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over 10 years ago

Notes on the Publishing Panel


Richard Nash, CEO, Small Demons

Rick Joyce, CMO, Perseus Books Group

David Riordan, NYPL Labs


-          How people find books now is like the old card catalogs in library. The challenge is about how we make it better?


-          Books are amazing containers for knowledge , but the material is what matters, not the container


-          Content within the book should pop out at the right time—when it matters to that person—when it they’re making a decision, looking for information, and more


-          Don’t feel limited by our APIs and what we’ve provided. Please go out and find stuff that we haven’t used or found before—show us what is possible and what we need to do give you to power your discovery projects.


-          Books are about everything there is.


-          Don’t just think about fiction.  Keep in mind that there are all the kinds of books—nonfiction, memoir, travel books, cookbooks, serious academic books etc.  Essentially, if someone has an idea they put it down in a book, so think about all those types of content and use cases.


-          Projects could be a solution for a certain type of book or for all books


-          ‘I need a book to read’ is not only discovery case. I have a problem to solve or a decision to make or a gift to give. 


-          Books are the best way to really know or learn about something in depth.  Drawing people in to sample is the challenge.


-          The book ecosystem is broad. Projects can address any part of it--author, agent, publisher, media, reader, schools, parents, bloggers etc. It’s all useful. You could come in at any point in the industry.  It doesn’t have to be a consumer-facing solution.


-          All kinds of great assets in books but all fair game for reinvention.  Take a traditional asset and transform it to power digital discovery. Assets include manuscript, jacket, metadata, excerpts, reviews, author appearances, physical placement (retail or elsewhere), word of mouth, curation, keywords, recommendations, seeing that someone is reading a book (ex. in the subway)


-          Context is important.  What


-          Book layer—if you only knew about it, you’d be interested, and that book layer is not evenly spread—where are the big holes?


-          This hack is Format agnostic (ebook, print book, audio book, we don’t care how people read).  Also the projects you create could be an app, a website, a tool—we’re open to great ideas.



-          Not interested in challenges that are about building features in ebooks or new types of ebooks UNLESS  it enables discovery.


-          Not interested in new retail business models.


-          Publishers are putting more stuff every year.  320,000 titles are published per year now not including self-publishing. The industry has increased its total output  20 fold, when the market only increased 10-15%. This is the background of the discovery challenge.


-          Help us parse the abundance of books so we have an appropriate diet of content and info instead of being overwhelmed by what you’re looking for.


-          Multi-sided marketplace – internet is undoing traditional supply chain.  A writer is a reader and vice versa. All the intermediaries in publishing are also readers and writers and influencers and consumers/producers etc. A marvelous resource to explore.


-          All metadata is digitized


-          Discovery is good for EVERYBODY’s business


-          Expanding the number of readers is also good for everyone.



-Not about business model innovation, but not all of reading relies on books sales. could be readings, libraries funded by municipalities etc, consultants publishing books to up fees etc.