Be a Tool of Change (But Never a Tool)

I have a huge giveaway today. Huge. Freaking enormous. I’m really excited about it.

As part of my media partnership with O’Reilly Tools of Change, I’ve been given a conference code good for free registration for the 2010 Tools of Change in Publishing Conference, being held February 23 through 24, 2010 in New York City. The conference registration online is $1,245.00 US (See? I told you it was rather huge) and if you try to pay at the door, it’s $1345.00. Conference registration includes:

Access to:

  * all sessions (Tuesday – Wednesday)
  * all keynote presentations
  * Exhibit Hall
  * all on-site networking events
  * all Roundtable sessions
  * Lunch (Tuesday – Wednesday)

Tools of Change in Publishing was brain candy of the finest order for me last year, and I’m hopping excited to be on the agenda this year as well. If you’re interested in digital publishing, curious about the technology and the software being developed to meet the demands of a changing industry, from the publishing of digital books to the reading thereof, this is, to put it in gross understatement, a big opportunity.

In addition to the schedule of events, there are also project demonstrations, vendor product showcases, and a bar scene of such magnificent awesome it might rival the bar at RWA Nationals.

One amazing thing about the ToC website: when you register, you enter a conference-specific network where you can flag people you’d like to meet, customize your schedule, and generally squeeze every last opportunity for interaction and learning out of the conference itself. You get the entirety of the conference, as well as the chance to customize your own map through the sessions and activites. The opportunity for connection is unreal.

Disclaimers and assorted whatnot: This giveaway is ONLY for the coupon code which will create a free registration for one (1) (una) person. It does not include hotel, airfare, incidentals, or any other costs associated with attending the conference, including but not limited to new shoes. I also cannot make any reservations for you. You get the code which will comp your registration, valued at $1245.00 US. I’m happy to answer questions, however, as I’m pretty familiar with Manhattan, and this conference in particular.

This coupon code was provided to me by O’Reilly as part of my media sponsorship of the 2010 Tools of Change in Publishing. I’m not being compensated for this giveaway. I do, however, smell like Teen Spirit. No animals were harmed in the making of this giveway. Handle with care. Alternate side of the street parking has been suspended. Objects may shift while in flight.

For more information about the conference, including travel details and hotel reservations, check out the Tools of Change 2010 Hotel and Travel page. Again, this giveaway is for the conference registration only.

What do you have to do to win? Easy: leave a comment, and tell me why you want to go. What session would you want to attend? What speaker would you be hopping over chairs to hear? (You so do not have to name mine – really. I know you want to hear Arianna Huffington or one of the other keynotes. I will select one comment at random to win the coupon code.

The comments will be open for 48 hours, or two full spins of the earth. Winner announced on Friday. Ready, set, be a tool – of change!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    vicky42000 says:

    My favorite indulgence is to snuggle down in my bed with a hot romance novel and read it from cover to cover.

  2. 2

    Awesome! Me me me! Choose me randomly!

    This sounds fantastic, Sarah. Thanks for the giveaway. My very first ebook is coming out on February 19, so the timing is such that my head would surely rupture from all the information it’ll try to absorb on top of all the leftover excitement.

    “Creating a Practical Social Media Strategy for Authors, Customers, and Colleagues: A Case Study” sounds particularly interesting to me, as I’ve been floundering around on the interwebs for a year now, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to creating as un-annoying a web presence as I can. Actually everything sounded interesting… I wish my husband could go, as he’s an Open Source software developer and he’d totally nerd out on dreams of merging our two professions through the magic of technology. Hmmm…

    Erotica + Technology = Erology?

    No, maybe not. Too close to something else pertaining to the nether bits. And Technologica sounds too much like an early 80s German electro band.

  3. 3
    JBHunt says:

    Wow—there’s a lot to love in that schedule. Please enter me in the drawing. I’m particularly interested in the sessions for authors (social media strategy, building author pages, etc.), the sessions on e-textbook use, and of course Sarah and Jane’s session!

  4. 4

    I would absolutely LOVE to go.  Holy buckets of chest hair, yes!

    I’d be interested in attending Chris Brogan’s workshop “Book Promotion Off the Cuff.”  As a midlist author, I’d love to educate myself in some new ways of promoting my books.

