Digital Book World: Update at 6 weeks

Digital Book World: Update at 6 weeks

The January Digital Book World (DBW) conference in New York was reported on this blog by Philip Jones and others. DBW is owned by our parent company, F+W Media, but I attended as a delegate and not contributor to the event. I thought it would be interesting to reflect on a few changes we’ve made at F+W Media International 6 weeks on from the conference:

Renewed marketing focus

DBW was a reminder that the traditional book marketing model needs to change. While we’d already instigated many steps in this direction, we’ve accelerated these on the back of the conference. We have a renewed focus on how you discover our books online, meta data and are getting to grips with effective ebook marketing. We’re changing our culture so marketing is everyone’s responsibility and dropped some of the traditional marketing tools that we simply don’t believe are effective any more.

Author branding

We’ve put renewed emphasis on finding authors that have an existing platform and are already embedded in the community, with a focus on their online profile. Put simply, a new content proposal with an author who is active online and has an existing audience of followers on a blog or social media platform is now much more interesting to us.

ebook conversion, enhanced ebooks & EPUB3

We’d already committed to every 2011 front list title simultaneously publishing as an ebook but we’re now accelerating backlist conversion to build out our range. We’ve identified the first illustrated titles to be trialed in EPUB3 and are looking at the opportunities for enhanced ebooks that this will allow.

International ebooks strategy

We’ve got our heads around how we’re going to approach this, reviewed the opportunities for foreign language ebooks and determined a strategy to work alongside our existing co-edition and rights business. We’re excited about how we can work with our international partners on the ebook opportunity.

Diversification, community and direct-to-consumer

We’re more committed now than ever to the opportunities to build our business around our core understanding of our niche consumer audience. Growing our consumer names list is a key objective for us and our eCommerce and direct to consumer business goes from strength to strength. We’re creating new partnerships almost weekly that are driving exciting new publishing, content and retail revenues in our core categories.

While many of the above were in place before DBW, the conference was a catalyst to refocus and energise existing initiatives while introducing new. For others that attended DBW, or any other similar event, what changes have you made in your business as a result?