ToC: Why You Should Register Early

December 16th, 2008 · 4 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

Of all the entertainment industries, book publishing is the most traditional. What could be less high-tech than a book*? Since the dawn of the printing press, the industry’s interest in technology has been largely focused on the making and distributing of books. As computers entered the workforce — ostensibly as time- and labor-saving tools (ha!) — staff at publishing houses took sides: techie and non-techie.

Those roles have been bleeding into each other with increasing frequency. Today, we can laugh at the notion of that the birthing, care, and feeding of a publisher’s website was ever the domain of IT. We find it bizarre that we ever survived without email. Seriously, how did one get their daily Lunch before listservs were invented?

Unlike traditional publishing, where the shape and form of books remained fairly static (though the method for transferring ink to paper and whatnot has evolved), technological tools are changing and morphing and iterating almost too fast for the human mind to grasp. The good news is that by the time you hear about the next big thing, it’s become passe. The bad news is that figuring out what’s going to stick and become part of our culture is akin to rocket science.

I’ve long encouraged publishing folk to step outside of traditional book conferences to get a sense of where technology — particularly social media — is heading. If everyone is hearing the same old, same old and studying best practices from last year (last year!), then great opportunities to find and reach new readers can be lost.

The O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference was established to nurture and expand the conversation because the tech community and the publishing community. We’re not talking about robust content management systems and high-speed presses here (okay, maybe a little); ToC is all about using technology to reduce the barrier between people with books to sell and people who want to buy books. It’s about starting conversations, maintaining conversations, finding readers, learning how you can be part of the book world and the online world and the physical world…without ever uttering phrases that begin with “see, first you log in to the shell…”.

This year’s conference will again be held in New York City from February 9 through February 11, 2009 (please join us in lobbying for a return to sunny California!), and will be chock full of fantastic, awesome presentations from people who get the challenges of bringing books and people together via technology. We’ve been there, done that. Some examples:

Early registration for the 2009 Tools of Change Publishing Conference ends this coming Thursday, December December 18. You can save $200 by registering by that date (that’s a whole lot of books). Use our handy-dandy secret discount code (TOC09bsq) and save an additional 15% (even more books, or shoes, if you swing that way). I’m not one for bribery**, but there’s even a rumor of brilliant minds taking over the hotel bar to discuss deep, important Twitter-fueled ideas. How can you resist?

* – Going with cave drawings on this one.

** – Lie, lie, lie.

File Under: Square Pegs

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