#FutureBook16 highlights

Highlights, including video and audio, and extras from the speakers at the FutureBook Conference 2016.

What's that coming over the hill?

What's that coming over the hill? Three predictions for 2016/17 from James Whatley. Read more

Today's consumer=Veruca Salt

James Whatley likened today's consumer to Veruca Salt in the above clip from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" - consumers want everything now.

The winners will be those who understand how technology can be used as an enabler to do something greater: those who identify opportunities and ways to create tangible and mutual customer value in different parts of the value chain, from suppliers and partners, to customers and end users.

Anki Ahrnell Chief digital and tecnical officer, Bonnier AB

Hachette's play: books, apps, games and the future of publishing

A teaser of Tim Hely Hutchinson's keynote interview for FutureBook Conference 2016.

There are skills that everyone will have to adopt in order to thrive in the digital age: curiosity, flexibility, openness, accepting the unknown. Employees need to embrace life- long learning and opportunities to change. These are not technical skills but rather the mindset required to succeed in the midst of rapid technological (and political) change. In terms of publishing skills, well you hear a lot of fretting at a macro-level about jobs disappearing as artificial intelligence evolves. But publishing is in a safe space, as creative industries and creative skills are the least vulnerable to this threat. So let’s continue to foster human creative talent!

Eva Appelbaum Founder, Digital Talent @ Work

Waving, not drowning: Digital lessons from across the media

Andrea Carr's skills a start-up needs to succeed

Listen up: what the data tells us about audio consumption

Jo Henry from Nielsen shares some stats about the audiobook market...

Virtual realities: the market for interactive storytelling

Wisdom from the panellists on Virtual Realities: The Market for Interactive Storytelling.

Changing audio

Dominic Gribben, senior editor, digital and audio at Hodder & Stoughto,; and Joanna Surman, digital business director at HarperCollins, tell Alessandra Pineda what they think the biggest changes in listener behaviour and audio will be in the next five years.

BookTech Showcase

Five ideas, five start-ups, one prize. Joosr, Kadaxis, Novel Effect, Publishizer and StoryTourist will compete to be named BookTech Company of the Year at the FutureBook Awards.


Joosr enables rapid self-development through 20-minute summaries of the best performance-boosting books. With a carefully curated library spanning leadership, entrepreneurship, health, parenting and much more, Joosr's independent summaries bring out the most actionable aspects of books written by the world’s leading thinkers, helping busy people to make big advances in their lives everyday. Read more


Kadaxis wants to create better connections between readers and books. It uses data science to improve book discovery across the publishing value chain, for authors (at AuthorCheckpoint with metadata and marketing tools), publishers (with metadata optimisation and data APIs) and readers (at experimental book discovery site BookDiscovery). Read more

Novel Effect

Novel Effect aims to add that bit of extra magic to old-fashioned storytime, using voice recognition to sync special effects such as movie-style theme music, sound effects, animated illustrations and responsive "internet of things" connected devices to your words as you read aloud from a print or electronic childrens book. Read more


Publishizer matches authors with publishers during pre-orders campaigns. It's like Kickstarter meets Tinder, for publishing. Read more


StoryTourist is "a kind of Pokémon Go for stories" - an app that allows readers to experience books at the very locations where the action takes place. Books and other stories become treasure hunts in the city, the forest, or wherever the storyline leads, allowing readers to explore their favorite story destinations, read stories on location, and find out what your favorite literary places look, taste, sound and smell like. Read more

The FutureBook Conference takes place on Friday 2nd December. To book tickets click here.

Five skills everyone in publishing needs now - John Athanasiou

-John Athanasiou, director of people at HarperCollins UK. Read more

Print vs Digital

Danny Arter explores how the news business is attempting to adapt to the digital age - and what book publishers can learn. Read more

The Internet is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

The Internet, we’ve been promised by its many evangelists, is the answer. It democratizes the good and disrupts the bad, they say, thereby creating a more open and egalitarian world. The more people who join the Internet, or so these evangelists, including Silicon Valley billionaires, social media marketers, and network idealists, tell us, the more value it brings to both society and its users. They thus present the Internet as a magically virtuous circle, an infinitely positive loop, an economic and cultural win-win for its billions of users.

But today, as the Internet expands to connect almost every- one and everything on the planet, it’s becoming self-evident that this is a false promise. The evangelists are presenting us with what in Silicon Valley is called a “reality distortion field”—a vision that is anything but truthful. Instead of a win-win, the Internet is, in fact, more akin to a negative feedback loop in which we network users are its victims rather than beneficiaries. Rather than the answer, the Internet is actually the central ques- tion about our connected twenty-first-century world.

The more we use the contemporary digital network, the less economic value it is bringing to us. Rather than promoting eco- nomic fairness, it is a central reason for the growing gulf between rich and poor and the hollowing out of the middle class. Rather than making us wealthier, the distributed capitalism of the new networked economy is making most of us poorer. Rather than generating more jobs, this digital disruption is a principal cause of our structural unemployment crisis. Rather than creating more competition, it has created immensely powerful new monopolists like Google and Amazon.

Its cultural ramifications are equally chilling. Rather than creating transparency and openness, the Internet is creating a panopticon of information-gathering and surveillance services in which we, the users of big data networks like Facebook, have been packaged as their all-too-transparent product. Rather than creating more democracy, it is empowering the rule of the mob. Rather than encouraging tolerance, it has unleashed such a dis- tasteful war on women that many no longer feel welcome on the network. Rather than fostering a renaissance, it has created a selfie-centered culture of voyeurism and narcissism. Rather than establishing more diversity, it is massively enriching a tiny group of young white men in black limousines. Rather than making us happy, it’s compounding our rage.

No, the Internet is not the answer. Not yet, anyway. This book, which synthesizes the research of many experts and builds upon the material from my two previous books about the Internet, explains why.

Extracted from The Internet is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen, published by Atlantic Books

Be flexible and open to ideas. If someone in my company has an idea, I can execute it very quickly and I’m always open and easily accessible to everyone. I’m also very transparent, and encourage transparency. Perhaps the biggest thing, though, is not to be afraid of taking risks. Try things out and if it doesn’t work, try it again in a different way - but keep trying, keep going. Also try and discover and pioneer stuff that isn’t in the mainstream. What can you put out there that isn’t already out there? Or what can you put out there in a different way?

Jamal Edwards Entrepreneur

Video: BookTech Showcase

A glimpse of the BookTech Showcase. See who won here. Video: Darren Sherry