FutureBook 2013 - Call for papers

FutureBook 2013 - Call for papers

The Bookseller's FutureBook 2013 conference will be taking place on 21st November in London.

We will again build on the success of last year's event and aim to move the conversation forward, learn from best practice and focus on key topics. In 2012, over 600 publishing folk attend FutureBook, making it the largest publishing conference in the UK.

George Walkley, head of digital at the Hachette Group, described the event thus, 'Futurebook is essential for anyone interested in understanding just where publishing is now, but more importantly where it goes next."

So what of 2013? The pace of change across the industry has continued to increase. As always, Amazon sits firmly in the centre of this disruption. We have seen acquisition, experimentation and innovation from them with their customers at the heart of their strategy. We've also seen rivals such as Apple, Google, Barnes & Noble, Kobo (and others) begin to sustain their challenge.

Publishers continue their uncomfortable relationship with the Seattle giant (elephant). But they certainly haven’t been sitting still during 2013. Not least the mega-merger of Penguin and Random House forming the largest publisher in the world. But is being big a strategy in itself? And with more mergers anticipated, what innovations will spring forth from this new breed of uber-publisher?

And self-publishing has continued its ascent. No longer marginalised or sneered at (by most), there is now a begrudging acceptance of indie authors and their ferocious entrepreneurship and guile. Some traditional publishers now offer author services as a new commercial channel and a way of being active in this space.

As an industry we are yet to square the self v traditional publishing circle, with our readers oblivious to such distinctions. A new publishing landscape will surely embrace all and focus on readers first and foremost.

There has been lots of talk since the beginning of the year of a slow-down in ebook sales growth, and sales figures from the traditional publishers back this. However a lack of real data certainly doesn’t help. This may mean the market is moving in a different direction or we can expect the next wave of disruption?

What other commercial opportunities are publishers taking advantage of? Where is the big industry-wide thinking? What are the future models, platforms, solutions? Which publishers have put R&D at the heart of their businesses? 
And not unconnected, a raft of new players have entered the digital entertainment space. Redefining content, models, formats and customer expectations. 

Meanwhile, booksellers and libraries are working to find a role for themselves in this landscape: Foyles in particular has been re-imagining the bookshop of the future.

We are in exciting times. More disruption ahead, no doubt. And yes, we do work in the best industry at THE most exciting time. Let’s embrace the future.

Our aim will be to capture these changes and chart ideas and opportunities for 2014 in a one day conference. We will also be holding our FutureBook Innovation Awards at the conference celebrating excellence across the digital publishing world. 

The themes I’d like to cover are below. These are certainly not set in stone, so please don’t feel restricted by them, if you have a killer idea. 

FutureBook as a community prides itself on being inclusive and engaged. And our conference is no different. We want to hear from you, your views, your projects and innovation. This is how you can get involved this year.

Please supply a paper by email to: sam.missingham@bookseller.co.uk. The deadline for this is Friday 6th September.

The themes I'd like to cover are below. These are certainly not set in stone, so please don't feel restricted by them, if you have a killer idea.

- The next wave of disruption

- Where's the big industry-wide thinking/leadership?

- Partnerships with other media and entertainment industries

- Mergers versus acquisition (should we be merging with each other or acquiring tech companies)

- Tech collaboration and/or R&D

- When will non-fiction and children's content find its feet digitally?

- How do we exploit the data that is available

- Squaring it with self-publishing and forging a new publishing landscape

- Mind the gap: Ebook sales plateauing, print books sales are sliding, we're in trouble, right?

- How can libraries fit into this landscape? Why such slow progress?

- Innovations in content strategies

- Is retail making any headway to becoming the future bookseller? Where's the evidence?

- Authors: the real powerhouses of publishing

- Are we really part of the digital entertainment space? What's holding us back?

- Where's the money in the multiplatform world for publishers?

Please get involved.