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!