    I’d also like to attend Kirsten Hamstra’s workshop “Creating a Practical Social Media Strategy for Authors, Customers, and Colleagues: A Case Study”.  Social Media is such a fun way of interacting with readers that I’d like to hear some successful strategies.

    But then, there’s just the best one of all:  “Test Driving the Digital Reading Experience.”  ;)  One thing I’ll admit is that ever since I bought an e-reader, I have bought far more books.  I do think electronic sales will eventually outpace print sales.  It will be interesting to watch!

    This sounds like such a blast!  I would love an excuse to come to NYC for a few days.

  5. 5
    Christine says:

    I think whomever has the most O’Reilly books on their shelves should get to go. Me, me, me! I bet I’m the only one here with O’Reilly’s first edition “Sed and Awk” book. They are the best, the absolute best, publishers out there when it comes to tech manuals.

    On a serious note, it would be a wonderful opportunity to attend such an event. I work in a state university setting so $$ for conferences, travel, training and what not are limited.I think the biggest difficulty would be picking which seminars to attend. “Ebook contracts: Critical Terms and Lessons learned” , “Who needs you, Big Publishing?” – these two caught my eye immediately, but every hour looks packed with informational stuff.

  6. 6
    The Geek Comes Out-eth says:

    I admit, I read this and drooled a [s]lot[/s] little with the thought of seeing and hearing all these amazing people listed on the TOC website. I’m coming out of lurkdom here to try my hand; attending this conference would be amazing!

    Combining my tech geek self with my dorkish love of books and my nerdy love for businesses setups/organizational structures – oh baby. How could I not want to go? *discreetly wipes away more drool*

    Which session? I want to go to all of them! I’m really interested in Nilofer Merchant’s workshop. I’d also love to get in on the sessions offered by Neera Khosla, Kassia Krozer, and Angela James.

    What speaker would you be hopping over chairs to hear? – … Besides those I listed above, I’d be hopping over chairs and leaping over people to hear Ramy Habeeb (1001 Arabian Rights sound amazing).

    Seriously, congrats to whoever wins the pass. Thanks for sharing such a great opportunity, Sarah!

  7. 7
    Kit says:

    Ooooh! Please pick me randomly!

    I’m a city librarian, and our city has suspended all travel due to the recession, which means no conferences. I could swing the airfare and hotel if I won the drawing. And I would love to humbly represent my profession in the world of ebooks, where sometimes I think no one is thinking of the libraries *sob*.

    It all sounds good. But the chance to meet the Smart Bitches in person – yowza!

  8. 8
    meardaba says:

    I’ll throw my hat in the ring!  I’ve been working on a research project about this very thing for a few months now, and would love to expand my knowledge!  The Impact of P2P File Distribution on Paid Content Sales looks incredibly interesting, but so does Rewriting Journalism, Open Source Models, Software, and Workflows.  It might help me out with my next freelance piece! 
    Also, of course, I’d love to see you talk, and actually ask you some questions face to face instead of faceless to faceless.  :P

    Thanks for giving us this opportunity, Sarah!  I should stop being amazed at how awesome SBs are.

    My word today is foreign88 – how does it know that I’m a foreigner?  Creepy.

  9. 9
    Betsy says:

    Oh my goodness—I would be so thrilled to be able to attend.  I’m starting a master’s program in fiction writing this year, and this conference would be *perfect* to start things off right.  As an aspiring novelist, I can’t imagine how many learning (and networking!) opportunities I’d have—-and I’d never be able to afford it myself.
    Please oh please pick me randomly!

  10. 10
    Jessica G. says:

    I’d like to go myself, but I’m wondering if I can nominate someone else. A member of my board (mobileread), Nate, really wants to go but can’t afford the registration. We were trying to raise money to get him to go but unfortunately we are all poor from buying our cool gadgets. He attends most conferences, including CES this year (and I believe he was at the Kindle 2 announcement). He does a wonderful job reporting on our site, and has been doing the ebook thing since the beginning. I’ve met him personally, and he’s a very nice guy with enough ebook devices to start a museum.

    You can check out his blog at I’m n.ot sure if he’s what your looking for to go, since he’s not involved in the romance community, but he’s always respectful and his reporting is clear and concise.

    Sooooo…vote for Nate! PS- I’m not telling him I’ve mentioned him here unless you want me to.

