This is my final push to encourage you to book onto the conference. The process of putting this conference together has been challenging to say the least. It’s almost become a cliché to say that the publishing industry is at a pivotal moment, but change and disruption seem to be the only constants this year.
Digital is no longer siloed, existing as an interesting area for experimentation and discussion as it was only a few years ago. Commercial realities have meant that the heads of digital in all the major publishing houses are now tasked with delivering significant and sustainable revenue streams to their company’s bottom line. The digital publishing space feels very grown up compared to only a few years ago.
Many houses have seen rapid growth in e-book and app sales which is certainly cause for positivity but challenges still remain. Recent major consoliation in the industry reflects the bigger issues at play and suggest that the ground will continue to shift beneath us for some time to come.
It is becoming clear that publishers' main competition no longer comes from each other. New and established major players continue to circle the field and more game-changing disruption is a certainty.
Strength, efficiencies and opportunities will come from more consolidation, collaboration and learning from each other. And carefully selecting partners from other industries. Moving forward, smart publishers will realise that collaboration not confrontation will be the basis of success. With over 500 of your peers in the room, what better place to begin these partnerships?
With this very much in mind, the programme for this year's Futurebook has been structured to be case-study heavy to encourage sharing of best practice. My aim is that every single person that attends this year's conference will take away practical ideas informed by some of the brightest minds in the industry. We have assembled a stellar cast of genuine thought leaders; Rebecca Smart, Dominque Raccah, Stephen Page, Charlie Redmayne, Anna Rafferty, Mike Serbinis and Dominic Rowell are just a few of the people who will be sharing their insights and experiences during the day.
As an industry we must be bold, hopefully some of the sessions will challenge thinking and genuinely explore what the future of our industry will look like.
If I’ve learned one thing over my years with Futurebook it’s that the publishing industry is full of smart, creative, resourceful and talented people. Publishers have unique and honed skills that aren't easy to replicate, regardless of what many suggest. I hope that this year's Futurebook conference programme will help you all to feel as positive about the future of publishing as I do.
See the full programme here.