Untethered (I Hope)

If all goes well, tomorrow I will be attending Big Money’s Untethered conference, all about publishing on tablet media. I haven’t received a registration confirmation despite being a media partner, woe is I.

I think (I hope anyway) that they’re defining “tablet” to its broadest definition to include not only iPads but also smart phones, digital reading devices, and the like, because if it’s all iPad, all day, that’ll get boring in a hurry.

But the focus on publishing should be interesting, particularly since the speakers include Sarah Chubb, CEO of Conde Nast, Brian Murray, the CEO of HarperCollins, and Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO, Simon & Schuster.

The topics will include discussions of newspaper and magazine use of tablet technology, and a session at 11am titled, “Will the iPad Kill Off eReaders and Other Tablets?” with folks from Barnes and Noble’s Digital Products division, IRex (Didn’t they just file for bankruptcy?) Spring Design and Sony Electronics. Good thing I’m not on the panel, because my answer to the title question would be, “Uh, no.” I find reading on the iPad to be visually uncomfortable, but I’m very curious how the conference as a whole approaches the question not only of publishing on a tablet but reading as well.

From the “Potentially Rich in Iron-y” department there’s a panel with Paul Aiken, the Executive Director of The Author’s Guid titled, “Roadblocks and Headaches,” with the following line in the description:

“…who owns the customers in this new digital world?”

Say it with me now: 0_o?

The CEOs of different publishing houses are on a panel together at 4pm titled “The Future of Book Publishing” that promises to discuss “How are the economics of this industry changing in the tablet era? Who ultimately will control pricing, distribution and profit margins?”

I can only hope that conversation is related to my ownership as a consumer!

So, help me out, as I compile my traditional conference wrap up: predict the Untethered Drinking Game! What will be the most commonly used words in the presentations tomorrow? Bring it on – we’ll see how close you are to the actual conference. I’ll be tweeting along from the conference (@smartbitches) or you can follow the #unteth hashtag for more tomorrow. If I get in. Otherwise you’ll see a lot of angry Sarah on Twitter, until I go find some noodles to soothe me. 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    darlynne says:

    I am part of the great unwashed, the segment of reading society that still doesn’t have an ereader device (other than my netbook). Would yelling “STFU!” in the “Will the iPad Kill Off eReaders and Other Tablets?” panel be bad form? I’m so sick of the continued slavering over this one device when the really cool thing would be an ereader that can read every format available. That would be something to crow about.

    Say it with me now and channel your inner Jan Brady: “It’s always iPad, iPad, iPad.” In fact, that’s my contribution for the Drinking Game. And instead of taking a drink, take a big bite out of an apple.

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    Say it with me now and channel your inner Jan Brady: “It’s always iPad, iPad, iPad.”

    EVERYBODY CHUG.

  3. 3

    Who owns the customers? Seriously? I own myself, thank you very much.

    Don’t know if it counts as a word but what about DRM?

  4. 4
    Tina C. says:

    I don’t know what the jargon will be for the drinking game?  Possibly “synergy”?  Or it’s not a single word, but how about a long gulp whenever they discuss ways to keep ebooks from “stealing” the profits of regular books, as if they all weren’t the same damned book in different formats?

    Speaking of iPads, have you seen the latest commercial for them?  There’s a voice-over guy and he says, “What is iPad?”  He then answers his own question with, “It is thin.  It is beautiful.”  So is Megan Fox and I’m not buying her, either.  Excuse me, Apple, but maybe you could give me some real reasons as to why I would spend $500-$700+ for one?  Because your ad reminds me of a car salesman trying to convince me to buy a car based on it’s pretty color and I feel more than a little condescended to—or maybe aesthetics is all you got.

  5. 5
    Milena says:

    I dread the drinking game coming from combining “customers” with “ownership”, where the end result is not customers owning books they purchased.

  6. 6
    ehoyden says:

    Sounds, uh, fun?  Hope you get some connectivity there.

    Not a iPad fan either.  I do think we’ll be seeing a nice drop in ereader prices by Christmas, and a decent all ebook format reader coming our way by the first of next year (I hope).  They have them available in other countries right now, but not US…yet.

    For your drinking pleasure:
    e-ink
    ipad knockoff
    DRM
    Piracy
    FCC
    tablet
    android
    apps
    html5
    enhanced ebook
    color multifunction devices
    self published author

  7. 7
    Marsha says:

    “Game changer” and its variants seem to be big right now, no matter what industry is doing the talking. 

    You know, I’m torn between hoping this conference is good (for Sarah’s mental health) and hoping that it is bad (for the humor value of follow-up posts).  So conflicted!

