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Posted by Kate, April 19, 2010

London Book Fair digital conference

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.