from Molyvos Restaurant where famed freelance editor Patrick LoBrutto and I lunched on roasted octopus.

Here, to get you thinking, and in no particular order, is just a little of what I culled from the three-day affair:

• Kobo, the Canadian answer to Kindle and now Japanese-owned, is transforming itself for the international market.

• Seven percent of Kobo’s titles are self-published—it’s 14% in Africa—making Kobo among the world’s largest publishers.

• Kobo’s English language sales are up in non-English markets 300% in “all kinds of places we never expected.”

• Metadata has never been so important. Including the basics increases sales 98%. Enhanced metadata with only four additional elements increased sales an additional 55%. For more information on metadata go to www.nielsenbookscan.co.uk.

• One in three American adults now owns a tablet or e-reader. These people are just one click away from ordering a book no matter where they are.

• Today books find the reader instead of the other way around.

• Bookstore recommendations are said to still drive 30% of the sales.

• Amazon has sold 1.3 million kindles in the UK or 92% of all UK e-readers.

• Generally DRM (Digital Rights Management) is looked down on by those in the industry. It is thought that it might even make piracy worse.

• Today we can gather more data than ever before. Including data on how consumers are using the books. Which pages they linger on and more.

• Getting the data is one thing, figuring how to use it another.

• E-books are 26% of adult fiction sales. Nonfiction lags behind fiction.

• With illustrated e-books, making the consumer pinch and zoom is thought to produce a poor reader experience. This is a problem with small screens like the one on the iPhone.

• The price range of $7.99 to $10.99 is popular with illustrated e-books.

• Book apps are taking a beating with publishers considering the e-pub options first. E-pub3 should further this trend.

• Measure the success of your website not just in traffic, but in engagement.

• Look for additional ways beyond selling books to create revenue from your site. Perhaps partner with a company with an allied product.

• As we all know, technology is advancing at a never before experienced rate, but, according to futurist David Houle, the rate at which technology is advancing is itself advancing 100-fold. He predicts that the same amount of  technological progress of the last 1,000 years will be experienced in the next decade.

• Curation is the next big thing in the Internet.

• Be the parent of the future, not the child of the past.

If the advances in technology don’t excite you, feel around to see if you are lying in a satin-lined box.

Just a write thought.

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