  11. 11
    Katrina Witt says:

    Oh, wow. This conference sounds amazing. Ariana Huffington? Yes! Digital publishing of government documents for easy public access? YES! Session with one of you guys from Smart Bitches? Hell yes!

    Also, I’m a college-student wannabe-novelist, I’ve never been to New York, and I’m desperate to know more about the publishing world in general, especially its future in relation to the internet and multimedia.

    Pick me and earn my eternal gratitude, love and devotion. Oh wait, you’ve already earned some of that just for what you’ve done to that asshat Bill Napoli, and Amazon after they pulled that “Amazon Rank” B.S. because Google bombing is some of the coolest internet-media guerrilla warfare I’ve ever heard of. Well––you’ll get even more of that gratitude and devotion, et cetera.

  12. 12
    azteclady says:

    Oh how I wish!!!

    But no way I can afford getting to NY any time soon.

    Best of luck to those who can—and may the winner make the MOST of the opportunity!

  13. 13
    Kwana says:

    Holy Change this is huge! Please enter me. This is all so interesting. I’d love to attend you and Jane’s session and hear Angela. I’m also a huge Huffington post fan so to hear Arianna Huffington speak would be amazing.

  14. 14
    Gale Laure says:

    WOW!  What a fantastic gift!  This is amazing! 

    Reading got me started writing.  Writing keeps me going for readers.  Readers feed me daily with their information, opinions and insights.  Insights give me more information for my writing which leads me back to more reading for research for the writing.  Whew!  Reading . . . writing. . . my life!

  15. 15
    James Neal says:

    Please put me into consideration.  Thanks.

  16. 16
    Nilki B says:

    I love your site and got here through @younglibrarian on twitter

    This sounds fabulous, I’d love to be entered to win!  Thank you for the opportunity and keep up the good work and cussin’ ;)


  17. 17
    Todd Beals says:

    I want to attend TOC because some of the brightest minds in the industry will be there and I really believe the saying, “you are what you eat….”  At first glance I would like to attend Patry and Kurzweil’s events the most….THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO POSSIBLY ATTEND !!!!!

  18. 18
    Ann Marie says:

    Holy cats—the e-reading experience, textbooks, pricing and sales . . . and a chance to hear people who are exploring rather than cowering in fear. What a great opportunity!

  19. 19
    Lori says:

    Wow, how fabulous! I’m someone who works for a publisher that is just starting to dip their toe into the epub world (how frustrating is that for me? but the world of academic publishing moves much more slowly).

    I’m on the committee tasked with determining policy, procedure, etc for the epub portion of our program. I didn’t get to go to CES (I cried!) so this represents another opportunity for me to brush up on what’s happening around the epublishing world and get some insight into what’s coming down the road. I’m also the social media point person for the company (gee, I wonder why?).

    Not that I have a long list of sessions I’d like to attend, but yeah. I’d have some decisions to make and prioritizing to do.

    Practical Ebook Formatting: Limitations and Optimizations
    Ebook Contracts: Critical Terms and Lessons Learned from Both Sides of the Table
    Rich Media Roundup: Promising Projects, Emerging Standards
    The Future of Digital Textbooks
    Running Two Companies—Taking Book Publishing beyond Publishing Books
    Essentials of Digital Books from the Consumer’s Point of View
    How Academics and Students Use Ebooks: Evidence from the JISC National Ebooks Observatory Project
    Rethinking Copyright for the Digital World
    Creating a Practical Social Media Strategy for Authors, Customers, and Colleagues: A Case Study
    Extending Your Content to Digital Format: How Your Technology Choices Can Make or Break the Consumers Experience
    Optimizing the Book Discovery Experience
    Going Beyond Ebooks: One Publisher’s Journey from a Book to Training, Print to Digital
    Rethinking The Role and Funding of Academic Book Publishing

  20. 20
    Tara says:

    What a great contest and a great opportunity for someone! As a librarian, I am very interested in the publishing industry and how the trends and changes in publishing will effect the people I serve on a daily basis and the ways in which they read and how they experience and interact with all the different things they read.

  21. 21
    Sabrina says:

    This is an insanely awesome opportunity!

    Looking at that scedule I can tell it’s going to be very hard to choose, but I definately want to attend the sessions with Kassia Krozser, Kat Meyer, Angela James and Malle Vallik. These presenations look great and I would love the opportunity to meet them personally instead of just on twitter.

