James Daunt will give the opening keynote at FutureBook Live 2019, The Bookseller’s annual publishing conference.
The managing director of Waterstones and, since August, chief executive of the US bookshop chain Barnes & Noble will give a wide-ranging talk on the future of high street bookselling, the economics of the physical supply chain, his vision for reviving the bookshop, and why physical books have retained their place at the heart of the business.
Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, said: “The future of the book business is inextricably bound to the future of high street bookselling, and the ability of chains such as Waterstones and Barnes & Noble to sell books at scale from physical locations. Daunt’s vision for a bookshop chain with the heart of an independent, but the muscle of a corporate has not just revived that business but given new hope for bookshops everywhere. Having presided over the sale of Waterstones from Alexander Mamut to Elliott Advisors, and the most recent audacious takeover of the ailing US chain Barnes & Noble, Daunt has presented himself with his biggest challenge yet, but few can doubt his ability to pull it off."
Daunt's speech at FutureBook Live will be his first public engagement since taking on the top job at Barnes & Noble, giving delegates a unique insight into how he sees the future of both chains, what parallels there are between the two markets, and what publishers can do to better support high street bookshops.
Now in its tenth year, FutureBook Live will be held on Monday 25th November, 155 Bishopsgate, London. This year's programme will be the most ambitious and far-reaching so far, with executives from Pearson, Hachette, Waterstones, Bonnier, Springer Nature, Faber, Booker, the BBC, Penguin Random House, Blackwell, and Lonely Planet, already confirmed as speakers.
A limited number of tickets are now available to buy at Early Bird rates until 11th October. There is also a 3 for 2 offer available on standard tickets.
The coveted FutureBook Awards are now open for submissions, including BookTech Company of the Year, Podcast of the Year, and the FutureBook Person of the Year, who will once again deliver the closing keynote.
For writers, there is also an opportunity to submit to the audio originals competition, launched earlier this month.
As well as attending the conference, for the first time delegates can apply to attend a Day of Code, training event hosted by Consonance on 22nd November. Only 40 places are up for grabs, so book early to avoid disappointment.