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Writing the FutureBook T

New venue, new speakers and new points of discussion: Philip Jones reveals the changes to this year’s FutureBook Conference

his year’s fifth anniversary FutureBook Confer- ence brings together more than 50 speakers from

across the media world for a day of reckoning,

realisation and revivification. It will, to borrow from a famous beer advert, refresh the parts other digital and publishing events do not reach. It is the boldest conference Te Bookseller has ever put on, spanning three different streams and taking in everything from mobile to audio, from the future of the academic book to how Twitter can be the bedrock of a successful book campaign. Te conference boasts new speakers as illustrious as Jane Friedman, former chief executive of HarperCollins worldwide and now founder and c.e.o. of Open Road Integrated Media; Penguin Random House’s editorial director of audio Caroline Raphael; and bestselling author Simon Scarrow. We have taken a fresh approach to the event this year, putting the sessions in the hands of expert chairs from within the sector who can help guide the participants and steer the debates. Tere are 12 chairs in total, eight of them women (for more on them, see pp08–09). I’m also pleased to reveal that for the first time we have an overall chair for FutureBook 2015: Sandeep Mahal, until recently director of BBC arts and digital project Te Space. Sandeep brings with her immense experience of publishing, the wider arts and digital media. She has a deep knowledge of publishing and enthusiasm for what you do (Sandeep shares her vision for the conference on p08). She is already working with us, helping to shape the event so that it is both publishing-savvy and outwardly focused. More announcements along these lines are to come, along with a special (and remarkable) fifth keynote. Stay tuned. I am incredibly proud of the programme this year, but it did not come solely from me. I have, over the past six months, spoken to many people from within and outside of publishing, and have tailored the event around current obsessions, fascinations and challenges. It combines the best of indigenous publishing thinking, with perspectives

from those coming at this from the outside. Tis being the fifth anniversary of the first FutureBook Conference, we have also brought back past speakers, such as Stephen Page and Charlie Redmayne, to examine what they have learned during this period of rapid change. Page will pose the following question in his keynote: “Have trade publishers travelled far enough in search of the new?” Te answer will surprise many of you.

THE NEW PUBLISHING In Springer Nature’s Annette Tomas we have a first- time speaker coming to us at a pivotal moment in that business’ evolution; and Pottermore’s Susan Jurevics is an executive who is starting to make her mark both on Pottermore and on how we think about the wider content business (for more on these keynotes, see p07). Tis year, we have introduced dedicated sessions

examining the “new publishing” from Quarto’s print- on-demand-driven Tis is Your Cookbook initiative to Visual Editions’ collaboration with Google Creative Lab. In addition, the BookTech Showcase, curated by tech and culture journalist Molly Flatt (see p12), will put delegates and disruptors together so that we can understand the new disruption early—and so that these innovators can better understand us, too. Of course, the FutureBook Conference is a reflection of the industry—it is the book trade’s digital platform. As such, it is important that the event is well supported. Tis year we have more speakers than ever before, across a broader programme at the end of a week that begins with our new event, Author Day (see p15), and culminates in the prestigious FutureBook Awards (see pp30–31). We also have double the number of sponsor partners this year. I am grateful to all of these speakers and sponsors, and in particular the Firsty Group, which rather appropriately is the sponsor of the all-important post-show drinks. FutureBook works when the room is bursting—full of people, ideas and connections. Let’s make it so. ×


On the Move summarises five key findings from this year’s Digital Census. p04–05

The FutureBook

Programme breaks down the day’s talks and events. p16–17

Keynotes’ Key Points sums up this year’s quartet of keynote speakers. p07

Lessons for a Start-Up are divulged by

September Publishing. p19–20

The View from the Chairs meets those hosting the discussions at FutureBook. p08–09

Breaking the Page has

Peter Meyers explain how he will run his workshop. p23


Start it Up says that incubating an internal start-up is vital. p11

What Should a Book Be? ask the co-founders of Visual Editions. p24

BookTech Showcase meets the firms which will pitch for a new award. p12

Who’s Who profiles the people who will be on stage on 4th December. p27–29

The Author Avalanche

looks at what Author Day will offer writers. p15

The FutureBook Awards shortlists in full, across 11 different categories. p30–31

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