Tools of Change: Roundup Part I

I have mixed reactions to Tools of Change 2012. One one hand, I attended several sessions that were flush with the data, the graphs, the charts, the multiple interpretations of the data, and the exploration of who exactly is reading books, what they're reading, and how and on what they're reading. There were sessions I followed via Twitter that I wish I could have gone to, about reading platforms and new ways to sell or promote books. And, alas, there were sessions that were thinly-veiled promotional opportunities.

This could easily be a huge entry, but I'm going to break it up into parts for easier consumption.

First, the things that blew my mind – keynotes and videos.

This keynote address from Barbara Genco about the survey of library patrons for the Library Journal and Bowker was amazing. That keynote could have been the length of a feature film and I'd have brought popcorn and watched the whole thing. The data behind the “power patron” describes many of us romance readers, I think:


You can also see more information from the library patron survey at the Library Journal's Digital Shift blog.

Genco's comments about “friction” are an interesting response to the comments from Big 6 publishers about the desire for more obstacles (which they call 'friction') to online lending of digital books:

Macmillan executives expressed to ALA their concerns about elending and “its ramifications on the future of our business,” according to Alison Lazarus, the president of sales for Macmillan.

“We want to insure that customers who have typically been book buyers do not migrate their purchasing into borrowing as accessibility to our books becomes frictionless,” Lazarus said. “This would imperil our retailers, wholesalers, authors and ourselves and would ultimately be detrimental to libraries,” she said.

According to the survey data Genco presented – and to be fair it was a sketch of 15 minutes without a full explanation of the depth and terms of the survey – that doesn't seem to be true. I am looking forward to more data from this survey and perhaps others that proves that library lending does not hurt sales. In my own experience and that of folks I've spoken with (i.e. anecdata), library lending creates sales, but perhaps my sampling of romance readers is too specific to be viable to publishing executives in control of digital library lending decisions. 

The keynote from LeVar Burton is also worth watching for its inspiration:


And finally, while copyright and piracy are very explosive topics, this keynote from Joe Karaganis on Copy Cultures is worth watching. Karaganis' presentation focused on the study and numbers behind piracy and enforcement, and how laws and proposals that attempt to prosecute file sharing in low income countries are ineffective.


Also, the big announcement of Inkling's collaborative ebook platform Habitat was very cool.


And booyah! I have three codes to give away for your choice of two titles from Inkling so you can try the interactive nonfiction titles they create. One title is “Speakeasy Cocktails” and the other is “Master Your DSLR Camera.” The presentation focused in part on the DSLR title, using multiple visual examples to illustrate results of different settings and techniques.

Please note: these titles work on iPads, and as near as I can tell, iPads only. I'm really sorry: if you don't have a tablet or if you have an Android tablet, this won't work for you. Registration with Inkling is part of claiming the prize, and the book will be downloaded within Inkling's free app. I'm not being compensated for this giveaway. The codes were taped to the bottoms of chairs. I'm not kidding. Must be over 18 and wearing chaps to win. Void where prohibited. No, the chairs weren't really comfortable.

To enter to win a copy, leave a comment as to which drink is your favorite – alcoholic or nonalcoholic. My entry: I have a not very secret and deep love of diet Pepsi. I drink it maybe once a month, but oh, I love it. Even though I know it's bad for me, I love it. I should stop talking about it lest I go buy one. 

Soon: more from Tools of Change!

Winners: The winners of the three codes for the Inkling books are Tina Sicre, Claire, and Laylapalooza. Please email me at sarahATsmartbitchestrashybooksDOTTYcom to claim your codes. Thanks for entering!


General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Sofia Harper says:

    I love LaVar Burton’s talk. He is the face of my childhood. I loved Reading Rainbow.

  2. 2
    Laylapalooza says:

    Ooh. I am super interested in this giveaway – I’m working on a conference paper on interactive fiction right now.

    My favorite drink is alcoholic – a pear tree martini.

  3. 3
    Flo_over says:

    I am now singing the Reading Rainbow theme song and showing it to my almost 2 year old.  She is now hooked.  I swear all my old stories and shows from my youth hook her far more than anything that’s on the current line up.  I still love LaVar Burton as Geordi LaForge the most.

  4. 4
    Tina Sicre says:

    Thanks for sharing the recap, Sarah.  I’ve been chomping at the bit to see Inkling in action, especially after Matt McInnis’ presentation earlier this week.  The science example he gave was stunning and as a developer for digital education products, very exciting.  So many new ways to look how we can present materials to create a more in-depth and stimulating learning experience, at any age.

