Kate and Deb spent yesterday at the London Book Fair digital conference. You can follow what was said on Twitter at #lbfdc, and Nosy Crow (@nosycrow) tweeted throughtout. Kate was on a panel on maximising commercial opportunities in the digital environment.
Several good sessions. Issues covered included the challenge of large-scale organisations working through processes and politics in order to come up with good digital stuff; the fact that publishers haven’t had to link up to consumers seriously before; the sheer variety of digital projects, both marketing and product; and the importance of the smartphone.
Nosy Crow was saying that it was excellent to be a new start-up in this digital environment: we don’t have a big, legacy infrastructure to feed and an established business model to transform from. We don’t even have backlist books that it’s tempting to spend time trying to squash onto a phone. We have freedom to make our own, new business model and we have a small integrated team. We said that, while we’ll be doing more standard digital products (straight ebook novels, eg), we have clearly defined our core digital audience – techno mum of children under 7 (so, in UK terms, pre-school and Key Stage 1) and will deliver exceptional products that have been commissioned for the device – in our case, iTouch, iPhone and iPad at this point – using the capabilities of the device including interaction, sound, animation, text and pictures.
Lots of people – judging by the retweets and the people who wanted to talk to us afterwards – seemed to like this approach.
So now it’s off to the London Book Fair.