Panel Picking: SXSW 2011

August 12th, 2010 · 2 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

It thrills me that the book community is actively participating in the South by Southwest Interactive festival. For some, it’s an opportunity to explore the latest and greatest in technologies and trends; for others, it’s a chance to discover how others fit into the publishing ecosystem; and, for all, it’s a chance to connect with a wider community, expanding points of view.

Not only is the bookish world attending SXSWi, but they are also actively participating as speakers. Which means, yes, once again I bring you a listing of book-related panels with brief descriptions. Part of the panel selection process is a bit of a popularity contest, and your vote for these panels helps get book programming on the schedule.

Check out the panels, take a moment to go through the (painless) registration process, then please vote. My panels, ahem, are listed first, and every vote is appreciated by me and each of the great people who put together great proposals! (And if I’ve missed something, shout out in the comments, please!)

Note: I’ve shortened some of the descriptions. Click through for full descriptions and comments on proposals.

  • 21st Century Publishing Models: Turning Tradition Upside-Down: This panel features me, Angela James of Carina Press, Pablo Defendini of Open Road Media, and Kirk Biglione of Oxford Media Works. It will be awesome. New publishers are building thriving businesses with digital first/print maybe and books-as-apps approaches. With industry giants crowding the bestseller lists and the number of titles published each year growing, how do these independent digital publishers compete in the book marketplace? Veterans of this constantly evolving business model explain how they are building twenty-first century publishing houses, combining the strengths of traditional publishing with cutting-edge technology.
  • Beyond the Book: New Publishing Models That Work: Simon St. Laurent, O’Reilly Media. (I’ve been invited to participate on this panel!) Instead of lamenting the loss of a golden era, though, some publishers and authors are already finding new opportunities. Despite some hopeful dreams, the iPad by itself won’t save publishing. There’s much more going on than just app stores that can run like bookstores. The Web makes possible all kinds of things, like subscription models to libraries of content, constant updates that depart from the edition model, video content that reinforces or replaces a book’s message, live online events, applications that offer readers new content navigation models, and more. Print on demand, of course, continues to transform even the traditional print book market.
  • Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted. Not!: Richard Nash, Cursor. In the Assassin’s Code, the death of God makes everything possible. Many believe that the network makes everything possible. But if everything is possible, how does anything matter? In art, what is left out is as important as what is included. Can the rules of making art help us make more useful technology? Can such concepts as the minimum viable product help us do a better job of writing, editing, designing, and disseminating novels, films, music.
  • The New Author Platform: Mary Ann Naples, OpenSky, featuring Debbie Stier of HarperCollins. Building your brand hub with internet platform tools–for authors, the desired “platform” used to mean what publicity you have gotten, who you are connected to, and what your speaking schedule was (if you didn’t have a tv or radio show). Now, it’s a whole new world. This panel addresses the new era of internet platform tools that are helping authors engage, grow, and monetize their online presence–and gain more readers.
  • The Independent eBook Revolution: Is Big Publishing Dying?: Kelley Allen, Diesel eBooks, also featuring John Warren of Rand and Mark Coker of Smashwords. Not too long ago, having your book published through a big New York City publisher was the only ticket to fame, fortune and glory. Now with the Internet, we are witnessing the rise of indie digital retailers, indie publishing and self-publishers (presses that accept all books submitted to them and also distribute those books to the battlefield of retail outlets and eBook consumers.) Do authors really need the big NYC houses at this point?
  • Meet the Reader: Authors and Teens Connect Online: Jacob Lewis, Figment, other panelists include the delightful Lizze Skurnick. The distance between publishing and teens is decreasing as published authors are meeting teens in online spaces, outside of the context of their books. Many authors, especially in YA, are building audiences by talking, filming, writing and collaborating with teens. And teens, in turn, are participant in the same mediums, often becoming their own distributors of original work.
  • Your Screen or Mine? Zinio’s Unity Platform: Andrew Malkin, Zinio LLC. Join digital publishing expert, Andrew Malkin, as he discusses how magazine and book publishers, as well as end consumers, have benefited from the convenience and connection of a UNITY™ platform where a fan of high-fidelity digital content can buy content once and take their reading anywhere. Case studies will include examples of illustrated, color and interactive content optimized and enhanced across devices, created both for North American and European clients in the digital magazine and book space including National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, among others.
