Thursday, January 27, 2011

Report from the Digital Book World Conference (part 2)

Continued from yesterday, Barney Saltzberg’s next blog report from the DBW conference:

Day Two at The Digital Book World Conference

I cannot honestly do the speakers from today justice at the moment. My head is spinning from all of the information.

I took notes on my laptop until the battery ran out. (I am now at a charging station!)

I scribbled notes on a pad of paper…

…People used to walk around a bookstore and browse.  Now it's one click and that's it.…

…People rely on friends and networks to recommend books instead of walking into a brick and mortar store and seeing what's on the shelves. We now rely more on bloggers or someone we trust to suggest a book.…

…This one kind of knocked me out: The most important person at a publishing company is now a blogger. The second most important person is an editor. (Talk amongst yourselves).…

Click to read the rest of Barney’s post.

He has at least 2 additional posts up, well worth reading.

Excerpt used with permission.


  1. These posts from Barney are a little out of sequence (not his fault, long story) but it doesn’t matter, the info is the thing!

  2. “The most important person at a publishing company is now a blogger.”

    That quote got my attention! Are some/most pubs blogging now? If so, it hasn’t gotten on my radar screen thus far.

  3. Not sure they are blogging themselves but they are submitting books to blogs, all kinds of blogs for reviews. They want their book to be featured all over the place.

  4. That makes sense. In the crafts realm, I’ve seen solicitations to sign up to receive review copies. The pubs check out how many subscribers/followers a blog has, no doubt.

  5. I'm not certain if Barney is referring to a publisher's in-house blogger or external bloggers, but if it's the former, that's starting to make sense. Just as authors will need to brand themselves and become consistent producers of quality content for a particular audience, publishers will increasingly have to do the same thing.

    I was watching Michael Hyatt's (CEO of Thomas Nelson) excellent interview ( and something he said really caught my attention:

    When asked why there would still be a need for publishers in the digital future, Hyatt noted that the traditional purpose of a publisher (providing the capital needed to pay advances, print, distribute and market a book) will become less important over time, so publishers need to find a new purpose - that of curators...trusted sources of quality books. That's much easier to do if you carve out a niche rather than being an "all-purpose" publisher.

    Soooo.... community building activities like blogging, social media, etc. will become extraordinarily important for publishers who seek to survive. Just as authors need to build their own tribes, so to will publishers.

    Jon Bard
    Managing Editor, Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers

  6. I'm not sure in-house blogging will have the same effect as an individual who simply blogs for enjoyment and spreading the word on books he or she likes. That person will be far less constrained in terms of their choice of titles from different publishers, subject matter, genres, and much more. I would expect that an in-house publisher would blog only about their employer's roster of titles which doesn't seem as exciting to me.

  7. If a publisher blog is limited to their own titles, seems like they would have to add some value for blog readers such as giveaways, author interviews, reader input such as how a teacher uses a particular title, reproducibles, book-related party ideas, etc. etc... it seems doable, actually.