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Sourcebooks NEXT.

5+ things we learned and are doing differently now

After an engaging, inspiring, and utterly packed Digital Book World Conference & Expo (DBW) last week, I started to pull together some of the more practical implications of the DBW and Publishers Launch Conferences for Sourcebooks:

1. Marketing: Integration & Better Data

The discussions on these subjects were outstanding and really identified several areas that we're moving forward on.

  • Marketing is getting a whole review with implications for multiple departments: publicity, marketing, editorial, and sales.
  • Metadata is getting yet another pass. We’re going to be integrating with SEO and taking on a backlist review project.
  • Data dashboarding is now a top priority. How quickly can we get information, make decisions, communicate, and change directions? This new thought process was probably the highlight of the show for me.

2. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) & Metrics

Lots of important discussion and thinking around data and metrics. Sourcebooks has a management quarterly next week to review performance and plans. This will be focused on key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics. Again, much to think about and push forward.

3. New Ventures

DBW was a great show for creating new opportunities. We met four new companies (with interesting business proposals or models) with whom we expect to be doing business in 2012. There’s some new thinking in unexpected areas.

4. Partners

It was wonderful to have meetings with many of our current partners and to discuss expanding our relationships. This is a rapidly changing space and everyone was abuzz with new work and new ideas in both the digital and physical book marketplace. Five of our partners have some big things brewing, and yes, we’re absolutely going to be participating.

5. Illustrated eBooks

Unbelievably, I saw two new opportunities at the illustrated book panel. Let’s see if I can convince anyone else in my organization to try these out.

This is obviously not all:

  • Lots of data points that I'’m still thinking about. I suspect there are some new ideas, experiments brewing.
  • There were other Sourcebooks folks at DBW – what they learned and how that may change, impact, redirect this preliminary list
  • Lots of big industry-wide conversations: DRM, libraries, rights and royalties, worldwide English language, the rapidly developing global marketplace and more

We thank you for the warm reception to our new Agile Publishing Model and our partnership with futurist David Houle.

And a special thank you to David Nussbaum, Mike Shatzkin, Michael Cader, Jess Johns, Matt Mullin and all of the DigitalBookWorld and Publishers Launch Conferences team for their hard work and commitment!

The thing that warmed my heart the most was the level of conversation and engagement between lots of different industry members. Some conversations were difficult. Sure. But most were productive and engaging.

I hope others will share their learnings, thinking and/or questions.



+2 # John Carpenter 2012-02-02 07:39
As someone new to all of this (and who recently published via Kindle Direct Publishing), I wonder if adding new partners means it will become easier or more difficult to get new books in traditional formats. I love that my book is an eBook, but I can't help but wonder if having a physical book might make marketing a whole lot easier. What does all of this mean for new or lesser known writers? Easier for them to get started? Or all the same? And what happens to the agent? Where does she fit in in order to survive. Thanks for the post--interesting stuff indeed.

Going Geek: What Every Smart Kid (and Every Smart Parent) Should Know about College Admissions
-2 # Dominique 2012-02-02 13:31
Wow, that's a lot of questions. I'm going to just tackle one or two right now, if it's ok.

Yes, I suspect having a physical book will become more meaningful. There's just going to be so much content available in ebooks or just online. A well-produced physical book will (continue) to serve as a higher level calling card I think.

New or lesser known writers are going to be significantly challenged. We are seeing that already. As content continues to explode, giving stuff away or really down-pricing your content becomes less efficient as a strategy. So it's easier for them to get started but what happens after they've sold their 300 copies or their 1000 copies. It's really hard to do all that by yourself. I've been watching this discussion on our LinkedIn group:


It's all new, this evolution. And it's really incredibly exciting. There are no answers right now. We're all in the learning process (or I'm experiencing it that way. lol)
+2 # John Carpenter 2012-02-02 19:01
I am absolutely impressed that you responded to my comment--way cool. Thanks! My intuition also tells me that a physical book will continue to carry more credibility, but I started where I could, and I'm glad I've been able to learn about this world. And I actually LIKE the idea of the eBook. Anyway, many thanks for your reply. All the best,
+2 # Jordana Vincent 2012-02-02 08:44
Hello Dominique, great post! I was hoping to catch you @DBW, but never did. I am hoping you attended the New Models of Selling eBooks to Libraries session, where my library's IT Director discussed what we are doing at Douglas County Libraries. I would love to speak with you directly about this, or continue my conversation with Melissa. I love how open you are to new ideas - no wonder Sourcebooks rocks!
+2 # Mark Cameron 2012-02-07 21:02
Great review of DBW. So much going on in digital publishing. Shame I didn't get to meet with you. Thanks for dropping by our Booktrack stand. Just sent you a longer email with a few ideas on how Booktrack would like to work with Sourcebooks this year.Hope to hear from you soon!

Have a great day!


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