    My favorite drink: Mai Tai, (tip:  Ina Garten has the best recipe).  Reminds me of being on the beach in Hawaii.  Ahhh, now that’s nice.

  5. 5
    Ann Stephens says:

    I can’t use the codes you have on offer since I don’t have an iPad. Just stopping by to say thanks for giving us a look at this year’s Tools of Change.

    Re: libraries lending eBooks—to my amazement, the ereader I do have has increased my use of our local library because of the ease of borrowing books at home in my jammies at midnight. Genco speaks the truth about the results of getting books into patrons’ hands. I’ve found new authors and made purchase decisions based on books I’ve borrowed. (Mental note to self: increase annual donation to library.)

  6. 6
    Becca says:

    I don’t want to win anything, but I’ll have a daiquiri, please.

  7. 7
    Arloa Hart says:

    Thanks for keeping us in the digital loop.
    My favorite drink depends on a variety of factors: morning, Earl Grey tea with milk; alcoholic, either Guiness or Bell’s HopSlam; feeling yucky, Lemon Ginger Tea; mocktail, cranberry juice with bubbly water and a slice of lime.

  8. 8
    RJ says:

    I have had the theme song stuck in my head all through class this afternoon.  European integration and Reading Rainbow; African films, and Reading Rainbow; Scifi, Neuromancer, and Reading Rainbow.  I did post the Lavar Burton clip for this class, and had everyone singing along at the break, so it was worth the previous two classes.

  9. 9
    RJ says:

    Fanny’s Bramble is my favourite alcoholic drink for two reasons.  1) ‘Fanny’ is Brit slang for vagina.  The name just called to me when I saw it on the menu board.  2) Fanny’s Bramble is a blackberry cider that tastes amazing!  My favourite mixed drink, though, is an amaretto sour.  Don’t enter me into the drawing, as I have no ipad; however, I really wanted to share the joy of Fanny’s Bramble.  If anyone is in Devon, or the westcountry, you should try this if you haven’t already.

  10. 10
    Lijakaca says:

    I don’t have an ipad either, but I wante to chime in with a comment on piracy, and obstacles to access. Steam, the online portal that sells videogames, is a good example that refutes the common assumption that people will pirate entertainment if they can. Steam is a huge success because they make buying and playing games simple and streamlined, even though many people using it know how to and could easily pirate games – even expensive ones.

  11. 11
    Claire says:

    tie between Coke Zero and Starbucks skim hot chocolate.

  12. 12
    Copa says:

    Your mocktail sounds delicious! I will have to try it soon.

  13. 13
    Copa says:

    I am a voracious reader, I read a couple hundred books a year. I am also a major fan of ebooks, and Oregon has the best online library I have seen so far and man oh man do I love it. However despite how much I love books I have a strict budget, I will never buy a full price book by an author I don’t know, instead I check out their books at the library (either physical or digital) and if I adore the book, chances are I will want to get more from the author or even buy myself a copy of the adored book in digital so I can read it again at any time.

    I am also handy with a computer, and could easily pirate books/movies/music if I wanted to, but I don’t. Ever. Never have.

    On the subject of copyrights, can I just say how violently opposed to DRM’s I am? I wouldn’t tolerate someone walking up to me and taking a physical book I bought right out of my hands, why the hell would I tolerate it with an ebook I also purchased.

  14. 14
    SAO says:

    The library and the piracy videos were just fascinating. Thank you so much.  I really liked the Karaganis presentation because it provided data to what I’ve long known—high prices + low incomes + internet access = piracy and laws aren’t going to change that. 

    I don’t think I could live without at least one cup of tea in a day (Ahmad’s Earl Grey in Russia, Whittard’s Vanilla in England, Peet’s Earl Grey in the US).

    But my love is martinis, as made by my father. Hard alcohol is horrible on the body, but I don’t visit my parents often enough for that to be an issue.  I arrived at college as an extremely naive 17 yo, with the ability to drink two strong martinis without getting more than mildly tipsy—- something that was tremendously helpful in surviving frat parties.

  15. 15
    Lucy Francis says:

    Sarah, thanks so much for this post, and for tweeting during the conference. I gleaned a lot of interesting information from you.

  16. 16
    Rebecca (another one) says:

    I just saw a positive write up on Tools of Change on NPR.

  17. 17
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  18. 18
    SB Sarah says:

    The winners of the three codes for the Inkling books are Tina Sicre, Claire, and Laylapalooza!

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