E-book pioneer Bob Stein is to join the ‘big ideas’ panel at FutureBook 2014. The last minute addition of Stein means bookings for The Bookseller’s digital publishing conference will now remain open for another five hours.
Stein joins more than 40 speakers at this year’s conference, being held on Friday 14th November at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London. The ‘big ideas’ pitches are a fast, high energy, conclusion to FutureBook first introduced last year. This year’s panel of nine speakers will be chaired by Kobo president & chief content officer Michael Tamblyn, who will also outline his vision for promoting innovation in the book business. Other speakers include Harbottle & Lewis lawyer Alex Hardy, consultant Richard Nash, agent Julia Kingsford, Alliance of Independent Authors founder Orna Ross, Summersdale’s Abbie Headon, Eric Briys founder of French subscriptions business Cyberlibris, Colin McElwee, co-founder Worldreader, and booktuber Rosianna Halse Rojas.
Respected innovator Stein is a 30-year veteran of the digital content business, having founded The Voyager Company in 1985, the first commercial multimedia CD-ROM publisher. Previous to Voyager, Stein worked with Alan Kay in the Research Group at Atari on a variety of electronic publishing projects. 11 years ago, Stein started 'Night Kitchen' to develop authoring tools for the next generation of electronic publishing. That work is now being continued at the Institute for the Future of the Book. Most recently Stein has developed SocialBook, a social reading platform that allows readers to add their own commentary to texts, share these ideas with others, follow others’ comments, and create communities of interactive reader/writers.
Stein told The Bookseller: “A few years ago I showed SocialBook to the c.e.o of a major publishing house, who responded confidently that his customers weren’t interested in social reading. His certainty reminded me of conversations in 1992 when a well known computer scientist who had seen Voyager’s Expanded Book Series called to suggest I try to raise a small fund from the publishing industry to develop what he called the dynabook, and would have been the first digital tablet. Alas, the unanimous response from every CEO was ‘Are you kidding, people will never choose to read on screens.’”
At The FutureBook, we have a new essay from Stein on social reading, with some industry commentary and his responses.
More than 500 speakers and delegates will join FutureBook 2014 with speakers including Penguin Random House chief executive Tom Weldon and apps entrepreneur George Berkowski. Bookings have been extended for a further five hours. For tickets, and programme, click here.
There are also a small number of tickets available on the day.