A bit like the number 17 bus, you wait all year for a digital seminar, and then three come at once (Well there was one last month, but stick with me here)!
Tomorrow there’s a digital seminar organised by Publishing Ireland about online marketing (with Ireland’s leading online marketing evangelist Damian Mulley: is Twitter the answer to all our needs? How much content should we give away free? Lots of potential for fun there …), bibliographical information (with Tim from Anko: dull-sounding but really important stuff about how the world learns about books) and digital rights (from Samantha Holman, ICLA).
No sooner is that over than it’s off to London for the Independent Publishers Guild Digital Quarterly Meeting: this is a great idea whereby four times each year the independents throw ideas around, share success (and failure!) stories from the e-universe and help each other compete against the conglomerates.
There’s no question that all publishers need to get on the electronic road sooner rather than later, while some have jumped headlong into the choppy waters. Instant access to worldwide markets, the potential for direct selling, the threat to bookshops (who are our main customers, after all), and the huge pressure on pricing brought about by the amount of free stuff out there are all becoming more important issues now that the format wars appear to be dying down a bit. Interesting times.