Digital Publshing TrendOn May 29, Marie Buhot-Launay, Business Director of HubTech21 had the chance to attend the first day of IDPF, the digital book conference organized as a side event to the large BookExpo America in New York.


“I was amazed by the quality of the speakers and the wide depth of the topics related to this new industry. Here are the 4 takeaways I would like to share with you:

1) A growing market for the book and the digital book

2) Great opportunities offered by the technology

3) The most important: listen to the needs of tomorrow’s customer

4) Marketing the launch of a book: the difference from 2008 and Today

Malcolm Gwadell, author of “The Tipping Point” states there will always be a need for books, as people want to be inspired, informed, and entertained. Studies show that the more people are educated, the more they read books….and there have never been so many educated people in the world.

The digital era should not be as much a threat to the publishing industry as it has been for the music industry according to Chantal Restivo-Alessi, Chief Digital Officer of Harper Collins and former executive at EMI:

  • Unlike in the music industry, books consumers are still in both worlds: physical and digital, creating bundle opportunities.
  • Listeners were eager to be freed from the constraint of buying a whole album when they only liked one song. Readers will always want to read the whole book, whether digital of physical.

All speakers agreed on double digit growth in the years to come for the digital publishing industry. As Jeff Jaffe, CEO of the W3C consortium stated: ebook readers have shifted from 16% to 23% of the US population over the last year! Expectations are all the more optimistic that the maturity of new standards such as HTML5 and EPOP3, should significantly enhance the digital book experience and lead to higher adoption.

2) Great opportunities offered by the technology

HTML5 and EPOP3 seem to become true standards now, creating tremendous opportunities to enhance the experience of end-users.

Users should now be able to read their content on any device (provided that all e-readers adopt the format). Jeff Jaffe, CEO of the W3C consortium talked about cars, video games but also fridges!

They will also enjoy more interactive content :

  • Gamification: reading goals and ranking process, interactive rewards
  • Socialization: sharing of samples and reading activity

Daniel Fountenberry, CEO of New-York start-up Borne Digital envisions exciting new features like personalizing the content according to the reader brain activity or monitoring the reader engagement with an eye tracking system.

See th other 3 takeaways in part 2: How Technology Markets to Today’s Users