Ali Albazaz, founder and chief executive of reader-powered publisher Inkitt, is the latest speaker to be announced for this year's FutureBook Live, Europe’s biggest publishing innovation conference, hosted by The Bookseller.
Albazaz joins Syima Aslam, founder & director, Bradford Literature Festival, and Lindsey Mooney and Keshini Naidoo co-founders of digital publisher Hera Books, on the panel exploring "What Readers Really Want".
Inkitt uses an artificially intelligent algorithm to analyse it’s online users’ reading patterns, it allows writers to get valuable feedback on their work, build a community of fans, and perhaps score an agent. With a background in computer science, founder Albazaz believes that predictive analysis has the potential to finally help the publishing industry make decisions based on reader data, ahead of guesswork.
Molly Flatt, associate editor of FutureBook and co-programmer of FutureBook Live, said: "A classic innovation mistake involves making an exciting product or service that nobody actually cares about. In our What Readers Really Want panel, four brilliant experts will cut through the hype to ask: how can we be guided by our readers when creating something fresh? How are different generations and groups reacting to new book forms and services? What does reader-first technology look like? And how can we satisfy today’s readers while also attracting the book-buyers of tomorrow?
"This is your chance to hear a youth trends consultant, a festival organiser and the founders of a new digital publisher, as they bring their data and insight to a debate that cuts to the very heart of the future of the book industry."
Keynote speakers this year include Muki Kulhan, executive digital producer, Muki International; David Shelley, c.e.o, Hachette UK; Tracey Follows, founder and c.e.o of Futuremade; with a special guest appearance from author Seth Godin on video. Headliners for the AudioBook section include Miles Stevens-Hoare, general manager at W.F Howes, and James Cridland, radio futurologist; EdTech offers keynotes from Sir Anthony Seldon, vice-chancellor at The University of Buckingham, and Rose Luckin, professor of learner-centred design, UCL Knowledge Lab.
The conference concludes with a creative keynote from performance poet Sophia Thakur, the FutureBook Awards, and a special final address from FutureBook's Person of the Year, Dialogue Books publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove.
FutureBook Live takes place on 30th November in London, at 155 Bishopsgate.