  8. 8

    I vote for “revisioning” and “DRM”—and when the $99 eReader arrives, (on sale at Wal-Mart for $88.95), they will have me.

  9. 9
    SB Sarah says:

    “What is iPad?”  He then answers his own question with, “It is thin.  It is beautiful.”  So is Megan Fox and I’m not buying her, either.

    Ow. Water up my nose. Thanks, Tina.

    I so expect to hear “game changing” and “synergy.” I will try not to poke my own eyes out.

  10. 10
    Kalen Hughes says:

    I vote for “iPad killer”, but what do I know (I own a freaken CyBook Opus, LOL!).

    BTW: the reason I’m AWOL is that you’ve been blocked by work IP as naughty. *sigh* I miss my bitches.

  11. 11
    Tina C. says:

    BTW: the reason I’m AWOL is that you’ve been blocked by work IP as naughty. *sigh* I miss my bitches.

    I feel ya—my work computer’s firewall has been calling this place “porn” for months.  *sigh*

  12. 12
    ehoyden says:

    Duh.  Just read this and the rest of my post was missing this:

    My one pick for the drinking game out of my list of repetitive things you’ll hear tomorrow is:  “color multifunction device”.

    Enjoy the conference, well, try to.

  13. 13
    bounababe says:

    , iPad will not replace everything else. Didn’t we hear last year that Kindle would replace everything else? I have been reading on my iPhone for a three years now and I have no intention of buying an even more awkward, less useful (no phone) and more expensive piece of equipment because the commercials are cool.  I haven’t checked out the Apple book sales but was happy with fictionwise until recently.  who owns me? I own me and my owner is mad.
    I love ebooks and the ability to travel with my entire library, but I hope this conference will also include discussion on access. It seems like alot of houses have decided to limit my access to my own books and then play musical chairs with the sites allowed to sell them “Oh noes! this site sometimes discounts our ebooks!” Well that is why I go back over and over, and end up buying for the full price more often than not. And I’m happy to pay it, but trying to herd me into a Nook or Kindle to get certain books, nope, not gonna happen.
    (sorry, that last rant was probably off topic, but I feel better)

  14. 14
    Tamara Hogan says:

    If anyone mentions the potential environmental impact of manufacturing, charging and recycling these gadgets – even in passing – I’ll drink the whole bottle myself.

  15. 15
    bounababe says:

    DRM
    Piracy
    Margins
    revenue
    marketing initiatives
    e-book
    e-tailer
    iPad
    Tools in our Toolbox (because that is said in any conference for any subject, always) It certainly makes me want to chug something.

  16. 16
    BooksOnBoard says:

    Looking for a little romance to go along with your e-reader this weekend? Check out booksonboard.com! Starting today and going through the weekend, get 20% off all romance books over $5 that are non-rep!

  17. 17
    SB Sarah says:

    BooksOnBoard, I don’t know what the fuck you were thinking but comment spam is utterly lame and not welcome. I’m disabling your link but will leave it up as a what not to do. That fucking sucked. Don’t do it again.

  18. 18

    Stop holding back, Sarah!  Say what you really think!  -)

    Good on you, as the Brits say.  For the drinking game, I vote for “multifunction” and “device agnostic.”

  19. 19
    Eve Langlais says:

    “Tamara said:
    If anyone mentions the potential environmental impact of manufacturing, charging and recycling these gadgets – even in passing – I’ll drink the whole bottle myself. “

    LOL has anyone seriously said that? That’s bad if yes. Considering how much I read, which translates into a serious amount of tree killing, there is no way my e-reader is worse environmentally. And as for the ipad, from all the talk and ads I’ve seen it seems to be oriented more to everything but reading. Hubby got me an overpriced Sony, which I do love, but the price tag made me almost faint. I figure though with the money I’m saving on books now—not to mention I don’t need to invest in another bookcase—it will eventually balance out. But the I-pad kill the competition? LOL not likely. Nor will e-readers completely kill off paper books even though the sale of them, especially in certain genres, will probably decline in favor of ebooks. I can’t wait to see what the big houses have to say though.

  20. 20
    JenD says:

    Ooh, I do love a good game of BINGO.

    My votes-
    Market Saturation (iPad hur hur)
    New Media
    ‘A growing trend’
    ‘A stabilizing trend’
    ‘casual’ (readers, gamers, geese-jugglers)
    Myriad of Choices

    Also- a strong second for ‘game changer’. I should patent that phrase.

  21. 21
    Anne says:

    Device Convergence or just plain Convergence
    Touch Screen
    Twitter
    Mobile
    Embargo (as in we don’t release these books in e-format until after a 6 month embargo)

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