The ebook market’s early stages have been dominated by proprietary hardware and predatory pricing. But books have always been vehicles of culture, connection and community, a fact that seems to have been lost in the transition to a digital environment. In the next phase, everyone in the book community—producers, sellers, reviewers, book bloggers and even friends recommending books to friends—will add social value to readers’ experience. Ebooks will make it easier for people to connect with each other by recreating the deeper bonds that books foster in the physical world and strengthening them in ways that are only possible in open, digital environments.
This panel will look at the future of ebooks as social experience between and among authors, “curators” (including bookstores, reviewers, publishers), readers and friends as open technology extends the primary user experience beyond devices and discounts.
David Wilk has broad experience in book publishing, sales, distribution and marketing. He has long been active in alternative and independent publishing, helped to create social initiatives and a number of new businesses. His Creative Management Partners projects include booktrix.com (book marketing and consulting), livewriters.com (video sharing for authors and books), and writerscast.com (podcasting interviews with writers and publishing industry leaders) ; he is president of Easton Studio Press, (custom editorial services and publishing) and the Director of Marketing for Good Business International (good-b.com). Recent clients include A&E Television, Sybase, Inc., Blue Mountain Marketing, Atida Press, Abrams Books, SharedBook.com, Noble Consulting, Waterside Productions and Pragmatic Marketing.
Pauline is the president and founder of BookMovement, a private networking website for book clubs that is now the largest database of book clubs in the industry (35,000 clubs) with annual membership spending power of $90 million. Pauline’s entire career has revolved around books. Her experience as English major at Barnard College, over the summers working in the editorial department at Artisan (a division of Workman), and at the William Morris Agency, first in the literary department and later in the new media department, opened her eyes to the opportunity to aggregate book clubs online. She started BookMovement to give clubs a better way to communicate with members and find great books based on ratings of other book clubs. Pauline also has an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from NYU.
Glenn is the founder of Code Meet Print, the community at the intersection of texts and technology that helps explore, define and build better interfaces, curators and marketplaces for quality storytelling. Code Meet Print partnered with the inaugural Twitter Fiction Festival, hosting the “Very Short #VSS Story Contest,” and has hosted events with NYC partner General Assembly featuring innovators like Readability, Red Lemonade, Findings, Contently and The Atavist. Glenn is the founder/CEO of on-demand technology help desk startup AnswerQi and was formerly a seed stage VC at Centurion Venture Partners.
Audrey Niffenegger is a novelist and visual artist who has achieved enormous success in both worlds. Her novel THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE has sold 7 million copies worldwide; it was a New York Times bestseller, a Barnes & Noble Discover Book, a pick of the “Today Show Book Club,” and was #19 on the List of “100 Books to Read” issued by the National Endowment for the Arts. As reported by the London Daily Telegraph, the novel was polled #11 on the list of the Top 50 Books Of All Time. Her subsequent novel, HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY, was also an international bestseller translated into 37 languages to date. She is the author of two “novels-in-pictures,” THE THREE INCESTUOUS SISTERS and THE ADVENTURESS, and a graphic novel, The Night Bookmobile. An upcoming book, THE RAVEN GIRL, is being adapted as a ballet by the Royal Opera Ballet in London. Niffenegger’s art has been widely exhibited in the United States and is in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and Harvard University’s Houghton Library, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts is putting up a mid-career retrospective in June. She is a professor in the Fiction Department at Columbia College in Chicago.
Joe Regal has spent more than two decades in publishing, starting at the Russell & Volkening Literary Agency, where he worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Anne Tyler, Eudora Welty, and Annie Dillard, as well as Nobel Prize-winner Nadine Gordimer. He founded his own agency, Regal Literary, in 2002; there he represented books as diverse as Big Fish, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Shantaram, The Master and Margarita, Scott Pilgrim,The Tao of Wu, and The Traveler. He co-founded Zola Books in 2011 as the first truly integrated social eBook retailer, creating an alternative ecosystem that empowers writers, publishers, independent booksellers, and curators. Zola is an open-platform retailer that carries books from large and small publishers and makes them available on all web-enabled devices, including the Nook, iPad, Kobo, and yes, most Kindles.
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