“I think we haven’t done the great things yet.”
Are you an author? If so, would it surprise you to know that that line came from a publisher?
It did, and Sara Lloyd, Pan Macmillan’s digital and communications director, was set on making sure that the participant-hackers of the first-ever FutureBook Hack understood that she — as a representative of a major power in UK publishing — knew how much the industry! the industry! needs to take things to the next level.
“I think we haven’t done the great things yet and thats what you guys are here for,” she told them.
“Publishing is reading and talking about it,” she said to the group in Saturday’s round of opening comments at University College London. “How we publish books is that an editor reads and loves a book so much they want others to read it too.”
As some of her colleagues from other houses were doing that morning, Lloyd was working to convey to a group of largely non-publishing people (developers, coders, programmers, designers, engineers) the sorts of ways publishing is trying to learn to think – with a digital head on a longtime print body, if you will.
Like so many industries, when the digital dynamic hits, publishing has found it hard to realize that the way forward is to embrace it and let it re-invent your values, not resist and swat back at it. To hear Lloyd speak this weekend was to get that her shop is making that turn and beginning to ask digital questions in a search for digital answers:
“We would like to see how all the forms of data around a brand author or a genre or category could be pulled together in interesting ways to deliver something different/special to fans in a way that will pull in new readers,” she told the beanbagged assembly.
“How can we leverage data to enhance readers’ experiences rather than seeing data as purely an insight driver for us?”
By Porter Anderson | @Porter_Anderson
Read the full post at: The Bookseller’s The FutureBook