Books Not Dead
Headed to SXSW Interactive? Concerned about the future of books, magazines, and websites? Attend “New Publishing and Web Content,” a panel I’m hosting on the creative, strategic, and marketing challenges of traditional and new (internet hybrid) book publishing and online magazine publishing, and how these fields intersect with content strategy and client services.
Joining me in a thoughtful exploration of new and old business models and creative challenges will be people who’ve spent a decade or two butting up against and reinventing these boundaries:
- Mandy Brown, creative director, Etsy; former creative director (web and print), W.W. Norton, the oldest and largest publishing traditional house owned wholly by its employees; contributing editor, A List Apart Magazine; publisher, A Working Library; and co-director (with Jason Santa Maria and me), A Book Apart, a new publisher of mid-length books “for people who make websites.” (We’re talking book-books, made of paper, printed, bound, and distributed—not PDFs.)
- Paul Ford, critically respected novelist (Gary Benchley, Rock Star) and short fiction writer; blogger since practically the Civil War, most famously of Ftrain.com, where he has penned such classic posts as “Learning to Fear the Semantic Web;” print and web editor, Harper’s, the very definition of a traditional printed magazine of quality—also web developer, designer, and webmaster of Harper’s website since forever; and frequent contributor to The Morning News and to NPR’s “All Things Considered,” where he once offered a dissenting view on “web standards”—not that I’m bitter.
- Lisa Holton, Founder and CEO, Fourth Story Media (“a fresh perspective in storytelling”). The company “develop[s] compelling intellectual property and distribute[s] it across traditional and nontraditional channels including books, collaborative web fiction, and social media.” Previously, Lisa was President of Scholastic Trade Publishing and Book Fairs, where she managed the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and initiated and oversaw development of The 39 Clues, a widely heralded book- and web-based venture. Prior to that, she was SVP and Publisher, Disney Global Children’s Books, running all aspects of the domestic and international children’s book business at the Walt Disney Company. Before that, Lisa was Vice President, Associate Publisher and Editor-in Chief of HarperCollins Children’s Books. She serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Women’s Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
- Erin Kissane, publisher, Incisive.nu, a website about strong language, writing tools, and other aspects of content strategy; content strategist and editorial strategist, Happy Cog Studios; former editor-in-chief (for ten years), A List Apart Magazine; author of numerous articles on web writing, editing, and content strategy, including “Attack of the Zombie Copy,” “Your About Page is a Robot,” and “Content Templates to the Rescue;” founding strategist, A Book Apart; and author of an upcoming book on content strategy for content strategists.
As moderator, my job will be to let these geniuses speak, to occasionally lob the right question to the right genius, and to help field your questions from the audience.
If you work in web or print publishing, or just care about the written word, please join us at 5:00 PM Central Time in Ballroom A.
(What else am I doing at SXSW Interactive? Here’s my schedule so far. I also hope to see some of you at OK Cog’aoke II, SXSW Interactive’s premiere karaoke event and best party, hosted by your friends at Happy Cog.)
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