    As one of the test drivers, and HUGE lover of my Sony Reader, I would love to be there to hear your presentation on the Test Driving Experience. (No, that’s not just me sucking up) :)

    As both a book blogger and an aspring writer, it looks like this conference would be a great opportunity!

  22. 22
    Tina Burns says:

    What a great opportunity!  I’ve lamented the price of TOC since it’s inception yet the geek in me saves pennies in hopes of one day attending.  The Selling in Mobile Markets session jumped out at me right away. 


  23. 23
    Chris Kubica says:

    I would very much like to go to listen and learn from the experts. Please enter me.

  24. 24
    Mari says:

    Hi!  Thanks for the opportunity.  Why do I want to go?Because I have written a BOOK.  Because the editor to whom I have sent the BOOK has not gotten back to me in over a year (sent at his request too!) and I am giving up on “traditional slow as molasses” publishing. I want my book published and out there and I want this conference to show me how to do it.  I am seriously pondering independent publishing and believe that e-publishing has vast potential for authors to bypass “slow as molasses” and become a start up businesses on their own.  How do I use the e-tools to establish my own brand?  How do I jump in the water to create a quality book format and how do I get the book into reader’s hands? I think this conference will help answer these questions.  What speaker/event do I most want to see?  Well, duh! “Who Needs You Big Publishing?”  by Scott Sigler.
    I also would love to attend the workshop “Building Author Pages.” 
    Writing the book seems to be merely half the battle!  I need to learn how to use all this wonderful new technology to oevercome my natural reticence in talking about my projects and work.  I think this workshop would be a good fit for me but I sincerely congratulate anyone who wins!  Good Luck!
    Sarah, you are an inspiration to us all!

  25. 25

    Thanks for the chance, SBs!

    I’d like to go because back in the day I went to many music conferences (and did conference planning for them, too), and have always been fascinated by the digital delivery of entertainment.

  26. 26
    Owen says:

    I would love to go!

  27. 27
    Lexie says:

    Oh I’d love to go!!

    I’m particularly interested in the “Ebook Contracts” and “Selling in Motion” panels.  They dovetail into my line of (future) work quite well!

  28. 28
    lmf says:

    I’d very much like to be the winner for a couple of reasons. I’m a grad student on the verge of becoming employable, and I work in the digital humanities, so networking among these bodies would be incredibly helpful for my career. I’m right on the cusp of a new phase in my life, and I can’t help but think that attending this event would serve as a catalyst.

    The sessions I’d most like to attend would be:

    “The Future of Digital Textbooks” (I’m really curious about how we can take digital textbooks into classrooms which serve urban college student populations… or if we should. I’m on the fence. I’d love to hear where things are going from both a technological and a social change perspective—and you can’t think well about social change unless you understand the techie bits.)
    The conversation with Kurzweil! (OMG!)
    “Rethinking the Role and Funding of Academic Book Publishing” (something I have a vested interest in, since I’ve got to get published if I want tenure. I’m hoping that my generation of academics can be a force for positive change when it comes to publishing our material)
    Also, Remy Habeeb’s talk! We don’t do enough thinking about digital publishing in languages other than English.

    OK, now I’m totally squeeing over this whole darn line-up. Please send me!

  29. 29
    jarant says:

    You WOULD be my first pick, as I have never had the opportunity to see you in person. However, for a less suck-upy answer, I’d like to see Scott Sigler’s presentation: “Who Needs You Big Publishing.” Heck, I’d buy an audio broadcast of that presentation. Also, the law/tech nerd in me would really like to hear William Patry, “Law is Not a Business Solution.” REALLY like to hear that one.

  30. 30
    Tessa says:

    Please do not choose me, for as much as I’d like to go, I can’t afford the airfare and hotel.  But I wanna know this stuff, in an Angry Boner Man kind of way. 

    Is there or will there be any kind of collection of powerpoint slides/links/videos/etc. that we could read/download/purchase?  TED would be a great model.

    Writers are notoriously poor, funding has been cut to most libraries, even the publishers are hurting and probably cutting travel/conf. budgets, yet this info. is critical to all of us. A low cost (or dare I suggest…free?) version of the content available afterwards would serve to market the speakers, the conference, etc. to those of us who can’t afford the in-person. 
    Just a suggestion.  Ok, a plea.  On my knees, with my skirts becomingly disarranged…

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