  • Got 99 Problems But a Blog Ain’t One: Jenny Blake, (Google, but panel would not be on behalf of them). Want to be a published author? Given the abundance of self-publishing options and the proliferation of e-books, the question today is not IF but HOW to reach your goal. According to a survey by the Jenkins group, 80 percent of the U.S. population says they want to write a book. If you’re a blogger, you already have a head start. So what’s next? For those who still want to go the traditional publishing route, this panel will provide a look at several bloggers who landed book deals, even with the industry in a state of flux.
  • Imagining a Nimble World: Challenging the Publishing Industry: Rachel Lovinger, Content needs to be free (like a bird, not a beer) – free to be viewed across any platform at any time. To survive in the digital age, publishers must find engaging ways to re-package their content as products and services with a distinct value to customers. In this panel, we’ll addresses challenges facing the publishing industry today including if and how to monetize content, how publishers can successfully make the transition to the digital economy, add circulation, find new readership, increase ROI, deliver valuable content to a growing range of platforms and devices, and deepen audience engagement.
  • The Truth About Landing the Book Publishing Deal: Kyle Lacy. Landing the book deal is the biggest step in self-promotion to help advance your career. Publishing a book is what separates the experts from the gurus. This presentation details the process of signing a book deal with a book publisher. Lacy and Prebynski will outline what you need to do to not just sign your book deal, but position yourself for future book deals that will advance your career. From their experience, they will tell the truth about what it takes to sign the book deal with the Do’s and Don’ts that are necessary to increase your chances for success.
  • Touching Stories: Designing Digital Magazines for the iPad: Matthew Carlson, Hot Studio Inc. The launch of the iPad signaled the start of a new era for magazine publishing. A single device that delivered the fidelity of print and the interactivity of the Web, all wrapped up in a fun and easy-to-use form factor gave the industry new reason to hope. There was one trick: no one had designed for this brave new medium yet. Editorial teams suddenly needed to consider multi-touch gestures, multiple orientations, dynamic layout and the integration of rich media into the design of their issues. Ink-smudged print teams had to reach out to the pixel-based life forms in charge of the company Websites, and engage a new breed of Cocoa developers as well.
  • Fireside Chat with Old Media: Pipe, Slippers Optional: Eric Moore, Razorfish. Why has it been so hard for old media companies to change? After all, they still create and possess the content that people consume. If you believe content is king, then what is the problem? We’ll have a cozy fireside chat with three executives from major ‘old media’ brands and discuss what they are doing to transform their businesses in a meaningful way. We’ll also explore what ‘tricks’ the ‘old dog’ can teach new media.
  • +5 Sword of ePublishing: Lessons from Tabletop RPGs: Gareth-Michael Skarka, Adamant Entertainment. The tabletop RPG industry were early adopters of electronic publishing and digital distribution to niche audiences. What can mainstream publishers learn from the challenges already successfully faced by the D&D geeks?
  • The Electronic Page: The Future of Print: Jaime Morelli, ZenithOptimedia. Traditional magazines and newspapers have lost their monopoly on news and information to the internet and digital readers. This process accelerated with the introduction of the iPad and the subsequent price reduction on competing e-readers.
  • Indie Publishing: New Technologies & Crowdsourcing Thematic Content: Cynthia La Grou, Compathos TV, Compathos Productions, Millennia Music and Media Systems, Inc., Millennia Media Group. Explores: New hybrid publishing models incorporating traditional, interactive, collaborative elements. The horizon in terms of convergent technologies in portable media, touch screen tablets, dynamic content, print on demand.
  • Kill The Publisher: Independent eBooks Liberate Content Creators: David Schloss, Mac Create, Inc. Since the time of Guttenberg’s press, the power—and the money—has gone to those who publish books, not to the creatives themselves. This session will show you you can take well-crafted, targeted content and make it available on the Apple iBookstore and Kindle marketplace to reach readers that publishers couldn’t reach at speeds they can’t imagine.
  • The Self-Publishing Novelist: Report from the Trenches: John Sundman, Wetmachine. A look at self-publishing technologies and practices.
  • Digital Bookmaking for Designers and Developers: Brian Warren, Happy Cog. The technical aspects of creating ebooks from mark-up to formats.

File Under: Square Pegs

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